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 1 
 on: June 27, 2017, 07:43:11 AM 
Started by dstrauss13 - Last post by Hester
Short answer - yes, both/and. By that, i mean the TC was fully aware that part of the argument being made was "even if you don't like it personally, put it on the ballot so the community can decide," and still there were no "yes" votes from the TC for putting it on the ballot.

It's important on this point to note that "let the people decide" is not as strong a warrant for including something on the ballot as it may initially seem. There are two reasons for this.

First, it's not a warrant that uniquely justifies any one item being included, but rather is a warrant for including any/every item that is mentioned. For example, during our weekend deliberations, there were at least a dozen different wordings that were mentioned - "united states federal government" vs "united states" vs "united states government" is just one of the many, many variations in wordings that exemplify this. Given how the voting works, why not have a little (a), (b), and (c) version of every resolution so that the different agent phrasings are each represented, so the community can then choose? In theory, the topic ballot could be similar to the judge pref sheet at nationals, with each voting member ordinally ranking 200 resolution wording options, some only slightly different than others. Once you have accepted "let the voters decide" as a justification for putting anything on the ballot, it's not clear how anything could be left off the ballot. The counter to such an approach is that while the ranking system we employ may theoretically allow for an infinite number of choices to be ranked, IRL the time to think through and research about what each option would functionally end up looking like is very finite - the more options there are, the less we can learn and make an informed judgment about any particular option. Thus, we don't find the "let them vote" as persuasive as it may seem at first read.

Second, i specifically asked about this part of the process prior to the Topic Area Ballot voting. Last year, there had been some pushback at the fact that not every submitted topic paper was placed on the topic area ballot. i asked for community feedback on what role the TC should play - are we a filter, making selections? should there be no filter role, and instead our job simply being to transfer whatever is submitted to the ballot? The response was near universal that we should engage in filtering, making judgments that include some items and exclude others. i engaged the community in dialogue on this question for this very reason - so that there wouldn't be any post-hoc complaints that the TC was playing gatekeeper. Once the response was clear that the TC being a gatekeeper was desired, that same logic was applied in the second phase, the Resolution Ballot. Thus, we made choices about what went on the ballot and what got kept off. Although this was our modus operandi for the 2017 topic process, we are not required to employ the same logic next year and if there is strong opinion that the TC should operate differently, we will.

These are generic reasons for why the TC wasn't persuaded by that reasoning. As for specific reasons why the TC ultimately didn't include Straussian options on the ballot, some TC members (not all) didn't feel there was enough time to fully 'vet' the idea, others were persuaded by the Facechat posts arguing that these options don't avoid T/Framework debates sufficiently to the degree claimed (i.e., no solvency for the cited harms), and others were simply suspicious that the most vocal advocates for options proposed as being an olive branch/life preserver for K teams were folks whose history is not one very friendly to K Affs.

As noted in my last post, i do think David Strauss should be commended for his attempt to address the issue (i.e., i'm not one who discounted his proposal due to suspicions that he was offering a trojan horse resolution wording), and strongly believe that all of us should be using the next 10 months to continue the discussion so that perhaps we can come up with ideas for how to maximize the best debates over the subjects that are most important to the best education our activity can deliver.

Hester,

Thanks for the reply. So there were people on the TC avidly against it being made an option for the community to vet/discuss for a month and vote upon, as opposed to just being opposed to the proposal?
I think that distinction matters, a lot -- and I can see reasons that might have been the case (there are things I would feel that way about myself), but if either you/someone else who was there during that process or better yet the people themselves could speak to what the warrants were for choice bad, I would appreciate it.
1. it confuses me, bc for many of the reasons Strauss has explained it's tough for me to fathom how the squo can be net-better, and so i'd like to understand; 2. more importantly, getting that reasoning out there seems like the only real way to find a proposal agreeable enough to the key players that we avoid a repeat of this next year.

 2 
 on: June 26, 2017, 10:00:16 PM 
Started by dstrauss13 - Last post by Brandon Kelley
Hester,

Thanks for the reply. So there were people on the TC avidly against it being made an option for the community to vet/discuss for a month and vote upon, as opposed to just being opposed to the proposal?
I think that distinction matters, a lot -- and I can see reasons that might have been the case (there are things I would feel that way about myself), but if either you/someone else who was there during that process or better yet the people themselves could speak to what the warrants were for choice bad, I would appreciate it.
1. it confuses me, bc for many of the reasons Strauss has explained it's tough for me to fathom how the squo can be net-better, and so i'd like to understand; 2. more importantly, getting that reasoning out there seems like the only real way to find a proposal agreeable enough to the key players that we avoid a repeat of this next year.

