Rebecca Kuang Wins 2013 Tournament of Champions

Lexington, KY–The final round of the 2013 Tournament of Champions featured Greenhill’s Rebecca Kuang against St. Louis Park’s Richard Shmikler. On a split decision, Rebecca emerged victorious: Sam Hamad and Chris Vincent voted affirmative for Greenhill; Ari Parker dissented. Rebecca is coached by Aaron Timmons, Bekah Boyer, Jake Nebel, Lyall Stuart, and Noah Star. Richard’s coaches are Charles McClung, Christian Tarsney, Graham Tierney, and Geoffrey Kristof.

Run-off round:
14. Scarsdale SN def. 19. Byram Hills JA (Josh Altman) (Grishaber, Zimmermann, *Renzi)
18. Millburn YY def. 15. Valley JS (Jason Smith) (Tierney, Jiang, Palmer)
17. Sacred Heart AT def. 16. Flower Mound MG (Matt Gmitro) (Massey, *Roberts, Donovan)

17. Sacred Heart AT def. 1. SLP LS (Leah Shapiro) 3-0 (Nebel, Pritt, Sigalow)
2. Lexington AH def. 18. Millburn YY (Yang Yi) 3-0 (Evnen, Lamothe, Eckholm)
3. SLP RS def. 14. Scarsdale SN (Sam Natbony) 3-0 (Scher, Zimmermann, Palmer)
4. Greenhill RK def. 13. Carlbrook CB (Carlton Bone) 3-0 (Massey, Donovan, Smith)
5. Harrison DD def. 12. Meadows EH (Ed Hendrickson) 3-0 (Roberts, Timmons, Smith)
6. Loyola MH vs 11. CESJDS EL (Elana Leone) 3-0 (Zhang, Weisberg, Jiang)
7. PV Peninsula HZ def. 10. La Jolla RP (Ram Prasad) 3-0 (Gappmayer, Phillips, Legried)
8. PV Peninsula DT def. 9. NO Jesuit JH (Jim Huang) 3-0 (Holguin, Castillo, Hamad)

8. PV Peninsula DT def. 17. Sacred Heart AT (Adam Tomasi) 2-1 (*Donovan, Fink, Phillips)
7. PV Peninsula HZ def. 2. Lexington AH (Adam Hoffman) 3-0 (Nebel, Smith, Cath. Tarsney)
3. SLP RS def. 6. Loyola MH (Michael Harris) 2-1 (Adler, *Sigalow, Roth)
4. Greenhill RK def. 5. Harrison DD (Danny Debois) 3-0 (Nunley, Malis, Roberts)

3. SLP RS def. 7. PV Pen HZ (Henry Zhang) 2-1 (Adler, Holguin, *Nebel)
4. Greenhill RK def. PV Pen DT (Daniel Tartakovsky) 3-0 (Case, Chernick, Sanchez)

4. Greenhill RK (AFF) def. 3. SLP RS (Richard Shmikler) 2-1 (Vincent, Hamad, *Parker)

Greenhill RK (Rebecca Kuang)

Speaker Awards:
1. Michael Harris (Marcus MH)
2. Adam Hoffman (Lexington AH)
3. Henry Zhang (PV Peninsula HZ)
4. Richard Shmikler (St. Louis Park RS)
5. Rebecca Kuang (Greenhill RK)
6. Daniel Tartakovsky (PV Peninsula DT)
7. Jim Huang (New Orleans Jesuit JH)
8. Travis Chen (Palo Alto TC)
9. Danny DeBois (Harrison DD)
10. Joseph Millman (Carpe Diem JM)
11. Sam Mathews (Kent Denver SM)
12. Michael Harris (Loyola MH)
13. Ram Prasad (La Jolla RP)
14. Terrence Lonam (Lake Highland TL)
15. Jessica Levy (Walt Whitman JL)
16. Elana Leone (CESJDS EL)
17. Leah Shapiro (St. Louis Park LS)
18. Grant Reiter (Scarsdale GR)
19. Ed Hendrickson (Meadows EH)
20. Tillman Huett (Pflugerville TH)

  • michelin

    I came to this site to see who won the TOC and saw this thread. The venom reminded me of an experience in a contentious debate in the round 7 bubble round.

    Ten years ago, I judged a debater from San Antonio who vehemently disagreed with a decision I made against him at the TOC. A room at the tournament hotel had to be reconstructed after he got done with it. Yep — I was busy making bad decisions even then! 🙂

    This person said some really nasty and untrue things about me to people I respect greatly. A few years back, he and I worked together at NSD, he apologized, and we mended fences. Today he and I are friends and communicate regularly mostly via twitter.

