[eDebate] Washington Debate Coalition

Anjali Vats anj36
Tue Oct 27 20:54:48 CDT 2009

Hi everyone,

I am excited to announce the launch of the Washington Debate Coalition (WDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for students to participate in high school and college debate in the State of Washington. The Board of Directors of the WDC includes myself, Jim Hanson, Glen Frappier, Greg Achten, Erik Cornellier, Karen Rathe, and Ben Meiches.

The WDC was founded in response to a need for support for high school and college debate teams in the Pacific Northwest. With only three college policy debate teams remaining in Washington, none in Oregon, and one in Idaho, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain high school and college policy debate in the region.

While the decline of policy debate is a serious issue with many causes, the WDC hopes to make improvements in Washington by providing opportunities, incentives, infrastructure, and promotional support for debate. More specifically, the WDC aims to help start new debate programs at high schools and institutions of higher learning in the State of Washington, encourage partnerships between speech and debate programs, educational institutions, and other relevant organizations, coordinate and host local tournaments, train and place speech and debate coaches, provide funding and resources for research and travel, and offer scholarships to qualified students. A year into the WDC?s operations, we are already making enormous strides in achieving our stated goals. In the last few months the WDC has:

*Worked with the Seattle Debate Foundation and ALOUD to begin building a constituency throughout Washington;
*Begun establishing a rapport with the University of Washington, Seattle University and a number of high school programs in the region;
*Aided in planning a public debate in cooperation with the EPA and Debate
Solutions, participated in one EPA public debate in the region, and planned to participate in a second;
*Provided training, support, and coach placement for a new program at Ingraham High School;
*Co-hosted a two-day training program for novices with Whitman College at the University of Washington;
*Planned a round robin to be held in December; and,
*Secured debate scholarships to be awarded at the first annual round robin.

Even though the WDC has come a long way, we have a long ways to go. We?re currently looking to build partnerships with other debate and non-debate organizations and schools in and out of Washington, develop curricular materials for new programs, put together a list of best practices for starting and sustaining debate programs, recruit assistant coaches for high school programs, and compile a list of Washington debate alums. We?re also looking for volunteers with experience and skills in curriculum development, teaching, coaching, alumni research (or know of debate alums in the area), and graphic design. If you fit any of those criteria and or are interested in helping in some other way, please drop me an email.

You can also sign-up for our mailing list and donate to the WDC at www.washingtondebate.org. If you have any questions or are looking for coaching support or resources, please don't hesitate to contact me at anjali at washingtondebate.org or leave a message here.

And, of course, thank you so much for your support.

Anjali Vats
Founder and President, Washington Debate Coalition
Head Policy Debate Coach, University of Puget Sound

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