[eDebate] CEDA 1st Vice President's Report--NCA

Darren Elliott delliott
Fri Nov 16 02:24:12 CST 2007

CEDA 1st Vice Presidents Report, Nov. 2007

Greetings from Cold and Windy Chicago and the NCA.

The CEDA Business Meeting is scheduled at 9:30am on Friday, November
16th in the Palmer House Hilton.  In keeping with the tradition and
belief instilled in me by my good friend Will Baker, I think it best to
make our reports public.  This will provide a permanent archive, but
more importantly minimize the amount of time needed giving reports at
the Business Meeting so it can be used to discuss the issues that need
to be gotten to in a short 90 minute period.  This report will be
arranged in 4 thematic units: 1. Organizational Business, 2. Status of
Summer Mtg. 2008 and CEDA NATS 2009, 3. The Work and Goals of the
Organization-Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going, and 4. The
Working Group on Harrassment Issues in Debate


There are a number of issues that have come up during the semester that
deal with how we function as an organization.  Eligibility appeals,
rules clarifications, rule changes, and functionality have dominated
discussions of the CEDA EC over the last few months.  At the CEDA EC
Meeting yesterday we ruled on an eligibility appeal by Cornell.  That
appeal and decision is listed under the "Recent Action" link on

In my delving into the CEDA constitution and the standing rules of other
organizations, it is clear there are problems with conflicting rules
between organizations.  One example is while a team may be Novice or JV
eligible under the ADA rules, they may not be under CEDA rules.  This
either puts us in the unenviable position of deeming entire divisions
ineligible for CEDA points when they do not abide by CEDA rules, or it
punishes teams that do not have the means to compete in tournaments
where CEDA allows exceptions to its own rules because another debate
organization has written different rules.  In order to clean up the
language and create a continuity among organizations, rule changes need
to be adopted.  

I also think CEDA leadership in the past has at times either overlooked
our own rules or pushed them aside because their enforcement may not be
popular.  I furthermore believe that at times our own rigidity prevents
us from acting or prevents us from acting in a timely manner.  I have
spent a great deal of time this semester looking over these issues and
have written a number of amendments to the CEDA constitution.  My hope
is these amendments will not only resolve these discrepancies, but will
lead to a more functional CEDA leadership.  I also support the amendment
written by Jeff Jarman to move from Regions to Conferences. 
Functionality is a large part of this.  We get tied up at meetings,
unable to act, when Regional Reps do not attend.  The Conference
Amendment will make as part of the condition of having a conference,
that your conference be represented at these meetings.  The amendments I
have offered, and their rationales, are listed at the end of this
report.  Let me say, a friendly amendment will be coming to make the
move-up rule completely in line with the ADA definition, and a friendly
amendment will be coming to change the Novice Definition as well.


SUMMER MTG--I received four completed bids for the Summer/Topic Mtg in
2008.  Those bids came from University of Miami (Florida), UT-Dallas,
Berkely, and UNLV.  I have forwarded those bids to the CEDA EC and the
Topic Committee for their feedback.  My hope is to have a destination
chosen by the end of NCA.  I want to publicly thank Dave, Chris, Greg,
and Jake for submitting these bids.  All are fantastic places for summer
trips, all have the means and ability to host a fine summer/topic
meeting, and all are great hosts.  I am thrilled that we had 4 bids come
in and I would encourage them all to re-submit their bids for future
summer meetings.  I am especially thankful that a bid came from each
time zone of the continental U.S.

CEDA NATS--I am also pleased tolikely have a bid for CEDA NATS 2009.  I have "strong interest" from
Towson University and Idaho State University.  I have a commitment from
The University of Oklahoma and Jackie Massey that OU is willing to host
whenever we need them.  That is a comforting thought for the future
Presidents as OU did a great job the last time around.  I have joked
with Joe Patrice that if the amendment to change officer terms of office
from 1 to 2 years passes, he will be stuck with another CEDA Nationals
in 2009 and it is no longer my problem.  All joking aside, instead of
throwing this on Joe at the last minute, I am committed to working
through this process to make sure the 2009 CEDA Nats is a wonderful
experience for all and will work to make sure Joe's responsibilities do
not drive him away from his 3rd year in office.  I am hopeful that by
CEDA Nationals 2008, we will have a site for CEDA Nationals 2009.