    What happens in these debates matter in the moment. In the long run, they’re irrelevant because this game is designed to give its participants a medium for their voices to be heard. Its aim is to give people the tools to succeed in communicating better than the average bear. I know it is very little consolation now since the wounds are so fresh. However, I promise you that time will make debate wins and losses a little less memorable.

    Hopefully what you will remember is one simple truth: that through the exploration of ideas via debate, we are able to learn about different points of views so that we can decide what’s true to us.

    Thanks for reading. Congratulations to all of the people who were lucky enough to attend the Tournament of Champions. That feat in and of itself is one you should not take lightly.

    • Rebar Niemi

      WAR STORY!!!!!!

      I love you Michelin.

  • Debate Justice

    Batman always brings justice. Let that be a warning. Always.

  • Hi, I coach Rebecca too. Y’all always seem to forget that.

  • I would just like to make a shout-out to Adam Tomasi. Note: I have never met this guy nor talked to him. First, for making quarters as a sophomore. Second, for the quality of disclosure this guy does. He literally discloses everything from every round. What he does is just crazy. Here is a link to his wiki:
    Respect to you man.

    • Thank you Chad! I really appreciate that.

  • Here’s the link to the spreadsheet, for anyone who wants to see the results:

    • Some parts of this spreadsheet are inaccurate; Round 7 I did not face Jeremy Dang, but I did come in second vs Leah Shapiro

      • Where specifically on the spreadsheet does it say that you faced Jeremy?

    • I debated Jessica Levy, not Arjun Tambe, round 7.

  • Lifer

    “There’s a REASON everyone makes fun of you, Mr. Timmons. And no, it’s NOT because everyone is racist.” ~Lifer at Law

  • Guest

    Well, anyone flowing could tell she didn’t actually win…

  • Lifer

    Well, anyone flowing could tell she didn’t really win…

  • The semis listing falsely lists Rebecca as eliminated to PV Peninsula DT, btw

  • Circutdebater

    Where is the aff side basis now? Also congrats to Rebbeca! Lastly there is a wiki-space named http://circuitdebater.wikispac
    and usually TOC debaters would post there cases as a resource to
    younger debaters. I encourage this years TOC debaters to post their
    cases to help younger debaters

  • Does anyone know the last time that the aff won the toc? Also, congrats to Rebecca!

  • After updating every result for every round with Varad, Bennett, and Lyndie, I have to say that now that it’s over, I don’t regret giving up 50 hours of my life. Oh yeah, and also, CONGRATS TO REBECCA!!! I CAN’T THINK OF ANYONE WHO HAS WORKED HARDER FOR THE WIN!!!!!

    • Oh yeah, I wanted to thank you guys for the coverage. I also had a thought about the live discussion of the event: Google Drive/Docs chat is terrible and impossible to moderate. I figured perhaps either for next year’s TOC, or just for future national circuit tournaments, I’d be willing to set up an IRC channel. At least with an IRC channel it’d be moderated to some degree, and would avoid a lot of the problems that were had in chat this year (especially around finals).

      However, that isn’t a criticism of you guys, what you did went very well. Rather, it’s a limitation of the platform.

      • First and foremost, I’m glad the spreadsheet was of use to you!

        Second, I completely agree with you on the aspect of the chat interface on Docs/Drive. The other moderators and I were on a Skype call for the majority of the weekend, and when we were unable to, we had to use the Drive Chat, which made our jobs MUCH harder. And when people were commenting or having conversations while others were sending us results, those comments which contained the results were lost in between the comments of 50 other people who were sometimes talking about things completely irrelevant to the matter at hand.

        Putting the problems with the chat interface aside, the second problem we had with Drive is probably the most important:

        During the end of semis and all throughout finals, I would estimate that there were around 500 people trying to access the spreadsheet at any one given time. Unfortunately, Drive only allows 50 people to view any document at once. So, people were continually getting kicked off of the document when others logged on. As a matter of fact, 3 of the 4 admins got kicked from the document multiple times (myself not included). This made receiving updates and editing the document incredibly difficult for us.

        With that said, quick question- what is an IRC Channel? I’ve actually never heard of it, but if it’s better than Drive, I absolutely second the idea that we should utilize it next year as an alternative.

        • IRC (Internet Relay Chat) has been around for a long time. It’s a rather simple means of group communication by text chat, and operators/admins can be assigned to keep the channel under control. Best of all, it requires no special software. There are sites such as Mibbit that allow people to connect to the channel from their browser.