 3 
 on: June 26, 2017, 06:25:38 PM 
Started by dstrauss13 - Last post by Hester
All the rules governing the topic process are part of CEDA bylaws. Bylaw #4 (IV) contains all the parts about the topic process and Article VIII details the process by which the CEDA constitution and by-laws  can be amended. i think the following is the relevant part:

Section 2. Amendment to the Bylaws
A. An amendment to the Bylaws may be initiated by any member school;
B. Amendments to the Bylaws must be submitted to the Executive Secretary no later than
30 days prior to a business meeting to be considered at that meeting. The Executive Secretary
will communicate proposed amendments to the membership no later than 15 days prior to the
business meeting;
C. Bylaw amendments require a majority vote by school representatives and proxies
voting at the business meeting.
D. Within 30 days following the business meeting, the Executive Secretary will distribute
a formal ballot containing all proposed Bylaw amendments;
E. Bylaw amendments require a majority vote by school representatives voting by formal
ballot.
Section 3. Alternative Amendment Procedures for the Constitution and Bylaws
A. An amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council or by a
petition of 5% of the current CEDA membership to the CEDA Executive Secretary and the
CEDA President.
B. The proposed amendment shall be distributed to the membership. Members will have
30 days to send comments on the proposed amendment to the Executive Secretary.
C. Within 45 days of the publication of the proposed amendment, the Executive Secretary
will distribute a formal ballot to the membership containing a copy of the proposed amendment.
D. A three-fourths vote of all members voting will be required to enact an amendment
initiated under this section.

Hester- if someone wanted to propose a change int he topic process do you know what the process for that would be- like who it would be submitted to/dates?


Basically I agree that the TC job is very difficult/borderline impossible in a 3 day meeting. Herndon and I were talking about potential solutions and we came up with an idea to move the deadline to sometime in June, but require the papers to do all the word vetting/rez framing over that extra month and a half.

So is that a proposal that would have to be voted on by just a CEDA/NDT committee or would there be some kind of public vote?

 4 
 on: June 26, 2017, 02:56:45 PM 
Started by UMDebate - Last post by UMDebate
Miami-Dade Urban Debate League
Director of Programming
Job Description

Organization Overview

The Miami-Dade Urban Debate League (MDUDL) seeks to cultivate a community of learners among urban public school students in Miami, focusing on teamwork, cooperative learning, academic excellence, critical reflection and individual student growth. The goal is to empower the student participants to become confident, successful citizens, who are advocates for themselves and their community and who successfully graduate from high school, pursue college degrees and become active leaders in their community. This last year we served 22 middle and high schools in the County’s most impoverished communities.  We sponsored a weeklong debate summer camp and conducted eight tournaments this last season with the tournaments held at our partner campuses of Miami Dade College, Florida International University and the University of Miami.  We are one of 22 cities that have such debate leagues under the umbrella cooperation with the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL)

The Position
Miami Dade Urban Debate League (MDUDL) seeks to hire an energetic, dedicated full-time program director.  Until MDUDL hires an Executive Director, the program director will report to MDUDL’s Board of Directors. The program director will manage the league’s programs and play a key role in building support for this new program among principals, teachers, students, and district leaders.  Primary responsibilities include:

•   Plan, prepare and direct monthly MDUDL debate tournaments and periodic student workshops.
•   Plan, prepare and direct an annual, weeklong summer debate camp.
•   Support students and teachers by visiting local school sites and participating in after-school debate practices.
•   Foster relationships with partner schools by meeting and communicating regularly with principals and teacher coaches. 
•   Recruit, train and support teacher-coaches and community assistant coaches, using appropriate and approved curriculum and materials.
•   In order to increase student participation, motivate all members of our school communities to embrace debate and the school’s debate team.
•   Recruit, train and coordinate volunteers to act as mentors in partner schools and/or judges at debate tournaments.
•   Develop an annual program plan, including program benchmarks.
•   Prepare programming reports.
•   Regularly analyze program data and use it to improve MDUDL’s programs.
•   Assist with events, outreach, development and marketing, as needed.
•   Help plan and lead public debate programming associated with fundraising and outreach.
•   Identify and implement innovative program ideas.
•   Support fund raising efforts of the board, including attending meetings with potential funders and assisting with grant language

