Alex Brehm -- Lower Columbia Collegen/a
Alex Cadena -- California State University, Northridge.n/a
Andrew Myers -- Gonzaga Universityn/a
Ashley Nuckels Cuevas -- San Diego State University
TW: Suicide, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Rape
Overview/ TLDR: I am a flow critic and debate is a game but we should be doing all that we can to make the space accessible to all participants. Clearly state how I should evaluate arguments and I will do that; I do default to competing interpretations and prefer high Probability, low Magnitude and Proximity impacts to high Magnitude and low Probability.Ã?Â All advocacy, criteria/ROB, and procedural texts should be repeated for clarity in the round.Ã?Â
Speed: I can keep up and will let you know to be more clear if I need it. If your opponents are unable to engage in speed please be accommodating.Ã?Â
Procedurals: I really like procedural debate. I enjoy specific interpretations and counterinterps (please repeat these since they are usually pretty important). I need articulated abuse if using an abuse paradigm but I default to a competing interpretations paradigm if not otherwise instructed.Ã?Â
K's: Run them, have fun, and give me a clear FW, ROB, ALT, and ALT solvency. I prefer K's that have specific link scenarios to the debate round instead of just generic ones. Perms should be repeated so that I can get them down correctly.Ã?Â
Theory: Like I said before, this is your game, tell me how to evaluate the round and I will operate within those parameters. I generally believe that Conditional Arguments are good but I will not do the work for you on the warrant level.
Pet Peeves: Citing a theory or theorist and expecting everyone to know what you are talking about.Ã?Â
Basil Hawley -- Lewis & Clark College
Ben Mann -- University of Utah
They/them or he/him (gender non-binary).
tl;dr for prep time: I evaluate comparative access to comparative impacts. In other words, I will vote for the team that demonstrates to me that they best access the most important impacts in the round. Feel free to read whatever arguments you feel most comfortable with in front of me, including advantages/disadvantages, counterplans, theory, Ks, performance-centered arguments, or any other arrangement inclusive or outside of these categories. I can efficiently flow fast debates, but will say Ã¢??SLOWÃ¢?Â if youÃ¢??re speaking too quickly (generally not an issue) or Ã¢??CLEARÃ¢?Â if I cannot understand your words, regardless of your rate of delivery. I take my role as a critic very seriously and my goal in RFDs is to clearly explain how I reached my decision and offer suggestions in the role of an educator. I will disclose speaker points after my RFD if you ask me to, because I want to be held accountable for why I assign the speaker points that I do. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me atÃ?Â
Everything below is more extensive and substantially less important.
Experience: this is my ninth year involved in NPDA debate (fifth year out of competing) and tenth year involved in forensics. I competed in NPDA debate on the national circuit for four years at Lewis & Clark College, coached NPDA for two years at University of the Pacific where I received my MasterÃ¢??s degree in Communication, and am currently in my third year coaching NPDA at the University of Utah, where I am a primary NPDA coach and a Ph.D. student in Communication.
Things I like:
1.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Strategic decision-making and collapse in the back half of debates.
2.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Clear impact and warrant comparison in rebuttals.
3.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Specific, well-developed link arguments.
Things I donÃ¢??t like:
1.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Blips in constructive speeches that suddenly metamorphize into well-developed arguments in rebuttals.
2.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Using speed and esoteric postmodern jargon for the purposes of excluding other teams.
3.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Treating other teams/competitors poorly,Ã?Â especiallyif said competitors come from community/junior college programs and/or programs with limited resources.
1.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â My average speaker points are 27.5, and will go up or down from there.
2.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Parli is not a textual event. I do not want copies of your advocacies. IÃ?Â dowant you to slow and/or repeat your advocacies or theory interps.
3.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Call points of order if theyÃ¢??re close. IÃ¢??ll protect against blatantly new arguments.
4.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â MG theory is more in vogue these days, and IÃ¢??m fine with these arguments. I am, however, sympathetic to neg arguments telling me I should evaluate MG theory differently than other theory arguments because the block is the only chance to respond.
5.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â I prefer advocacy-based debates on policy resolutions, but I will listen to debaters/programs who want to engage in trichot-based rounds. If you engage in those debates, I would prefer that you give some sort of stable advocacy statement.
6.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â I think conditional Ks are often poorly executed, especially on the framework level. I am not opposed to you reading these arguments, but I am persuaded, for example, by two white people kicking a conditional Wilderson K probably being a link to anti-blackness.
