[eDebate] Answer to Tuna

Darren Elliott delliott
Tue May 12 10:01:28 CDT 2009


My remarks were not attacking to divert the issue.  My comments were very salient to the issue.  Every now and then you come out of edebate slumber and attack the leadership for the very things the archives will demonstrate you yourself were once part of, and were offended when people called you on it.  I'm a big guy.  Physically and mentally.  I can take the criticism, I can take the comments, and often they do make me reflect.  But recently your indicts of CEDA leadership seem either misplaced or perhaps the result of 20/20 vision.  You get angry when results are not posted in a timely (fast) manner.  Years ago on this list you chastised people for making such complaints often quipping you were too busy taking care of "those who bothered to show up to the tournament".  Now you have become the complaining party and when called on not knowing things for lack of attendance either in person or via the web you get indignant and make claims of participation even though you dont sit at our table.  At least acknowledge you have had a change of heart from your own behavior in the past. 

I also found it ironic that in a post about adding events to CEDA Nats where you chastised me for my humor and begged me to stick to the issues, you slipped in the attack on me (and the EC) about the decision to go to Idaho State over OU.  How did that apply to the issues?  If you say its because there is a link between that Executive decision and ones that could be made by adding events then you gotta spot me the link to your non-support of CEDA Nats and perhaps favoring the OU bid (for reasons other than cost) where airline cost from many parts of the country was just as expensive as it was to fly to ISU.  

The closest I came to personal insults was "all knowing arrogance" and "ignorance of the process".  I suppose arrogance could be inflammatory, but in my opinion the tone did seem to have a holier than thou ring to it.  Ignorance is not however inflammatory--being ignorant means you simply dont know.  And since you simply didnt know the process CEDA follows I pointed that out.  You clearly are unaware that the EC usually gets to vote on the site for CEDA.  This was one of those years.  Can you at least admit you were wrong for insinuating I made a "personal decision" that eroded confidence in CEDA leadership?  Are you willing to admit you were wrong about the process and the comment you made?

As for the decision, neither of us has any data to support the claim attendance was helped in one place over the other.  Go to OU and maybe a lot of the Rocky Mountain and Nor Cal programs cant afford to get there.  Claims of 60 students being denied access is hogwash.  And to put that at the feet of the EC is as well.  No one blamed you for choosing Worlds which I would guess was more expensive than getting kids to CEDA.  So I wont make claims that you denied folks opportunities.  We all make choices.

As for my tone towards members of the organization I lead, what does "civil" mean to you?  Being passionate and not laying down while people continue to kick you and the people who serve unselfishly is not uncivil.  Just as I wouldnt expect you to not be passionate, dont call me uncivilized.  What about public emails with misinformation that leads to this kind of rancor is civilized?  What happened to emailing someone privately first and asking them about the details before you criticize publicly?  Isnt that more civil?  Tuna, when you were leading this organization I kinda thought you were a great ruler.  Mostly because you made tough decisions, did what you thought was right at the time, and didnt roll over like a puppy begging for positive attention.  Now you are on the other side of the table and have become what you used to fight against.  Why the change of heart?  I ask seriously.  I am glad to listen to any issue anytime.  Even when we disagree I will always respect the right of the person to have that opinion.  One of my best friends in the activity and mentors is Jeff Jarman.  We often, and by often I mean A LOT, disagree on things.  We have healthy debates, make fun of each other some, then love each other when its over.  I disagree with Justin and Andy on this amendment.  I still respect their right to their opinions and encourage them to make them known.  Justin and I will sling jokes but hopefully at the end of the day he knows my support of him and K-State.  Hell I spent an hour talking with my President to get a pulse of what presidents around the state were feeling after the Ft Hays incident.  I spent this time to make sure someone on the Executive level was fighting for debate, and knowing K-State was going to be getting a new President, making sure there were not undo influences from those with negative agendas.  If I didnt like Justin and support K-State, I never would have made the effort.  In the end we are all passionate, and yes sometimes I really get going when people are either inconsistent with their criticisms OR they are uninformed and go public first.  So I think the organization is welcoming, its just too many of the players know the history too well to let some things slide after they build up over time. 

I dont expect you to agree with me, change your opinion, or even like me I guess.  But I wonder why people who are in your inner circle get a free pass when they engage in the same behavior you chastise me or the CEDA leadership for.  When that happens it does seem questionable at the very least.

Enjoy the summer!

It saddens me that your remarks are full of personal attacks and 
attempts to deflect the issue. This does not serve you well as a 
communication professional, as a role model for students or as a 
president of this organization. I will point this out below. 

