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Author Topic: Tuna Snider  (Read 17809 times)
SherryHall
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« Reply #165 on: December 11, 2015, 04:06:15 PM »

From: Bill Sheffield


I woke this morning to the news of Alfred Snider Tuna's passing earlier today. My heart is heavy to hear about the passing of this giant, this vanguard for the activity I love so much. The (debate) world has lost a passionate advocate for the art of cooperative argument. Although I am sad, I am also uplifted to read the many, many posts from people who have been influenced by Tuna. It is comforting to know that his legacy will continue on not only in the lives of those directly affected by him, but also through those lives to the lives of those around them. Tuna was more than a person, he was a philosophy about how to treat other human beings and the world around us. RIP Tuna. You will be greatly missed.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #166 on: December 11, 2015, 04:06:50 PM »

From: Kevin Johnson


Alfred Snider's influence on me began even before I met him. As a high school debater I went to a low income, soon to become Urban Debate League, high school. Resources for debate were hard to come by. Tuna was one of the most important sources for us to get resources to learn debate--we were hungry for everything (the videos, the evidence, the commentary, the lecture notes, the anything). Then, as a college debater, I was able to meet him on the debate circuit and thank him for all his hard work and generosity because "Reader's Digest in our school library doesn't cut it." His reply? "Indeed, but apparently you do." My favorite thing about Tuna I suppose was his ability to not only believe in debaters even when they do not believe in themselves, but to inspire debaters to realize that when you think you are not very good, you are probably better than you think you are, and if you think too much of yourself, you are probably thinking yourself better than you actually are. That is a fine line Tuna understood very well, and I am eternally grateful for it, and for his genoristy and commitment to us.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #167 on: December 11, 2015, 04:07:52 PM »

Nataliia Kulykovska
Kyiv, Ukraine ·

The world became very different today. As one person can change it with stepping in, stepping out also matters. Though grief is my companion now, I believe that making a difference is a good way to respect the legacy of Alfred Snider. We carry on what we believe matters and that's within and going even far beyond the routes of debate.
Rest in Peace, Alfred and thank you for your footprint in this world. You made it a better place for us...
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SherryHall
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« Reply #168 on: December 11, 2015, 04:09:12 PM »

From: Colin Murphy


I am one of many who found their voice, in large part, due to collegiate debate. I am also one of many deeply mourning the loss of a titan in our community. Alfred Snider, "Tuna" to everyone who knew him for longer than a minute, passed away and left a great void our community. Apropos of someone who spent decades traveling the world, teaching speech, communication, persuasion and respect, the words from the community today are beautifully moving. His legacy is a generation of students, from dozens of countries who came together to communicate with each other and find their voice in a turbulent world. If there is any solace to be found in his loss, it's that his efforts have helped create a legion of voices to carry on his legacy.

Rest in Peace, Tuna.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #169 on: December 11, 2015, 04:09:58 PM »

From: Edrick Rougeau

May he be in our memories and may it not make us sad. May it make us remember to continue to promote the sharing of ideas for the benefit of mankind. May his work continue through us.

The freedom to speak and promote open dialogue was Alfred's greatest mission. He was not scared of the environment. He only cared of the enabling of kids to speak their ideas and think outside the box.

I will not let his death be a reason to not continue but only as a reminder of what we as products of his work must continue to promote and teach.

Our work will not end today. For we must endure.

Never give in to sorrow, to unjust prejudices, to heartbreak and to the illusion of despair. We wll endure! We will go on. We are part of this world!!!!!

We will continue and never give in. Fight for your life!!!!!!!!! Fight for the ideas that Tuna promoted!!! Continue the struggle!!!!!
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SherryHall
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« Reply #170 on: December 11, 2015, 04:11:25 PM »

From: Maria Papaleo


Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even it's end.
Alfred Snider, today I celebrate you. And as you've taught me I will leave the places I go and the people I touch better off than when I found them.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #171 on: December 11, 2015, 04:12:42 PM »

From: Alejandro Duque


"I think I have lived a life true to myself. I have done what I wanted when I wanted to do it. OK, not always, but most of the time. I turned away from a prosperous life in business to be a debate coach and work with young people, and I have never regretted it." Alfred Snider
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SherryHall
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« Reply #172 on: December 11, 2015, 04:22:59 PM »