7.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â My research areas pertain to disability rhetoric and disabilityÃ¢??s relationship to gender identity/expression. I do not see this being expressly relevant to evaluating debates, but I will call out ableism and disrespect for gender identity/expression.
8.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â IÃ¢??m autistic. I have next-to-no awareness of my affect, including my facial expressions, and I will probably give you little-to-no eye contact. Nothing personal.
9.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â I really, really do not care about the impact of my decisions on Ã¢??the communityÃ¢?Â for many reasons, in part because it would compromise my integrity as a critic, and in part because there is no debate community (Jordan & Stewart, 2017).
Bob Becker -- Northwest CollegeAs a critic, I believe my task is to weigh the issues presented in the round. I don't enjoy intervening, and try not to do so. To prevent my intervention, debaters need to use rebuttals to provide a clear explanation of the issues. Otherwise, if left on my own, I will pick the issues I think are important. All of that said, I am not an information processor. I am a human being and so are you. If you want me to consider an issue in the round, make sure you emphasize it and explain its importance.
When weighing issues, I always look to jurisdictional issues first. I will give the affirmative some leeway on topicality, but if they can't explain why their case is topical, they will lose. Although some arguments are more easily defeated than others, I am willing to listen to most positions. In reality I probably have a somewhat high threshold for topicality, but if you want to win, you need to spend some time on it and not give the aff any way out of it. In-round abuse is not necessary, but if that argument is made against you, then you need to explain why topicality is important (jurisdiction, aff always wins, etc.) I don’t require competing interpretations.
I am fine with critical arguments, but you need to explain how they impact the round. I have found few students can explain how I should evaluate real-world impacts in a debate world, or how I should evaluate and compare real world and debate world impacts. I’m fine with critical affs, but you better have some good justification for it. “We don’t like the resolution” doesn’t cut it with me. If your critical arguments conflict with your disad, you better have some “contradictory arguments good” answers.
Performance based argument need to be sufficiently explained as to how they prove the resolution true or false. Or, I need to know how to evaluate it. If you don’t tell me, I will evaluate it as I would an interp round.
As with everything else, it depends on how the impacts are explained to me. If one team says “one million deaths” and the other says “dehume,” but doesn’t explain why dehume is worse than deaths, I’ll vote for death. If the other team says dehume is worse because it can be repeated and becomes a living death, etc., then I’ll vote for dehume. I think I’m telling you that abstract impacts need to be made concrete, but more importantly, explain what the issue is and why I should consider it to be important.
I don't mind speed, but sometimes I physically can't flow that fast. I will tell you if I can't understand you. Remember, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure I understand what you are saying. Above all, be professional. This activity is fun. That’s why I’m here, and I hope that is the reason you are here as well.
Charlie Brothersen -- Lewis & Clark College
Claire Garman -- Northwest College
Dalton Richardson -- University of Oregon
If you have questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com or find the Oregon prep room.
I’ve been involved in debate in some capacity, either as a competitor or a coach/critic, for the past eight years. Across my time with debate, I’ve read and judged nearly every genre of argument and feel comfortable evaluating any type or style of debate. I find tech to be the easiest mechanism through which I can evaluate arguments, but this does not mean that truth is absent from my decision calculus. Speed isn’t an issue, but clarity feels increasingly rare in debate. Furthermore, you shouldn’t make any assumptions about my personal knowledge – I won’t backfill warrants you don’t read nor will I automatically vote for you because you read an argument that stems from an ideology I occupy. Finally, I best understand debate as a game where arguments act as pieces with which debaters can make various moves in an attempt to capture my ballot.
I need pen time. Read texts/interps twice, and if you want me to get them down word for word then give me a copy. Just because we have flex time doesn’t absolve you from having to write texts/interps for your opponents – I’m tired of flex time starting after minutes of writing texts that could have easily been written prior to the round. Your perm should identify what the non-competitive portions of the counterplan/alternative are if the negative has failed to do so, and they are not advocacies.
Absent an alternative, I default to a net benefits framework operationalized under an offense/defense paradigm. Framing is particularly important as it helps me to better understand which impacts I should prioritize or resolve with my ballot; as a result, role of the ballot claims often feel unnecessary when they are just intertwined with framework. If you like going for role of the ballot arguments as part of your strategy then don’t let me stop you, but they rarely seem to develop into anything substantive beyond the constructives (but I’d love to be proven wrong about this, as I think there are interesting debates to be had about the purpose of the ballot). I have yet to see many debates that center on AFC, but my gut reaction is that being affirmative doesn’t mean your framework choice is incontestable.
