[eDebate] 2nd VP Statement

Mike Davis davismk13
Tue Nov 25 22:05:56 CST 2008

I've been in CEDA as long as I have been involved in debate. I joined
back in 1991 as a college debater who, like many of our students, did
not debate in college. I have served for nine years a regional
representative and have been to every summer meeting since 1994
(except one) and CEDA Nationals since 1992 (except one). I have been
the chair of numerous committees and have tried to serve whenever I
felt my assistance was needed. I have been asked to run for second VP
before, but have always declined previous. So why am I running now?

Being a CEDA officer is a difficult and thankless job, but I love the
Cross Examination Debate Association. I love what we represent because
it was the organization that welcomed someone like me into it with no
previous experience as has let me continue to serve for all these
years. When I look at my debaters I know that I have made the right
choice sticking around as long as I have and I am running now because
I want to make sure that as many debaters as possible have the
opportunity to participate.

Despite my undying love for CEDA, I know that our organization is far
from perfect. We are smaller than we were 10 or 20 years ago and that
is inexcusable. The role I have had with CEDA that I am the most proud
of is my position as chair of the Program Development and Retention
Committee. We have worked to pass rules changes that reduce tournament
entry fees, waive CEDA membership fees and, starting this year, secure
free evidence for emerging programs. Our work is just getting started,
but I believe that the best way to ensure the future of our
organization is to ensure that as many schools as possible are
competing. If elected this will be the most important item on my
agenda because I think without new programs our other goals all become
more difficult.

We also need to do more to be proactive in promoting what we do well.
I agree with Russell, I don't think debate is in trouble. I actually
love what we do and am not afraid to take on anyone who disparages us.
That said, I do think we need to do more to make sure that our
administrators, the media and those who are choosing whether they want
to do policy debate or some other incarnation know why what we do is
the best educational experience around. Whether I am elected or not I
will be at the summer debate conference at Wake to help to figure out
the best ways to encourage positive representations of policy debate.

Also, we need to be more responsive. The times when I have been most
frustrated with the CEDA leadership are those times when we have
lacked information about how decisions were made and why. I ensure you
that second vice president we will have a transparent decision making
process. I think a lot of people don't participate in our business
meetings and so few people vote on our various amendments and
elections is because they feel detached from our organization. We need
to do everything we can to make sure as many schools (and students)
are including in the decision making process.

I am excited that we have five individuals running for this office.
Most years no one is willing to serve in this office. I know that all
of these individuals have a love for the organization that I do and I
look forward to the conversation that this election should encourage.
And I am excited about serving this organization in whatever capacity
the membership sees fit. If you choose to vote for me it will be my
honor to serve. If not, I will still be at every CEDA Nats and summer
business meeting because I think that the future of CEDA is strong.

Thanks for listening. Please let me know if you have any questions.


Dr. Michael Davis
Director of Debate/Assistant Professor
James Madison University

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