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Is CEDA-L Representative? and treatment of officers
After spending an hour and half this morning slugging through the
weekend's posts to the L a couple of thoughts come to mind.
1) Bear suggested in one of his posts that a vote on the CEDA-L should
be sufficient to establish community intent (Sorry if I misquote you
Bear but I didn't save the specific line from the score of posts by
you). I think this is a mistake. You can pretty well count on the
fingers of two hands those that post to the L on a regular basis. To
presume that the opinions expressed on the L are representative of
the community at large is illusory at best. A couple of examples come
to mind: 1) MPJ: if one had read only the CEDA-L posts regarding MPJ
then one would have concluded an overwhelming sentiment in favor
of MPJ and ABCX in particular. Gary or Greg can correct me but as
I recall the vote on MPJ (rejecting its use at the National Tournament)
wasn't even close. 2)The 3 finals rule for JV/Novice points eligibility:
there was little support for this notion on the L yet it passed. Even
after viewing the administrative nightmare it has created for the Exec.
Sec. efforts to repeal it for JV have failed.
Many people are lurkers on the L by their nature. They read but
chose not to post. Many read only on a cursory basis and many
are merely overwhelmed at the quantity of posts and surrender (I'm
not sure my Chair would be thrilled at my admission that I spent an
hour and a half reading email).
Bear's reference to a silent majority may be true but most are silent
purposely and probably due to the time intensive or personal nature
of communicating via the L. Interpersonal studies do indicate that
in the absence of direct and immediate feedback communication
tends to be more aggressive and the capcity for percpetion-checking
is greatly diminished. The L will never be the ideal mode of communica-
tion for an organization.
The L is a great source of discussion material for those interested but
to rely on the L for official vote taking would, IMHO, be a bad idea.
2)I wanted to thank those who have been willing to serve this
organization in an official capacity. Surely serving this vocal and
diverse group has to suck the lifeblood from our officers. To my
knowledge Russ Church is the only former President who has chosen
to run for another office in the organization (Thanks Russ!). Gary
indicated that he will serve as a regional rep next year and to my
rapidly shrinking memory that is the first time that has happened.
This situation should tell us something about our treatment of officers!
This is not to say that we should roll over and agree with and accept
without comment the actions of the leadership but I do think we
should accept that most are sacrificing valuable time and effort to
serve the greater good. In one of my previous lives, before returning
to coach debate, I spent 5 years on a Congressional staff. Bashing
our politicians has become the national past time. Yet even when
there is ample reason to bash our leaders I found that all of the
Members of Congress I dealt with were motivated by a true sense
of civic committment and public service (yes, even Newt). I think the
metpahor is true for our organization too.
It is true that implicit in the right to vote is the right not to vote but
I think to criticize the officers as being non-repsonsive and then
saying that one is boycotting the business meeting because of a
ridiculously crowded agenda flies in the face of reason. The agenda
is crowded because the structure exists to allow a voice to all
who choose to utilize it.
Finally, Bear, after months of NDT-bashing (which may or may not be
deserved) to use the observation that the NDT coaches left the CEDA
business meeting at SCA laughing as proof that we need radical
reform, seems a bit disingenuous.
Thanks Pam, Carrie, Tuna, Greg and Russ as well as the regional reps.
We may not agree always but I, for one, deeply appreciate your efforts
and your committment to this activity and organization.
Peace, up to a point,
Emporia State Debate
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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