Rebecca Kuang Wins Big Bronx XLII

NY, NY–Congratulations to the Greenhill School’s Rebecca Kuang for defeating Loyola’s Michael Harris to win the New York City Invitational. Rebecca is by coached Aaron Timmons, Bekah Boyer, Jake Nebel, and Noah Star and Lyall Stuart; Michael is coached by Michael Overing, John Scoggin, Ashan Peiris, Corbin Cass, Tim McHugh, Bob Overing, Tom Placido, Navot Tidhar, and Tom Vavra James Zucker.

For prelims and elims postings, follow the link to tabroom.com and click on the right-hand sidebar: http://bit.ly/RLqord


  • Pingback: gucci outlet()

  • Read some Aquinas bro, skepticism is not true.

  • PlazaMexico

    Are we still supposed to be hate at Greenhill for their Disclosure policy, or is it only because of AT now?

  • Todd Liipfert

    Way to go Rebecca! That trophy is almost as big as you!

  • HarbingerOfDarkness

    BEHOLD MY GLORY! Thus spoke the great Defender of Justice Lord Jacob Pritt when he entered the battlefield of flame. He dared, a brave lone knight, to challenge the glory of the Great High King Timmons upon a hill of green. The High King was reticent at first, but lo! He sent his great demon Ne’Ebel to slay the brave knight with allegations of slander, libel and other crude curses which the demon slung at the brave warrior. The brave knight fought bravely, a sword in one hand and a battleaxe in the other, and eventually the great demon “saw his point” and “apologized” before returning to the castle. The Great High King was not pleased, but he was not yet ready to give up. He offered Kueen Kutting Kards Kuang as a sacrifice and attempted to blame the knight so the townspeople would rally in his defense. Unfortunately for the High King, the Kueen escaped his grasp and the townspeople realized that she was as much a victim of the King’s wrath as they all were. The High King was so infuriated that he grilled each townsperson for 45 minutes as to the Kueen’s location, but their will was steadfast and their hearts were strong, so the King had to resort to a new strategy. He called upon the Great Barbarian Bietz to fling feces upon the great knight, but the Barbarian was only content to eat the feces. Now, the King knew what he had to do. It was his ultimate last resort. He went into the castle basement and pulled out the ultimate weapon with which to defeat the knight. It was…the race card. As he unleashed it’s might, all the black townspeople forgot that the King was oppressive and remembered only that he was black, and they too were black, and the brave defender of justice was white, and so the townspeople converged on the brave defender of justice, led by Lieutenants Elijah and Smitty. soon, the brave warrior was surrounded, but he would not admit defeat. He called upon the power of the chief justice, the brave Ken Hershey, who flew into the battlefield on the great flying Scarsdale Steed and used his Satyr’s Satire Horn to drive away the army of townspeople. Now, it was just Lord Pritt and the High King. But it was still too dangerous. The High King still had too much power. Never fear, brave defenders of justice, there will be time. Plenty of time.

    • For real, though, Pritt should probably be “The High King.”

  • Bill_Clinton

    People on this thread are way too soft and passive aggressive. If you’re going to criticize everything someone says with a strong “tone”, you might as well be directly
    confrontational and go all out, or else don’t have a “tone” to begin with. Also, the passive aggression is insane. People all throughout this thread say “Don’t do X” to someone else as if they are making a threat. What is anyone on this thread going to do? Talk about someone behind their back? Oh no! Are you going to fight someone? Oh wait, everyone on this is a debater. We all know that nobody on this thread actually has any follow-up to their threats.

    Also, can someone explain why the debate “community” exists?

    It seems to me that it is actually bad for debate. Lots of people are talking about sexism and racism on this thread. The debate community seems to perpetuate both of these in debate. Debate currently is like the school in Mean Girls, where there are a bunch of super-exclusive and discriminatory cliques. This makes debate a hostile atmosphere where it is difficult to join the “community” without already having inside connections.

    For example, imagine a new kid walking into this school. He might feel out of place, and it would be hard to make friends; remember, all of these cliques are super exclusive. Now imagine that instead of a school, this kid is entering a public library full of the same people. He would probably not feel out of place; he would feel like just another person there.

    What I’m getting at is that for problems of discrimination to exist in debate, there has to be an entity doing the discriminating. That entity is the debate “community.” Without it, these problems would likely decrease in prevalence, or maybe even disappear entirely. Ex: Other academic activities, such as math team or quiz bowl, don’t face these problems of exclusion because no community exists; kids just show up to compete and have fun, and return to their lives afterwards.

    Debate would be better if debaters did the same. Instead of obsessing on the debate community, debaters should return to their lives in between tournaments. The solution to the perceived problems in debate can actually be not constantly discussing them. I’m all for making friends at camp and maintaining these friendships at tournaments. What I don’t support is network of people that decide social trends and norms within the event. This is what leads to women and minorities feeling out of place and disliked.

    People throughout this thread talk of sexism against women in debate. If people stopped gossiping about each other and the winners of tournaments, then this sexism would not exist. If debaters didn’t know who was gossiping about them, they probably wouldn’t care as much.

    On the other hand, if judges took their (very very part-time) jobs less seriously, the bullying discussed on this thread would become insignificant. I doubt anyone would be intimidated by Aaron Timmons if they didn’t care who he was or if they didn’t care about their future role in the event as much.

    So, I propose everyone take a break from the “community.” Don’t be debate socialites. Do it as a fun extracurricular event, and return to the real world when a tournament finishes. Get the fuck out of the debate matrix, and get on with life.Leave a message…

    • Erik Baker

      Pretty sure I actually did offer to fight people

  • i heard it’s sujay paknikar

  • Guest

    i it’s sujay paknikar

  • Anonymous

    In case anyone wants more transparency on the Lifer Petition, click the following link courtesy of Mr. Steven Adler: http://acmepeers.com/?u=eqmo

  • The truth

    In the name of “transparency” I think everyone should know the identity of Lifer at Law. Earlier to today I sent an email containing a tracer link to the email address that Lifer included in his last post.

    The first hit was easily traced back to Wade Houston.

    From there things got weird. I believe he may have figured out what the link was about, or multiple people have access to that email account, making this whole campaign a conspiracy.

    Two other hits were traced back to USC, and someone attending Berkeley.

    I think it would be great if the people demanding transparency and accountability would apply that same standard to themselves and come forward.

    • CuriousAboutLAL

      How sure are you that it is Wade Houston? Could it just be someone else at Penn with him? (Other debaters at Penn include Alex Zimmermann, Nikhil Nag, Stef Rhode, etc)

      Debaters at USC:
      Fritz Pielstick
      Bob Overing
      Tim McHugh
      Tom Placido

      Debaters at Berkeley:
      Paras Kumar
      Michael Fried
      Half the state of California

    • TheBerkeleyBear

      With an accusation like that, you might want to reveal your name for the sake of “transparency.” If it isn’t Wade, you’re definitely tarnishing his name and I personally would be upset if I were accused of something you consider to be unacceptable.

    • Sam_Azbel

      Dude Wade was my lab leader this summer and I can assure you that he doesn’t give 2 fucks about debate anymore.

    • Rebar Niemi

      HA HA! THE GAME’S AFOOT!

      THIS FIEND HAS SNIPED HIS LAST EBAY PURCHASE, POSTED HIS LAST PICTURE, AND HELD OUT HIS HANDS TO THE LAST FLAME WAR HE’LL EVER SEE. ALL TROLLS SHALL BE UNMASKED AND MADE TO ACCOUNT FOR THEIR ACTIONS LIKE WE’RE NOT ON THE INTERNET.

      WE’RE SENDING HIM ALLLLLLL THE WAY DOWN THE RIVER, PAST WHERE THE GULF SHRIMP ARE STILL OILY TASTING. THAT’S RIGHT BABBBIES – WADE & REBAR VISIT GUANTANAMO BAY IN 3D.

  • Concerned Citizen

    ED NOTE: The author of this post has requested to clarify that this is a joke. It should not be read as an attack on any person mentioned; it is a satire. (Note added because author is unable to edit.)

    It’s ridiculous that this discussion has once again been killed by Greenhill/PVP’s political clout. A lot of these criticisms have merit, and they need to be brought to light, no matter how “insensitive” or “mean” they might sound. While the accusations leveled against Rebecca and Daniel are severe in and of themselves, I’d like to bring the community’s attention to a more widespread problem: it is really unfair that the VBI top lab, or “TNT” as they so obnoxiously call themselves, has started winning disproportionately. There’s a reason why. Daniel Tartakovsky and Rebecca Kuang have already been called out for their actions. Daniel is a phoney who fabricates evidence yet pretends to be the community nice guy; the fact that none of the evidence called into question significantly affected his debates is not a reason why his Greenhill titles should not be stripped from him. And why has no one caught onto the fact that his panels were fixed at Greenhill? Why were all his judges so skewed toward his debate style? HE HAD REBECCA RUNNING TAB FOR HIM! And as anyone who has watched Rebecca debate can testify, she is an absolute bitch who stubbornly refuses to let people evade her questions. That perceptual dominance is just getting annoying. Why can’t she just go back to the kitchen where she belongs? But wait- there’s more. Henry Zhang uses vocal steroids- why do you think he’s won so many top speaker awards? One pill and his voice drops to Jake Nebel/Michael Mangus- depth. Jerry Chen only wins because he takes every opportunity to get his shirt off. Annie Kors and Michael O’Krent are the definition of machine debaters who get files handed to them on a daily basis. I doubt a single original thought has ever crossed either of their minds. Travis Chen didn’t read a single card he cut by himself at St. Marks- he sits outside big schools with his puppy face on and begs for free files. FINALS OF ST. MARKS WAS LITERALLY JUST A RECITATION BATTLE. Yang Yi only wins because he catches people off guard by pretending to be all substantive (“I solemnly swear!”) and then sneaking in skep triggers when no one is looking. Allie Woodhouse is just a cheating, female version of Daniel who’s more unethical than he is because she’s a female. Girl Theis needs to gtfo, it’s fucking unnatural. Kathy Qiu lies about how much prep time she has left in almost every debate, and no one catches on because everyone just thinks she’s superior at math because she’s Asian. And Sam Mathews has fabricated every analytic he’s ever read. Oh wait…

    In conclusion, The TNT debaters are liars, cheaters, and horrible people, as would be expected of anyone who spent two weeks under the command of Fake Nebel, Cheater Theis, and Catherine Bitchney. It is absurd that TNT has won every octas bid this year. I have a solution: let’s pull a Valley and just exclude them from our tournaments from now on.

    • “Pull a Valley” — ?

    • AnonRocky
    • Concerned Citizen

      this post was meant to be a parody. none of the above statements are true.
      valley is a great tournament. that comment was simply an observation of the fact that very few members of TNT were present.

      • Concerned Citizen

        in continuation of that previous clarification, i’d like to offer an apology to anyone who feels offended by this post. this entire post was literally just for laughs. nothing bad was meant and it was not directed at anyone.

        • Rebar Niemi

          you are a wimp.

    • anon94

      regardless of satirical intent, this post is extremely mean. you cant just say terrible things and try and escape it as a joke, the message still spreads and the terms you use contribute to a larger culture. “b****” “getting back to the kitchen”, ect. all normalize the use of such terms and jokes. not to mention that Rebecca and others mentioned in this post probably have enough to go through without “jokes” like this, you just seem like a bully.

      • TheBerkeleyBear

        If Concerned Citizen actually doesn’t mean hate, s/he should definitely delete their post. It’s incredibly offensive to use “girl theis” and “bitch” and continually make femininity a weakness. No one cares if the post was a joke; it was hurtful and it offered NOTHING to this thread besides alienation and stupidity, that when considered with the background of Lifer, could very well be considered legitimate.

  • Lifer at Law

    Dear Denizens of the Circuit,

    I apologize profusely for name-calling. I didn’t know the Lifer at Law name could be taken this seriously. So, I’ve decided to stop the name-calling and stop the rude behavior. To anyone I’ve offended during my posts (yes, Jared, I saw your facebook status and I took it seriously), I’m really sorry and I hope we can temporarily put our differences aside to actually make a positive impact on the LD community as a whole. No more jokes, no more games. I’m sorry for making fun of AT, Rebecca, Jake, Noah, Rebar, Chris Theis, Charles Riley Waneless, Ryan Teehan, all of Chris Theis’s debaters, and anyone else besides Michael Bietz who was offended by my post. While I don’t agree with everything you do, I’m willing to drop all “charges” against you in the face of a much larger problem. Indeed, I think we can all come together and solve a real issue through action. That issue is Michael Bietz. Nobody has bothered to defend his actions or cast doubt on his cheating ways. Please email me at liferatlaw@gmail.com if you’d like me to place your name (anonymously or not anonymously) on a petition to Victor Jih for the removal of Michael Bietz from the VBI staff. Also, please feel free to include in your email anything you think I should add to the petition letter. I will keep your contribution anonymous in the letter itself, if you so choose. On online forums like VBD and NSDUpdate, we often talk about things we call “important issues,” but rarely is action taken. We usually forget about these “important issues” one or two weeks after the flamewar. Only through actual advocacy can we truly solve the community’s problems. Before you discount this as some sort of troll attempt, please realize that I’ve decided to make a radical change for the better. I’m really sorry if I offended anyone or made anyone feel bad (with the exception of Michael Bietz, of course), but the time for talk is over.

    The petition is as follows:
    “Dear Mr. Jih,

    I hope this letter finds you well. I’d like to begin by thanking you for all of your contributions to the community. You’ve truly been an important factor in the recent prevalence of the LD national circuit, and I sincerely thank you for being a founding member of the budding educational activity many of us enjoy so much today. Today, I’m writing to you in order to ask you to continue your benevolent ways and help the community one more time.

    The issue I’m writing to you about is regarding Michael Bietz. He’s simply been a problem in the LD community for too long. People have complained about him and agreed that his actions are universally unjustifiable (for example, in the recent flamewars individuals have stepped up to defend Mr. Timmons but nobody has even come up with something close to a defense of Mr. Bietz’s actions) and need to be stopped for over a decade. However, nobody’s done anything about it. You, Mr. Jih, are in a unique position of power, as you can improve the community by making a strong statement against politics, cheating, and malarky in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

    While other coaches in the activity offer their students words of encouragement after a tough loss, Mr. Bietz simply abuses his power to change his team’s losses to double wins. We all saw it at the Bronx tournament. Mr. Bietz shamelessly abused his power as one of the people running tab to give his kids wins unfairly, knowingly and purposefully denying the same privilege to students who were at least as deserving of a double win as his and didn’t go to Harvard-Westlake.

    Unfortunately, this is only a small part of the larger narrative of Michael Bietz’s career of cheating. At the Meadows Tournament in 2010, a judge signed the ballot the wrong way. Upon realizing his mistake, this judge went to tab to attempt to correct this mistake. However, since Mr. Bietz was running tab, many expected an unfair resolution. In this case (amongst many others), this expectation was correct. Instead of honoring this request like any reasonable human being, or even granting one of the “double wins” he’s so fond of, Mr. Bietz staunchly refused to alter the result. Coincidentally, this prevented the debater that lost from going 6-0. Guess what that meant? All three Harvard-Westlake debaters cleared double-octafinals without debating! Had the debater who should have won gone 6-0, this would not have been the case (I know, I looked at the results packet). Since the judge came in after round 6, we can be sure of the fact that Bietz knew that not being fair would have placed his team in a more strategic position, so did what we all expected him to — CHEAT.

    We can go EVEN FURTHER back in time to the early 2000s (back when Edina was powerful). Edina was a team of fantastic debaters that had unprecedented success. I’ll admit that they were amazing debaters and deserved every one of their accomplishments, but there’s no way that they could have been as successful as they were without our favorite pal in literally every tab room in the country. Coincidentally, whenever you’d debate Edina, you’d always have a bunch of Minnesota judges in the back of the room who really liked Edina. This wasn’t just a one-time thing–this is a trend. He did this after and before the MJP era (which I believe is worse because he literally exploited his position in tab to hand-select the best panel for his kids) — ask anyone who debated in the early 2000s. I’ve done my homework and looked at archived VBD articles. Most of Edina’s judges were indeed from the state of Minnesota. You can look up these articles if you like (since it’s your website), or I can send them to you in a follow-up email.

    Mr. Jih, I know for a fact that you were appalled by Mr. Bietz’s behavior this weekend. Many others have signed their names in agreement. Mr. Bietz needs to know that what he did and what he’s doing is simply unacceptable. As the founder of VBD, I’m sure you know that flamewars prior to this have accomplished nothing. It’s time for action. Please remove Michael Bietz from your VBI staff next year as a sign to the LD community that cheating is unacceptable. You removed Michelin Massey for his unethical ways — I’m sure that Mr. Bietz is more than on par with Mr. Massey and I sincerely hope that you make the right decision. Thank you very much for your time.

    Regards,
    Lifer at Law (Real Name will be included in the actual letter)”

    Thank you very much for reading this post, and I hope the community is ready to back up all the upvotes, anonymous comments, private facebook messages, and general distaste is has towards the activity’s most political member with tangible support.

    Sincerely,
    Lifer at Law

    • My name is Michelin Massey.

      Dear Lifer At Law:

      Please do not bring me into your hatred of Mike Bietz or whatever mission you have to get him out of your way. If you have shit to say, say it to me directly instead of being so bold in your anonymity in an unrelated article. Make sure to include your Real Name so that we can be sure who’s at the other end of the line.

      Best,

      Michelin Massey

  • After having a discussion with Jake Nebel about this thread and where it has gone and how I originally started it, I’ve decided I owe one more post. I’d like to apologize to Rebecca publicly. While I do think Mr. Timmons’s actions are wrong (as I’ve been expressing for the entirety of this flame war), I don’t think I’ve made it clear that this should not be viewed as the reason Rebecca won the tournament. I’m sorry for taking away from her victory by launching this discussion. Everyone (myself included) should think more about how what they’re going to post will affect the way people feel, especially kids and especially people who are not to blame for the actions being criticized. This is not Rebecca’s problem. She did nothing wrong this weekend, and I’m very sorry I implied her victory was illegitimate. What I do maintain, though, is that interrogating judges after every round where one’s own student loses and thus creating an uncomfortable environment for judges and other debaters alike is wrong and should stop.

  • So I feel like there needs to be some clarity over the
    Greenhill KT comment that Jacob made because people are interpreting it in a
    way that, having talked to Jacob, it was never meant to be interpreted. NOTE:
    I’m not going to issue an opinion about whether or not the comment was
    appropriate (I’m trying to clarify, not make argument). The way in which the
    comment was intended, and if you read Jacob’s post I think this is pretty
    clear, was not as an attack on Rebecca nor does it really make sense to be read
    in such a way since that would be to take the comment out of context. Greenhill
    KT was supposed to express two things: 1) A comment of the physical proximity
    of AT to Rebecca in Quarters that made it seem as if they were a policy team (The exact quote is ” I refer to them as Greenhill KT because Mr. Timmons sat right next to Rebecca (staring down the judges) for the entire round” which explains the naming in terms of PHYSICAL PROXIMITY),
    2) even if you think there is more to the comment, it is merely a representation of how the presence of AT can affect rounds.
    The point of putting Rebecca and AT’s names together was not done to imply that
    Rebecca doesn’t deserve her success, but rather to point out the unfair
    influence that Jacob perceived AT as having on judges. I know it’s easy to pick out a comment like
    this as an attack on Rebecca, but it really wasn’t. So please, before we start a flame war over a comment, let’s try to understand what the comment actual means and not just assume that it was personal.

    Also, just to sort of echo what Matt Agar said, I think it’s absurd to question
    Jacob’s character as a result of this post.
    Jacob was really the first person on the “circuit” to reach out to me as
    a debater and make me feel included when I was otherwise pretty much alone at
    tournaments the second part of this past year (I didn’t know anyone and was
    pretty much ignored by people since I was new to the circuit). Since then, Jacob has become one of my close
    friends and these attacks on his character are no better than the perceived attacks
    on Rebecca. If you’re going to vilify Jacob for vilifying Greenhill and AT, I
    think you need to think closely for a second about what you are doing. A couple
    seconds should be enough to realize how hypocritical this is. Also, none of you should ever pretend to have
    clean hands because I am pretty sure that, based on my understanding of any teenager
    ever, you have all talked about/criticized people at some point in your life and probably continue to do so.

    • Is this seriously trying to justify Jacob making that comment? I wasn’t going to post again but this is just absurd. Your “in-depth” analysis of what Jacob probably meant doesn’t matter if it came across another way. The large majority of debaters I’ve talked to about this (and multiple other people on this forum already agree) think that there was a problem with how that paragraph was worded, even though they might have agreed with Jacob on the whole.

      You say that “The point of putting Rebecca and AT’s names together was not done to imply that Rebecca doesn’t deserve her success” but that’s exactly what it does. Anyone with half a brain can read that and figure out that when you call Rebecca “Greenhill KT” instead of “Greenhil “RK,” it implies that Rebecca doesn’t exist as a debater by herself. It is demeaning towards Rebecca if people can’t even refer to her by her real school code. Instead of substantive criticism like the rest of his post, this was just something to make Jacob’s post more humorous.

      Regardless, I don’t really care about what you think that comment “represents” or means to you. It was still name calling, and it was still rude. I understand “the point” of putting the two names together, but it just wasn’t necessary for him to get his point across. And let me ask you – who are you to say whether something was or was not hurtful to Rebecca? Have you talked to Rebecca? Have you read the other 20 posts on this forum who agree that it was hurtful, even by debaters (Kimberly Tan) who are discouraged from debating because of comments like these? Imagine all of the jokes that could ensue from “Greenhill KT” at tournaments, and imagine how all of those would make Rebecca feel.

      And lastly, I’m not a hypocrite. I have never, ever, and I will never call people names on a public forum. I will never bully people publicly and I do not plan on it. There is a difference between criticizing people and criticizing people publicly. If you hate Rebecca, go tell your mom that. Don’t try to blame it on people like me and Grant and make us look like the we’re the bad guys when others just refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

      I have no doubt about Jacob’s character. In principle, Jacob might even be right about Greenhill, who knows. He has been nothing but nice to me. That doesn’t mean that nice people can’t say rude things, and that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to be called out on it.

      • First of all, read the second sentence of my comment. “NOTE:
        I’m not going to issue an opinion about whether or not the comment was
        appropriate.” So to answer your question, no. I’m not trying to justify it and was pretty clear about that. If you took the time to read/understand what I was actually saying, you would realize that I don’t necessarily disagree with you about how people are perceiving the comment. In fact, I believe I implicitly acknowledged that when I expressed a need for clarification. Just let me repeat this: MY POST WAS NOT AN ARGUMENT, IT WAS A CLARIFICATION. All of these negative interpretations of the comment were misunderstandings, which is why I clarified them. Actually, the main reason my post was made is to SPECIFICALLY answer these problems and prevent people in the community from taking things as offensive that were not meant to be and so to prevent people from being hurt. I’m not sure where you get the idea that I deny that the “Greenhill KT” could be hurtful because I never make, either implicitly or explicitly take that position. Nothing I have said on this thread was meant to be offensive and I genuinely want to apologize if it was and I know that Jacob apologized to Rebecca for the comment.

        Also, the comment about hypocrisy was not related to just calling names but to the idea of calling people out in a critical or negative manner which, if I am reading your post correctly, you just did, making insinuations about having “half a brain” or putting “in-depth” in quotes as to make it mocking/sarcastic. Hypocrisy: “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform”

        Moreover, I never made any claim to dislike Rebecca as either a person as a debater and, in fact, in my first post expressed that I had nothing but respect for her, AT and Greenhill. When I said things at Bronx that could be (and were) interpreted as overly critical, I went out of my way to go up to Rebecca and apologized for those comments and explain the context in which they were made. Look, Annie, I completely agree that we, as a community, need to
        understand how our actions can affect other people. There were multiple
        times this past year when coaches made statements (not realizing that I
        could hear) that I was just some random strug and thus an easy win
        because I was new to the circuit.

        Maybe Jacob’s choice of critical technique was inappropriate, but I don’t think it’s fair to call it rude or make insinuations that he is an asshole (I realize this wasn’t you) because the comment was not meant to be read in such a manner.

        • Thanks for clarifying. I’m really glad Jacob apologized. Like I said before, I don’t have a problem with his character.

