Harvard RR Pods Announced

The Harvard Round Robin pods have been released.

POD 1
Travis Chen
Adam Hoffman
Rebecca Kuang
Elana Leone
Michael O’Krent
Zeke Rosenberg
Henry Zhang

POD 2
Danny Debois
Eli Hymson
Annie Kors
Jessica Levy
Richard Shmikler
Daniel Tartakovsky
Yang Yi

  • These pods look balanced.

  • A life lesson for all you young’uns: http://youtu.be/WP-lrftLQaQ?t=1m58s

    • Rebar Niemi

      MY FEELINGS ARE DEAD.

  • Just so people don’t get any ideas, I’m all out of Internet beatdowns.

    I’ll have to re-stock.

  • Sting and the Fashion Police

    Honestly who cares. Politics in High school debate!?!?!? CHRIST! Let’s get the ACLU involved as we can’t have our precious liberties taken away from us by adults who couldn’t give two shits about the academic experience of the lone wolf or anyone else who disagrees with them. Why is it in anyway surprising that Jacob got booted from the tournament, Jalon went to the TOC without bids, or that disclosure theory was run–even against local circuit kids? The harsh reality of high school debate is that it’s run by men, men that are far too old to be personally invested in a high school activity to the point where they willingly screw others over, and who are no more mature than the freshman that they should have no right to mentor. Why is this acceptable? Why should one man be able to bend the rules for a single competitor? Why should one man have the sway to decide who should and should not be involved in tournaments that he should have no sway over. Why should one man get my comments about his jean shorts erased (You know who you are >:( )Every year something more ridiculous happens than in years past and nothing is ever done.

    Look, Timmons has a long and decorated history in screwing over debaters less fortunate than his own. He’s silenced local and low-resource debaters through his crafty disclosure theory under the guise of openness (before withdrawing it because Matt Kawahara had super sweet answers–so much for discussion and openness). He personally coached the very first no-bid debater to the two-bid requirement TOC (now that’s just impressive!). He ruthlessly intimidates his perceived subordinates and can decide who’s allowed to judge based on decisions against his students.
    There are infinite examples, but frankly I don’t think that Timmons can top the Jalon incident–some bending physics shit right there. While the actions of Timmons are certainly problematic, they only point to a larger, more insidious cancer within high school debate. Debate is supposed to be about agency. The ability of debaters to gain purpose and confidence ought be trumpeted in the world of debate, but we increasingly see these goals fall to the hyper competitive douchebagery of a select few who are quite literally ruining the activity for everyone else. Debate must be reclaimed by the students. Challenge those who dictate the activity; debate ‘powerhouse’ schools don’t win because their kids are uniquely talented, they win more because of connections, money, and the sway of their coaches.

    What should be done? Turn words into action: Boycott Timmons. This one’s easy, stop going to Greenhill sponsored tournaments–look at pictures of peakcocks online instead.

    While I single out timmons, he is by no means the only man responsible. At the end of the day, this activity needs to be reclaimed by the students.

    Also, in keeping with the moniker. I can find no reason to fault the dress of Mr Timmons. Crisp and contemporary. That is all.

  • nikhiln17

    Mr. Horowitz — Northeast teams can also compete at the UPenn Liberty Bell Classic (which still has limited spots available).

  • Sting and the Fashion Police

    Yeah, Rebar. you conceited butthole.

    • Rebar Niemi

      I’M SO VAIN I PROBABLY THOUGHT THIS POST WAS ABOUT ME.

  • Rebar Niemi

    HEAR HEAR!

  • Rebar Niemi

    Dear good debaters, thank you for being name-brand suckers and going to Harvard instead of Berkeley.

    Sincerely, the West Coast.

    Also congrats on being invited to the prestigious HAHVAHD ROUND RAHBIN.

    • Anon13579

      Dear Rebar,

      Go fuck yourself

      • Rebar Niemi

        Dear Scared,

        I know that you are so terrified of coming out of your hidey-hole, but I promise it’s safe. I’m not nearly as threatening IRL as I am on the internet. Gave you an upvote b/c I care, but you didn’t deserve it.

