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Read This--Reducing Financial Barriers to Participation
This document seeks to provide suggestions, encourage research,
and present concrete proposals to reduce financial barriers to
participation in forensics. It is written for CEDA debate but I will be
revising it to reflect high school, NDT, IE, Parli and other kinds of
It is a document in progress and we seek your suggestions for
improving it. Please e-mail Jim Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org
and provide additional ideas or revise the ideas contained in this
Note--some of the formatting of this document was lost in the copy
and paste to my email; I apologize if it reads a bit awkwardly at times.
lower fees at tournaments
TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS--LOWER THE COST OF
Get bids for low cost trophies. Send out an RFP (Request for
Proposals) itemizing the desired trophies and asking local vendors
for binding bids. Choose the lowest bid.
Use local art for trophies?consider encouraging students in
the art department to do projects to make trophies; suggestion?do
have event descriptions on these just like regular trophies
Offer trophies only to one division in individual events and
Use ribbons or certificates for awards
Trophies?flowers, old trophies, typewriters, etc.
Use less expensive trophies like less wood and marble, more
glassware, toy animals, pottery, and t-shirts
Recycle old trophies
TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS?HELP NEW, POORLY
Waive squad, debate, individual events, and/or judging fees for
all new programs or programs with weak budgets in their first year
Use sliding scale fees for entry based on total travel budget
TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS?LOWER THE COST OF
Try to get volunteer judges; encourage local business leaders
to attend and write letters for their efforts
Require regular speech department students to judge at the
tournament (especially high school tournaments)
Require teaching assistants, including those not in the
speech-debate program, to judge rounds for the program?make it
part of the job.
Use alumni judging as a "donation" to the program
Make a requirement in an undergraduate class (basic public
speaking; argumentation and debate class) to judge at your
tournament (especially your high school tournament). You can also
give extra credit for judging or establish an assignment in an
undergraduate class to write critiques of public presentations and let
the students do judging at the tournament to fulfill the requirements of
Make an honest assessment of the costs of providing judges at
your tournament?for example, one judge can often judge 6 prelim
debates and 2 flights of individual events plus elimination rounds
TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS?GET SPONSORS FOR YOUR
Look for sponsorships for the tournament; have them pay for
trophies, ballots, etc.
TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS?ADDITIONAL IDEAS
Exchange entry fees with schools that come to your tournament
for entry fees at theirs.
Note: a catch-22 since tournaments are a good way to raise
money, unless rendered so that they don't.
Send portions of profits to groups like the IMPACT coalition or
social justice groups.
Offer reduced fees for additional teams at tournaments; so a
first team might have a $35 fee; second team $30; third and
additional teams $25
Send out post tournament results via e-mail or post it on your
team?s web page
CEDA ORGANIZATION?actions to reduce tournament
Require tournament directors to produce financial disclosure
statements after tournaments.
Adopt the AFA code of ethics regarding tournaments making no
more than 10% net profit except for programs that depend on
tournaments to provide the primary budget for their program.
Establish standards for fees at tournaments so that programs
have a sense when they exceed the norm for fees
Encourage low cost tournaments in an aspirational statement in
the CEDA constitution.
Have the national organization subsidize fees for new programs
for tournaments who need them to cover costs.
Work with NDT and ADA tournament directors and leaders to
reduce fees at all CEDA-topic tournaments
Require or encourage tournaments to offer 10% of its entries
free via an application process and based on a program?s overall
CEDA Nationals should work with a low cost motel in addition
to the tournament hotel for the national tournament.
2. LOWER COSTS OF RESEARCH, ETC.
coaches--ALTERNATIVES TO LEXIS
Subscribe to Electronic Library
Use the Web including web crawler, lycos, alta vista, ?
Do research when you go to other tournaments where they
have big libraries?schedule time to work there
coaches?lower photocopy costs
Consider doing all research on-line; print your files (easier to
access the files than in huge cabinet files; its cheaper to print than
photocopy; you?ll get more cards on a page in an electronic
document; buy a scanner to scan in text from printed materials)
Encourage students to put more evidence on each page
ceda organization?help for tournaments
Create a Research and Resource cooperative and
clearinghouse on a web page
Create and distribute a CEDA sponsored and subsidized
handbook for each topic.