From: Tom Hollihan‎


I am deeply saddened to hear this news. Tuna was deeply devoted to debate and to international academic exchanges. He was also a larger than life personality who was great fun to meet at tournaments. Although I seldom ran into him over the last few years we shared many of the same interests and I followed his travels and achievements closely on FB. My condolences to his family, many friends, and devoted students. He will be sorely missed.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #173 on: December 11, 2015, 04:26:32 PM »

http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/?Page=news&&storyID=22005&utm_source=Facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=UVM_FB_general
Professor Tuna Snider, Debate Mentor to Generations, Passes Away

    12-11-2015
    By University Communications

Alfred 'Tuna' Snider(Photo: Sally McCay)

Alfred C. “Tuna” Snider, the University of Vermont’s beloved debate team director and an international “legend” in the arena of academic argument, died Friday, Dec. 11.

Snider, who was UVM’s Edwin W. Lawrence Professor of Forensics, led the university’s Lawrence Debate Union for more than three decades and took the student team to international acclaim. UVM currently ranks 15th in the world among academic teams in the International Debate Education Association and reached the No. 7 spot in 2011, joining the top 10 alongside the distinguished debaters at Yale and Cornell universities, Oxford and Cambridge universities in England and the London School of Economics.

Snider traveled to 45 countries on nearly every continent to advance the art of debate – in developing nations, under communist regimes and in war-torn territories – including South Korea, Botswana, Afghanistan and Chile. Since 1984, he served as director of the World Debate Institute.

“The debate world just lost a legend,” the national debate team of Morocco wrote today on Twitter.

“In his deeds and words, Tuna reminded us of what actually makes America great,” the Worlds Schools Debating Championships, which organizes international competitions, posted online in a memorial to Snider. “It is not military power or immense wealth. It is values and ideals – of tolerance, free expression, listening to others, engaging in discussion and debate, respecting different views. Tuna spread these generously and enthusiastically wherever he went.”

Born in California, Snider argued his way through high school and as an undergraduate at Brown University in Providence, R.I., where he was a top-ranked debater with a major in Asian Civilization. He earned his master’s degree in rhetoric and public address from Emerson College in Boston and his doctorate in communication studies, personal and social influence from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kans.

“The kind of skills you develop through debate are twenty-first-century success skills,” Snider said in a Vermont Quarterly story in 2012. “Wherever you go, whatever you do, you’re going to have to take information and shape it into messages that influence people. You have to be able to critically analyze ideas, arguments, and positions.”

UVM President Thomas Sullivan expressed the depth of Snider’s loss and the worldwide recognition he brought to the UVM community.

“Alfred ‘Tuna’ Snider was a compelling teacher and beloved coach who inspired generations of debaters at UVM to do great things not only on the college debate circuit but in their lives after graduation,” Sullivan said. “Through his frequent travels as a debate coach, his influence extended far beyond the campus borders to young people around the world. His family, the UVM community, and the world of debate at large have suffered a great loss. Tuna will be dearly missed.”

 Snider was prolific in disseminating the value of reasoned discourse. He penned at least 20 books, including several textbooks.

 "Each argument is a small particle of an edifice that might lead to lasting and important changes,” Snider wrote in his 2014 text, Sparking the Debate: How to Create a Debate Program. “My greatest hope is that my work can be a small part of this greater effort. I see debate growing and prospering around the world. The time seems right to strike some sparks wherever we can in the hope that it will create additional light. Do your best and trust yourself."

 A consummate wordsmith in every format, Snider also loved music and served as the faculty advisor for the campus radio station, WRUV-90.1 FM. In addition to his many debate and persuasion courses at UVM, he taught the popular “The Rhetoric of Reggae Music,” which outlines the history of the genre and its influence on social and political dialogue. Snider also co-founded the Vermont Reggae Festival and hosted a “Reggae Lunch” every Wednesday for 15 years on WRUV.

“He had a lot of influence on a lot of students,” said Gregory Ramos, chair of UVM’s Department of Theatre, including the speech program where Snider taught. “You could not disregard his impact and his passion.”

Snider’s family has requested that any donations made in his honor go to the Lawrence Debate Union.