          Two things to clarify my initial post (and then I’ll stop posting because i feel like this is distracting from the main point of this thread): First of all, I did read the entirety of your post, and I did read your disclaimer. However, your post doesn’t really align with what you claim to be saying. Your first post starts off with – “The way in which the comment was intended, and if you read Jacob’s post I think this is pretty clear.” You then go on to give two reasons why Jacob didn’t have bad intentions. This seems to imply that you believe that it should be “pretty clear” to anyone who read Jacob’s post that he did not have bad intentions. This seems like a justification, rather than a clarification, because a clarification would understand why people might have taken it the wrong way.

          But also, even if your clarifications were taken into account, my post explain why it doesn’t matter what Jacob’s comment truly meant. Even if you weren’t trying to take a side, even if you were just trying to “clarify,” your post seems more like a justification of what jacob said because it…well…gave justifications for why the comment should just be taken lightly. You say that it was “merely” a representation of how AT affects rounds, which seems to downplay its potential effect on Rebecca.
          My point in originally responding to your post was to explain why “justifying” or “clarifying” Jacob’s statement doesn’t matter, because it was mean regardless, and it was still a personal attack on her even if Jacob didn’t mean it to be that way.
          Also, I didn’t imply that you had half a brain..I just meant that literally anyone (including you) should be able to tell what the comment implied. And the quotations were because I don’t really think your explanation of “greenhill TK” was relevant. Neither were a personal attack on you. Yes, according to your definition of hypocrisy, my moral standards are just fine. My behavior did not conform to name calling.

          Anyways, it seems like this issue is resolved, since Jacob did apologize, so there’s really no reason to continue this discussion.

  • I don’t have time to respond to every post on this thread that is related to my original post. This has gotten a little out of hand. I just wanted to address a few things.

    First, Lifer at Law claims to agree with me, however, I don’t support that kind of behavior at all. There’s a right way and a wrong way to bring up complaints. Many people disagree that my post was the right way (and I respect the disagreement) but anonymous name-calling certainly isn’t the right way.

    Next, this post should not have taken the direction of people insulting Rebecca. There was one post in particular that was absolutely horrible (although I think it’s been removed). My issue here is with Mr. Timmons, and not with Rebecca, and I should have said this before: congratulations to Rebecca on winning the tournament. That’s a great accomplishment that she should be proud of regardless of what is going on in this forum.

    Also, I’d like to bring up some issues in my original post that haven’t discussed in order to get this (which I think can be a very meaningful discussion) back on track. Many people have defended Greenhill/Mr. Timmons, although that was only half of my original post. No one has defended or offered an explanation of the double-win incident, which I think was also very egregious. If there is no explanation for this, I think we can all agree that tournaments should outline in their procedures (or the NFL/NDCA should outline universal rules) how MJP issues should be addressed when there is a problem. I think we can all agree that waiting until AFTER the round to claim a judge is a strike is completely unfair to all involved. That sort of thing should not be allowed to happen again.

    Finally, regarding the whole Mr. Timmons issue. People are trying to defend Mr. Timmons’s intentions. I’m not really questioning his motives; I’m simply pointing out the fact that his actions create an uncomfortable and unfair environment for judges, debaters, and tournament staff. People keep telling me to back this up, and I think I’ve done so pretty well. The only people who’ve actually defended Mr. Timmons’s actions are other members of the Greenhill coaching staff. While I won’t use anonymous upvotes as proof that people agree with my original post, I will say that many debaters (including debaters who lost to Rebecca at Bronx) have expressed to me privately that they felt uncomfortable with Mr. Timmons in the room. I’ve had a few judges express to me privately (one of whom judged me against a Greenhill debater my junior year with Mr. Timmons sitting in the room) that they felt very intimidated by his presence. I’m not going to name names of any of the people who have reached out to me because many of them told me they would post but fear the political consequences of publicly calling out Greenhill.

    My point was never that Mr. Timmons shouldn’t be allowed to watch his students debate. As an educator, I think it’s great that he supports his students. My point is simply that there’s a way to do this that doesn’t create an uneven playing field. Travis and Justin watched countless rounds of mine throughout my career. Never once did they interrogate a judge after the round. The unfairness comes in when you know, regardless of how close the round is, that after the round you’ll have to sit through an interrogation session with a particular coach. You know as a debater, that no matter how well you debate, your opponent’s coach will question your victory and try to delegitimize it. These are the things I see as problems.

    I don’t have time (and quite frankly don’t feel like putting in the effort) to respond to all the posts on this thread, so this will be my last post. If you want to discuss something I’ve said in more detail and actually have a conversation about it, feel free to send me a facebook message or email me at jpritt@college.harvard.edu

  • Ken Hershey

    Frankly I am disgusted by the unbridled racism on display in this thread. This discussion is a revolting lynch mob, reminiscent of a time in American history when African Americans feared that they would be chased down by a pack of angry whites and brutally murdered without any legal repercussions. That is the best metaphor to appropriately and tastefully communicate what is going on here. It is also worth noting that the debater in this discussion whose coach is being criticized is a girl, which in turn means that this thread is reinforcing the structural patriarchy that continues to define Lincoln-Douglas debate and oppress women trying to break the glass ceiling in this incorrigibly sexist community. Were this debater whose coach is being criticized a man, I am confident that her coach would never have been subject to these outrageous attacks.

    • This is so ridiculous, I can’t tell whether or not it’s sarcastic. Nothing in this thread is about Rebecca’s gender or AT’s race. This thread is a discussion about AT’s berating judges and making them feel uncomfortable which, and correct me if I’m wrong, is not a statement about the color of his skin or the gender of his debater. Similarly, I’m fairly sure that if Rebecca were male and AT were white, this discussion would still be happening.

    • snsd

      This is absolutely absurd. Does this mean that we can only criticize and examine coaches whose debaters are all men? Why is there a double standard? The fact that the debater is a female has absolutely nothing to do with the actions of her coach and remaining quiet because the debater is a girl would actually further entrenched sexism, no? Furthermore, you’re the only one who took the liberty to force the implication of racism. Even if AT was a white male, the criticisms would be fully legitimate and would exist. Your point is exactly what implicitly furthers racism – the belief that we should tread lightly around black people and be extra careful in our wordings simply because they are black.

    • snsd

      This is possibly the most retarded thing I’ve ever read.

    • I have an idea! I’m going to write a piece of “satire” which will subtly but poignantly demonstrate that claims of racism, sexism, and privilege are total bunk. Debate, after all, is a meritocracy, in which everyone has the same opportunities to debate about the same topic from the same social location. Everyone’s rich and white and male? It’s not because of structural inequality or the way in which debaters are socialized – it’s just because the cream rises to the top! What a fair activity! In fact, every night before I go to bed, I thank my lucky stars that I get to participate in such a wonderfully fair, post-racial, and intellectually honest activity. And I also thank Barack Obama, for getting rid of race once and for all. I’m so glad no one is getting lynched anymore, and that black people have all the same opportunities as white people. I’m glad that we no longer live in a world where women are held to different standards as men. Why, I’m so thankful, I could just cry. I can’t think of a single thing about this world that I’m not thankful for.

      Except for that one guy. You know. The black guy. No, it’s not that he’s black – he’s just intimidating. And he asks too many questions when his debaters lose. Couldn’t he be more polite? And does that female debater of his really need his help? And what about that one guy he coached who couldn’t even be bothered to talk about the topic? Couldn’t they just play by the same rules that the rest of us do? Wouldn’t that be more fair? Gee, I wish that those people weren’t so uppity!

      • Ken Hershey

        Smitty,

        This argument is a straw man. I didn’t say that debate was a “level playing field,” nor did I deny the existence of racism and sexism in present-day America. The intent of my post was to mock those who are using allegations of racism and sexism that have absolutely no merit to silence criticism of Aaron Timmons. If you really do think that people are upset about what Timmons has done because he’s black or because his debater is a girl, then I think you’re the one living in a fantasy world, not me.

  • Edited for formatting:

    I think that everyone posting here has something they want to say, and that they want that to be heard. However this is not the correct place to be having this “conversation”. I mean literally on this thread.

    I strongly suggest that NSDupdate create a space where individuals can post threads to discuss what they would like in a more clean, well organized manner. This 140 comment thing is a crazy inefficient way to have a conversation, because everyone who wants to follow it can not possibly keep up with all the comments if they leave for an hour or two, god forbid a whole day when they don’t check nsdupdate.

    And, within this one page, there are several different discussions going on, which are only linked tangentially, if at all. Different, well-titled threads would solve this problem, and allow us to have a more efficient, and effective discourse.

    But for those who don’t want to engage in this, who came to the thread
    Rebecca Kuang Wins Big Bronx XLII” so that they could read about the tournament and notice in the comments who was in doubles and octos, and read the congratulations for the debaters, this 140 comment discussion is making that impossible. Beyond Rebecca, none of the other debaters who did well could even find the positive posts here on their behalf, because they are lost in the flow.

    In sum, I hope the mods takes this on-going debate as a sign that it is time to have a separate section of NSDupdate where people can discuss what they would like, more efficiently, and more effectively, while leaving the original function of the comments on tourney results intact.

    • Jerry Chen

      HOFFMANNNNNNNNNNN

      • Adam Hoffman

        ?? dunno, wasn’t me.

    • PaulYLZ

      “Mathew Pregasen • 11 days ago

      Sincerely, I believe NSD should make/look into making a discussion page solely for general open discussion or some type of forum. The rather lengthy conversation in this post and in the Nov/Dec post tends to move us from discussing the meant topic of the post effectively. There is little to no discussion, at least highlighted at the top of thread on the Bailey Cup. If we moved these conversations elsewhere perhaps we wouldn’t deviate ourselves from NSD’s messages yet still be able to have these impactful discussions.”
      “Eric Palmer • 8 days ago • parent−We’ll work on it.”
      Mad original bro

    • anondebater523
    • AnonRocky

      BRING BACK THE .ORG, CRUZ IS A FASCIST, MORE DOWNVOTES FOR ADAM

  • I don’t think I’ve ever posted on this website before, at least not since I graduated, but this thread is disgusting. Specifically, the amount of privilege in this thread is horrendous. I will admit to only reading one or two posts all of the way through (Elijah’s, Ty’s), although I skimmed most of the rest.

    You act like people like Aaron Timmons or Mike Bietz or Jon Cruz are the problem here (I really don’t know whose being criticized so I’m just grouping “big school” coaches because that seems to be a common target). What you fail to understand is that all of you tacitly accept the same problem you criticize. Everyone here acts like it’s some rigid dichotomy, that you either intimidate or you don’t. This is absolutely untrue. There is absolutely no acknowledgment going on of the fact that the majority of the people who are posting here still benefit from these same practices. Elijah is 100% correct that this activity is extraordinarily exclusionary to those of color, those of lower class, females, ect. However, the problem does not end here. There is a very specific form of exclusion that goes on in this activity, namely, that once you get in the only way to be successful is to be a part of the rampant culture of elitism that takes place. You’ve got to know the right people, have the right coaches, run the “cool” arguments (obviously there are a FEW exceptions). It’s easy to say that “oh Mr. Timmons is clearly the worst of the worst”, but that is bullshit because everyday you still accept that exclusion is okay but only if you don’t push it to it’s extremes. This goes beyond just being a boys club, white club, or rich kids club. This is a “cool kids” club. Everyone is so focused on racking up the most W’s, being the most popular/famous, and maybe buffing up your resume. Wanting to win is fine, wanting to be a very skilled and intelligent debater is fine, this is not what I am criticizing.

    If you want to criticize those, such as Mr. Timmons, for what you deem as ostracizing kids from this activity, you better be damn sure that you aren’t constantly contributing to this very same culture. I’m gonna refer specifically to Jacob here, because I’m not entirely sure who is on whose side here: If you have a problem with these elite, big-name judges sitting in rooms and trying to associate themselves with their debaters for intimidation, what makes you any different for being there too? You can say that you don’t have nearly as much influence as Aaron Timmons, but it is foolish to say you have none. You could just as easily intimidate a judge, perceive their decision as wrong and proceed to berate him or her, and possibly even go on to badmouth this decision/judge to others in the community later. In fact, this happens all the time! It is common practice to talk about how bad a judge is or how bad of a decision they made in attempts to somehow de-legitimize that person. The difference may be quantitative, but it is not qualitative.

    The point here is that you are correct to criticize those such as Aaron Timmon’s for exercising influence over others. However this criticism is completely ignorant and hypocritical in that it neglects to acknowledge the sheer absurd amounts of privilege that you all experience due to the very social nature of this activity. Unless you can confront your own mis-guided sense of superiority, you have no right to criticize others.

    (Also, if you actually want to talk about this I would prefer FB as I don’t particularly like this site’s format but whatever).

  • the ontic jew

  • I never post on these things and haven’t been to a tournament this year yet because college apps are killing me, but I came on today to try to keep up with debate news and was actually shocked by all the posts I saw. Having so many ADULTS calling out Rebecca and bashing on a 16-year-old girl’s high school accomplishments is incredibly mean and makes me not want to start debating again even after I’m done with my apps. I know most of these posts aren’t directed at Rebecca herself, but how do you think she’s going to feel the next time she goes to a tournament and knows everyone around her is thinking about this incident? I can guarantee you that she isn’t going to rationalize it as “oh they are just trying to make debate community a better place for all” and be unaffected by it. I wouldn’t even want to go to more tournaments if I were her. So regardless of how you feel about Greenhill or any other big school, try remembering that these are still high school students trying to do an activity they enjoy and be a little nicer (like not saying “Greenhill KT”…)

  • Most of you will not read this post. Most
    of you will not care. Some of you will be mad.

    My problem is I’m sick and tired of
    being sick and tired. I just don’t care anymore.

    In the UDL you are taught to try and
    not ruffle any feathers, to follow along and win a few trophies and come home,
    and to not make anyone mad because chances are people already have assumptions
    about you when you walk into the room.

    I don’t judge or coach debate because
    I am in dire need of friends or because I don’t have more indulgent things to
    do on the weekends, but because I think the pedagogical model debate should
    have is often not kept in place.

    That being said…

    I don’t really care about what
    happened at Bronx. Cruz is cool, has an amazing laptop cover and is trustworthy.
    If he runs a tournament, he runs it the best he can.

    I’m sure many of you have legitimate
    concerns about the final round, prefs, and debate in general. However, my post
    is not so much about what you as individuals care about as it is about what the
    community at large doesn’t.

    1. Gender

    Why in part of a historical shift in
    the last 2-3 years where women are winning MAJOR tournaments back to back and
    doing amazingly well are you spending your time writing a graduate thesis on
    how bad you have it when you go into a debate? Why don’t you question how many
    times in a year a woman can overcome the epistemic bias and privilege of almost
    ALL MALE judging pools and only get congratulations under her photo on this
    website or others.

    Why do we think it’s ok to refer to
    having the “balls” to say something on a website for 15 year olds?

    Why do the few women in debate not
    feel comfortable calling boys out on their inappropriate behavior?

    Why are there so few successful women
    in debate?

    MALES dominate debates, MALES dominate
    the judging pool, MALES dominate coaching positions, and MALES fail to call one
    another out on it.

    I shout you out Rebecca! You earned it.

    2. Race

    Why is it that people who have privilege
    NEVER take out the time to recognize it?

    Most people who look like me don’t
    know what debate is or why it would be important.

    There are the 5-10 black /Latino students in a given Varsity LD
    pool at a tournament. Usually less than half are women.

    Most people who do debate are WHITE.
    They are wealthy or come from middle class families.

    The rest of those who do debate on a
    national level can be categorized as model minorities (not black or Latina )

    For some strange reason it is usually
    these people who think FAIRNESS exists,
    but for that same reason they don’t think about how othered bodies get violently bludgeoned for
    those same false conceptions of fairness.

    Why does fairness exist for them in
    the pretend fantasy-land of debate , when it is not fair that black children
    get shot at for a can of iced tea?

    It’s not fair that you have the money
    to fly all around the country and not have to worry about how you get your next
    meal while some black and brown kids will never see the inside of a debate, let
    alone Harvard/Yale/Berkley!

    It’s not fair that most of you were
    raised to follow a “proper” speech
    pattern and given a vocabulary that gets you ahead just because of where you
    were born!

    It’s not fair that you have never been
    mistaken for the help at a banquet where you are receiving an award!

    It is fair that you have never been asked
    if you have ever been to jail?

    That you are not going to wake up on
    your 20th birthday and be happy that your body and a bullet have
    never been acquinted?

    If you never have to think about this
    , it’s because you are PRIVILEGED and biased by that privilege.

    If you are WHITE you always have a
    body that doesn’t make you HAVE to think about this.

    If you are WHITE and in debate ,
    flying around the country chasing down bids and going to camps,

    YOU ARE PROOF FAIRNESS DOES NOT EXIST.

    I have been to few tournaments lately
    because of EXACTLY this.

    You pretend that the social contract
    exists because “everyone agreed to be in society we are in”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Passage

    You PRETEND that everyone agreed to
    their chances in life

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison%E2%80%93industrial_complex

    You pretend that when you are running
    from the POLICE that your meta-meta-meta ethic is going to do you ANY GOOD.

    You pretend that someone who is
    starving can benefit from the philosophical ponderings of someone who literally
    gets paid to just write books all day about the nature of ethics but doesn’t
    actually have to apply them.

    This forum is proof that debate is
    often an ignorant place , but NO ONE is ever willing to call the community out
    on it.

    3.Representations

    Some of you DON’T care that you are
    representing one of the maybe (MAYBE ) 5 black (male/female) role models in
    this activity as the scary brute that shakes judges to their core so much that
    they change their decisions. If the judge you pref is so easily swayed by the
    gaze of the “big, bad, black man” why you do pref them in the first place? It
    sounds to me like your best interest is NOT at heart and if you feel so
    strongly you should just NOT pref them.

    Why is it you all write a paragraph
    announcing how you “ don’t take a stance” or “ don’t want to say anything
    offensive” to call people out on inappropriate comments but not on the ways
    they talk about people and continue stereotypes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_brute

    4. Pedagogy

    Camps teach “how to cheat” lectures but they don’t introduce
    students to Africana Studies.

    Workshops teach “spreading 101” but they don’t teach what
    ethics in debate should look like.

    People go out of their way to hire the same people year
    after year, but it doesn’t bother ANYONE that every year those same people are overwhelmingly
    WHITE, MALE, and have CLASS PRIVILEGE.

    Pedagogy is as much what is written into the curriculum as
    it is WHICH BODIES are doing the writing.

    • I feel like the part about “balls” is a response to me. I do regret that choice of words, because it was unnecessarily gendered (and not because it’s inappropriate for a site with fifteen year olds, which is kind of a stupid objection) and I do apologize for that. Otherwise, I agree with most of this post, and hope we can have a serious discussion about real forms of disadvantage in this community.

      • I appreciate your ability to be open to that. I don’t know who said it because I did not read all of the thread. I was told about the reference. I appreciate you apologizing though.

        The problem with this post is that it fails to accept responsibility for modeling behavior. I respect you as an educator. You are one of few people I would describe that way that I used to prefer judging me. Using that language is not okay. It becomes worse when as an EDUCATOR you model that behavior for 15 Year Olds. That’s part of the problem of privilege that I am talking about.

        • Ah, I understand now. That’s what I was apologizing for. Thought the point was more about the term “balls” being R-rated or something. So, sorry for that.

    • Rebar Niemi

      I absolutely agree.

    • Yep, spot-on, by far the best post in this (trainwreck of a) thread.

    • TheBerkeleyBear

      It’s awesome to have a perspective that clashes so much with the mainstream, so thanks for joining the conversation and I hope you continue to post in the future. While I think your post has a lot of truth-value about our not examining our privilege, I think most readers are left wondering “what now?” Are we to change resolutions to “How should I get food?” Are we to stop being a values debate? I think our resolutions do deal with unpeople, whether they live in the West Bank (TK, Sanctions, Due Process) or the West side of Chicago (UHC, Juveniles, Drugs). I think everyone realizes that debate ethics is practically useless (Benatar, Levinas, Skep) except that it gets us the critical thinking skills to solve real problems, like how to stop institutionalized oppression. Hopefully other people will engage your post in a discussion of the other 3 parts.

      • It’s not the topic. My students find plenty of ways to engage in the issues of the topic without pretending that the world is perfect and abstract.

        You don’t have to say “how do we get food?” , but maybe someone should bring to their 14 year olds attention that when they say ” we will give up information if we give people rights” they are actually reading evidence about how we need to TORTURE people without blinking.

        I judged the finals of a tournament this year and when I said something one of the debaters said was proto-genocidal and disgusted me , the room erupted with laughter.

        My debater Norberto had someone run skepticism against him last year. He said that skep is bad because his opponent admits in cx, under skep it would be permissible to string him up in the front of the school and leave him to swing. The judge writes on the ballot ” In a hypothetical world..blah blah blah… i endorse both debaters right to engage in things they don’t believe in …blah blah… it would be permissible for Norberto to be hung from a tree in front of Yale”.

        Scary right? That a debater could say that and have a grown man endorse it.?

        The next round someone else ran skep and said “it would be okay for you to rape my MOTHER in the thought experiment of the aff”.

        “we can kill animals humanely just like we did that guy TROY DAVIS”.

        We run a position from Islamic literature. —
        ” this position doesn’t matter because there are no islamic students in debate.

        If you bring up race, class, or gender people get offended. They go for the most theoretical abstraction that they can think of. The problem is that most students of color don’t have the privilege to ground their lives in the theoretical–there are too many MATERIAL problems they face.

        We ran a pedagogical criticism about scholarship. Everyone’s first answer was ” why would it matter what race my author’s are?”. Maybe because we just happen to almost NEVER include people of color in the pools of evidence that circulate the community.

        Then I look up and down this thread and all I see is ” Race has nothing to do with it!” and ” He is a B!#$h ” ,” that’s Retarded” ” he is a scary man”

        Why are there no adults saying THIS IS NOT OKAY.

        It is not okay to use ableist language.

        It is not okay to use sexist language.

        it is not okay to pretend like when a very large group of (of the very few) black people in this community feel like something racist is going on, white people can just saw “it has nothing to do with race”. For me, race has to do with everything because this isn’t paint.

        When i go into a grocery store in a white area and the young woman at the counter bagged the belongings of every person in front of me,then gets to me and stops smiling and does not bag my belongings I HAVE to remember that my race is there.

        When people keep talking about the big scary man that makes everyone so afraid and the conversation CENTERS around one BODY , I HAVE to think it has something to do with his race.

        When students run the “social contract” in front of me and don’t do so in a way that takes into account that everyone did not choose their social status and everyone is not protected by that contract I HAVE to think they can believe in it because they come from sheltered homes and the contract works for their BODY.

        When my debaters say ” hey, how come when every other schools say terrorist they only talk about brown-skinned people and we talk about terrorism around the world ?” I have nothing to tell them but to remember their bodies and how they are looked at.

        • I actually think there is a potentially interesting discussion to be had about structural disadvantage and I think that it’s a discussion that should be had. However, I think posts and arguments such as yours completely miss the point and border on a kind of racism themselves. First of all, you completely disregard certain areas of critique and thought as being inconsistent with your own. Maybe moral skepticism would cause us to question absolute objections to oppression, but that doesn’t make it an illegitimate form of critique. For instance, when people run emotivist positions that say our moral statements express beliefs such as “boo killing” (to use a classic example), they are introducing a critique about normative structures of thought that is interesting and important from a pedagogical level in that it teaches us as debaters to challenge the assumptions that are made in certain ways of thinking. Just because these sorts of thought would contradict the universal moral validity of statements about racial equality doesn’t make them bad and in dismissing these objections because of the potential for such implications you eliminate an entire branch of discussion. Also,the statement “skep is bad” makes literally zero sense in the context of a discussion about skepticism. I know there is an issue of comparison here, that skepticism may not be something we practice in everyday life or that harms real people, but when debaters talk about skepticism they aren’t making statements about race or condoning genocide, they are fundamentally making abstract statements about metaethical claims. (I do agree with you that skepticism as a response to a micropolitical argument about structural oppression is probably bad from a pedagogical point of view).

          “The problem is that most students of color don’t have the privilege to
          ground their lives in the theoretical–there are too many MATERIAL
          problems they face.”
          I don’t even know where to start with this one… my first reaction to reading that was “wow, that’s is obscenely offensive.”
          First, you are making sweeping generalizations about an entire class of people and I can assure you that not all people of color are prevented from engaging in philosophy because of material problems.

