[eDebate] to be more blunt
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
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.
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> How about something that gives aff some flexibility to establish
> advocacy? How about a topic that people would be willing to follow
> 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
> policy towards Mexico. We had a nice year, no problem with
> cases, people could develop a sense of real advocacy. SIU won that
> 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
> 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
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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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