Read more about Snider's work and legacy in this story from Vermont Quarterly, "The Good Fight."
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SherryHall
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« Reply #174 on: December 12, 2015, 05:20:35 AM »

From: Marcia Tiersky


RIP Tuna, Alfred Snider. You were a great educator, a force in the spread of debate worldwide, and a hell of a nice guy. You will be missed by the many many people whose lives you touched.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #175 on: December 12, 2015, 05:22:02 AM »

From Wake Debate:
As you may have learned Tuna Snider, Debate Director at the University of Vermont, passed away this morning. It is an enormous loss for the debate world and the world of debate. I saw a post yesterday that said “Tuna was the most well know debate figure in the world” and I expect that is the case. His reach in debate, especially his (re)creating debate internationally, has been profound. He was also part of our Wake Debate community in many ways. Our thoughts are primarily with his daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Justin Green. He also leant some of his best folks over the years as MA coaches at Wake, including Maxwell Schnurer and Rae Lynn Schwartz0Dupre. In the picture, a familiar pose to those who knew Tuna’s rich life, he is convening an Argumentation Conference in Doha, Qatar, emblematic of the hundreds of events around the world he brought to be. His was a life worth living, one that touched the Wake Debate community in so many ways.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #176 on: December 12, 2015, 05:24:31 AM »

From: Rajen Subramanian Athreya
22 hrs ·

RIP "Tuna" Alfred Snider

The world lost a great soul today and has lost one of its great promoters of logic, reason, rhetoric, argumentation, and debate. He was a debate coach, a thinker, a diplomat, and an evangelist of the simple notion that teaching people to argue and therefore replace discord with disagreement could change the world. I don't usually write obituaries but if anyone's life deserves an obituary: Tuna does.

He was a diplomat and an ambassador for critical thinking and reason and who continuously wanted to further humanity's growth through the power of reason. A man who was willing to travel into parts of the world where disagreement was never encouraged and teaching about how teaching young people to argue could change their lives and the future of the world by encouraging mutual understanding.

To those of you who never spent any time on the US or international debate circuits and have never heard of him or interacted with him - here's a brief bio. Alfred Snider was a Professor at the University of Vermont and their head debate coach. He also founded and led the World Debate Institute and efforts to promote debate in every part of the world from the US, to former Yugoslavia, to China, to Iraq, to Qatar, and the rest of the Middle East. He supported and coached at debate institutes in each of the above countries. He actually traveled to places barely recovering from war and strife to promote peace and mutual understanding by teaching young people to use reason and speech to talk to each other and understand each other.

His work focused on the belief that teaching young people to use reason, logic, and critical thinking to argue instead of blind discord could truly change the world. Most people don't understand the true meaning and purpose of argumentation and think of it as uncivil activity. But argumentation when taught and done right is an extraordinary way to understand the rest of the world. This is what I learned from him in my numerous interactions with him in college and beyond.

As a debater, he coached my opponents but in truth he was everyone's coach. The world today has fewer intelligent arguments and less logic and reason with the passing of this great soul. The world has lost an unrecognized diplomat who didn't wear the colors of a nation or an organization but probably did more to bring young people together than most diplomats. Hopefully the Gods' learn to argue better and perhaps that will make our world better.

My heart goes out to Sarah and her family.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #177 on: December 12, 2015, 05:28:08 AM »

From: Stefan Bauschard


Over the last few years I’ve had the chance to work on the development of debate overseas. No matter where I went, people either knew Tuna Alfred Snider or knew of him. Within a day of my arrival to a new place, people always asked me if I knew Tuna, and when I said yes and that I’d known him for at least 20 years, it would always help me build my own credibility with my new friends.

Tuna played an enormous direct role in nearly all of the efforts to develop debate overseas. But even in the programs where he was less directly involved, his broader efforts provided an aura of credibility to what was being done, and, I think, really created the interest and demand for what was taking place.

Tuna also did a lot to build connections between “American debate” and debate overseas. International debate isn’t just about building debate elsewhere, but also about the development of friendships between students and coaches. That was one of the many things that made the 2011 Doha conference that Tuna put together so awesome. And they provide opportunities for all American students as they have the chance to meet and debate international students who attend US tournaments and summer debate camps. Tuna was an incredible ambassador for American debate.

So, Peace, my friend, and thank you so much for making the world a better place.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #178 on: December 12, 2015, 05:29:56 AM »

From: Toni Nielson‎

Alfred Snider (Tuna) was the sort of legend that made you feel important just by having a conversation with you. Without him and his amazing vision for debate, thousands of young people would not be as successful. He will be missed.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #179 on: December 12, 2015, 05:30:26 AM »

From: Benjamin Durham


RIP Tuna Alfred Snider. Your spirit lives on through all of the minds you touched with your intellectual contributions to the academic debate community. Thank you.
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