Ideal Job Qualifications
•   At least 5 years of experience coaching debate and/or teaching in a classroom preferred.
•   Policy debate experience – as a coach or as an urban debate alum preferred.
•   Experience as a teacher preferred.
•   Ability to engage with, interact effectively with, and earn the respect of all constituencies in the Miami Dade Urban Debate League community, including district and school leaders.
•   Excellent planning and execution skills, including the ability to achieve strategic goals.
•   Experience using data to drive decision-making.
•   Excellent written and oral communications skills; the ability to understand and communicate information to a wide variety of audiences within urban education; the ability to quickly
        compose clear, concise and compelling messages for public relations and community outreach purposes.
•   Excellent problem-solving skills.
•   An enthusiasm for building bridges between key stakeholders.
•   A strong work ethic, including a willingness to commit to a take and to follow through.
•   Enthusiasm for working in a start-up environment.
•   A demonstrated passion for urban education, education reform, and creating opportunities for urban youth. .
•   Bachelor’s degree is required.

Compensation and Work Conditions

Compensation will be based on experience and skills.  Total working hours will average 40 hours per week. The position will include work time in the evenings and on weekends, attending and running tournaments and workshops.  The position is an “at will” employment position.  Applicants must have access and use of their own vehicle.

To Apply
Candidates must submit a cover letter, Curriculum Vitae, a short writing sample and their salary history in a single pdf, to be submitted via email to cschulman@wsh-law.com
   
The Miami Dade Urban Debate League is an equal opportunity employer.

 5 
 on: June 26, 2017, 11:34:16 AM 
Started by dstrauss13 - Last post by ScottyP
Hester- if someone wanted to propose a change int he topic process do you know what the process for that would be- like who it would be submitted to/dates?


Basically I agree that the TC job is very difficult/borderline impossible in a 3 day meeting. Herndon and I were talking about potential solutions and we came up with an idea to move the deadline to sometime in June, but require the papers to do all the word vetting/rez framing over that extra month and a half.

So is that a proposal that would have to be voted on by just a CEDA/NDT committee or would there be some kind of public vote?

 6 
 on: June 26, 2017, 09:14:04 AM 
Started by dstrauss13 - Last post by Hester
The TC will continue to accept work folks have done, whenever they can get it to us. Whether individual TC members feel they haven't had enough time to consider whatever is being proposed will continue to be their prerogative, but as chair, i'm not gonna turn away someone who wants to send us ideas because 'it's too late'. See my response to Brandon for my more extended thoughts on this.

You would think insufficient discussion time would be a reason to PUT it on the ballot and allow the community to vet.  But I guess not.  In any case, my wording paper submitted on June 13th was too late breaking to be considered.  Good Point.

From: Michael Hester <mhester@westga.edu>
Date: Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: wording paper deadline?
To: David Strauss <dstrauss13@gmail.com>


hmm, hadn't really considered a deadline. If you can't submit it by 6/14, let me know. Ultimately, anything prior to 6/16 should be something we can work with. It's ALL very much appreciated.

On Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, David Strauss <dstrauss13@gmail.com> wrote:
Hey Hester, quick question - what's the deadline for submitting wording paper proposals?

Thanks,
Dave

 7 
 on: June 26, 2017, 09:11:00 AM 
Started by dstrauss13 - Last post by Hester
Ultimately, there was more opposition from members of the TC to putting Straussian Amendment options on the ballot than there was support for doing so - much more. In terms of argument approaches to the activity, the TC is fairly diverse, i.e., nearly all the different ways that the NDT/CEDA members conceive of debate are represented by at least one member of the TC. So when no one vigorously advocated in support of doing this while several individuals who don't often agree with each other on questions of debate indicated they did not support adding them, i (as the chair) felt comfortable that we had a consensus on the question.

There are three other aspects i want to speak to:

1) Decisions that don't have universal acceptance. Part of the difficulty of TC work is trying to thread the needle so that our work includes as many perspectives as possible and reflects the wishes of as many CEDA/NDT members as possible. It's not necessary to explain why that task is nearly impossible. This is not a "woe is us" excuse and sympathy is not being requested. It's just an acknowledgment of the reality of what we're trying to do. TC membership is voted upon by dues-paying schools, and the how the TC makes decisions will always be greatly influenced by the folks who make up its membership. Again, this is not a "you don't like it? why don't YOU do it then" kind of retort. Instead, i'm simply encouraging everyone who wants to have an effect on this process to get involved. That won't fix the problem of how hard it is to satisfy everyone with the results of our work.

