[eDebate] [CEDA-L] boycotting NCA
Tue Feb 19 13:49:42 CST 2008
I just did the annual budget review for the Weber Team -- airfare up 18% YTD, hotels up 13% YTD, food also way up...and that is after all the DING! discounts, priceline one-stars, and retaurants.com discounts...travel is just getting so damn expensive...the fuel to refill the rental costs more than the damn rental car...
What is not going up is department and college monies for conference travel -- still stuck at G after five years? Why? Recession and flat enrollment numbers hurting our income streams...and if times are "hard" in Utah, I can only imagine they are like in some public institutions back East.
These days you are lucky if you can afford a regional conference for a G. Most of that financial burden is because of mandatory conference hotels, and ever increasing fees. It bums me out to know that some folks are going golfing, insted of renegotiating those 'comps' into a lower rack rate. Anyone who has evered negotiated a BIG hotel contract knows there is always a volume discount to be secured, and it would be best for everyone if it were 'priced in' for everyone, instead of 'comped out' for a few.
Additional places that would be great for NCA that could be added to Joe's list: SLC (as an alt to denver), Reno (as an alt to Vegas), Boise (yeah, I said it), and Sacramento (as the cheaper end of the Bay Area choices).
NCA is obviously costs more to attend that a WSCA, or ECA...
In fact, I'd seen more maturity from the debate community on this issue than from the NCA. Debate folks are increasingly recognizing that we need to get over our expensive hotel addiction, and work together to find ways to keep entry fees in check, and finding ways to maximize participation in the face of limited resources.
Good Luck Joe - I hope folks give you args the fair shake they deserve.
Happy Districts Everyone,
>>> <Zompetti at aol.com> 02/16/08 3:40 PM >>>
I promise this will be my last post on this subject. Most people, by now,
have decided where they stand on this issue.
Many folks have emailed me in support of a boycott. A few have questioned
my purpose and strategy. Virtually the only ones vehemently responding to
call are from NCA. Go figure.
Dr. Smitter retorts with a few arguments. First, he claims that the new
registration policy is not "new." I think Dr. Paulson has already amply
rebutted this preposterous claim. While NCA has always expected its
register, the new policy is, in fact, "new" in that it will purge anyone
the deadline from the program - including our very impoverished graduate
students who single-author papers and cannot pay the registration fee
Smitter also claims that my accusations of comp'd rooms and golf outings
spurious. He further argues that the only benefits NCA gains are with
conference rooms when NCA books with certain hotels. What he fails to
that there is a difference between what NCA benefits during the actual
conference and what they benefit during so-called "scouting" missions.
investigates future hotel spaces, they are, quite literally,
including golf outings. There are multiple people who can vouch for this,
don't just take my word for it. It's no surprise that NCA denies it, but
they do so conveniently when they only refer to NCA's involvement during
conference time itself.
One person responded to me saying that they have an ethical obligation to
attend their meetings and panels that they have committed to. I say,
has an ethical obligation to confront economic injustice. NCA is only
concerned about the bottom-line. They will argue that they provide a
benefits for their members (most of which is true, although they can be
produced in a less expensive way for members), but those same benefits can
elsewhere. The only reason NCA is manipulating these registration policies
and conducting business in the most expensive cities in the most expensive
hotels is because they can profit from it.
Others have suggested that it is reasonable that a large conference such as
NCA takes place at expensive cities and expensive hotels. HOGWASH! There
are much larger conferences that take place in much cheaper cities and
NCA calls other cities "second and third tier" cities and argues they can't
house our conference in one or two hotels which is demanded by our members.
The truth of the matter is, NCA HASN'T INVESTIGATED THIS IN OVER TEN YEARS.
There are many cities now that can house our size of a conference at a much
cheaper rate. I've personally called hotels in the past week. Here are
examples: Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Spokane, Hartford Connecticut,
Portland Oregon, Raleigh, and even Nashville (although Nashville is pricey,
still cheaper than the standard NCA city). By the way, during the past NCA
Chicago, you could've negotiated a cheaper price from the hotel personally
than you could've by going through the NCA rate. Why do you think that is
Does NCA can certain perks with the rate they negotiate??? I'll let you
figure it out.
One other person has argued we should be proud our organization is so big.
I agree. Yet another has argued that we should be excited that NCA even
exists given the benefits that we can accrue. Perhaps. But I don't think
people have heard me very clearly. I'm not saying disband NCA. I haven't
said boycott NCA in perpetuity. I've only said, BOYCOTT THEM FOR A YEAR so
can see that we do value them, but that they should listen to us.
One person said we shouldn't boycott, but instead we should get involved in
the legislative process of NCA. Do you know how hard that is for a person
who is pre-tenured? How about a graduate student? Do any of you have a
about a) how expensive it is to attend each NCA, or b) how much of a clique
is to get involved in the core of NCA politics? Let's get real! The only
way most of us can get our voices heard is to use our wallets.
LET ME BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR: I firmly believe that NCA does offer a
service. We can network, get valuable feedback on research, introduce our
students to key graduate programs, and hang out with friends. HOWEVER, all
this is occurring at an increasing expense. The new registration policy
adds salt to an already festering wound. The costs are way too expensive.
NCA policies are oblivious to our needs and conditions. With a worsening
economy, NCA seems blind to our condition, when, if it is true that they
concerned about our welfare, they should be more sensitive to our
NCA may be a great organization to many of you. But, IT CAN BE SO MUCH
MORE. In fact, it can also be ETHICAL in its practices. If its members
hold it accountable, who will? We know that the Bush administration
won't. Only we have the power to make our organizations be the type of
organizations we want them to be.
I urge all of you to give this a second thought. If you've already
submitted a paper or a panel, you can still not register. NCA will purge
their program, but so what? That only proves our point. If you insist on
going, do so under duress. If your institution fully or mostly pays for
attendance at NCA, you can still sympathize with the rest of us. Realize
"your" organization really isn't taking your best interests at heart. Of
course, other organizations (like MLA) may do similar things, but that
make it right. We deserve better. We should demand better.
That is all. Thanks for reading.
Illinois State University
**************Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
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