Establish institutional grants to programs to help establish
3. reduce travel costs to tournaments
coaches?find less expensive housing/hotels
Share hotel rooms including with staff and students?be sure to
check your school?s regulations concerning this
Get roll-aways for hotel rooms so you can fit 5 in a room
Request discounts from hotel chains that you frequently
visit--"frequent sleeper" program.
Stay at cheaper tournament motels and hotels like Motel 6?s
Drive an RV to long trips. Watch movies on the way to
nationals, eat without stopping, and sleep in a bed.
Stay at homes of alumni, students, parents, etc.
Stay in residence hall rooms, a gym, etc., at the tournament you
Request discount rates, AAA discounts, corporate rates, special
rates, government rates, etc.
coaches?reduce the costs of food
Buy an ice chest and fill it with sandwiches and cold drinks.
Pack lunches for the drive instead of fast food; it is healthier
Buy groceries instead of eating out all the time
Go to cheap food?remember, as a coach, you may have more
disposable income than students
Students with food plans on their home campus can get meals
packed to take along, at least for the first day.
Request free food with similar meal plans at other schools.
COACHES?REDUCE TRAVEL COSTS
Drive your own cars and have students drive their own cars to
Share vans or rent a bus to tournaments. Have one coach in
the area work out the logistics and then other schools should
Note: Be careful about driving personal cars and sharing vans
among schools due to liability concerns Some schools have
insurance regulations that prohibit such transportation from
COACHES-GENERAL TOURNAMENT COST REDUCTIONS
Choose less expensive tournaments and tournaments with
Go to tournaments that are closer?travel costs are reduced
COACHES?LOWER AIRFARE COSTS
Order tickets ahead for tournaments especially during air wars.
Work with travel agents to reduce fees
If you live in a smaller town; consider driving to a nearby major
city to take a plane at a much reduced cost
TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS?LOWER TRAVEL COSTS
Offer discounts for long-distance travelers
Offer free lodging in residence hall rooms, student rooms,
Provide transportation from the tournament hotel to the
tournament site and from the airport to and from the hotel.
Plan the schedule so people stay at hotels as few nights as
possible while at the same time maintaining concern for safety for
when people travel to and from the tournament. For example, start
your tournament late Friday evening and end mid-day Sunday.
Arrange group rates with airlines that fly into your city or area.
Arrange discount rates at hotels for your tournament, especially
if you have a tournament hotel
Work with other schools to offer swings to provide most the
rounds for the buck
Increase competitiveness of regional tournaments so that
national travel is less necessary.
Consider ?bi-regional? tournaments held near the borders of
regions to encourage participation from both areas.
4. raise money
COACHES?fund raising ideas
Run a Bingo Hall.
Have students contribute to the cost of going to tournaments.
Sell poetry, singing, etc. o-grams
Have a public debate, speakathon brunch, story telling comedy
shows or an interp festival; charge people to see these
performances; have students sell tickets.
Have contests including trivia games, jelly bean counts, water
Ask for matching funds from companies, foundations, etc. when
Make presentations to Elks, Kiwanis, Lions, League of Women
Voters, etc. and request donations to your team.
Host a one or two day workshop for high school students on
debating especially their policy and Lincoln-Douglas topics as well
as individual events.
Have your team help out high school students for compensation
from a school
Ask for money from debate alumni and general department
Send out newsletters to alumni
Hold a rummage sale with old forensics stuff
CEDA ORGANIZATION?RAISING MONEY
Develop and distribute information on getting corporate
sponsorships and grants.
Use corporate sponsors for CEDA Nationals.
Increase overall CEDA fees and offer free or low cost
memberships to new programs
Give CEDA generated money to small programs
5. increase budgets GIVEN BY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION
coaches/students?gaining funds from student
Dedicate one or two people on your team to be responsible for
Check what the process is at your school for garnering
funds-it's written down somewhere (most state institutions can
probably find it in the state law somewhere).
