[eDebate] do y'all even remember the original question?

Josh Hoe jbhdb8
Fri Apr 6 19:14:55 CDT 2007

Your anger is somewhat misplaced,

There are a TON of people who work very hard across the country for fixing
many of these problems as well as many other important problems that
education and debate face in general.  Your implicit assumption that
privledged programs dont attempt to fix anything is clearly uninformed
(Emory for instance, this years NDT champion, has done as much as anyone to
bring these very issues to the fore across the country).  Ede and Andy and
100 people you likely dont know have done 1000s of things to try to address
issues of access to education in debate.

However, your argument seems to be - if people dont accept your personal
action agenda - DAMN them for debating.  Debate is not just about activism,
its not just about questioning privlege, and sometimes - god forbid - good
friends who like to tease each other do so in a public debate forum.

In addition, I spent a great deal of time talking about how VOTERS not the
government is a HUGE barrier to these issues...For instance, we had
affirmative action in admissions in mission, had it supported by the Supreme
Court, and then had the CITIZENS of our state STOP our ability to defend
it.  People do not generally believe in what you are talking about - we MUST
direct our persuasion toward those that are most responsible for the use of
public funds....the citizens....they do not believe in redressing these
issues...and until we and others like us committ to persuading normal every
day folks that affirmative action and access and poverty and race issues
arent UNFAIR it will get worse not better.  You can blame programs and
coaches all you want - but the mood of the actual people funding higher
education is decisively opposed to this type of usage of funding in higher

Finally, I think you really are not being fair to people who are in general
underpaid and overworked....Most everyone that I know is VERY concerned with
these issues and become more involved every year in trying to do whatever
they can to redress race, sex, orientation, gender, and poverty issues.  In
a world where most of us get very little or no funding at all its not
easy...You should not just throw everyone under the "wasting money on an
unfair activity" bus just because everyone doesnt do it the way you want it

It is frustrating for sure.....on a ton of levels....but you are doing no
different than those people you vilify...You are just tarring the whole
community with the Omri blog brush,


