[eDebate] Call for Debate on Amendment adding Events or Divisions to CEDA Nationals

Darren Elliott delliott
Thu Apr 30 17:29:56 CDT 2009

Incoming President Stables (that sounds so official) can speak to his reasoning for submitting this amendment better than I can.  He was a busy man (finally one-upped Hanson for amendments) : )
Since he wrote it, and he articulated good reasons at the CEDA Business Meeting, I would like to see his input here as well.

Here is why I agree with Gordon and will encourage others to vote YES on the amendment to add events at CEDA Nationals.

1.  The amendment process is often too long of a cycle, unwieldy, and unfriendly of a process once the year starts.  If we were to require amendments to change anything about the National Tournament, it would likely take at least a year likely from its inception date for anything after November 1st.  I think that is when bureaucracy can hamstring an organization.

2.  The President and EC are voted on by a community vote.  This is one of those times Directors will need to decide if they trust their elected leadership to do what is within the best interest of the community they represent.  CEDA Nationals has always been a tournament where the President had broad authority to run the Tournament as Tournament Director.  I can think of the last 10 CEDA Nationals, and rarely have any of them not seen a significant change instituted by the President--usually without an EC vote.  Never once did it create a crisis so large that it hindered the quality of the tournament.  Every CEDA President in one way or the other has put their stamp on the tournament.  And sometimes changes should be made that the President can make with the authority granted her.  In fact this new amendment, pass or fail, does nothing to change the part of the Constitution that allows the President to run the tournament as Director with input from the Tournament Committee--the 2 VP's, Treasurer, and Exec Sec.  So if it fails, would Gordon still be able to add to the tournament--yes.  I think part of his intent here is to specifically allow for new "events" not even necessarily divisions or breakout rounds.

3.  New events:  Again Gordon should chime in, but one thing he talked about was the ability for our organization to reach out to other organizations, groups, constituencies.  If CEDA wanted to offer a Public Debate event, umbrella sponosr another organization's National Tournament (Parli, NFA Lincoln-Douglas, etc) this amendment would allow the President to make that offer with the suppport of the EC.  A decision to do this in December would be too late to get an amendment passed to do it.  And amendments usually imply continuity, as opposed to year-to-year trial experiments.  Sometimes revenue streams may make it beneficial to the organization to do just this, and reach out to others inside the big tent.

4.  The People's Tournament:  Indeed!  I articulated above why sometimes process takes too long for all the "people" to chime in.  But what's the harm in offering something new and seeing if the "people" respond.  That is one way to guarantee that an idea was good or bad.  And just because it's not something one of the "people" may fancy, why begrudge others the opportunity?  I decided to offer Novice Breakout rounds this year.  It raised some ire from a few, but the majority of feedback I received was positive.  And the "people" came out in force.  Almost 15% of the tournament was eligible.  Many said they would not have come otherwise.  We cleared 8 teams.  They all seemed to enjoy it, all had positive things to say, and some programs got some much needed PR.  Not all of the "people" liked it.  That's ok.  The majority I talked to certainly did.  And it did nothing to diminish either the judge pool in elims (Gary can confirm this) or to diminish the tournament overall (Towson and Oklahoma would likely agree).  Since the "people" elect the President and the EC, it seems like they should hold them accountable.  If 17 people (which is like 20% of our membership in terms of schools) create such a guffaw when given this power, it could be rescinded.  In the meantime I think the ideas Gordon espoused about adding events to the National Tournament are great ones, and is something we should empower the leadership to do.

Those are some preliminary thoughts.  I encourage you to vote YES on this amendment.


>>> Justin Green <jmgreen at ksu.edu> 4/29/2009 10:45 PM >>>

The following amendment is up for vote in the CEDA Ballot:

Beginning of next season

Add to IX, Section 6

?The President may, with approval by the Executive Council, add
divisions or events to the invitation of the national tournament. All
new events must be approved prior to the release of the tournament

While I am not opposed to changes to CEDA Nationals, the inclusion of
divisions or potentially new events should be decided by popular vote
of member schools and not by the President.  ....Numerous friends and
colleagues have described CEDA Nationals as "the people's tournament".
This amendment flies in the face of that spirit.  If the motivation
is to include a Novice Division, then we should have a vote about
that.  I encourage others to use their vote to reject this amendment
so that the President and EC continue to carry out the duties of
hosting a great CEDA Nats as set up by the schools, not the

I have no doubt that there are advantages to this amendment I am
mission.  So, I am asking for supporters of this amendment to please
speak up publicly to at least answer the question of "why are new
events or divisions better created by the President without a public
vote than through the usual amendment process?"

Thanks for your time,

Justin Green
eDebate mailing list
eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
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