          As far as spreadsheets go, I don’t know of an alternative, though I’ll keep that in mind. (I do know of Challonge, which is a really clean tournament bracket interface, but that would only be useful after breaks are known.) I’m just offering to run what is essentially a moderated LD chat room to avoid the problems of Drive’s chat interface.

      • We were thinking of putting up a livestream, maybe if we’re less lazy next year or not at the TOC we could do one.

        • Also a good idea, since people were clamoring for that. Also, since the major livestreaming services have integrated chat, I’d be willing to help moderate the stream chat as well.

          • I think the most ideal way to do this would be to find a livestream host that would allow us to stream multiple rounds at the same time with integrated chat (if one exists). There was a policy stream that I watched that had integrated chat that was much better than Drive, but I don’t know if it would allow us to stream multiple rounds from the same account.

          • They were on the framework, which I don’t believe supports multiple streams. In fact, I can’t think of a major service that does, at least not off the top of my head.

          • I know a couple of really talented website designers, I’ll talk to them and see how hard it would be to get a streaming website made specifically for debate. It seems like it wouldn’t be that difficult. Just something like but with a live stream feature.

          • This would be amazing, especially if done right. I envision minimal clutter, just the stream, and links to a handful of other simultaneously streaming rounds.

          • Ideally we’d be able to stream rounds from bid tournaments as well as the TOC.

          • Same with any proposed IRC channel (if chat isn’t integrated). I can operate it 24/7, and keep it open for national circuit discussion.

  • William Meyer

    So why was the finals panel so small? In the past weren’t panels significantly larger?

    • There were only 3 mutually preferred judges who hadn’t left yet, I believe.

      • The judges weren’t mutually preferred. One was a mutual 2, one was a 1 for one debater and a 4 for the other, and the last was a 2 for one debater and a 5 for the other. A lot of people had flights so they couldn’t find better preferred judges.

        • I think what she meant by mutually preferred was “not struck and not on a plane.”

        • Oops. Should’ve made that clear, I did mean what Hunter said. Sorry for the confusion.

  • 2-1 Rebecca Kuang

  • utiltrutil

    Where will videos of rounds go up?

  • Jordan Durrani

  • I’m really excited to watch the videos TOC’s uploading this year. Total bummer I wasn’t able to make it out for 2013.

    • dafsd daf

      I hope to see one of Micheal’s Micropol Rounds!

  • Lifer at Law

    Hello Denizens of the Circuit,

    I’m glad I have the chance to address you for what may very well be the final time. In lieu of Jon Cruz live blogging the Breakfast of Champions, I have been asked to provide a live Lifer at Law post from the TOC. Given that every debater is stepping up their game for TOC, I will step up mine. There are several individuals in the community I want to thank for making my tenure an enjoyable one.

    First, let’s talk Timmons. Your cheating has reached an all-time high and I love it. Thanks to you, every policy coach that you are friendly with at the TOC is obligated to judge several rounds in the LD pool so that they may bestow your team with a victory. However, this is just the most recent innovative idea that has come out of Addison, Texas. Greenhill’s contributions to the debate community this year include LJP (liquid judge preferences, in which you may change the rankings of a judge after the fact), debater invisibility (where was your debater in the Harvard RR pic?–oh wait, SHE WAS INVISIBLE!), and a new fleet of Segways for the disclosure police. Debate truly wouldn’t be the same without you, AT.

    Next, let’s talk Theis. Chris, I apologize. My previous allegations were incorrect. We have just gotten word that you’ve never miscut a card in your life. Rather, you personally write all of your own evidence. That’s why we couldn’t find them in the articles! I, for one, think this is a fantastic development. Fabricating evidence is great for advocacy skills because we get to create and nurture our own opinions, rather merely stick to the authors’ ideas. It’s also great for fairness because it explodes topic lit–you can literally find (write) anything you want! Thank you, Mr. Asterisk, for introducing made up cards to debate. In more recent news, however, it seems that our favorite mastermind is also attempting to recruit others for his dastardly exploits. The * has accused Ari Parker of cheating, and has even brought in Cherian, his fall man, to draft Ari for his own personal Evil League of Evil. Unfortunately, we all know that Mr. Ari Parker is a bastion of truth in this activity, one who rivals even our founder, Mr. Lincoln Douglas, and never tells a lie. I mean, think about it – if Mr. Parker were willing to cheat, how would he have been knocked out of TOC by Charlie Furman? Clearly he doesn’t meet the standards for the *’s posse.

