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I was troubled to read Dr. Snider's recent post concerning the
CIDD and international debate tours. Unattributed and unfounded claims
couched as "possibilities" gain an unwarranted degree of argumentative
force. While I expect that more people will remember the "possibilities"
and warning to "think twice" than my response, I will attempt to respond
to the "concerns" raised by Snider.
1. The selection panel is heavily stacked with NDT people so that
CEDA students are neither well-known or taken seriously by the panel.
As Madsen's post to the NDT-L indicates, the Committee on International
Discussion and Debate is an SCA body. The call for nominations is found
in the SPECTRA every summer (one of the regional seats is open each year,
this year the Western seat is open). Personally, I have made inquiries
into the availability of CEDA coaches for the committee. (To avoid the
charge that no such conversation has taken place, Nick Burnett can
verify my claim). Additionally, I hope that an APDA member will
join the committee within the next two years (Yes, debate is bigger than
CEDA and NDT).
For those interested in serving on the committee, you need to be aware
that CIDD committee service requires a LOT of time. The only "active"
coaches that can expect to serve on the committee and carry on regular
debate travel are those of us with TA's.
I am very troubled by the "possibility" that I (or other committee members)
do not take candidates seriously. Despite the fact that you may think of
me as an NDT coach (something my peers often question), I am an educator
and would not ask a student to come to a tryout at her own expense and
treat her as a second-class participant. I would be interested in any
specific evidence that exists to validate this "possibility."
2. That members of the selection panel remain so even though one or
more of their students are in the running.
This is an interesting "possibility." The deliberations take place in a
closed door meeting, while I have served on the committee people have
generally allowed the other member of the committee to make the
decision concerning their student. I served on a committee that did not
select any of three students (all very good candidates) from the school
of a committee member.
3. That selection standards are more "US team debate" than they are
"adapt to international debate."
The team the visits Japan is generally more of a "US debate team" than
the team we send to the UK or USSR. The Japanese want to debate
Disads, Kritiks, CPs, etc . . . This is not to say that we send teams
that ignore the public elements of audience debating.
4. That "popularity" is far more of a factor in selection than
Presently, two of the four members of the committee are "retired" debate
coaches and they have more sense than to listen to me to find out who is
currently popular. Additionally, the team the committee sends reflects
upon us professionally, we want to send the best team.
5. That very little attention is paid to producing a gender and race
Any evidence for this "possibility?" The 1992 team that we sent to
Japan had a debater that traced his family roots to the indian sub-continent.
We are sending a woman APDA debater to UK this winter. Cate Palczewski and
Gordon Mitchell provided examples of women who took the tour in the 1980's.
Hell, my spouse was a member of the 1980 tour. Dr. Lucy Keele, Cal State
Fullerton, has long championed the feminist cause in debate and has been
a contributor to the CIDD program since the mid-1970's.
Hopefully I have answered the assertions behind the veneer of the possibilities
raised in the Snider posting. Hopefully, this message will make it to
CEDA=L (I would appreciate it if someone would post it if it doesn't make
it). Additionally, I hope you will cross list your postings on this
subject to CEDA-L. I am concerned that the CEDA community might
"think twice" about trying out because of the "possibilities."
Edward M. Panetta
Director of Debate
Univ of Georgia, Athens GA 30602
(706) 542-4445/ (706) 542-3245 (fax)
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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