[eDebate] It's On!!!! Battle Topic

Ede Warner ewarner
Tue Jul 17 18:50:43 CDT 2007


And I just want to say that I, perhaps as much as anyone, appreciate the
way that Gordon does his job.  In no way is my call a personal one to
attack those who are involved in the current topic process.  In many
ways, I was trying to offer a huge compliment, although some of it may
have come off in a backhanded way.  I love and appreciate everyone in
the NDT, but especially G-money who is so thorough, giving of his time,
and loving of this activity.  Every act that Gordon has taken has
encouraged more openness and transparency and accessibility to the
process.  Nothing in my organization ideas should be taken as a
questioning of that.  In fact, my call was more geared towards who
aren't doing the work of the organization but unhappy with the
outcomes.
 
With that said, we do have disagreements about what is best for the
activity and my call is for those who keep losing out on their
perspectives of what our community is need to organize and try to at
least give those who are doing the work a run for their money.
 
And as always, I just wanted to say publicly that G-money responded
exactly the way I thought he would, with more knowledge and information
demonstrating why is great at his job.  I want to apologize again to
anyone who received my call as a personal attack on the work of the
current administration, that wasn't my objective at all.  It was a call
for action to address the concerns of the community, as a community,
through productive uses of our talents as folks educated in debate.  I
would want Gordon as chair of any topic committee, producing any topic,
because he is committed to doing it the right way.
 
Most of all, I was saying take action now if you don't like the current
outcomes of the topic process. Otherwise we will be sitting here next
year grumbling at each other again. 


>>> Gordon Stables <stables at usc.edu> 7/17/2007 7:13 PM >>>

I realize that for many who read this list the ?best? thing I could to
as the chair of the topic selection committee (and yes as someone who
grew up in NDT) would be to express anger and frustration at Ede. Maybe
I would even announce some new procedural hurdle to discourage his
efforts. Despite the risks of providing support to Ede?s ideas (and
therefore making them less radical) I would like to strongly encourage
this and any other type of interest in the topic selection process.
Expanded community input is something we on the committee are very much
looking for and it explains why we have worked hard to make the process
open and manageable. In the roughly one year since I have been the chair
I have worked to make the process as transparent and predictable as
possible. You should note that in the last year we have:
-        Moved to a new website that lists all of the committee
members, the nature of their appointments and their email addresses. To
answer Ede?s specific point, there will be an election for an at-large
seat that Sue Peterson is currently holding. It was my elected seat and
she has graciously agreed to serve out the term. There will also be an
election for a new CEDA 2nd VP to join the organization after Joe moves
on as President.
-        Built a topic blog that allows a formal means of leaving
input. We had to switch servers after having so much traffic the first
year we used a blog.
-        Evolved the first stage of the topic process to controversies,
including providing guidelines to help authors write their papers. This
means that although there is frustration about topic wordings folks can
look back and realize that the community saw a very similar version of
topic option #1 in the paper that the community voted for last spring. I
have, and will make the point to those worried about administrative
support please direction you and their attention to the controversy.
That is the ?elevator conversation? length subject that we all need to
communicate to administrative units. 
-        Added amendments to allow the process to extend in the sum
mer
and away from the busy competition season. We won?t know the results
until after the ballots are due (please remember to vote it you haven?t
already), but if the amendment on balloting passes we will, for the
first time in CEDA history, be able to move the topic process away from
the long voting windows which have forced us to ask for papers and votes
during the season. To answer Ede?s specific question, I will be
developing dates for this upcoming season as soon as the amendment
results are announced. I am eager to provide the community with the most
opportunity to solicit controversy papers.
-        I have spent a year?s worth of public and private
conversations and meetings to build a list of topics that the community
wanted to debate. This list was discussed at the recent summer meetings
and many of these areas are now commissioned to the committee. I have
made a point to try to communicate with folks who have also had an
interest in a specific subject matter, but unsure how to develop this as
a topic. 
During this last topic cycle we turned away no controversy and no
wording papers from the community. To repeat, we turned away no
community input from appearing on ballots. We provided, for the first
time, a binding sense of what the upcoming options would be. I can
empathize with those would like to see other types or forms of topics. 
I realize that my background as a NDT person, similar to some of the
committee, may be enough for some folks to believe that these gestures
are insincere. The only thing I can say to those of you who I have not
had the opportunity to work with is that as the chair of the committee
my primary responsibility is to provide a clear, accountable and
educational process. As I read many of these emails today from folks who
talk about taking CEDA back for CEDA I don?t know what to say other than
to ask you to look a little closer at what many of us are trying do in
CEDA.  Give Joe, Darren, myself, Kathryn, ML, Mike, Ermo, Candice,
Andrew, and many others a chance to work with you. 
I do not pretend that we, in this very divergent community, will ever
agree on many items but I do believe we can work collectively, and
publicly, to produce topics that best support our mission as forensics
professionals. We as the committee always NEED much more community input
on the topic process at all stages. It would be exciting to see
organized elements of the community planning and organizing
constituencies for topic voting. The topic process is long, boring,
painful and certain to produce hostility. At the end of the day the
committee is tasked to make sure the topic selection process takes
place. I warmly invite any member of the community to take advantage of
the numerous ways (some mentioned above) to get involved. 
If it helps generate support for Ede?s efforts I will publicly denounce
them like I denounce his shameless anti-Yankees comments JSeriously, as
the chair of the topic committee there is nothing more exciting than
folks who are about to see the next topic want to start planning for the
following topic. Please take advantage of the process and don?t hesitate
to let me know if you have questions or other suggestions.
Gordon