    That said, it is not my intention to be discriminatory, so I’ll involve small schools in this discussion. Fritz Pielstick, a 4 year veteran of the small school cheerleading squad and a 2-time NSDUpdate Most Idiotic Commenter of the Year Award winner, also ought to be recognized for his contributions to debate. The sheer stupidity and pigheadedness of your commenting is astounding. In particular, I enjoy how you pretend to be on the side of small schools on debate forums, and leap at the opportunity to make a stupid comment about resource disparities at any chance you get. However, if one reads between the lines, she will realize that you’ve helped debate in a way more than any comment ever can — you’ve helped keep large schools in power. Indeed, thanks to your rep as a “lone wolf coach,” you entice many lone wolf debaters who have a decent chance of receiving 2 bids before any given season to hire you for a discounted fee. You then, in turn, do everything in your power to make sure that these debaters do not live up to their potential. This includes: writing and editing cases, blocking, and providing strategic advice at tournaments. These debaters would have been clearly better off without you, but you take it upon yourself to make them worse and keep the debate hierarchy the way it ought to be. Thanks, brah. To those who think otherwise about Mr. Pielstick’s coaching, I have one response — scoreboard. And to those who have overcome Mr. Pielstick’s coaching — bravo, for defeating our finest keeper of order.

    I’m running short on time, so I’ll just finish off the substance of this post by mentioning that any discussion regarding the “NSDUpdate Most Idiotic Commenter of the Year Award” must, and will, include Jared Woods. Mr. Woods has set numerous records, including “Most Downvotes on a Single Post,” “Highest Downvotes/Post Average,” and “Most Lifetime Downvotes.” Seriously guys, he’s like the Michael Jordan of downvotes — his efficiency is staggering and his legacy will last for years to come (just like his tenure in the debate community).

    Well, I guess that’s it for me. Have a great TOC and remember that food goes fast at the Breakfast of Hutts. And finally, a parting thought to dwell on — nobody, in the months that I’ve been active, has provided a substantive dispute of a one Mike Bietz’s shit fetish.

    Legally Yours,

    Lifer at Law, JD
    PS: I didn’t mention any students’ names. According to the majority of posters on this blog, this means that you have no choice but to remember me fondly.

    • Rebar Niemi

      wario world.

      asterisk and obelisk.

      I don’t condone the content but you’ve got to admit the writer is passionate and occasionally witty.

      Jared Woods GOAT.

  • Rebar Niemi

    Oh also mr. bone go get it young buck i c u mr 2 time auto qual.

  • chris m

    Carpe Diem JM will always have a pony in my book. Congrats on a fantastic career.

  • Can I just check that I’m reading this right that Carlton Bone, making his comeback appearance, went 5-2 and cleared straight to Octas? O.o Atta kid Carlton. Major props.

    Also, shoutout to Jack Ave who learned that he was going to the TOC thursday or friday and somehow managed to get from Okoboji to Kentucky in that time and pull two wins out of the toughest tournament in the country. There are the unsung heros of each class, who don’t win bid tournaments or even have many bids, but who are among the most impressive debaters in the community. This kid has worked his ass off all year and has come incredibly far as a debater despite having to overcome numerous, sometimes almost crippling, disadvantages and I think he deserves recognition for that. Hella Congrats Jack.

    • Thanks Matt, but I couldn’t have done it alone =D

      Also, there is something I would like to bring up. I believe that it’s extremely disincentivizing for students when adult figures insult, name-call, and act extremely rude during and after round, even though they are supposed to act as educators and authority figures. For those of you who aren’t aware, in rounds 1, 4, 5, and 7, I ran a micropolitical position about the destruction of rural programs and the impact this has on debate communities, as well as the resource disparity that exists in debate. The responses were mixed.

      Some students felt strongly moved by the topic and even held discussions with their coaches about what their program could do to help dying programs. Others made fun of the position or tried to silence my voice.

      I was told that I had only won one round because I cried near the end of my position. I heard behind my back that I was too lazy to prep so I just ran this position for cheap ballots. My coach witnessed several adults speaking who said that they believed what I wasn’t genuine. A judge during rfd told me to shut up and man up and deal with the issue head on instead of ‘bitching’.

      When Jess Xu commented several articles back, she said that she wasn’t made of steel and that it had been a struggle. Not until this weekend, did I feel so humiliated and insulted by people who were supposed to be role models. I left a round in tears because of the harsh comments one judge made, while consistently dropping the f bomb while making harsh and pointed attacks on something I strongly believe in.

      It doesn’t matter if you agree with my position or not, this behavior is unacceptable. In an activity that I have loved for the past four years, never have I felt more personally attacked or humiliated by an authority figure, even if s/he was simply acting “emotionally”.

      Overall, I am extremely thankful to be at TOC and I am thankful for all of the support many community members have offered me. Rural debate lives on.

      (Sorry for any grammatical/spelling errors.)

