[eDebate] Judge Philosophy: Vince Alvarez, SF State

Vince heyvince
Fri Sep 12 03:56:51 CDT 2008


Vince Alvarez
Asst. Debate Coach, San Francisco State University

My academic background/interest is in rhetorical criticism,
critical/cultural studies with specific interest in postcolonial studies and
gender/queer theory.

As a debater I always hated having to read the whole judge philosophy to
answer a few specific questions. Find the answer to your question(s) and if
you read nothing else, then just read the last paragraph.

Q: Can I run a critical/performance style argument in front of Vince?
A: Yes! This was always my preference of argument. I just ask that you have
an argument when doing your performance business. I also think that
deference strategies will have to overcome a high threshold against abuse
claims. I am familiar with much of the generic critique literature, but not
everything so please do explain. I think that examples and nuance are
critical in these debates. There is always a DA to the perm, find it and
weigh it against the net-benefit to the alt.

Q: Can we answer crazy affirmatives with Framework in front of Vince?
A: This may come as a surprise, but yes, but it will be an uphill battle. If
its all you got, its all you got. Run it with a few caveats: 1) If you can
engage the affirmative, do it! 2) Its OK to engage the affirmative AND read
FW. I don't think that engaging the affirmative means you have good ground,
it means you covering you bases. 3) THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR ME - Always
contextualize your generic FW arguments to the affirmative that you are
debating. If you have taken the time to talk the affirmative before the
debate in order to understand what they do, and then rewrite your FW to be
as specific and strategic as possible, it will show. Nothing is more off
putting for someone with critical proclivities than a generic FW block.

Q; What about T/Procedurals?
A: I would shy away from these in front of me. If you can't tell me what
positions you can't read because of their wankery then don't read T. I am
not a big fan of big theory debates, if thats your thing than slow down, be
clear and persuasive.

Q; Will Vince vote on our DA/CP strategy?
A; Going this route in front of me is like Oklahoma, its not great, but its
OK. I had a panic attack when I had to think about judging a process CP. I'd
prefer a good case strategy or a criticism. That being said if this is a big
picture strategy and not a generic reflex then go ahead.

If I didn't answer your questions, ask me. Every judge has preference. I
prefer innovative arguments over generic. I prefer strategic arguments and
positions. It is my belief that you work too hard as debaters for me to not
work just as hard judging you. I could care less about the content of the
arguments that you are reading, but I expect that the debaters will be civil
toward each other, toward me and anyone else observing. As long as you have
a claim and a warrant, then you have an argument and it ostensibly has a
place in debate in until someone says otherwise.
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