        Love,

        Rebar

        • Cypher19

          Rebar why are you God

          • Sting and the Fashion Police

            Brown-noser.

    • LDoutsider

      Dear Rebar,

      Quite hilarious–keep it up.

  • Back in October, I decided to call out the actions and influence of Aaron Timmons.
    Although some people disagreed with the way I went about it and I should have chosen some of my words more carefully, the general point of my previous posts remains very relevant.

    Recent events have proved my point. Last semester I was appointed as one of the directors of the Harvard LD Round Robin. Basically, I was supposed to hire judges, coordinate with/inform coaches, and make sure things run smoothly during the round robin. When Mr. Timmons found out about this, he decided to take action. After I had already been actively organizing the round robin for about a month, he contacted Sherry Hall, Harvard’s head policy coach, and demanded I be removed from directing the round robin. Sherry, without questioning me about events or even telling me what claims had been made against me, fired me. This week, I was informed that I cannot even judge at the round robin. Regardless of whether I’m an objectively qualified judge, many competitors in the round robin have preffed me highly earlier this year. I find it extremely disappointing that members of the debate community are more willing to pander to the interests of an influential coach than to create the best competitive environment.

    I decided to call out Mr. Timmons for something I believed was unjust. It then turned out that he used his influence even further to get me fired and then fired again. Mr. Timmons uses his influence to create a competitive advantage and even uses it to the point of silencing people who speak up against him. As such a proponent of openness and disclosure, it is very discomforting that he is so willing to exclude people who attempt to criticize his actions.

    • This is an important message, and everyone should read it before Aaron Timmons has it deleted and has this website shut down.

    • Rebar Niemi

      YOU GOT TATTLED ON

      conduct not befitting a representative of HAHVAHD

      OWAAH ROUND RAHBINS AHR MORAH EXCLUSIVE THAN YOWAHH ROUND RAHBINS. NO ONE DENIES THIS! GREATRIOTS WIN. TAWMMY! SAWX! FEVAH PITCH! WAHLBERGS!

      • Erik Baker

        I’M NAHT A CAHP!

        • Rebar Niemi

          MAH BOY’S WICKED SMAHHHT.

    • LDoutsider

      “Although some people disagreed with the way I went about it and I should have chosen some of my words more carefully, the general point of my previous posts remains very relevant.” Lately on NSD update, when folks know they are inaccurate in the detailed accusations they make they have said “my general message was right!” Sorry–not good enough. If you’re going to bring the fire on someone, calling for their ambush, you gotta be right. By your own admission, you were reckless and imprecise n your call out, and this was discussed publically.

      You went for the ambush strategy and found out that there were people who disagreed with you (and more strongly) than you expected. Sometimes you just gotta take the consequences of a failed strategy.

      If I was Timmons, I’d have gotten you fired too. After what you did online (and a history of others) trying to cause trouble for him whenever his students win a tournament, you had to see this coming (assuming that these accusations you say here aren’t also exaggerated and inaccurate like the ones you refer to fro earlier). Why should he, or any coach attacked in such a way, not have the equal right to free speech to–on the basis of YOUR actions feel uncomfortable with being in your presence and trusting your objectivity/fairness running a tournament? It’s like you expect Timmons to take a bashing but not take actions to minimize the risk of future attacks.

      You attacked someone and ‘chose your words poorly’. According to your asserations, that person took steps to remove you as a future threat of additional attacks. Sounds pretty reasonable and smart to me. No coach should have to prioritize “the best competitive environment” over one that is a safe one for him/her–especially when that person irresponsibly harms or indirectly affects one of his students.

      “As such a proponent of openness and disclosure, it is very discomforting that he is so willing to exclude people who attempt to criticize his actions.”

      This is hypocritical–you were trying to get a coach excluded through your criticisms (or could have reasonably expected that if you succeeded, exclusion would be a result), and now you complain that a similar method (although not public) happened to you. Turnabout is fair play.

      What you did was not mere ‘criticism’ it was a full on public attack that I’d be nice to call “sloppily executed.” If you wanted a more kind or cooperative result, you’d have behaved in a constructive way in the first place. Bottom line: bad strategy and bad behavior sometimes leads to catastrophic results. Thinking before acting is a policy that circuit LDers need to start adopting.