      • I am so sorry that that happened to you. Debate should ideally be a rewarding experience, full of knowledge, discovery, and friendship, and friendly (yet staunch) competition. Obviously, I did not listen to the position, but I did not need to to know that those reactions were inappropriate It is very disheartening that the community seems to engage in a cycle of cruelty: some judges, after graduating, seem to seek revenge for their past experiences on the current debaters, almost as if it is a natural evolution of roles. True intellectual argumentation is strengthened by deconstructing the false dichotomy between logic and empathy – Rebecca Walker recently spoke on my campus about the necessity of openness to all experience as we can only find truth through truly reconciling plurality. I hope that you can remember the good experiences you have had during your years as a debater and continue to contribute to a community that needs to hear multiple voices. I constantly face an internal struggle on whether or not to leave the debate world, but in the end, I ultimately conclude that it is better to strive to be what you think the community needs (clearly, I fall short of this often, but I don’t think that Ghandi will hate me too much). I wish you all the best.

      • Michael Harris

        I think it’s awesome what you are doing
        Jack, and I wish I could have debated you this weekend. I also ran
        a micropol position, in my rounds about the addictive aspects of
        competitive debate and the risks they pose.

        Mostly due to my feelings about the
        subject and the inherent contradiction in asking for the ballot, I
        conceded each round opting for a discussion instead. All of my
        opponents granted the concession and most put forth many points
        during these discussions. Several encouraged me, explaining that in
        other micropol rounds they have had, there was always a presence of
        anger and frustration. One brought up that in a round on sexual
        harassment, he almost felt angry at his opponent for forcing him to
        lose on something with which he agreed. He noted the passive
        aggressive stance each debater took, and how it detracted from his
        willingness to support the position. I feel that many debaters, in
        their anger, make excuses that the person running the position is not
        genuine. Some judges are unwilling to accept some of these positions,
        or even hear about them, just because of this fear that a person is
        not being genuine. Others, like Bekah said, are too caught up in
        their past debates and “seek revenge”.

        I wasn’t even asking for a win and I faced opposition. At the same time I asked for the discussion, I also asked for speaker points to create an “absurdity” where the person with the worst record at the TOC had some of the best speaks (to spread the message through a different medium than wins). Even then, I was shocked at some of the reactions. My coach overheard several debaters and coaches mocking my case and criticizing me, believing I wasn’t genuine. I was approached by several people saying that they heard about my case- only to realize later that they heard the entire case was to concede rounds to get top speaker. Some didn’t even know I was running micropol. I overheard other debaters sitting around the corner talk about how to “answer” my position. And while most of my opponents were extremely engaging and made many great points in what turned out to be excellent discussions, my coach overheard one later say that it was “Unfair” how I could ask for speaks and that there was no way to “answer” the case.

        I admire both yours and Jess Xu’s strength in continuing, since the comments made against my position are not even on the same level as the ones against yours. While one or two judges were extremely doubtful of my actions, I never faced that kind of blatant attack. And even then, I wanted to stop running the position just to get rid of these comments in the back of the room and around the corner.

        What encouraged me to continue however, was the consistent support of complete strangers who passing by congratulated me and thanked me. Once I brought the judge into the discussion, I found that most problems were quickly resolved and we were able to talk about the issues. Some of my opponents were quiet, but most had great feedback and problems of their own. So if there is anything you get from this, it’s that I support you and thank you for trying to improve the community. And if you ever want to have a discussion, I am willing and many others are too.

        • Warning: long rant

          First of all, kudos to both of you brave souls for engaging in the micropol debate at TOC. As you both have seen, it is not a smooth ride.

          Michael, I think it’s super interesting that you decided to concede all your rounds at TOC. While you may have your opinions on the “inherent contradiction” in asking for the ballot, I think it may vary from cause to cause and situation to situation.

          You ran your position at TOC. You ran your position at what most people consider to be the most elite and most important tournament of the year. Many of the most active, most important members of the community were all in the same building as you. Everyone else was at home, stalking the tournament. I think it’s safe to say that it was probably easier for you to spread your message by virtue of being at the TOC. Your audience was very accessible.

          I ran my position at a series of small tournaments in the East and one larger tournament, which was Harvard. All the impacts that I generated depended on me winning. Many debaters I hit denied this in-round but I know they all know it’s true.

          Had I conceded all my rounds at Columbia, maybe no one would have talked about my case at all. Maybe they would have, but only to make fun of it. Maybe they would have said “Did you hear about the girl who ran micropol? Her case was so dumb.” I still heard people say that about me. In fact, I heard people say that about you too.