          Second, Sure, maybe there are problems of representation within the community but, for people in the community, discussions of skepticism and meta-ethics are no less grounded in the theoretical than are discussions about animal rights, bizarre utilitarian link chains or any of the other oddities of debate. The nature of the activity is such that theoretical discussions are it’s defining characteristic and saying that LD debate needs to abandon these theoretical perspectives to allow for material perspectives is nonsensical to me since such perspectives are constitutive of the activity; it’s like telling a math teacher to stop teaching math because they are ignoring literary perspectives.

          Third, nobody is “grounding their lives in the theoretical.” When debaters discuss Kantian metaethics they don’t do so for the purpose of grounding their lives in a certain way. Maybe your argument is that we should always believe in the arguments we make, but the nature of debate as a switch-side, competitive activity prevents that from happening.

          “it is not okay to pretend like when a very large group of (of the very
          few) black people in this community feel like something racist is going
          on, white people can just say “it has nothing to do with race”.”

          I think that this is just patently false. When us “white people” criticize someone on the basis of their being overly aggressive that is not code for “I don’t like them because they are black.” None of the objections raised in this thread have anything to do with race and, in fact, the most uncomfortable I have ever been in a round was when I had to watch the judges get grilled by a white coach after having beaten his debater. And yes, I did make a public complaint at that time about the overagressiveness of coaches while grilling. It has nothing to do with race. Maybe I’m missing your point here, but I (and I imagine most other people) don’t like getting called out for racism when attempting to discuss the actions of an individual who just happens to be black.

          Also, I’m not writing this as a “privileged white male” who has no idea what structural oppression is like. Sure, I understand that I have never been given scornful looks as a go to check out groceries, and I think that there ARE definitely racial problems in our society that need to be addressed and battles that need to be fought, but just because a lot of debate authors are white or a bunch of white debaters criticize someone who happens to be black doesn’t mean there is racism. However, It’s obvious to me that you’ve made a study of these issues and so I’m open to revising my view on this subject, I am just not, as of yet, convinced.

          • Why this keeps getting reduced to “structural disadvantage” is the first problem. My larger problem with how these theories, representations, and discussions do nothing for people of color has just been dismissed. I’ll let that go because no one has EVER given me a good reason not to feel that way.

            My use of “students of color in debate”, which I am pretty sure I have already defined as black and latino , I assume is not OFFENSIVE for those students of COLOR. When you find one such student who is offended, tell them give me a ring and we will talk.

            A white person who is offended for how people of color see or describe themselves as a community is of no consequence to me. Some will say “that’s racist” , but I have never come across a reason why a majority group member should get to dictate the vision of how black people see themselves.

            Also, why would it be offensive for me, bluntly, to say we just have more important things going on? Such as homelessness, policing, health care, and environmental racism than to decide if your meta-meta-meta theory is true.

            You can dismiss my point and say that people only reading white authors, only having white judges, only having white debaters, and only having whites teach at your camps does not STINGS of the violent politics of dismissal and exclusion which structures our literary and academic institutions, our politics, and our daily interactions.

            However, until you deal with that reality, I don’t know what else to say.

            I have NEVER seen a forum erupt at the actions of a white coach, I have never seen them go crazy over the actions of a white debater, and I have NEVER gotten a good reason why in the white spaces of debate I should not feel like everything that marginalizes black individuals is not racialized.

            What a heterosexual ALLY does for LGBT folk is DEFER to their thoughts, what a CISgender ALLY does for TRANSgendered folk is defer to their thoughts, what a MALE-BODIED ally should do for FEMALE-BODIED folks is defer, and what a WHITE community should do when a BLACK person calls them out on something they see problematic is DEFER.

            Ask Timmons if he doesn’t feel like this is racialized…Guess what your job is as a WHITE ally?

            DEFER.

            That’s just how social justice has and will always work.

          • P.S.

            “Maybe moral skepticism would cause us to question absolute objections to oppression, but that doesn’t make it an illegitimate form of critique.”

            OPPRESSION IS ALWAYS AND WILL ALWAYS BE BAD.

            Any theory that can conclude with ” you could hang from a tree and that would be ok ” or you could be raped is something you don’t have to think about because your body has never been seen as a fungible, exposed object for that violence to be enacted against. The conclusions of those theories don’t have to be scary for you because…they always conclude your way.

            That’s your privilege talking, but I understand that it has been talking for you for a long time. Try again, and this time say” any theory that can conclude RACISM good, is a bad theory”

          • There are serious skeptical challenges to moral theories. If you think that you can assert with confidence that anything “is always and will always be bad,” and condemn people for giving skeptical hypotheses serious consideration, then either you’re ignorant of those challenges or you’ve found some solution to them which has eluded thousands of years worth of moral philosophers…which, maybe you have, but I’m pretty sure asserting your moral claims in all caps isn’t it.

          • Christian is absolutely right. Also, skepticism doesn’t conclude “my way,” it doesn’t conclude ANYONE’S way because it doesn’t make distinctions. There are other forms of violence beyond racial violence.

            “That’s your privilege talking, but I understand that it has been talking for you for a long time.”
            To continue from the chain of logic that you introduced, the fact that I find the language of “privilege” and “whiteness” to be exclusionary, totalizing and offensive should be a reason for such discourse to be abandoned and call upon you to reformulate your views surrounding whiteness just as you call upon us to reformulate your views (And yes. I am genuinely offended by your discourse). To conclude otherwise would be not only hypocritical and racist but demonstrate a kind of ignorance that is shocking from someone who claims to understand the philosophical and sociological implications of race and, even more ironically, would place you on the same ivory tower of privilege that you seem to so strongly oppose.

          • Mr Tarsney….that’s really cute, You know the way you use sarcasm. I almost DIDN’T notice. Cute.. I almost FORGOT that I USED caps FOR a SECOND there OLD buddy OLD pal. THANKS for REMINDING me.

            Matt-White privilege is real buddy. If you want me to put you on some lit, introduce you to some people, show you around the neighborhoods of people who feel this way I will take out my time to do it. I am saying this in all seriousness. I’m not being totalizing. There are poor whites, there are disadvantaged whites,but it still doesn’t deny the fact that those in power, who are in academia, who get to make decisions are just always a certain body. Power can’t look at itself and say “Oh s#!t, I have privilege” or else privilege wouldn’t exist anymore. I have always admitted that I have more academic and economic privilege than a lot of people. However, it’s how you operationalize, disidentify even, with that privilege that determines what your actions mean.

            I haven’t denied that there are other types of violence , like ableism, sexism, heteronormativity that I have brought up. They are all big issues for me and I take them seriously. The problem is that endorsing a debater who says, “WHAT I AM SAYING MAKES IT OK TO LYNCH YOU” is micro aggressive and actually hurts. That a judge would say you know what, I’m gonna write on my ballot that you could be lynched. ( I have a photo if you don’t want to take my word for it, which I would understand) It’s not just the theory of it all, but how you talk to people and interact with that theory. A high school teacher would never be expected to say that to a student. There would have been so much national backlash that they would never be able to teach again.

            Only certain people throughout history have had to worry about what happens when people don’t believe there are ethical restraints against acting a certain way, and end up kidnapping, enslaving, raping you. Even if they are illusory, can’t be justified , aren’t true, it’s still not okay for someone to say that to you.

            What’s more to the point is the only people who feel so strongly and are so vocal are white-bodied males. I think I may be the only black person/African American who has actually posted this time, but every time someone takes out their time to do so , what we say ALWAYS seems to be around the same thing. How we feel is ALWAYS about the same thing. But dismissal is easy when certain spaces and certain bodies can say you don’t matter.

          • So in your view there’s no difference between the claim “skep would say X,” and “X is true” in the context of a debate round? I don’t understand why saying that if skep were true, then bad things would be permissible is a bad thing. Why can’t we just agree that the notion of “morality” is a bad thing in that case, if we can’t justify “moral” truths, and so bad things are justified by it?

            And I’m also confused about your analogy to high school. In my ethics class last year, my teacher asked to to teach three classes on skepticism, which I said could justify anything, and I didn’t receive a ton of national backlash – I was thanked for providing an interesting point of view.

            Also, if you get to just assert things such as

            “It is ALWAYS bad to violate someone’s body. / It is ALWAYS bad to oppress groups of people. / It is ALWAYS bad to operationalize privilege to the detriment of others.” (All of which I agree with), then how does that not legitimize the views of those who may blindly assert

            “It is ALWAYS GOOD to violate someone’s body. / It is ALWAYS GOOD to oppress groups of people. / It is ALWAYS GOOD to operationalize privilege to the detriment of others.” ?

            It seems to me that if you have no basis for your decision, others won’t think they have to as well. Then you end up with those in power abusing it. A little bit of healthy skepticism maybe, just maybe, keeps the world from chaos.

            Additionally, if you can’t justify yourself to a total skeptic, guess what they’ll continue being? A total skeptic. Guess what that means…You change nothing with your magical caps lock key.

            Finally, I don’t think that believing in skep about objective morality means that people are going to go out and do these things. Presently I find skep to be the most convincing view of the world (and I’m sure you’ll take this to mean I couldn’t possibly understand oppression or something of the sort), but I’m not going around killing people, I think racism and assault are wrong, etc. I probably adhere better to most people’s moral codes than they do. Just because someone believes one thing doesn’t mean you can essentialize that person to a particular life based on that belief.

          • Ya’ll think this little CAPS LOCK thing is hurting my feelings. Why that is more important than everything else I am saying I will never know. I could care less about how you are typing. Get out of this line by line, little e , little f, g stuff man. There is a bigger picture to be seen. Engage me like a human, not a “debater”

            So you’re just going to ignore the 5 times I said that it’s not just the theory, but what debaters do and say as micro aggressive based on that theory and how it plays out?

            Once again ,ignore that a judge as EDUCATOR is saying these things to children. If you didn’t personally say, “hey, girl in the back of the class, my ethical theory says I can put you in the kitchen and violate your body” I have no qualms with you. These debaters have said these things, these ADULTS continue to say these things, but for some reason I can’t tell if you care or not.

            I can’t quote every person who has ever faced this, but most people who have faced oppression won’t care about how their modal of justification allows people to justify oppressive action. If I think it’s wrong, you think it’s wrong, history shows us it’s wrong. I think we can just be straight up and say “errmmm….it’s wrong”.

            When you get all of this sarcasm out of your system hit me up. Again, I am SERIOUS about this. I don’t know how I can take you seriously when you are acting like you’re mad i just passed your high score in some game.

          • Sorry for the sarcasm, it’s how I am. I enjoy it. The caps lock thing was a joke. And it makes more sense for me to address everything you say. I can only know for certain what you say, not the big picture you have in mind. Given that I am incredibly privileged, it’s entirely possible I wouldn’t construct the same image. Engage me like someone who doesn’t know anything – show me the fine points of what you’re saying instead of blurring things.

            Trying to disregard it though, I still don’t see why saying that an ethical theory posits something means that one is complicit with it. If someone asks in cx if moral skep means that attacking someone else is morally permissible, I’d probably answer “yes,” if it were true for the position I were running. Why would that make the person responding reprehensible?

            What quality of these exchanges makes them micro aggressive? It is possible to argue skep (or something like it) without being micro aggressive?

            Yes, I agree oppression is wrong. The problem I see here? People who oppress likely don’t think it’s wrong or don’t think they’re oppressing others. If one says they can assert “history shows us this is wrong,” another can just as easy assert “history shows us this is right.” As much as we can say”errmmm….it’s wrong,” others can say “errmmm….it’s right” and if we have no backing for our claim what happens then? We kill each other over it? Because it seems to me that’s what history has taught us.

            I’m serious too, but I can also have fun with something serious. We don’t have to have an aggressive conversation.

          • Jonathan Horowitz

            So I just had a nice talk with Tom about this (which by the way was about the 150th time I’ve heard this argument from Tom. And also this might be the first time I was not actually the person arguing with him) and I absolutely defer to you Elijah about what you think when it comes to Aaron Timmons and his actions after round. We should look to those who are oppressed opinions’ first to stop oppression.

            However, you are still losing to the skepticism claims. It is very hard, actually basically impossible, to ground a moral theory. But what you are saying is still true that oppression should be stopped. The key to being a moral skeptic is that we then can get to choose our own moral theories. Since all people make rational choices they will choose a morally good way to live life or at least one where they believe they are acting morally. Remember that the most oppressive acts in history were commited by people who thought they were being morally good (Columbus didn’t think First Nations were human, ditto Hitler with Jews).

            My moral theory is to stop oppression wherever possible. I think it’s a perfectly defensible if imperfect theory on how to live my life. It means that all the privelege that absolutely exists in the debate community-whether classism, racism, sexism, etc.- can be called out. Instead of trying to objectively trying to ground a moral theory which is really hard (and anyway objective truth doesn’t exist) just prove your moral theory is better and should be followed.

            By the way I recongnize my privelege as a white male in being able to write this post in this fashion.

          • If your position requires you to say that violences or gendered/sexed/racialized/class marginalization is okay, it’s probably never not going to me micro aggressive.

            Maybe it’s my fault for not introducing it.

            When someone white tells me “Oh, you speak so well”, it is laden with a false history of blacks being illiterate, stupid , and unable to learn. It’s that backhanded compliment. When I hear that it really means “you are a well-spoken black person”.

            When people tell me how lucky I am to not have been caught up in a lot of things you see in urban areas they don’t just compliment me, but they say ” You are a compliment to your race” or ” Newark is lucky to have one like you”. So now I have to stay calm, but what they really just said ” Most of you are drug slinging gang-bangers, but you are one of those educated, non-violent good black men”

            Now, most folk will say “they didn’t say that” or ” you’re reading too far into it”. That may be true, it may not be, but it’s what I hear when I am the only person in a room with black skin and I become the object of study. That re-affirmation of my status “below ” them or as “one of those” people and the reminder that harm could be done to me, It is scary and hurtful. I’m not playing around or exaggerating or talking in the theoretical. I am telling you what has and continues to happen to me.

            When a man tells a women or trans folk ” I can assault you” there is a lot of baggage there and it triggers a long history of physical, sexual, and emotional violence.

            When a white person tells someone black ” It would be allowable for my to hang you” that triggers just as much history that confirms the validity of hundreds of years of violence against them.

            Someone messaged me about this thread, which made me more than happy, and this was my response. If this doesn’t explain, I don’t know what to tell you. I hope it gives you a good glimpse into my social location and I honestly hope it makes some people understand where I am coming from.
            ___________________________________________
            “My students don’t necessarily want to focus on disproving TT.
            Just had 2 graduate and neither would do it. The next bunch have just started JV and are just learning what half of the jargon-y things we say in debate mean. I think what you are talking about has a lot of merit. The problem is, when I get 5 kids from Newark and their opponent says in CX “Yes, I suppose that under my paradigm I could hang you and no one could say it was bad” they get disgusted. They should be. That is a racially violent statement that has been made to them on at least 3 separate occasions in which they went all in on “what you said was f*d up!” and put the debate on it. Part of the problem is that in truth testing world, a lot of the problems they see in their neighborhoods are justified or ignored (Policing, imprisonment, disenfranchisment, and oppression in general)

            Their families , like I know mine does, tell stories about how not to go to all white neighborhoods, to be wary of white people, to constantly be aware when you leave urban areas because of the way the past has marked us. The psychological pain of public Lynchings and slavery where they sold off your penis, ears, toes , and tongue as souvenirs means that in a black neighborhood ( regardless of if you can justify it ) saying lynchings or slavery good/permissible is a no no.

            It comes down to survival. A world with no restraints has usually led to things that oppressed and continue to oppress them. Now, it’s not JUST the theory. I read theory that I will never use in real life. Habermas, Baudrillard , Bataille , and all types of people who are good for how I think or frame things, but what they say just doesn’t play out. I’ve read about the distinctions between cognitive and non-cognitive ethics. There is a debate there. The problem is that when we only talk about theories , it will never help make the neighborhoods they return to better and they will have nothing to show for it. It is then gut-wrenching to hear a white person say they can lynch you. I’m speaking for others, but If a man told a woman “yeah, i could assault you” a judge would go ape shit. If a guy in debate said that to another guy, a judge should be just as disgusted.

            ( Almost left out female against female violence, but that’s my privilege talking. I was writing as if a woman couldn’t force herself on another woman because as males we are raised to ignore non-penetrative sex acts. I call myself out on it too, but folks just don’t get that)

            Again, it’s not just the theory,but what it could justify, what students ALWAYS justify and how that act was violent in a debate round against students of color.. “

          • Skepticism as a debate argument is lame. It began as a way to negate without engaging the topic and by reading cards that the aff wouldn’t understand. It still fails to operate under any reciprocal obligation structure — whichever side has “skep ground” necessarily has a 2-1 advantage. Every time-slice in debate has its own set of community norms and they’re all convinced that their norms are awesome while the old norms are stupid. There will come a time when LD debaters will look back at all of this skepticism and permissibility nonsense and shake their heads and say, “Seriously, what the f***?”

            That isn’t to say that epistemological questions in general aren’t fascinating, but in the framework of LD debate it really just comes down to one side asserting that we can’t have a debate over ethics because “ethics don’t exist” or something. Blargh.

          • “My larger problem with how these theories, representations, and
            discussions do nothing for people of color has just been dismissed.”

            … they don’t do anything for anyone. None of these theories that you attack are racialized beyond what you see as a disproportionate effect on people of color. Skepticism doesn’t distinguish between color, neither does deontology, utilitarianism etc.

            “Also, why would it be offensive for me, bluntly, to say we just have
            more important things going on? Such as homelessness, policing, health
            care, and environmental racism than to decide if your meta-meta-meta
            theory is true.”

            I know this is going to sound offensive, but if you are worried about solving problems like the ones you list IN THE REAL WORLD, then you should stop worrying about the race of our authors and actually do something constructive in the REAL LIFE COMMUNITY. Because debate is confrontational in its very nature, it is therefore a terrible forum for social change since people approach rounds strategizing about how to win. Maybe you’ll say this is educationally bankrupt, but first, debate is a COMPETITIVE activity which means its only natural for people to try and win (for instance, saying we should ban certain plays in football because they are effective would make no sense because both teams are trying to win) and second, there are other forms of education that are equally as important that we gain from the competitive aspects of debate. High School students aren’t going to change the world, rather they are going to use the skills (like research, critical thinking, problem solving etc.) to change the world in the future.

            The second half of your post about implicit racism has it’s merits, but I think there are some serious problems as well. While I agree that a certain degree of deference is required on these issues, I don’t think that means we have to unquestionably accept that something is racist, sexist, homophobic etc. These issues require constructive discussion in order to get to understand and correct them and, what your post does, is completely dismiss the possibility for that discussion. For instance, I question the underlying racism of certain practices or situations and the response that I get from you is that I need to accept the realities of racism. That’s not constructive discourse. Look, I’m open to having people read evidence from authors of color and I absolutely guarantee you that they do (For instance I prepared an AC for TOC last year that was based around an article written by Adele Morrison, a women of color). I recognize that there are representational inequalities but that doesn’t equate to a “politics of violence and exclusion” and, even if it did, it would point to such a problem at the level of academia, not within high school debate.

            “I have NEVER seen a forum erupt at the actions of a white coach, I have
            never seen them go crazy over the actions of a white debater, and I have
            NEVER gotten a good reason why in the white spaces of debate I should
            not feel like everything that marginalizes black individuals is not
            racialized.”

            This is just so wrong to me on so many levels.
            First, apparently you haven’t see the recent flame wars about Chris Theis and his debaters. There was just as much, if not more of an uproar about that than there is about Mr. Timmons.

            Second, because not everything that happens to affect black individuals is done because they are black individuals. The reason you see racism everywhere is because you look for it. When you see someone calling out a black individual, you assume it’s for racialized reasons and won’t listen to arguments to the contrary. I would understand if a certain action (e.g. calling people out in the community) was specifically targeted at mostly black individuals, but in fact, most of the time it is white people who are targeted (most recently Chris Theis).

            Third, presuming that something is racialized is one of the reasons we have trouble combating racism, because race is always being made an issue of and constructed oppositionally. How can we combat racism when the very language you use creates a exclusionary white vs. black dichotomy? You can’t. Until the issue of race was brought into this thread it was a discussion about a persons actions. Now those actions have been racialized and it has become a discussion of a black person’s actions. Do you see where I find fault with this?

          • The forums “erupted at the actions of a white coach” over Meyers a few years ago and Theis about a week ago. Maybe you’ve “never seen them go crazy” because you weren’t looking?

          • Or maybe you really just can’t see the difference.

          • That’s entirely possible. Would you mind pointing out what the difference is for me? I’m clearly an unenlightened racist that needs to defer to you.

          • You said it ,not me.

            Deferral is a a strategy of allies in social justice coalitions. If you’re an ally, you defer. Straight allies, cisgender allies, male allies, documented allies, economically privileged allies.

            Sarcasm is cute online. Don’t get it twisted, This is me being nice ,bruh. In some places respect is a life or death issue.

            Let that marinate.

          • Disregarding the surrounding sarcasm, I’m still actually curious as to what makes this different. I can’t see it myself, so I’m asking you to explain it to me.

          • I didn’t respond because the sarcasm was irritating and dismissive.

            I’ve provided you with the link to the history of the “black brute” and I’ve pointed out several distinctions between arguments made in the past compared to now.

            If you want to get a more full explanation , I used my facebook to access this so people could get in contact with me.

          • TheBerkeleyBear

            “I have NEVER seen a forum erupt at the actions of a white coach, I have never seen them go crazy over the actions of a white debater”

            Well, it seems like Bietz is facing some backlash for actions lower in this thread, and he’s not a minority in the activity. And just last week, Theis was the subject of a lot of eruption over evidence ethics.

          • It’s really bothersome that the framing question of how Bietz’s body is being discussed is not understood as being distinct from how AT’s is. It actually does sadden me that no one will really just take the time to understand how social justice operates.

            Also, Theis’s camp/evidence just frankly outright cheated. This was something I think Cherian apologized for. It doesn’t make it better, but his is not a perception issue. He really did it so the perception is acceptable.

            No one is saying Timmons has actually said anything to coerce people to change their decisions and no one has proof that he is using this almighty mysterious privileges to coerce the tab room to do things.

            If this is their problem, they should pref judges with a little more self esteem and get people in tab they trust since they obviously think so little of them.

        • I have no idea why people are screaming bloody murder-skepticism here. Given, I haven’t got the patience to read all this miseducated trash spewed by some of you responding to Elijah – what is being advanced here can be easily said without abstract moral theories. It’s a much more material, a real life matter that requires pragmatic responses, even if there isn’t some overarching theory that encompasses what is being posed.

          Racism, sexism, or whatever institution of oppression is a structural issue. It is something that informs, shapes, and disfranchises the lives of millions in the margins and elsewhere. People live this everyday. This makes it a practical matter for many, maybe even a matter of survival for some that requires pragmatic responses to issues posed so elegantly by Elijah.

          I mean, who gives a damn what moral theory you ascribe to it? Sure not everything is wholly knowable, sure no moral theory is perfect. Rather, it is because of this, because we cannot know, that nothing is perfect that we must act in solidarity with the oppressed. Because there is an entity out there that we feel for, that feels for us, and possibly feels just like us that we are called on to make leaps of faith towards the creation of some more equitable order.

          Holocaust denial is a crime in many countries. If those bodies sacrificed to that regime of power are so important, why aren’t the bodies that are being sacrificed to our regimes of power equally so? This double standard seems to reveal hidden tinges of violence that even people in this THREAD are complicit in.

  • anony-mouse

    regardless of what you think about mr. timmons or mr. bietz or any schools and their practices in the community, stop posting on this thread.

    every new comment someone posts is hurting someone. especially rebecca. i know you want it to be a public discussion and people want answers about what happened at bronx, believe me, i do, too. but seeing how it affected rebecca at the tournament and now is unacceptable.

    it doesn’t matter if you don’t like rebecca, would you ever openly criticize a girl that you don’t like at school? talk shit about her behind her back, whatever, just please stop doing this to her. this is literally bullying and harassment in the highest degree.

    i know that these comments aren’t about her and that you’re trying to get at a bigger issue, but they are still going to affect her and her reputation in the future. just like the posts about mr. theis on the other thread, it affected daniel even if people said it had nothing to do with them. these are teenagers who are sensitive and don’t think they have the voice to do anything about it whether it be because of what will happen to their reputation or because they just don’t have the confidence to speak up.

    leave her the fuck alone and bitch about mr. timmons being scary and mr. bietz screwing up tab and how bad big schools are in privacy.