2) Recognizing and respecting the work done by everyone. i was very excited when Strauss contacted me - to have a former NDT champion and current coach want to contribute to the process with ideas is ALWAYS a great thing. The tough part is making sure everyone feels their contributions are properly incorporated into TC decision-making, even when their work may not show up in the final results (e.g., the ballots). In a similar vein, several others made significant contributions during Phase I (the topic area papers) and Phase II (our TC meetings) and inevitably a lot of that work doesn't make it into the final results. As the chair, i do my best to frequently state how grateful we all are for every contribution - seriously, it's AWESOME that so many people take time out of their schedules to do work that helps the process move forward. The fact that Straussian versions didn't make the final ballot does not mean that his work isn't appreciated - i definitely appreciated it (see #3 below).

3) This is an issue worth all of us continuing to think about/work on. While i wasn't a fan of the actual wordings being suggested by Strauss, i did accept his idea as a genuine attempt to address the concern expressed by lots of folks that not enough of our debates are engaging in substantive and developed argumentation over agreed-upon subjects (my facebook post about phrasing resolution wordings as a question was an attempt to approach the same issue from a slightly different angle). Rather than dismiss such attempts at trying to 'rig the game' in a particular direction, i'd rather focus energy on how (or if it is possible) to address the issues via topic/resolution wording process. I do think that it would benefit all of us to continue the conversation over this next academic year. Perhaps around this time next year, the TC will be in a position to implement the kinds of changes to the way we have traditionally conceived of topics/resolution wordings.

Jasmine (and any other TC-affiliated folks willing to give their take on the decision),

I don't think anyone would disagree that it was late-breaking, or that, as you note, people have pointed out a number of issues they have with the proposal. That said, it isn't obvious to me why either of those things means it it's bad to include it as an option -- would you mind commenting on that a bit more?

Specifically: I had been envisioning this not as a replacement for the regular list of wordings, but an additional yes/no option to alter whichever one is chosen. Functionally a kind of ballot referendum. Presumably, if it's true that it "didn't make anyone happy" it wouldn't pass (and that may well have been the case given how many people objected to one aspect or another, though we'll never know). But I don't intuitively see why giving people the choice is bad -- whether it doesn't pass (whatever reasons people might have for rejecting it, be they issues with the wording/etc. that can be fixed next year or fundamental disagreement with the premise), or does pass because people decide that it is a net-improvement vs the squo and vote for it, what is your take on why it wasn't the role of the community to make that choice?

To reiterate: I 100% agree it's desirable that this be hashed out much earlier, so that there's time for intensive vetting by the TC and others. I also am not trying to disagree with or cast aspersions on the decision that was made, but rather to understand it. Because in putting it on the ballot, the TC wouldn't have been deciding "yes" or "no" on the proposal, but rather to that choice being available -- and so unless it's that the TC concluded it's not a good idea as-worded for various reasons & was worried it might pass anyway, or something similar, the reasoning isn't clear to me. Particularly coming as it did on the heels of the decision to put every controversy area submitted on the ballot rather than acting as an initial narrowing mechanism, splintering votes -- a defensible choice, but also what seemed to me a deliberate move toward less TC "gatekeeping".

Anyway -- thanks a ton to you and Brian for being willing to talk about this & explain the thought process, it's much appreciated; thanks also to both Strauss and the TC members for all their hard work.

Best,
Brandon

 8 
 on: June 26, 2017, 07:57:09 AM 
Started by dstrauss13 - Last post by dstrauss13
You would think insufficient discussion time would be a reason to PUT it on the ballot and allow the community to vet.  But I guess not.  In any case, my wording paper submitted on June 13th was too late breaking to be considered.  Good Point.

From: Michael Hester <mhester@westga.edu>
Date: Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: wording paper deadline?
To: David Strauss <dstrauss13@gmail.com>


hmm, hadn't really considered a deadline. If you can't submit it by 6/14, let me know. Ultimately, anything prior to 6/16 should be something we can work with. It's ALL very much appreciated.

On Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, David Strauss <dstrauss13@gmail.com> wrote:
Hey Hester, quick question - what's the deadline for submitting wording paper proposals?

Thanks,
Dave

 9 
 on: June 25, 2017, 09:28:27 PM 
Started by dstrauss13 - Last post by Brandon Kelley
Jasmine (and any other TC-affiliated folks willing to give their take on the decision),

I don't think anyone would disagree that it was late-breaking, or that, as you note, people have pointed out a number of issues they have with the proposal. That said, it isn't obvious to me why either of those things means it it's bad to include it as an option -- would you mind commenting on that a bit more?

Specifically: I had been envisioning this not as a replacement for the regular list of wordings, but an additional yes/no option to alter whichever one is chosen. Functionally a kind of ballot referendum. Presumably, if it's true that it "didn't make anyone happy" it wouldn't pass (and that may well have been the case given how many people objected to one aspect or another, though we'll never know). But I don't intuitively see why giving people the choice is bad -- whether it doesn't pass (whatever reasons people might have for rejecting it, be they issues with the wording/etc. that can be fixed next year or fundamental disagreement with the premise), or does pass because people decide that it is a net-improvement vs the squo and vote for it, what is your take on why it wasn't the role of the community to make that choice?

To reiterate: I 100% agree it's desirable that this be hashed out much earlier, so that there's time for intensive vetting by the TC and others. I also am not trying to disagree with or cast aspersions on the decision that was made, but rather to understand it. Because in putting it on the ballot, the TC wouldn't have been deciding "yes" or "no" on the proposal, but rather to that choice being available -- and so unless it's that the TC concluded it's not a good idea as-worded for various reasons & was worried it might pass anyway, or something similar, the reasoning isn't clear to me. Particularly coming as it did on the heels of the decision to put every controversy area submitted on the ballot rather than acting as an initial narrowing mechanism, splintering votes -- a defensible choice, but also what seemed to me a deliberate move toward less TC "gatekeeping".

Anyway -- thanks a ton to you and Brian for being willing to talk about this & explain the thought process, it's much appreciated; thanks also to both Strauss and the TC members for all their hard work.

Best,
Brandon

 10 
 on: June 23, 2017, 09:50:12 AM 
Started by Hester - Last post by jstidham
Posting some general thoughts/considerations for folks who are still contemplating how to rank the slate of resolutions on the ballot. These aren’t the official views of the TC, but some insight on why we used some terms rather than others and what I personally think certain ballot options accomplish for aff/neg ground. I would strongly encourage everyone to look through the definitions that the TC has made readily available before you make your decision.

Do you want a big res? Here’s what you should think about:

Ballot option number 7 is pretty big. If you look at the definitions for “financial access” in the compiled doc I put out, it can mean a lotttttt of things. So, if as a coach/debater you want really flexible aff ground and you aren’t scared of T debates, this might be a resolution you rank high.

Do you want a small res? Here’s what you should think about:

Ballot option number 4 is for sure the smallest, and that might be attractive for squads who are less concerned with more aff flexibility and want to lock down targeted neg prep for a limited amount of affs. If you want a lot of aff flexibility, especially for more soft left of critical affirmatives, this might be one you rank lower because you’d be limited in your mechanism options.

Universal and comprehensive meanings:

Others have posted on this issue, and I wanted to reiterate that ‘universal’=how many people/who is covered, and ‘comprehensive’=what services are covered. So, a health care policy can be universal without being comprehensive, and vice versa. That’s why you’ll see universal and comprehensive in certain ballot options because they are intended to force the aff to do something big, such as with sexual and reproductive health.

National health insurance:

This is one of the most well-defined phrase in term of a consensus being established. That’s why this res is short. The NHI definitions say that a NHI must be funded by the gov and has to cover nearly all of the population. You’d get a lot of mechanism ground here, but you’d have to cover everyone.

Transgender-inclusive universal healthcare:

I’ve gotten some messages about this and wanted to clarify some of the rationale for this wording. Some people don’t like this res because they think “WOW WHAT A SMALL AFF!!! That’s so hard to be neg against!” No, no, this list option =/= give trans people healthcare, it means the aff should establish universal healthcare….that is transgender-inclusive. That distinction is important for folks concerned about neg ground.

Here is a link to the TC dropbox, which has everything:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xv7d4uqtr95uo5d/AAANZikDNpyycKKeYI74Lybka?dl=0


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