          But, I reached the final round. And that horrid picture of me and DJ was posted on the front page of this website. People started talking about it because THEY CARE ABOUT WHAT WINS.

          What if I went 0-6 at Columbia? No one would have likely cared about me. This wasn’t TOC. This was a tiny finals bid tournament in the NE.

          At Columbia, I had at least 2 coaches approach me before outrounds to negotiate a concession. They realized that I was posing a threat to their debaters. I didn’t oblige because I knew that would hurt the movement. In my octas round, I had maybe 10 people watching me. In my quarters round, I had maybe 25. In my semis round, I had most of the VLD field watching me. (At Harvard, I think I had like 65 people watching my trips round with ATom, it was like a freaking fire hazard) If I conceded, I wouldn’t have reached out to all those people. At Columbia, my impact was spreading awareness. Spreading awareness depended on me winning.

          I’m not saying that winning is necessary for every micropolitical movement. I’m saying it was necessary for mine.

          I’m guessing I was the sexual harassment debater you were referring to. I gotta say, I am pretty sick and tired of hearing debaters say “I’m angry because you’re forcing me to lose on something I agree with!”

          First of all, I’m not forcing anyone to lose. People lose because the judge voted them down. Why? Most likely because I won on the flow. There’s no such thing as a micropol hack, remember…

          Two, they don’t agree with my advocacy. Yes, they agree that sexual harassment is an important issue. Yes, they agree it must be addressed. No, they don’t agree it should be addressed in rounds! And that’s what we debate about! And if a lost ballot is going to cause a debater to not support a movement about stopping sexual harassment, then said debater needs to get his or her priorities straight.

          So why are they still so angry? Cause I’m the first half-way decent micropol debater they’ve ever encountered? Cause they clearly had no clue what was going on in the debate? I dunno.

          And, sorry I’m not sorry for making people mad. At NDCA, Mr. Timmons told me that I should be happy that I’m pissing people off. Civil rights pissed people off. Women’s suffrage pissed people off. Fill in the blank with any successful social movement ever PISSED PEOPLE OFF.

          While we’re all on the subject of airing our grievances, I’d really love to join in. I’ve cried a lot more than the average debater should cry at tournaments since January. Columbia was probably the worst tournament ever. There was an “AT Jess” file going around that several different debaters contributed to. I was really surprised to hear the same exact rhetoric being used in a few of my outrounds by different debaters from different schools. One debater went on my Facebook and quoted something I said about GDS a year ago and said that I perpetuated sexual harassment because of the comment about GDS. Columbia tabroom also sat me down and yelled at me for like an hour while they locked David in the basement.

          It didn’t get that much better from there. At later tournaments, a judge told me that I should just “make myself fit in the system.” Another one told me to take my case and go to a women’s rights rally and read it there. There was also this one judge who said to me “my debate coach raped two girls on my team and I didn’t feel the need to bring it up in a round.” WTF?

          I’ve had numerous judges just throw their hands up and say “I’m not listening to this, L24” and I’d still run it. A lot of debaters talked smack about me in rounds and out of rounds. I’ve heard plenty of times “Jess is doing this for a bid” or “Jess shouldn’t win off the fact that she is a victim of sexual harassment” or “Voting for Jess ain’t gonna do jack.” Debaters would act OPENLY HOSTILE to me. They would just resort to personal insults because they didn’t know what to do. And I, too, constantly had that corner of people gathered together, discussing how to beat my position. So many people – debaters, coaches, judges, students, and educated adults alike, treated me like shit. Since this past summer, I have literally been silenced again and again and again on this issue.

          I distinctly remember sitting in a corner at Columbia, crying and messaging my coach, “I don’t want to do this anymore! I can’t do this anymore!” I distinctly remember saying that to him a lot, actually. There were so many times that I wanted to quit.

          The worst part is, some would say to me, “I hope you stay in the community.” My question is, why would I ever want to stay in the community when the community has treated me like this?

          Jack is right. Whether or not you agree with any of our advocacies, you have no right to treat us like this. We are still high school students and we are not made of steel.

          Congratulations to both Jack and Michael for debating at the TOC. Thank you for running micropol and opening the debate space for more discourse.

          • Wolfgang Mittermeyer

            I can’t be the only one who thinks that debaters have a completely over inflated sense of themselves and what a debate round is. Jessica, you wrote:

            “There was also this one judge who said to me “my debate coach raped two girls on my team and I didn’t feel the need to bring it up in a round.””

