College Policy Debate Forums

DISCUSSION => Open Topic -- Any issue => Topic started by: jonahfeldman on August 26, 2010, 03:36:51 PM

Title: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: jonahfeldman on August 26, 2010, 03:36:51 PM
Cal has declined our invitation to the Kentucky Round Robin.

We have done this because we were informed by Kentucky that one of our assistant coaches, Greg Achten, was "not invited to the round
robin in any respect.  Not to the Run for the Roses, not to the coaches dinner, not to lunch, not in the competition rooms." 

We feel that while the hosts of the Kentucky Round Robin should be
granted discretion to decide how they want to run
their round robin, that discretion should not be absolute.
Competition rooms should be open
to all members of the community, and particularly to the coaches of
teams participating at the round robin.  Kentucky's choice to ban our
assistant coach from participation rooms places us at a
competitive disadvantage and unfairly targets our team for prejudicial
treatment.

While we are very sorry to have to decline this opportunity, it is our
hope that this situation can spark a dialogue among our community
about how issues like tournament invitations and attendance should be
handled.  These are important concerns, both for us at Cal and for
other teams in our community, and we think they should be addressed in
that spirit

We look forward to seeing you at other tournaments this year
---The Cal Debate Team
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: andreareed on August 26, 2010, 08:30:14 PM
The University of Kentucky gives careful consideration when making decisions in the best interests of our tournaments.  If there are ever any questions regarding our tournament policies, please do not hesitate to contact me <reed.andrea at uky dot edu>.
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: SherryHall on August 26, 2010, 09:56:35 PM
I guess I agree with Jonah, if you think that having Greg Achten, a highly respected member of this community at your tournament  somehow makes it "unsafe" I think you need to explain what you mean.  You can either be silent, or explain yourself, but code words like "safe debating environment" are not adequate.

Sherry
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: ScottElliott on August 28, 2010, 02:23:11 PM
If a person is considered to be some kind of threat to the activity or its participants, then the issue should be taken up by the CEDA Professionalism Committee. Make the claim and allow the person in question an opportunity to defend themselves. If it were up to me, there would be a lot of people I'd like to ban from tournaments....and I am sure there are many who wish they could ban me too. However, unilateral bans from tournaments seems like a poor way to run intercollegiate debate and making claims that a person is sometime of danger tot he safety of others seems pretty damn libelous.

Scott Elliott

p.s.

The resolution sucks and whoever drafted it is definately a danger to the safety of intercollegiate debate....please ban them too.
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: hansonjb on August 29, 2010, 01:56:13 AM
i'm not privy to the details of what is going on here but this doesn't sound very good.

the kentucky round robin is an important tournament for bid teams.

declining a coach from attending is a pretty serious decision and while it is "your" tournament--it is also a tournament that is important to the community. you can't make this decision without public comment and criticism.

did greg threaten someone? did he damage something or abuse someone?

if this is just greg offends you, makes you uncomfortable . . . i encourage you to change your mind. if it is more serious, i suggest you take up scott's advice and turn it over to the professionalism committee for review because right now, this smacks of a grudge act.


Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: asnider on August 29, 2010, 06:39:57 AM
I have sent Andrea an email today. Here it is:

Hello Andrea,

I have published a Global Debate Blog story today about this issue.

http://globaldebateblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/kentucky-policy-round-robin-bans-cal.html

I will continue to follow this story. I am taking you up on your offer to explain and answer questions. Please feel free to answer if you wish but be aware that this information will be made public.

1. What grounds do you have for mentioning a "safe debate environment"?

2. Will you pursue other channels in considering this issue?

3. Have you consulted with legal counsel for the University of Kentucky?

Thank you,

Alfred Snider
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: Dr.ElisiaCohen on August 29, 2010, 02:18:29 PM
I am recommending Andrea Reed not respond to any of the claims posted in this forum or on a blog. For the record, I am modifying this post because I do not believe that weighing in online can help deescalate the situation to the benefit of all. 

Elisia Cohen
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: hansonjb on August 29, 2010, 02:55:29 PM
elisia

the decision to exclude greg has consequences; the integrity of your program, your director(s), and the community's tournaments are at stake.

truly respectfully, i encourage your department to have an independent body review this; the ceda professionalism committee would be a good one. you would only be helping yourself by doing this and assuring the community that the round robin, vital to top tier teams, is handled in a fair, transparent way.
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: asnider on August 29, 2010, 04:48:17 PM
I am going to stand up for Greg Achten and Cal Debate and against Andrea Read and Elisha Cohen in this incident.

