[eDebate] defending debate

Jim Hanson hansonjb
Wed Aug 13 16:11:08 CDT 2008

well paul already responded as I wrote this and did a more thorough job but . . . 

I'm not kidding but I also don't want to overstate.

debate is different from football, basketball and academia--things an administrator is familiar with and has a visual image of.

most administrators don't have a visual image of debate other than "they talk so fast" and "I've heard they are doing weird things these days" and "they dress kind of sloppy."

seeing the visual imagery of that debate is going to stick in administrators minds. 

when the debate budget request pops up--it is going to be there. when you want to keep or get academic credit for debate--that image will be there. directors should be ready to counter that image--with arguments, counter-images, demonstrations that it is the exception, etc.

jim :)
hansonjb at whitman.edu

From: M G 
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:40 PM
To: edebate at ndtceda.com 
Subject: [eDebate] defending debate

Are you kidding me? Get ready to defend yourself?  When a fight breaks out at a football game no one has to defend the sport.  When a ref gets caught cheating in basketball no one has to defend the sport.  When a professor gets caught sexually harassing a student no one has to defend academia. 

What happened was the exception, not the norm.  I'm sure if you convey that to your administrator, she/he will probably understand that debate isn't a mooning contest.  There is no reason that 1 person doing something controversial is all the sudden a reflection on 'normal' debate.  

If every activity had to justify its entire existence based on an exceptional moment, rather than its norms, there wouldn't be any activities left.  We've had debaters get completely naked, we curse like sailors, drinking is rampant at any given tournament, and a good chunk of directors drive a van full of debaters for 10 hours on 4 hours of sleep.  These are all events that are just as "bad" that happen often, and they don't threaten the activity.

I feel like we will survive a mooning.  If the worst example of bad behavior I ever saw in college was a dude's ass I might be in a better spot right now.  



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