  • Major congrats to Rebecca on a dominant weekend, as well as Annie, Kathy, Daniel, Yang, Jerry, and Henry. #TNT!

  • As a disclaimer, I was not at Bronx so I did not witness any of the accused actions, but I think some things need to be said:
    While it is one thing for individual programs to be criticized or called out in the name of “change,” I think it is appalling for individual 16-18 year old students to be bashed on a public forum. Regardless of any gender disparity discussions, so called “educators” need to adopt standards of decency and not make a high school kid feel about herself because she attends a school that exercises practices you disagree with. Even if you don’t intend to make Rebecca feel bad or hurt, posting about her as Greenhill KT or making snide remarks about her, that then get 50 anonymous upvotes obviously will hurt her feelings (thinking otherwise is asinine).

    Excuse any grammar mistakes, wrote this in a rush.

  • Sorry to add to an already ridiculously long thread, but I can’t help but wonder what people think we’re accomplishing with this discussion at this point. There are many sub-discussions going on between two or three people (Noah and Jacob/Jared and Fritz, etc.) that seem to be new personal conflicts as opposed to constructive criticism or proposals for fixing the perceived wrongs in the community. Not to dismiss those smaller conversations as not worth having, of course, but come on. Whatever point y’all were trying to get across before has probably been discussed at as far a length as possible without venturing into “personal dispute with no foreseeable resolution” territory, at which point the conversation should take place privately and exclusively privately (which some people have taken to heart, so yay).

    So maybe we might want to think about where we want to go with this instead of just responding all over the place to make sure we’re the person with the last word or wittiest remark. I personally see nothing significant to gain from continuing this discussion. It seems like all people are doing is expanding their lists of conflicts and strikes. Then again, this always happens with NSD forums; people make a huge deal out of an issue and let it subside a few days after the thread stops getting attention.

    Anyway, simple question: What are we trying to accomplish for the community and how has this discussion helped/how might future comments on this thread fix whatever has been left out?

    If there’s a good answer here, then I’ll look like an idiot and y’all can keep helping discuss ways to benefit students, which is fine. But if not… I’m pretty sure most of us have college apps/college studying to do.

    • ipgunn

      “I can’t help but wonder what people think we’re accomplishing with this discussion at this point.”

      Well for one thing, these posts don’t necessarily need to accomplish some broad, sweeping change in the community. Most posts on these threads tend to be congratulatory in nature and obviously don’t intend to reform or shape norms. Other posts simply tend to be the expression of others because they either want to express themselves publicly, want to convince others of their opinions, or wish to provoke discussion or a combination thereof. To me, these, and other reasons, seem to be sufficient purposes for posting and it appears from every single other post on this website, that the community of commenters here overwhelmingly agrees.

      However, I agree with you that something can be gained from this discussion. How about these things for starters:

      1. A reasoned explanation for attempts to interrogate or intimidate judges in rounds and why such actions are appropriate in most instances in which one’s debater loses. This specifically does not include the type of questioning which is for the purpose of understanding a judge’s decision. I believe it is widely accepted that debaters and coaches have the right to ask judges about their RFDs and to understand how the judge decided the round and how the debaters may perform better in future rounds. This is a great example of the educational aspect of the activity.

      2. If there is a reasonable explanation for such habitual behavior, then I think we can agree there is simply a divide which will not be crossed and the reform aspect of the discussion, as I see it, has no further purpose (unless to discuss coaching resources as has been alluded to in comments, but not really discussed in depth).

      3. Failing a reasoned explanation of such behavior, then I would think the community could generally agree that this behavior is not beneficial to the activity in a variety of ways. As far as attempting to accomplish something for the community, the discussion could then turn to – how do we help to limit and decrease this sort of inappropriate behavior? In this vein, such a discussion might be helpful, but appears to me to be eventually futile. The only means that might be effective to punish coaches would be to punish their students which is completely unacceptable. There are perhaps other means that might be used as incentives or disincentives, but it’s unlikely that these things would really deter the types of coaches who act in this fashion repeatedly.

    • Rebar Niemi

      hahaha stop acting “matur”

  • anon

    I think it’s time for people to realize that “vilification” of Greenhill might go deeper than people being upset about judging and power schools. People don’t hate Rebecca because she is a girl or because she wins a lot. There are plently of females on the circuit who are well liked, despite going to “vilified” schools. I do not want to personally attack anyone, but it’s hard not to make this personal. Maybe people don’t like Rebecca Kuang because the way she behaves is incredibly rude and immature, and from the perspective of an outsider, it seems that her mission is to alienate anyone who disagrees with her views on debate. I undestand that some people get passionate about arguments, but this has gone too far. There is obviously an “us vs. them” dichotomy among the community, and debaters who are on a merciless war path to make debate a better place just make it worse. I honestly think it’s really cool that people are so passioante about the activity, but you can’t force your views onto other people. This discussion would probably happen regardless, but I think it would be a lot less personal if people stopped making personal judgments based on the content of someone’s arguments instead of their character. I will not go into further detail about specific behaviors, but most will know what I’m talking about. I’m not disputing that Rebecca is a good person, nor am I saying that she’s the only one at fault, but I am saying that the way people conduct themselves contributes a lot to “vilification” and other community issues. Greenhill might feel alienated by the community, but I know many people who feel alienated by Greenhill.

    • anondebater8

      Wow, we’ve now steeped to the new low of attacking a student online.

      • Rebar Niemi

        dawg we’ve been down here for at least 8-10 years, glad to see you.

    • AnonRocky

      while we’re in the process of calling out highschoolers online for being immature (HOW DARE THEY!?!?) I’d like to personally call out EVERY DEBATER EVER.

  • travisfife

    Next time ya’ll talk gender inequality look at this thread that when the most successful female in the activity right now is getting bashed for her coaches and going to a kickass school instead of working hard achieving things in the boys-club.
    You’re going to be like “it’s about resources not gender” but don’t forget the way you construct issues of structural inequality are intensely linked to one another and you can’t bash one of the few succeeding females on resources without affecting the other issue.
    P.s. I really liked the Timmons stare down as a debater. That shit’s motivation

    • I agree with this wholeheartedly.

      I’m also going to be “that guy” and be the first to call out the fairly obvious racism (in addition to sexism) on this thread. For example, the claim that “Mr. Timmons is intimidating when watching rounds” is just blatant for me. Why when Pam Wycoff, Sam Weiss, Lexy Green, Mike Bietz, or Jon Cruz (all of whom are equitably honored coaches) watch a round it’s ok, but when Mr. Timmons does it, judges and debaters suddenly get scared shitless. You’ll say “it’s because he interrogates us,” but:
      a) If a judge can’t look a debater’s coach in the face and 100% defend his decision without getting scared they probably shouldn’t be judging rounds.
      b) This is seriously a joke. I’ve seen first and second year out coaches berate the hell out of judges (Daniel Imas, finals of TFA State last year). Hell, I’ve done it several times as well. Yet somehow Mr. Timmons makes it uniquely frightening?

      This is likely to be my last post on this thread, but I had to confront this is nobody else was willing to. Peace.

      • Jared– In my 6 years on the circuit, I have never seen Sam Weiss, Lexy Green, Mike Bietz, OR Jon Cruz interrogate ANY one after a round when their students lost. Your post is factually incorrect.

        I also think Jacob’s issue isn’t Timmons watching the round, its the post round discussion that happens. And this is Jacobs issue: ITS NOT A DISCUSSION! If it WERE a discussion, I’m sure Jacob would have no problem with Timmons. But, and I agree with 100%, its an interrogation. Does it improve judge quality? Maybe (I think not). Does it make a lot of people feel very uncomfortable? Definitely.

        • Ok, so then if it’s exclusively an issue of the post-round discussion…

          I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say it’s an “interrogation” As far as influence over the broader community is concerned, I’ve always wondered… what influence does Mr. Timmons have? I mean actual, structural influence. He has the same amount of votes as Bietz, Lexy, or Cruz on the TOC committee. Debate teams don’t have anything to leverage each other with. You’ll say “judging,” but that happens anyway! It’s happening right now on this thread. For example, I’m probably going to make sure to conflict Jacob with my kids from now on… that’s what MJP is for.

          The only explanation is that somehow Timmons is just meaner than the others which could mean one of two things:
          1) He’s just really good at asking questions.
          or
          2) Something about him physically intimidates you…

          • What influence does Mr. Timmons have? I would say he was a HUGE influence. I once watched him bully the shit out of Navot Tidhar after Danielle Smogard dropped in quarters of Berkeley my freshman year to Rusty from Vestavia. And I don’t use the word bully lightly. The questioning got to the point that Timmons wasn’t asking politely, but shouting and demanding an explanation. This does two things:

            1. it makes the judge feel really uncomfortable. I definitely agree with Jake and you that we should question our judges, but theres a big qualitative distinction between questioning and interrogating. We want judges to return, not to hate the activity.
            AND

            2. it makes students feel uncomfortable! This is the biggest issue. It makes kids dread debating greenhill. This isn’t because these kids are secret bigots, its because ITS ACTUALLY UNCOMFORTABLE TO HEAR A GROWN ADULT CHEW OUT ANOTHER GROWN ADULT FOR VOTING AGAINST HIS/HER KID.

            It’s IRRELEVANT if Timmons has structural influence, the point is that he has a very real, seeable, and well-documented influence IN ROUND. And that’s what Jacob has a problem with (add me to the list of people who has a problem with that as well).

            Just as a disclaimer: my views don’t reflect Harker’s views.

          • Paras is completely right here. This is ridiculous, Jared. Come on. I also don’t understand why me voicing my opinion makes me unqualified to judge your kids. That’s the most insane thing I’ve ever heard. In fact, I know your kids (at least Grant and Jordan) respect me as an educator. I worked with Grant a good amount at NSD, and Grant and Jordan were going to hire me as a coach until there was some “team conflict” about it. (Also, because they were going to hire me, I told them I’d conflict myself from them anyway, to me at least that seems like far more grounds for a conflict than invoking my first amendment rights.)

          • to clarify i was the other debater in that quarters round at berkeley

          • my bad matt

          • “The only explanation is that somehow Timmons is just meaner than the others which could mean one of two things:”

            Yeah. Or it could mean that he’s actually just a manipulative, mean person who likes to yell at people for dropping his kids on quick 5-0 decisions.

            Seriously, your thinly-veiled allusion to the “scary black male” stereotype to try to justify repeated harassment of judges is pathetic. You’re on this thread calling people racist, and yet you’re the only one actually bringing up race and racial stereotypes. Make an argument, Jared.

      • Good fucking christ.

        I have never seen Lexy Green or Mike Bietz interrogate a judge. Ever. If they have interrogated judges, it probably wasn’t after their kid lost on a quick 5-0. And they probably didn’t interrogate for 20 minutes. But you know what? I’ve actually never even seen them sit in on one of their kids’ rounds. I’ve seen assistant coaches from schools like CPS, HW, Brentwood, Meadows, etc. sit in on rounds where I dropped their kid. I got no argument or complaint. I’ve dropped plenty of CPS and HW debaters in my time and have never had any of them or their coaches throw a tantrum at me. I dropped a HW debater in finals of St. Marks this weekend in a really close round. I was not yelled at.

        Claiming that people are racist because they are criticizing Aaron Timmons is an insult to everyone’s intelligence. Race was not even brought up on this thread until you showed up. People need to stop playing the race card every time Aaron Timmons is criticized. The color of someone’s skin does not grant them immunity from criticism, nor does it exempt them from behaving ethically.

        You cannot pick some characteristic about the person in question and them claim that that is the reason they are being attacked. I seriously thought you were better than that.

      • ipgunn

        This post is rather amusing for the quality of arguments espoused in it. Just as in my previous post, which went unresponded to, I’m not so much concerned with discussing particular individuals’ actions, but more so with the practice and theory going on here.

        1. Your first argument is that these accusations are unfair because other people who may do the same things are not also accused. How is this responsive? If anything it’s just asking for people to be more consistent in their critique, but it doesn’t actually answer a well fleshed out reasoning for why such behavior is poor. I have argued publicly on this thread and to others in the community in different forums that such behavior is inappropriate, no matter who does it.

        2. Your second argument is that judges should not be judging rounds if they can be intimidated by a coach interrogating them after rounds. This is purely an ad hominem attack at best, and at worst a blame the victim mindset. If women who have previously been sexually assaulted wind up in uncomfortable positions again that they would rather not experience because of that prior experience, then they just should make sure they don’t place themselves in that position right? That’s the logical extension of your argument. Of course this is not anywhere near such a level of seriousness. But to actually suggest that a person, who does not wish to experience an awkward, embarrassing, uncomfortable, and very often hostile environment again after they have had past experience with such environments and highly disliked them, is at fault for the experience is ridiculous. The person creating that environment is the one at fault.

        3. Your third argument is simply, other coaches do this, why is it unique to X coach? In the first place, as I stated previously, this is inappropriate no matter which coaches do it, in my opinion. Saying, others also do something inappropriate is not a justification for someone to do it. Secondly, as you yourself say, you’ve done it “several times as well.” These appear to be isolated incidents which occur when you and the other coaches you mention feel the round has been decided unfairly. However, I think part of this discussion has to do with coaches who always appear to be interrogating judges, not every now and then doing it. Third, do you think there is a difference between Aaron Timmons and Daniel Imas as far as influence in the activity? Or between Jared Woods and Lexy Green? (to use the examples of people you mentioned and not in any way to imply my thoughts on these individuals are identical with this position) If you truly think there is no difference in the influence and power between judges, and that all judges are equal, then this may be as far as the discussion can go. But if you agree that some judges may wield more power than others, than your third point is inapt since it fails to take into account one of the important assumptions of the point you are critiquing.

  • Lifer at Law

    Hello one final time denizens of the circuit,

    I’ve decided to retire my criticisms of Mr. Theis. While I maintain that he is a dirty cheater who, rather than attend college like any normal human being, creates robots and makes up cards 24/7, I think the community has more important issues to worry about at this point. I agree completely with Jacob, Mr. Timmons is horribly unethical. Seriously? Stop grilling. Greenhill loses all the time because they suck, not because judges made the wrong decision. There’s a REASON everyone makes fun of you, Mr. Timmons. And no, it’s NOT because everyone is racist. It’s because you’re a horrible human being who will deliberately force good-natured tournament directors into complying with your unreasonable, misguided, and insane demands, sit in the back of the room and make demon-eyes at judges while barely flowing in crayon on a legal pad so you can pretend that Greenhill is winning in some magical fantasy world, and grill judges for long periods of time (many times, for longer than the length of a regulation LD round). Sorry to break it to you Timmons, but there’s no overtime period in LD. If your debaters lose, it’s not a “tie” or some great injustice. You lost. DEAL WITH IT. Instead of thinking, “Oh no, Rebecca doesn’t have a hack…let’s call in the conflict police!” you should probably either read some debate literature and get educated or hire someone who can do that for you. If you want to win more, get better at debate (you’re a lifer like I am…what else can you be doing with your time). Don’t ruin the activity for everyone else just because you want to jack off to trophies your debaters “won.” Shape up or get out. Nobody wants you here — that’s the one thing that’s universally agreed upon in the “camp wars” Mr. Theis enjoys referring to so much. You’re a bad example for kids everywhere, as proven by the Courtney Nunley fiasco, the Jalon incident, generally being willing to sacrifice any sort of ethical standards for the W, and attempting to make community wide changes in the name of exporting your idiotic pedagogical beliefs on literally everyone you come into contact with.

    Now, regarding the posts everyone else has made. Charles Riley Brainless is brainless and I’m pretty sure nobody takes him seriously anyway, so I’m not going to waste space typing out a response to him. Jake, LOL @ you just calling out Jacob for losing to Farhan. Retroactive congrats (happy Noah?) on that huge upset. Maybe you should have actually responded to his arguments, instead of pulling a Rebecca Kuang (drop it and lose). Now, onto Noah Star. His post is internally contradictory. First off, he claims that we shouldn’t have flamewars and “inappropriate jokes.” This means that Rebar Niemi should be banned from ever posting. However, he also claims that we shouldn’t have “substantive comments.” This means that nobody BUT Rebar Niemi should be allowed to post. What do you want Noah?

    Also, WHY HAS NO ONE SUBSTANTIVELY RESPONDED TO THE SHIT FETISH!??!?!? The only reason Bronx had so many problems is because Bietz got mad that I was making fun of his shit fetish and decided to take a giant shit all over the tournament. Moreover, I don’t think anyone has actually made a substantive defense of Bietz’s practices over this past weekend. Speaking objectively (without the need to deal with political consequences), I can say that what Bietz has done this weekend is far worse than the debauchery Timmonsa instigated. Seriously, the guy LITERALLY CHANGED LOSSES TO WINS (that’s the debate equivalent of turning water into wine, and I don’t want to be a part of any religion that holds eating/jacking off to shit as divine law). Then, he tried to make the situation AS DISADVANTAGEOUS AS POSSIBLE for the individuals who actually won the rounds his kids debated in. Also, if Harvard-Westlake’s prefs were screwed up, why didn’t the debaters that WON their first round get their ballots invalidated? As much as I hate to make another Bietz joke, that’s bullshit. While there are individuals that may support Timmons, I think we can all agree that Bietz’s actions at Bronx and during his career as a lifer have been, on balance, blasphemous. Given that nobody, not even Jake, Chris, any other higher-ups at VBI, or anyone representative of Harvard Westlake, has been able to come up with a plausible defense for Mike Bietz’s actions, I think it’s more than reasonable to petition VBI to get him removed. Although Chris*, Jake, and all the other VBI staff members are fantastic educators and great people, Bietz has to go. Again, this is NOT an attack on VBI and I am not a soldier in a camp war. This is an attack on the shameless piece of shit known as Michael Bietz.

    Yours in law and liferhood,

    Lifer at Law

    • Rebar Niemi

      noah wants me to post i think.

  • Rebar Niemi

    just wanna emphasize “nikhil-gate”

    • lololoololollo

      lol

    • lololoololollo

      🙂

  • Congrats to Terrence on the qual, being 6-1 in prelims, and barely missing out on semis! We knew that you would have a explosive start and its good to know that all your hard work has paid off. Better luck in the future to other Lake Highland debaters (and Michael Sullivan) with hard bubble round draws. Also CONGRATS TO DAVID JOANNIDES on his first ever bid! This was well deserved, and doing it by beating the dukes and bailey cup number 2 in an octos bid tournament and then losing on a 2-1 to the tournament champion is quite a way to do it! Don’t want to post this on the other thread: Congrats to Tillman Huett-Lassman for securing the qual and once again showing how much you own Texas! Expecting great things! Congrats also to Mark Gorthey on an excellent performance and all other members of the TETOffensive who truly rocked it this weekend; you guys are awesome! Congrats to others successful at this tournament and Marx. Your hard work is clearly paying huge dividends!

  • Admittedly, I haven’t read ALL of these posts yet (so I don’t know if there’s a boatload of hateful commenting somewhere in here,) but it really makes me happy to see that a productive discussion can be held without including malice or rudeness.

    When we respect each other, it’s so much easier to change things for the better.

  • 9 tl;dr posts in the span of a day. A new record.

    • ALEC’S #1 FAN

      OMG YOU’RE SO FUNNY. PLEASE KEEP POSTING ALEC. PLEASE.

    • Edit: Posting as Eli Hymson

      You are everything Noah criticized about how people use this forum for discussion. I’m not sure if this has changed, but last I heard from/about you, you were a debater who competed at national tournaments without significant coaching access, and I’m sure you have something useful to say about that. Maybe instead of making comments like this, you should contribute to the conversation at hand so we can all learn something.

      Edit: I sincerely don’t mean to disrespect you or seem rude, but seriously, you got the bid at Crestian last year by outlasting tons of people with phenomenal coaching resources. You could contribute something along those lines to this, and I just want to encourage people to use their internet time effectively for once (especially now that Reddit is down).

  • I am all for having transparency and discussion in debate. But I do not understand why after every tournament there is an uproar. Why can’t we revel in the success of our students? There are problems with our activity yes. But there are also some worthwhile things that we do here. Mainly, kids get to go away on weekends, compete in tournaments, and then win them or advance quite far. When I was a novice debater, VBD threads were full of Congratulation posts. It was awesome as a novice to see random people writing congrats on the thread after Paul Zhou and I won Woodward. I felt included. I felt welcomed. Now, tournament threads become confrontational flame wars filled with inappropriate jokes, sarcasm and substantive comments. No one can sit here on their high horse and tell me that the threads that go on here are in the name of “transparency,” or “helping the community.” Some of the comments are but a lot of them are snarky, rude, or inappropriate jokes. It needs to stop. If people want change, they can’t just post something on a thread and wait for the upvotes. Email Jon Cruz. Email Aaron Timmons. Talk to them in private and have a discussion. It’s unfair to take things out of context and from one perspective to effectively slander schools and individuals. Regardless of the legitimacy of your claims, you delegitimize them by being overly reliant on this forum and misusing it. No one can tell me it is a coincidence that there is a huge uproar about Greenhill after one of our debaters wins a tournament. No one call tell me it is a coincidence that there is a huge uproar about PV after one of their debaters wins a tournament. How about a Congratulations? These are students. Most of us are students of some form, or educators of some form. We would ever accept this type of adversarial dynamic in a classroom between students? We probably wouldn’t. So to conclude, a lot needs to change but what is most pressing is how people operate on the internet. If you have a problem,you can use your soapbox and post here. But don’t combine it with slanderous remarks or jokes and cite verifiable evidence. Feel free to message me privately with grievances about what was done at Bronx. We can have a discussion, but I am not going to slander you so I’d like you not to slander me.

    So on that note.
    Congratulations to Rebecca for having a great tournament and finally getting the big W! Congratulations to Jim for winning the RR, being eloquent as usual and making a deep run! Congratulations to Danny Debois for once again going deep as a junior, I see big things in your future! Congratulations to Paul Zhou for getting his first of many bids!
    Congratulations to Jessica Levy, Daisy Massey, Tori Seidenstein and Ram Prasad, making the focus group proudAnd last, Congrats to everyone who bid and broke at this tournament, it is a great one and one that we should be applauding not criticizing.

    • Rebar Niemi

      “I…AM…BETTER…THAN…HIM” – slander

      you da champ champ.

    • Thank you.

    • Noah, I’m all for reveling in the success of the students, although when some students are unfairly more likely to succeed than others, there is a serious problem and it should be called out. I agree with your point about how forums should be a place for congratulations. I’ve never started a flamewar in my life before this since I generally stay out of these discussions, and when I’ve posted in the past on a tournament thread, it has been to congratulate my debaters or lab students. I don’t think emailing Mr. Timmons would have resolved this issue the way posting on an open forum would. I’m not even close to the only person with complaints about Mr. Timmons, and I feel like this allows others to engage in the discussion and allows the community to come to something closer to a consensus. I don’t think I slandered anyone; I stand by my characterizations of the way the Greenhill coaching staff operates. Whenever Justin and Travis watched my rounds, as educators they were there only to help me get better. Never once did either Travis or Justin grill a judge or stare him/her down while making the decision. They watched my rounds and used that as a basis for giving me advice, which is the way I think coaches should watch rounds. I do recognize and respect a debater or coach’s right to ask polite questions to clarify a decision, but asking 20 minutes of questions about the same argument and asking questions after every round that your school loses in is just absurd and creates the unfair environment that my original post is criticizing. I really don’t think I’m taking anything out of context and criticizing schools from one perspective. I’ve yet to hear another perspective actually justifying the environment Mr. Timmons creates at tournaments. If there’s anything in the activity that’s exclusionary, it’s schools with large coaching staffs exploiting their power to bully their way to victory.

      • I’ve had enough of the vilification of Greenhill. I had enough of it as a student and I’ve had enough of it now as a member of the staff. Don’t sit here and tell me that your characterizations of the coaching staff aren’t meant to be inflammatory. Unfortunately, this forum has been one that has stood by you time and time again on this issue. There will be no resolution on this forum Jacob. The only resolution that will be reached is a heightened contentious atmosphere between the people who agree with you on this thread and those who disagree with you. People do not read the update to look for a community consensus, and if they did, they couldn’t find one. Why don’t you and your constituents who have a problem with the way Greenhill operates talk to us about it next tournament? I just don’t understand how you can purport to want to “change” things without taking that next step.

