[eDebate] to be more blunt

Alfred Snider alfred.snider
Tue Jul 17 12:58:56 CDT 2007


NEIL BERCH wrote:
> Over the years, I find that I agree with Tuna less and less.  We must 
> be down from 99% to 85%! 
>  
> Again, I come back to the fact that there are multiple purposes to any 
> resolution.  I think that, in the status quo, one purpose (competitive 
> equity in national circuit debate) receives consideration to the 
> exclusion of all others (which might include novice recruitment and 
> retention, ability of debaters who work a significant amount for money 
> during the school year to research the topic adequately, accessibility 
> to administrators, parents, etc., education on the topic, and many 
> others).
Yes, yes and yes. The death of the regional circuits has been a hiuge 
problem as well. Luckily I live in the NE or we would have been long gone.
>  
> We should also be clear that it's not just the funky left-wing types 
> like Tuna and Jackie who want simpler resolutions and simpler 
> debates.  If I got the oral history right, one of the main reasons for 
> the formation of the ADA was that many of its founders (with whom I 
> disagree on many things, but for whom I have the utmost admiration 
> when it comes to their dedication to bringing debate to more people) 
> didn't like the fact that most debates were about debate theory.
I weary of such debates and training novices to engage in such debates.
>  
> I recognize that we cannot do a study right now (and that there are 
> relatively small differences between the candidate resolutions), but I 
> really would like to hear from other coaches who spend a good deal of 
> time coaching novice as to their view of the impact of resolutional 
> wording on recruitment and retention of novices.  We've heard from two 
> of the biggies in novice debate (Tuna and Jackie) that it makes a big 
> difference.  I believe that Sam Nelson has weighed in on that side in 
> the past as well.  I'm curious about what others think, especially 
> those who coach novices a lot but have a different ideology.
>  
> One last thing (and maybe Josh will respond to this):  I think it's 
> pretty hard to refute the argument (which I heard first from Tuna) 
> that there is, in most cases, a diminishing return to each additional 
> year of debate.  Thus, we as guardians of the 
> taxpayers'/administrators'/foundations' money, should increase overall 
> utility by offering shorter periods of debate to more people.
Eloquently put.

Thanks Neil,

Tuna
>  
> Just some thoughts.
> --Neil Berch
> West Virginia University
>
>     ----- Original Message -----
>     *From:* Alfred Snider <mailto:alfred.snider at uvm.edu>
>     *To:* Pacedebate at aol.com <mailto:Pacedebate at aol.com> ;
>     edebate at ndtceda.com <mailto:edebate at ndtceda.com>
>     *Sent:* Tuesday, July 17, 2007 1:17 PM
>     *Subject:* Re: [eDebate] to be more blunt
>
>     Evidence?
>
>     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
>     debates?
>
>     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.
>
>     Tuna
>
>     -- 
>     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://debate.uvm.edu/debateblog/
>     Debate Training site http://debate.uvm.edu
>     World Debate Institute http://debate.uvm.edu/wdi/
>     GATEWAY TO ALL THINGS DEBATE http://debateoneworld.org
>     802-656-0097 office telephone
>     802-656-4275 office fax
>
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>


-- 
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://debate.uvm.edu/debateblog/
Debate Training site http://debate.uvm.edu
World Debate Institute http://debate.uvm.edu/wdi/
GATEWAY TO ALL THINGS DEBATE http://debateoneworld.org
802-656-0097 office telephone
802-656-4275 office fax




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