7 February 2006

News from Vermont Debate AKA The Voice of Edwin is the weekly newsletter of the Edwin Lawrence Debate Union at the University of Vermont, an endowed co-curricular program which trains students in debating and sponsors national competition and community events. The newsletter is published every Tuesday during the school year and infrequently at other times. Alfred C. Snider is the Director. 802-656-0097 voice, 802-238-8345 mobile, 802-656-4275 fax, alfred.snider@uvm.edu email, and http://debate.uvm.edu/ldu.html web site. To unsubscribe from the email version of the newsletter go to http://list.uvm.edu/archives/topicnews.html .

FUNDRAISING APPEAL TO DETERMINE THE FUTURE OF UVM DEBATE
Current season needs funds to reach Nationals
Endowment must be built for 21st Century


| Proud tradition, a history of financial security, but the future is at stake NOW! ||

An open letter to all alumni and supporters from Alfred Snider, Edwin Lawrence Professor of Forensics:
I want to say hello to all of our alumni and supporters.   I hope that your lives are going well and that you are successful in family, business and as citizens.  Somehow I feel that your involvement in debate at the University of Vermont might have, or hopefully had, a little bit to do with what you have accomplished in your life.  I hope that is true, but I know you will have to be the final judge of that.  And, as we know, the judge is always right.
It has been twenty-four years for me here at the University of Vermont.  I remember the day I first walked in to the debate office.  I saw the big picture of Edwin Lawrence and Doc Huber was there to show it to me.  Doc was very helpful to me and was always giving sharp advice.  I had been a successful debate coach for ten years by that time, but was looking for a place to settle down and have a full career as a coach.  Burlington was a lovely place, Vermont debate had a great tradition, and UVM was a nice campus.  But the real thing that made me realize that this was the place for me was the endowment left by Edwin Lawrence.
As a veteran debate coach I know that no matter how successful you are, university priorities can change, leaving programs vulnerable to budget cuts.   The existence of the Lawrence Endowment meant that the future of debate at UVM would never be in question.  Edwin Lawrence was an insightful man with a passion for the thing that binds us – debate.    
Our endowment means that we can focus on developing our students.  More often than not they debate in higher divisions than their eligibility (novices in JV, JV in varsity) in order to grow faster and learn more.  We can afford to do this because we do not have to bring a lot of trophies home to prove that we deserve our funding.  Of course, we do bring a lot of trophies home, but I would hate to imagine how many we would win if people did not “debate up.” Winning is nice, and we try to do that, but our main focus is on the growth and development of our debaters.
Our budget has never been as large as many of the major debate schools we compete against, but it is much more secure.  In the last twenty-three years we have maximized our budget in very clever ways.  One way is to utilize our local alumni to coach, travel, and judge for us.  In addition, we plan ahead allowing us to take full advantage of the best deals on registration fees, travel, and lodging.    
As the squad has grown, the financial pressure has mounted.  We have received limited funding from the Student Government Association, but it is not as consistent as we would like.  We have a small group of dedicated alumni who make gifts to help when we are really in need (like going to San Francisco and Spokane last year for our two national tournaments), and we have found ways to use information technology to lower our copying and research costs.  Our meal allowance of $10 per day has not gone up in all these years, but I still feel we need it to make sure students are not priced out of debate.
According to debateresults.com, our ever-growing squad is now the biggest debate team in America.  We welcome anyone, train them, and give them a chance.  Our experienced debaters know that from a funding standpoint the breadth of our program comes first.  Although they may not be able to attend all of the major tournaments they would like to, they understand because they were all novices once.  Still, it is our goal to get them to as many tournaments representing UVM as possible.  We regularly finish in the top ten among debate teams in America in terms of our season performance. 
We still do many of the community and public activities that Doc started, but in a different way.  We stage public debates and campus events, but we also have created over 310 television programs shown three times a week in northern Vermont.  We support high school and middle school debate (Burlington HS meets every Monday in our offices) and we are active globally, helping with the planning of debate workshops in Korea and Slovenia last year as well as working with over twelve different nations to give them advice, expertise and even a coach or a team (if they can buy the plane ticket).  The summer workshop Doc started serves a large population of inner city high school debaters through our partnerships with community groups and leagues in New York, Washington, Baltimore and Providence.  We have not forgotten our roots.
But as the program continues to grow and the students get better and better, as we attract more and more of UVM’s best and brightest, we are running out of ways to be clever and make our funds go far enough.  We are now at a point where talented students simply have to stay home because we can’t afford to give them the debating experience they desire. 
Alumni Charles Morton and Aaron Fishbone had an idea.  Celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Doc’s exit from UVM as well as my twenty-fifth year here with a concerted alumni fundraising campaign to support debate.  We want to give the students of today the opportunities they deserve as well as guarantee the opportunities for the students of the future.  Our plan is to spend the next few years raising funds and dividing them between expanding the endowment and offering current students more opportunities.
For those alumni with whom I never had the chance to work, I ask you to perform a thought experiment.  Imagine you are having a conversation with Robert Huber about this.  What would he say? Would he ask you to support UVM debate? What would his arguments be? I am sure you can answer these questions better than I can.  For those of you who have worked with me over the last couple of decades, no thought experiment is needed.  I quite often have something called a “final conversation” as students graduate and leave Burlington.  I have not had a chance to have them with all my alumni, but with quite a number.  I always say the same two things.  First, I say that the easy part is over and now you need to use your skills to make the world a better place.  Second, I say that if you are successful and have some money, you know where it will be wisely and productively used.  Now is the future I have been talking about all these years. 
This year we have five teams that deserve to go to CEDA Nationals in Dallas, and I believe we will qualify TWO teams for the NDT in Chicago for the first time ever. Neither of these trips is really going to be possible without donations. We could have kept young debaters at home all year because we needed to save money for these tournaments, but I do not think that Edwin Lawrence's doctrine of empowerment would have been served by that move, because while we like to compete successfully at the top levels of national competition, our mission ultimately is to make a real difference in the lives of young people, and for that they have to debate. We think that with the generosity of decades of former debaters we can do both.

