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I once again extend thanks to all who make debating of various sorts
possible to us--at our commuter school where the student population is so
diverse and dynamic across every conceivable dimention, it is essential
that we be able to offer students options from year to year--with options,
it is more likely that we will be able to field a team whose size justifies
a travel budget. I believe that we are not the only ones in a position to
be thankful for this diveristy.
I stress once again that each form of debate offers something special.
Parli and CEDA today are so distinct that I doubt there is any "danger"
posed by crossover in debaters--the rules are clearly distinct, and as a
critic who has judged CEDA and parli, the distinctions are not particularly
difficult to make. I don't think its necessary for parli debaters to adapt
to me because I have judged a lot of CEDA--as long as the follow PARLI
rules and conventions, that is what counts. And I don't think its
necessary for CEDA debaters to change when debating in front of me merely
because I have judged parli debate. Since I am nothing special as a judge,
I believe most others can and do enforce the different expectations when
judging different type rounds.
With the discussion of debate types going on in this fermenting world, I
share with the participants of the last Pi Kappa Delta convention a
newfound appreciation for the diversity in debate (I originally opposed
having so many divisions, but none of them hurt the other ones--in fact,
there was growth in every diminsion of debate). At the same time, I am
pleased that CEDA and NDT are merging topics, since at this point only
superficial things differentiate the two debate types.
In a tolerant world, we should be pleased that parliamentary exists to
promote debate among 1) debate clubs [as opposed to teams], 2) individual
events students, 3) working students, 4) those who feel debate is mainly
style-oriented, or that substance is other than reading evidence, and 5)
fun. We should also be pleased that evidentiary, hard, NDT/CEDA debate
exists to promote debate among 1) scholarship-oriented programs and teams,
2) those who like in-depth research, 3) students who do have the free time
to put into the activity, and 4) those who feel that debate is mainly
substance-oriented, and that substance does require much documentation, and
5) fun. It would also be nice to have a kind offered at each tournament
that tries to mediate between the two. Right now, ADA and NFA-LD most
closely fit the bill.
As I said, the merger of NDT and CEDA topics, plus the advent of more
national tournaments offering both evidentiary-specialist and audience
debates are steps in the right direction. In terms of debate diversity,
the closer we get to the NFL model that promotes both forms, on the college
level, the closer we get to building on the high school experience,
supporting our high school colleagues, and avoiding the backbiting that
sometimes goes on between the forms.
Thanks to everyone who is working toward making it possible for our program
to do both evidentiary and audience debating without having to have totally
split schedules, as well as for realizing that the time vs. evidence
dilemma will never be solved to everybody's satisfaction and for realizing
that the positives of each type outweigh the negative--or that for programs
such as ours and many others, debating types should be a both/and as
opposed to either/or proposition.
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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