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 on: July 23, 2014, 10:15:38 AM 
Started by UMDebate - Last post by glarson
As a friend and early collaborator with Em, I strongly endorse his book.  It works very well at the sophomore level.


 on: July 22, 2014, 07:11:20 PM 
Started by kbertram - Last post by kbertram
The Civis Institute is in the planning stages for the first annual Mvubu Debates (title subject to revision), to be hosted at The George Washington University on October 18-19, 2014, with a corresponding study tour for the top teams to Johannesburg and Cape Town. The tentative topic is:

Resolved: The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission has proven to be a desirable model for transitional reconciliation.

We'd greatly appreciate hearing from anyone with topic thoughts/ideas/suggestions AND if you are interested in attending the tournament. You can write us at and Thank you!

 on: July 22, 2014, 06:17:32 PM 
Started by UMDebate - Last post by pleader
What a coincidence, it happens I am using Freeley-Steinberg too this fall, first time for me !  But that's my argum-debate class, not the intro class.....happy fall planning.....

 on: July 22, 2014, 12:48:11 PM 
Started by UMDebate - Last post by DoyleSrader
I've taught Comm Theory for about seven years now. I use Em Griffin, A First Look, and am very satisfied with it.

 on: July 21, 2014, 02:25:00 PM 
Started by michellevered - Last post by michellevered
The survey questions and response categories for gender, race, and ethnicity are designed to mimic those used by the National Center for Education Statistics to allow for comparability between students participating in debate and the undergraduate population as a whole.

You may leave a question blank, or choose the response which most closely matches the primary way the person would identify themself. These are the NCES guidelines for the race/ethnicity questions:

STANDARD 1-5-1: NCES will follow OMB and Department of Education guidelines for definitions of ethnicity and race. This applies both to surveys and to collections of administrative data.

Ethnicity is based on the following categorization:
  • Hispanic or Latino: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. The term "Spanish origin" can be used in addition to "Hispanic or Latino."

Race is based in the following five categorizations:
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as "Haitian" or "Negro" can be used in addition to "Black or African American." 
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. 
  • White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

 on: July 21, 2014, 09:16:29 AM 
Started by michellevered - Last post by gabemurillo

This survey is great and has the potential to be very productive. I have started filling it out but I've come to a stopping point because I'm not sure that the options provided will provide accurate data for our students and previous competitors. Any way that more options can be added? For example none of the above or other for gender and racial categories?


 on: July 19, 2014, 08:36:47 PM 
Started by ApostateAbe - Last post by mOnTIqUE wiLLiaMs
Obviously, the revelation of inflammatory language in this particular debate was the figurative match in the tinderbox.

'Nigga' don't inflame. The Towson students won and were rightly lauded.

My criticism of championship caliber policy debate, even prior to these 2013 and 2014 travesties

Travesty? So who shoulda won in 2014?

But moving on to the "third rail" of the widespread criticisms of the award winning speeches by "African-American" participants (we called them Negroes in the 1960s), I can't for the life of me make enough sense out of the drivel I heard, listening to parts of the 2013 NDT and CEDA Finals and read of the 2014 CEDA Finals, to even take them seriously as examples of championship caliber debate.  I debated against one black guy in high school and three more when I was in college, and they all sounded like me... and that may be an undeserved compliment to myself because one of them was Sandy Darity, AKA Hotep-X, who made it to the semi-finals of the NDT in 1972 while debating as Tuna Snider's partner.

I don't believe that I am "missing something" about the black experience or institutional racism or invidious discrimination when I listen to those speeches and judge them to be inadequate to sustain winning policy debate positions.  I don't believe that people speak the way they do in American courts of law and in university auditoriums because they are racist, nor that if the rest of us could just become more worldly, we would then see that the nonsense that was spoken by recent national debate championship winners embodied a wholly adequate, alternative way of expressing complex legal and philosophical ideas upon which policy debate subsists.  I think that there must be some reason why the debate establishment does not dare to denounce these non-arguments publicly the way that I suspect many do privately.

