November 2013


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Brad Burns <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
USA Debating in the WUDC Format <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 21 Nov 2013 14:38:04 -0500
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For one, I agree with DReg that it is extremely unclear how this is the
distinct from the status quo, where everyone votes to award a bid in much
the same way as the USUDC - bottom line is I don't think *any* of these
concerns are unique to the new organization, though this may be a valuable
legal discussion extracted from that.

That being said, even if there are still concerns, can't they all be
alleviated by having everyone at USUs sign a waiver?  Perhaps I am
demonstrating my shocking lack of legal knowledge, but this seems like a
very simple, but effective, solution - even if I am somewhat saddened that
we might be at a point in our community where that might be necessary.


On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 2:22 PM, D Register <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Tuna,
> Again, interesting comments/questions.  I'll address the money thing
> first.  If the development coordinator (or committee) fails to raise money,
> the development coordinator (or committee) fails to raise money.  There is,
> frankly, no impact.  It would be nice to have a cheaper national
> tournament.  If it turns out that it's not possible because there's too
> much hassle, then it turns out that it's not possible because there's too
> much hassle.  The result would be... the same as the status quo.
> As for most of the other stuff... the problems you describe are the status
> quo as well.  If what you say is true, than all the people who vote for a
> USU bid in a world of no USUDA are at risk as well.  A de facto
> organization already has existed (no one has questioned that point at any
> time).  The difference between the status quo and the USUDA is that with
> the USUDA there are codified voting procedures.  That's not a significant
> difference were a lawsuit to happen.  Let's all hope nothing bad happens at
> Purdue this year, since all of us who voted to award the bid are exposed to
> risk.  I do want to repeat the question, however, since I don't feel like
> it's been addressed: What is the "something bad" that you're talking about?
>  What possible lawsuit do you see happening?  I think this is *very*important, especially since we're all liable if something happens at
> Purdue.  Lawsuits tend to focus on details, so details here might help us
> all move forward in the most productive/least exposed manner.
> As for mission creep... These are rules for voting on USU bids and trying
> to help facilitate the best tournament possible.  Any broadening of the
> function of the USUDA beyond that means the USUDA is dissolved (see the
> section at the bottom of the document).  I feel like you're conflating
> voting procedures with some kind of overarching organization (like CEDA),
> but fail to recognize that the USUDA is not at all similar to something
> like that.  I would like to reiterate Steve's appeal for people to read the
> actual document, instead of making claims based on the fear of what the
> USUDA might be/become.
> I'm not sure what you mean when you reference Josh's appeal to civility,
> but I vaguely remember people engaging in personal insult instead of
> arguments.  If that's what you mean, yes.  Civility is good.  But, haven't
> we also resolved that Meany and Shengwu engaging in snark is also a
> valuable (and entertaining) form of argument?
> I know (based on various backchannels) that there are a couple of schools
> who intend to NOT join the USUDA based on principle, although the principle
> has not been articulated.  I'm not about to out anyone here, but I hope
> that more folks will choose to engage as you have, Tuna.  Debate is good
> (and all of that).
> David
> On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 10:41 AM, Alfred Snider <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>>  See below. Mostly agree, but..
>> On 11/21/13 4:56 AM, Stephen Llano wrote:
>> Dear Tuna,
>>  Good questions. At this point I think the appropriate place to ask
>> these questions is to the general membership and what they would like to do
>> about them.
>>  My opinion is based on a reminder that this organization has one
>> function, to streamline and make sense of the process of selecting a host
>> for USU. So concerns about sanctioning, deciding who gets to participate,
>> etc. are not relevant to the organization.
>>  As far as insurance goes, I believe any host would need to look into
>> the liability matter as they would for any tournament, and follow their
>> procedures. Since this organization does no sanctioning and is not hosting
>> any competitions, I don't think there would be any need for insurance. I
>> think there's a big difference between hosting your event on someone's
>> campus and facilitating someone's desire to host an event. I believe the
>> host would not be USU, but the school who is bidding, as it's always been.
>> Ask a lawyer. I am told that if you award a bid to a host, then you are
>> also responsible. You agree to hold it WITH them.
