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Author Topic: Tuna Snider  (Read 17934 times)
SherryHall
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« Reply #180 on: December 14, 2015, 01:54:18 PM »

From: Jackie Massey


So many of you may already know we lost Tuna. The Big Fish of debate. Dealing with death is personal. We all have our own ways. For some its even structured. For me its about sharing stories and reliving the memories. With age comes your association with death. I lost another friend earlier this year, who was his own Big Fellow from the small town of Comanche. RIP JVO. You can't let it tear you down.
So, this week we will celebrate the life Dr. Snider in B-Town. If you feel this loss then you also feel like your experience with Doc was something you cherish and if you feel like you can make it to B-Town, you should try and be here for our weds night celebration this week.
Those moments we enjoy so much with each other have a cost. Its not forever. The world is chaotic. We can't control many things, and we have to play the cards we are dealt in even the most tragic moments. But we can celebrate the times we have had with each other and use these moments to reunite with others and reignite that flame that death tries so hard to put out....
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SherryHall
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« Reply #181 on: December 15, 2015, 08:03:41 PM »

http://www.slate.com/blogs/schooled/2015/12/14/alfred_tuna_snider_legendary_academic_debate_coach_dies.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_top

If You Loved High School Debate, Pour One Out for “Tuna” Snider

By Laura Moser



Those who succeed in high school debate succeed in life. Just ask Tavis Smiley, Nate Silver, Hillary Clinton, a whole lot of Supreme Court justices, and Slate’s own Hanna Rosin, all to some extent forged in the flame of high school debate competitions. Because debate is such an under-recognized—but for so many students, influential—part of school, it seems fitting to use this space to commemorate the death Friday of Alfred “Tuna” Snider, 65, a professor at the University of Vermont who helped revolutionize high school and collegiate academic debate both in the United States and abroad.

“Tuna Snider was one of those people that got things done in debate,” wrote Sam Nelson, the director of debate at Cornell University, in an email. “He initiated, organized, and ran debate workshops everywhere on the planet. He saw opportunities for promoting free speech, critical thinking, and civil discourse and he took them.”

Snider had been interested in debate since he was a student at Brown University and ranked third in the country at the USA National Debate Tournament and second at the USA National Tournament of Champions, both in 1972. In the four subsequent decades, Snider devoted his life, according to one of his many websites, to “promoting debate and critical communication as an alternative to violence and conflict as well as a method for achieving real democracy and a true civil society.” (The slogan heading his University of Vermont professor bio page is “replacing weapons with words!”) That includes teaching and coaching debate teams; helping to start one of the first debate-focused email lists in the early 1990s; organizing debate camps here and conferences abroad; and writing or editing more than 50 books on debate.

Snider also served as coach of the USA National Team for the World Schools Debate Championship—a type of debate, incidentally, that he helped popularize in this country, which is team-based and far more improvisational than the one-on-one Lincoln-Douglas debates most Americans remember from high school. “Most other schools around the world don’t do the type of debate that [the United States does],” Chris Burk, the former coach of the University of Texas at Dallas debate team, said. “It’s kind of like how we play American football and no one else does—we’re really the only ones who do Lincoln-Douglas debate.”

But Snider’s most interesting legacy is the work he did bringing academic debate to far-flung countries all over the world. From the University of Vermont’s statement on his death:

    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 Serbia, Iraq, Pallestine [sic], 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.

“He would fly in and help set up tournaments all over the world,” said Burk. As director of the World Debate Institute, Snider went to Cameroon and Qatar and China to set up multiday debate programs, some in places that had never hosted debates before.

Just one example of Snider’s global reach: He helped Muhammad Ahmad Duhoki, director of public relations and academic debate lecturer at Duhok Polytechnic University in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, establish the Iraq Debate Academy and the Mesopotamia Debating Tournament in 2009. The weeklong program, the first and only of its kind in the Middle East, brought together 80 high school and university students with government officials from Kurdistan and other parts of Iraq representing, Duhoki said, not only Kurds but “most of the ethnic and religious groups in Iraq: Arabs, Armenians, Chaldeans, Yazidis, Assyrians.” The aim, Duhoki said, was to “promote the power of diversity and advocate for peace.”