            That quote perfectly embodies the hubris of debaters. Why is your outrage over the fact that this judge didn’t bring this up in a round, but not that he or she didn’t report this immediately to the police? I completely understand the frustration and difficulties one must face in dealing with these issues, but why must one bring them up in a round? I am just totally baffled as to why one debater should be punished because another wants to talk about sexism or a personal story, or really any micropolitical position. Its just a debate round. This is just so obviously not the forum for this.

            I will return in exactly one year just to prove my earlier point. Jessica will be gone, and nothing will have come from this. She will fade into obscurity just like everyone else — she will be nothing more than a footnote in history.

          • Hi Matt.

            My outrage was over the reason for openly intervening in the decision (she, like you, threw out the flow) as well as the lack of respect for victims to speak out. The way the judge articulated it, it sounded like “well something like this happened to me but I didn’t feel the need to debate about it so neither should you! LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL”

            Also. My judge explained that the case was taken to the police and it was all over the news and everyone heard about it. This incident happened several years ago. That’s why I wasn’t outraged that she didn’t immediately report it to the police. It was already taken care of.

      • Rebar Niemi

        You should out the people who hurt your feelings. They deserve it and can’t actually hurt you. We should know who is a whiny baby.

        • Oh hai thar

          • you do hella commendable work for small-school debaters, so i’m interested in why you were so kritical of jack’s performance

          • Rebar Niemi


        • My intention was not to expose or humiliate any students, judges, or coaches. My intention was to expose the problematic mindset that many community members feel towards these positions and the intolerable and inappropriate behavior others express. Jess felt this first hand too. As I read in my performance, people said she’d fail, as many said I would. If we continue this behavior, it is a self fulfilling prophecy. We need to change out mindset to fix the problem and I am going to fight as long as I can for this cause.

      • If anyone disagrees with my position or what I stated in this post, please express them. I don’t want to aggravate or insult anyone. I just want to expose problems and help the activity I love.

        • Alright, so let me just start out by saying that I am not posting this in opposition to micropolitics. My opinions on that issue are for another post.

          First, I don’t really know why it is you think debaters are so dehumanizing. Perhaps it’s just me, but I know that when I see tragedy my reaction is pretty standard: sadness. That, I would imagine, is a common experience. The second thing I usually do is go outside and ride a bike or something, because I’m a sentimental person, and when I see the media’s portrayal of violence (far more saturated and fetishized than debate, I’d argue) I sometimes just need to chill. I shut off the T.V. for a while, read a book, maybe walk my dogs.

          It’s only much later that I turn on my laptop and start cutting cards. Not only does this position I think somewhat overestimate the amount of real world prep debaters do (I mean, not everyone is out there LARPin’ it up), but also I think you may be somewhat melodramatic with the kind of dehumanization that takes place. Sure, we cut impact cards, but I think that a lot of us are legitimately aware of the way that violence can and does affect people (e.g. the response people had to the highly personal domestic violence topic last year).

          Second, I think that a lot of the “using” of others’ deaths for the W is actually just the definition of debate. Yes, we learn about tragedy; yes, we make arguments about real world, upsetting and often controversial issues. But that’s the activity. We research and become aware so that we might be able to be conscientious citizens capable of making good decisions. That requires that, unlike a large majority of young people, we know about current affairs–the nitty-gritty realities of people living in poverty, or living under the nuclear threat of North Korea, or actually struggling with the prison industrial complex. Our reaction that “sweet I found a great card” should be understood as a part of the larger goal of debate: equating success and victory with awareness and knowledge of the world around us.

          I cannot imagine (and perhaps this is my failing) a world where debaters get this kind of awareness without the controversy. We could select topics that are totally without violence in order to avoid this upsetting desire to cut cards about those who have died. I can imagine “which is better: the apple or the orange” filling in for “states ought not possess nuclear weapons.” Alternatively, we could focus on CP debate (something you seem to get at on your wiki), implying that we should work towards solving issues instead of contesting the validity of their impacts. By all means, argue more about solvency, but it’s undeniable that in order to discuss how to solve for the problems of terrorism, we might have to at some point discuss the danger terrorism poses if it goes unsolved. Should there be a moment of silence before and after reading an impact card or a solvency deficit? Or should we realize that violence cannot be combatted through grieving? I understand the desire to feel for the people we debate about, but there is no discussion that is possible or conducive without first agreeing to bring up tragedy.

          Third, I disagree with your claim that this needs to be a micropolitical. Why not read this as a kritik? Every time someone says something dehumanizing, something repulsive, something that seems utterly horrendous (I once heard a debater refuse to admit that the holocaust was bad because she had read skep), why not read this as a kritik? It avoids my first criticism–that you group all debaters into this one category of jerks–and it allows you to gain the education of learning about injustice and tragedy that I mention in my second criticism. That’s why I liked reading kritiks so much: those who couldn’t defend their assumptions about their representations of violence or debate lost, while those who won either didn’t link or could justify their actions. If it’s awareness you’re after, I think maybe making it personal is that way to go.

