[eDebate] Fwd: please foward to NDT/CEDA list and Jason Russell

Sarah Jane Green sjsnider
Thu Nov 13 19:23:02 CST 2008

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rae Lynn Schwartz <raelynn.schwartz at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 4:31 PM
Subject: please foward to NDT/CEDA list and Jason Russell
To: Sarah Jane Green <sjsnider at ksu.edu>, "snider.sj at gmail.com" <snider.sj@

The following are my personal views and not that of the AFA or any

Much thanks to Jason Russell for bringing the upcoming AFA legislation
to the attention of the community. While I am not currently formally
involved in competitive debate, I try to give back to the community
that has given me so much. My service to the AFA is one of those ways.

My personal intention is not to "police" any one. There are enough
areas where speech is censored and my hope is that debate remains a
place where difficult issues can be expressed. As for the upcoming AFA
meeting, Jason is right to say it is important that you attend and
have your voice heard. I am currently in conversation with other
members of the committee and would be happy to hear from you. Feel
free to email me raelynn.schwartz at gmail.com if you have productive
contributions, suggestions and/or objections. Below you will find my
position on the current legislation as it. I encourage you to send me
suggestions for alternative wordings. Thank you for your time.

Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre

"After following much of the conversation about the "outside" of round
activities I would like to refer back article IV #3. Specifically, I
am concerned about this statement:

        1.The AFA acknowledges the district and national tournaments
sponsored by the association are designed to promote responsible and
effective       discourse. The AFA recognizes that behaviors which
belittle, degrade, demean, or otherwise dehumanize others are not in
the best interest of the activities   sponsored by the AFA. Such
behaviors interfere with the goals of forensic education.

On my view, this type of statement, from a debate standpoint, seems
subject to a serious of topicality debates so to speak. In other
words, what is degrading or dehumanizing to one is not the other. The
current political debate over Prop 8 seems to be a case in point. I
can image many instances where individuals with loved ones in the army
would not want to discuss the nature or validly of war in Iraq or
Afghanistan; that those emotionally effective by legalization of gay
marriage may not want to discuss the politics disadvantage; or that
someone who has been a victim of domestic violence may not want to
hear an affirmative aiming to regulate. The examples are limitless as
are the opportunities for a bright line.

I have judged many debates that involved nudity, graphic descriptions
of violence, music with controversial lyrics etc. On my view, if you
do not want to hear/see it you can leave. That is so long as you are
not on the other team or judging. In the later instances it seems the
team introducing the material/performance has the obligation and
burden to support its relevance and dialogic value. And, should they
fail to do so, ought to lose the round. Yet I do not believe this is a
time or place for the AFA to regulate what is and is not "responsible
and effective discourse."

As for an alternative, I am not yet sure. But I invite discussion and


Rae Lynn

Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Communication
Western Washington University
MS 9162
516 High Street, CF 283
Bellingham, WA 98225-9162
raelynn.schwartz at gmail.com
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