[eDebate] Vermont tournament and organizational thoughts

Joe Patrice joepatrice
Wed Aug 29 14:02:03 CDT 2007

A few quick hit thoughts on Tuna's post, which does bring up a very
important point -- CEDA isn't a massive governmental agency.  The
organization through its officers has a modest budget and strives to grow
policy debate throughout the country but ultimately individual directors,
coaches, and even students need to take on a share of the mantle of growing
the activity.  CEDA does great work but it cannot do everything alone and
only with individuals all pulling in the same direction can we realize our

Vermont's tournament is posted on edebate and on the listserve and indeed
many of us have known about it since last year.  Scott's very valid point is
that the organization can serve a very important role in having one
centralized calendar.  The most obvious place for this would be to utilize
the Bruschke site that everyone in the community has to use for tournament
entry throughout the year.  Far from "passing the buck," this would just be
adding less than 5 tournaments to a website that acts as a calendar for
everyone else in the community.  Remember placing the tournament on the
website does NOT mean you have to use it for online entry.  It would just be
a post to get the community all on one calendar.

>>"I do not think our tournament is a mystery to anyone"

Definitely not, but that doesn't mean a central calendar wouldn't be
useful.  More publicity for a tournament is always better than less.

>>"I have found almost all debate and speech organizations to be largely
demobilizing while we wait for something to happen."

This is a great point -- do not sit around and wait for an organization to
do something you can take the lead on yourself.  CEDA will take the point on
a number of initiatives, it will offer support (financial or otherwise) to
others, but it cannot do everything and when individual complacency that
"the organization will do it if it's important" overcomes individual
responsibility that is when we all suffer.  Take action, bring ideas to
CEDA but don't use "CEDA" as an excuse to do your own thing and make some
sacrifices to help the community.

>>"Thus, I am not surprised that CEDA has no working calendar."

Scott is actually a paradigm of doing the right thing (perhaps a bit more
confrontationally than I would have, but the right thing nonetheless) --
CEDA didn't have a calendar.  It needed one.  He pointed this out to CEDA.
CEDA is getting a calendar set up.  He didn't just "wait around," he raised
the issue.

FINAL THOUGHT: We're talking about a calendar here.  We're not talking about
CEDA taking an action that could cause a precipitous decline in the number
of programs.  This is a calendar.  For a number of reasons debate isn't as
strong as it once was, but there are numerous signs of improvement and they
are growing every day through the actions of both individuals and the
organization and we all need to stay on that path.

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