[eDebate] AFA Conduct Specifics

Jason Russell jasonlrussell1
Wed Nov 12 19:01:00 CST 2008

It's come to my attention that my position on the ADA rules should be more
clear. Here are my specific complaints.

*"outside the specific time period when a student is competing in a round
during a tournament" -- For how long? When I'm at home? When I'm at the
hotel? When I'm at lunch? Is there any time period this does not extend to?

"*behaviors which belittle, degrade, demean, or otherwise dehumanize others" --
Void for vagueness. No one knows exactly what this means, allowing this
clause to be interpreted as strictly or as leniently as whoever the 6 people
on this committee are see fit. *
"the community standard of a healthy educational environment"-- There is no
such standard. There is no community. This sounds a lot like the definition
of pornography that says you know it when you see it. This is too subjective
a standard to base our professional lives on.

"barred from participation in AFA sponsored events for a specific length of
time" -- Too arbitrary. This condition needs to be spelled out more
specifically and associated with potential behaviors. It also concerns me
that this is the only mechanism for censure that has any teeth. No
probation, no counsel, no warning. Just "slap on the wrist" or "ban". Surely
there is some more moderate move here.

I know that there is a rush to "do something" because of the Great Ass-Out
of 2008, but this rush to act should be more well-thought out than this,
especially with individuals' careers on the line. Keep in mind that a ban
from ADA activities for those of us that are debate coaches is functionally
the same thing as being fired. It's an extreme solution and should be
approached with extreme caution. In this case, a bad rule is worse than no
rule at all. I am opposed to granting blanket authority to an unelected
committee that could fire myself or my colleagues for standards I disagree

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