>>  Of course, general membership can change this as they see fit and
>> explore these options.
>>  On the money issue, I believe it would be great for this organization
>> to raise money to make USU free or inexpensive to all who wish to come, so
>> that's why I included the development officer position. This of course will
>> require some work to see what needs to be done in order to raise and
>> distribute funds to hosts in ways that do not violate non-profit status of
>> host institutions, etc. It's something that will be explored in the future
>> by those who wish to hold this position or work with those who hold the
>> position, and most likely will require some legal assistance.
>> The WSDC Charity formed for precisely this purpose. The result has been
>> NOTHING. Lots of expense and hassle to form a legal charity, and no money.
>> My point is that if an organization takes responsibility for something then
>> nobody else does stuff. Saying there is a magic wand for finding money is
>> usually inappropriate ("Let's create an organization to raise money," like
>> "Let's hire a fundraising expert" are both too familiar and ineffective).
>> Name an organization connected to debate who has done it well (without
>> George Soros).
>>  Please note that having a position in the organization officially does
>> not preclude someone working with the person who has that title, or
>> forgoing the title and having a committee work that position. But I find it
>> strange to think that if something happened at a tournament that those who
>> facilitated the bidding process would be held liable. It's possible I
>> guess, but I think any host of any tournament should learn and apply the
>> procedures that their institution follows. And as Mike pointed out,
>> everyone who works in debate should be aware of them too.
>> You award the bid, you are part of it. The university faces a legal
>> issue, and they drag you in. Who will pay to defend you when this happens?
>>  Finally, I hope everyone realizes that this is not an organization that
>> will sanction debates, say what debate is or is not, or say which
>> tournaments matter and which don't. The only thing the organization exists
>> to do is to facilitate the process of agreeing where we have a national
>> championship tournament. I encourage everyone to carefully read the
>> document outlining the organizations scope and powers and realize that this
>> is not the creation of a national organization to govern BP debate in the
>> US, but merely to make our process for choosing a national tournament site
>> centralized, accessible, and easy to follow so that we can encourage a
>> large, diverse number of bids in the future.
>> I do not think USUDA will do any harm (unless there is legal trouble) but
>> my opinion is that often when we form an organization we tend to look to it
>> to solve our problems and that demobilizes us.
>> Josh Martin's post about a lack of civility is still largely unanswered.
>> I hope I am wrong. I hope USUDA finds great bids, raises money, etc. We
>> shall see.
>> Tuna
>>  Best, Steve
>> On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM, Alfred Snider <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>>> Just a couple of questions before I sign on:
>>> Will the organization be legally constituted?
>>> Will it have a budget of any sort and/or will it raise funds?
>>> Will officers be indemnified or insured against damages?
>>> New Scenario: School X organizes USU with USUDA. Something bad happens,
>>> a lawsuit begins. Campus X dos not want to be responsible so they sue the
>>> organizers, USUDA. USUDA has no policy, so officers are responsible.
>>> Old scenario: No one to blame, so host has to handle it.
>>> This is what my legal adviser has told me to ask. I am told that if it
>>> is not insured, don't be an officer.
>>> Not trying to rain on any parade, but curious.
>>> Tuna
>>> On 11/20/13 6:11 PM, D Register wrote:
>>>> Greetings all,
>>>> This is a reminder that folks can declare themselves members of the
>>>> USUDA here:
>>>> A current list of members is located here:
>>>> Best,
>>>> David Register
>>>> Bard College
>>> --
>>> ========================
>>> Edwin Lawrence Professor of Forensics, University of Vermont
>>> Director, Lawrence Debate Union; Director, World Debate Institute
>>> 475 Main Street, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405 USA
>>> 802-238-8345 mobile, 802-656-0097 office, 802-656-4275 fax
>>> @asnider Twitter
>>  --
>> _____
>> Stephen Llano, Ph.D.
>> Director of Debate and Assistant Professor, Department of Rhetoric,
>> Communication & Theater
>> St. Johnís University
>> Queens, NY
>> 718-990-5606(voice) 718-990-2435 (fax)
>> callto://stevellano -- Skype Me!
>> "Knit the brows, and a strategem comes to mind." - Lo Kuan-chung, Romance
>> of the Three Kingdoms.
>> "Poetry is a rival government always in opposition to its cruder
>> replicas." - William Carlos Williams
>> --
>> ========================
>> Edwin Lawrence Professor of Forensics, University of Vermont
>> Director, Lawrence Debate Union; Director, World Debate Institute
>> 475 Main Street, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405 USA802-238-8345 mobile, 802-656-0097 office, 802-656-4275 fax
>> @asnider Twitter