        Every coach on the circuit works for a school. We aren’t bullies. AT, Jake nor I will sit in a round with the intention of unfairness. In fact, the reason why those types of conversations occur is to encourage judges to think through their decisions, to discourage hacking, and sometimes to clarify a questionable decision. This is not an activity unique to Greenhill. I’ve seen it done. The way you describe the actions of the staff is not accurate. Staring down the judges? Come on. Judges on the circuit have enough autonomy to make the right decision. When coaches sit in the room they do so to ensure that the right decision will be mad. To insinuate that Rebecca or any Greenhill debater bullied their way to victory is unfair to them and to their judges.

        Enough is enough.

        • Noah, stop trying to make me a scapegoat for the vilification of Greenhill. Don’t try to claim you didn’t participate in making fun of/vilifying Mr. Timmons at NSD the summer before our senior year. Maybe this forum has stood by me time and time again on this issue BECAUSE I’M RIGHT, not because this is some giant conspiracy by the readers of NSDUpdate to vilify Greenhill. I already expressed to Jake in my last post why I decided to post here instead of confronting Mr. Timmons or any other member of the Greenhill coaching staff at a tournament.

          Really, Noah, really? “AT [nor] Jake will sit in a round with the intention of unfairness” Wow. That certainly wasn’t your thought after you got knocked out of TOC our junior year. I guess things have changed since you work for Greenhill now. But don’t accuse me of trying to vilify Greenhill when I’m simply posting as the only one willing to bring up an issue that is almost unanimously agreed upon in debate.

          I agree. Enough is enough. End the interrogation of judges, and stop making debaters feel uncomfortable in rounds.

          • Don’t you dare accuse me of something I did not do at NSD. I felt uncomfortable with the jokes being made. I never participated in them and there are many a staff that can testify to my non-involvement. If you want to bring up the jokes being made at NSD, be my guest. They make you look a lot more biased and a lot worse than they do for me. I’m not going to bring up where I think you acted inappropriately because I don’t libel people on the internet. I’ve always been a friend and supporter of Greenhill. Farhan and I shared intel at tournaments. Jake was my mentor at VBI. Don’t try and tell me I ever did the types of things you’ve done and are doing now because it just won’t come out good for you in the end.

            Now let’s talk about your next accusation. First question to you is, did you talk to me at our junior year TOC? No I don’t think you did. Most people thought I was just some dumb Pat Donovan/Jrob lite. DOn’t tell me how I reacted to my loss at ToC when you don’t even know. I’ll tell you what happened. After I lost to Jalon, I was upset because I felt badly that Jalon may have perceived me in such a negative light. AT came up to me after the round and told me that win or lose he thought my decorum in the round was excellent and that he thought I was great. It’s cute that you think I then told him off and felt uncomfortable by his interrogation of judges. That never happened.

            The only thing that has changed since I work for Greenhill now is that I won’t stand idly when my student is being targeted unfairly. You aren’t right about this. Don’t put it in all caps buddy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make you more right. AT sits in the back of the room with a pen in his hand and a pad for flowing so he can educate his debaters on how to get better. He asks judges questions because he believes that it makes them more responsible and so he can help his debaters. He is not a malicious person. Step outside your bubble of allies who make stupid jokes all the time and maybe you’ll see that.

            If you wan’t to try and mudsling at me again how about you just chat me. I wasn’t even directing my “vilification” post at you. But if you want to keep coming at me, then be my guest. You are wrong about what I’ve done and your characterization of Greenhill is wrong so I am more than happy to keep defending myself.

            And one last thing. Don’t pretend that you are “advocating for the comfortableness of debaters.” Some of the things said about RK of you and other judges at the Bronx were inappropriate given they were about a current student. There are two sides to this coin so stop pretending you are the muckracker exposing some large scandal without any guilt yourself.

          • I’m not involved in this big uproar, but I’m gonna verify that Noah said he didn’t like the jokes about Greenhill while we attended NSD. He just said it made him uncomfortable having the whole Greenhill coaching staff in the back of the room at the 2011 ToC, but that’s all.

          • Michael Fried

            “Most people thought I was just some dumb Pat Donovan/Jrob lite.” sorry, that was me

      • Has anyone considered that maybe AT, Jake, Noah, and formerly Neil are just great coaches that know how to educate kids properly? Why is it that when Wolfish or Danielle kicked ass they were congratulated, but now Greenhill can’t do well without being totally vilified? The amount of whiney bullshit on this entire thread is disgusting.

        • Phelan O’Neill

          I know I’m a tad late to this conversation and am not really involved in the LD community anymore, but are you guys f**k kidding me? You downvote someone for suggesting that a program that has a long history of excellence in policy and LD is successful because it has good coaches and not because their coaches intimidated judges?

      • AT’s questioning judges has nothing to do with our “large coaching staff.” He would do it even if we had no assistant coaches. He has done it even when Greenhill had no assistant coaches (i.e., not that long ago). So I don’t think you should tie your criticism of AT’s behavior into a broader narrative about resources.

  • I think Erik Baker’s post is onto something. There were 14 coaches represented in the finals round. It’s just depressing that an activity so beneficial be so limited, and it’s even worse, because we all know that this is the reality. There’s a finite amount of people who can coach kids to be nationally successful, but nonetheless the vast majority of these people just stick to the small circle of already nationally competitive people/teams. To me, it seems incestuous and it’s just straight up discouraging.

    I think some questions need to be asked about the nature of this activity. Is its main priority education, or reaching out to people and helping anybody who wants to be successful. Or is it just winning and more winning and getting a name for yourself? Is the exclusive nature of debate getting more problematic? Is the likelihood for a newcomer to become successful decreasing? If so, when’s the tipping point- for when it’s just too esoteric to take?

  • I usually don’t get involved in online posting, but for the
    sake of the quality of the activity, I feel like I have to.

    Before I begin the substance of this post, I want to express that
    this should not be read as a criticism of Jon Cruz or his ability to run a
    tournament in any way, shape, or form. Logistically, the Bronx tournament was run fantastically, and I’ve loved
    every one of Jon’s tournaments that I’ve attended since my sophomore year. Jon even talked to me after the
    tournament and assured me that problems experienced at this year’s Bronx tournament would not happen in the future.

    My issue here is with community tabulation norms and with the
    brutally unfair influence powerful coaches exert in this activity. This problem manifested itself in a few
    ways this weekend, some of which that random anonymous poster already talked
    about. Specifically in round one,
    I was judging Tommy Choi from Harvard Westlake against Tori Seidenstein from
    Walt Whitman. Tori won the round,
    and Tommy seemed to be completely ok with my decision, but when I was looking
    at results later, I saw that the round was tabbed as a double win. This not only happened in my round, but
    also in the round between Grant Reiter from Scarsdale and Harvard Westlake’s
    Amelia Miller judged by Matt Zavislan.
    According to Matt, Harvard Westlake’s debater dropped multiple turns and
    the decision was very simple. Regardless
    of whether Matt and I are objectively qualified judges, if we had been strikes
    for Harvard Westlake, it seems like they would have recognized it before the
    round (especially since their coach was in tab) rather than AFTER their kids
    already lost. In addition, when
    one of Scarsdale’s coaches went to tab to discuss the double-win issue and
    claim that speaks for that round should be invalidated, Bietz claimed that the
    “most minimally invasive” thing to do in tab was to retain the speaker points
    that Zavislan had given both debaters.
    That seems rather strange, since the norm with bye rounds is to
    invalidate decisions AND speaker points.
    It’s even stranger because retaining speaker points from that round
    benefitted the Harvard-Westlake debater and placed Grant Reiter at a
    disadvantage. Jim Menick (head of
    tab) was brought into the discussion, and quickly sided with the coach from
    Scarsdale. It’s absurd how Bietz
    tries to bully his way into an advantageous position, even if this involves
    making decisions he’s not entitled to make.

    I heard some possible explanations for the double-win problem,
    but I’m still not sure why Bietz couldn’t have removed Matt and me from the
    rounds before they occurred. I
    think the bigger issue at this tournament were the actions of Aaron
    Timmons. From the beginning of the
    tournament, he showed that he would go to any lengths possible to ensure
    Rebecca’s victory, even at the expense of his other debater.

    In prelims, Nikhil Nag judged a Greenhill debater and dropped
    her. After the round, Nikhil told
    Mr. Timmons he was impressed with the Greenhill debater even though she lost
    the round. Later in the
    tournament, Nikhil was going to judge Rebecca and only then did Mr. Timmons go to
    tab and claim Nikhil was a strike for Greenhill. I’m not here to discuss issues with the way tab handled
    this; I do think Jon posted a good explanation. My problem is with the way Mr. Timmons handles things.

    Later on in the tournament, this only got worse. I witnessed this firsthand when my former
    teammate Jim Huang debated Greenhill KT (Rebecca Kuang and Aaron Timmons) in
    quarters. I refer to them as
    Greenhill KT because Mr. Timmons sat right next to Rebecca (staring down the
    judges) for the entire round.
    After the fiasco with getting the round paired and started, I was
    looking forward to the round occurring with an objective panel, but it’s hard
    to be objective when one of the most powerful members of the community is
    staring you down and will without interrogate you if you drop his kid. That’s exactly what happened in finals
    of the Bronx Round Robin when Jim debated Rebecca in front of a very diverse
    panel and won on a very quick 5-0.
    Mr. Timmons interrogated the judges for at least 20 minutes.

    In the quarters round, Jim beat Rebecca pretty soundly in my
    opinion and in the opinion of a good number of spectators. Somehow, though, two of the judges
    voted for Rebecca (one on an argument which he admitted wasn’t extended in the
    2AR). I’m not questioning the
    integrity of these judges; I’m only pointing out that it’s very easy to make
    the wrong decision when you know what awaits post round if you drop Greenhill.

    In addition, Mr. Timmons dared to question the integrity of my
    good friend Matt Zavislan before finals of the tournament. Matt was as close to mutually preferred
    as any judge who was still there for finals, and Mr. Timmons delayed the
    starting of the round for a very long time because he thought Matt had created
    an uncomfortable environment for Rebecca by making fun of her arguments. I have no idea what Mr. Timmons was
    talking about, but I know Matt is a very impartial judge and would never create
    an uncomfortable environment for a student (I think he proved that by voting
    for Rebecca in finals). The real
    issue is Mr. Timmons’s hypocrisy.
    He is the one creating the uncomfortable environment for debaters! Every
    time I debated Greenhill I was nervous because Mr. Timmons was in the
    room. I knew that even if I won
    the round decisively, I was going to be made to feel bad when Mr. Timmons unendingly
    questioned the judge. This
    happened in my octas round at TOC.
    I sat at one side of the “debaters” table. Team Farhan Damani-Jake Nebel sat at the other. I’m not even kidding.

    What I’m trying to express is that Mr. Timmons makes rounds
    unfairly biased at every level. First, he makes tab change judges and will not
    accept impartial judges over very small/untrue issues. Again, I don’t thing tab handled any of
    these issues incorrectly given the pressure Mr. Timmons was putting them under,
    but the fact that he had access to the tabroom when many students without
    coaches or with coaches who don’t know as much about tab room procedures did
    not have similar access to changing judges, to me this seems quite unfair. Second, he bullies judges into voting
    for his students. This happens all
    the time. Mr. Timmons sits next to
    his debaters, stares down the judges, and complains endlessly when Greenhill
    loses. Third, he creates an
    uncomfortable environment for debaters by making them debate in the room with
    him given his post round actions.

    To be clear, I’m not saying coaches shouldn’t be allowed to
    watch their debaters’ rounds; that would be absurd. I do think, however, that coaches should be required to sit
    behind the judge/not in close proximity to their students. Mr. Timmons’s actions this weekend were
    completely unacceptable. I think
    Erik is correct, resource disparities in our community are a huge issue. Rather than masking that issue, I think
    my post as well as the anonymous post earlier provide a way to point out two
    very clear examples of this issue and provide a starting point for discussion
    of how to hold these coaches accountable for their actions.

    • racist

    • Rebar Niemi

      this sounds a lot like the allegations against lance armstrong. a bunch of hooey from people who are JUST JEALOUS of his success.

      • Rebar Niemi

        #MostDownVotesInDryer

    • I just want to reaffirm Jacob’s disclaimer about the tournament. Jon Cruz ran a fantastic tournament and I don’t think anyone could possibly argue that Jim Menick (who ran tab) acted unfairly in order to intentionally favor one school over another. However, I also believe that Jacob is correct in the substance of his argument. Whether or not any ACTUAL improprieties occurred, there was a very definite APPEARANCE of impropriety which was shocking not only to me, but to many others as well. I understand that Jon Cruz made every effort to be as transparent and open as possible and, once again, nothing here should be read as a criticism of him, the tournament or as a personal attack on any individual.
      Jon Cruz did an admirable job of explaining earlier in this thread the problems encountered with the pref system and everything that I have heard from other individuals has been entirely consistent with that. I do think however, there is a definite problem when the ONLY rounds that were nullified were rounds in which Harvard-Westlake debaters were dropped by Jacob and myself since it is extremely likely that other debaters also had their prefs messed up and yet did not have the resources or knowledge to correct the problem. I don’t think this means that Mike Bietz or Jim Menick (who ran tab) acted inappropriately, I do think that such an occurrence points to larger issues within the community that Jacob addresses.

      On the subject of Mr. Timmons, following the final round I was approached and Mr. Timmons explained Greenhill’s position that I had been overheard by another Greenhill debater being critical of Rebecca. I explained to Mr. Timmons that my comments had been in context of a particular round and that none of them reflected opinions of either Greenhill or Rebecca and apologized to Rebecca if anything made her feel uncomfortable. While I understand the concerns of both Mr. Timmons and Rebecca and have nothing but respect for Rebecca as a debater, I do wish there had been more transparency and that these concerns had been brought to me before the round so that they might have been addressed by me personally instead of having my integrity as a judge discussed and questioned behind closed doors.

      I think Jacob has also provided everyone on NSDupdate with a valuable lesson in how to be critical of the community in an intelligent and thought provoking manner without simultaneously destroying the possibility for discussion on the issue.

    • the one and only jpritt spitting out truth as usual

    • Jacob,

      Given how highly I think of both you and Jim, I found your post pretty disappointing. I don’t want to speak for Ankur, but I’m pretty sure neither of us even remotely gives a shit what Aaron Timmons has to say post-round or about our reputations in the eyes of Greenhill. I can remember several rounds where I’ve happily voted against Greenhill with AT in the back, and I’m pretty sure they don’t pref me all that high. We both made what we thought were correct decisions. If you disagreed I would have been happy to hear your questions or criticisms after the round. But, guess that didn’t happen. Also — “Somehow, though, two of the judges voted for Rebecca (one on an argument which he admitted wasn’t extended in the 2AR). I’m not questioning the integrity of these judges…” — hilarious. At least have the balls to say what you mean.

      Now, I say this without disagreeing with the general point that the amount of pressure AT puts on judges is entirely inappropriate, and I’ve said this on multiple occasions. And, btw, this is not unique to Greenhill — sitting in the back of rooms, or coming in during the RFD to glare at judges and then aggressively interrogate them is a fairly common practice in this community. So maybe we can have a broader discussion about the people who engage in this practice. I have a few names in mind.

      And finally, +1 to the people who would like to talk about the fact that there were fifteen coaches represented in the final round. I think that’s important.

      • John, I actually agree with the majority of your post. I apologize for being overly confrontational in my original post about the decisions in that round. I have tremendous respect for you as an educator, after all you were the first person to teach me circuit debate. I think the discussion should be about the broader issue of coaches interrogating/pressuring judges, but I think Mr. Timmons does this in a way that is far more extreme than most. I know of very few people who would grill for 20 minutes after a very quick 5-0.

    • I have no opinion on most of this, except to congratulate all who succeeded this weekend and to echo the thoughts of those who see resource disparity as a major issue in the activity. In particular, I express no real opinion on whether or not the actions by any coaches this weekend (Cruz, Bietz, Timmons, any other) are a demonstration of “what’s wrong with debate” – I am inclined to think that such claims are probably hyperbolic and wrong, but I’ll admit I don’t follow debate closely enough anymore to know that for sure. I write only to explain my decision in the Greenhill v NOJ debate, as the mischaracterization of my actions is being used as evidence in a larger narrative regarding the activity.

      To clarify: I did not say that I voted on an argument that was not in the 2AR. I DID say that I voted in the fashion my paradigm says, which was in accord with how the 1AR (but not the 2AR) said I ought to evaluate the argument. I DID also tell Rebecca that I would have liked the argument extended; I was somewhat iffy about my own decision because reliance on my paradigm, while fair, is sub-optimal – it’s better when I can make the decision that any other judge would make in a round, not have to make a close call like that. I DID also explain that my paradigm specifically indicates that in a round like that one, I will always vote for the debater that requires less intervention – I am of the opinion that extending arguments for a debater is less intervention than inventing warrants for the other, though I suppose you could disagree with me. Finally, I DID also present an alternative grounds for my decision which was independently sufficient and did not require intervention.

      I should say that I found the round incredibly close, and came very nearly to the same decision that PDVE did – indeed, at the end of the 2AR I was pretty sure that this would be an easy neg ballot. When I looked through my flow and tried to resolve various issues, however, I realized that my visceral reaction was incorrect. I say this only to gently suggest that reliance on the reactions of observers does not always lead to accurate results – unless they have done the hard work of attempting to resolve the debate themselves, they may not have the same appreciation for the surprising difficulty of a given debate. Frankly, I would have had the same reaction as them were I just watching the debate – Jim’s perceptual dominance was a treat to watch.
      Jacob, your nod of understanding when I referenced my paradigm (as opposed to your wild spasm of disbelief when I pointed out Rebecca didn’t extend this argument) had led me to think you understood that this was what happened with my decision – if you didn’t, I echo John’s thought that you should’ve asked me about this. I mean this non-sardonically – I think I learned the most about debate, adaptation, and how different judges saw debates from asking polite questions, and I would have welcomed your trying to engage. I should say that I really appreciated how Jim handled the situation – he kept his questions incredibly polite and seemed genuinely interested in my answers. I would suggest that any debaters watching that round take Jim as a model for how you should handle defeat – he’s an excellent debater that you would do well to model in general, but his grace in that situation deserves special commendation.
      I should also note that I have both voted for and dropped Greenhill kids in many rounds. I have never, however, been treated by AT (or any other Greenhill coach) with anything other than complete respect – they’ll ask me questions, but it’s never been over-the-top. For instance, I dropped Rebecca at the RR in what I thought was a pretty close debate (and, ironically, in a similar situation – she gave an otherwise excellent NR but did not properly articulate argument function, letting the aff sneak out a W). She and AT were very clearly not thrilled with me, but were extremely polite about it.
      Finally, I will note the sheer hilarity of anyone thinking that my reputation in the eyes of pretty much any debate coach is something I care about. Look – AT (or Bietz, or Cruz, or whoever) might be a big deal in the debate world, but (a) I take my ethical obligation as a judge too seriously to care and (b) what, I’m not going to get preffed at the ZERO other tournaments I plan to attend this year? I understand wanting to defend your student/friend from what you perceive as a messed up result, but c’mon bro.

      PS: does disqus automatically email you when someone replies? if not, i’d appreciate anyone who replies to this also emailing me to let me know – am unlikely to check this particularly often.

      • Ankur, I appreciate the response. I apologize for mischaracterizing your decision. The point I was trying to make was not that you or John specifically in that round were influenced by Mr. Timmons’s presence, only that for many judges on the circuit, such a thing could be a problem. Although I disagreed with your decision in the round, I feel like it’s extremely counter-productive to go into the nuances of a specific round on an online forum, and the round already happened so nothing would change anyway. I was inclined to politely ask questions after the round, but Travis, who is Jim’s head coach told me not to and I respect his decision.

        • Fair enough – I have no problem with your disagreeing with my decision. I stabd, but this is likely to be one of those paradigmatic difference things.

    • I’m down to sit behind the judges. I never really thought about the issue before and, while I don’t remember sitting in front of judges more than a couple times, I might be wrong. To any students I may have made uncomfortable by making that mistake: I’m sorry; please know that I wasn’t to try to squeeze the W from you, but only trying to sit wherever is convenient in terms of comfort, outlet proximity, room acoustics, etc. So thanks, Jacob, for bringing that to my attention. I do wish people would complain in person (publicly is fine, IMO) when these things happen rather than waiting until after the tournament when perceived mistakes have already been made.

      As for the rest of this, I’m mostly just kind of confused.

      First, getting clear on the Greenhill strikes conspiracy theory: Are you saying that while it’s usually okay to complain about getting a judge you struck, you lose that right if your teammate got that judge in an earlier round? That seems wrong, since your teammate might not have noticed, cared, or remembered, and they certainly had no obligation to complain. And it would imply that Jon and the tab room made the wrong decision here, although you think that’s excused by the fact that AT is so intimidating (we’re talking about grown men here…). But they clearly made the right decision, since the complaint is valid according to tab rules. Or are you saying that Rebecca didn’t actually strike Nikhil?

      In other words: what exactly do you think was wrong about AT’s complaint when Nikhil was scheduled to judge Rebecca?

      Next, getting clear on your evidence for the Greenhill coach presence conspiracy:
      You write, “I knew that even if I won the round decisively, I was going to be made to feel bad when Mr. Timmons unendingly questioned the judge. This happened in my octas round at TOC. I sat at one side of the ‘debaters’ table. Team Farhan Damani-Jake Nebel sat at the other.” But, if memory serves, that’s not what happened in your octas round at TOC, because
      (a) I didn’t sit at the table,
      (b) I wasn’t next to Farhan (I was facing him from the judges’ side in the corner; there was a couch facing the other direction behind the judges when I walked in),
      (c) you didn’t win the round, and
      (d) I didn’t unendingly question the judges.
      So, what are you talking about? What did I do wrong other than watch the debate?

      Next, are you saying that Jim would’ve won the XLII New York City Invitational if only AT had sat behind the judges? (Since you say Jim clearly won, and that the judges were fair, but that they felt nervous because AT was staring at them.) Just trying to see how serious your allegations are… And, if you knew that kind of thing would happen (AT would intimidate the judges, resulting in an undeserved loss for Jim), why didn’t you speak up at the time?

      Finally, big congrats to Jim on the RR, to Michael on finals, to all who got bids, and to Rebecca.

      • Michael Fried

        boom.

      • I think the complaint about the strikes issue was that it appeared as though Nikhil judging only mattered when it would have been disadvantageous to Rebecca but otherwise Greenhill didn’t think it was necessary to take action. As I said in my earlier post, I honestly don’t think Greenhill did anything wrong and your explanations for the situation is probably accurate but it did give the appearance of impropriety. I’m not sure how exactly this can be fixed (I wouldn’t tell Greenhill or anyone else to stop advocating for their students) but I do think that is an issue that people need to be made aware of.

        Also, as someone who was judging Rebecca in the final round, the presence of AT didn’t make me want to vote for Rebecca any more than the presence of John Scoggin made me want to vote for Michael because I feel like I can rationally justify my decisions to either party.

      • Jake, you’re right I’d like to clarify some things about my initial post. My point about the Nikhil issue was that if Greenhill had struck Nikhil, it seems like Mr. Timmons would have sorted that out before the first round and not before his A debater had Nikhil in a more important round. It seems like this issue was handled at the wrong time. To me this seems to suggest either a) Mr. Timmons was lying and Nikhil wasn’t a strike for Greenhill or b) as a coach, Mr. Timmons cares far less about his less experienced debaters.

        Regarding the second part of my post/my round at TOC, my original post was written poorly. I wrote it in a word document and added a bunch of things at different times, which made that paragraph incoherent at times. My point was not that you grilled in my round against Farhan, just that that round was an example of when I was sort of uncomfortable. An example of Greenhill coaches actually grilling was finals of the Bronx RR, where Mr. Timmons, Ryan Davis, and Chris Castillo stayed in the room where finals had occurred for 20 minutes with Mr. Timmons interrogating them about their decisions.

        I don’t think the result would have been different if Mr. Timmons had chosen a different seat. I think Ankur and John would have decided the same way and I do recognize that their decisions in the round were unbiased. My point is simply that the way Mr. Timmons handles Greenhill’s affairs at tournaments as if Greenhill debaters are always entitled to a win creates an unfair amount of pressure for judges, debaters, and tab staff alike.

        • So Nikhil-gate is NOT a reason why AT made it unfairly easier for RK to win. (Don’t accuse AT of lying.)

          And you were sort of uncomfortable because I watched your octas round at TOC and did nothing wrong.