So please help us. Help us now. Give to the extent that your conscience mandates and at the level your are blessed to be able to give. Donations are tax deductible and very welcome. They will be deposited into our gift account and can only be used for debate.

Please make checks payable to "UVM Debate." You can mail them to Lawrence Debate Union, 475 Main Street, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405.

Gifts can now be made online at https://alumni.uvm.edu/giving/support.asp , but please make sure to designate your gift for "Debate."

If you would like to talk about a major gift or a bequest you should contact Randy Wilson who is our contact in Development, and you can contact him by phone - Desk: 802/656-4253, Cell: 802/598-3961, Toll Free: 888/458-8691, Fax: 802/656-8678, or by e-mail: randy.wilson@uvm.edu.


FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN TO FOCUS ON WHAT DEBATE HAS MEANT TO FORMER AND CURRENT DEBATERS

Why should people give? Listen to what people are saying:

“Debate is by far the best way to get a lot out of your college experience, it enhances everything from your social life to your resume, and gives not only the thrill of competitive sport, but also skills that will last a lifetime.” – Ethan Nelson '07

“For me, debate has been a place for personal and intellectual growth, engaging difficult topics as well as competitive opponents.  Not to mention the great friends I have met and traveled with on debate tournaments.” –Matt Silverman ‘06

“Whether debate has changed my life or not is the wrong question.  That's a given...  We should be asking, rather, is why hasn't everyone else joined yet?” -Brady Fletcher ‘06

“I firmly believe debate, and more specifically, the Lawrence Debate Union, have done a tremendous amount for me.  As a student, it made me think more critically about the subject matters I was studying.  As an attorney, it allows me to consider both sides of an issue and to evaluate the arguments in a meaningful manner.  As a citizen of the world, debate makes me realize that I can be an active part of society and create meaningful changes in the local and global community.” -Andrea Looby Amicangelo ’96

“Debate training and competition honed my ability to analyze, reason, and articulate the ideas about which I am most passionate.”  -Laura LaPierre Ellingson ’91

“Although I participated in many activities, joining debate was the best and most important decision I made at UVM.  Debating taught me to think, to argue persuasively, research effectively, and manage my time.  Investing in the LDU would yield tremendous intellectual dividends for many years including enhancing our academic reputation, training scholars and student representatives of the university, and providing a dynamic forum for hundreds of student debaters to expand their skills and their horizons.”  -Charlie Hoag ’02

“Debate is passion, excitement, intellectual growth and fun all rolled into one.” -Katherine Koller Tosi ’92

“People say that you can not choose your family. My experiences with the Lawrence Debate Union suggests otherwise. The family I joined in the fall of 1996 not only taught  me how to think critically about the world I live in, but has truly become the brothers and sisters we all need to accompany us through life. There is not a choice I have made or an experience I have had that is not in some way informed by the loving LDU family.” -Rae Lynn Schwartz ’99

“The UVM Debate team empowered me to confidently express my political viewpoint and engage in meaningful discourse both professionally and personally.” - Carla Mirabelli ’99

“What debate has done for me is that it helped me to evolve as a young woman.  I went from being a young woman who was quite unsure of herself to one that believed in herself enough to think that law school was possible. Thanks to the skills that I learned from the LDU about argument, research, critical thinking and, naturally, public speaking, I am now an attorney.  Better than that, I'm a person who embraces challenges and believes in herself.  Thank you Edwin and Tuna!” –Cheryl Wilson ’96