      • I think this response mostly misses the point of what I’m talking about. Maybe Mr. Timmons had a good reason for wanting me to be fired. I don’t think he did, but you clearly disagree. My point is that his influence makes his desires foregone conclusions. I was fired without any chance to defend myself and without any idea of what the accusations against me even were. That’s what I’m currently criticizing. On top of that, after I had been removed from my position, I was told I couldn’t even judge at the round robin, which certainly shouldn’t be the decision of a single coach. As I said before, many students in the round robin preffed me before and would probably be happy with having me as a judge again. Taking it that far is simply unfair and unjustified.

        You claim that I was imprecise in my accusations and even admitted to this. However, I don’t think that’s true. I don’t want to bring up every issue that was already discussed on the last thread, but I think my general point that coaches shouldn’t question judges after nearly every round for prolonged amounts of time and shouldn’t use their connections in the tab room to create last-minute judge swaps multiple times in one tournament is generally accepted as true, not “imprecise.” You claim that talking about my general point is “not good enough.” If you disagree with something specific I said last time around, please bring it up. I don’t remember everything I said, but I stand by my comments and would be willing to discuss them. As of now, I think my specific accusation is pretty clear and not responded to.

        Now to discuss your characterization of my “failed strategy”: you claim that many people disagreed with me and more strongly than I expected; however, as I recall the only people who spoke out in disagreement about what I was actually bringing up were members of the Greenhill coaching staff. I think given the number of upvotes to my previous post and my post on this thread (each of which comes from someone expressing his or her agreement) it’s clear that a majority of people agree with me about this.

        Then you talk about an equal right to free speech. That’s exactly what I’m going for here. Equity and fairness in tournament hiring/firing processes and in debate in general. Yes, he has a right to make claims against me, but I should also have the right to defend myself and know what accusations are made against me before simply getting fired. I also don’t understand at all how me judging at the tournament (and judging other debaters not even anyone coached by Mr. Timmons) could in any way create an unsafe environment for Mr. Timmons. I don’t understand how my evaluating the rounds of other students could in any way put Mr. Timmons or anyone else in danger of “attack” or “ambush.”

        Also, Mr. Timmons’s student was invited to the round robin! I urge anyone involved in the situation or commenting on the thread to provide one example of anything I did in my capacity as round robin director to show any bias or lack of objectivity. The whole reason I called out Mr. Timmons in the first place is because I believed he was taking actions that jeopardized competitive equity; why on earth would I run a round robin that didn’t strive to be the most equitable and fair while also being competitive and educational?

        You then call me a hypocrite for trying to “exclude” a coach. Exclusion is in no way my goal. I never called for Mr. Timmons to be excluded from anything. Yes, I disagree with some of the things I’ve witnessed him do in the past, but that doesn’t mean I want him at all excluded. This is exactly my point. I spoke out in an effort to promote fairness and inclusion, and for that I was excluded.

        • 2Chainz

          How can you purport to promote fairness and equity? You are posting on the same forum that had no problem participating in a largely inappropriate and mocking discourse last time you tried to address this issue. This forum is not one where Mr. Timmons could have a fair and equitable discussion with you. This forum is one where he or any person that attempted to speak up on his behalf would be chastised. If you have a problem with a person in the debate community, you should approach them personally, not on an online forum. That’s fairness. That’s equality. What you are doing right now is a level below libel. Two sides of the story are not being presented and one side has no opportunity for recourse. If you were truly treated so unfairly, you would not use the same logic in your misguided values-based mission. Stop pretending to be a crusader for truth and collect the up-votes you crave with honesty.

          • Not really going to get involved in this one, but the claim that”one side has no opportunity for recourse” is actually just laughably false. What happened last time when Jacob/others called out Greenhill? Oh, that’s right. Greenhill responded with their side of the story and defended themselves. You make the claim that “his forum is one where he or any person that attempted to speak up on his behalf would be chastised,” which is not only probably incorrect, it is empirically incorrect. When Jake defended Greenhill he wasn’t chastised in the slightest. In fact I can remember quite a few debaters/coaches supporting both him and Greenhill. So yes, while this forum lends itself to pointless flamewars and poorly chosen words (yours included), it also allows for both sides to be heard. Also, this forum is open to all members of the community so if someone is met with a negative reaction, doesn’t that say something about how the debate community feels? It’s not just senseless Greenhill bashing. On the previous flamewar, when people objected to certain comments, those posts were also upvoted, expressing the community’s disapproval and, in the end, Jacob actually apologized for his comments.