Framework and topicality are most persuasive to me when they answer the question “Should this particular affirmative have been read?” rather than nebulous justifications for the way debates ought occur. Therefore, comparative analysis is necessary – compare the world of the negative’s interpretation with that of the affirmative’s interpretation with regard to the impacts of the position. Specifically, show me how the standards of your interpretation best resolve the impacts of fairness and/or education. On the flip side, conditionality bad and other forms of theory feel more designed to punish actions that have occurred in the round with the intent to stop those actions from occurring in the future. Overall, I don’t have any strong feelings regarding conditionality, so I can be equally persuaded to vote either way. I’m much more hesitant to vote on other types of theory, such as “you must give us your interp within X minutes” or “you cannot read two theory positions” as they often end up unnecessarily convoluted and seem to skirt the overall substance of debate.
Disads are great. I read them a lot as a debater, and I enjoy specific link level analysis as well as impact interaction that begins in the first neg speech. Tell me how your impact scenario complicates the aff’s scenarios and what that means for the progression of the debate. Offense is often underutilized on disadvantages, likely because it’s easier to think of defense rather than offense; as a result, accurate offense read on disads will be rewarded with higher speaker points.
I assume all counterplans to be conditional unless otherwise stated. I have a special place in my heart for advantage counterplans and PICs. I have a high threshold for "cheating" counterplans, such as delay, veto, plan is a secret, and other positions like that. I believe multiple contradictory counterplans to be abusive but I can be persuaded otherwise.
I enjoy good kritik debate, as those were the debates I most often found myself in as a debater. I also feel that these types of debates often suffer greatly from shadow extensions and a general lack of warrants, particularly when comparing the world of the alternative to the world of the aff's advocacy. Specific link analysis is your best friend in this debate, as I believe there are situations in which the link to the K is tenuous at best or nonexistent at worst. K vs K debates often come down to root cause claims, so ensure that you have a robust defense of your impact controlling the root cause debate and explain how your impacts frame other impacts. Finally, if you enjoy framing your opponent out, tell me why your framing means I don't even evaluate the aff/K beyond just mentioning that it does. I find that debaters often rely on claiming they've framed out their opponents without actually telling me how they do or what it means for my evaluation of the debate.
I am most familiar with Marxism, CRT (specifically afropessimism), queer theory, biopolitics, and anthro literature, but have some knowledge of postmodern theorists like Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault, and others. I hate hate hate psychoanalysis for a litany of reasons. I enjoy innovate and non-traditional kritikal strategies and arguments. Even though I am open to arguments about the harmful nature of flow-centric debate, I find it hard to separate my decision from the flow and need very well impacted out justifications for ignoring the flow.
A Final Note
Debate has been incredibly important to me, and I take my job as a critic very seriously. I enjoy educating students and helping them become better debaters. If you have questions, ask and I will try my best to explain my response in a way that is accessible to you. Simultaneously, I do not respond well (read, at all) to abrasive or intentionally inflammatory communication post round.
If you made it this far in my philosophy, make a cool reference about sharks, Nintendo, or Pokémon and I'll add an extra point to your speaks.
Decker O'Donnell -- Lewis & Clark College
Denise Vaughan -- University of Washington Bothelln/a
Doug Hall -- Casper Collegen/a
Emily Luther -- Gonzaga Universityn/a
Erin Shadrick -- Casper Collegen/a
Glen Frappier -- Gonzaga Universityn/a
Harry Schulte -- El Paso Community Collegen/a
Jason Jordan -- University of Utah
*I have fairly significant hearing loss. This is almost never a problem when judging debates. This also doesn't mean you should yell at me during your speech, that won't help. If I can't understand the words you're saying, I will give a clear verbal prompt to let you know what you need to change for me to understand you (ex: 'clear,' 'louder,' 'slow down,' or 'hey aff stop talking so loud so that I can hear the MO please'). If I don't prompt you to the contrary, I can understand the words you're saying just fine. Ã?Â
*make arguments, tell me how to evaluate these arguments, and compare these arguments to the other teams arguments and methods of evaluating arguments. I am comfortable voting for just about any winning argument within any framework you want to place me within. I have very few, if any, normative beliefs about what debate should look like and/or Ã¢??be.Ã¢??Ã?Â
Jeannie Hunt -- Northwest College
I want to be able to judge the round with no intervention on my part. That means a couple of things. You need to establish a framework that I can follow to evaluate the round. I don’t care what that framework is, but I want one – policy making, critical, big picture, etc. That framework is what I will follow, so please don’t set the round up as a stock round, and then ask me to look at the big picture at the end. More importantly, give me something to look at in the end. I would love to hear some impact analysis, some reasons to prefer, something tangible for me to vote on. Absent that, I have to intervene.