I have noticed a few threads on this forum concerning efforts to involve more "people of color" in policy debate, and I have to wonder why that concern is being expressed.  Are some universities threatening to eliminate debate funding because its participants are nearly all white?

In order for a student to choose to participate in policy debate, realistically, he needs to find a benefactor to support him, individually (parents) or institutionally (school).  One factor depressing black participation in debate is income disparity.  Everyone on my high school debate team came from families with average to above average income except me, and the students we had our eye on to recruit when it looked like we might not be able to fully man our novice and intermediate four-man teams included no poor kids.  Surely, there are proportionately fewer blacks than whites who can arrange to be subsidized in their pursuit of this 60 to 80 hour a week hobby.  Are there any studies that control for income that show how much "other factors" account for lower debate participation by blacks?

The second thing that might account for lower black participation is that a somewhat smaller portion of the black population actually wants to sound like the guy in the Federal Express commercial (is that pop culture reference now too old to mean anything to most debate critics?).  If a higher percentage of blacks than whites wants to participate in competitive sports and if a higher percentage wants to pursue opportunities in entertainment, the wedge of the 100% pie chart available for other interests naturally becomes smaller.

I believe you ARE "missing something" about institutional racism and invidious discrimination.

I will be interested to see if your highly racist post is allowed to stand. But perhaps it should remain up, as an example of the last, wheezing gasps of frightened, angry, Hitlerian White hegemony in an America rapidly going Brown. To the next generation of debaters you will be the one who seems an incomprehensible travesty.

 on: July 19, 2014, 03:58:40 PM 
Started by Adri - Last post by Adri
Running a little behind today, but I've been hearing Ross in my head all day, and I know many in the community are mourning the loss of another debate great, Greg Simerly, so I wanted to take the time to reiterate a request I make annually:

Five years ago today, we lost Ross K. Smith. I was extraordinarily privileged to have had Ross as both a coach and a colleague. He still shapes much of how I coach and teach. Even today, a new generation of debaters still learns from him thanks to videos from some of his last lectures that summer.

Four years ago, I asked you a favor, and today I ask you again:

Take a moment today to reach out and thank someone in the debate community for being a part of it. It would mean a lot to me and to those whose lives Ross touched.

If you need a place to start, here’s an idea from Ross, in one of his last posts to Edebate*:

"[eDebate] Thanks to our competitors

Ross Smith smithr at
Wed Apr 1 17:38:14 CDT 2009

I've received some e-mail and facebook praise (thanks!). I want to issue
a broader reply.

Maybe it's just too obvious to state, but I've rarely been a person of
few words (once you get me going) . . . .

Thank you competitors. Every one of you, coach and debater, who face our
teams and push our teams to think harder, research deeper, get outside
of our narrower confines. You pose questions to our coaching, without
which questions we could not learn and improve.

On occasion, hopefully rare, we do not reciprocate or we fail to
appreciate. When we (being human) are at our worst we might denigrate. I
hope and trust not, but know that we mean not.

We can't do it without you.

What are the best debates you have judged or debated in? They are
closely contested. They reflect a commitment to excellence. That
atttribute can never be one sided.

We are at our worst and best when we put everything we have into a
debate and come up on the short end. But who gave us the opportunity to
be triumphant and feel that the win was meaningful in the first place?
Our competitors.

Thank you.

Ross K. Smith
Director of Debate
Wake Forest University"

Thanks to everyone for reading, and thank you for being part of this community.


[*Additional thanks to William Smelko for cross-posting the “Thanks to our competitors” on (, and to Seth Gannon for posting it on CEDA Forums (]

 on: July 18, 2014, 06:15:39 PM 
Started by michellevered - Last post by michellevered

I am an undergraduate student at Arizona State University under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Silverman. I am conducting a research study to examine unequal rates of participation and unequal outcomes according to race, gender, and regional affiliation in college policy debate.  I am recruiting Directors of Debate or Forensics or coaches whose teams have participated in the NDT in the last 10 years to fill out an online 30 minute confidential survey. Participation is limited to one representative per institution. You must be 18 years or older to participate. As compensation for participating in the research study, you will be entered in a drawing to receive a 16GB iPad.

