[eDebate] Time to Review the Merger
Fri Jun 9 15:28:52 CDT 2006
Sorry if I misinterpreted. I was opposed to "seperatism" and not
necessarily reform. Certainly didnt mean to accuse you of anything.
DE: But I think the financial argument you make goes hand in hand with
travel patterns. And the merger and the bid chase has directly led to
travel patterns that makes it impossible for some folks to keep up
JBH: I have no idea why this is necessarily true, near as I can tell you
dont HAVE to bid chase... A program can:
Base success around regional or national CEDA sweepstakes goals
Base success around regional or national NDT points (Liberty for instance
has turned this into a national news story).
Base goals around regional or national ADA points
Base goals around success at JV or Novice national tournaments
Base goals around success at specific targeted tournaments
Base success around attending the NDT
Base success around novice CEDA, NDT, or regional goals
Base success around bid hunting.
Base sucess around changing how debate is practiced or highlighting
diversity or other goals
Saying Bid Hunting has caused the decline of debate seems a bit nutty...very
cart before the horse. Unless your argument is that those teams that do bid
hunt cause regional debate to die (I will deal with this question more
In addition, at the end of the CEDA period we were having exactly the same
problems with Mid-America being a defacto requirement for success.
DE: Stannards research will speak more to this I think but in the meantime
what do we do? We cannot continue down the path of least resistance for the
fear that what we may uncover will lead to a split and 2 small groups that
risk even further death.
JBH: I disagree...acting prematurely can make the SQ worse....and it is
VERY unlikely that if you de-merge programs will start blossoming and
equally as likely that debate will just accellerate in its decline.
DE: We need to work and uncover and make changes. Idyllic past or not the
truth is there are about 100 less programs doing policy debate today then
there were in the late 80's and early to mid 90's.
JBH: I guess I am more cynical than you about the potential to re-grow old
programs or create new ones. I also think the answer is in networking with
people who are making it work and finding ways in bad budgetary times to
make debate work in tons of different ways. Sharing this information
between each other given the vastly different ways so many of us keep the
doors open and the vans traveling seems MUCH more likely to help stop
program decline....UNLESS the reason they are leaving is because they hate
debate as it is currently practiced. if it is financial there are three
potentially viable solutions:
1. Network and create dialog about how to justify your program, raise money,
create revenue outside of the University, create revenue outside of the Comm
department, create outside support for debate etc etc.
2. Reevaluate what you have and what you are capable of and redefine your
program/s around goals you know are attainable. If you exceed them there is
nothing wrong with that.
3. Committ to attending tournaments in your region...All of us should do
this at whatever level we can. And I am certainly not opposed to revisiting
making the bid process include tournaments in every part of the country in
order to revitalize more regional circuits with an anchor or even rotating
anchor tournament. However, no matter what happens, bid chasing or no,
unless everyone in whatever region you are in agrees to send teams to
regional tournaments NONE of this stuff will work.
Also, say what you really mean...Are you saying:
A. Many teams go bid hunting, cant maintain it and then die
B. Teams that are financially stable and have University support have
national goals that trade-off with the ability of regional tournaments to
remain competitive. The lack of competitive regional tournaments kills
programs that cant afford national travel.
I suspect you are saying B but more politely. If you are asking for some
mandatory scheme by way the financially stable teams agree to only travel
regionally my guess is they will not agree. I also am not sure this is a
true argument although its certainly a workable hypothesis to test.
Finally, I suspect the workable solution - redistributing tournaments that
count as bids so that all regions are represented...probably doesnt solve
your problem.....It will only make ONE regional tournament a year more
viable per region etc (although I will concede that one is better than
DE: Finally I will conclude with this thought: will the NDT committee
seriously consider changes to the pre-bid system in the spirit of reviving
Regional Debate? Many others have already backchanneled me about this issue
in the last 2 days. Folks on both sides of the fence pre-merger have spoken
to this. As an organization CEDA needs to ask that question and gauge the
response. Because, as Ermo pointed out, we are 2 organizations both of us
need to work together if the common goal is viability and as you suggest
JBH: The NDT committee has already shown a willingness to do something like
this...The final proposal just ended up not accomplishing any of what it was
intended to accomplish. However, let me warn you again....Even a revamped
bid process will only revitalize regional debate a tiny bit...The problem is
that many "big" programs dont travel regionally as much as they used to
(including Michigan although we try to attend several regional tournaments a
year as well). The whole community supported some reform in this just one
year ago and then the issue died.....Do you have a proposal to reform the
bid process that will stop regional decline? Can you share it....I dont
mean to be obtuse or crass...I am just cynical...I think problem is that
tournaments cost a ton more than they used to (gas prices, ticket prices,
hotel prices, food prices) and people want to attend national and regional
tournaments....for teams that cant afford both that means a smaller draw.