There are no specific arguments that I prefer over another. I will vote on pretty much anything, and I am game for pretty much anything. I do expect that you will not subject yourself to performative contradictions. If you run a k, you should be willing to live in the round with the same k standards you are asking us to think about. However, it is the job of the opposing team to point that out… This is true of any theory based argument you choose to run. I am old, which means that I think the 1AC is important. If you are not going to address it after the 1AC, let me know so I don’t have to spend time flowing it.
Critical rounds invite the judge to be a part of the debate, and they bring with them a set of ethics and morals that are subjective. I love critical debate, but competitors need to be aware that the debate ceases to be completely objective when the judge is invited into the discussion with a K. Make sure the framework is very specific so I don’t have to abandon objectivity all together.
Finally, make your own arguments. If you are speaking for, or allowing your partner to speak for you, I am not flowing it. It should be your argument, not a regurgitation of what your partner said three seconds ago. Prompting someone with a statement like, “go to the DA” is fine. Making an argument that is then repeated is not.
Delivery styles are much less important to me than the quality of the argument, but that doesn’t mean you should have no style. You should be clear, structured and polite to everyone in the round (including your partner if it is team). You can at least take your hat off and tuck your shirt in. Having a bad attitude is as bad as having a bad argument. Speed is not a problem if it is clear.
Because I don’t want to intervene, I don’t appreciate
points of order. You are asking me to
evaluate the worth of an argument, which skews the round in at least a small
way. Additionally, I think I flow pretty
well, and I know I shouldn’t vote on new arguments. I won’t.
If you feel particularly abused in the round, and need to make a point
of some sort, you can, but as a strategy to annoy the other team, or me, it is
Joe Gantt -- Lewis & Clark College
Kara Sutton -- San Diego State University
I have competed in forensics in both policy and parli. I will vote for anything but you have to tell me how to. Articulate clear framing of the round and have analysis and weighing between impacts of neg and aff is the clearest path to a ballot. I am inclined to vote on the flow regardless of how weird argument. and I appreciate organized response orders. your link/impact scenarios should be clearly articulated.
Speed: I can *generally* keep up, but please be accommodating to other debaters/judges.
Procedurals: down for procedural debates, just situate the arguments/your interp in how/why i should vote.
K: Down for kritiks, explain your framework well and don't assume i/competitors know what you are talking about/what literature you use. Links should be specific and clear, please repeat your perm.
Be a nice person to everyone in round please!
Kinny Torre -- Western Washington University
Korry Harvey -- Western Washington UniversityÂ Â Background/Experience
Kristy McManus -- Western Wyoming Community College
I am an IE coach from a CC. My terminal degree is in theatre. With that being said, I enjoy debate but am not going to be the debate critic you are probably looking for. I have been coaching for 9 years. This is my last year in this community.
I try to come into each debate as tab as possible. This is your debate. I will not do any "work" for you. You must fully explain what you are doing and how you are doing it. Explain well, and I am right there with you.
I do not like abusive arguments. Be smart with your strategy and focus on good debate that uses clear and well developed claims and warrants.
I am fine with speed as long as it is not used as a tactic. I have no problem calling it either. I will always defer to the other team - if they don't want speed, you should adjust accordingly.
Procedurals are a good and strategic aspect of debate. Again, refer to above statements regarding your use and running of them. Be clear, be specific, explain. Tell me what to do, look at, and vote on.
K's are fine...please, please, please take the time to repeat important phrases as well as completely explain. Remember that you might be asking me to engage in YOUR round with K debate. Are you ready to do that?
Enjoy the round, be critically engaged, listen to your opponents, explain in detail, tell me what to do and why.
Kyle Cheesewright -- The College of Idaho
This is my most recent judging philosopy. If you want to see a collection of them, with information that is more or less relevant, Net Benefits has an interesting archive.
“All that you touch
All that you Change
The only lasting truth
God Is Change.”
