[eDebate] Fwd: AT: Chestnut -- message from Cormack

Chris Stone cstone387
Fri May 1 10:24:56 CDT 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Matt Cormack <matt.cormack at gmail.com>
Date: Fri, May 1, 2009 at 10:23 AM
Subject: AT: Chestnut -- please send to eDebate
To: Chris Stone <cstone387 at gmail.com>

Can someone send this to edebate?



I understand your concern of avoiding academic laziness but I fail to
see how a 5th year of eligibility promotes this and in particular how
the graduation amendment would encourage this. ?I will start by saying
I debated and graduated in 4 years and never thought of skipping an
NDT to stay for 5 years. ?I have no regrets.

First, there is a MASSIVE link turn to your argument. ?Right now with
5 years of eligibility (regardless of what you think of it its the
rule right now) and the only way to debate 5 years is to be "lazy" and
prolong undergraduate studies for 5 years. ?This amendment would allow
people to graduate in 4 years and still continue to debate. ?It
removes the incentive to not graduate. ?It also would allow debaters
to graduate in 3 years and still debate for 4. ?The SQ would punish
debates that graduate in 3 years - that doesn't make much sense.
Also, as you indicate grad school is not easy and I agree (I should be
studying right now) but if someone is able to debate and attend
graduate school aren't they actually blowing away the academic
standards of most people? ?Wouldn't this be setting our goals higher
than everyone else? ?Not only we will graduate smart students, but we
will place them in graduate schools AND they will be smart enough to
manage their time and continue debating. ?You make the assumption that
people will just go to graduate schools with poor standards. ?I choose
to be more optimistic and assume that some of the smartest debaters
will take advantage of this opportunity. ?I know that I could not
commit anywhere near the amount of time to debate that I did as an
undergraduate but debaters are smart, they will figure out ways to
spend less time on debate if they need to. ?Maybe they won't be as
competitive - but if they love the activity why not let them attend a
few tournaments? ?The assumption that everyone wants to compete for a
first round is obviously wrong. ?Also - most (all) graduate programs
that people would go to are going to last more than a year and I think
the most people will debate in grad school is a year. ?Thus, the
concern that they won't care about the school and be debates first,
student second seems a bit far fetched. ?Your future is in grad school
and I think people are smart enough to realize that.

Your alternative is noble but silly. ?An amendment to "lobby for more
grad programs to offer funding for debate assistants". ?Really? ?This
is just so ridiculous on its face I am not sure what to say. ?If you
think that "lobbying" (whatever that means) will cause programs to
fund debate assistants in this economy...I really don't know what it
would mean if you actually thought that. ?Great goal - not happening.

It appears that your real problem is with the 5 year rule and not the
graduate amendment. ?I say this because in a world without the 5 year
rule I imagine you would support the graduate amendment (if people
graduating in 3 years and going to grad school all while debating
isn't high academic standards I don't know what is).

So I think there are some real benefits to the 5 year rule.
1. Academics - debate takes lots of time if you want to be successful.
?Why not spread out your courses and get better grades? ?You might
call this low standards, I don't. ?I think graduating in 5 years with
better grades is better than graduating in 4 years with bad grades.
Also, the fact that for whatever reason 5 years is becoming much more
common with the general student population it seems more academically
rigorous to debate while you are doing it.

2. High school inequality - some people end up debating way more than
5 years of NDT/CEDA style debate at high levels of competition. ?I
don't follow high school debate but it seems like every year there is
a team that people swear to me would clear at Kentucky.

I guess I don't buy how it is "selfish" as you say a few times. ?I am
sure there are plenty of more justifications for the 5th year rule but
I need to stop.


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