[eDebate] Bad publicity for policy debate

NEIL BERCH berchnorto
Wed Oct 1 13:40:57 CDT 2008

Tuna raises some important points.  I think it's important to note that 
there was an article that accompanied the video.  The article is actually 
pretty good and has a lot of positive stuff, including some excellent 
analysis from Ede Warner, Gordon Stables, and Will Baker.  It's worth 

--Neil Berch
West Virginia University

>From: Alfred Snider <alfred.snider at uvm.edu>
>To: edebate at ndtceda.com
>Subject: [eDebate] Bad publicity for policy debate
>Date: Wed, 01 Oct 2008 11:23:41 -0400
>I write today because I fear for the future of policy debate in America.
>It is already too close to being below critical mass in terms of schools
>and students. The following story is illustrative of our problems.
>The video of a debater standing on the table where the opposing team is
>sitting and uttering a stream of profanities is not a good film clip for
>The story has some points to make that are hard for us to answer:
>1. Incomprehensible speech
>2. Rejection of the topic
>3. Too present profanity
>4. "project" hi jinks
>5. Lack of perceived civility
>and, of course,
>6. THE incident.
>I am sure that we can explain to ourselves and rationalize all of these,
>but to THE PUBLIC and to our ADMINISTRATIONS it is getting more
>difficult to explain in a way that they can accept. The Las Vegas
>article Jake reported on is good, but an exception to the rule in terms
>of the kinds of publicity we are getting.
>Rather than a top down imposition of codes and rules I think each squad
>needs to confront these issues as a team, publicize your efforts to your
>students so if called on you have an answer as to what you are doing.
>Then, carry them out. This way changes can happen  that you agree with
>on your squad and the overall effect on many of the above points will be
>substantial. But, if we just ignore it and go on preparing for the next
>tournament we are at peril.
>I am not trying to engage in a long drawn-out argument about these
>issues, what I really want is to alert you to the kind of press we are
>getting and express my concern.
>Letters to the editor of THE CHRONICLE might be a place to start.
>Alfred C. Snider aka Tuna
>Edwin Lawrence Professor of Forensics
>University of Vermont
>Huber House, 475 Main Street, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405 USA
>Global Debate Blog http://globaldebateblog.blogspot.com
>Debate Central http://debate.uvm.edu
>World Debate Institute http://debate.uvm.edu/wdi/
>World Debate Institute Blog http://worlddebateinstitute.blogspot.com
>802-656-0097 office telephone
>802-656-4275 office fax
>eDebate mailing list
>eDebate at www.ndtceda.com

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