[eDebate] Andy's Nationals

Darren Elliott delliott
Thu Jan 8 16:47:43 CST 2009

Just a couple quick thoughts/questions from sunny Texas and the 2 Step:

The other candidates should feel free to state their opinion with regards to the following as well.  How would you do it differently or similarly?

1.  You say below, if elected, your Nationals would be in Baltimore.  If I were to vote for you and you won, does that mean Baltimore would definitely be the site for CEDA in your year as President?  Or does that fall under the first statement, "what it might look like"?  Or do you plan on abandoning the long standing tradition of allowing member schools to submit bids to host CEDA that are voted on by the Executive Council?  Some may favor a bold move and a yes response would persuade them in your favor.  Others may be dissuaded by a significant change in course.  One reason the bid process is important, is to ensure schools, who might need to host for PR reasons, get a shot to put forth a bid.  When OU hosted, it was a PR advantage.  And it saved CEDA a ton of money thanks to the generosity of President Boren.  This year, Idaho State was chosen for 2 major factors.  First, we have never been to the Rocky Mountain Region and it was important to support a growing debate Region.  Second, they have a donor who has given their program, and will give CEDA Nationals a significant sum of money.  It was important for ISU and this donor to host CEDA this year.  The committee voted for that bid due in large part to those factors.  Berkley won next years bid because they were willing to do both the NDT and CEDA, back-to-back, making it convenient for people going to both.  So for many, the bid process is an important one. 

2.  Your figures about CEDA Nationals making 20-30,000 dollars are very misleading.  Once we pay out catering for the receptions, trophies, any convention space cost at the hotel, pay for the hired tournament staff, misc bills, the Journal, etc. the amount usually about breaks even.  We are not making a profit.  Those figures also do not take into account the current budget model CEDA is trying to follow.  A couple years ago we moved from the notion that CEDA should have to make enough money to pay all of our expenses, putting us at the mercy if the tournament's size each year.  The goal was to make us financially stable off of membership dues, AND to reduce the cost to attend CEDA.  Your figures assume $100 entry fees per team.  We have moved beyond that model, and in the future hope to charge team fees that just cover the costs of the tournament, not running the organization as they previously have.  This means we charge $150 for membershio now as opposed to $50 per school, and we plan to reduce the cost of entry fees for CEDA Nationals for the first time in the history of the National Tournament.  If your goal was to have all the above costs absorbed by local Baltimore businesses, that would be great.  But it would seem to be a reason to continue with the "make CEDA affordable" model we are moving towards, and reducing entry fees for the programs competing.

3.  A final thought.  Your ideas below are great and grand.  My points above are not to deny your passion or vision.  They were to illuminate the current structure.  But I do wonder if you could pull off something like you envision, by doing this through the Novice/JV Nationals that Baltimore hosts yearly.  It seems like a yearly commitment might be even more successful and would have greater long term benefits, and an on-going relationship between debate and the Baltimore community.  WHat do you think?


Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics--KCKCC
CEDA President

ANDY ELLIS WROTE:>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

So one of the key roles of a ceda president is to coordinate a CEDA 
Here is what mine might look like. 

It would be in Baltimore. 

The hotel would be downtown at the harbor. Perhaps the new hilton (its 
connected to the convention center and next to a light rail stop that takes 
you too and from the airport-we will run an evidence shuttle) you 
really shouldn't have to rent a car if you dont want to, everything you need 
is at the harbor, food, drink, aquarium, science center, shopping, slots, 
cool neighborhoods... Camden yards is right next door perhaps we could get 
CEDA nats night at Camden yards... The out rounds would be held at the 
convention center. They would be open to the public. If possible i would 
like to charge for ticket packages, perhaps $10 per day or $15 for both 
days. We can't fill it, but i bet alot of you could convince folks who you 
know on the eastern seaboard to come up. It would be great in my eyes if 
there where people not from the tournament watching our elimination rounds, 
and i think we have more power to make it happen then we think we do. I 
would even try to arrange alumni packages at the hotels if say the jay 
hawks wanted to bring a large contingent. 

The hospitality could be hooked up and the scene can't be beat... 


There are dozens of college campuses....but i am less interested in 
that(though could definitely arrange it), instead i would like to work with 
the city and the local business community to form a partnership that uses 
the investment debate programs make in ceda nationals toward a socially just 
goal. CEDA nationals makes about 20 to 30 thousand, in my vision that 20,000 
could be CEDApartnership stake in the renovation of vacant homes schools or 
buildings. For that investment CEDA would get the following: 

The First occupant of the buildings would be CEDA nationals. It would be 
renovated in a way that worked for the tournament but was 
easily transformable into affordable housing and/or office space for 
community groups. 
After CEDA nationals CEDA would get community space for a center where CEDA 
college debaters could work with high school students and a space where 
local college students could do internship projects for the organization. 
Otherwise the space would be utilized for affordable housing and office 
space by the city/developer/ etc. 

The renovation of course would be cause for a celebration and the city would 
probably close the street and throw some kind of party and make you feel 
kinda like you where on a campus. 

Habitat for Humanity would be a good CEDA partner perhaps... 

Once we have this as our goal- using our enterprise toward social goals, 
without sacrificing our enterprise- it becomes a lot easier to build small 
amounts of guaranteed capital investment into matching grants...in other 
words...if we can guarantee that we can raise 20 k we can raise money with a 
20 k match. 

There would be a webpage for CEDA nationals that was functional and 
friendly. It would have been a two year collaborative project that led up to 
it, where tech talented people in the community collaborated with students 
(high school and college) to build the site that people need(but also the 
platform for the future). As long as there is education going on, money is 
available...the point agin being that using something we need (a good web 
platform for our national tournament) in the service of a social goal 
(teaching tech skills on a big project ) kinda just makes more sense. 

I would work with networks of youth non profits in Baltimore and hopefully 
be able to get photographers, events workers, ballot runners, video people, 
t shirt designers, and everything else under the sun, we might have to pay 
them, but thats a good investment on our part. 

There is something about the prelims working with and not just in a 
community that will drive people out to see the out rounds at the convention 

Oh yeah, the whole thing would be broadcast live at least over the internet, 
and who knows maybe on CSPAN, or something more exciting. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not forgetting about debate, in fact the rooms would 
be configured more ideally for debate than any other location, because its 
first use would be debate. I am not looking to sacrifice what we do, im 
looking to get more return out of our investment. 
Accessibility ? Actually that works better in my model as well. If CEDA had 
an idea of how many rooms needed to be "accessible" that would be that many 
more accessible rooms on that block...see how this works. 

Now this is gonna take organizing, money, work, and commitment. But we can 
do it and we should want to do it...Its good for people(the prelims) the 
planet (don't have to rent a car and transforming brownfields into 
affordable housing) and profit (the elims and the money that funds the 
social projects) and it would be the most fun place to ever have a hotel. 

If you like the idea but think its unrealistic, don't stop liking the idea, 
work with me to make it realistic. 

More information about the Mailman mailing list