[eDebate] [CEDA-L] Accusations of Illegal Debating

Sherry Hall shahall
Fri Nov 2 06:22:15 CDT 2007

Just to play the advocate here, it is my understanding that CEDA has specific policies against harassment in debate rounds.  I know when we put an invitation out to our tournament and claim to be "CEDA-sanctioned" we are agreeing that those policies will be enforced at the tournament that we are hosting.  If people feel that your argument is in violation of those rules, what's wrong with asking the tournament to take action.  I must also confess that I am not as familiar with the CEDA rules as I am with the NDT governing documents, and am not sure what a host is supposed to do in response to such accusations.  It is also the case that probably every University in the United States has policies opposing harassing language on campus.  From my experience with various university policies that were implicated at summer debate camps over the years, most universities prefer that harassment issues be dealt with within the university before calling in law enforcement (unless a physical assault was involved).  Is your objection to last weekend's action that your arguments were characterized as "illegal"?  Would you really have preferred that police be called?


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Shawn T Whalen 
  To: Sherry Hall 
  Cc: Shawn T Whalen ; NEIL BERCH ; eDebate at ndtceda.com ; ceda-l at ndtceda.com 
  Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 10:45 PM
  Subject: Re: [CEDA-L] [eDebate] Accusations of Illegal Debating

  Hi Sherry,

  I really don't think its necessary - my point is that if someone thinks that the law has been violated and wants it enforced, they should call a cop and/or an attorney.  The debate tournament is not equiped to deal with those claims.

  That being said,  our debaters critique the heteronormativity in traditional international relations scholarship and in traditional academic debating.  They suggest that the results of heteronormativity have resulted in the structuring of terrorism and queerness in similar ways.  They attempt to "interrupt these discourses, informed by queer pedagogy, by performing a narrative which involves explicit language and some abbreviated, fully clothed similated sex acts.  The accusation was that our performance was sexual harassment.


  I have to agree with Neil.  There is no way for anyone to add constructive comments or opinions about this issue when they have no idea what you are talking about.  Whether you want to debate the merits of the claim or not, some brief explanation of what the issues are -- what is your argument?  what is the nature of the accusation of illegality?  -- is necessary.  Surely, if someone threatens to kill someone else in a debate round, that is not protected speech just because it occurred in the setting of a debate round. 
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