[eDebate] to be more blunt

Alfred Snider alfred.snider
Tue Jul 17 12:17:17 CDT 2007


I have one of the largest policy debate teams in America. I emphasize 
training new debaters and our success in the last few years at the 
novice and jv levels shows we do it well.

These resolutions are driving us out. Keep it up and there will be no 
policy debate in Vermont, along with Maine.

If I cannot have a novice-friendly topic, I gotta go. I left NDT because 
it was novice-unfriendly and went to CEDA way back when. Later I 
sponsored the motion that allowed us to debate the same topic. I thought 
it was going to work, but it simply isn't working. These topics are a 
nightmare for recruiting novices.

At least six schools have spoken to me recently about this, but I will 
not name them out of courtesy.

I think it may be time to sever the link between CEDA and the NDT. I was 
the sponsor of the motion that gave us a shared topic. I feel like I 
ought to now go the other way and say we should go back to having a CEDA 
resolution that is not necessarily policy and maybe even back to one 
topic each semester. How about something without the USFG as the actor? 
How about something that gives aff some flexibility to establish their 
advocacy? How about a topic that people would be willing to follow into 

I am very close to proposing such a motion to the CEDA membership.

Who would come with me? Probably quite a few schools, but not so many on 
this list. Does it matter? No, not if we can take back some of the 
programs we have lost to parli, nfa-ld and other forms of debate such as 
WUDC, etc. I just want something friendly for novice debaters.

I will tell the kind of topic I would approve of. The last time I was 
chair of the topic committee we produced:
Resolved: that the United States should substantially change its foreign 
policy towards Mexico. We had a nice year, no problem with researching 
cases, people could develop a sense of real advocacy. SIU won that CEDA 
nationals, and now they are gone from policy debate.

Consider it.


Alfred C. Snider aka Tuna
Edwin Lawrence Professor of Forensics
University of Vermont
Huber House, 475 Main Street, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405 USA
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