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tolerance and diversity
"The peak of tolerance is most readily achieved by those
who are not burdened with convictions."
Alexander Chase 1966
Unless, of course, ones convictions constitute respect for the greater good
of the greater number, plus enlightened reason over derriere-gard ideology.
[Of course this does become a self-reflexive paradox on a metatheoretical
level since the tolerance will not tolerate intollerance--so I guess that
although tolerance will never be achieved in perfection by imperfect
humans, its still a good thing to strive for--and, I would argue, that the
most tolerant have the strongest of convictions--tolerance itself.]
Gary Rees states that CEDA should stress its virtues as its key assets, and
I could not agree more. I think that open=ness is one of those we say we
support and should continue to fine ways of improving.
By the way--sometimes tolerance and diversity can also work in a practical
sense, as demonstrated by the 1995 CEDA nationals at Shreveport and the
1996 Missouri state tournament. As my colleagues are painfully aware, I
abandoned my convictions for tolerance in favor of arguing for fewer debate
divisions for the pragmatic reason "it won't work." The sheer number of
debate teams of all sorts multiplied dramatically at PKD [except for some
peculiar format called "experimental debate"], and CEDA was up in all of
its divisions at our state tournament even after we added a very successful
parliamentary division. All told, 81 students participated in the MAFA
debate tournament (including 52 combined in the three CEDA divisions)
whereas twelve years ago only 28 students constituted the one CEDA
division, and 45 in the three CEDA divisions which constituted this event a
Now the state tournament has something for everybody--CEDA divisions for
research-oriented debaters, Parliamentary Debate for those who fancy debate
to stress communication skills, and something in between--NFA-LD--for those
who seek to balance the two. The lesson I learned--not only is tolerance a
good and venerable conviction to hold, but it can work.
It also works within the individual program. And those who embrace
tolerance in their own programs are those who give their students the
widest variety of opportunities. When I speak to area high school
programs, those are the virtues that I stress for students who have already
decided to go away to college yet seek advice as to the best opportunities.
As well, I utilize the positive aspects (and on balance, CEDA is one of
the positive aspects) as a recruiting tool, and urge all other
comprehensive programs to do the same.
Finally, the plug--COME TO THE GATEWAY TOURNAMENT NOV. 15-17! You will
find friendly airfares, a large tournament,a tournament close to an
international airport, short drives, a quality big city location, an
efficiently run tournmament by the nation's top tabroom staff, and a
VARSITY DIVISION WHICH IS THE SEVENTH LEG OF THE JESUIT ROUND ROBIN
QUALIFYING EVENT! You will also find friendly divisions of jv, novice, and
ld CEDA/NDT on the joint CEDA/NDT topic! The tournament hotel for this
will remain the evidence-friendly confines of the Henry VIII, at the low
low rate of $49.00 per night! Seven rounds, outrounds by CEDA standards.
For your younger debaters, we are co-hosting the one-day Study Break with
Webster University December 7. Junior, Novice, and LD CEDA.
And please tell your colleagues: for other forms of debate plus fifteen
individual events, check out the UM-St. Louis IE and Parli tournament and
NW Missour Swing Nov. 1-3. The hotel accomodations there are the HOLIDOME
for $59.00 per room. This is a truly awesome facility (standard hotel
rooms [but you don't need the space for evidence at this tournament], but
many many amenities--just remodeled--in every way). Parliamentary and
NFA-LD will be offered.
Thus, we offer every form of debate open to all college debaters.
Check us out! Look for mailed invites in August.
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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