            Moreover, I was rather amused to read the last sentence of your post, accusing Jacob of “pretending to be a crusader for truth” and questioning his honesty, two sentences after you accused Jacob of doing something “a level below libel.” Didn’t the beginning of your post say something about hypocrisy…

            ;tldr think before you post. I just lost brain cells.

          • p.s. seeing as though Jacob Pritt is, in fact, 2chainz, I think your choice of nicknames is silly.

        • LDoutsider

          “I think this response mostly misses the point of what I’m talking about. Maybe Mr. Timmons had a good reason for wanting me to be fired. I don’t think he did, but you clearly disagree. My point is that his influence makes his desires foregone conclusions. I was fired without any chance to defend myself and without any idea of what the accusations against me even were. That’s what I’m currently criticizing. On top of that, after I had been removed from my position, I was told I couldn’t even judge at the round robin, which certainly shouldn’t be the decision of a single coach. As I said before, many students in the round robin preffed me before and would probably be happy with having me as a judge again. Taking it that far is simply unfair and unjustified.”

          First, note in my earlier response I was saying “if what you are saying is true.” I hope that you have rock solid evidence that this situation happens exactly the way you say it did, and that you’re not just putting up another hasty post like last time. If you are wrong, then your “general point” will be irrelevant. Same point holds–you shouldn’t be making such strong declarations in public without absolute certainty.

          But assuming you are right then you can complain all you want about the lack of justifiability of being removed from an RR, but (again, assuming your accusation is correct, which i’m not entirely convinced of given your history of making charges in haste and then demanding we listen to your ‘overall point’ when the details get torn apart) then I would say this to you— why shouldn’t AT argue with how far you have taken this—to state such a rant immediately after his student won a tournament—as taking it too far, and being unfair and unjustified? You never gave AT the ability to say how far you actions should have gone before you started your appeal, did you? When did you give him the chance to speak one on one about these things before you went to NSD?Note that you are claiming the right to have a fair trial–if you deserve one then so does AT, period.

          The specific imprecision/inaccuracies/ issues with your rants earlier were already proven in detail both by Ghill staff members and others in that series of posts–along with your own subsequent retractions and backtracking in that thread, so I need not repeat all of that here.

          “Then you talk about an equal right to free speech. That’s exactly what I’m going for here. Equity and fairness in tournament hiring/firing processes and in debate in general. Yes, he has a right to make claims against me, but I should also have the right to defend myself and know what accusations are made against me before simply getting fired.”

          – Free speech, yes everyone has that right, but there is no right to free speech without consequences. You can freely speak, and others (whoever they are) can dislike you on the basis of that speech and choose to not want you in positions of authority accordingly based on what you said.

          ” I also don’t understand at all how me judging at the tournament (and judging other debaters not even anyone coached by Mr. Timmons) could in any way create an unsafe environment for Mr. Timmons. I don’t understand how my evaluating the rounds of other students could in any way put Mr. Timmons or anyone else in danger of “attack” or “ambush.””

          –The upvotes that you so proudly take credit for warrant my point. Tons of posts after yours were calling for actions to be taken against AT on the basis of his influence, and you had no problem citing those people as your supporters. Your intentions may not have been to exclude AT, but it is a reasonable expectation that folks would engage in exclusion against the coach to moot ‘his influence’. If you were effective in lobbying such support and policies thereof, that would be a reasonable threat onto him.

