BY KARL MOEGLEIN
A rule clearly outlined in the Oregon Speech and Debate Handbook was violently thrown aside by a judge after a round my sophomore year at Lewis and Clark. The judge asked my partner and me to stay back as we attempted to finish the usual ritual of leaving that follows each round. I was confused about what was happening. Why this college judge wanted just one of the two teams to stay was beyond me. What could he possibly need to tell us in private. . .
The tournament directors for the UC Berkeley Parli Invitational* sent the following response to MVLA head coach Julie Herman's open letter, which represented both MVLA and students from other schools. This response was sent to Point of Information by the tournament directors for publication. . .
MVLA would like to express its deep disappointment with the quality of the event you hosted this weekend. We recognize that the Debate Society at Berkeley is a primarily student-run organization, and we want to support groups like you. We also recognize the difficulties inherent in running a tournament for the first time. However, that does not excuse the decisions by the director and tab staff to unevenly panel preliminary rounds, inaccurately record panel decisions, and continue with elimination rounds after realizing brackets and seedings were constructed incorrectly.
January 28th and 29th mark two days which will live in infamy. As debaters who witnessed, participated, and competed at The UC Berkeley Parli Invitational run by the Debate Society at Berkeley, we were left aghast. It was not the salt-of-the earth competition we eagerly anticipated; if anything, it salted the earth. We cannot take the legitimacy of high school parliamentary debate for granted, and cannot ignore the severe setbacks that have plagued this tournament. We arrived on. . .
As you may have heard, the recent Cal Berkeley Parli Invitational, held from Jan 28th-29th, had many problems. Debaters complained about the long delays, topics, and unfair judging/paneling against them. Although we wholeheartedly agree, these complaints are nothing new and hardly unique to this tournament. What is new, however, is the complaint from some debaters that speaker point mistakes in 3-2 octofinals breaks have. . .
BY EVERETT RUTAN
The parli final round at the 2016 Yale Invitational was a great debate: the Regis team that placed second in 2015 affirmed against a hybrid Los Altos/Notre Dame on the motion, “THW prohibit the use of laptops, tablets, cellphones and similar devices in classrooms.” (See the news article for more details.) Whatever your opinion on the differences between East and West. . .
BY JULIE HERMAN
There is untempered rage in my heart that I cannot seem to get rid of even a week after the parli TOC. I have been in the parli community for ten years. I competed as a high school student and it was the most formative experience of my high school career. It made me better--it showed me how to think in ways that I was never taught in high school classes. And then, when I got to college, it was my home away from home, a little piece of familiarity. It was the first place I found friends. It gave me my first opportunities to teach, an activity which is now central to my life. Even more than that, it shaped my ethic of justice and my conception of what is right in the world.
BY EVERETT RUTAN
“A Policy Underground” and “A Kancer on the Korpus” suggest a clash of civilizations. To a much older debater they are just the latest iteration in a long discussion that probably started when Lawrence Tribe invented “spread” in the early 1960’s, back when all debate was policy debate. It continued through the invention of LD and PF and now the spread of parli. As a former policy debater (after the invention of spread but before the invention of LD), current coach (18 years), tab director (12 years) and league director (6 years) with a vested interest in the development of high school parliamentary debate I’d like to weigh in. . .
BY JOEL JACOBS
Carla Ho and Eunice Jung, in “A Policy Underground: on Parli Community Outgrouping” (parli.org, 11/17/15), discuss some hostility they’ve encountered as policy debaters competing in parliamentary debate, and hostility to the theory arguments they run, such as kritiks. I’d like to address the latter. Ms. Ho and Ms. Jung write, “All arguments are valid. No argument should be dismissed as not worthy of listening to, nor considered ‘toxic’ to parliamentary debate. All forms of debate, including parliamentary, are places for knowledge and self-empowerment, and. . .
BY CARLA HO AND EUNICE JUNG
This past weekend, we attended the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational. As policy debaters, we were already marked with the stereotype of reading a bunch of “weird Ks”, “ressentiment this and that”, and “just cards”. In multiple rounds, we have been accused of “trying to destroy all of parliamentary debate” for reading arguments that we have particular connection to . . .
BY KARL MOEGLEIN
Only one thing is shared between every single style of debate: the presence of a resolution. This presence allows for focused and educational rounds. However, the existence of a resolution is not enough-- it must be good itself. The amount of substantive arguments a debater is able to make comes from their understanding on a resolution, so well-written resolutions allow for more in depth debate.
BY PAUL KIM
Sirens, shouts, and intermittent gunfire break the silence of night in Bridgeport’s east side. People there live with the knowledge that danger could be around any corner; they are numb to fear. Greenwich nights are punctuated by laughter over a glass of wine from a patio, and the occasional sound of new tires gliding over freshly paved asphalt. In Greenwich, it. . .
BY MEHAK SHARMA
At tournaments, the easiest way to find the way to the prep room or student lounge is by following the sea of penguins-- in other words, the suit-clad, laptop bag-toting swarm of students. However, aside from this benefit, the formal attire expected of competitors at debate tournaments serves no real purpose, and is, in fact, detrimental to individual debaters and the community as a whole. . .
BY SPENCER DEMBNER
From November 20-22, Santa Clara University will host the Dempsey-Cronin Invitational, the biggest NorCal debate tournament of the fall; on October 14, the varsity parli pool already had 62 entries according to Tabroom. Sadly, only 15 of them are people.
The rest are marked as “names TBA” -- blank placeholder entries...
BY KAUSTUBH VINCHURE, ROHAN BHARGAVA, AND SAMEER ZIAEE
Consider the following scenario. The PMC delivers a pretty standard aff – 2 advantages, net benefits framing, and impacts to the economy. In his LOC, Sameer spreads through a Cap K and an Ableism K, with a little bit of Levinas sprinkled in. Now, most MGs would be pretty scared of Sameer’s LOC – there’s a lot to cover, and a good kritikal debater always has a few tricks hidden in their kritiks that can win them the round cleanly. Compounded with no prep, an MGC focused solely on the K debate on Sameer’s side...
BY ABHINAV TRIPATHY
Parliamentary debate has completely changed the way that I view politics in our society. When I joined debate during my freshman year, I was a naive student who completely ignored current events. After just one year of parliamentary debate, though, my knowledge of global politics and social issues increased exponentially.
As many debaters know, we must not only look to the ends, but to the means with which we achieve those ends. The same goes for solving the present issues that plague many parli debaters. In his recent opinion piece, Thomas White provided three excellent standards with which to approach the reform of parliamentary debate; we must now look to the implementation of those standards and others like them....
BY THOMAS WHITE
Seven days ago, I went to the Stanford Invitational. As the finals round progressed and both sides tried to argue that their advocacy would help Parli, the most interesting thing I noticed was that we really don’t seem to agree at all on what Parli is for....
Different members of the community are going to have different opinions about the tactics used by underground teams. But disagreements about tactics should not obscure the far more important point – Stanford resolutions were awful beyond the pale....
BY SIERRA MACIOROWSKI
Lay theory. Some believe it can never be done, some believe it should never be done, but it’s impossible to avoid it completely-- and I firmly believe that we should not attempt to avoid it. A lot of the the problems with theory in lay rounds result from misunderstanding, on the part of both the competitors and the judge. Teams have a tendency to run theory wrong, not explaining specifically what the problems with an argument -- or lack thereof -- are. But they also tend to under-explain the consequences of a theory shell. Education and fairness are fascinating and important, but do they really constitute something more important than the ability of an affirmative plan to save lives?