[eDebate] Questions for the candidates

V I Keenan vikeenan
Fri Dec 19 12:03:12 CST 2008

Mike is probably right that it might be more efficient to post questions via
Darren's organized debate, especially if the intent is to thoroughly vet
some of the specific proposals that we have discussed in our candidate
statements.  It's not about process legitimacy - it's about giving our
constituents a convenient place to see many questions answered all at once.

Given that I'm currently serving as Tuna's Regional Rep, and that I interact
with him and his squad directly probably the most at this point, I do think
it's legitimate that he pose specific questions about my "leadership"
potential given he has direct experience with me.  I actually think that
we've had a number of conversations, backchannels, and regional listserve
discussions that we probably know where we agree and we potentially
disagree, but they may not have covered all concerns related to a national
leadership position.  Honestly, if anyone has a specific clarification they
want from me as a candidate that isn't answered by the debate, you can
backchannel me.   I'm more than happy to answer and have no problem if you
want to post publicly.

Tuna points out the major changes he initiated with his Presidency that he
might question more in the long term.  I appreciate that candidness, and I
think it does illustrate the importance of learning from our past and
learning from our peers. I think a lot of my experience in debate has been
informed by people serving as CEDA President.  Pam Steppe and Tuna were
essentially my introduction to the idea of a national community because I
was fortunate enough see them regionally.  I took my current position at NYU
in part because I understood what Will Baker's obligations were as CEDA
President (and what that means to your time in general and to your focus for
your team) after working with him in his 2VP and 1VP year.  My attendance at
National meetings and Topic Meetings essentially began with Joe Patrice's
national term.  It's important to learn from both successes and from areas
of criticism, and I think I come to election with a very good idea of what
would be asked of me both from proximity of observation AND from asking
relevant questions of those who've had this job.

Mike has discussed why he hasn't sought this position in the past, and a lot
of it has to do with time and ability to serve the organization best because
we are both acutely aware of what these positions require from candidates on
the national level.  It's a discussion we've had about the effectiveness or
ineffectiveness of particular national initiatives, amongst other things.
But more important than running because I too am in a "position" to serve, I
accepted my nomination because I think we ARE reaching a cross roads, and I
think I have the skills and perspective to create solutions for our
community moving forward.  So ask away.


P.S. - Congrats to UVM at the World Universities Peace Invitational
Debates.  They were in the Finals and got 3rd place in the entire
competition.  Yay Catamounts.

Tuna can be a "hard boiled asshole" at times, but I live in NYC, so I think
it's a form of affection.  Safe travels home from Malaysia.

Vik Keenan
Director - Baruch Debate, CUNY
Assoc. Director - New York Coalition of Colleges
212/992-9641 or 347/683-6894
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