Duhoki, who’d participated in debate tournaments while studying in South Korea, had wanted to bring academic debate to Iraq; Snider helped make that ambition a reality. “Tuna came to Iraq by himself with a crew and taught students the art of debate,” Duhoki said. “He was my major planner and supporter.” Until that time, academic debate as we currently understand it didn’t exist in the region. There’s not even a Kurdish word for “debate” in this sense, Duhoki told me; even now Kurds use the English word “debate.” Since the Iraq Debate Academy, debating has taken off in the region. Duhoki now teaches academic debate courses at three different colleges; he uses one of Snider’s many books on his syllabus. “Alfred Snider changed my life and the lives of many of our debaters,” Duhoki told me. “I will never forget him for his perseverance, loyalty, and hardworking he showed in Kurdistan.”

In his spare time Snider organized the Vermont Reggae Festival and served as faculty adviser on the college radio station, where—when he wasn’t traveling the world—he also hosted a Reggae Lunch show every Wednesday for 15 years.

Laura Moser, a writer for Slate's Schooled project, has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Washingtonian.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #182 on: December 15, 2015, 08:06:28 PM »

http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/dr-alfred-tuna-charles-snider/Content?oid=3063846

Dr. Alfred “Tuna” Charles Snider
Burlington

Dr. Alfred “Tuna” Charles Snider, of Burlington, teacher, scholar and mentor of the University of Vermont debate team for over 30 years, died December 11. He is survived by his wife, Bojana Skrt; daughter Sarah Jane; son-in-law Justin Matthew Green; and grandsons Jackson Matthew and Levi Martin Green. He also left a sister, Janet Hermanaeu; his nephew, Will Wilson, and wife Amy Wilson and their children Annie, William, Rachael, Jacob; his niece Sarah Wilson and her children Katie, Allie, Anna, Maddie and Johnny; his niece Linda and her child Dakota; and his former wife, Sally Zitzmann.

Dr. Snider loved an audience. Tuna would get onstage with a booming voice, furrow his eyebrows and declare fiercely, “Good morning, I am Alfred Charles Snider the third, the Edwin W. Lawrence Professor of Forensics.” Then, pausing, he would smile, and say, “But you can call me Tuna.”

Born in California, Snider went to Brown University, where he was a top-ranked national debater. He earned a master’s degree in rhetoric and public address from Emerson College and his doctorate in communication studies, personal and social influence, from the University of Kansas. Since 1982, he has served as the director of the Lawrence Debate Union. Dr. Snider spent over 40 years promoting debate and critical communication as an alternative to violence and conflict. He believed in the viability of democracy and genuine civil society. “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.”

Dr. Snider led the University’s Lawrence Debate Union for more than three decades, taking the student team to international acclaim. UVM currently ranks 15th in the world among academic teams in the International Debate Education Association alongside distinguished debaters from Yale, Cornell, Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics.

Since 1984, Snider served as director of the World Debate Institute and conducted formal debate training in 35 countries. He trained debaters from over 40 nations at the World Debate Institute’s sessions in the USA, Korea and Slovenia. He directed debate programs at international conferences in Palestine, Iraq, Turkey, Estonia and Qatar, among others.

Dr. Snider wrote over fifty scholastic articles and five books about debate. He was a beloved professor. In the pursuit of greater knowledge, Tuna taught Communication, Civic Engagement, Persuasion, Rhetoric of Ivan Illich, African American Rhetoric, Presidential Campaign Rhetoric and the very popular Rhetoric of Reggae Music.