          And the results of this weekend would not have been different if AT sat where you wanted him to sit, or spoke when you wanted him to speak.

          So I don’t understand how any of this implies that AT made Rebecca “unfairly more likely to succeed than others” at Bronx, as you imply in your response to Noah.

          Look, Jacob, I agree it’s important to discuss how coaches should interact with judges and the role that coaches should play in teaching their students. But you shouldn’t imply that Rebecca won this weekend for any reason other than her own talent and hard work JUST so you can have that other discussion. Make a separate thread and call it, “Is Timmons-style questioning okay?”

          (For the record, my view is that questioning judges improves the overall quality of the judge pool, provides crucial information about why exactly the judge made her decision that you wouldn’t otherwise obtain, and helps you understand why your student lost if you didn’t see the round yourself [we know debaters are unreliable sources there]. And, in my experience, it has not increased the likelihood of that judge voting for my student in future rounds. So I don’t do it as some kind of secret plan to win free ballots for my students. And I don’t think AT does it for that reason either.)

          • Ok that’s fine. I won’t accuse Mr. Timmons of lying. I guess that means you’re just conceding that he cares far less about his debaters who aren’t Rebecca. To me, as an educator this is just as bad if not worse than lying. Also, you’re just trying to make me look like a bad person for accusing Mr. Timmons of lying. If he didn’t lie, prove it and then either justify why he waited until Rebecca’s round to remove Nikhil or why not caring about younger debaters is ok.

            Again, I never claimed you did anything wrong in my octas round. Yes, having my opponent’s coach in very close proximity to my opponent during the round made me a little uncomfortable.

            My point is not that any specific thing Mr. Timmons did this weekend is what allowed Rebecca to win. Rebecca obviously wouldn’t have won if she were not a fantastic debater. I was never denying that Rebecca is a great debater; my point is simply that Mr. Timmons has been creating an uncomfortable environment for debaters facing Greenhill and judges judging Greenhill for at least as long as I’ve been in the activity.

            I apologize if my original post was read as implying that Rebecca won ONLY because of Mr. Timmons. My point is that Mr. Timmons creates a drastically uneven playing field. I’m not an nsdupdate admin, so I can’t control what new threads there are. If that had been a thread, I would have posted my comment there. I felt like it was appropriate to voice my concerns here because I was discussing things that occurred at the Bronx tournament.

            Again, I’m not saying questioning judges is bad. I’m just saying questioning judges endlessly even when your kid gets absolutely crushed and sitting in almost every round your kid debates to intimidate judges is something that needs to end.

          • I have a few things to say, and then I’m out for awhile.

            First, in the real world, dropping something doesn’t mean you concede to it. I left the Nikhil thing as is because, as you clarified, it was not evidence for your accusation that AT created an unfair playing field. Also, you say, “If he didn’t lie, prove it” — that’s not how it works when you publicly accuse someone of lying, let alone a NFL/TOC/TFA Hall of Fame coach. It’s actually libel, since you happen to be wrong and didn’t take enough care to figure out whether your accusation was right. I know that because, if you had just asked AT, he would have told you that Matali and Rebecca had different prefs… So, as I tried to get you to do earlier, just drop it.

            Second, you apologize for something which you didn’t say (that AT is the only reason Rebecca won), and which I never thought you said. But you did imply, without apologizing, that AT made Rebecca “unfairly more likely to succeed than others” at Bronx (which follows from AT creating a “drastically uneven playing field”) — another accusation which you still have NOT supported with evidence. So, again, back it up or back off.

            Third, you can create a new thread under Community : Submit your Articles. That’s how we were blessed by last year’s topic on LD Leaks and intellectual property.

            Fourth, we don’t question judges to intimidate them. I don’t think it does intimidate them, and it especially doesn’t intimidate them after a 5-0 loss. And even if it did intimidate them, I don’t think that would INCREASE our students’ odds of winning. So that’s not why we question judges. I outlined some of the reasons why we do question judges, regardless of the outcome, in my last post, which I’m happy to discuss at more length after you apologize for downplaying Rebecca’s victory (e.g., the “Greenhill TK” comment).

          • Jake, I don’t think there’s any point in us continuing to argue about this because we are never going to agree about whether the way Greenhill questions judges/acts at tournaments is fair or unfair.

            I will, however, defend myself from these absurd accusations of libel. I never said Mr. Timmons lied. I said that “it seems to me” that one of two things was the case. Then I explicitly said “I won’t accuse Mr. Timmons of lying.” I’ll drop “Nikhil-gate.”

            I think our ultimate disagreement comes down to whether or not Greenhill’s interrogation tactics are fair or unfair. Obviously you and I (or Noah and I or Mr. Timmons and I) will never agree on this issue. I have spoken to numerous coaches and debaters since this flamewar started, all of whom agreed with me that Greenhill’s practices are intimidating and many of whom said they did not feel comfortable posting non-anonymously because of the negative consequences it might have for their reputation. Feel free to disagree with all of us if you want. I’m simply expressing the sentiment of the community that’s been around for as long as I can remember.

            Finally, I am backing up my concerns with evidence. I felt uncomfortable when I debated in front of Greenhill’s coaches, and many debaters and judges that I’ve spoken to also felt uncomfortable. Further, interrogating decisions after quick 5-0s endlessly would definitely make me as a judge think a lot more before I dropped that school’s debater again (no one wants to sit through that, and if you vote for Greenhill chances are huge that you won’t have to). Maybe that makes me a horrible judge. Or maybe that just makes me willing to admit what most other members of the community are also thinking.

            Further, I really wouldn’t have been able to bring this up at a tournament for a few reasons. a) This is not simply my issue. This is not a private issue between myself and Mr. Timmons. This is a discussion that I know many members of the community wanted to take part in (and I think it’s safe to say I’m correct here given the number of comments on this thread in such a short period of time). b) I’m not a coach for New Orleans Jesuit. I was not a coach for any debater at the Bronx tournament. It would have been inappropriate for me to act on behalf of someone I’m not entitled to represent. c) Honestly, I would have been nervous confronting Mr. Timmons in person. He is as you mentioned a Hall of Fame coach with many allies. I’m a college freshman who currently coaches two kids who are the only LD debaters for their program. I don’t think this is an inappropriate forum for my concerns.

          • You’re right on the libel thing — my bad. I interpreted your claims too strongly and I’m sorry.

            Yes it would make you a bad judge if you would vote for Greenhill just so you don’t have to sit through an AT interrogation. No I don’t think most other judges actually think that way. Voting the wrong way should make you feel MUCH worse than having to answer AT’s questions until he gets it. In fact, I think more judges are pissed off by the tactic than intimidated by it (as evidenced by this thread), so it would be a very shitty strategy if our goal were to get judges on our side. Your other evidence is that you felt uncomfortable when we watched rounds. But I thought you were cool with coaches watching rounds! I’m not giving that up, for obvious reasons.

            I wasn’t saying to bring up the issue PRIVATELY — I was saying to do it publicly, in person, at the tournament, before a round when AT is about to watch and/or when he is questioning judges. You wouldn’t be acting on behalf of anyone! But, as your courage to express your view on this thread indicates, you don’t NEED to be acting on any particular person’s behalf to call out what you believe to be unfair to the COMMUNITY. I get that you were nervous, that’s fine.

            My point wasn’t that this is an inappropriate forum. I never said that. I said that if you genuinely thought AT’s behavior made it harder for Rebecca’s competition to win, you should have said so rather than just letting it slide at the time.

          • anondebater8

            Jacob, you started this mess. It was you who argued that it’s more likely for judges to make a wrong decision with Greenhill coaches in the room or doing ‘interrogations. Two of the judges in question have already responded to this ridiculous claim and then you backed off.

            Here you have helped call for the public condemnation of a coach, falling into the typical nasty politics and hostile environment that you say shouldn’t exist, as you argue for people being “comfortable” in the activity. You were the one who called Rebecca “Greenhill KT.” You brought Rebecca into this, you could have followed the lead of generally opposing post rounding but you didn’t because you thought you’d get an audience with the crowd of people trying to destroy AT or call for his removal. Shameful.

            And when you yourself behave badly by mischaracterizing other judges’ RFDs, or the TOC round, you expect mercy and the benefit of the doubt, something you don’t suggest for AT.

            Your silence is and that of Paras among others, is also telling as you have nothing to say about calls to remove someone from the community, how your words may be affecting Rebecca, or the downright name calling from Lifer at Law. I guess you guys all think it’s ok to say and treat anyone however you want if you don’t agree with them. Disgusting.

            It’s a good thing you aren’t a coach for Jesuit, I don’t think they’d argue that your behavior here is at all in line with their beliefs in “compassion and conscience.”

          • Rebar Niemi

            Shameful. Disgusting. shocking!

            i have chills this is so strongly worded yum.

            It’s like a trailer from that movie where the guy mock shivers and says “Ooooh! Exciting!”

          • anondebater8

            Rebar, I think the LD “community” jumped the shark a few years ago. And in terms of the “Strong wording” there are other words I’d use to describe Jacob, Moses, etc., based on their childish behavior here, at the Bronx tournament, and other examples. Those words would be much stronger and more profane. But I think Jake Nebel’s use of the term “assholes” sums it up nicely for me.

          • Rebar Niemi

            Oh good identifier of your choice, I certainly do not disagree that debate has long since experienced the apocalypse of meaning so prevalent in our society and exemplified by dear Henry and his water skis.

            I nod to your increase in profanity being translated into more amenable terms.
            I was actually just complimenting your wording. I thought you wrote powerfully. No lie.

            Don’t really agree with some of your comments – but ya Moses is wrong.

            UPDATE: Love you Moses, but you’re wrong.

          • Although I will not take sides in this imbroglio, nor will I defend the actions of any parties involved in here, I would question your tactic of responding to Jacob’s post. If you take issue with the manner in which the original post was conducted (Jacob’s I mean), you should have been courteous in your dealings with him as well. Calling him a child and describing his conduct as shameful and disgusting, and inditing his character based on his post is not a productive use of time (especially the “stronger” words that you decided not to share — I shudder to think of what those could be). If this is going to become a discussion of Jacob Pritt’s character, I will gladly rush in to his defense. As a scared, third-year, upcoming senior, Jacob, as my lab leader, took me under his wing and has been incredibly kind, “courteous”, and “compassionate”, to use your own words, as a debate coach and as a friend. But I don’t think that’s the discussion we’re trying to have. If the discussion is how we treat other people in the debate community, I think you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution. I think Jake pointed out in an earlier post that it’s easy to hide behind anonymity. I think that works in both directions. Not only is it easier to be less considerate when you aren’t accountable, I think it’s easier to be inconsiderate to a number than to a person. I think Jacob has expressed that the “Greenhill KT” comment was poorly phrased and poorly thought out, and I can definitely see why you think it was in bad taste, but I don’t think that’s the point of his argument — I think you’re intentionally missing the forest for the trees. I don’t think personal attacks are ever justified, and we all have a lot to do and think about with regard to how we treat other people in the community, especially online. So let’s be part of the solution. Tell us who you are and let’s have a meaningful conversation on actual issues, rather than name-calling.

          • I actually don’t recall an apology about the “Greenhill KT” comment. Maybe I missed something in the thread though.

          • anondebater8

            “People shouldn’t angrily and strongly respond to false
            accusations and insults made about them on these boards.” What a joke of an
            argument. That’s not how life works. AT and others are human: no one takes
            unprovoked public / communal attacks on them with silence and a smile—and nor
            should they. If you start a public attack, expect a strong response in return—maybe
            that’s an argument why we shouldn’t start online public attacks on these boards
            in the first place?

            Communication is a TWO way street. Those people (including
            some of the recent graduate “coaches” here) think calling people cheaters,
            demanding firings of coaches like Bietz, asserting birther-like/moving target
            logic concerning corruption are all justified based on the importance of
            discussion. You can “discuss” all you want, but there are consequences for
            treating people like that-more on this later.

            It’s sad that the head coaches of some of the
            schools represented can’t step up and discipline (i.e. fire or censor) their errant and naughty assistant coaches
            but have instead have let the inmates run the LD asylum over the past few
            years. I am CERTAIN these schools’ head administrators would not listen to “discussion
            is good” as a justification for such poor sportsmanship if they were alerted.

            And no I’m not involved with LD, Greenhill doesn’t pay me, I
            don’t volunteer for them, and I have had better things to do the last few years
            than to be in Kentucky. But know that there is an audience which follows the LD
            community (particularly including known
            high school policy and NDT coaches) who watch this board and have followed the
            LD’s recent controversies the past two years. We are disgusted by how LDers
            treat each other on these forums as they single out people, students and coaches and then act shocked that such victims “dare” to be angry about it.

            For example: Moses, you can’t make false charges about AT and then whine
            that we are missing the BIG POINT when the basis of that point was wrong. You
            had the “prep time” to consider your response in advance. But you picked the
            wrong person, and chose the wrong evidence, so it’s game over. Just because you
            accuse someone doesn’t mean you get a free pass on the burden of being precise
            and accurate THE FIRST TIME you make a charge. Advocacy shifts are lame.

            If you want a private, serious conversation about race go
            read the literature like we policy debaters do. But wrongly accusing people is a
            bad strategy for getting people to spend their free time to talk with you on
            Facebook. Step 1 is to put aside your racial denial and privilege. Step 2 is to move on- constantly
            rehashing the same old LD TOC round is lame. Let it go, have a social life
            instead. Step 3 is to heed Joe Biden’s statement “Facts matter.”

            It’s time for debate students and some of its recent
            graduates to retire these old, ineffective, and laughable attacks on AT and the
            Greenhill team.

            Five take aways: 1. If you make public accusations, you give
            yourself the burden to have correctly interpreted the situation and have rock
            solid evidence which is well written and precisely stated. If you aren’t 100%
            sure of all of these things, DO NOT start a flame war.

            2. If coming on public boards to trash someone but being
            guilty of the same sins or excusing your friends who do worse than the accused is
            begging for a harsh response.

            3. If you don’t want to be attacked personally in public,
            don’t start attacking. Note: free speech goes both ways. Didn’t the Jan/Feb
            2012 “discussion” teach you guys anything about how debaters should
            treat each other as a community?

            4. If we are going to talk about integrity and not being
            “scary”—that requirement applies to everyone, double standards suck. Let’s not
            act like only one person is the cause, sole or primary person who engages in
            nasty post, threatening rounding. I have heard names of camp staff members at
            multiple camps who (unlike AT) have yelled, cursed at judges and threatened udges’ camp jobs for dropping their kids. These people are not
            African-American, and many of them have/have had high levels of responsibility
            at today’s big LD camps. Hypocrisy is bad. If you don’t like post rounding, STOP
            POST ROUNDING (that goes for students and young coaches too).

            Or Judges—get some backbone and tell coaches and students who
            post round to be quiet, or refuse to answer questions. Judges who don’t have
            the cajones to defend their authority and insist on appropriate
            behavior are a lot of the problem and have allowed the inmates to run the
            insanity ward of LD.

            5. You should expect the people you attack on these boards
            (or call corrupt, “scary” or “intimidating”) to not want to be in your
            presence, refuse invitations to speak privately and –as often happens–hate
            you.

            If you want a different outcome, choose a different method.
            What else do you expect? The accused will want to be your friend? Hire you for a camp? Provide a job reference?
            Recommend you for coaching opportunities?
            Drink coffee while discussing about structural inequities in debate? Ha!

            In the meantime, feel free to flame away and make bigger
            idiots of yourselves—just know that you are being judged—as a
            person. It’s amazing how you all dog each other on these boards and
            then expect the person you attacked to
            want to be your friend, talk to you, offer RR invites to your students, share
            evidence, etc. You all really think you’ll have a voice this year in the NFL topic process after the trashing that this online community did to a coach who took his own unpaid free labor to provide some degree of transparency to the process? Are you all nuts? Entitled? On drugs?

            From an outsider’s perspective, these tepid,
            late apologies after all of this mean nothing. The damage has already been done. Consider this a
            teachable moment. You don’t get a second chance when you try to “take out” someone you could have had a reasonable, civil, private conversation with before hand once you hit the nuclear button of an online public call out. But hey, I’m sure the next dumb flame war will start up soon enough from people who haven’t learned their lesson.

            And no- I will not use my name. If what I saw in this post and the blasphemous ones against Mr. Theis are any indications of “meaningful conversation” then as they say in Shark Tank, “I’m out.”

          • You say that my “silence…about the calls to remove someone from the community, how your words may be affecting Rebecca, or the downright name calling from Lifer at Law is shocking.”

            On your first point: I am not asking to remove AT from the community. Learn to read dawg–my point is only that there’s a distinction between asking questions post-round politely and asking questions post-round in a confrontational manner. I think AT has often asked questions in a confrontational manner that is at best uncomfortable and at worst mean and unnecessary. I also think AT is a great asset to this community. He runs a damn good tournament and his kids are consistently amongst the best in the country. That doesn’t happen by accident. Let’s be real, AT probably knows twice as much about debate than most LD coaches.

            My problem isn’t with AT as a person or educator, my problem is with AT being a straight douchebag to people post-rounds when his kids lose.

            On your third point: No clue who lifer at law is, so not gonna bother responding to this.

            On your second point: I don’t think the following tirade is necessary since all my posts have been either about the fact that theres a resource disparity in debate or that the way AT conducts himself post round is inappropriate (see post above–control F qualitative), but i feel the need to defend myself because you call me out and I take that seriously.

            The only comment I have made that could possibly imply that I condone phrases such as Greenhill KT was when I said “the one and only jpritt spitting out truth as usual”. This was a poorly constructed statement that I apologize for. Anyone who knows me knows I was just saying jacob is my best friend, awesome, and pointing out a very valid issue we as a community face. I didn’t even read the Greenhill KT part–to be honest with you, I just think jpritt is the shit and so I said something that reflected that sentiment.

            The first time Jacob and I ACTUALLY SPOKE about this was last night and I told him, verbatim, that calling Rebecca Greenhill KT was “yes i think its wrong. its immature and mean. it also makes you look like a tool since you aren’t debating anymore; you are fighting a battle that isn’t yours. it also causes people to not take you seriously.”
            So, before you accuse me of something as serious as your accusation, please make sure you know what you’re talking about.
            To sum up:1. I have a problem with people who harass judges after a debate round. Asking questions = totally chill. Yelling and questioning the intelligence of the judge = not as chill. 2. Congrats to everyone who did well at bronx–its a tough tournament and ya’ll should be proud.3. Check your facts before you accuse people of harassing a high school student.
            Goodnight ya’ll. Here’s to hopefully many more days of this flamewar–it makes sitting in ochem so much more entertaining.

          • Jake, I think that this response and a lot of your other responses on this thread illustrate a problem that I’ve noticed on other threads as well. It seems that whenever a coaches actions are questioned, one of their first lines of defense is to toss in their students, and attempt to villainize the person who raises the issue by claiming that they are trying to take away from the accomplishments of the debaters. I think that this shows a trend that is particularly harmful, especially when we are trying to create community norms. I think that this also shows some of the validity of Jacob’s posting, in that it disagreeing with someone like you is a very unattractive prospect. I think that this tactic is used alarmingly often, and it looks almost as if you are attempting to shame people into agreeing with you. Take, for example, Annie’s post above. It had NOTHING to do with Rebecca being a girl, which she even says later, yet you bring in issues of gender in debate to try and make those downvoters look bad, and create the illusion of righteous fury. (side note: who gives a shit about downvotes). I also think that things like this draw strong comparisons to the boy who cried wolf, and trivialize those issues, but that is a discussion for another time. I can think of lots of times that this has happened by the ‘Hill’s coaching staff, and not just online. To tie this back to the initial discussion, I remember Mr. Timmons using this exact tactic in the run off between Lintz and Jalon at TOC a few years ago, mocking one of the judges who had said that both debaters should be proud of making it this far by insinuating the judge was saying that Jalon shouldn’t have expected to make it this far and attaching some sort of racist implication.

            Sorry if this is rambling and unorganized and doesn’t make sense, but my ADD is kicking in.

            Anyways, long story short, I think empirically you, Jake, and the other members of the community (Mr. Timmons) do try to, for lack of a better word, coerce people into agreeing with you, both in round and online, and that Jake, your responses on this thread cede this point.

            Side note, congrats to all the debaters, I’m not trying to take away from debater’s accomplishments, this post is just my views and unaffiliated with the opinions of any of my debaters yada yada. Also, any downvoters should really think about how that hurts the community, downvoting an openly jewish man on this thread.

          • Do you know what the word “coerce” means?

            Yes, obviously, I try to persuade others to agree with me. Don’t all debaters do that? But I don’t recall ever using force or threats. I get that you lacked a better word. So go find one.

            And I didn’t throw Rebecca into this — Jacob did. (“Greenhill TK,” unfairly easier for her to win, didn’t deserve to win against Jim, etc.)

            My opinion on the gender thing was, and is, genuine. I added, “Downvoters: I don’t think you’re misogynists,” and clarified that I was NOT offering an explanation of why people downvoted. I was making the much simpler claim that (a) people who downvoted Annie’s post must really have a lot of hate (her post was nice and uncontroversial), and (b) in a community with that much hate, gender representation problems are not going away.

            The downvoters SHOULD feel bad! Disagreeing with Annie doesn’t make you a woman-hater (her post has nothing to do with gender, as she notes, and I didn’t mean to suggest otherwise). But it does make you an asshole!

          • anondebater8

            “To tie this back to the initial discussion, I remember Mr. Timmons using this exact tactic in the run off between Lintz and Jalon at TOC a few years ago, mocking one of the judges who had said that both debaters should be proud of making it this far by insinuating the judge was saying that Jalon shouldn’t have expected to make it this far and attaching some sort of racist implication.”

            Did you watch the doubles TOC round? At what point did AT say ANYTHING during the RFDs?. This is pathetic–the round and RFDs are online. The person who yelled at the judge wasn’t even in LD, they were from policy. Not all black people are the same, Moses. You owe AT an apology.

          • I was there, and it was Mr. Timmons who did say that, I recall that not all of the grilling was recorded. But this is exactly what I’m talking about. Instead of actually responding to the substance of my post, part of which was that people bring in issues (like race or gender) that were not previously a part of the argument into it in order to shame the person who they are arguing with. If you can message me on facebook (which, if you are the person I think you are based on your bad punctuation, all caps, calling me racist, poor grammar, and the way you don’t actually answer anything, would require unblocking me) or post a link to that round and RFD and I can see where these comments were made and I was indeed remembering it wrong, than I will rescind that statement. But I’m fairly sure I am remembering this correctly.

          • Rebar Niemi

            hahaha wait who am i on facebook? SHUT up Aboot MY spelling and capitalization?

          • anondebater8

            The person who made the statements is recorded on Youtube . Go look at the video again. I’m not calling you racist, but I certainly think you have some work to do as you have constantly whined about serious discussions of race in debate when they are brought up. I would respond to your post if there was substance, but I’m not going to waste my time line-by-lining someone who tries to rehash the Jalon debate over and over in public. I’ll help you out, here’s the link to the RFDs. Now watch it, note who is the person in thet blue shirt talking about the claim you made—it’s not a man with glasses is it? Now apologize for lying about AT’s behavior in the RFDs. Point is–and everyone here should listen– if you want to go publicly bash people, do some fact checking first. It’s probably a good idea before you embarrass yourself, like Moses did here. Otherwise, you have ZERO credibility. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=244JGva6Uhs&feature=channel&list=UL

          • Mr. Timmons (who you refer to as the man in glasses) did in fact respond the way I said he had. He was mocked the judge by saying “You did good Jalon!” in a derogatory way, attempting to imitate the judge. I gave my interpretation of the comment but whatever. Look dude, this was a single example. It wasn’t near the entirety of my post. you are doing literally exactly what I said was the problem, which is, instead of actually responding to shit, just trying to use isms and shame the person and make it look like they have “ZERO” credibility. I’m not going to respond to you on this forum anymore though. It’s probably super annoying for everyone else. I encourage you to FB or email me, and we can have an actual discussion. I would, but I’m blocked by you, so thats #awkotaco. If not, then you can go away and just stew in my apparent racism

          • Rebar Niemi

            wait… I’M not the man in the glasses???

            what?????
            ??????

            ??
            ?

          • For what it’s worth, AT did say exactly what Moses quotes him as saying. I was physically present for the RFD. Were you?