“Debate had intrinsic value as well-beyond the people I met.  In addition to a constructive outlet for my competitive juices, debate provided me a forum to learn to speak clearly and forcefully about important issues, (as opposed to just forcefully as I was apt to do before). It introduced me to books, authors, and ideas I would not otherwise be exposed to, as well as a way of thinking, organizing thoughts on paper and in my mind, and an ability and lust to respond to challenges.”   – Aaron Fishbone ’02

“Since Doc convinced Mr. Lawrence to endow the Lawrence Debate Union, thousands of students have had the opportunity to experience the highest levels of intellectual competition.  I rely on the lessons learned from that experience -whether in my practice or while teaching at Johns Hopkins – everyday.  I draw upon the confidence born of those experiences to convince me that I can accomplish things when others waiver.  The work ethic and research skills nurtured while part of the LDU have helped me to distinguish myself professionally.  The belief that with blessings come an obligation to use those blessings for the good of our community, a hallmark of the LDU while I was there, helps to provide meaning to my life.”  - Charles Morton ’87

SEND US YOUR TESTIMONY!


LARGE CONTINGENT BOUND FOR BINGHAMTON

The LDU has a large contingent going to Binghamton University the weekend after this. Cost-cutting is foremost on our minds but winning all three divisions is every bit as important.
Open: Kimerer-Fletcher, Whiting-Clark, Keller-Harlow, Hitchcock-Landsman-Roos, McMahan-Nelson, Sharma-Wilson. JV: Jokajtys-Lavallee. Novice: Goldschneider-Laleman, Backus-Brown, Frank-Thibault. Coaches/Judges: J. Morgan Parmett, Snider, Skrt, Kern, Reimer, Sanders and more are needed.

Van #1 at 1:30 PM: Tuna, Danielle, Sumeet, Bojana, Timm.
Van #2 at 1:30 PM: Jeffrey, Ethan B, Mandy, Taylor, Matt J, Shane, Steffi, Mike M, Ethan N
Van #3 at 3 PM: Justin MP, Sam, Chase, Brady, Leslie, Megan, Emily, Justin B, Nick, Jason.

BRING SLEEPING BAGS FOR OUR STAY AT THE SKYLARK MOTOR LODGE!


NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH SINGAPORE

<=== World traveling debate trainer Loke Wing Fatt with his family

The Lawrence Debate Union and the World Debate Institute have formed a working partnership to spread debate with one of the world's most dynamic debate outreach organizations, the Society of Associated Intertertiary Debaters, based in Singapore and directed by Loke Wing Fatt. Loke and Vermont debate first met each other at the World Debate Institute-Asia training program held in Korea last August. It was obvious that the two groups shared a mission (debate outreach) and an energy that would work well together. Loke later came to the International Debate Academy Slovenia sponsored by WDI and European partner ZIP (Slovenia). It became clearer then that the two groups have much to teach each other. Exchange visits are now being planned, with Loke coming to Vermont for the summer 2006 World Debate Institute, and LDU Director Snider going to Singapore in late 2006 or summer 2007 to work on debate across the curriculum with Singaporean teachers.

UVM HELPS VENEZUELA PLAN DEBATE WORKSHOP

Countries that are deeply divided along political and ideological grounds desperately need debate. Two such countries are the USA and Venezuela. Already working with Venezuelan debate group Fundalieres, UVM was contacted by Rita Moncada of Venezuela who is working to promote debate at a citizen level. They are planning a workshop for the end of February and needed curricular advice and help in selecting trainers. A curriculum was produced and agreed on, and it was arranged for Chilean trainer Alvaro Ferrer who has attended WDI to go to Caracas to direct the workshop under the sponsorship of Germany's Konrad Adenauer Institute. Additional funds to bring Spanish-speaking trainers from the USA through the US Agency for International Development did not come through, so the size of the workshop had to b cut back. Rita reports that more workshops will be held and that UVM will be involved in planning them.


LDU TRAVEL SCHEDULE FOR 2005-2006

SEMESTER ONE Record Placed SEMESTER TWO

10/1-2 BUFFALO 32-36 1-3-5
10/15-16 UVM SCRIMMAGE
10/21-23 WEST POINT 50-59 1-5-9-9
10/29-31 HARVARD 4-4
11/04-06  CAP CITY DC 7-11
11/12-14 WAKE FOREST 7-9
11/13-14 UMASS 21-21
11/18-26 INTL DEBATE ACADEMY 10-3 1-3         

1/3-5 NORTH TEXAS 12-18 9
11/7-10  TEXAS-DALLAS 13-17 9
1/28-30 BARD 24-34 3-5-5
2/11-12  BINGHAMTON 
2/25-26  D8/CEDA EAST WEST CT  
3/3-5  NOV/JV NATS WEST VIRGINIA UNIV.  
3/23-27  NDT NORTHWESTERN 
3/31-4/03 CEDA NATS DALLAS


FLASHPOINT TELEVISION

Watch Flashpoint from your computer screen whenever you want! You will need RealPlayer installed on your computer to become a part of our growing audience. Here are some recent programs now available at http://debate.uvm.edu/flashpoint.html. Watch on Burlington Channel 15 Wednesday 12:30 PM, Thursday 10 PM, Saturday 1 PM.
Last taping: #313 Fundraising, #314 Free speech and dissent. Kimerer, Jokajtys, Brown, Anderson, Snider.
Next taping: February 18, Sat., meet at 2 PM. Topics to be announced.
Zoe Anderson is the topic and program coordinator.