Darren Elliott wrote: 

> I will justify my discussion of budgets in my response to Justin. His arguments have merit and I will give them the attention they deserve by writing an appropriate post to him. I dont think it was a pot shot or a low blow. 


OK, if you wish. 

> As for Idaho State your all-knowing arrogance of what the right decision was regarding CEDA this year wreaks of ignorance about the process and is mean-spirited Tuna. THIS President did not make a unilateral decision about where to host Nationals. 2 bids were brought forward. I solicited the OU bid heavily from Jackie. I loved the OU Nats. Given my penchant for driving to tournaments, I supported the OU bid. But I allowed BOTH to be presented to the Executive Council in Dallas at the summer meeting. Were you there? Did you watch on the web? I cant remember. The Executive Council voted for Idaho State for a number of reasons which I am sure you couldnt care less about--afterall its all about supporting your own right? I mean I love Jackie too and I know hes one of yours but Jesus H, dude, take off the blinders. This was not a personal decision and Im sure it did less to erode confidence in CEDA leadership than many past decisions where programs not 

> only didnt go t 


> o CEDA but left altogether. 


Great, call me names - "all-knowing arrogance" is neither justified by 
my argument nor my tone, stating that I "couldn't care less" when I 
obviously do (see below), insinuating that I "play favorites" with 
Jackie because i think more teams would have gone to Oklahoma, all of 
these are unnecessary, unprofessional and besides the point.. 

Actually, one of my former debaters teaches at ISU and was in recent 
years department chair. 

Nice of you to "allow" people to be at the summer meeting. 

Yes, and it could have been worse. This is an all-purpose argument that 
signifies nothing -- it could always have been worse. 

Can't you rise above personal attacks? At least you didn't drop the "f 
bomb" ten times. 

> For those interested in transparency and not just in it for the fight: 

> 1. Your Executive Council voted for Idaho State for among other reasons, a ridiculous amount of financial support 

> 2. A donor at a program who wanted the program he endowed to host CEDA so he could kick in a load of money and support 

> 3. A Region that consistently supports CEDA in attendance but had NEVER had the chance to host the National Tournament. Regional Diversity good judge! 

> 4. A presentation by Sarah that should be modeled by any potential host. Her commitment, presentation materials, and abilty to provide amenities most tournaments only dream of was very compelling. 

> 5. Other reasons were elucidated as well and the EC was overwhelmingly impressed. 


And a lot of teams didn't go. Sarah and ISU did a great job, I said 
that, but the location was wrong. If others are right and 30 teams 
didn't go that would have gone to Oklahoma, how can you justify to those 
60 students that there is no nationals for them besides to repeat the 
arguments in favor of it above? I do not think they will be persuaded. 

> I dont think anyone should have to justify that decision, but when someone who barely even supports CEDA anymore begins taking shots at a program that worked their asses off to provide one of the best Nationals in memory, it is annoying. The only bad decision was those who chose not to come because it was in Pocatello. 


What are you talking about? This year Vermont went to 13 CEDA sanctioned 
tournaments. [Bruschke site] Do you call that "barely supporting CEDA?" 
You do not seem to even know who is participating in the tournaments or 
the organization you lead. 

Stop saying that I am criticizing Sarah and ISU when I obviously am not. 

Just because Vermont does not sit at your meetings doesn't mean we do 
not participate. This is about DEBATE not about business meetings. We 
trust our rep to represent. I believe that is your point on the "new 
events" argument. 

I believe that the president of an academic organization should not 
attack active members in good standing with personal insults. You may 
not like the questions I am asking or the points I am making, but our 
tone should always remain civil. 

If you wonder why people may not find this organization welcoming, then 
read your post again. Who reading this, perhaps as a new coach starting 
out, will feel welcome to raise issues in the future? 


> chief 



>>>> edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com 05/08/09 4:58 PM >>> 


> Just a couple of points. 


> 1. Taking pot shots at KSU because of their budget is a low blow. Shame. 

> I notice Justin did not bring up ****. 


> 2. I understand that Sarah and ISU did a great job hosting, they did 

> nice work but could not change the location, but it was a bad decision 

> to do it there, ignored a strong bid from Oklahoma with lots of 

> financial support, and resulted in a very small field. It is these kinds 

> of personal decisions that have eroded community trust in CEDA 

> presidents. Vermont did not go because of financial considerations and a 

> very young team. We would probably have gone to Oklahoma. 


> 3. Spare us the humor and stick to the issues. 


> Vote no. 


> Tuna 



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 
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