[eDebate] The Greg Paulus Rule/Re: The Graduation Amendment & Why We Shouldn't Redshirt Debaters

Duane Hyland privethedge
Tue May 5 07:17:06 CDT 2009

HI, Most graudation data points towards 5 years for completion of the undergrad to be the norm, rather than a statistical abnormality as it may have been in the days when I was in school (late 80's) =- and that's across all majors, and students - not just specific to debaters. If 5 years is becoming the norm, then there is no reason why debaters shouldn't be allowed to debate for 5 years.
I'm glad the community is making this change.

"You may be whatever you resolve to be." Thomas J. Jackson"
"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that person that he, if he had the power, would be in silencing mankind? If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by??its collision with error." John S. Mill
?Who said Dr. Who isn't Funny: "Rose: You Didn't Have to Kill him! Dalek: "Neither did we need him to live."
Dalek to Cyberman: :"You are Superior to us in one respect." Cyberman: "What is that?" Dalek: "Dying!"

--- On Mon, 5/4/09, Harris, Scott L <sharris at ku.edu> wrote:

From: Harris, Scott L <sharris at ku.edu>
Subject: [eDebate] The Greg Paulus Rule/Re: The Graduation Amendment & Why We Shouldn't Redshirt Debaters
To: edebate at ndtceda.com
Date: Monday, May 4, 2009, 3:21 PM

While I try to avoid posting to eDebate I sometimes can't help myself when I
get angry at a post and the arrogance in Mr. Chestnut's post makes me very
The assumption behind Mr. Chestnut's post is that someone who takes 5 years
to finish their undergraduate degree and debates during that 5th year is lazy
and selfish.  As someone who spent five years as an undergrad and who had the
temerity to debate during that 5th year (under the old semester rules) I find
Mr. Chestnut's arguments offensive.  Despite apparently being academically
lazy I somehow managed to complete an MA and a PhD.  My experiences during that
5th year were fundamental to my decision to stay in debate as a coach.  I have
zero regrets for taking a 5th year on the undergrad and consider it one of the
best decisions I ever made.
There also seems to be in his post some implication that the 5th year seniors
competing at this year's NDT are academically lazy.  This is beyond
laughable.  The two KU 5th year seniors are both Phi Beta Kappa students
graduating with honors and double majors who worked their rear ends off this
year.  Any inference that they are academically lazy is more than offensive to
There also seems to be an implication in his post and others that after four
years you should have gotten all the benefits out of debate that you can so it
is selfish to do it for a 5th year.  I also find this argument absurd. 
Everyone's debate experience is vastly different.  Many who debate in
college attended expensive debate workshops in high school and debated on a
highly competitive national high school circuit.  Many others have much
different high school backgrounds and learn how to be effective debaters in
college.  At KU all of our debaters the last couple of years have come from
Kansas high school backgrounds where they get to debate one semester a year in
high school and are judged mostly by parents.  Our debaters learn how to debate
national circuit style in college and it generally takes them a year or two to
figure out what they are doing.  Someone like Bricker who never attended any
college debate camp while in high school learned how to be a succesful colleg
 e debater by working his rear end off.  I too was a kid who never attended a
debate camp and learned how to debate in college.  I spent my first year in
college debating in JV and it took me three years to figure out how to be a
decent debater.  I love it when people who had much different opportunities than
someone like myself tells me I was selfish to debate a 5th year.  Posts like Mr.
Chestnut's make me very angry.
This has nothing to do with the grad student rule but just with the argument
that taking 5 years to graduate makes you somehow less of a person than Mr.
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