[eDebate] Graduation Amendment -- Another Perspective
A Numbers Game edebate
Tue May 5 13:21:55 CDT 2009
Cameron T. Norris said: 
"First, when considering the debaters this amendment would affect,
it's easy to think of those who choose to 'skip out of a certain NDT'
to debate for all 5 years of eligibility. I certainly respect and
even envy those who are able to make this decision, but I believe
debaters of this caliber aren't the majority."
Noah Chestnut earlier claimed: 
"We all know certain students are now actively planning not to go to a
certain NDT in order to debate during their fifth year."
I don't know if planning on skipping one NDT is a new phenomenon.
Assuming it is, the number of first-year students who qualified for
the NDT in previous seasons is a rough upper estimate on the number of
people for whom skipping an NDT is an option, rather than a forced
hand based on their skill as a freshperson college debater. Below are
the numbers derived from Jon Brushke's database dumps from 2003-2008
I counted a debater as debating in the open division if they debated
in even one open division. Sometimes this includes non-qualifying
divisions at district qualifying tournaments.
I counted a debater as new if they debated at least one round and
nobody with the same name was registered on debateresults.com the
previous year. I did not account for people who were registered the
previous year, but didn't debate, or people who took one year off, or
people who changed their name, or pairs of people with the same name.
2005-2006 open division debaters:
2005-2006 new college debaters:
2005-2006 freshperson open division debaters:
397 (41.4% of all open debaters, 44.0% of all new college debaters)
2005-2006 NDT freshpersons:
21 (5.3% of freshperson open debaters)
16.3% of open debaters participated in the NDT.
2006-2007 open division debaters:
2006-2007 new college debaters:
2006-2007 freshperson open division debaters:
425 (43.2% of all open debaters, 46.7% of all new college debaters)
2006-2007 NDT freshpersons:
18 (4.2% of freshperson open debaters)
15.9% of open debaters participated in the NDT.
2007-2008 open division debaters:
2007-2008 new college debaters:
2007-2008 freshperson open division debaters:
366 (39.6% of all open debaters, 42.8% of all new college debaters)
2007-2008 NDT freshpersons:
18 (4.9% of freshperson open debaters)
16.9% of open debaters participated in the NDT.
On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 4:39 PM, Cameron T. Norris
<cameron.t.norris at vanderbilt.edu> wrote:
> I've been following the recent discussion about the grad school amendment
> currently being proposed, and I feel like an important perspective may be
> missing from the discussion.? This amendment seemed like a light at the end
> of the tunnel for me when I first read about it, since the "5th year in
> undergrad for another year of a debate versus going on to grad school"
> conundrum is something I've been trying to resolve for the last few months.
> First, when considering the debaters this amendment would affect, it's easy
> to think of those who choose to "skip out of a certain NDT" to debate for
> all 5 years of eligibility.? I certainly respect and even envy those who are
> able to make this decision, but I believe debaters of this caliber aren't
> the majority.
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