Judge Philosophies

Andrew VanderMeer -- Wheaton College

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Andrew Davis -- University of Mississippi

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Anpelio Garcia -- University of North Georgia

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Ben Krueger -- University of Nevada, Reno

Judging Philosophy (last updated January 2020)

I competed in NPDA and IEs in the early 2000s at Northern Arizona University. After many years away from the forensics community, I returned to active judging in 2016.

I am flow-centric judge and will do my best to evaluate the round with as little intervention as possible. That having been said, I believe that being completely tabula rasa is a utopian ideal and that judging debate inevitably involves some degree of subjective interpretation. Debaters can minimize the extent of my intervention by providing a strong framework and clearly-structured arguments that are well-supported with warrants. Rebuttal speeches should crystallize what happened in the round and provide clear voting issues.

General Issues/Stylistic Things

1) I am not a fan of speed in Parli and strongly prefer that you speak at a conversational rate. Spreading increases the likelihood that I will miss arguments on the flow and make a decision that you won't like. (For L-D, I recognize that some speed is necessary given the nature of carded debate. Please slow down for your taglines).

2) Rebuttal speeches should collapse to the important arguments in the round and tell me why I should vote on them. When the LOR or PMR ends up being a line-by-line speech without crystallization, I inevitably have to do more work to weigh the issues myself.

3) I'm generally current on debate theory, but it never hurts to explain your terminology to me.

4) I appreciate clear signposting and taglines, but remember that saying a tagline isn't the same thing as providing a warrant for it. 

5) Please don't be mean to your opponents. Attack ideas, not people.

Specific Issues

1) I've noticed that quite a few aff/government teams now assume that "plan text is the resolution" is sufficient for explaining their plan. The result is often messy, unclear debate and can lead to "did too/did not" accusations about advocacy shifting. It is to everyone's benefit for the PMC to take 15-30 seconds to explain the plan: it protects affirmative ground, it provides predictability for the negative, and it makes it easier for me to evaluate the round.  

2) T arguments need to have clear standards, violations, and impacts for me to consider voting on them.

3) It's unlikely that I will vote for arguments based on the social identity of people in the round. 

Kritiks

I'm somewhat skeptical of kritiks, but starting to become more open to them. A good K should function like an ideological counterplan that brings clarity to the debate by highlighting the ideological/philosophical assumptions present in the negative and affirmative worlds. I like Ks that clearly link to the resolution. The K should be clearly explained with a thesis/critical perspective, link, and (in Parli) alt-solvency.

You're much more likely to lose me when the K doesn't clearly link to the resolution, when the terms of the K are poorly explained, or when the K depends on high critical theory with unclear alt-solvency. I consider it abusive to run a K without a thesis/critical perspective or to refuse to answer questions about the K during flex-time/CX.

Finally, I'm not persuaded by the claim that "fiat is illusory" or that the role of the ballot somehow makes the K "more real" than fiat. If you want to argue that your K is better than policy fiat, you're more likely to persuade me with specific warrants about why your ideology is preferable the affirmative's. 


Brian Schaumloffel -- Hobart and William Smith Colleges

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Carina Masters -- Humboldt State University


Christian Nunez -- University of La Verne

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Christian Bonds -- University of Mississippi

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Connor Parrow -- Hobart and William Smith Colleges

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Connor Rude -- United States Air Force Academy

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Daria Manzhura -- Bard College

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Esther Liu -- UCLA

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Filipp Krasovsky -- UCLA

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Gina Iberri-Shea -- United States Air Force Academy



Harmoni Blackstock -- United States Air Force Academy

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Isaac Lichlyter -- University of Mississippi

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Jacob Witt -- Northwest University

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Jacob Wallman -- Hobart and William Smith Colleges

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Jan Hovden -- Bates College

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Jim Hanson -- Seattle University

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Johanna Richter -- Cornell University ILR School

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John Schultz -- University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)

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John Swayne -- Northwest University

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John Rief -- Metropolitan State University of Denver

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Josephine Qi -- UCLA

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Josiah Peterson -- The King's College

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Judge A -- Bates College

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Judge A -- Colgate University

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Judge B -- Bates College

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Judge C -- University of Southern California

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Judge B -- University of Southern California

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Judge A -- University of Southern California

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Judge B -- Colgate University

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MIchael Schliewe -- Ball State University

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Marlene Pierce -- Hobart and William Smith Colleges

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Megan Waardenburg -- The King's College

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Philip Sharp -- University of Nevada, Reno

Phil Sharp- University of Nevada-Reno

 

General Information

I will attempt to adjudicate the round based on the flow, however if the original argument is not complete, I will not vote for it. Please don�????�???�??�?�¢??t expect me to do the work for you or simply accept your premise without explaining why it is true.

Specific Issues

1. Speaker points

In open division I tend to use a 27-29 scale. You need to stand out to receive less or more than this. The largest factor in my assignment of speaker points is clarity of argument. If you are explaining yourself and giving good warrants, you will do much better than blippy debate with confusing claims. I have not been watching as many debates the last few years, so I�????�???�??�?�¢??d prefer that debaters not go too fast.

2. Critically framed arguments and performance

I hope that the aff will choose to make the connection between the topic and their argumentation clear. �???? I have a low threshold for procedurals which task the aff with engaging with the topic in the affirmative direction of the resolution. I also would like the negative to have unique links and an alternative that creates uniqueness. I am not generally persuaded to vote for masking impacts and/or root cause argumentation when the negative attempts to compete through these strategies. I also tend to believe that aff does not get perms in method v method or performance v performace debates, but the negative needs to make this argument. I hope that debaters will explain the critical perspective (literature base) that their argument relies upon so that their opponents and I can engage with the argument. To be honest, most of the Ks I hear fail to sufficiently explain the concept before jumping into links and impacts and then are vague about the Alt and Alt-Solvency. This leaves me very unsure of what I am endorsing with my ballot and why.

 

3. Framework

I prefer a policy debate. However, critical debates should make the criteria for the debate (and role of the ballot clear). I am open to arguments about the division of ground that a particular framework creates. I think good critical debate provides both teams an avenue to the ballot.

 

4. Topicality

In the event that a team chooses to defend the topic (which I prefer), I give them a fair amount of leeway in their interpretation. I think competing interpretations is a poor approach to framing topicality and am persuaded by right to reasonably define answers.

5. Counterplans

I like good counterplan debate. I am ok with conditionality (but generally do not prefer multi-condo or a CP and an Alt). I don�????�???�??�?�¢??t think textual comp is a good argument. �???? 

6. �???? �???? �????  Decision Making

The rebuttals should guide me to a decision and tell me exactly how they want me to vote. If the teams do not give me a clear way to vote, I will try to do the least work to vote for one team or the other. I like debates with clear clash and comparison of argument in the last two speeches so that I know how I am supposed to pick one team over the other.

 

Note: I do not like arguments which weaponize identity of debaters and employ rhetorical violence against people rather than issues, systems, and arguments. I have seen plenty of good critical debates that refrain from this, but i have seen some teams choosing to debate this way and I do not prefer it. If you feel your only option to exist within debate is to do this, then I would ask that you not have me as the judge for that round.

 

Rachael Burch -- Willamette University

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Rayo Verweij -- Bard College

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Rebecca Sietman -- Wheaton College

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Sterling Higa -- Hawaii Pacific University

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Steven Johnson -- University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)

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Stevi Rae Page -- UCLA

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Student Y -- University of La Verne

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Student Z -- University of La Verne

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Thomas Liu -- UCLA

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