Dr. Snider also had a huge impact on the Burlington community. Between 1984 and 2002, Tuna cofounded the Vermont Reggae Festival and graced the stage for years as the master of ceremonies. For over 15 years he hosted the “Reggae Lunch” radio show on WRUV 90.1 FM. They will honor him on Wednesday, December 16, 8-10 p.m., with a tribute show. Dr. Snider won the 2008 Director of the Year (VCAM) for his television program "Flashpoint" — with nearly 500 episodes, with panels discusssing relevant political and social issues. Dr. Snider was also an enormous "Doctor Who" fan and hosted "Doctor Who" Theater every Monday night for the last 16 years. 

Tuna cultivated a strong community of leaders committed to social justice, and there is no doubt they will continue his legacy. Travel spirits be kind!

In his honor, donations can be made to the Lawrence Debate Union https://alumni.uvm.edu/foundation/giving/online/.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #183 on: December 17, 2015, 04:02:44 PM »

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/12/17/education/alfred-c-snider-prominent-teacher-of-debating-is-dead-at-65.html?mwrsm=Facebook&_r=2&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com

Alfred C. Snider, Prominent Teacher of Debating, Is Dead at 65

Alfred C. Snider, who found his argumentative life’s calling while on his seventh-grade debate team.
Sally McCay
By MARGALIT FOX
December 16, 2015

Alfred C. Snider, a scholar, rhetorician and evangelist who sought to heal the world through debate — and who in the process turned bucolic Vermont into the argumentative center of the world — died Friday in Burlington, Vt. He was 65.

His death, from complications of pneumonia, was announced by the University of Vermont, where he was the Edwin W. Lawrence professor of forensics and the longtime director of the university’s debating team.

Considered one of the foremost debating teachers of his era, Professor Snider — known for his florid shirts, ardor for argument and the enigmatic nickname “Tuna” — was renowned worldwide as a convener, coach and judge of debating competitions and workshops.

At stake for young debaters, he often said, was the chance to advance academically, to improve communication skills and above all to attain cross-cultural understanding.

“My agenda is to fight back the darkness by trying to bring the light of human reason,” Professor Snider told the Burlington publication Seven Days in 2004. “I want to replace weapons with words. I want every citizen to be a debater.”

At Vermont, Professor Snider taught legions of students to argue through courses like Persuasion, Presidential Campaign Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Reggae Music. Many became lawyers, or debate coaches themselves.

Under his stewardship, the university’s debating team attacked questions that could range from whether the United Nations should offer bounties for capturing Somali pirates to whether women’s sports should be guaranteed as much television time as men’s.

In 2011, the Vermont team was ranked No. 7 in the world by the International Debate Education Association, ahead of Harvard, Stanford and McGill Universities and the London School of Economics. The team is currently ranked 15th.

Professor Snider was concerned in particular with endowing citizens of fledgling democracies with all the nonviolent weapons in the debater’s arsenal. In 1982, he established what is now the World Debate Institute, which has brought international students, teachers and coaches to Vermont for an annual summer boot camp.

He traveled to scores of countries — among them Qatar, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Botswana and a spate of former Soviet republics — training debaters and organizing contests in the art of what he called “constructive disagreement.”

“I like to take debate where it’s not,” Professor Snider said in the Seven Days interview. “Yeah, I’ve lectured at Oxford and Cambridge, but I don’t really feel they need me to tell them that debate’s cool and they should do it. They’re all set. But I do like to go to Serbia, Chile and Mongolia. My favorite countries are dictatorships in the process of falling, or where they recently got out of a long period of authoritarian rule.”

Alfred Charles Snider III was born in Pasadena, Calif., on Oct. 28, 1950, the son of Alfred Charles Snider Jr., a butcher, and the former Marguerite Dillard, a homemaker.

Long afterward, Professor Snider described himself as having been an intellectually curious but chronically undisciplined student. “I was always talking when I wasn’t supposed to,” he recalled in a 2007 lecture.

Then, in seventh grade, he stumbled onto his school debating team and found his vociferous calling. He competed through high school and was a nationally ranked debater at Brown, where he majored in Asian civilization and minored in communication.