Gordon Stables, Ph.D.
Director of Debate and Forensics
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Southern California
Office: 213 740 2759               Fax: 213 740 3913
http://usctrojandebate.com ( http://usctrojandebate.com/ ) 


From:edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com
[mailto:edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com] On Behalf Of Ede Warner
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 3:39 PM
To: edebate at ndtceda.com 
Subject: [eDebate] It's On!!!! Battle Topic

 

Okay, so we watch a lot of Iron Chef in my house...Allay Cuisine!!!!

 

I'm inspired to get this thing started.  There is no reason that we
can't use this forum for our productive organizing efforts, instead of
trying to persuade Josh and Mike that hell has froze over.  We should
use the resources of CEDA to regain control of CEDA!!!!!

 

Here is my first stab at a Battle Topic grocery checklist.  Stage one
ingredients (Josh might not call this evidence, but perhaps we could
compromise by calling it information):

 

1) We need to know the current composition of the Executive Committee,
including when their terms expire and their world view on topic size. 

2) We need to know the current composition of the Topic Committee
including when terms expire and their world view on topic size.

3) We need to write 1-3 papers representing the types of topics we
would like. We can start using the CEDA topic blog as a forum for
getting this topic.

4) We need to set up a structure to have a pre-general area vote before
CEDA's election. We probably should only forward the best topic paper so
we don't split votes.

5) We need someone to analyze this year's topic votes to see what
happened and assess what our needs our for battle next year.

6) We need an accurate count of how many active voting members are
currently with us. (could be done publicly or privately).  Specifically
what exactly is their current criticism of the topic process and how do
they want it to change.

7) We need a pr campaign to inactive and former members to let them
know what we are doing and how they can get involved (membership and
voting).

8)  We need an accurate understanding of the topic selection process,
including significant dates.

9) We need to know the selection process for executive council members
and the topic committee.

10) We need have less Yankee fans in the debate community.  Just
kidding.  We need to know what specific actions our supporters are
willing to take.  Voting, running for office or topic committee, writing
area papers, or donations so my kid can get a new baseball bat (damn
they are expensive)

 

Okay, that's a first draft, starting list.  Now we need to discuss and
finalize the list (ingredients), then solicit folks to work on the
different action items.  See Will, I have learned a couple things from
you over the years...

 

I think we can keep this public because I don't think they can generate
much juice outside of what they've got.  We on the other hand, can
potentially triple or quadriple our numbers.  And if we do so, that
would pretty much be the evidence that Josh, Korcok, and others say is
lacking, huh?  Of course, there will be those who engage in unethical
behavior instead of fighting fair, but if we stay noble and committed,
we shall rue the day!!!! (heard that in a movie recently, not exactly
sure what it means)

 

My wife is standing over me with a butcher knife saying back to the
book or else.  If I don't stop, this is going to become Battle Bald,
Fat, Black man!!!!!

 

Tuna, Andy, Jackie, Neil, Eric, and whoever else has been talking on
the listserv, can we get this started?

 

TOPICS FOR THE PEOPLE, 2008!!!!

 

Increasing productive uses of the world wide web,

 

Ede"I told you I was dangerous" Warner

 

 

 

EdeWarner, Jr.
Director of Debate Society/Associate Professor of Communication
University of Louisville
308E Strickler Hall
502-852-3522
e0warn01 at gwise.louisville.edu 
http://comm.louisville.edu/~debate
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