          Now, I, personally don’t see you or other entitled debaters as a real threat, but at the very least I would respect any coach’s desire or use of authority to mitigate the chance that the next time one of his students wins a tournament that you’d be in a position to control judge preferences, run a tab room, etc. It’s a risk, yes, and maybe you’d never do that, but then again, one wouldn’t have assumed that you’d have behaved the way you did either–especially given the indirect harm you did to his student, helping to moot what should have been a time to celebrate her achievements. You can’t argue that your actions, and their indirect effect on a student who won a tournament could be called creating a safe educational environment for her (especially given the statements made about her after your posts by your ‘supporters.) Adults , like you, ought to behave better.

          Again, I have no idea if your explanation about who/how you were fired is accurate, but even if it is, any coach on the receiving end of what you did would have every right to talk to the people running a RR to express concerns, and to do so privately. That’s their right to free speech too.

          It’s not the point whether or not you did anything as RR director to actually be biased–your actions indicate the potential of risk that AT or any other coach would not (or should not) have to accept. I know if I was coaching I’d have talked to an RR director about concerns about being blasted against, or more to the point, judging my students. There’s no obligation for a coach to take on those risks just because of MJP trends, up votes, on your rants about education and fairness and competition. You may want them to take this risk laying down, but they don’t have to do it.

          So yes, exclusion may not have been your goal, but you knew–or should have known — the risk of exclusion based on your speech online. The exclusion would happen whether or not you intended it, but the results would be the same. “This is exactly my point.” You need to think about these possibilities BEFORE going online and ranting about what you think happened, and think there won’t be consequences for being inaccurate, hurting a student, or just otherwise acting inappropriately.

          BTW: I get 0 money or affiliation from Greenhill. I don’t have to in order to find your behavior ridiculous and irresponsible.

          • What I’m saying is completely true. I was hired for the round robin. I was then fired from the round robin but told I could still judge. I was then fired from judging. The person who fired me explicitly told me Mr. Timmons had contacted her expressing concerns about me. All of these things are facts. If you want written proof of any of them, email me. I’m making this declaration with absolute certainty.

            Your next paragraph claims that I didn’t give Mr. Timmons the ability to express whether he thought I had “tak[en] it too far.” However, I posted my concerns on an online message board. Anyone with internet access can post on the message board and express his or her opinion. Many supporters of Mr. Timmons expressed that on the last thread. That in no way parallels the situation at the Harvard Round Robin. I was literally given zero chance to defend myself. I was fired without being questioned at all regarding what happened. When I posted in October, I was hoping for a lot of discussion and hopefully some consensus. It’s a debate forum. People argue. That’s what my supporters and I did. That’s what Mr. Timmons’s supporters did.

            Sure, the right to free speech has consequences. That has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. I’m talking about Mr. Timmons’s influence and ability to bring about those consequences without any second-guessing or verification process. Like I said, if he believes he had a good reason for me to be fired, I’m glad he expressed that. Sherry should have talked to me before firing me, or at least attempted to get some other perspective on the story. When I brought up my concerns about Mr. Timmons’s actions in October, he had the ability to defend himself and speak out. When he brought up his concerns, I didn’t.

            Your next paragraph outlines a general problem I have with your responses. I’m not really sure at all what you mean by “exclusion” and how I would go about excluding Mr. Timmons from anything. I’m a college freshman. I don’t run a tournament; I don’t run a camp. I’m not really sure what that exclusion would possibly be. So, I really don’t think I’m “lobbying such support” when I’m not really sure what that would entail. Like I said before, I disagree with some things Mr. Timmons does, but that doesn’t mean I think he should be “excluded” from anything. If other people think that, you should take it up with them.

            You then discuss the potential risks Mr. Timmons would be taking by allowing me to continue running the tournament. While this sidetracks from the actual discussion (remember my problem is not that I was fired twice, it’s the way I was fired twice with no ability to defend myself), I think it is still incorrect. I would not be “in a position to control judge preferences” because there are no prefs at the round robin. I would not “run a tab room,” also the nature of a round robin and required disclosure of decisions would make it impossible for anyone directing tab to unfairly tabulate.

            “Adults, like you, ought to behave better.” I think all of us have had times when we ought to have behaved better. For me, I don’t think my posts on this thread are an example of one of those times.