We have great people serving the organization in many facets.  We have
great people in our activity.  We are not perfect and neither is our
institutional structure.  It is my hope that as we continue forward we
are diligent to always be mindful of that and work to make the
organization better.  I ran for this office with the belief we can do
that.  I continue to work in the hopes that those beliefs become
realities we all share in.  I hope the amendments I have worked at
writing show that commitment.  But there is a lot of work to be done.

When I ran for this office I had a lot of ideas that I wanted to see
implemented.  I hope I have been a good leader so far.  Any good leader
knows it takes the collective effort of a lot of good people to be
successful.  I remember when Sam Nelson asked the candidates what we
were going to do for Novice Debate and was it important for us to grow
and strengthen Novice Debate.  One answer I gave was that the East
helping out the rest of the country by providing guidance would be
beneficial.  I suggested attendance at NCA panels or Summer Meetings to
provide that guidance.  This past summer Andy Ellis made a great
presentation to the summer meeting on the issues of program building and
keeping novices.  That was a great step in the right direction.  I have
crafted 2 amendments (below) that I think are critical to helping
preserve and keep Novice healthy while fair and balanced.  I think the
Conferences amendment that Jarman has written will also allow schools to
compare themselves to others like themselves more fairly (something I
mentioned in that response to Sam in December 2005).

What have we accomplished?  And again none of this could have been
accomplished without the help of a lot of good people.  In Nov. of 2005
I put forward a list of 19 things I wanted to accomplish or see the
organization accomplish over my term. 
(http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2005-November/064413.html)  So
what's happenin?    1.  We have brought new members on board and have
stabilized some programs at risk.  Our numbers arent off the charts but
they are getting better,  2.  I am continuing my outreach to Community
Colleges and we have more community colleges debating today and I am
committed there will be more every year.  3.  We have opened the process
of transparency (something Joe, Gordon, and I are very vocal about).  4.
 We are reforming the student representation procedures.  5.  We have
created an ad hoc tournament site committee and I plan to have this
codified as a standing committee.  6.  The discussion over Regional
Debating and strengthening regions is having a resounding impact.  7. 
We still have work to do on increasing the representation of under
represented groups in debate.  8.  I am still working on the research
for the Nations Top Admins to speak to the value of debate.  9. and
10.--we have more to do here in terms of quality of life and financial
planning.  11.  I am working on proposals to get more student access to
the topic meetinheaded by Kathryn Rubino is doing a fabulous job.  13.  We must move
forward on a Natl. database of debate alumni.  14 and 15. are discussed
above and an ever-present part of our conversations in the EC.  16.  I
have worked hard to make it to as many Regions as possible to talk to
other coaches and hear their concerns and incorporate those into how I
fulfill my duty.  17.  The Jarman amendment has moved us ahead on the
conferences idea I spoke about in 2005 and now its time to reach out to
the NDT committee to discuss the structure of Districts.  18.  A CEDA
Exec. Director I think is still in our long-term interest.  19.  I think
we must continue to listed to and incorporate the ideas of the
membership.  A lot of issues are important and we must hear them.  

I think we have accomplished a lot.  While the tournaments continue, and
the cards get cut, and the updates are turned out, the organization
continues to run in the background and in my opinion is doing so in fine
fashion.  We still have a lot of work to do.  But I think our outlook is


I promised to speak to this and get this on the CEDA agenda for NCA.  I
want to applaud Sherry Hall for her work on this issue and the
leadership she has shown.  Yesterday afternoon at NCA, Sherry asked for
interested parties to meet to discuss the issues of harrassment in the
debate community.  This working group came together and after 90 minutes
of discussion came away with many ideas and many tasks.  Sherry can
provide a more descriptive list of the tasks to be accomplished.  But I
wanted to comment on the people there and the importance of the work. 
People there----A number of people with different perspectives,
different ideas, and different starting points came.  I think it is
important to understand the diversity represented.  Sherry's call
brought together ML Sandoz of Vanderbilt, Ede Warner of Louisville,
Heather Walters of Missouri State, Ashley Cook of KSU/KCK, myself of
KCKCC, Sarah Topp of KU, Andrew Barnes of James Madison, Tiffany Dillard
of Louisville, Jan Hovden of KU, Joe Patrice of Army, Kathryn Rubino of
Army, Bill Newnam of Emory and Sherry Hall from Harvard.  (I dont think
I left anyone out and if so, it was an unintended oversight).  As Ede
pointed out, a great debate panel, but as I noticed people from programs
of all types, with debaters of all different backgrounds, and the
participants themselves with all very different roles in the community
and experiences.  I thought it was great.  I thought the conversation
was robust and brutally honest.  Importance of the work----The NDT Board
and the NDT Committee the day prior had reaffirmed the AFA code and
statement on harrassment.  Recent discussions on edebate and CEDA-L make
the timely nature of the issues involved very pertinent.  What the final
result will be is yet to be determined.  But I do think that CEDA needs
to reaffirm the values of the AFA Code.  This working group is not a
committee of the NDT, not a committee of CEDA, but an organized effort
by someone bringing together members of the debate community to make a
difference.  Sherry will speak more to this I am sure, but I thought it
needed mentioned in a CEDA report so that the community knows the
organization is committed to working through these issues.