          All things considered, I’m sure you don’t really care much for my criticism; obviously, you thought hard about this and made a personal decision. That’s fine. I don’t doubt your sincerity. Hopefully, I won’t be cast as one of the nay-sayers, but I think it’s probably best to advance these sorts of arguments with caution, instead of indignity, when people react harshly to what is a deliberately controversial position.

          • Awkward. Meant to post this in response to Michael Harris.

          • I was about to say…

          • Michael Harris

            Hey Ed, First up thanks for posting this. Very similar comments were brought up in most of the discussions and so thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts online so others can see my perspective. Onto the comments:

            For your first objection, I can understand that. Some of the people I talked to were unaware of the problem. I think it’s awesome that you “chill” after hearing the news and take time to think about it or just “shut off the TV”. I do however know there are many debaters who are in a sense “addicted” to debate. They don’t take the time like you do to get away from it all, and instead immediately go to their laptops. I am not saying everyone does this, or even most people do. I am just saying that if at least one person does is losing themselves to this “addiction” I want to try and reach out, especially since I have caught myself going down this road once or twice. And I also think it’s accurate to say that even if it isn’t that bad, we all have these thoughts once or twice before we are “sad”. If not, great- you are a normal human being. If yes, you may want to think about how debate has affected you.

            As far as the LARPing goes, I think every type of debate is susceptible to these risks. With deont, most debaters say that only violations involving using others as a means to an end matter, ignoring other positive duties to help others we may have. And so they focus on finding as many violations as they can, and fall into the same trap.

            I agree that debate is awesome and that this problem is just another part of debate. My hope though is that we can retain the awareness of issues and leave out using other people merely for a win with no regard to the lives they live. And I do think this is possible. The mere act of having a “harm” in your case is not a bad thing. Of course we must still bring up tragedies. And I agree it would be a little ridiculous to force debaters to have moments of silence in round. But there is no reason why our conception of these people can’t change. You yourself talked about solving these problems and about trying to help. That’s what I want. But right now, too many debaters don’t talk about any of that. It’s a race to the bottom. Sometimes the solvency doesn’t even get extended, only extinction impacts. My “radical change” is just to shift the focus from death and suffering to maybe some postive changes in the world. And while any discussion of the stopping tragedies must include the tragedies, that does not mean we used the people who are suffering. Means v Mere Means, Psychological egoism manifesting in 2nd order altruism, whatever you like to call it, we can use them to win and help them, or at least have the correct mindset of wanting to help them, at the same time.
            Now that I think about it, it would be awesome if tournaments could bring in guest speakers about the issues and sometime during the tournament, they could talk about the real world issues so we can get that connection. For example, at one camp I was at over the summer using the domestic violence topic, a speaker from a local domestic violence prevention center came and just talked with us for an hour about it. Just food for thought. Maybe others have some suggestions on how debate would look if we were more connected to the things we debate.
            And finally, with your suggestion about running this as a K: I had thought about this for a long time and decided to not (obviously). Besides the reasons listed in the case to vote me down (like how it would be internally contridicting and how others might use the case for a cheap win, etc…), I am criticising a mindset that some debaters have. I am not trying to punish anyone- I don’t believe it is there fault at all. Rather, I am trying to enact change in the community. Also, running it as a micropol position allowed me to spread awareness faster than a K would have let me. And, the link to the K would be unverifiable since I would have to prove you did not respect the person you are talking about. And the examples you give are very extreme- but I don’t want people to have this false sense of security believing that they are fine just because they didn’t justify the holocaust in round. Finally, the mindset I am fighting comes slowly and unexpectedly, I want to stop it before it attaches itself to a debater. So before they would even link into the K, I want to stop it. And that’s another reason why I hope no one sees the ‘absurd’ effects I talk about- it’s because they (hopefully) haven’t happened yet. Anyway hope that answers some questions about my position.

  • Gus

    Does anyone know the bracket or the seedings for the 16 in octos

  • Gus

    Does anyone know the bracket or the seedings for the 16 in octos?

  • utiltrutil

    What’s the topic for the TOC’s?

    • Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States criminal justice system

      • utiltrutil

        Are ballots for prelims going to be up?

  • Gus

    Is anyone taking videos for NSD Update at TOC?

  • Guest

    Anyone know what the deal with Michael Harris is? Is he running micropol?

  • If anyone has results or corrections, let us know so we can add it in the spreadsheet.