If interested in participating, please click the link below:

Further information regarding the research can be obtained from the project investigator, Dr. Daniel Silverman at or (480) 965-4832.  I can be reached at or (541) 520-2552. Results of this research will be reported in my honors thesis, which will be available for anyone interested. Thank you for your consideration. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Michelle Vered

 on: July 18, 2014, 09:55:44 AM 
Started by ceda - Last post by ceda
Resolution 1 (US Legalize Core) has been selected for the 2014-2015 season. 75 schools voted. The final count was 47 first-place votes. All four amendments passed. A full breakdown of the votes and the list of schools that voted is below.

Amendment 1 (novice definition) passes 58-13.
Amendment 2 (JV eligibility, prior rounds) passes 57-11.
Amendment 3 (JV eligibility, jv nats) passes 54-16.
Amendment 4 (CEDA host fee) passes 67-4.

The initial count of first-place votes was:

1. US legalize core: 19
2. US legalize core + more: 11
3. US decrim/legalize core + hiv: 5
4. US decrim/legalize core + abortion: 2
5. US core + de facto: 2
6. US legalize core + diff add drugs + insider: 3
7. US decrim/legalize core + more + abortion + hiv + insider: 1
8. USFG decrim/legalize core + more + abortion + hiv + insider: 1
9. USFG legalize core + more: 17
10. Passive consensual: 14

Options 7 & 8 were removed and the first-place votes were transferred. The second count of first-place votes was:

1. US legalize core: 19
2. US legalize core + more: 11
3. US decrim/legalize core + hiv: 5
4. US decrim/legalize core + abortion: 3
5. US core + de facto: 3
6. US legalize core + diff add drugs + insider: 3
9. USFG legalize core + more: 17
10. Passive consensual: 14

Options 4, 5, & 6 were removed and the first-place votes were transferred. The third count of first-place votes was:

1. US legalize core: 23
2. US legalize core + more: 12
3. US decrim/legalize core + hiv: 7
9. USFG legalize core + more: 17
10. Passive consensual: 16

Option 3 was removed and the first-place votes were transferred. The fourth count of first-place votes was:

1. US legalize core: 26
2. US legalize core + more: 14
9. USFG legalize core + more: 19
10. Passive consensual: 16

Option 2 was removed and the first-place votes were transferred. The fifth count of first-place votes was:

1. US legalize core: 37
9. USFG legalize core + more: 22
10. Passive consensual: 16

Option 10 was removed and the first-place votes were transferred. The sixth count of first-place vote was:

1. US legalize core: 47
9. USFG legalize core + more: 26

Resolution 1 wins with a majority of first-place votes.

List of schools voting:

Arizona State University
Augsburg College
Augustana College
Baylor University
Binghamton University
Boston College
California State University Fullerton
Capital University
Clarion University
Concordia College
Emory University
Emporia State University
fresno state
George Mason
Gonzaga University
Indiana University
Johnson County Community College
Kansas City Kansas Community College
Kansas State
Liberty University
Michigan State University
Missouri State
New York University
Northwestern University
Rutgers University-Newark
Sacramento State
Samford University
San Francisco State University
Stanford University
Towson University
Trinity University
University of California, Berkeley
University of Central Oklahoma
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Houston
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of Louisville
University of Mary Washington
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Missouri - Kansas City
University of North Texas
University of Northern Iowa
University of Oklahoma
University of Pittsburgh
University of Puget Sound
University of Washington
University of Wyoming
UT Dallas
Vanderbilt University
Wake Forest
Washington University in Saint Louis
Wayne State University
Weber State University
Whitman College
Wichita State

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