–Octavia Butler, “Parable of the Sower.”
Debate is a game. Debate is a strange, beautiful game that we play. Debate is a strange beautiful game that we play with each other.
I love debate. It’s the only game that exists where the rules are up for contestation by each side. There are some rules that aren’t up for discussion, as far as I can tell, these are them:
1/ Each debate will have a team that wins, and a team that looses. Say whatever you want, I am structurally constrained at the end of debate to award one team a win, and the other team will receive a loss. That’s what I got.
2/ Time limits. I think that a discussion should have equal time allotment for each side, and those times should probably alternate. I have yet to see a fair way for this question to be resolved in a debate, other than through arbitrary enforcement. The only exception is that if both teams decide on something else, you have about 45 minutes from the start of the round, to when I have to render a decision.
Pretty much everything else is open to contestation. At this point, I don’t really have any serious, uncontestable beliefs about debate. This means that the discussion is open to you. I do tend to find that I find debates to be more engaging when they are about substantive clash over a narrow set of established issues. This means, I tend to prefer debates that are specific and deep. Good examples, and comparative discussion of those examples is the easiest way to win my ballot. Generally speaking, I look for comparative impact work. I find that I tend to align more quickly with highly probable and proximate impacts, though magnitude is just so easy.
I tend to prefer LOC strategies that are deep, well explained explorations of a coherent world. The strategy of firing off a bunch of underdeveloped arguments, and trying to develop the strategy that is mishandled by the MG is often successful in front of me, but I almost always think that the round would have been better with a more coherent LOC strategy—for both sides of the debate.
At the end of the debate, when it is time for me to resolve the discussion, I start by identifying what I believe the weighing mechanism should be, based on the arguments made in the debate. Once I have determined the weighing mechanism, I start to wade through the arguments that prove the world will be better or worse, based on the decision mechanism. I always attempt to default to explicit arguments that debaters make about these issues.
Examples are the evidence of Parliamentary debate. Control the examples, and you will control the debate.
On specific issues: I don’t particularly care what you discuss, or how you discuss it. I prefer that you discuss it in a way that gives me access to the discussion. I try not to backfill lots of arguments based on buzzwords. For example, if you say “Topicality is a matter of competing interpretations,” I think I know what that means. But I am not going to default to evaluating every argument on Topicality through an offense/defense paradigm unless you explain to me that I should, and probably try to explicate what kinds of answers would be offensive, and what kinds of answers would be defensive. Similarly, if you say “Topicality should be evaluated through the lens of reasonability,” I think I know what that means. But if you want me to stop evaluating Topicality if you are winning that there is a legitimate counter-interpretation that is supported by a standard, then you should probably say that.
I try to flow debates as specifically as possible. I feel like I have a pretty good written record of most debates.
Rebuttals are times to focus a debate, and go comprehensively for a limited set of arguments. You should have a clear argument for why you are winning the debate as a whole, based on a series of specific extensions from the Member speech. The more time you dedicate to an issue in a debate, the more time I will dedicate to that issue when I am resolving the debate. Unless it just doesn’t matter. Watch out for arguments that don’t matter, they’re tricksy and almost everyone spends too much time on them.
Before I make my decision, I try to force myself to explain what the strongest argument for each side would be if they were winning the debate. I then ask myself how the other team is dealing with those arguments. I try to make sure that each team gets equal time in my final evaluation of a debate.
This is a radical departure from my traditional judging philosophy. I’ll see how it works out for me. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. For the record, I have strong opinions on just about everything that occurs in a debate round—but those strong opinions are for down time and odd rants during practice rounds. I work to keep them out of the debate, and at this point, I think I can say that I do a pretty good job on that account.
I just thought of a third rule. Speaker points are mine. I use them to indicate how good I thought speeches are. If you tell me what speaker points I should give you, I will listen, and promptly discard what you say. Probably.
For the sake of transparency: My personal gig is critical-cultural theory. It’s where my heart is. This does not mean that you should use critical theory that you don’t understand or feel comfortable with it. Make the choices in debate that are the best, most strategic, or most ethical for you. If your interested in my personal opinons about your choices, I’m more than happy to share. But I’ll do that after the debate is over, the ballot submitted, and we’re just two humans chatting. The debate will be decided based on the arguments made in the debate.
“[Y]ou can’t escape language: language is everything and everywhere; it’s what lets us have anything to do with one another; it’s what separates us from animals; Genesis 11:7-10 and so on.”