          • Rebar Niemi

            i care about downvotes. and you can say whatever you want about whoever you want, but the other judge in lintz/alexander DID SAY some ish that sounded pretty patronizing in a situation where that is very easily interpreted as race-related. Look I don’t think you’re trying to defend that dude, but as someone who was right there – whether he meant it to come out this way what i heard was “YOU should be happy to be here” not “YOU BOTH should be happy to be here.” I mean seriously he should defend himself/give his account if its really important but I remember being in that round and immediately thinking “wow that is some pretty offensive shit to say after this round” because there was NO way to hear that in the context of the round and decisions and have it sound non-racially charged. I think that something people don’t think about a lot is uh… the context… of their words/actions… and… of their privilege? This is a situation where you really can’t fault Mr. Timmons whatsoever.

            i downvoted you and i’m a self-hating jew. these are synonymous?

    • i don’t really have an opinion on this issue and I never insert myself into these discussions, but I just want to say that I think it’s really rude to call Rebecca “Greenhill KT.” You can have a huge problem with how timmons has acted but calling her by half her name is just demeaning and takes away from her as a debater. Regardless of what you think about the situation, Rebecca works very hard and there is no need for name calling for you to get your point across. Inserting random attacks like that just isn’t necessary, even if people do agree with you (and I even don’t know if I do/don’t).

      • I’m shocked that so many people are downvoting Annie’s post.

        I’m just puzzled that the only woman on this thread (excluding possible anonymous women) has been downvoted for asking people not to belittle the accomplishments of one of the most talented and hardworking debaters in the country — who also happens to be the only woman to clear at TOC last year. And we wonder why there are gender representation problems in debate…

        • TheBerkeleyBear

          Or 20 people in the debate community really hate Greenhill. I agree with what Annie said but I think my theory is more probable.

          • Haha, true.

            I should clarify: I wasn’t trying to explain WHY people downvoted Annie. (Downvoters: I don’t think you are misogynists!) I was just suggesting that, in a community where people have enough hate to downvote a reasonable request like, “Please be nice to this girl,” we’re bound to have gender representation problems.

          • TheBerkeleyBear

            Truth probably lies somewhere in the middle of our thoughts for why there was enough hate for Annie’s post to be downvoted. Anyhow, it seems like your comment spurred some justice upvotes for Annie, so that’s great. +1 for respect and appreciation

        • I didn’t just post that to defend Rebecca because she’s a girl.

          Name calling in any sense is just unnecessary and mean. If you want to hate Greenhill, fine. Greenhill KT didn’t have to be in the post – all it does it create a hostile environment. People who agree with Jacob probably disagree with me, but insulting high schoolers publicly, when they are still debating, isn’t necessary no matter what. Rebecca did not ask Timmons to do what he does; she did not ask for people to mess with prefs. Even if you think Rebecca did not deserve to win, that’s fine – don’t personally attack her as a debater.

    • Jacob, I’d just like to say that Mr. Timmons isn’t the only one who does
      this. My coach (Todd Newkirk) was interrogated after an RFD at
      Greenhill by a coach of a small school. It seems like your singling out
      big school programs but that’s wrong. I’m not going to say who it was,
      but I just want to make it clear that it isn’t only big school programs
      that do this.

      • Dhruv, my issue isn’t primarily with the size of school/coaching staffs. My issue is with the uncomfortable environment created by certain coaches. I’m not sure the extent of Todd’s grilling, but my point is not that only Greenhill grills. My only point is that Grillin’ with Timmons is far more common and severe than any other program I’ve seen.

        • Maybe this is just me, but I don’t understand the problem with coaches interrogating judges. Debaters who think they’re god’s gift to the activity do it all the time. I’d prefer to argue with a grown adult and professional educator over a decision than with a high school kid.

          • ipgunn

            As a general disclaimer, none of my comments are meant to be specific to this situation nor do they particularly reference any individuals involved at Bronx. This is a response to Jared’s comment about coaches interrogating judges and whether such a practice is a problem.

            First, there is a qualitative difference between a debater questioning a judge’s decision and a coach doing so. Debaters themselves experience the direct consequences of losing the round, distinct from a coach’s experience.

            Moreover, debaters who question judges at worst risk appearing rude and then still have the option to strike the judge if they feel they have made a poor impression on the judge. Coaches who are unhappy with judge decisions may decide to drop the judge’s debaters, or to use their considerably stronger influence to tarnish a judge’s reputation, or to tell assistant coaches and allied judges to drop the judge’s debaters.

            Additionally, it is nice that you do not know any judges who may be influenced by a coach interrogating a judge about a decision, or knowing that a coach will interrogate the judge about a decision. I cannot say the same. I know judges who have been and continue to be influenced by such things for a variety of reasons. Appearances, influence, and politics play a large role in decisions at tournaments throughout the year and that is a fact of debate which will not change in the foreseeable future.

            Having personally been on the receiving end of “interrogations” of this sort from both debaters and coaches and having witnessed the same occur to other judges over a number of years, my personal opinion is the exact opposite of yours. First, although some may expect debaters to be more mature, it is quite understandable when an adolescent on the losing side of a debate is upset about the round and instead of politely asking a judge about the RFD proceeds to vent his frustration on the judge. It is quite another thing when coaches, who are no longer competitors, and in many cases adults years removed from their last round as debaters engage in the same sort of immature response. Here I am not talking about merely trying to understand why a judge made the decision, how a judge evaluated a card, etc. I am talking about the deliberate, repeated, sometimes implicit, though often enough explicit, questioning of the integrity of the judge in the round, sometimes privately, but just as frequently publicly, in front of the students in the round and other members of the community. In short, yes, I expect coaches to show more maturity, respect, and good sense than teenage debaters.

            Second, it makes more sense to me to “argue” with the high school kid than the grown adult. As a preliminary point, there should be no arguing, which is the problem here. The arguing is done in the round. Questioning a judge to understand a decision is entirely appropriate. Arguing with the judge within the context of the round (here I am not talking about private conversations in which, for example, I might question my good friend’s decision in a round to his face) is rude in my opinion. The decision is made and attempting to actually argue with a judge after the round does nothing unless one is attempting to unethically alter the decision which has already been made. If the decision comes as a result of a paradigmatic choice, then it is especially ridiculous seeing as the debater likely had access to the paradigm and still did not adapt. Furthermore, more often than not in these specific situations, the debater actually knows in a fuller and more nuanced fashion what happened in the round than the coach does, especially if the coach questioning the decision has not flowed the round. And, coaches who aggressively question the decision in front of other debaters watching the round, may affect those debaters in a significant way in determining their strikes and strategies in future rounds.

            Third, if you believe that coaches are really “professional educators” then it seems you would be even more opposed to this practice. Behavior on the part of coaches in this regard only provides an example to students that publicly questioning the integrity of judges in rounds is not only appropriate and permissible, but in some cases is the course of action that should always be taken. Not to mention that coaches behaving in such a fashion do not reflect well from a professional standpoint upon their coaching staff, programs, and schools.

            As a general point, insofar as questioning the decision of judges relates to paradigms, to do so goes against most of the current norms in the activity. If, despite paradigmatic transparency to an extent which was unheard of 10 years ago and paradigmatic detail which was lacking even as recently as 5 years ago, one still questions decisions made as a result of a paradigm, to me that suggests that one disagrees with the notion of adaptation, and therefore believes that disclosure of paradigm is irrelevant to the debate.

            As a second general point, I would contend, though I admit some might disagree, that a coach publicly interrogating a decision to the extent that the coach raises the issue of the judge’s integrity when a judge has objectively approached a round and rationally does the best job he or she could do in adjudicating the round and has been open and amenable to explaining the decision is at the very least impolite, if not inappropriate and uncalled for.

            Above and beyond these points is another issue. It is one thing to do this in a close, contested round, or in the occasional round in which one feels a decision was unfair. Perhaps we could all excuse such behavior in the heat of the moment, due to the passion for fairness, or with high stakes on the line. However, there are some (and here I have a number of individuals I can easily think of) who make such behavior the rule, not the exception. There are those whom one can count on to question decisions no matter how lopsided the debate was, no matter how little is on the line, no matter the importance of the round or the tournament. This is worse than merely interrogating a judge for a perceived individual bad judgment. It is about an inability to rationally coach an activity and to recognize the fundamental rationality of others in the community. If a coach disagrees with the decision every time his or her debaters lose a round, then either 1) his or her debaters are the best debaters of all time and objectively should win every round, no matter what; 2) his or her debaters have spectacularly bad luck in which they encounter a number of unfair, biased, or poor decision-making judges throughout their years; 3) a combination of the two; or 4) the coach’s universal disagreement with all the unfavorable decisions is unfair at least some, if not most of the time. It seems the least fanciful option is the fourth. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there are a number of coaches who coach debaters who, if given objective judges, would win every round they compete in.

      • lol did i really just get compared to AT…

        • Michael Fried

          I see the similarities

        • PlazaMexico

          Jeff having you in the back of the room was probably the scariest part of any round I debated.

    • HondaWang

      I think it’s safe to point out that these are repeated offenses by the same individual over the past two years (at the very least).

    • As a disclaimer: my post does not reflect the views of Jesuit High School, Travis Smith, Ian Gunn, Josh Tupler, Jim Huang, or anyone else who has ever been affiliated with New Orleans Jesuit. I speak only for myself here.

      • Here’s what’s true: Aaron Timmons is open to a more productive, civil, and meaningful conversation about the role of Greenhill coaches in the back of rooms, specifically in regard to how their “questioning” of judges may influence those judges or other judges to vote for Greenhill debaters in the future. How do I know this? Because I initiated that conversation with him yesterday, privately. It was civil, respectful, direct, and more productive than the vitriol expressed in many of these threads. It is one thing to harbor suspicion of the actions of a powerhouse program, as I have done in the past; but it is another thing to say things like AT is a “worthless human being.” Those kinds of comments are totally unacceptable, hateful, and embarrassing. They stem from an attention-seeking, brainless mob mentality that only fuels Greenhill’s suspicion of racism and sexism; furthermore, it prevents meaningful discourse about the matter and any possibility of change. It’s hard not to feel shame when all the usual Greenhill bashing that I have ever listened to or participated in at tournaments gets morphed into such hateful, arrogant speech. Come on, people, to speak of Timmons or Bietz in such hateful ways suggests a total lack of growth and perspective. The worth of a person is far more more than who he or she is as a debate coach. I certainly don’t want to be judged solely on who I am as a debate coach! Aaron is a father, a husband, and a leader of many, many former students and colleagues who speak of him very admirably. Perhaps your perspective isn’t fully fleshed out. I’m sorry for all this didacticism, but I just wanted people to know that Aaron is open to direct, one-on-one communication about his role in the community; I only wish I had brought up my concerns about his program to him earlier.

    • I want to add a couple points I haven’t seem anyone make or address yet.

      To me, it seems that nobody has mentioned how the pressure of a formidable coach in the room may actually effect a judge. I agree with the sentiment that there are very few judges who would ever intentionally make a decision BECAUSE of the presence of an intimidating coach’s presence. However, I am of the belief that there is a significant subconscious factor, especially among judges that have less than 100% confidence in themselves already. Unfortunately, not all judges are hardened veterans who have years of credibility to their name. Rather, it is in the former case where it doesn’t seem unreasonable for a very close debate to fall one way.

      My view is that there is a right and a wrong way for a coach to be present in the room during a debate. In my opinion, the presence of a coach in the room should be solely for the educational value of their student, so that they might better be able to help that student learn from the events of the round. To this point, the coach should be as polite as possible, and only ask their own questions of the judge after the judge’s discussion with the students has finished. These questions should be solely for understanding how the judge came to the decision that was made, and should not in any manner aggressively challenge the decisions of the judge. If you didn’t like how the judge made up their mind, you can always strike them in the future, that isn’t a disagreement that has a place in the form of a confrontation with the judge. Additionally, if the coach didn’t watch the round, asking for a quick account of the round to help educate the student or get an objective version of the round is acceptable. Arguing is not.

      Finally, I want to address the point that I believe I’ve seen a few people make, that if this interrogating was really bullying than it wouldn’t actually be a good strategy. I find this to be blatantly false, almost to the point where it is offensive. The point of bullying is to maintain a power skew such that it is always advantageous for the bullied to succumb and not fight back. First of all, while a number of people here seem to have agreed in their outrage, this is still only a minute portion of the community. Second, I doubt that most of those who have displayed their disappointment in some coaches actions would go so far as to punish those coaches’ students. I am speaking for myself, I would never take out my anger or frustration on the ballot effecting a student, and I am confident that most of my peers would say the same. However, this brings the problem that there is no real disincentive for coaches to try to fight as hard as they can for every ballot. Aside from losing the esteem of a few members in the community, there is no other real downside.

      I do not represent the views of anyone other than myself, but I do believe my thoughts are not too unreasonable. I believe that coaches should not be doing everything they can so that their students win rounds, but rather everything they can so their students are prepared to win rounds. There is, in my opinion, a very important distinction.

      • ipgunn

        I couldn’t agree more, Kevin. I also think that there are other ways that these tactics can influence judges, besides unconscious intimidation. A desire for a team’s judges to favor the judge’s students, a fear that privileges or benefits associated with having a good relationship with a school will disappear or decrease, or even the simple desire to not have to put up with such interrogations are all things which may exert influence on a judge’s ballot.

        Another point that people are not talking about is that we should not just strive to avoid the improper use of undue influence in the activity, but we should try to avoid even the appearance that improper influence may be affecting the outcome of rounds.

        It also needs to be reiterated that those who suggest judges who may be influenced should not be judges in the activity are contributing to the problem. Even the best judges can be influenced in a variety of ways. The individuals at fault for such actions are not the judges who may be subconsciously affected or consciously intimidated, but those doing the intimidating.

  • Guest

    I usually don’t get involved in online posting, but for the
    sake of the quality of the activity, I feel like I have to.

    Before I begin the substance of my post, I want to express that
    this should not be read as a criticism of Jon Cruz or his ability to run a
    tournament in any way, shape, or form.
    Logistically, the Bronx tournament was run fantastically, and I’ve loved
    every one of Jon’s tournaments that I’ve attended since my sophomore year. Jon even talked to me after the
    tournament and assured me that problems experienced at this year’s Bronx
    tournament would not happen in the future.

    My issue here is with community tabulation norms and with the
    brutally unfair influence powerful coaches exert in this activity. This problem manifested itself in a few
    ways this weekend, some of which that random anonymous poster already talked
    about. Specifically in round one,
    I was judging Tommy Choi from Harvard Westlake against Tori Seidenstein from
    Walt Whitman. Tori won the round,
    and Tommy seemed to be completely ok with my decision, but when I was looking
    at results later, I saw that the round was tabbed as a double win. This not only happened in my round, but
    also in the round between Grant Reiter from Scarsdale and Harvard Westlake’s
    Amelia Miller judged by Matt Zavislan.
    According to Matt, Harvard Westlake’s debater dropped multiple turns and
    the decision was very simple. Regardless
    of whether Matt and I are objectively qualified judges, if we had been strikes
    for Harvard Westlake, it seems like they would have recognized it before the
    round (especially since their coach was in tab) rather than AFTER their kids
    already lost. In addition, when
    one of Scarsdale’s coaches went to tab to discuss the double-win issue and
    claim that speaks for that round should be invalidated, Bietz claimed that the
    “most minimally invasive” thing to do in tab was to retain the speaker points
    that Zavislan had given both debaters.
    That seems rather strange, since the norm with bye rounds is to
    invalidate decisions AND speaker points.
    It’s even stranger because retaining speaker points from that round
    benefitted the Harvard-Westlake debater and placed Grant Reiter at a
    disadvantage. Jim Menick (head of
    tab) was brought into the discussion, and quickly sided with the coach from
    Scarsdale. It’s absurd how Bietz
    tries to bully his way into an advantageous position, even if this involves
    making decisions he’s not entitled to make.

    I heard some possible explanations for the double-win problem,
    but I’m still not sure why Bietz couldn’t have removed Matt and me from the
    rounds before they occurred. I
    think the bigger issue at this tournament were the actions of Aaron
    Timmons. From the beginning of the
    tournament, he showed that he would go to any lengths possible to ensure
    Rebecca’s victory, even at the expense of his other debater.

    In prelims, Nikhil Nag judged a Greenhill debater and dropped
    her. After the round, Nikhil told
    Mr. Timmons he was impressed with the Greenhill debater even though she lost
    the round. Later in the
    tournament, Nikhil was going to judge Rebecca and only then did Mr. Timmons go to
    tab and claim Nikhil was a strike for Greenhill. I’m not here to discuss issues with the way tab handled
    this; I do think Jon posted a good explanation. My problem is with the way Mr. Timmons handles things.

    Later on in the tournament, this only got worse. I witnessed this firsthand when my former
    teammate Jim Huang debated Greenhill KT (Rebecca Kuang and Aaron Timmons) in
    quarters. I refer to them as
    Greenhill KT because Mr. Timmons sat right next to Rebecca (staring down the
    judges) for the entire round.
    After the fiasco with getting the round paired and started, I was
    looking forward to the round occurring with an objective panel, but it’s hard
    to be objective when one of the most powerful members of the community is
    staring you down and will without interrogate you if you drop his kid. That’s exactly what happened in finals
    of the Bronx Round Robin when Jim debated Rebecca in front of a very diverse
    panel and won on a very quick 5-0.
    Mr. Timmons interrogated the judges for at least 20 minutes.

    In the quarters round, Jim beat Rebecca pretty soundly in my
    opinion and in the opinion of a good number of spectators. Somehow, though, two of the judges
    voted for Rebecca (one on an argument which he admitted wasn’t extended in the
    2AR). I’m not questioning the
    integrity of these judges; I’m only pointing out that it’s very easy to make
    the wrong decision when you know what awaits post round if you drop Greenhill.

    In addition, Mr. Timmons dared to question the integrity of my
    good friend Matt Zavislan before finals of the tournament. Matt was as close to mutually preferred
    as any judge who was still there for finals, and Mr. Timmons delayed the
    starting of the round for a very long time because he thought Matt had created
    an uncomfortable environment for Rebecca by making fun of her arguments. I have no idea what Mr. Timmons was
    talking about, but I know Matt is a very impartial judge and would never create
    an uncomfortable environment for a student (I think he proved that by voting
    for Rebecca in finals). The real
    issue is Mr. Timmons’s hypocrisy.
    He is the one creating the uncomfortable environment for debaters! Every
    time I debated Greenhill I was nervous because Mr. Timmons was in the
    room. I knew that even if I won
    the round decisively, I was going to be made to feel bad when Mr. Timmons unendingly
    questioned the judge. This
    happened in my octas round at TOC.
    I sat at one side of the “debaters” table. Team Farhan Damani-Jake Nebel sat at the other. I’m not even kidding.

    What I’m trying to express is that Mr. Timmons makes rounds
    unfairly biased at every level. First, he makes tab change judges and will not
    accept impartial judges over very small/untrue issues. Again, I don’t thing tab handled any of
    these issues incorrectly given the pressure Mr. Timmons was putting them under,
    but the fact that he had access to the tabroom when many students without
    coaches or with coaches who don’t know as much about tab room procedures did
    not have similar access to changing judges, to me this seems quite unfair. Second, he bullies judges into voting
    for his students. This happens all
    the time. Mr. Timmons sits next to
    his debaters, stares down the judges, and complains endlessly when Greenhill
    loses. Third, he creates an
    uncomfortable environment for debaters by making them debate in the room with
    him given his post round actions.

    To be clear, I’m not saying coaches shouldn’t be allowed to
    watch their debaters’ rounds; that would be absurd. I do think, however, that coaches should be required to sit
    behind the judge/not in close proximity to their students. Mr. Timmons’s actions this weekend were
    completely unacceptable. I think
    Erik is correct, resource disparities in our community are a huge issue. Rather than masking that issue, I think
    my post as well as the anonymous post earlier provide a way to point out two
    very clear examples of this issue and provide a starting point for discussion
    of how to hold these coaches accountable for their actions.

  • anonymous_user_1

    There were many discussions at the Bronx Invitational discussing certain events that raised suspicion about the impartiality of tabulation. This post is not to accuse anyone, but rather is to communicate the source of the suspicions and ask for a clarification.

    To my knowledge, two double wins were given out at the tournament. Both of these went to Harvard Westlake debaters. Why? Allegedly, these debaters were judged by people who were actually marked as strikes, but the system had made an error. After they lost the rounds, they went to tab and had it changed to double wins. This raises a few very important questions: As a debater, how could you fail to realize you struck a judge when you originally saw they were judging you? How could you suddenly remember this fact after they dropped you? How could your coach, who is assisting tab, not realize that his OWN debater was given an alleged “strike” as a judge? Why is it that this only was a problem with Harvard Westlake, and only Harvard Westlake was awarded double wins? Why is this a reason to give double wins- is it not the debaters fault for failing to recognize a problem until it was too late? And finally, can anyone honestly say they believe that these debaters would have been awarded double wins had their coach not been assisting in tab?

    Additionally, Greenhill seemed to have the same issue with strikes. Round 1, Greenhill RK was scheduled to debate Carpe Diem JM in front of Jeff Liu. Jeff Liu was apparently going to conflict himself out of the round anyway, but Greenhill had already gone to tab claiming to have stricken Jeff Liu. This seems to be a very reasonable, and it’s great that Greenhill could actually remember who they struck without needing a loss to prompt them. However, many speculated how many strikes Greenhill actually had, or why this conflict kept occouring. In another round, Greenhill also was allegedly given a judge who was a strike (Nikhil Nag) and tab granted the request of a judge change. However, tab did not alert Greenhill’s opponent, and she (Walt Whitman JL) was not notified about the judge change until long after it was decided. Apparently this issue was already brought up with tab, but I believe everyone is owed some explanation of why this coincidentally only happened to large schools that happen to be politically relevant. Additionally, there were many problems with the pairing for Greenhill RK against Jesuit JH in quarterfinals. It seemed that no one fully understood what was going on with this, but everyone wants to know why there were so many issues involving the mutual preferencing of this panel.

    Jon Cruz offered a brief explanation of this that I personally find insufficient given the controversial nature of the events. He allegedly claimed that larger schools were more likely to cause issues with the system because they usually have a larger amount of conflicts. This doesn’t make sense to me because other large schools (Whitman, Scarsdale, Loyola) did not seem to have the same problem. Additionally, it’s confusing how conflicts are relevant seeing as the issue was communicated as a problem with strikes. Especially since not many people know how the preferencing systems actually work, it is important to clarify exactly what caused these issues. I understand that mutual preferences can often cause problems because sometimes schools have mutual preferences that are few and far between with other schools, but I think these specific issues need to be addressed more specifically than just referencing a flaw in the system.

    Again, I am not accusing anyone of anything. I am not interested in getting into arguments with anyone, because it’s impossible to take a side on the issue when no one really knows what happened. However, I am interested in transparency, so I think these concerns should be addressed. I used words such as “allegedly,” “apparently,” and “claimed,” not to express my disbelief of any statement, but to clarify that no one really knows what was happening. These issues looked suspicious to a number of people, so I think it’s best for everyone involved if they can be clarified.

    • Erik Baker

      I think that focusing on this is a convenient way to ignore the far more glaring way privilege is manifested in the outcome of this tournament: there were literally 15 total coaches represented in finals. To be honest, even if tab was run perfectly fairly, the playing field is never going to be level.

      • truth! why aren’t more people bothered by this???

        • Rebar Niemi

          it’s simple: when you come up against something that personally implicates your success and the success of your students, god fearing americans who do debate choose to ignore the massively unequal playing field in favor of a “both sides played hard, the right team won” approach.

          of course that’s just not true. because some teams have the ability to play harder and more often than other teams ever will be able to.

          the fact of the matter is that the majority of people in the community have NO incentive to confront privilege because they are beneficiaries of it.

          Also, let’s make sure our definition of privilege isn’t just “having lots of coaches.”

      • But if students don’t have ungodly shitloads of coaches, then who will do most of the work that needs to be done???

        • anonanonanon

          You always act like some small school leader and some voice for the unheard, and you indeed have done a fine job coaching. Your students were skilled and did qualify to TOC.

          But what on earth would suggest that if a school has many coaches, that means the students don’t work? Are you suggesting that Rebecca or Michael didn’t work hard him/herself? Do you think that suddenly you are entitled to claim that anybody who has more than a coach or two automatically is some lazy elitist? Do you know what each of these coaches do?
          What holds that your and Erik’s and Paras’s criticism cannot apply to any other student who does well? Should your students’ success last year all be attributed to you? If not, are Rebecca and Michael’s success at Bronx still due to an “ungodly shitload of coaches”?
          This entire topic is unkind and yours especially Frtiz is incredibly pretentious. This is a rude and arrogant attempt to discount the success of hardworking, excellent debaters in favor of taking the popular view of just criticizing every detail of those that are successful.
          So let’s discuss the laziness of Rebecca and Michael and Jessica and anyone else that did well at this tournament who is fortunate enough to have resources. Talk.

