[eDebate] Neil's Question

Andy Ellis andy.edebate
Wed Dec 17 13:54:56 CST 2008


Good question Neil

Believe it or not i am conscious of the chilling effect my words can have on
discourse on this list and in other places so i held off on answering this
question both to give the other candidates a chance to speak, but also to
put some thought into what it was Neil was asking.

It is the most important question facing the next 2nd vice  president and i
feel confident that i can answer it. It of course depends on the situation,
but my response would be in several parts:1) Gather information-What exactly
is the times looking for, what specific information does the reporter want?
How can i contact him and when is her deadline(in the first call unless i
have already sought the consul of other stakeholders i will not comment)
2)Consult-I will seek advice from the ec, appropriate committees, and non
debate experts who my administration will work to bring into the fold(more
on that in a second) 3)I will issue a statement that recognizes appropriate
responsibility, identifies the problem, and explains the course of action.

Yes its formulaic, but it is what the times expects, VIK mentioned in her
candidate statement that she had to answer why should a non academic want
this job...This is a good question too, and it interacts with neil's in a
very interesting way. The answer is that ceda IS NOT an academic
institution, many of its stake holders are academics, but it itself is an
organization, not wholly private not wholly public, but whatever it is it is
not the academy. The New York Times does not operate on an academic schedule
and neither should ceda. When hesitating to answer neil's question last
night i got to thinking, what if the crisis occured during finals, would any
of the candidates with academic jobs be able to put forth the time, focus
and energy needed to steer the organization to the other side?  If so what
would suffer school? debate team? family?

This is not to say that people working in universities should not do service
for ceda, without their contribution the organization would be nothing, but
that perhaps when we talk about change (russel your ad is coming) we need to
think differently about who we want leading this organization.

My day job does not involve classes grading office hours or faculty
plennarys, i have loved all that stuff when i was in academic settings, what
it does involve is leverging our non profit statsu to build an organization
by finding the resources needed to sustain the vision the director and stake
holders have for the organization. Today i am preparing executive level
volunteer job descriptions and seeking pro bono accounting assistance to
provide our memebers, i will post these to a variety of resources such as
idealist.com, volunteer match, the united way, and grassroots.org, later
today i will meet with a videographer who is interested in teaching the
youth we work with to make effective videos, and when i get back from the
break i will have meetings with city officials and educators to try to plan
our summer program. None of this involves the sticky question of fundraising
yet all of it contributes invaluble services to our organization because it
makes services we could never afford available to us through the incentives
in tax law. The person who eventualy leads ceda needs to know how to talk to
department heads and debaters, but also business leaders, civic leaders, and
service providers, they need to have the innovativeness to scrap together a
team or an organization through tough times, and they need to have the
resourcefulness to fiigure out what ceda can and cant do on its own and what
to do when it needs help.

I mentioned earlier that i would have a group of volunteers who where not
current debate people....yes i would...I would work with ceda members to
reach out to alumni who have moved beyond debate and try to get volunteer
and pro bono work for the organization. One of the areas that i would focus
on would be PR and Marketing. Key Chains are cute, I am CEDA is kinda
cool(but a huge timebomb of liability when they get jammed or spoofed), but
shouldnt we let people who do this for a living do this work on our behalf?
They will do it faster and they will do it better (btw when it comes time to
have key chains made i have a series of good programs that will do them for
free, or very low charge) and Kathryn's time could be better speant doing
what Kathryn does well as a debate leader.

When Jarmen made the new ceda page he did an excellent job, learned a cool
skill, and maybe got some academic value out of it...maybe...but what if we
had submitted an application at grassroots.org and they had done it for
free...Jarmen could spend more time coaching, teaching, and thinking about
how to guide ceda...but we tend to make our officers do a bunch of different
jobs...change may mean we have to focus on our first and second jobs again,
but i think that will be better for the community and for all of us...

I am rambling, which is kind of why i prefer youtube but i promise one of
the groups of volunteers i would recruit if i got this job was a team of

Thanks and Russel You are on next...

On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 8:13 PM, NEIL BERCH <berchnorto at msn.com> wrote:

>  I don't understand this one, but I'm sure you young people do.  Here's a
> semi-serious question for all the candidates:
> It's 3 am, and the phone rings in the CEDA President's residence.  It's the
> New York Times, or the Chronicle of Higher Education, or Rolling Stone, and
> they're calling to get your comment some awful thing that someone may have
> done at a CEDA tournament.
> Why should we as an organization want you to be the one to take that call?
> --Neil Berch
> West Virginia University
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Andy Ellis <andy.edebate at gmail.com>
> *To:* eDebate <eDebate at www.ndtceda.com>
> *Sent:* Tuesday, December 16, 2008 8:03 PM
> *Subject:* [eDebate] How well do you really know mike davis
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTQtiPUjXdg
> _______________________________________________
> eDebate mailing list
> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
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