Put a good spin on everything your club does and feed the
news to whoever funds you throughout the year, not just at budget
Work with AS candidates for budget offices. Talk with them
during the campaign as well as after it.
Avoid antagonizing opposing campaigns; keep relations
positive with all candidates.
Have students on the debate team run for office.
Contact student senators that had backgrounds in high school
speech and debate.
Invite some student government types to some of your team?s
parties, functions, tournaments; perhaps, encourage them to judge or
coaches/students?GAIN ADMINISTRATION FUNDING
Ask administration and student groups for special money for
Be sure to get all the good publicity attention you can on your
Network like mad with University administrators.
Ask for more money from your budget sources as your program
increases its students, participation and success.
Find out what funding athletics receives and encourage the
school to match that amount.
CEDA ORGANIZATION?helping schools with their
Create and distribute a guide on effective lobbying and
participating in student fee allocation committees.
Send congratulations letters to the administrations of all teams
clearing at CEDA Nationals.
Create and distribute a public relations guide, explaining the
importance and methods of positive public relations.
Create and distribute a special fund raising assistance program
to help specific programs to increase or preserve their budgets.
Create and distribute a national database and archive of
testimonials about debate programs to help promote debate on their
Create and distribute a series of justifications for speech and
Actively seek out corporate sponsors for a "Program"
scholarship for new or small schools.
6. buildup endowments
coaches?getting the money
Discuss with your development office how and if you can create
Discuss developing a plan to have debaters call and ask for
money for an endowment with your development office
Mail a letter explaining your endowment before you call people
to make donations.
Contact your development office or alumni office and get the
names, addresses, phone numbers, and class years for all living
alumni who did debate.
Contact previous debaters and discuss life insurance policies
with proceeds going to the debate endowment.
Encourage many, many, many smaller gifts to the debate
In many cases, make Deans, Presidents, and Trustees aware
of fundraising - they often need knowledge in case they meet with big
donors who want to give money.
coaches?building up endowments
Use only ? of the interest your endowment generates each
year in order to exist in perpetuity as well as grow.
Spend your endowment money last (and use your regular
budget first) during the year as the endowment money develops
interest during the year.
CEDA ORGANIZATION?ASSISTING WITH ENDOWMENTS
Help programs establish alumni organizations.
Create and distribute information on how to work with donation
and development offices on campuses to develop endowments.
Work with ASIST, which is the Association for the Support of
Intercollegiate Speech Teams, to develop ideas for developing funds
Seek federal government money via the Department of
7. reduce participation costs of students, coaches and judges
Pay for entry fees
Pay travel costs
Pay hotel costs
Pay for meal expenses
Pay research costs including photocopying
Pay for internet and Lexis access
8. OTHER IDEAS
Encourage students who transfer to schools who provide
adequate funding for their debate teams to send a letter to the
President of their school explaining that they are leaving because of
limited allocations to the school?s debate team.
Create and distribute information on what to do when schools
consider cutbacks in debate program funding.
Create a spreadsheet and get control of your budget; find out
where the costs are coming from.
Encourage free information exchange on budget saving ideas,
use tournaments or SCA meetings to develop ways to enhance
budgets for debate programs.
Offer sweepstakes for differing budgets?including three
divisions, with distinguishing characteristics among the divisions
being money, number of coaches, tournaments traveled to, and two
year schools versus four year schools.
Encourage an adopt a program mentality where schools are
rewarded for being cooperative with smaller programs
Engage in a study of budgets at public and private colleges and
universities and determine the needs of these programs. Develop
information on program funding including Hunt and Inch?s study on
budgets of the top 50 programs in CEDA; identify whether public
universities are facing worse problems than private colleges and
what this means for how we address funding problems.
Examine the cost savings, safety, desirability, etc. of two day
and three day tournaments.
Encourage large newspapers to use ?polls? in their papers for
the top (high school) debate teams in the state. The result would be
heightened focus on having debate as part of educational institutions
putting additional pressure on high schools and colleges and
universities to include debate.
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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