[eDebate] Encouraging your "yes" vote on CEDA business

Darren Elliott delliott
Mon Nov 26 01:29:34 CST 2007


A number of amendments are on the ballot for the CEDA election.  You should have received a link to the ballot from Jeff Jarman for all program directors.  All amendments on the ballot were passed at the CEDA Business Mtg. at NCA last week.  Once passed there, they go to the entire membership for a vote.  I would encourage you to read over the amendments and remember to vote by Dec. 7th.

I also want to speak directly to the amendments I proposed and encourage you to vote yes.

Amendment #5 Officers Affiliation
Again this amendment would allow people to take a job elsewhere and still remain a CEDA officer.  It makes no sense why, someone advancing their career, would not be eligible to retain office.  We likely elect people based on who THEY are, not the institution they represent.  I think this amendment simply clears up some unintended language.

Amendment #6 Business Meeting
Currently we have a "summer meeting" that CEDA spends money on and that is aligned with the topic committee meeting.  However we do not recognize it as an official business meeting.  This amendment would change that.  It only makes sense to have the summer meeting be a business meeting--we often have too much on our plate at NCA and CEDA Nats to conduct lengthy business, but those are our only business meetings.  I think the summer meeting frees up some time to do organizational business, and when ideas are generated we should not need to wait until November NCA to act.  The current process hamstrings us.  Another point many raised at NCA--they are more likely to attend the summer meeting if an "official business meeting" because their colleges/universities ar emore likely to pay for that than they are a summer get together.

Amendment #7 Tournament Sanctioning
This amendment will make sure that tournaments that use a preference system in any division will use some sort of preference in all divisions offered to receive CEDA sanctioning.  It makes a philosophical statement that if we value MPJ than it should extend to all divisions, and that as an organization we do not value placement over division.  What it does NOT do is require the same preference in each division.  One division might get 6 categories and strikes, another may get ABC, another may just get strikes.  The options are endless.  But it does preserve the ability to allow some protection for Novice and JV teams, who normally get the judges struck out of the Open pool.  I think as an organization we need to make a statement that all levels of debate are valuable and receive our acknowledgement.

Amendment #8 Final Round Provision
This amendment will do a few things that are positive for regions with smaller divisions.  The amendment only counts reaching finals against you, if in a field of 20 or more teams.  (NOTE THE CEDA WEBSITE IS INCORRECT AND THIS WAS AMENDED AT THE NCA BUSINESS MEETING.  INSTEAD OF FULL QUARTER FINALS OR LARGER BRACKET IT SHOULD READ DIVISIONS WITH 20 OR MORE TEAMS.  THE LANGUAGE IS CORRECT ON THE BALLOT PAGE BUT NOT ON THE ORIGINAL PAGE WITH AMENDMENTS.)  First it makes little sense why a tournament that breaks to Semis is seen as equal with a tournament that might break to Doubles.  In the SQ in the former you win 1 elim debate and you've burned a Finals.  In the latter you could win 3 debates and it still not count against you.  Changing it to 20 teams will encourage people to still attend small regional tournaments.  The rule change is also important to bring the rule in line with the ADA.  Currently their language is 20 teams.  It is possible in the SQ you could be JV eligible in the ADA but not in CEDA.  Attending an ADA tournament where ADA rules allow someone to compete in JV who is not eligible under the CEDA rule could risk everyone in that division losing CEDA sanctioning and CEDA points.  Our rule is outdated and should be changed to not only prevent this nightmare scenario when a protest is inevitably filed, but more importantly to preserve smaller tournaments create more parity for elim wins among divisions across the country.

Amendment #9 Novice Definition
This amendment has created the most discussion on the listserve.  While I wrote the original amendment, I would not be against changing my mind in the face of good reasoning.  While some arguments against have been put forward, both in the Business Meeting (where it received near unanimous support) and on this list serve, none of those arguments have swayed me.  Both sides of this issue can prove that we might lose novices with or without the amendment.  However the arguments I put forward are the only ones that seem to answer all of the offense generated, solving that offense, and at the same time provided unanswered disadvantages to staying the course.  Some people have provided good anecdotal evidence how debaters they have with HS LD experience can achieve success even in JV with little to no coaching (Hanson) and have provided ample hard evidence (Berch) that those winning Novice divisions have HS LD experience a lot of the time (and in some cases have ridiculous amounts of experience) and are walking through Novice.  Yet they arent being moved up.  The problem is in the SQ there is no check and no way to prevent the abuse.  When ethics and competition collide there is often a slide on the ethical (Harris), and this remains unanswered.  Pressure has not and is not working.  The only arguments against have been that people forced into JV will quit.  No one has answered that we allow an exemption waiver process in CEDA that if a debater is really not ready for JV they can go in Novice with an exemption.  This solves the offense and remains unanswered.  And I will go one further--the CEDA EC has already granted such waivers this year, proving the system works.  These were cases where the debater really was a novice even though not so definitionally.  What CEDA cant do however is the reverse.  We cant tell novices they have to move up even if they have 50, 100, or 150 rounds of HS LD experience.  That means the debaters they trounce have no protection and THEY are the ones who walk away.  I also believe that any coach can make decent arguments why a debater should go JV at least at first if they have HS experience, thereby preventing the debater from quitting outright.  And, if that debater does so poorly, they do deserve to move down, the coach can assure them there is a waiver process that allows that.  Unfortnately very few coaches will be successful in convincing a true novice (no experience) that they should stay even in a world where they are getting hammered by novices with experience.  Myself and others have also spoken to the nature of the policy/critical divide that is blurred these days and one can no longer assert that LD is so different from college debate that it shouldnt count.  Finally, I think anyone with a concept of a flow, speech order, time limits, a judge, etc. (especially with over 50 rounds of such experience) is so far ahead of any true novice, that they really should not be considered novice without some pretty serious limitation on their part (which can be accounted for in a waiver process).  In order to preserve the intent of the novice division, in order to protect the novices that currently do not have protection, and in order to help grow and preserve the numbers in novice, I encourage you to vote yes on this amendment.

Let me add one other thing about the Novice Amendment.  My program could gain a lot more from the SQ than the world of the amendment.  In KS, MO, OK there is a ton of LD debate.  Tonight I looked up how many graduating Seniors this year in the 3 state area did just LD (and high amounts).  In case you didnt know there is a ton of debate in KS, MO, and OK and a ton of that is LD.  I would have a hard time deciding which of the 10 to offer full ride scholarships to and recruit and stack the Novice division.  I guarantee you there were a lot more than 10 to choose from.  Multiply that by 10 and add some.  I havent done this because I honestly believe the community and the intent of novice sides with the amendment, and until now it has just slipped through the cracks.  Maybe I am wrong and I have just always seen Novice as something different.  The vote will determine that I guess.  But this amendment is in no way self-serving.  I honestly believe Novice should be something other than what it is at some tournaments right now.  If the vote proves me wrong, I guess I can push harder for Rookie Divisions then start doling out the "novice" scholarships to area HS LD debaters. ; )

The other amendments are good too.  The authors can speak to those if they choose.  I am surprised there has been no discussion over the conference proposal.  Hopefully it just means everyone will vote yes on it--even if it is Jarman's idea! : )

Thanks for reading.


Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics--KCKCC

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