Elisha Cohen says:

Quote
I am asking Andrea Read not to respond to any of the claims posted in this forum or on a blog. I do not believe there is a legal issue, but if there is one it will not be discussed by insinuation from secondary sources and will be responded to via appropriate channels.

Elisia Cohen
UK faculty member

By the way, you spelled Andrea's name incorrectly. And why are you involved in this? Not the provost who was supposedly consulted or the university legal counsel who was supposedly consulted? Are you sure they were consulted?

It is too late for that. The damage is done. Andrea Reed has told the debate community that one of its most valuable members is not welcome because of fears for a "safe debate environment."  You advice seems to have come a bit too late.

Here is Andrea's email to me from earlier today that will illustrate the problem:
Quote
If we were at all unclear, what we stated is that we were willing to answer these sorts of questions in private backchannels.  I am going to speak with my other coaches, but at this point I don't know if i feel comfortable with you posting my answers to these questions publicly.
And just so you know, this was not an arbitrary or unreasoned decision like others are portraying it.  Yes, we consulted with our Provost and yes, we consulted with University Legal Counsel.

You spoke to provost and legal counsel but not your other coaches? Really.

She has told me that she is in touch with legal counsel about this, and are you telling me that UK legal counsel told her to respond in private backchannels about this but not in public? Are you saying that she will explain what the safety threat is in private backchannels but not in public? No lawyer would tell her that, and if they did they need to be replaced. Did your lawyer really tell Andrea to use private backchannels?

I notice that Andrea's original post has now been scrubbed to eliminate the claim that Greg is a threat to a "safe debate environment." Too late. It was said and it was documented.

The original post was:
Quote
The University of Kentucky  gives careful consideration when making tournament decisions so that we provide high-quality competition and a safe debate environment.  If there are ever any questions regarding our tournament policies, please do not hesitate to contact me .

I will not stand by silently while she slanders a valuable colleague for no apparent reason.

It seems like none of you know what you are doing. What is an appropriate channel when you say a respected educator cannot attend a tournament because of "safety" concerns?

Sorry you don't like the fact that I do a news blog. This is the 21st century, and blogs have free speech rights and obligations. You may have missed that public communication has evolved. A "blog" is a way of publishing, and a national message board like this one is also a way of communication. All you use it for is to say this colleague is a threat to a "safe debate environment" but not why.

When will YOU tell us why Greg Achten is a safety threat? Should we believe Andrea and disinvite him from other tournaments as well?

How dare you (University of Kentucky)  insult him and LIBEL him in this way.

I demand an apology to Greg Achten and to Cal debate immediately. It is the only plausible way out at this point.

You, Andrea and Kentucky debate should be ashamed of yourselves. In 38 years if my involvement in this activity I have never seen UK act in such a way.

When the full facts come out about what the dispute is between them, you will likely regret your posturing. Have you been told the whole truth? You had better find out soon. You may be very unhappy when you do.

If you had just said that Andrea had a personal dispute with Greg and it would be better he not come we would understand. Masking this in "safety" is not acceptable.

Good luck to you all at UK, you will need it.

Alfred C. Snider, Edwin W. Lawrence Professor of Forensics, University of Vermont
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: chunsr5 on August 29, 2010, 08:32:36 PM
I am not trying to get into the middle of this. And I am not speaking on behalf or representing any views of Wake Forest University debate team.

Your tone could be a little more cordial, especially to Elisia Cohen. The idea that you would only accept a post from the provost or the university legal counsel and will respond to another faculty member’s post with the lack of respect that you did is mind boggling. Do we not want members from outside of the community to feel like the debate community is open minded and cordial when they enter our forums? That is not the example you are setting. No matter how you feel. Also, as a side note, you spelled Dr. Cohen’s name wrong.

While you are free to have your opinions, the manner in which you are doing it makes it seem like you have already made up your mind and will never give Andrea’s side a chance. What is the incentive for her or anyone from the University of Kentucky to have a conversation with you on this matter if you approach it in such a hostile manner?

