Debate Program Hosts High-Profile Events
June 9, 2008
The debate program at UT Dallas recently hosted two prestigious, back-to-back events — the yearly gathering of the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) and the annual topic selection meeting.
Hosting the proceedings was a coup, said Chris Burk, director of the UT Dallas debate program.
“Decisions made in these meetings, by one of debate’s most prominent executive committees and by the topic selection committee, affect the entire next season of intercollegiate debate,” Burk said. “It also gave us a chance to tell a lot of prestigious people from top colleges across the nation about our debate program and about the University.”
During the meeting, national officers, regional representatives and the most recent past presidents of the group, discussed administrative and constitutional issues key to the organization. Among other tasks, the CEDA officers gave presentations and discussed official business and constitutional amendments.
UT Dallas was chosen as the host of CEDA’s summer meeting last fall. The organization is governed by an executive council of 19 officers.
According to Burk, one of the more important decisions made at the meeting was the selection of Idaho State University as the location for the next CEDA National Championship tournament.
Separately, and during the topic selection meeting, a committee helped decide the resolutions that will ultimately be the starting point for collegiate debaters in the coming academic year. Using contributions received during the meeting, the topic committee crafted a handful of official resolutions that revolve around this year’s debate topic — agricultural policy and agricultural subsidies.
Roughly 40-50 coaches and debaters were present for the meeting, but only a handful of the attendees had voting privileges for selecting the resolution for the 2008-09 academic year. Hundreds of other individuals associated with collegiate programs throughout the country watched a real-time Web stream of the meeting and contributed to the resolution discussion via e-mail.
In the coming weeks, teams from across the country will vote on the choices. The winner — to be announced in late July — will be the resolution for the next academic year.
“All college level debaters year will use that resolution as a starting point for their arguments at tournaments in the coming academic year, so the work done here will reverberate for a long time,” Burk added.