[eDebate] On Fidelity and the Debate Community

Greg Thomas greg.thomas
Mon Aug 4 14:02:06 CDT 2008

If my school cut 5 bucks, we would not have any money.  Bur seriously, my
administrators would fire me on the spot and find someone more responsible
to replace me.  Hopefully, most would do the same.

And the question is:  why would they be so mad?  Because they are LOSING
money to send STUDENTS into situations like this were the offenders are PAID
employees of the UNIVERSITY.  Yeah, I can see why they would be mad, and I
would't blame them one bit.  If the only way we can keep debate programs
open is to hide what goes on at tournaments, then doesn't that say something
bigger about our activity.  If a problem exists, should we hide it.  My
guess is (and maybe I am wrong here) that a lot of people would not want
this kind of thing brought out into the open because it might cause
administrators to scrutinize and examine some of the other commonly accepted
practices at our tournaments.

On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 2:55 PM, Aaron Olney <aaron.olney at gmail.com> wrote:

> Forget about the individuals that were involved.  If an adminstartor from
> one of YOUR schools was to see this, I would think he/she would have second
> thoughts about the value of this activity and the money it cost to send kids
> to these tournaments.  With the economy hurting and budgets of every kind in
> every sector being cut, people can not afford bad publicity for their non
> revenue generating activities.
> On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 2:41 PM, Greg Thomas <greg.thomas at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I am reading this, and I am really just not getting what you are saying
>> (although this is the part of this discussion I am interested in).  I was
>> not present at the round either, and thus I also have limited context in
>> which to draw conclusions about the video.  However, it seems your position
>> in your email is that debate is a family and that people should be forgiven
>> for their transgressions in a family.  At least, I think that is what you
>> are saying.
>> But parts of your email really bother me.  For instance:
>> (A)  You mention that a person is being vilified, even though that person
>> has devoted much of their life to the community.  Does a track record of
>> being a productive member of society excuse bad/inappropriate actions?
>> (B)  Also, you state "Who knows if what happened following the quarters of
>> CEDA was reasonable or inappropriate on either side".  Really?  I can't see
>> how anyone could not know that the actions in that video were unreasonable
>> and inappropriate no matter what the discussion was.
>> (C)  You state that it is "cruel and antithetical to anything this debate
>> community has ever stood for" to call for someone's termination.  Let's
>> assume that hiring/firing decisions are not the responsibility of the debate
>> community (because they aren't).  Would it be cruel and wrong to simply send
>> the link to the video to the offending persons department chair so that the
>> appropriate person could make that decision?  What if that link were sent
>> with no explanation/no slant/no nothing?
>> (D)  Finally, you mention that we should remember "actions about our
>> community have very radical effects on someone's livelihood and that of
>> their family".  1.  Do you think that level of consideration was being
>> exercised by the offending people in the video?  and 2.  If negative things
>> effects were to be had on that person's livelihood and/or family, is not the
>> offender in that situation the one who should bear the blame?
>> I don't plan to forward links or anything like that, that is not what I am
>> saying.  But at one of the schools I attended, there was a hazing
>> incident/scandal with our football team.  The logic in your email seems to
>> indicate that in a close knit situation like that, there should have been
>> understanding, and that the players who were doing the hazing should not
>> have been identified/their actions brought to light because (a) they were
>> valuable to the team and had a momentary lack of judgment and (b) because it
>> could have ruined their acadmic/athletic careers.  Is that right?
>> Greg Thomas
>> P.S.  Some synonyms for Fidelity:  Faithfulness; honesty; integrity;
>> faith; loyalty.  While loyalty "may" fit what you are sayi
>>   On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 2:09 PM, Brent Culpepper <
>> brentonculpepper at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>    We were not present during the quarters of CEDA and only have the
>>> limited context of this discussion on edebate and the video itself from
>>> which to draw conclusions. That being said, we feel like there is one very
>>> real underlying issue that has gotten lost in this discussion. One of the
>>> best parts about the debate community is that, theoretically, we should be
>>> able to have a passionate, heated discussion about whatever we believe but
>>> afterwards be able to go have a drink with someone whom we viscerally
>>> disagree. The idea that almost all the commentary following this episode has
>>> largely centered around blame induced personal attacks is disturbing.
>>> Ironically, the argument that is typically made against framework is
>>> exclusion, but it is no different here where instead of engaging an
>>> identified problem of whether or not strikes are legitimate argumentative
>>> ground, this discussion has chosen to vilify a person who has devoted much
>>> of their life to this community. A person who quite frankly ushered in a
>>> style of debate that makes the quarters of CEDA (debate round, not
>>> post-round) possible.
>>> Who knows if what happened following the quarters of CEDA was reasonable
>>> or inappropriate on either side, but POSTING that we should encourage the
>>> community to write to universities seeking someone's termination is cruel
>>> and antithetical to anything this debate community has ever stood for.
>>> Moreover, the idea that someone would garner enjoyment or thrill from this
>>> conflict is disheartening. Given some of the behavior the debate community
>>> finds acceptable or at a minimum forgivable, we find it strange that this is
>>> the instance that starts the battle cries for the end to someone's presence
>>> in the community.
>>> We encourage everyone to put down your arguments about debate for just
>>> one moment and realize that, at times, actions about our community have very
>>> radical effects on someone's livelihood and that of their family.
>>> Brent Culpepper & Michael Greenstein
>>> P.S.  The authors do not consent to this being used as evidence to beat
>>> policy debaters.
>>> _______________________________________________
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