As for her lawyer or legal counsel, let her talk to them and give her advice, instead of insulting and proposing your idea of what the University of Kentucky’s legal counsel should do. Your posturing to make it seem like Andrea is being untruthful or misleading to her colleagues is not only unwarranted, but unnecessary. I get that you are upset that they have been quiet on the issue. But speaking in a condescending tone can hardly be part of a strategy to move this discussion along.

Case in point is your comment about your blog, Dr. Cohen’s post was not a complaint against your blogging. Yet you use that false assumption to throw in yet another ad hom about what Dr. Cohen knows about political communication. If you expect and hold others to a level of respect, try treating them that way.

Seungwon Chung
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: Anon1234 on August 29, 2010, 09:26:40 PM
Before I do say anything I will clarify my reasoning for posting as an Anon. The school I attend has individuals with personal attachments to the situation that is unfolding. I want this in no way tied back to any of them (which easily could happen if I posted under my name) or the institution I debate for. I am not trying to hide myself in an attempt to cause trouble or stress to more people and I hope what I have to say also helps convey that point.

I do not mean to insult or attack the UK, Cal Berk, or any of the people who have previously posted. I only wish to help the community with my input in the best way possible.

I think bans that target a specific person or group of people without first being communicated to a third party is a mistake. I will assume the implication of Scott's statement means that the UK did not take steps to contact CEDA about this "problem". Either this did not occur to the members of the UK staff that made this decision or it did and they decided to sidestep this. If the ladder that is obviously a problem. I will agree with Jonah here and say that a tournament should have the right to control somethings, but without a serious threat to the tournaments safety and/or the coaching staffs and/or participants this looks more like a personal issue (however strong it may be, and whatever the content) being brought into a place it should not be. If it is the former that reporting this to a third party did not occur then clearly the UK did not make an honest effort to talk to enough people as it was brought up as a solution shortly after this story was posted.

Additionally, I want to make Seungwon Chung's point again, I think the response to Elisha Cohen was inappropriate, and does not just reflect poorly on yourself but also reflects on Greg and Cal Debate, since you claimed you were standing up for them. Many members of the debate community are going to be upset from what has happened and is still happening but being rude and insulting someone foreign to the debate community is not a way to handle the situation.

I do urge the UK to at least temporarily repeal the ban and present this to a third party that can give you some input on the situation. I do not think it is neccesary to go public or be open with everyone about the reasons behind your decision but in lieu of that a third party to help make this decision would go along way to make a lot less people upset.

If this does not happen I urge all individuals to be symapthetic to the members of UC Berk team and the debaters there, whatever the reason this is not the debaters fault. UC Berk not attending the RR or even the tournament will in NO WAY effect my first round voting. And I will do my best to account for them losing over a half a dozen rounds against other first round teams. As a community I think we owe it to the debaters to show them our support.
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: asnider on August 29, 2010, 09:46:00 PM
Some good points.

Quote
Your tone could be a little more cordial, especially to Elisia Cohen. The idea that you would only accept a post from the provost or the university legal counsel and will respond to another faculty member’s post with the lack of respect that you did is mind boggling. Do we not want members from outside of the community to feel like the debate community is open minded and cordial when they enter our forums? That is not the example you are setting. No matter how you feel. Also, as a side note, you spelled Dr. Cohen’s name wrong.

Quote
While you are free to have your opinions, the manner in which you are doing it makes it seem like you have already made up your mind and will never give Andrea’s side a chance. What is the incentive for her or anyone from the University of Kentucky to have a conversation with you on this matter if you approach it in such a hostile manner?

As for her lawyer or legal counsel, let her talk to them and give her advice, instead of insulting and proposing your idea of what the University of Kentucky’s legal counsel should do. Your posturing to make it seem like Andrea is being untruthful or misleading to her colleagues is not only unwarranted, but unnecessary. I get that you are upset that they have been quiet on the issue. But speaking in a condescending tone can hardly be part of a strategy to move this discussion along.

Case in point is your comment about your blog, Dr. Cohen’s post was not a complaint against your blogging. Yet you use that false assumption to throw in yet another ad hom about what Dr. Cohen knows about political communication. If you expect and hold others to a level of respect, try treating them that way.


Strange formatting.