If you are still reading, I appreciate your interest and commitment to
your organization.  As promised, below are the amendments I have written
and their rationales.  It is my pleasure to serve the members of CEDA
and I hope every one of you feels as though you have a voice in your


Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics--KCKCC


Article V.  Section 4.  Replace all instances of ?one year? with ?two
RATIONALE:  The people fulfilling these offices often find that once
they finally get their job down they move up to the next creates an endless cycle of training without a lot of stability in any
position.  Other National Forensic organizations elect their officers to
terms of 2 years or longer. It makes sense that we move in this
direction to provide continuity and consistency.

Article IV.  Section 2 I.  Replace ?two? with ?four.?
RATIONALE:  This would make the 2 most immediate past Presidents voting
members of the EC for 4 years instead of 2.  It would make it consistent
if amendment #5 passes.

Article IV.  Section 3B.  Strike ?at the school he/she represents?.
Article IV.  Section 4A.  Strike ?at the school represented?.
Article V.  Section 5.  Strike ?at the school the individual
RATIONALE:  This would allow someone to move jobs but not lose their
position as an officer.  People are likely elected based on who they are
and not because of what school they represent.  Currently if you sever
ties with your institution you are not eligible to retain office
according to the constitution.

Article VII.  Section 2.  Add ?and at the CEDA Summer Meeting? directly
after ?National Tournament.?
RATIONALE:  It seems silly that we cannot conduct official business
during the time of year when people have the least on their plate.  It
especially makes sense to have business a meeting in the summer, so
changes needed can be made prior to the season starting as opposed to in
the middle as often occurs.

Bylaw V.  Add new section:  ?For a tournament to receive CEDA
sanctioning and qualify for CEDA points, the tournament Director must
identify in the invitation what, if any, judge preference system is to
be used in assigning judges.  If a preference system is used, a version
of a preference system must be used in all divisions (Open, JV, Novice,
etc.) offered.
RATIONALE:  If we are going to continue to value judge preference in
debate, it makes sense that the divisions that stand to gain the most
from the community's "best judges" be allowed to gain from that exposure
to them.  Likewise, those divisions have the most to "lose" in terms of
debate's potential, and should be given the same consideration as upper

Bylaw VII.  Section 3A.  Replace relevant sentences with:  ?Upon
completion of Novice eligibility, debaters will be eligible to debate in
junior varsity for two academic years, or until they advance to the
final round of three open, junior varsity, or varsity tournaments, or
until they qualify for the National Debate Tournament.  The final round
provision will only apply to those tournaments that clear teams to a
full Quarter-Finals or larger bracket.  An exception will be made for
Junior Varsity National Tournaments.  A waiver process for this section
may be established by the Executive Council for extraordinary
RATIONALE:  The current rule makes it hard for smaller Regions to
maintain Novice and JV divisions due to the move up requirement.  For
small tournaments that break to Semis or Finals, debaters lose their
eligibility faster than those competing at larger tournaments.  The
current rule favors larger divisions.  Changing the move up rule would
create more parity across tournaments and encourage JV and Novice
divisions even if they are smaller.

Bylaw VII.  Section 3A.  Add to the end of the first sentence:  ?or 50
rounds of Lincoln-Douglas Debate at the high school or college level, or
a combination of 60 rounds of team policy debate and Lincoln-Douglas
debate at the high school or college level.? 
RATIONALE:  A number of high school students are competing on the
National circuit in LD which is similar to policy debate and then coming
to college understanding the ins and outs of debate and debating in
Novice against people who have never seen a debate before, much less 50
rounds of debate.  Additionally college NFA LD is policy LD and should
count as policy debate rounds.  Finally, with the lines blurred in
contemporary college debate between policy and critical, anyone who has
debated before, even in high school LD, has quite a leg up on a true
Novice.  LD, even when not policy oriented in HS, is closer to the
critical side of the community and should count against novice

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