He earned a master’s degree in rhetoric and public address from Emerson College and a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Kansas, and joined the Vermont faculty in 1982. He was a longtime resident of Burlington.

Professor Snider’s first marriage, to Sally Jane Zitzmann, ended in divorce. His survivors include his second wife, Bojana Skrt, a debate teacher from Slovenia; a sister, Janet Hermanaeu; a daughter from his first marriage, Sarah Snider Green; and two grandchildren.

His books include “Voices in the Sky: Radio Debates” (2005), “The Code of the Debater: Introduction to Policy Debating” (2008) and “Sparking the Debate: How to Create a Debate Program” (2014).

Over the years, Professor Snider was often asked how he came by the nickname Tuna. The story was simple: It was bestowed on him by a boyhood friend, who thought he resembled a Chicago mobster known as the Big Tuna.

If pressed, Professor Snider would reveal the nickname’s origin. Much of the time, however, he preferred to let it linger tantalizingly in the air as a subject for debate.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #184 on: December 17, 2015, 05:49:37 PM »

From: Helen Morgan Parmett


Friends. Many of you know what debate, the Lawrence debate union, and tuna snider meant to me personally as well as to the broader debate community. I hope you will consider donating to the Lawrence Debate Union in his honor. This is an important time for Vermont debate as we move forward and transition into the post-Tuna era. Your honor and support of his life and work would mean so much to me and the LDU family. You can donate at the following link by selecting "Lawrence debate union" to ensure your donation goes to UVM debate.
https://alumni.uvm.edu/foundation/giving/m/
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SherryHall
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« Reply #185 on: December 17, 2015, 09:52:45 PM »

From: Jillian Aleja

It has taken me a little while to really digest what really happened this past week. Yes, debate has lost the Big Fish, but I have lost my coach, my mentor, my colleague, my crazy officemate and friend all in one week. I would have never thought in a million years that saying goodbye to you on Monday would be the last meaningful conversation I would ever have with you. I look back on it and now I wish that I would have hugged you longer, that I would have paid a little more attention in that Monday meeting, that I would have walked into your office earlier and listen to you tell me your crazy Tuna stories. I will never know why Duncan, Sergei and I were the last people really to talk to you Tuesday. But I am glad that we did check on you and that we went back and checked on you again because I think of the alternative and it would have been more devastating to me than your peaceful passing on Friday. Over the past few days at the hospital, I became increasing aware that you were not getting better. Three things got me through those days- the people around me that keep vigil by your side: Gordie, Duncan, Sergei, Jessica, Becca, Edwin, and my husband Bryan who without him I would have not been able to be at the hospital, reading all those letters and sobbing through each one of them (they were beautiful) and our students- who you would be really proud of because they all have taken this like champs! With out this kind of support, I think I would have really lost my mind in the hospital.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #186 on: December 18, 2015, 10:52:43 AM »

Sarah Jane Green


My father changed thousands of lives over his 33 years as the director of the Lawrence Debate Union at the University of Vermont. I am so proud and grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in the LDU as a student. There was nothing more important to Alfred Snider than making sure that every student who walked through the door had the support to fulfill their goals as a member of the LDU. Big debate teams that serve every single motivated student cost a lot of money. Over the last week we have learned that for the last several years, my father had been withdrawing large sums of money from his retirement account and generously giving those funds to the university to support the Lawrence Debate Union so that he would never have to turn a single student away. He used to tell us that there was an anonymous donor who made sure the team was cared for at the end of each fiscal year. I am both thankful and scared to learn that my dad was this anonymous donor. I am thankful and proud that he supported the LDU, but I am scared that the very students who stood vigil at my father's deathbed and bravely read messages of love to him from all around the world will not be able to complete their season without my dad's financial support. Please consider making a gift to the LDU to support these amazing students who deserve to finish what they started. Go to this link, click Lawrence Debate Union and proceed. And please keep these beautiful students in your thoughts, they are incredible.

https://alumni.uvm.edu/foundation/giving/m/
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