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Re: CEDA/NDT topic overlap
> I am really curious about the thoughts, ideas, motivations of other NDT
> folks. What about those on the NDT committee? long time NDT folks like Al
> Louden, Arnie Madsen, Dallas Perkins, JW Patterson, Ken Strange, Ross Smith
> (who, in spite of having seen him in only a towel and shower thongs at the
> Wake institute a number of years ago, I still respect), etc.? newer folks
> in NDT? current grad assistants who might stay in the activity? Where do
> they stand? Do they truly want more cooperation/overlap/common
> ground/interleague play? Or do they just want us to join AFA?
I don't think most of these people know much about, care much about, or
are even members of AFA. I am the one who laid out the idea in the forum
at Michigan. Roger Solt, Allan Louden, and Ken Strange support the idea,
as do numerous others, even the evil Katsulas, recently reviled after a
posting of a "sound bite." Some have concerns about details of
implementation, but Antonnuci's questions about survey methods are off
> >Current heigtened interest in this proposal seems to be a direct response
> >to the fact that the NDT ranks have been reduced to dwindling numbers
> >which have created limited regional opportunities and as a result have
> >created resource crunches in many of the remaining NDT programs.
> Let me play devil's advocate here. Why don't all these programs just do CEDA?
What does it mean to "just do CEDA"? This rhetorical question is part one
of the answer to your rhetorical question. Do they "do NDT" now? The
point is that CEDA and NDT programs both see themselves as just doing
debate. We also see ourselves as a part of a community of people whose
companionship we enjoy. Speaking personally, I don't want to "do CEDA" if
that means not seeing my "NDT" friends. I also would like to do some CEDA
to see my friends there, and to meet new ones. It would be nice if we
could get to host many of our old friends at the Dixie Classic. We have
nearly as many teams as we can handle now (100+), but would consider
limiting the number of teams per school if that could allow us to host a
more diverse group. Despite the occasional portrayal of "NDT" as
unfriendly or petty, the community is truly a loving and close community.
The same is true, I'm sure, for CEDA. The point is that a shred topic
requires nothing significant to be abandoned. "NDT" would give up it's
preferred July 15 topic date, and would give up control of the problem
area and but for a possible small wording difference, topic choice
itself. CEDA wouldn't have to do anything at all, or could decide to move
its topic back two weeks.
> It makes no sense to me that we would debate the same topic, but maintain
> two separate organizations. Why would we do this? What, beyond
> preservation of tradition, is the advantage of two organizations that
> basically do the same thing?
The NDT organization has the power and duty to do only one thing: run the
NDT itself. I am not familiar with all of the powers an duties of the
CEDA organization. It does make sense to have a structure to run the NDT.
It's a tournament with no host to set the rules. Until the day comes when
no one wants to compete in that tournament, it will need an organizing
structure. Beyond that, it would make sense for debate programs to pool
their organizational resources to promote the activity as a whole, to
help new programs, etc.
> Here's my big complaint. I don't want CEDA nationals to be thought of as
> the "other" nationals, like NFA IE nationals is (I haven't been involved in
> IEs in 6 or so years, so my apologies if this perception has changed). If
> comments on NDT-L, comments back channelled to me, and comments of high
> school students are any indication, NDT thinks that it is the superior
> debate community. That's fine with me, since we're all entitled to our
> opinions (and there are certainly many in CEDA who think that CEDA is the
> superior debate community). I just couldn't support a proposal that made
> CEDA nationals, even with all its faults, no more than a qualifier for the
I think Antonnucci did a decent job with this one, though I don't recall
all of his comments here. The point is that people don't want CEDA nats
"thought of" in a negative way. No one can make it "no more than a
qualifier." Unless, that is, all of the people entering the tournament
see it that way. But I've been lead to believe that CEDA nats is much
more. Being an open national tournament, it celebrates the activity for
all that choose to participate. I don't see how that would be lost.
Furthermore, to the extent that "NDT" teams participate in CEDA
nationals, the tournament might be still larger and more competitive. The
same would be true of the NDT. Nor is your "complaint" a necessary result
of using the same topic. It was merely mentioned that the NDT committee
*could* amend its qualification rules to award some automatic slots at
the NDT based on CEDA nationals performance. If the CEDA community
strongly opposes such an arrangement the NDT committee could be persuaded
not to do so. I have no idea about the two IE nationals, or how one of
those became to be perceived as the lesser.
> I think you're right! CEDA has a great big tent, and I think everyone is
> welcome. One need not give up the NDT ship to explore what CEDA has to offer.
That's true, if we have parallel topics. In CEDA there is a dispute about
the effects of two topics per year on the research resources of small
programs. Two different topics at the same time is unbearable for all but
Emory! Folks can't afford to explore CEDA (nor can CEDA folks explore
NDT) when the topics are different. The NDT community is in the process
of making a decision about whether or not to make it easier for its own
participants to explore CEDA. CEDA, with its big tent *need* not do
anything, but could encourage the exploration by moving it's topic
release up a little.
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