[eDebate] update on baltimore college debate project- If attending our tournaments please read

Andy Ellis andy.edebate
Fri Sep 15 20:54:29 CDT 2006


Hello,

Just wanted to give people a brief update about progress here in Baltimore.

1)The groundwork is starting on several campuses across the area. There are
students organizing other studnets, volunteer coaches getting lined up, and
meetings scheduled with administartors. That being said this process is not
fast. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT AT THE THURGOOD MARSHALL TOURNAMENT NONE OF THESE
SCHOOLS WILL FIELD A TEAM. I believe there will at least be interested
students watching from these schools and from towson. if you are planning to
attend and this is a problem contact me and we can discuss any concerns you
have.

2) I truly believe this will work, i have been working closely with the BUDL
college access coordinator and we are working to tie the work we do to get
high school and middle school studnets into college to the work we do to
build college debate teams. We have a good list of local colleges and are
setting up meetings. We are also leting our graduating seniors know that
they have many college debate choices in the area. The persuasiveness of our
pitch aside one of the key components of making this work is creating viable
tournaments in the area in order to be able to offer local debate to local
colleges, we need to know that folks from outside will come and continue to
support the project. The support we have received is good so far, and i want
to make sure people know that attending the tournaments this year or next
year will make it so as schools do get their programs set up they can get a
lot of experience for  a lot of people on a small budget. I can talk more
about this, but supporting this while it grows is a huge contribution from
the larger college debate community! Thank You.

3) I have not talked about this so much before, but i am going to now. For
several years now much of the communit has in theory agreed that increasing
meaningful black participation in debate is a good thing, at least in theory
most of us agree, well this is a  real practical  application of that
theory. In the past when people have said "UDL's increase meaningful black
particpation" "We like UDL's" Others have responded and in ways correctly
so, "that does not translate into meaningful particpation in college
debate." This project has the oppurtunity to bridge that gap, and to do so
on historicaly black college campuses. This is not just about giving UDL
kids a chance to debate, this is also about creating on campus recruiting
oppurtunities for novice and jv debaters at an incredibly low cost to the
school.

I am not saying we are creating a collge UDL,in the broadest sense we will
be debate centered around urban areas, and we might even be a league, and we
might use the expertise we have developed in setting up high schoo and
middle school leagues, but we dont aim to create a league just for
baltimore. I think that a thriving debate circuit in baltimoroe with a bunch
of low cost tournaments, helps richmond dc philly wilmington frederick
hagerstown, west virgina and beyond. And that is where it diverges, UDL
focus on providing a service to a city that doesnt have it often while its
suburbs do often times they are not fundementally debate organizations, but
education organizations that debbate and have debate organizations within
them. I am aiming to provide competitive college debate opportunities at
local colleges not to create a seperate league(now maybe we should go that
way in a bit of time )but to allow meaningful participation in the existing
educational structure.


Simply put, you can demonstrate your real commitmit to increasing meaningful
minority particpation in debate by dedicating to support the viability and
growth of these tournaments. If the debate options exist now and in the
future debate teams will be able to start at tons of schools, if the
tournaments are not well atteended and we cant continue to offer them then
most of the work will be much much more difficult.

I am not trying to strongarm you but to make explicit how i see things.
Please attenend! in additio to all that seriousness it will be fun too.


4) That all being said, we could do it entirely without outside support,
eventually we would grow it, and it would provide the opportunities we need
it to provide, and we are committed to doing so, however the more people who
support in its formative stages the better. Perhaps some one would say its a
meaningfulness continuim

5)Please if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions get in touch with
me at either this address or andy at budl.org
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