[eDebate] AFA Conduct Specifics

Sue Peterson bk2nocal
Wed Nov 12 19:28:29 CST 2008

Not a challenge, just a question - you say the rules should be more clear
and you identify places where the clarity needs to be obtained, but I am
more interested in ways of making it more clear - do you have any ideas on
that?  I would appreciate some specific suggestions for changes rather than
getting into an all-or-nothing let's pass it as is or do away with it as
is.  I wish we could have started this conversation earlier, but we have two
weeks and I would like to hash out our options on making this doable vs.
just throwing it out.


On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 5:01 PM, Jason Russell <jasonlrussell1 at gmail.com>wrote:

> 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
> with.
> J
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Sue Peterson, Director of Speech and Debate at CSU Chico
sepeterson at csuchico.edu

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
-Robert J. Hanlon
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