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

Andy Ellis andy.edebate
Fri Apr 6 19:54:54 CDT 2007

Let me provide another alternative.

Some observations first

1) One thing we might have learned this year is that housing and
transportation discrimination go along with school discrimination, to form a
nexus of material economic and educational exclusion. This is true in the
debate community as well. A huge barrier to increased participation is the
cost of travel and housing . This barrier is not surmountable by regional
debate solutions  if your school tells you
"sure you can have a debate team/club" go get some sga funding...and the sga
says ok kiddies here is your 1000 bucks...you can only do so much.

Why does this matter? Lots of good debaters go to schools that dont have
debate teams. I think we all have seen statistics about college placement
for udl debaters compared to their non debate peers and all understand how
that works, but these good and great debaters are not all going to a)
fullerton, lousiville, towson, nyu(no they dont all go to nyu)(im sure i
have left someone off this list...but i mean its sorta the point.)b)
Harvard, Dartmouth, Emory, Michigan State, Whitman, USC, etc c) Community

In Baltimore many but not all students attend local colleges. These cover a
variety of different types of institutions, including community colleges,
technical or business colleges, State colleges and universities, private
schools...basically the whole spectrum, but the majority attend schools near
or around Baltimore. There are a lot of reasons that could be offered to
explain this however, thats perhaps a different discussion.

Some certainly not all would wish to continue debating. Many for one reason
or another make good sound educational choices that dont include attending
debate schools. In the model where you have to secure a budget to have a
team this basically means their debate team ends in high school.

So here is how this goes. College Debate "teaches important stuff about
life" it also provides "access to grad school" Parcher of course explains
much else of what it does. And so will most of  you who respond to this. Yet
because of structural exclusions like the necessity of a budget the schools
including community colleges where an argubly eager pool of debaters enroll
in school are excluded.De Facto Discrimination enforced by status quo desire
in the community. Educational service denied by location and transportation
and housing "taxes".

2)Clubs suck, congrats to Illinois for rising out of the club.

Yet. Perhaps, clubs shouldn't suck. Clubs get a toe in the door, and
adviser, and a core, what they dont get is a ton of money or a ton of
stability or really the ability to travel. But what if CEDA was like amnesty
international and in a city like la or Baltimore or miami or philly or dc or
detroit there where four intercampus amesty international(ceda)
meetings(debate tournaments) a year, and what if regional teams supported
the growth of these tournaments...Wait this is the model we have.Nope the
current regional system is geared more toward regional tradition and
spreading around of the benefits and burdens, and even so really programs
only get in the region if they have something of travel budget...regions are
too big, and their scheduling usually is not geared toward structural
inclusion of currently underrepresented groups.

But back to clubs, clubs should be a way to start and there should be
tournaments that those clubs can attend on their budget, they should be a
viable solution to getting started and viable solution for sustaining if
institutional tracks dont work.

I can remember the argument from Illinois this summer uh yeah sure its a
start but we want to go to good tournaments...Right on, and congrats again
on getting the base. But seriously when you get that budget money you should
spend it on the national travel and spend your club money going to quality
tournaments in chicgao or some place cheap in the region.

If clubs where sustainable and ceda was located in a place that could
maximize that participation as where several other good tournaments a lot of
change would occur..

3) Is this meaningful participation.

This is where the community can make some "structural adjustments".

1)Condense regions around major urban areas.
2)Restructure the First Round Process to require one tournemnt in each
district each year.
3)Require in order to earn ceda points participation in designated local
circuit building tournaments
4)Offer a CEDA JC Nats apart from phi ro pi, that is funded primarily by...
5) Tax. The top 10 percent of program budgets pay money into a pool, dues
through the organization.
6)A racial and economic justice lens through which to schedule and organize
the tournament and travel season.