-David Foster Wallace, “Authority and American Usage.”
Lindsay Thompson -- California State University, Northridge.n/a
Margaret Rockey -- Western Washington University
Margaret Rockey -- Western Washington University
Michael Middleton -- University of Utah
Ã¢??The present situation is highly discouragingÃ¢?Â Ã¢??Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari
Debate is Awesome
Judging Makes Me Cry Softly
Do I weep in vain?
Some things to consider (when debating in front of me):
10.Ã?Â Ã?Â I DO NOT support speed as a tool of exclusion
9.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â I DO NOT like deciding for myself what is the most important thing in the round or how to evaluate the competing arguments; You should do this for me.Ã?Â Ã?Â You will like it less if you donÃ¢??t. On the other hand, I will like it more.
8.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â I DO like well-structured debates. I also like interesting structures.
7.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â I DO like creative interpretations; I DO NOT like when you donÃ¢??t explain/provide a rationale for why I your interpretation makes for a productive/rewarding/interesting/good debate.
6.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â I DO NOT like nor understand potential abuse arguments; I DO like and reward teams that demonstrate compellingly that the quality of the debate has been compromised by an interpretive choice made by the other team.Ã?Â
5.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â I DO NOT vote for any given argument or against any given type of argument.Ã?Â Ã?Â Run whatever strategy you like; Be clear about your strategy.
4.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â I am a participant in the round also.Ã?Â Ã?Â While I make my best effort to vote on who is winning and losing the debate based on the arguments, I use speaker points to evaluate and highlight both excellent and poor behaviors, i.e. if you create a hostile environment, you get massively low speaker points.
3.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Jargon does not equal argument. Nor does it equal a good time.
2.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Cross-application does not equal new argument. It doesnÃ¢??t really equal anything.
1.Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Debate is not life.Ã?Â Ã?Â Losing a ballot will not steal your humanity.Ã?Â Ã?Â I tend to prefer rounds that demonstrate everyone in the room knows this.Ã?Â
0. Have Fun
Mike Catlos -- Lewis & Clark College
Nadia Steck -- Lewis & Clark College
Rick Falvo -- El Paso Community Collegen/a
Ron Price -- The College of IdahoUm so I really don't have a judging philosophy per se. Background in high school policy, high school Lincoln-Douglas and college parliamentary debate. I have been the Assistant Speech and Debate Director at the College of Idaho for over a decade. Prefer arguments that make sense and are logical. Prefer content over speed any day of the week. Have fun and be kind. I'm not sure what else to put down
Sarina Wang -- California State University, Northridge.n/a
Sean McKean -- University of Oregon
Experience: 4 years policy debate at Tualatin High School, 4 years NPDA/NPTE experience at the University of Oregon. 3 years high school coaching experience at Thurston High School. Current NPDA/NPTE coach at Oregon.
Quick in prep version: In general I am down with just about anything, however I would much rather hear a good disad than some only tag lines and a bad alternative kritik. Theory was my jam when I was debating, so if you want to read it go ahead, however, I’m not going to vote for you just because you read it, while my threshold is probably lower than most judges I like to pretend I’m not a hack .
Longer (probably unnecessary) version
My ideal debate is a strategic topical aff v some CPs and a DA or a topic K. That being said, I tend to be down with anything you want to read in front of me, I believe that it is my job to adapt to you and the arguments you want to read not your job to adapt to me. I am not going to tell you what to or not to read in front of me or reject your arguments on face. I tend to prefer more technical debates where you explain to me how all of the relevant arguments interact at the end of the round over just extending them and making me try to figure it out myself at the end. I want to be able to write my RFD at the end of the round by sticking as much as possible to the flow without having to insert my own analysis, this means I want you to write my RFD for me, tell me why I should vote a particular way at the end of the round.
Impact framing is a lost art, it’s not helpful to just inform me that both teams do, in fact, have impacts. I want to hear how I should evaluate those impacts against each other, ie. Do I care more about fairness or education on the theory flow, is timeframe or magnitude more important, can I even evaluate arguments rooted in some kind of epistemology?
