College Policy Debate Forums

DISCUSSION => Open Topic -- Any issue => Topic started by: glarson on January 16, 2017, 09:07:08 AM

Title: Opt-in Disclosure
Post by: glarson on January 16, 2017, 09:07:08 AM
I'd be interested in feedback on a recent change on how opt-in data is handled.  As I understand it, up until CSUF judges opted in at their discretion but that information was not provided to the teams as they were completing their pref sheets.  That information is now being disclosed.

I can imagine reasons both for and against.  On one hand, if a tournament is going to assign judges differently based on opt-in OR if they are going to treat a sheet differently based on opt-in, it would seem that the teams filling out the sheets shouldn't have to do it blindly with respect to opt-in status.  At the same time a team shouldn't be able to say that they didn't know that they were ranking opt-in judges lower because they didn't know who they were.  Even if we are only doing "research" on the data, it is difficult to know ho opt-in impacts the completion of pref sheets if nobody knows who opted in.

On the other hand, there are a number of reasons that opt-in was originally not disclosed on the pref sheet.  Depending on how broadly a tournament defines diversity categories, some opt-in designations might "out" a person for something they would prefer to not publicly disclose.  Additionally, given that the majority of diverse judges do not choose to opt in at present, the individual reasons a diverse judge may choose to opt in or not are not currently open to argument since the decisions are confidential.  It could be argued that neither those who choose to opt in nor those who don't should be potentially required to defend those decisions by their public disclosure.  Finally, from a pragmatic view, public disclosure of opt-in status could have the counter-productive effect of negatively impacting their preference as teams "could" decide that they would prefer not to have that subset of judges but who would then defend themselves by saying that they are actually preferring diverse judges who didn't opt-in.  Admittedly perverse but since opt-in judges are not necessarily a representative sample of all diverse judges, it would be difficult to counter.

In the end, I think those of us who run tournaments and/or create software should be fully responsible to the community.  So I won't put my thumb on the scale.  But I do wait for other responses.
Title: Re: Opt-in Disclosure
Post by: LaToyaGreen on January 17, 2017, 12:06:56 PM
CSUF actually did not opt in judges; we heavily encouraged diverse judges to opt-in and subsequently attempted to enforce a pref policy to encourage those who do prefs to rank indicated and specified judges above 50%. If that quota wasnt met, preferences were adjusted to meet the bare minimums of the "50% of opted in judged ranking above 50%" standard of the equity initiative.
Title: Re: Opt-in Disclosure
Post by: LaToyaGreen on January 17, 2017, 12:13:05 PM
There was also nothing "hidden" about opting in or how to do so. A special button was created on Tabroom to facilitate it and tournament wide email blasts were sent to publicize it. Those who indicated they were "black," were added to a list of indicated judged and the responsible community we have avoided trying to "game" that system by *perceptually "gaming" the opt in. There were no forced disclosures, forced opt ins, or heavy handed regulations of who opted in. Besides me heavily endorsing it, the entire initiative was organic and transparent.

All of the risk listed, are risk I put my name on this initiative, as ones worth taking. Understandably this can set a precedence for preferences writ-large (a meaningful and direct one, imho), but my hope is that in an activity that thrives on being substantively responsive to the issues it has, this is what is interpreted as a step in the right direction.
Title: Re: Opt-in Disclosure
Post by: glarson on January 17, 2017, 01:27:57 PM
I apologize for LaTonya for seemingly implicating CSUF and perhaps seeming to criticize their efforts.  That was not my intent at all but evidently I communicated poorly.  I was just communicating what was told me from tabroom support as to when the change was made in tabroom to indicate to those who were filling out pref sheets who had opted in and who hadn't, something that judges who opted in were not necessarily aware of based on reports I received from Navy participants who were surprised.

That's the only question I was asking - not in any way complaining about the procedures at CSUF.  Should it be automatic that if a tournament permits opt-in (as many or most which obtain CEDA sanctioning now do), the opt-in status of each judge will be disclosed to those doing the pref sheet.  As I noted there are potential arguments both for and against.  And I imagine tournaments might have different opinions as to whether 1) they want to encourage opt-in AND disclose it on pref sheets, 2) they want to encourage opt-in BUT not disclose it on pref sheets or 3) use something other than opt-in to increase diversity.

I'm thankful to LaTonya for her efforts.