And another argument, We will host 3 tournaments, probably our regional
champs tournaments/our district, and JV or Novice Nats. That is much more
meaningful participation than a) no participation or b) paying out of
(someone's) pocket to stay in the hotels of the bougouis just so you can
And one more. Viable local regions, enable more national participation as
the budget grows.

And finally I will make this argument

Part I.
high school graduation rates are low at most urban public schools
Students who debate typically complete high school at a higher rate and
attend college at a higher rate than their non debating counterparts.
College Completion rates for students from urban public high schools are
College completion rates for debaters compared to their non debate peers are

Part II.
College Completion is Important
The Job market is increasingly requiring a college degree to acquire a
substantial wage. Non college graduates are often in the same job market as
they where upon completing high school, yet their non college attending
peers, have been working those jobs for several years by the time the
college attendee gets that job. This several years usualy represent a
serious economic loss for the college attendee, tuition fees, debt, and time
not earning money. Students in high school who may doubt that college is for

I could go into the stats about how much more likely people who had some but
not completed college in urban areas are LESS likely to own a home at the
age of 30, than non  college attending high school graduates, or MORE likely
than the same group to be below the poverty line but the point is the
"Debate will get you to college promise" may be a sorta hollow hope, without
continuing to support college completion on the same levels we support high
school completion in the UDL's.

Part III

The Debate community can at the very least make some structural changes to
increase meaningful participation, but you have to be willing to do it, how
well all of this works ultimately depends on the community, will you adjust
your schedules to focus them in the way that best uses your resources to
grow and encourage inclusion, or will you let those of us who are trying to
do it be the ones who do all the work. But here is the challenge use your
budget and your regional travel schedule to attend tournaments in places
that are supporting the growth or can support the growth of a local urban
region, designate a city in each region to host your regional tournaments
and reach out to other colleges in that city and materially and structurally
support them. Also provide institutional support in the development of their
programs so you can move to other cities.

Also say yes to the udl movement, follow their growth and learn form them
and build debate at the colleges these students attend, this "movement"
represents the largest growth of new debate programs in arguably anybody
reading this life, yet as a community we have learned no lessons and seem
unwilling to learn from the udls and simply want to give to it to solve its
lack...Well one thing we can learn from it is that urban areas can support
huge debate leagues because everything is close together and an organization
can support competition, thats a model for college...of course we have to
adapt it to our culture, but in order for college debate to fully relate to
udl high school debate it must be willing to find ways to say yes to what
the udl offers.

So can we figure out a way to fulfill what we mean by the promise made in
the statement "if you debate in high school, you might get a scholarship to
go to college".

3) this is not just about udls and the intial question was about admission
Right, not every non white student attending college debated in high school.
Right. under the localized model that i am advocating, novice and jv
debaters can be recruited and supported for the same cost as the one varsity
team, if a city with a lot of tournaments in it starts new local colleges
many of them are likely to be places where primarily minority students
attended...which means, not just can former debaters debate, but also people
who didn't debate before can debate.
Creating collective networks of debaters between UDL high schools and
colleges can create a critical mentoring and role modeling group that can
help improve college access and completion programs.

4) OK Debroah Basset describes this thing called ruralism, and if you my
friend are a ruralist.

I say no. Four tournaments in KC, OKC, DENVER, DALLAS, BALTIMORE, ROCHESTER,
OR VERMONT, decease the impact of ruralism, consistent travel, whereas now
you have to go to those places to get elsewhere...Urbanification helps rural
too, beter than nationalism. or huge regionalism.

5)Structure structure, the community is not attractive to minority students,
its a serious pyschic exclusion-it comes before structure

true, and in the alternative "College Debate is not like the UDL". RiGHT.

However this is a serious structural change i am advocating and currently i
am talking about structure, i believe it would have serious attitudinal
effects as well.

6)Thus the ALT in revolutionary lingo

Say Yes to the UDL and End De Facto Segregation within college scheduling
and tournaments hosting processes....

7) Many of you are doing your part of this already?But if others helped that
sure would be cool too?
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