          • “You always act like some small school leader and some voice for the unheard, and you indeed have done a fine job coaching. Your students were skilled and did qualify to TOC.”

            Thanks. I appreciate it. And if, for whatever reason, Michelle and Connor are also subjecting themselves to this thread, they probably appreciate it, too.

            Now, allow me to more articulately explain my views on students who have a ton of coaches. This is not a criticism of Michael or Rebecca. I have never seen Rebecca debate (there’s probably an explanation for that…) and I actually think Michael is a pretty damn good debater. I’ve seen Michael debate plenty of times, and have watched him improve tremendously over the last few years, and I can guarantee you that he deserves his success.

            My statement was a criticism of the way a lot of big national circuit squads operate. This is not something that just applies to their top debaters! I was talking about the litany of national circuit squads that are comprised of multiple debaters reading the same AC and NC every round, that they clearly had nothing to do with. Let me give some examples. Last year at VBT, a debater from a very resource-heavy school told one of my then-students “I like coming to tournaments and seeing what they put in the dropbox for me to read.” One of my current students debated someone last year from a big school who told her after the round “Whoever wrote your case for you is an idiot,” as if the idea that she might have written her own case was totally inconceivable. My comment was remarking on the fact that a lot of debaters from resource heavy teams don’t do the work. If there are 10 debaters on a team reading the same AC (which is pretty common), I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they probably didn’t all pitch in to write it. Call me crazy.

            Pointing out that the best debaters on big national circuit squads do work does not contradict the fact that these programs make it so that MOST of the debaters on the team don’t have to do as much work as other debaters without access to lots of coaches.

            So, here’s how I see it: If the coaches are doing a lot of the work, then we should take the students’ success with a grain of salt. On the other hand, if the students are doing the work and the coaches aren’t doing much of anything, then we have to question why they’re coaching in the first place. If you are correct the debaters are actually the ones doing all the work on those squads with massive coaching staffs, then that indicates that there are a lot of coaches out there who are doing little to no work and just collecting paychecks, when there are lots of hardworking lone-wolf debaters out there who would be down to hire a coach. That’s really sad.

            I don’t know how you read my post as a criticism of Rebecca or Michael. My post was a criticism of massive coaching squads, not the kids that they coach. I don’t know who you are, but if you’re going to criticize me publicly, at least construe my arguments properly.

            Finally, I detect some snarkiness when you say that I always act like “some smalls school leader and voice for the unheard.” Is that supposed to be a bad thing? I’ve stayed in this activity so that kids from schools like Claremont, La Costa Canyon, Tahoma, and Monta Vista can have a chance to compete at a high level in an activity that I think is valuable and fun. I think that’s a decent cause to be fighting for. What’s your purpose for staying in the activity?

          • anondebater523

            I am a current debater and would like to say that it’s a little upsetting to see the sweeping generalizations being made about so-called “big programs”. Just because a debater has more coaches, does not mean that they have done less work. I can’t speak for other teams, but my team would be considered one of said “big programs” and last year had several debaters who were successful on the national circuit and went to ToC, while writing all of their own cases and blocks without coaches doing any of their prep. If teams choose to exclusively use prep done by their coaches that they spend money on, then that’s up to them, but it’s clear that hard work can bring as much success to a team as a coaching staff, so it seems like “we have less coaches” is a lame excuse for not performing well at tournaments. I also think the so-called “uneven playing field” is in part rectified by the amount of disclosure of cases on the wiki.

          • Two things:

            1. Coaching is not cutting cards or writing cases. It’s about providing guidance and advice, getting students to ask the right questions, and helping them think clearly about issues both pre-round and post-round. You know that (at least, I hope you do). I don’t write cases, and I cut maybe 5 cards per topic. Rebecca, Brian, and the other students do that kind of stuff — “the work that needs to get done.” But on your view, I’m just collecting a paycheck. Maybe you should tell Greenhill that… My point is that having an assistant coach at a tournament is compatible with the students doing the brunt of the work, which is exactly what happens at Greenhill.
            2. You asked anonanonanon to construe your arguments properly. But, at the time, you hadn’t make an argument. You just wrote the following snide remark: “But if students don’t have ungodly shitloads of coaches, then who will do most of the work that needs to be done???”
            It seems natural to interpret that comment as implying that the finalists (the subject of the post you’re responding to) have a lot of coaches, and that having a lot of coaches means that the coaches do most of the work. If their coaches do most of the work, then no student does most of the work. So your comment seemed to suggest that Rebecca and Michael don’t do most of the work. This interpretation is confirmed by your argument that we should take Rebecca and Michael’s success “with a grain of salt.” Now do you see why some people are offended by your comment?

          • You’re missing the point. I wasn’t talking about you, nor was I talking about Rebecca.

            Jake, I genuinely and sincerely think it’s cool that you don’t do your kids’ prep. I’m not being sarcastic here. If Rebecca is writing her own stuff, that’s pretty awesome. That doesn’t change the fact that there are a lot of kids on the circuit reading stuff their coaches wrote and winning rounds with it pretty much round for round.

            But like I mentioned before, I don’t judge your kids. A lot of kids I do judge, however, are kids from many of the bigger schools out here on the Best Coast who read the same exact cases and blocks every single round. I don’t know if it’s the coaches or the kids writing the stuff, but at a certain point you have to figure that most of these kids are reading stuff they didn’t write. The odds that they all had some input in the case seem pretty slim.

            Also, I have talked to other coaches for a lot of the big schools who have told me that they write a lot of stuff for their kids.

            Also, I’ve heard kids say that their coaches wrote cases for them. I’ve heard kids literally extend arguments out of their cases by saying “Thank God [name of coach] put this argument in here!”

            I’ve seen coaches at tournaments just hand their kids stacks and stacks of paper and say things like “Here, just read this.”

            To be clear, I’m not against coaches doing prep. I’ve written stuff that my kids have run. I am, however, against teams that are structured such that a handful of people (coaches, or top debaters) do most of the prep because (a) it doesn’t provide an educational value for the students and (b) it gives an absurd advantage to the students who can afford to attend these elite private schools. While other students have to work hard for their success, they can clear at circuit tournament after circuit tournament by just showing up and reading what’s in the dropbox. Your kids may not fit this description, and anonanonanon’s teammates may not fit this description, but you have to concede that there are plenty of debaters out there who do fit this description.

            I understand that you want to defend your kid. I’ve had to defend one of my students on this website before, so I know the feeling. Believe me when I say I wasn’t trying to attack Rebecca at all. I have literally never met Rebecca, seen her debate, and have no reason to attack her on an internet forum. However, Erik was using the final round of this tournament to highlight an obvious problem in this activity–the fact that there are plenty of debaters out there who win because of the coaching they have. Your student may not be an example of this problem, but there are plenty of kids who are.

            Edited for formatting

        • I’m as big a proponent of solving resource disparity issues as the next guy, but delegitimizing the successes of larger schools and their debaters is the wrong way to go about solving these issues.

          Primarily, coming from a big school is no fault of the debaters. These kids have a right to compete just as much as any lone wolf or small school debater and it’s incredibly unfair to deem their wins as “less deserving.” After all, what do you expect them to do? Not debate? Concede to every debater who comes from a school with fewer resources? I can’t even comprehend the idea that anyone who advocates for equality in debate could seriously contemplate these solutions. Clearly, debaters of big schools are not the ones to blame.

          I also think it’s unfair to criticize larger schools for using the resources at their disposal. After all, debate is a COMPETITIVE activity. Why shouldn’t schools who are more well off be able to provide their debaters with a better opportunity to succeed? There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing more than the average school does to provide its debaters with the opportunity for success. Let me be clear, this is not to say that big schools have a right to use their capital in unethical or uneducational ways, but it is to say that we shouldn’t be blaming these schools for using their resources in the exact same way that any other school would if it had the opportunity. Since it’s inevitable that some schools will always have more resources at their disposal, being fair doesn’t require being 100% equal.

          To say that “privilege [was] manifested in the outcomes of this tournament” or that “most of the work” is done by “ungodly shitloads of coaches” is a way of castigating larger schools and their debaters for illegitimate reasons. The programs who have success at big tournaments have every right to do so and to suggest otherwise ignores the incredible skill and hard work of these debaters, along with the unquestionable dedication from their coaches. So, if we really care about the underprivileged and small schools in debate, why not focus on bringing them up instead of bringing big schools and their debaters down? Solving these issues requires the help of small schools and big schools alike; denigrating larger programs only further divides the community and delays constructive solutions to the issue at hand.

      • Actually the most hard working and talented students in the country all just happen to go to 20 select schools. Who knew?

      • Erik Baker

        downvoters better fly out to e town and ill fight you right now. i’ll bring da ruckus, u bring ur fists and lets throw some hands

        • TheBerkeleyBear

          Erik AKA E-baker AKA E-Z Bake Oven AKA Baked all day AKA E-breaks his arm at camp basketball. Trust me, he’s coming hard for the haters.

          • Erik Baker

            I dislocated my shoulder thank you very much.

      • If anything on NSDUpdate, I can endorse this. Truth.

      • Your statement ignores a) the individual coaching effort that Scoggin put in this weekend and b) the effort that our individual debaters put in to their own prep.

        To be clear, John was the only one at Bronx and Corbin was the only one at St. Marks. That list of coaches you see above is a shout-out to people who have helped Loyola debate over the past years. We were given an opportunity to give thanks and so we decided to give many thanks. Navot and Corbin are only nominally coaches. Navot prepped Kelinsky for his rd 7 at Stanford last year and Chris Kymn for his Octos round at Voices this year. Corbin has only chaperoned the team for two tournaments, Wake Forest last year and St. Marks this year. I havent written anything in the past two years, and I’ve only shown up to 4 tournaments in that time.

        If you really think that Loyola has a lot of success then you should congratulate Michael Overing, John Scoggin, Tom Placido and Bob Overing.

        But honestly, that would ignore the individual efforts of each debater. Ben Koh bid this weekend running critical cases that he wrote and endlessly doing speaking drills. When Harris got to finals of Voices, he did so only with the help of Tom Placido and Michael Overing. When he got to finals of Bronx he did so with only John’s help. Your ignoring their efforts.

        I just want to correct any misperceptions about Loyola Debate.

        • Rebar Niemi

          COACH SPEAKZ.

          • Rebar Niemi

            *private

      • As far as Loyola goes the 10 coaches thing was a joke. Tom Vavra is like a retired teacher that sometimes drives a van far below the speed limit for us and might sit at a tournament and talk college football to anyone willing to listen. I am the only person paid to coach LD at Loyola, we sometimes have other people judge for us/help out etc, Ashan explains some of that below.

        On another note I wanted to say thank you to Ari Parker, Matt Zavislan, and Matt Dunay for sticking around for the final round despite the large time commitment. We really appreciate you guys sticking around! Lastly, I wanted to give a shout out to Eric Palmer, Emily Massey, and Walt Whitman for getting four bids and having a semifinalist… incredibly impressive!

        • TheBerkeleyBear

          Your comment was filled with love, respect, and appreciation. Thank you

    • Guest

      I’d like to thank everyone who attended the New York City Invitational for joining us at Bronx Science this weekend.

      I also am pleased that the author of this post has asked about transparency. My tournament was among the first in Lincoln-Douglas Debate to post results and check sheets and I strive to run as transparent a tournament as possible. I have already spoken with the tabulation staff about ways we can improve communication in the future so that we do not have a repeat of some of the misunderstandings that (understandably) generated suspicion during the course of the tournament.

      To be clear, I was very specific about what the flaw in the system was. I did not simply say “there was a flaw.” The mutual preferences of certain schools did not export properly from Tabroom.com. I was shown the data by the tabulation director (Jim Menick, who was assisted by Mike Bietz) and can verify that multiple schools had judges that they marked as 2s, 3s, 4s, or 5s in Tabroom show up in TRPC (the tabulation software) as 1s. Ari Parker presented a theory that makes sense. I required schools to report conflicts on a separate page; the 5 was treated not as a “conflict” category but as a rankable category. The number of judges one would have to rate in each category was generated after conflicts were entered. As folks who use Tabroom know, if you rank too many judges in a category that has a maximum number set, the system erases a random selection of those ranked. It also gives you a warning message that it has done so, that you may rank the proper number of judges in that category. It would seem — and I am asking Chris Palmer to look into this — that the site did not give a warning in this case, and so preferences were not properly logged. The data on the Tabroom side showed the correct ranks, but the data that was exported for use on TRPC did not. Our tab room tried to correct this problem as soon as they found it. (It’s worth noting that a school with a large number of conflicts in Public Forum Debate — which does not use a preference system, but does have a strike system — had the same problem with non-recorded strikes.)

      It is unacceptable that Jessica Levy was not notified about the judge change. This is the first time I am hearing about this, and on behalf of the tournament, I apologize. When a judge change was made in the quarterfinal round, I offered both rounds affected the opportunity to have additional time to prepare before the round to modify strategies if needed. I would have offered the same to Jessica.

      I told the tab room to issue a double win because we’ve followed that policy when other unintentionally skewed preference issues have been raised in other events before. I was not aware until after the fact that one of the schools involved was Harvard-Westlake. I regret this because — while I am glad I made the decision without knowing the specific schools involved — I should have made a public announcement about the specifics to be clear about what was going on. This was a failing on my part, but it was not from malice or corruption or from a desire to favor one of our tabulation workers. It was from a lack of context. I simply did not know which school was involved and I did not know that the situation was not being explained adequately to the debaters and coaches involved.

      The quarterfinal round between Greenhill and New Orleans Jesuit involved a judge strike for New Orleans Jesuit not being properly recorded. When I was consulted about the panel — and I regret that this situation took a while to come to my attention — I personally directed the tabulation staff to remove the judge immediately and reassign the most mutually preferred panel available.

      I will say that I am very pleased with how seriously participants from all schools took the conflict system. My goal was to run a tournament without any accusation of unfairness in judging. This goal was undermined a bit by problems with the software that were exacerbated by problems with communication. I apologize for this. As I was directing a tournament with well over 1,500 guests in my
      building, I was not present for the pairing of the rounds. I was
      consulted regarding the specific issues above.

      Again, my goal here is to
      run as transparent and hospitable a tournament as possible. Clearly, we
      could have been more transparent with some of these issues and I
      apologize for anyone who felt that they were negatively affected.

    • Guest

      I’d like to thank everyone who attended the New York City Invitational for joining us at Bronx Science this weekend.

      I appreciate that the author of this post has asked about
      transparency. My tournament was among the first in Lincoln-Douglas
      Debate to post results and check sheets and I strive to run as
      transparent a tournament as possible. I have already spoken with the
      tabulation staff about ways we can improve communication in the future
      so that we do not have a repeat of some of the misunderstandings that
      (understandably) generated suspicion during the course of the
      tournament.

      To be clear, I was very specific about what the flaw in the system
      was. I did not simply say “there was a flaw.” The mutual preferences of
      certain schools did not export properly from Tabroom.com.
      I was shown the data by the tabulation director (Jim Menick, who was
      assisted by Mike Bietz) and can verify that multiple schools had judges
      that they marked as 2s, 3s, 4s, or 5s in Tabroom show up in TRPC (the
      tabulation software) as 1s. Ari Parker presented a theory that makes
      sense. I required schools to report conflicts on a separate page; the 5
      was treated not as a “conflict” category but as a rankable category. The
      number of judges one would have to rate in each category was generated
      after conflicts were entered. As folks who use Tabroom know, if you rank
      too many judges in a category that has a maximum number set, the system
      erases a random selection of those ranked. It also gives you a warning
      message that it has done so, that you may rank the proper number of
      judges in that category. It would seem — and I am asking Chris Palmer
      to look into this — that the site did not give a warning in this case,
      and so preferences were not properly logged. The data on the Tabroom
      side showed the correct ranks, but the data that was exported for use on
      TRPC did not. Our tab room tried to correct this problem as soon as
      they found it. (It’s worth noting that a school with a large number of
      conflicts in Public Forum Debate — which does not use a preference
      system, but does have a strike system — had the same problem with
      non-recorded strikes.)

      It is unacceptable that Jessica Levy was not notified about the judge
      change. This is the first time I am hearing about this, and on behalf
      of the tournament, I apologize. When a judge change was made in the
      quarterfinal round, I offered both rounds affected the opportunity to
      have additional time to prepare before the round to modify strategies if
      needed. I would have offered the same to Jessica.

      Regarding the double wins, I told the tab room to issue a double win because we’ve followed that
      policy when other unintentionally skewed preference issues have been
      raised in other events before. I was simply told that there were rounds in which pairings were being judged by a judge who was grossly unpreferred by one team and highly preferred by the other, so the assignment was not mutually preferred. I was not aware until after the fact that
      one of the schools involved was Harvard-Westlake. I regret this because
      — while I am glad I made the decision without knowing the specific
      schools involved — I should have made a public announcement about the
      specifics to be clear about what was going on. This was a failing on my
      part, but it was not from malice or corruption or from a desire to favor
      one of our tabulation workers. It was from a lack of context. I simply
      did not know which school was involved and I did not know that the
      situation was not being explained adequately to the debaters and coaches
      involved.

      The quarterfinal round between Greenhill and New Orleans Jesuit
      involved a judge strike for New Orleans Jesuit not being properly
      recorded. When I was consulted about the panel — and I regret that this
      situation took a while to come to my attention — I personally directed
      the tabulation staff to remove the judge immediately and reassign the
      most mutually preferred panel available. I will say that I am very pleased with how seriously participants
      from all schools took the conflict system. My goal was to run a
      tournament without any accusation of unfairness in judging. This goal
      was undermined a bit by problems with the software that were exacerbated
      by problems with communication. I apologize for this. As I was
      directing a tournament with well over 1,500 guests in my building, I was not present for the pairing of the rounds. I was consulted regarding the specific issues above.

      Again, my goal here is to run as transparent and hospitable a tournament as possible. Clearly, we could have been more transparent with some of these issues and I apologize for anyone who felt that they were negatively affected.

      • Rebar Niemi

        So as someone who didn’t attend Bronx, could John or someone else tell me

        A. who were the other teams affected by this?
        B. did their coaches notice/complain?
        C. what recourse was made available to them?
        D. was there a general announcement made to coaches so that they could be on the lookout for problems?

        it sounds like a pretty serious error in tab at an octas tournament, but these things happen.

        Also, I assume that all of the students who did not clear based on speaks/wins who were in affected rounds will be receiving automatic at larges per established TOC precedent.

        • Rebar Niemi

          sorry forgot to make this joke.

          I think what Jon is trying to say is that those pairings and results came out of a backfile and he didn’t even cut them.

        • This is Jon Cruz. I know of at least one other school that had an untransferred strike (Jesuit) and a school with untransferred strikes in PF. In these cases, a coach or representative of the team came to the tab room. The tab room adjusted the sheets within TRPC to match what was originally entered into Tabroom.com. I also had two debaters sit in an office adjacent to the tab room and hand review the pref sheet of every LD debater in the tournament. I did ask coaches to approach tab if there were further issues, but in retrospect, a message should have been written on the bottom of the pairing for the second round. I did not ask Jim Menick or Mike Bietz to do this. I’m making sure recourse procedures are clearly spelled out in next year’s invitation.

          • Rebar Niemi

            thanks jon.

    • I’d like to thank everyone who attended the New York City Invitational for
      joining us at Bronx Science this weekend.

      I appreciate that the author of this post has asked about transparency. My
      tournament was among the first in Lincoln-Douglas Debate to post results and
      check sheets and I strive to run as transparent a tournament as possible. I
      have already spoken with the tabulation staff about ways we can improve
      communication in the future so that we do not have a repeat of some of the
      misunderstandings that (understandably) generated suspicion during the course
      of the tournament.

      To be clear, I was very specific about what the flaw in the system was. I
      did not simply say “there was a flaw.” The mutual preferences of certain
      schools did not export properly from Tabroom.com.
      I was shown the data by the tabulation director (Jim Menick, who was assisted
      by Mike Bietz) and can verify that multiple schools had judges that they marked as 2s, 3s, 4s, or 5s in
      Tabroom show up in TRPC (the tabulation software) as 1s. Ari Parker presented a
      theory that makes sense. I required schools to report conflicts on a separate
      page; the 5 was treated not as a “conflict” category but as a
      rankable category. The number of judges one would have to rate in each category
      was generated after conflicts were entered. As folks who use Tabroom know, if
      you rank too many judges in a category that has a maximum number set, the
      system erases a random selection of those ranked. It also gives you a warning message
      that it has done so, that you may rank the proper number of judges in that category. It would seem — and
      I am asking Chris Palmer to look into
      this — that the site did not give a warning in this case, and so preferences
      were not properly logged. The data on the Tabroom side showed the correct
      ranks, but the data that was exported for use on TRPC did not. Our tab room
      tried to correct this problem as soon as they found it. (It’s worth noting that
      a school with a large number of conflicts in Public Forum Debate — which does
      not use a preference system, but does have a strike system — had the same
      problem with non-recorded strikes.)

      It is unacceptable that Jessica Levy was not notified about the judge change.
      This is the first time I am hearing about this, and on behalf of the tournament,
      I apologize. When a judge change was made in the quarterfinal round, I offered
      both rounds affected the opportunity to have additional time to prepare before
      the round to modify strategies if needed. I would have offered the same to
      Jessica.

      Regarding the double wins, I told the tab room to issue a double win because
      we’ve followed that policy when other unintentionally skewed preference issues
      have been raised in other events before. I was simply told that there were
      rounds in which pairings were being judged by a judge who was grossly
      unpreferred by one team and highly preferred by the other, so the assignment
      was not mutually preferred. I was not aware until after the fact that one of
      the schools involved was Harvard-Westlake. I regret this because — while I am
      glad I made the decision without knowing the specific schools involved — I
      should have made a public announcement about the specifics to be clear about
      what was going on. This was a failing on my part, but it was not from malice or
      corruption or from a desire to favor one of our tabulation workers. It was from
      a lack of context. I simply did not know which school was involved and I did
      not know that the situation was not
      being explained adequately to the debaters and coaches involved.

      The quarterfinal round between Greenhill and New Orleans Jesuit involved a
      judge strike for New Orleans Jesuit not being properly recorded. When I was
      consulted about the panel — and I regret that this situation took a while to
      come to my attention — I personally directed the tabulation staff to remove
      the judge immediately and reassign the most mutually preferred panel available.

      I plan to make an addition to our tabulation staff for next year so we can
      further increase transparency and a public sense of fairness at the tournament.

      I will say that I am very pleased with how seriously participants from all
      schools took the conflict system. My goal was to run a tournament without any
      accusation of unfairness in judging. This goal was undermined a bit by problems
      with the software that were exacerbated by problems with communication. I
      apologize for this. As I was directing a tournament with well over 1,500 guests
      in my building, I was not present for the pairing of the rounds. I was
      consulted regarding the specific issues above.

      Again, my goal here is to run as transparent and hospitable a tournament as
      possible. Clearly, we could have been more transparent with some of these
      issues and I apologize for anyone who felt that they were negatively affected.

  • TheBerkeleyBear

    The updates being done for LD on tabroom.com are really great. It’s much appreciated

    • Guest

      I can’t find results on tabroom for Bronx elims past double octos?

      • octas:
        Loyola MH def. PvP HZ (2-1)

        Greenhill RK def. Fordham DJ (2-1)

        Harrison DD def. Lex PZ (2-1)

        Lake Highland TL def. HWL AK (3-0)
        Millburn YY def. CESJDS EL (3-0)
        Jesuit JH def. Hockaday KQ (3-0)

        Scarsdale SN def. Walt Whitman DM (3-0)

        Whitman JL over Whitman TS

        quarters:
        Greenhill RK def. Jesuit JH (2-1)

        Loyola MH def. Scarsdale SN (2-1)

        Harrison DD def. Millburn YY (2-1)

        Whitman JL def. Lake Highland TL (2-1)

        semis:
        Loyola MH def. Whitman JL (3-0)

        Greenhill def. Harrison DD (2-1)

        finals:
        Greenhill def. Loyola