            You again mention the “potential of risk” for Mr. Timmons with me as RR director. Again, this has no relevance to what I’m trying to bring up, but I’ll answer it. There is nothing I could have done to actually harm Mr. Timmons or any of his students in my capacity as round robin director, as I’ve showed before. Even if there was, my being able to judge (students that don’t attend Greenhill) could literally in no way at all have any impact on Greenhill students or coaches. So I’m not really sure what that risk would be.

          • To Be Fair

            I agree with a lot of your points, but this sounds much more like Sherry Hall acted inappropriately than it does about Mr. Timmons. This also harkens back to when Timmons managed to swing a double-win for Jalon via Sherry at Harvard ’11. He’s probably within his rights to make the requests he has; she should just have more of a backbone and not cave to him so easily.

          • I don’t think anything Jacob has said denies this and, in fact, would probably endorse this opinion. However, I think the point being made is that this sort of thing happens and that coaches (not necessarily just Mr. Timmons) have a unfairly large amount of influence in tournaments. Regardless of whether or not Sherry specifically acted inappropriately, the insistence on the part of Mr. Timmons is indicative of the problem because of the exception that Jacob would be removed as a result of his wishes.

            Also, I think the post was also just to point out the situation as one which the debate community should be made aware. Which, as a community based on discourse and the exchange of ideas and information, I think is important.

          • I agree. Like I said in my response to LD outsider, I think there was nothing wrong with Mr. Timmons bringing up his concerns. It is his right to do that. My problem is with the way Sherry responded, very much like she did in 2011. She simply accepted his wishes and didn’t even try to hear my side of the story. My point regarding Mr. Timmons is not that he necessarily did something wrong by contacting Sherry about my position but that his influence and ability to do things like this/silence people who disagree with him is a larger problem that expands past what happened to me.

          • “The specific imprecision/inaccuracies/ issues with your rants earlier
            were already proven in detail both by Ghill staff members and others in
            that series of posts–along with your own subsequent retractions and
            backtracking in that thread, so I need not repeat all of that here.”

            So… In other words, Jacob made an accusation, gave Ghill/others a chance to respond on a public, online forum and then retracted his accusations when a defense was laid out? … interesting. From the rest of your post, I would have thought Jacob was a zealot who just dished out baseless accusations and was unwilling to let anyone give their side of the story. But maybe we had a different interpretation.

      • Sting and the Fashion Police

        If you were Timmons*… duh, subjunctive. read about it.

        • Sting and the Fashion Police

          Also, I don’t listen to posts using incorrect tenses.

    • Fritz Bittenfeld

      As I read this all I can imagine is you sobbing uncontrollably in a corner trying to justify your existence in a godless barren eternity, devoid of all meaning and hope. It is ironic considering you seek justification when you and your friends espouse nihilism in almost every round. You should be ashamed but I doubt you know how to be.

      All metaphors aside, you definitely cried when you were fired and that image alone makes me happy. You should all be ashamed for indulging in this twerp’s callous vendetta.

      • Oskar

        Wow, this is extremely mean, Jacob is just trying to voice his concerns and you are insulting him. “Fritz” I dare you to post with your real name, its people like you who are sullying the integrity of this forum.

        Timmons obviously tried to suppress Jacob when he fired him and that is totally unfair.

        • sjadler

          If you’re going to engage in arguments with yourself via multiple screen names, at least be creative enough to disguise it better.

          For those who are curious and wish to avoid annoying, contrived posts, Oskar, Fritz Bittenfeld, and Wolfgang Mittermeyer are all the same person.

          • Oskar

            In every place, in every age, the deeds of men remain the same.

          • Concerned Citizen

            Useing multiple accounts to disguise yourself does not do legend of the galatic heroes justice.

      • This is pretty funny, actually. I didn’t cry although there’s sort of a bigger issue here. If you take pleasure in the image of people crying, you should probably see a therapist or something because that’s screwed up.

        “You and your friends espouse nihilism in almost every round.” What? This part is really confusing. I don’t think I’ve ever “espoused nihilism” in my life, not sure if my friends have or who you’re even talking about. Also, I don’t espouse anything in rounds anymore. I judge; I don’t debate.

        If you’d actually like to discuss the reasons why you think my “vendetta” is “callous,” please post something constructive or email me.