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Re: Roger Sadler resigning from forensics
1. Offer lodging, entry fees, meal expenses, and vehicle rental
expenses to all who compete, as long as minimal quality standards are set.
Usually that is either policy debate, and/or at least two ies plus do
parliamentary when asked for sweepstakes purposes. The meal expenses are
necessary as many of today's students work and give up the salary in order
to compete--otherwise, you have no choice but to open your program to the
elite only, which is particularly undesirable, not to mention impractical,
at state supported schools. Such is doubly true for commuter schools such
2. Offer full scholarships to those entering first-year students who have
proven the most ability to contribute substantially through commitment
(note commitment--often the high school champs burn out in college, and are
also often difficult to coach or to acculturate into the college
community). Also, offer full scholarships to walkons who make the
representative efforts in fulltime participation--defined as either
pentathlon/parli, or policy debate. In some instances, programs which are
comprehensive are perfectly reasonable in requiring their scholarship
students to also compete in debate.
3. Realize the amount of cost that the above will involve. It is indeed
perverse to believe that one can meet the necessary expenses of their team
on $3,000.00 per year (eg, I would not operate this program if I did not
have "1" above--and they keep "2" so borderline that each year I am forced,
reluctantly, to consider closing the program in order to do what tenured
faculty usually do). Even a schedule of all one-day tournaments would make
it difficult to field an IE team on that budget. That will take one debate
team to two three-day tournaments, and that's about all, and having a
program that small (although we've been there for short periods of time) is
just not worth the effort within my philosophy (doing the greatest good for
the greatest number).
This problem isn't limited to ie and is prevalent at some schools who want
good debate programs, but are not willing to fund them. I heard of a good
debate program that could potentially be great, but was expected to run on
4. It's not SGA's responsibility entirely to fund forensics--remember that
SGA's task usually revolves around on-campus activities and how many your
activity affects. We receive decent support in that we are in a location
that makes it conducive to host international debates and have large
tournaments--so we have the ability to trumpet our program as having a
substantial on-campus dimension. Most others do not share these blessings.
In short, as Debate is a co-curricular activity, the University
administration should shoulder some of the cost.
We are on soft money here, so we don't really even know we'll have a budget
from year to year. I can say that we have received substantially more than
Western Illinois did, and that at least our department sees it as a
co-curricular activity such that it kicks in substantially--all from
private contributions to the University's general fund. We usually raise a
substantial amount of money each year, a process, again, facilitated by
being in large metro area. Still, we are strained to meet the needs of our
students as many who would LOVE to debate and speak, cannot (they have to
work weekends, they have children and three days is just too much, they
need to adjust to college life, etc).
But as forensics communities we don't have to lay down and play the VicTim.
Again we need to stand together as a community and promote forensics as a
co-curricular activity. If we do, then we also promote the mission
statement for CEDA developed by Pam Stepp, Greg Simerly, and Carrie
Crenshaw, which I think would also nicely apply to pentathlon IE programs.
I and others are willing to write any administrator as to the value of this
activity, as well as the costs necessitated by any philosophy that would
not be elitist in how to offer this activity. When we as a community have
done this in the past, some programs have been both saved, begun, and
If there are others in trouble out there, remember that the support is
there, and I know by past support of AFA, NFA, and CEDA colleagues for my
own program, others feel the same way. As well, we don't know when we may
be asking for yours . . .
All the best, and here's to those who make all of the above worthwhile.
>To the forensic community,
> I have officially resigned as Director of Individual Events at Western
>Illinois University. A number of factors have led me to this decision:
>1) Continued massive cuts in our budget, despite having hosted 1996 NFAs;
>2) I receive at the most 1.5 credits off my teaching load each semester to do
> forensics. I often receive no courseload relief;
>3) I was hired at WIU in 1990 to teach radio and TV -- I have done forensics
> because of my love for the competition and because there USED TO BE eager
> students who needed me to coach;
>4) No scholarship support for forensics competitors;
>5) I have NO team this year -- at least no one who has anything even close to
> competition quality. I'm tired of trying to motivate the unmotivated;
>6) I am finding more of a need to devote extra time to my broadcasting
> This is not an easy decision. I will miss all of the friends I have made
>in forensics. I thoroughly enjoyed hosting NFAs last year -- I will consider
>hosting again if NFA needs me. For now, though, I am stepping out of coaching.
>Our forensic budget is down to $6,000 which must be split with the debaters!
>As most of you know, it is difficult to compete effectively with $3,000.
>Besides, our student government has made it clear they intend to "zero out" our
>budget within the next few years, and I am tired of fighting them! They
>wouldn't even give me funds to help with NFAs last year! I had to beg for
>funds from elsewhere! Darned pitiful, if you ask me.
> Thanks to everyone who has made my six years as WIU coach a great time! I
>will still have the "Last Chance" tournament in March if enough of you out
>there need me to!
> If you wish to respond to my announcement, please use my e-mail address so
>we don't clutter this service (more than we already do!!).
> Roger Sadler
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