[eDebate] Vermont tournament and organizational thoughts
Wed Aug 29 12:28:12 CDT 2007
Most forensic organizations are overmatched for their tasks.
Our tournament has been posted here on this list. It is also posted on
the Northeastdebate listserv.
I am not using the Bruschke site, altho I admire his work.
I do not think our tournament is a mystery to anyone, even Scott
It is interesting to see CEDA officers trying to pass the buck from the
organization to John B.
While a member of CEDA and willing to attend the national tournament I
have had very little faith in the organization for the last ten years.
This is not unique to CEDA, so please do not be angry at me. I have
found almost all debate and speech organizations to be largely
demobilizing while we wait for something to happen. Officers are either
good people who are way overworked or vita line addicts with no
intention to do much.
The best solution seems to do things with those you know and trust and
publicize things widely. Waiting for an organization to do stuff often
only creates delay and disappointment.
If this sounds radical to you, read this section from the lead article
in a past issue of Contemporary Argumentation and Debate (CEDA journal)
in 2003 written by (surprise) me:
One of my interests is expanding debating and creating a climate
where new schools, nations, communities are invited into the debate.
My experience both in and out of major forensic organizations
demonstrates to me that too much reliance on organizations to
accomplish our evangelical goals can be a serious problem. The
global debate community must not shunt efforts to help new groups
join the debate on to organizations that are under funded,
understaffed, and at times populated more by resume builders than
vigorous promoters of debating. Organizational efforts are extremely
useful, of course, but they are only a small part of the total
possibility. If ?each one would teach one? we would have a vast
expansion of debating even if the efforts failed most of the time.
Each league, university, civic organization, school, or other group
interested in debate can and should act on its own, not waiting for
national or international organizations to do all of the work.
Likewise, individual students, teachers, coaches, and trainers
should not wait for the local or institutional organization to do
the work to promote debate, because individual efforts and linkages
can make all the difference. I have been asked how I have become
involved with debating in many parts of the USA and the world. The
answer is a relatively disappointing one for most people, as I was
determined and creative. Keep opportunities to promote debate on
your radar screen and the opportunities will arise. As you pursue
them they will only multiply. I can think of several people who have
proven how much their personal efforts and advocacy have meant to
giving more students the opportunity to debate. We would be
immensely smaller if any one of them had been deterred by an
attitude that ?someone else will do it.?
Thus, I am not surprised that CEDA has no working calendar. CEDA is not
uniquely at fault. It is a problem with literally all debate organizations.
As a former CEDA president who did a number of radical things (MPJ at
CEDA Nats as well as proposing the motion that made the "merger" with
NDT possible) I have had some experience in these areas.
Alfred C. Snider aka Tuna
Edwin Lawrence Professor of Forensics
University of Vermont
Huber House, 475 Main Street, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405 USA
Global Debate Blog http://globaldebateblog.blogspot.com
Debate Central http://debate.uvm.edu
World Debate Institute http://debate.uvm.edu/wdi/
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