I really will wholeheartedly support a design that somehow lets all teams
regardless of their goals prosper.
Darren Elliott (the other Elliott)
Director of Debate--KCKCC
CEDA 2nd VP
>>> "Josh Hoe" <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> 06/09/06 12:40 PM >>>
The only disagreement I can see in the Cheif's post is the one I pre-empted
about the merger causing the decline of regional debate.
CEDA was moving toward an entirely NDT style prior to the merger....The
merger did NOT cause the decline in programs...Programs were dying and
regional circuits were dying in CEDA PRIOR to the merger....One of the major
arguments for the merger at the time was to ARREST decline. The Mid-America
region was the CEDA version of the Emory/Wake/West Ga/Kentucky etc region -
if you didnt travel to the Mid America district in the last 7 years of CEDA
qua CEDA you had NO chance at CEDA nationals.
I was one of the last people to make the transition (ASU did an entirely
CEDA schedule the first pseudo merger year) and I was a CEDA officer and was
VERY active through this whole period. It is just patently false to suggest
that prior to the merger CEDA was this idyllic romantic past you suggest.
I have suggested this before...Most, if not all, of the reasons debate is
dying is not a result of the merger...It is the result first and foremost of
increased travel costs. In addition, many programs left entirely or did
Parli because they hated the style of debate that was becoming prominant in
CEDA PRIOR to the merger. The style popularized by schools such as Emporia
(you), UCO (me), SIU at the end (Jack) etc.
Finally, I have gotten a crash course in the last four years of just how
hard it is to keep a debate program running without University support. The
major problems across the board for most schools who try to debate is
DECLINING UNIVERSITY FUNDS FROM STATE BUDGETS. Its easier to bemoan how
terrible debate is and how many programs we are losing but many of the
problems we all face are created externally. My fear is, in our haste to do
something radical to return to a past that no longer exists, we will make
the problems worse not better.
I know I am somehwat of a muckraker in this forum but please realize that
the one thing we do have is each other...If we start choosing sides and
dividing up again we are only going to have two seperate, smaller, and more
rapidly dying groups of college debaters.
The best thing we can do is SHARE our success stories....How did Dr. Warner
generate University support, how did the teams with lots of money get to be
teams with lots of money, how does Jack get support at OU, etc etc
etc.....How can you justify what we do to administrators
successfully.....How can you create revenue streams outside the University
budgeting process. We may not agree on how debate should look but we are
resources for each others continued survival. Cutting off whole sections of
such resources seems to me, at best, short sighted.
On 6/9/06, Darren Elliott <delliott at kckcc.edu> wrote:
> I am working on the wordings that Tim presented as per the Topic Cmte
> deliberations and dont have time for a long dive into this but Andy's post
> was an outgrowth of a conversation at the CEDA summer meetings. I think
> has merit. I do want to comment on a couple things Josh says below. We
> have different perspectives I think that are worth noting.
> >>> "Josh Hoe" <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> 06/08/06 11:17 PM >>>
> JH: Sure, I suspect it would be easy to make sure the NDT no longer
> debated the
> CEDA topic...just go back to two value topics a year. That would do it
> ME: I agree. Hypothetically if programs would flood back to evidence
> based debate would it be worth it?
> JH: Not really sure what Andy's argument is....A team can still travel
> exclusively a CEDA schedule, still attend CEDA nationals only, still set
> CEDA regional or overall points championships as the squad goal. What
> exactly are you saying? No program is forced to debate at traditionally
> tournaments or at the NDT. Any program still has exactly the same choices
> open to them as they did when I debated CEDA.
> ME: Depends on the team doesnt it? For some the "CEDA schedule" they
> once knew is a thing of the past. As regional debate died in parts of the
> country the ability to travel a CEDA schedule dies as well. Some programs
> have the same choices available--not all do. And I would wager to say
> of the CEDA programs that existed when you debated CEDA have gone the way
> the T-Rex.
> JH: So, whats left, if the above is true, is the topic...and that is
> voted for
> by the CEDA membership and written by elected CEDA leadership members.
