[eDebate] Positive Discourse = Positive Programs

Mariam Willis razianwillis
Fri Aug 22 13:14:33 CDT 2008

Hi all, 

In the interest of protecting programs from budget cuts and administrative scrutiny, I would like to share an idea, called Socrates Cafes, that is working nicely to integrate critical thinking and meaningful discourse across campus at Appalachian State University.  Our forums have garnered positive attention and press on campus and in the community.  I have attached the brochure we have distributed for faculty this year.
The Appalachian State University Forensic Union?s philosophical discussion groups, called Socrates Caf?s, are student-facilitated small groups designed to explore complex questions. The facilitators are trained to support group members in becoming more autonomous, conscientious thinkers and doers, as well as skilled speakers and empathic listeners. After just one year of the APP Forensic Union hosting Socrates Cafes, we have been incorporated as co-curricular to the First Year Seminar, as well as the freshman & sophomore level Philosophy courses.

I would be happy to talk with you more about how to implement this.  It is very easy from an administrative perspective,  and rewarding for both facilitators and participants.


Kristopher Willis, williskw at appstate.edu
Mariam Razian Willis, willismr at appstate.edu
Co-Directors of Forensics

The Appalachian State University Forensics Union is on facebook.  Join us!

From: oguevara at hotmail.com
To: edebate at ndtceda.com
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 11:07:09 -0600
Subject: [eDebate] 'National Level' - Clarification

I want to to be clear - I am not calling on CEDA to reprimand or suspend Bill.  Please, for the love of God, let's stop the bloodletting.  I could imagine no worse action at this juncture.
Instead (and this is what I meant) I'd like to know what CEDA can do in the future to reassure university administrators about the value of debate and convince them that their wholesale indictments about debate are misguided.  They may perhaps discuss the materials that led to those conclusions about the educational value of debate so that counter artifacts could be presented. Perhaps we (being CEDA) could find some ways to help any remaining FHSU debaters have an opportunity to debate.
While we are already behind the ball a bit on this, as FHSU and perhaps other administrators have come to their conclusion, I'd urge that we construct such a statement ASAP with liberal usages of the following phrases: 'academic freedom,' 'understanding intellectual exchange in a competitive context,' etc. Basically constructing a broad statement on civility that foregrounds our commitment to intellectual openess and vigorous exhange.
If folks are going to run video cameras then we need to assume a situation like this will emerge again.  We should try to learn from it.
Ok, I've been in debate since 1985. I've been on edebate (and all its previous incarnations) for over 10 years. Many of you are closer to me than members of my own biological family. But because I am not as smart or wity as Hester, I've had a real difficult time engaging this discussion publicly.  But I've watched in horror for weeks now, tounge-tied and demoralized.  Even now I am not sure what exactly is the argument I want to advance, so I'll whisper is 'please stop.'
No more negative energy. No more inquisitions.   Just positive energy.  Help us rebuild the fortifications before the next breach.
I'm going to keep all future edebate communication to strictly administrative interactions. 
My best to all,

Omar G Guevara IIDirector of ForensicsDepartment of CommunicationCollege of Arts & HumanitiesWeber State UniversityOgden, Utah 801.626.6220 (Office)801.668.6910 (Cell) Oguevara at hotmail.comOguevara at weber.edu PLEASE VISIT: WWW.WEBERDEBATE.COM

From: oguevara at hotmail.com
To: jbhdb8 at gmail.com; sharris at ku.edu
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 09:29:21 -0600
CC: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
Subject: [eDebate] 'National Level'

>>The president also stated that the FHSU debate program was suspended, effective immediately, until problems were addressed at the national level.
Does that mean that there is something CEDA can do to fast-track the suspension?
Obviously, if there is anything we can do to help Avery, Spurlock, and the other FHSU debaters, return sooner to our community, we should.
Maybe there is nothing we can or should do.  But I'd urge CEDA leadership to find out if there is.
And I'd suspect in a community of educators and educated, we'd all make an effort to make sure that Bill's students don't get left behind.
My best to all,

Omar G Guevara IIDirector of ForensicsDepartment of CommunicationCollege of Arts & HumanitiesWeber State UniversityOgden, Utah 801.626.6220 (Office)801.668.6910 (Cell) Oguevara at hotmail.comOguevara at weber.edu PLEASE VISIT: WWW.WEBERDEBATE.COM

Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 11:03:07 -0400
From: jbhdb8 at gmail.com
To: sharris at ku.edu
CC: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
Subject: Re: [eDebate] Bad News For Everyone

Remember when I said attention/fame is conservatizing....and everyone poo pooed the whole University administrators arguments.....Hope you read Dr. Hammonds' statements carefully.  Great to hear a University is taking a stand AGAINST college debate because of low academic worth, decorum, and language..... Good work,  Josh

On Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 10:49 AM, Harris, Scott L <sharris at ku.edu> wrote:
Bill has been fired and Ed Hammond (who has been instrumental in developing the debate programs at both Fort Hays and Louisville) made it an indictment of college debate in general.

Fort Hays Debate Coach Dismissed

HAYS, Kan. -- Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, announced today that the university had dismissed Dr. Bill Shanahan, assistant professor of communication studies and coach of the school's debate program, for violating the university's faculty code of ethics.

Shanahan became notorious over the past two weeks after a video was posted on the popular YouTube Internet site that showed him in a wild confrontation with the debate coach from the University of Pittsburgh during a Cross Examination Debate Association event that was held during the spring 2008 semester at Wichita State University.

FHSU just learned of Shanahan's actions when the video was posted the first week of August. 'No one from the tournament staff notified us about the incident last spring, which is a surprise given the scope of what happened,' President Hammond said. 'Everyone has the right to freedom of speech, but these actions are not acceptable for someone who is representing our university.'

The president continued: 'Professor Shanahan's conduct falls below the standard established to protect our university, its faculty, students and alumni. As a representative of FHSU, he had a duty of care that was seriously breached by his behavior.'

'If the coach of one of our athletic teams became angry and 'mooned' officials, student athletes and fans during a sports event, he or she would no longer be a coach at Fort Hays State University,' President Hammond said. 'Standards for our debate program are certainly just as high.'

The YouTube video showed Shanahan in an angry, prolonged, obscenity-laced shouting match with University of Pittsburgh debate coach Shanara Reid-Brinkley following a debate between FHSU and Towson State of Maryland. The FHSU team had exercised its prerogative under the debate rules to dismiss Reid-Brinkley as a judge of the FHSU-Towson State debate. Both the Towson State debate team and Reid-Brinkley said the decision to remove a black female judge was an act of white hegemony, which is to say an exercise of the power whites enjoy over people of color. At one point early in the post-debate argument, Shanahan turned his back to Reid-Brinkley, pulled down his shorts and bent over to expose his underwear-clad backside.

The president also stated that the FHSU debate program was suspended, effective immediately, until problems were addressed at the national level. He said steps were being taken so as not to disadvantage the FHSU debate students in the coming year.

The president said it was equally important for FHSU to take a stand against the declining standards of college debate. 'We are an institute of higher learning, and this incident provides a valuable 'teaching moment,' ' he said. 'Our society has become increasingly confrontational and uncivil. Our investigation revealed that those ills have also infected college debate. We have a responsibility not only to deal with the specific incident but to stand up against this decline in the standards of college debate.'

'I was a college debater,' Dr. Hammond said. 'I place high value on college debate as an exceptional learning opportunity. However, I had no idea that college debate had degenerated into the kind of displays that we witnessed when we watched CEDA events on the Internet. College debate has changed greatly. The lack of decorum and the lack of civility are not compatible with the educational standards at FHSU, and I doubt they are compatible with the educational standards at most universities.'

He added, 'If anyone doubts my conclusion, that person should view the entire debate, which was laced with four-letter words, a lack of personal respect and a lack of civil discourse.'

Shanahan and a debate coach from the University of Pittsburgh are seen on the clip screaming obscenities at each other in front of a room filled with students. At one point, Shanahan lowers his shorts and shows his underwear to the students.

?  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

eDebate mailing list
eDebate at www.ndtceda.com

Get thousands of games on your PC, your mobile phone, and the web with Windows?. Game with Windows 
Talk to your Yahoo! Friends via Windows Live Messenger. Find Out How
Get ideas on sharing photos from people like you.  Find new ways to share.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/attachments/20080822/6ae4ffa8/attachment.htm 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Socrates_Cafe faculty promotion 2.pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 120005 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/attachments/20080822/6ae4ffa8/attachment.pdf 

More information about the Mailman mailing list