More specific stuff:
Theory/ T : I read a lot of theory when I was debating so I am pretty much able to follow what is going on in complex theory debates, although I would prefer that you slow down a bit when spreading theory since it is more condensed and harder to flow. I evaluate theory just like any other argument, which means I am probably more likley to vote on it than most judges if you go for it correctly. In order to win theory in front of me you are going to need to impact it out and explain what it means for the round. (IE just because they dropped your Consult CP's are illegit argument doesn't mean you insta-win if you don't give me some reason why that theory argument results in a ballot, not just me dropping the CP). I find myself voting a lot this year on teams forgetting to read a counter interp. If I am judging in a competing interps paradigm, which is usually how these things shake out, and there is not either an interp or a counter-interp that you meet I will vote against you regardless of the rest of the flow, as there is not an interp for me to stick your offense to. I think that this is a pretty common way of evaluating theory but I feel it is worth flagging explicitly in my philosophy given that I find myself voting on this a lot.
Framework : Framework was my go-to when debating the K aff. That doesn’t mean that you necessarily shouldn’t or can’t read a K aff in front of me, just be aware than I’m not going to be one of those judges that just ignores the argument for some vague political reason.
K affs : I would prefer that if you are going to read an aff that isn’t topical that you have some good justification for doing so, I am not really interested in your “I read a cool book and here is my book report” project.
Ks : I am down with the K, however there are some recent trends in the kritik that I feel need some addressing here. First, Marx was my bread and butter and I am fairly deep in that literature, but outside of that and maybe Heidegger you should not assume that I am incredibly well read in your lit base. That doesn’t mean that you can’t read your K in front of me, it just means that you are going to need to do some more explaining. Second, there has been a tendency of K’s becoming just a list of tag lines, that then get extended as arguments later in the debate. If your K sounds like this I am probably going to give the other team a lot more leeway in reading new arguments when your K finally becomes something in the block.
CP/ DA : Ayyyyyyyyy
Serena Fitzgerald -- University of Oregon
Overview: I did LD in high school and debated for Western Washington in NPDA (graduated 2018).
TL;DR: Have fun and be yourself. I evaluate warrants over taglines. This shouldn’t be treated as a comprehensive guide to how I view debate; it highlights where I might diverge from (what I see as) national circuit norms. Feel free to message me on facebook or email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaker points – I raise them for keeping me awake and reading particularly innovative arguments, even if they aren’t necessarily strategically flawless. It should go without saying, but I heavily deduct points for being racist/sexist/ableist etc or fueling systems of oppression in round.
Perms – In general, I’m more hesitant to vote on perms in K debates than many other judges seem to be; since the alternative only has to generate uniqueness, I don’t accept “the perm shields the links” as a one-shot kill to get out of the link debate. I need specific warrants for why the permutation would resolve each of the links the other team reads – otherwise I just treat it as an unwarranted tagline. Since the links are typically a question of the desirability of the permutation, rather than just its possibility, simply stating that the permutation could happen is not sufficient to wipe out the offense from the criticism. In terms of counterplans, I think that PICS and delay counterplans can justify “perm do the CP.”
Theory – I came from LD so I like “weird” arguments; I've read my fair share of what opponents have called "dogshit theory." Frankly, I prefer creative or even bizarre theory debates to the standard issues of PICS and T (though of course I will listen to whatever). I don't think theory is inherently a priori, and I have a comparatively low threshold for dismissing it in favor of substance if you’re winning framework arguments that say epistemology or ontology come first, but I will default to treating it as a priori absent arguments to the contrary and I won’t make those cross applications for you. I default to competing interpretations. I’m open to RVIs, particularly on MG theory or NIBs.
Kritiks – I’m cool with performance, nontopical K affs, etc. I did a lot of K debate in college and I think good K debates are some of the most fun to watch and have a lot of room for interesting innovation within debate, but I am also likely to judge mediocre Ks more harshly. Although I spent a lot of time calling T fascist when I read K affs as a debater, I do think that it’s a perfectly legitimate response to an untopical critical aff – and often a very strategic one, especially if it is specifically tailored to respond to the thesis of the case framework. That said, if you try to use T as a way to get out of engaging the case thesis at all, you will probably be fighting an uphill battle. A minor pet peeve of mine is “ivory tower” disads to critiques that
Advantages/Disads – I have a soft spot for good econ debates. Nuanced brink analysis that matches your links will definitely impress me and earn you higher speaks; however, because I majored in econ/poli sci, I’ll also probably know if your link story is nonsense or your uniqueness claims are just wrong, and I’ll be more prone to believe arguments against them. I’m probably give more weight than many judges to solid defense, and typically default to evaluating probability somewhat more heavily than magnitude absent impact calc telling me otherwise.