[eDebate] NDT Fees

matt stannard stannardmatt
Thu Mar 9 19:05:22 CST 2006

The last three posts by Gordon, Andy and Steve are reasonable, honest, 
constructive, and non-sarcastic.  I appreciate them.

If, as can be reasonably argued, there's no need for people to be 
reactionary and fire off complaints on edebate about the costs associated 
with the NDT, it is equally true that there is no reason to answer those or 
any other complaints with dismissive sarcasm.

The long-term aspect of this issue is simple: It is really, really expensive 
to attend the NDT, and even moreso when bringing observers.  Lamenting this 
fact is not tantamount to selfishness or utopianism.  It is also really, 
really expensive to host the NDT.  A lamentation on the costs of attending 
should not be construed as an attack on those gracious enough to host.

This is one instance where the "we're all in this together" cliche actually 
rings true.


>From: Steve Mancuso <mancussp at muohio.edu>
>CC: edebate at ndtceda.com
>Subject: Re: [eDebate] NDT Fees
>Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2006 19:46:07 -0500
>I have taken part in pretty much every side of this debate.  I've been,
>and continue to be, a consumer of the NDT, bringing teams and
>observers, and paying the fees.  I serve on the NDT Committee.  I've
>served on the Board of Trustees.  I've recently been a host of the NDT.
>   I was  a co-author of the most recent hosting document.
>The people who have written about hosts getting stuck with monumental
>food bills after the tournament (and these have sometimes been five
>figures) are absolutely right.  Our first priority has to be to protect
>our hosts.  And I know that is the exact concern that drives the high
>observer fees, nothing else.  The high observer fees are absolutely the
>result of very good intentions.  The people who look out for our
>finances do a fantastic job, and we owe them a great gratitude for
>their tireless service.
>I would also point out that these hidden costs add up quickly.  If
>every school has just one person who slips in unaccounted you are
>talking about a 10% increase in food costs.
>On the other hand, I strongly oppose the current inflexible fee system
>for observers.
>Not too long ago it was possible to buy observer food tickets that
>excluded the banquet(s).
>There are numerous people at the tournament who would gladly forgo
>eating at the banquets - and that's over half the cost of the observer
>ticket.  I have several people in my party who will not be able to
>attend the opening banquet.  Yet I am in the position of having to pay
>for their banquet meal anyhow.
>Further, I have two students who will be attending as observers who I
>would like to be able to have them admitted to observe the various
>awards ceremonies on Thursday and Sunday.  Is it really necessary to
>buy them $60 banquet meals for that to occur?
>I know that the rigidness of the system is in part driven by
>enforcement issues.  In the case where the host feels that the
>single-price ticket is the only way that meal lines can be enforced we
>need to error on the side of the host, absolutely.
>I know in this year's case the host supports variable prices for
>observer tickets.
>I wish we could find a way to offer meal tickets that excluded the
>banquet costs, and find a reasonable way to enforce it.
>Steve Mancuso
>eDebate mailing list
>eDebate at ndtceda.com

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