On 4/6/07, V I Keenan <vikeenan at gmail.com> wrote:
> true - not entirely fair.
> it is not entirely fair that we as a community have the privilege to
> dismiss, obscure, joke about or deny issues based on the intellectual and
> academic privilege we posses because OUR access to educational systems is
> not what is in jeopardy.
> it is not entirely fair that this is an issue that members of our
> community can choose NOT to give a crap about because it's not important to
> some and their version of the activity can go on just fine in its privileged
> little enclave because no one loses funding or the opportunity to debate who
> is currently included if there is no change
> it is not entirely fair that we fail to regularly recognize as a college
> community our collective influence on the development and expectations of
> the high school debate community at all levels and where we are complicit
> with the inactions of institutions that already underserve some students and
> continue the privelege of others without question
> it is not entirely fair that the same exact lipservice is paid year after
> year in many programs and the old "throw up our hands, admissions, what do I
> do?" is thrown out as the reason.
> it is not entirely fair that when we try to address the above issue the
> answers include,  "I'm doing enough, what else do you want from me?"
> yeah . . . let's talk about "personal responsibility" . . . .
> yes - there has been some discussion of what to do. Thanks to Eli and
> Chris for some thoughts on the legal options, and to others with alternative
> suggestions.   The last suggestion that was thrown out was really
> interesting, but mostly devolved into the Andy Ellis debate biography,
> rather than perhaps a more necessary discussion of a) assuming the community
> college system as an answer assumes a still inadequate ed system which is
> not changed or b) the resource disparities for competitive debate between
> community colleges and other institutions and perhaps the unique challenges
> of engaging that model.  That's my point- there is more area for
> discussion.  It could be had.  I just feel that if we're not going to have
> it, let's all be up front about the collective apathy and antipathy, rather
> than use it as an opportunity to mock each other yet again until it dies and
> we bring it up haphazardly again next year.
> and just as a thought . . perhaps our willingness to engage each other in
> this manner is indicative of why we have trouble with inclusion on a larger
> scale.  I thought another thing we learned in this activity was how to
> engage in communication constructively so that persuasion was possible.
> this is what I'm calling out.  but what do I know, i think rain is wet.
> I actually am asking what other options are there in states, colleges, or
> other institutions. i am asking personally so that conversations I have with
> high school students can take place in a realistic, open, and informed
> atmosphere about where to apply to college.  I am asking for the community
> because as Dave pointed out, it would be nice if when faced with the
> impossibility of not getting a student with potential into our institution
> we could give other information and possibilites.  I am asking because I
> don't really know . . . and I was interested in community conclusions
> about legal possibilites after a year on the topic because I think topic
> education is  important and I'm trying to assess what we learned.
> but I'm probably not being entirely fair, so let's pat ourselves on the
> back again for managing to get out the 12 relevant responses we did before
> mocking omri's blog and pretending we did something . . .
> On 4/6/07, Josh Hoe <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > I dont know if this is entirely fair either, there were many answers and
> > suggestions directly related to debate and responsibility throughout this
> > exchange....There have also been ad homs and goofs,
> >
> > Josh
> >
> >
> > On 4/6/07, V I Keenan <vikeenan at gmail.com > wrote:
> > >
> > > things we have learned from the preceding exchanges:
> > >
> > > A. Debate does NOT, as previously thought, develop critical reading
> > > skills
> > >
> > > B. Critical thinking skills may be developed, but it's obscured by the
> > > fact that we STILL can't interpret humor and sarcasm correctly via
> > > electronic media.  (maybe we all need more emoticons).
> > >
> > > C. We are capable of engaging in a meaningful discussion of an issue
> > > for about a maximum of 3 posts in a row.
> > >
> > > I have found myself agreeing with a korcok post on edebate.  perhaps
> > > the snow outside my window is hell freezing over . .  .
> > >
> > > alas, despite the "hilarity" (cause that's what I read edebate for?)
> > > none of it answers the original question at hand:
> > >
> > > School systems are screwed up and unequal.  Bright kids with potential
> > > develop more potential via debate.  However; debate does not solve for all
> > > of the inadequacies of the educational system.  Therefore, bright students
> > > with potential will not have the opportunity to attend more privileged or
> > > competitive institutions via debate because entrance requirements do not
> > > account for these inadequacies.
> > >
> > > Theorectically, some of us care that the higher ed system we coach in
> > > is replicating the elitism and privilege of society because of these access
> > > issues.  This is problematic for any number of reasons (poor policymaker
> > > training in a "democratic" society as the opinions heard are not
> > > representative of the population served by said policies, poor activist
> > > training as it prevents widescale practice of coalition building, FAILURE at
> > > the basic pedagogical impulse that if debate teaches so many damn great
> > > skills then they ought to available to others or else we replicate unequal
> > > educational opportunities, true claims of elitism - to quote Bring It On, I
> > > define being the best as competing and beating the best, which isn't true if
> > > people just can't get to the game).  If we care, we hope to implement
> > > policies and practices that may address the issue.
> > >
> > > We have heard a few ideas thrown out:
> > > 1.  sue the system (colleges?) to demonstrate that admissions policies
> > > have racist implications in an unequal educational world wrought by de facto
> > > segregation
> > > 2. personal activism - change one mind at a time to get a critical
> > > mass to care (vote, hold hands, wear buttons, sing kumbaiya)
> > > 3. recruit, and when they can't get in your institution, hope to find
> > > them someplace else to go
> > > 4. identify alternative access programs which account for these
> > > discrepancies (ie HEOP) and publicize and exploit them to the students we
> > > know.  Identify similar programs or initiatives in other states/schools
> > > 5. accept the system is flawed and screwed up and focus on COMMUNITY
> > > COLLEGES to access the students we are talking about where they are and go
> > > from their
> > > 6. pay lip service because it makes you look better but in reality do
> > > nothing
> > > 7. say AND do nothing because you just don't care - and own up to it.
> > > 8.  make a joke out of it
> > > 9.  lobby ad hom's at folks until the issue is forgotten in the blur
> > >
> > > I'll also throw out:
> > > 10. "Coalition" build by sharing resources between more and less
> > > privileged institutions so that larger educational access at least does not
> > > deny a certain kind of debate access which can supplement education.
> > >
> > > Did I miss anything?  Anyone notice where the discussion may have gone
> > > awry . . .?  Seriously, other thoughts on the possibilities of institutional
> > > change?
> > >
> > > if not, I'm going back to playing with Jimbo's Bard Coaching puppets.
> > > Collect them all.  I hear the HegeMom controls the strings of the others
> > > :)
> > >
> > > or, if you don't want to talk about this subject - JOIN THE DAMN TOPIC
> > >
> > > -VIK
> > >
> > > --
> > > Vik Keenan
> > > Director - Baruch Debate, CUNY
> > > Assoc. Director - New York Coalition of Colleges
> > > 212/992-9641 or 347/683-6894
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > eDebate mailing list
> > > eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> > > http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
> > >
> >
> >
> --
> Vik Keenan
> Director - Baruch Debate, CUNY
> Assoc. Director - New York Coalition of Colleges
> 212/992-9641 or 347/683-6894
> _______________________________________________
> eDebate mailing list
> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
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