> ME: Not that simple. The topic is the one thing that unified the two
> mostly, I agree with Gary on that point and with you on that
> that was a major factor in many schools leaving. That led to a decline in
> Regional debate in many regions. So others had to choose between leaving
> changing their squad focus entirely. The merger didnt just change the
> process. There are many things it allowed/caused/led to. The topic
> came first. And the topics are certainly different. From my perspective
> they are better. But others disagree. And instead if hearing those
> we just keep pushing them to the margins.
> JH: Guess I am being somewhat purposefully obtuse but for a
> point...rarely was
> there really an ideal romantic past and hardly ever can it be returned to.
> ME: If losing over 100 programs in the past 15 years isnt romantic enough
> then maybe nothing can convince folks that we have an obligation to look
> where we were and where we are now. Gary is right, institutionally we
> really should do this from time to time.
> JH: What you are really arguing, I suspect, is that you wish more people
> supported a less national circuit approach so that there was more viable
> regional debate all over the country. The lack of this is NOT the fault
> the merger...It was happening at the end of traditional CEDA before the
> ME: Was it happening on the same scale? Really? That isnt my
> recollection. Even if it was, CEDA's Natl circuit tournaments are now
> barely able to make it as Regional tournaments. CEDA's natl. tournaments
> were the Jesuit qualifiers. Now S. Carolina and UMSL are gone. Emporia
> UCO are Regional tournaments. The Pacific Northwest is down to 2-3
> total much less a large Natl tournament drawing many teams.
> I will conclude with my example from CEDA Mid-American Region/NDT
> D3. Prior to the merger CEDA's top programs in this area of the world
> SMS, ESU, UMKC, UCO, and K-State. They all held big tournaments
> of us really had to travel out of the Region even though a few did but on
> occasion. Not to the extent they do now. The merger brought into the
> some NDT powerhouses we never encountered before. It brought us face to
> face with KU, Baylor, Texas, and N. Texas. KU and Baylor also had huge
> tournaments. But then the chase was on. To keep up at districts we had
> go where those schools were going all year. So the bid chase was
> flocked from the District. As a result all of those big tournaments
> decreased in size. The burdens mounted and yes a year long topic also
> brought burdens. Regional programs disappeared. Gone were NEMO, MOSO,
> UMSL, Webster, SLU, CMSU, SMU, Central Methodist, Cameron, NOC, WJC and
> knows how many more I cant remember off the top of my head. All those
> schools leaving meant even more teams now not coming to the Regional
> tournaments. And the cycle goes on and on. Was the merger the sole
> reason? Not likely. Did we do what was necessary to preserve identity
> preserve programs? Absolutely not. Shame on us. A look back is not only
> necessary but prudent and hopefully not too late.
> Darren Elliott
> Director of Debate--KCKCC
> CEDA 2nd VP
> On 6/8/06, Gary Larson <Gary.N.Larson at wheaton.edu> wrote:
> > Andy's call to evaluate the effects of the "merger" between CEDA and
> > is an important call do something that is a necessary part of
> > decision-making. If we're not self-reflective about the impact of
> > we make, we will inevitably evolve in directions that are less than
> > But the final paragraph of Andy's post deserves comment. He asks
> > presumably the historically CEDA part of his audience,
> > "Do we still want to be a part of the NDT process? Has it paid off for
> > us?"
> > The irony here is that the "merger" such as it is was not a CEDA
> > to be part of the NDT process. It was rather an NDT decision to be part
> > the CEDA process. The watershed moment was a decision by the NDT
> > to adopt the CEDA topic. The conditions for that decision - that the
> > be worded as a policy resolution and that there only be one topic per
> year -
> > had both been essentially already adopted by the CEDA community
> > of any possibility that the NDT would adopt the CEDA topic.
> > As a result, the topic selection process remains uniquely a CEDA
> > constitutional function, even if some fret that it has been
> co-opted. If
> > CEDA were to decide that Andy's concern is warranted and that CEDA no
> > wanted to be part of the NDT process, it would discover that unilateral
> > disengagement is impossible. The question is not whether CEDA adopts
> > NDT topic - it's whether the NDT adopts the CEDA topic. Besides topic
> > construction there really is no merger (other than that defined by
> > patterns and choices to attend one or both of the national tournaments -
> > a number of schools played on both sides of the street long before there
> > talk of a merger).
> > Given a somewhat popular narrative that says that CEDA lost programs to
> > Parli because it capitulated to NDT, the real story is perhaps even more
> > interesting.
> > GARY
> > _______________________________________________
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