Alfred C Snider aka Tuna
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: chundr6 on August 30, 2010, 12:02:34 AM
Professor Snider,
   
I have great respect for you, and although I do not wish to take a particular side because I do not know all the facts, I do believe that there were some good points made by my brother that should be revisited given your response. These thoughts do not reflect the view of Missouri State or anyone other than myself.
   
   
Quote:
"I often change my mind based on the facts and the arguments. Show me some."
   
In ways, this is a fair statement and a reasonable request. However, it does not seem like you are creating an incentive for the interested parties to respond as you would like. In your original post, you asked Andrea if she had consulted with legal counsel for the University of Kentucky. When she responded by indicating that she had, there was zero chance that you were going to believe her. Your immediate response was to say she "supposedly" consulted and to phrase a series of skeptical statements regarding the issue. If you are not going to take anything Andrea says at face value, why even bother with asking for facts and the arguments? I understand that you feel that she has insulted a dear friend of yours, and I am not trying to support either side without knowing all that is going on, but it seems like your response to the limited information provided by Andrea creates a disincentive for her to share any other information. Why would someone bother sharing "facts" and "arguments" with someone who has no intention to assign it any weight? I guess what I am saying is that perhaps if we all approached this slightly differently, we all would be closer to the answers we truly seek.
   

Quote:
"I can't help it if Elisha doesn't understand the role of blogs in the 21st century. Pardon me for pointing it out. Want to defend her?"

One of the main points of my brother's post is that we, as the debate community, should try to create the perception that we are willing to listen to and consider the views of people outside of the debate community. This seems important because surely we do not want to be perceived as an organization that is so arrogant that we see the views of others as inferior. While I'm sure it was not your intention to create this perception, I'm afraid that your insistence that you lecture Ms. Cohen on the utility of blogs in the 21st century gives off exactly that perception. It seems to say, "silly outsider, let me tell you how political communications has evolved." Such a stance is strange, since I cannot really identify the point at which you think Ms. Cohen or Andrea said that blogs do not have this role. I, and I am sure the community, appreciates the work you do on your blog. However, the grandstanding on an issue that is mostly unchallenged and tangentially related seems hostile and condescending.


I know we are all hoping for a satisfactory conclusion to this discussion. It just seems that the best way to arrive at one is to create an atmosphere where the answers we desire are likely to present themselves.

Doowon Chung
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: asnider on August 30, 2010, 04:43:51 AM
Doowan,

I like you too.

I am supposed to create an atmosphere where people will listen to and talk to each other?

UK will not engage in the discussion. End of the line.

How about this, I will say that you are dangerous and should not be allowed at debate tournaments but will not say why. I ban you from my tournament. Would you like that?

I speak out against what I think is wrong and support what I think is right.

Alfred Snider
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: antonucci23 on September 03, 2010, 12:28:37 PM
Is Greg Achten banned from all University of Kentucky sponsored and hosted debate events?

It would seem that if the argument is couched in terms of public safety, this would be the unavoidable corollary.
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: Anon1234 on September 03, 2010, 07:25:33 PM
Is Greg Achten banned from all University of Kentucky sponsored and hosted debate events?

It would seem that if the argument is couched in terms of public safety, this would be the unavoidable corollary.


Pretty positive it is just the RR. Also I think its pretty clear that this has nothing to do with public safety. Personal problems that are being hashed out in public when very few people know all the details, and when it effects others (such as the debaters) is a dangerous combination.
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: andreareed on September 06, 2010, 12:30:25 PM
I wish to clarify that Greg Achten is not a threat to the safety of the debate community, college or high school.  We apologize for comments we have made in personal and public communication to that effect.  Greg is respected member of the community and will be invited to attend all future tournaments hosted by the University of Kentucky.
Title: Re: Cal and the Kentucky Round Robin
Post by: asnider on September 07, 2010, 09:31:19 AM
Quote
I wish to clarify that Greg Achten is not a threat to the safety of the debate community, college or high school.  We apologize for comments we have made in personal and public communication to that effect.  Greg is respected member of the community and will be invited to attend all future tournaments hosted by the University of Kentucky.

This is clearly the right move. Not only because I asked for it, but because now we can move on, and UKY debate can move on.

To the joy of many I will now go back to being a lurker.

Alfred Snider, University of Vermont