15 April 2003

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, asnider@zoo.uvm.edu email, and http://debate.uvm.edu/ldu.html web site.
The LDU meets every Monday night at 6 PM at 475 Main Street.

SAFE AT HOME: CORE COACHING STAFF WILL REMAIN

After much speculation and indecision it seems as if next year the LDU will see the same core coaching staff as last year. All three coaches announced that they will be back for the 2003-2004 season.

LDU director Alfred Snider has been at UVM for over 22 years, and the news that he might leave was greeted with both disbelief and shock. The opportunity was to be Executive Secretary of the National Forensic League, the group that organizes high school speech and debate in the USA. The organization was almost 100,000 active members, was founded in 1925, and is based in Ripon, Wisconsin. "It was a very difficult decision," said Snider, "I saw it as a tremendous opportunity to promote speech and debate, and that is really what I want to do with my life, but at the same time I would lose a lot of great opportunities and experiences that I have here. I would stop teaching, stop coaching, and become an administrator. While I want to promote forensics, it would have been a lot to lose." He was flown to Wisconsin for an interview, and the choice was taken out of his hands when the committee selected another candidate, a high school teacher from Iowa. "There was a lot of interest in the organization in having someone who had a lot of direct experience at the high school level, and that wasn't me. To be honest, it was a relief because there was a very difficult decision that I did not have to make. I can't imagine what it would have been like to give my farewell speech at the banquet or to move away from Burlington. I feel like my future has opened up for me and I can now make a lot of long range plans." Snider also joked, "I am pleased to have attended my last job interview."

Helen Morgan and Justin Parmett, the other two main coaches for the LDU in 2002-2003, are to be married June 21, 2003 in Vermont. Their new life together needed planning and direction, including thoughts of doctoral study for Helen and other teaching opportunities. When the decision was made to stay they announced it to a raucous LDU squad meeting brimming with applause. Helen expressed concerns over the demands of teaching four sections as well as coaching a top ten debate squad, but moves are afoot to reallocate her teaching time to better suit the needs of the squad. "They did a fantastic job this last year," indicated Snider, "and Edwin Owusu combined with Jillian Marty to win the JV National title, but it could not have been done without their coaching during the year and at the tournament." "The job they did during that tournament was one of the finest coaching jobs I have ever seen, excellent argument adaptation, strategy, and psychological assistance for the debaters."

Efforts will now be made to firm up the involvement of others in the coaching process for next year, including coaching superstar Gordie Miller, as well as Greta Lockwood, Matt Sweeney, Charles Hoag, Joe Ramsey, Renee Jackson, Abigail Trebilcock, Aaron Fishbone, Casey Gervais, Claudia Greenman, Meredith Parmett, and road-coaching from Jackie Massey.


SARS RISK EVALUATED -- TUNA GOES TO CHINA ANYWAY

LDU coach Alfred Snider was scheduled to attend the Sino-American Seminar in Educational Leadership in Beijing this month, but it was canceled due to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in East Asia. The trip had also included a planning component for the upcoming World Debate Institute session to be held in China in August for 80-100 Chinese student debaters. Through the cooperation and assistance of the Asian Studies Outreach Program the decision was made that Snider should still go to China to plan for the August program.

"There is a family quarantined here in Burlington, there is a SARS outbreak in Toronto, so I saw no reason to cancel the trip to China," said Snider. He and ASOP's Juefei Wang have been following the issue closely and both agreed on the decision. The trip will involve a stop in Beijing and then on to a working session in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, where a WDI session will be held August 10-24, 2003 at Inner Mongolia Normal University. On the way back a stopover is planned for Tokyo so that contact can be made with Satoru Aonuma of Kanda University of international Studies and Kaz Seno of the Japan Debate Association. Hopefully this will spawn future debate projects.

<=== Snider with Inner Mongolia debaters on previous trip

"Life goes on, I'll be careful, but we cannot stop everything because there is some risk. There is always risk in whatever we do, we just need to be sensible about it," noted Snider.

The August program in China will feature outstanding faculty, including Snider, Morgan, and Parmett from UVM, along with national champion coaches Mike Hester of West Georgia and Paul Bellus of Iowa. Also joining them will be Jason Jarvis of Kyung Hee University of Korea, Satoru Aonuma of Kanda University of International Studies of Japan, and Bojana Skrt, executive director of the national debate program of Slovenia, Za in Proti.


LDU CASTS VOTES FOR TOPIC AREAS

The LDU voted for topic areas for the 2003-2004 season, rank ordering the five choices:
1. Medical coverage
2. Immigration
3. Energy supply
4. Europe-USA relations
5. Middle East

The winning topic area will be announced next week.


FROM THE SQUAD MEETING

LDU PLANS SPEAK OUT ON WAR AND MILITARISM 26 APRIL 1 PM AT THE OFFICE FRONT STEPS.
BRING ALL AWARDS FROM THIS YEAR BACK TO THE OFFICE SO WE CAN DISPLAY THEM AT THE BANQUET!
BANQUET IS MAY 3, 2003! MAKE PLANS NOW!
LINDSEY MELANDER IS IN CHARGE OF THE BANQUET, NIKKI & LANA WILL HELP HOST. LINDSEY WILL HANDLE AWARDS.
POETRY SLAM TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY APRIL 24, 7 PM
LDU WILL SPONSOR WALKERS IN THE MAY 3 MS WALK, JUSTIN PARMETT IS ORGANIZING IT!
LDU STUDENTS SHOULD BEGIN THINKING NOW ABOUT ATTENDING THE WORLD DEBATE INSTITUTE THIS SUMMER.
COMIDA DE LA GENTE -- 27 APRIL 7 PM, BILLINGS NORTH LOUNGE


FLASHPOINT TELEVISION SHOW

Vermont Community Access Media, Channel 15, Burlington - Wednesday 12:30 PM, Thursday 10:30 PM, Saturday 1 PM
Also available at http://debate.uvm.edu/flashpoint.html

LAST TAPINGS: PATRIOT ACT, PARTY SYSTEM IN AMERICA, OIL CONSPIRACY.
NEXT TAPING IN MAY.

GRETA LOCKWOOD IS OUR PROGRAM COORDINATOR, LEAVE TOPICS IN HER MAILBOX.


SQUAD MEETING
MONDAYS, 6 PM, 475 MAIN STREET, ALL WELCOME!
WE STILL HAVE A LOT OF IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS -- BANQUET PLANNING, PARTY PLANNING!


OUR RECORD

 

WINS

LOSSES

%

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

2002-2003 TOTAL

334

384

46.5%

UVM DEBATE IS #10 IN THE CEDA NATIONAL SWEEPSTAKES FOR 2002-2003, AS WELL AS #10 IN THE NDT SWEEPSTAKES RACE.
UVM Debate was #9 in both major national polls for debate in the USA for the 2001-2002 season.


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