NOTES FROM MONDAY NIGHT'S 6 PM MEETING:

ETHAN NELSON, SUMEET SHARMA & JEN KNOPS NEED TO SIGN THE BARD FOOD MONEY LIST POSTED IN THE OFFICE.

IF YOU HAVE A PRACTICE DEBATE YOU NEED TO STAY FOR THE CRITIQUE.

IF YOU WANT AN ARGUMENT PRODUCED WITHOUT MINI-TYPE EMAIL THE PERSON WHO PRODUCED IT.

NEW SWEATSHIRT/PANTS ORDER GOING IN. EMAIL TUNA WITH YOUR ORDER.

WE NEED TO SET A DATE FOR THE BANQUET -- APRIL 29 IS BEING INVESTIGATED BY HITCHCOCK.

RESEARCH ASSIGNMENTS: DUE THURSDAY NIGHT.

NEW COMPUTERS IN THE OFFICE, NEW DATA JACKS SOON.

WORK STUDY POSITIONS: CHASE IS EVIDENCE, JULIA IS MIDDLE SCHOOL, LESLIE IS FUNDRAISING, STEFFI IS EVIDENCE ARCHIVING, BUT ALL SHOULD HELP CHASE PRINT THE EVIDENCE.

THE PC IN THE OFFICE IS ONLY FOR EVIDENCE ARCHIVING. PLEASE USE MACS OTHERWISE.

TO JOIN THE LDU DEBATER LISTSERV GO TO http://list.uvm.edu/archives/debater.html


PRACTICE DEBATES

3:20 TUESDAY TAYLOR-DANIELLE VS. JUSTIN B-ETHAN B WITH HELEN OR TBA
3:30 THURSDAY MANDY-ALEX VS. JUSTIN B-DANIELLE WITH TBA


ALUMNI NEWS

Gale Lawrence, Edwin's granddaughter, has sent us some photos of "Daddy Edwin" that we will be sharing. Here is our favorite. Gale hopes to have an important announcement soon about her part in our fundraising effort, but for now, enjoy this photo. While we love the oil painting in the office, this photo is a lot better.

<=== Edwin W. Lawrence '01

Charles Morton wants to be in contact with any lawyer interested in being a second year associate in his firm, Venable LLP, and hopes that qualified LDU alumni will contact him at CJMorton@Venable.com.

Sarah Jane Snider was seen coaching against an LDU team at the Bard tournament. She is now a coach at Kansas State University.

Katherine Tosi now teaches in Korea (where she has started a debate program at her school), and has begun an international fundraising drive for the LDU.

Matthew Byrne now practices law in Burlington with Gravel & Shea. LDU alumni Emily Sanders recently took a paralegal position with the firm.

Fritz Chaleff is now the CEO of Buzz Media in Washington DC and hosts regular meetings of the Washington Philosophers' Society.

HELP US EXPAND OUR ALUMNI LIST BY SENDING US THE NAMES OF PEOPLE ON THE TEAM WITH YOU SO THAT WE CAN FIND OUT HOW TO CONTACT THEM. IF NOTHING ELSE, SEND US NEWS ABOUT YOU!


SQUAD MEETS AT 6 PM EACH MONDAY NIGHT, 475 MAIN STREET, ALL WELCOME!


2004-2005 NOVICE DEBATE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
2004-2005 JV DEBATE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
UVM DEBATE WAS #6 IN THE CEDA NATIONAL SWEEPSTAKES FOR 2004-2005
UVM DEBATE WAS #18 IN THE CEDA NATIONAL SWEEPSTAKES FOR 2003-2004
UVM DEBATE WAS #10 IN THE CEDA NATIONAL SWEEPSTAKES FOR 2002-2003

OUR RECORD
WINS
LOSSES
PERCENTAGE
PREVIOUSLY
156
178
47.8
Bard College
24
34
TOTAL
180
212
45.9%
2004-2005 RECORD
323
328
 49.6%
2003-2004 RECORD
315
374
 45.7%
2002-2003 RECORD
334
384
46.5%

ALWAYS CALL IT HUBER HOUSE!