Minutes from NDCA Board Meeting on 4/14/2018

NDCA Board Meeting – April 14, 2018.

Meeting called to order by Shunta Jordan at 11:05AM.

 

Members Present

Shunta Jordan

Sheryl Kaczmarek

Shane Stafford

Christina Tallungan

Aaron Timmons

Adam Torson

Dave Weston

Ed Williams

 

Business

I.                 Award Ceremony Roles

a.      Dave outlined the awards ceremony and assigned different Board members roles during the ceremony.

 

II.                NDCA Conference

a.      Christina talked through the current panel schedule and the Board discussed possible tweaks and additional panel participants.

                                                    i.     The sense of the Board is that more panelists are needed for the tournament practices, disabilities, and summer camps panels.

                                                   ii.     Shane is going to reach out to Chris McDonald, Byron Arthur, and Martin Zakaria about possibly participating in the Future of Public Forum panel.

                                                  iii.     Christina has not heard back from Marquis on the Racial Pathologies panel. She is going to reach out to Eli Smith and Chris Randall.

b.      The Board discussed how to structure the Summer Camps Panel. The sense of the Board is that we want to have a true discussion about best practices for camp rather than just an advertisement for the participants’ camps.

                                                    i.     The sense of the Board is that we should collect questions from coaches before and during the discussion, and have a moderator determine what questions to pose and when.

                                                   ii.     We created a shared Google document to brainstorm questions, which will be shared with the panelists before the conference. Some potential topics include camp structure (how many labs, lab leaders, instructor/student ratio, camp length, etc.), camp costs, instructor hiring practices, etc.

c.      The Board expressed the desire to live-stream the panels again. Christina will reach out to Bietz to see if he will help us execute that again. If Bietz is unable to help this year, Dave will reach out to people in his media department to see if he can secure the appropriate resources.

d.      Christina reported that she is in the process of finalizing the Reagan Great Communicator sponsorship.

e.      The Board discussed whether we want to have a reception at the Conference paid for by the organization as we have in past years. The sense of the Board is that because our hotel has a bar and restaurant in the lobby, the better option for welcoming new members is to schedule a pre-dinner reception in the bar area which the Board will attend to welcome new attendees, but not to provide food as we have in years past.

 

III.              Harassment Policy

a.      Shunta expressed the importance of the NDCA adopting a policy or statement about sexual harassment and other forms of harassment, and the desire to have such a policy in place by August.

b.      The Board discussed the potential content of such a policy, with a particular focus on whether it should include enforceable procedures to be adopted at the NDCA tournament.

                                                    i.     The Board acknowledged the challenge of needing to respond meaningfully to accusations of harassment while also having limited time and resources to investigate such accusations and a tournament and the challenge of adapting to the school policies and state laws of our rotating slate of tournament hosts.

                                                   ii.     The Board recognized the value of using school policies as a model, and will draw upon different school codes and the World Schools organization’s document in attempting to craft a policy.

                                                  iii.     The Board additionally recognized the value of principals and participants acknowledging a code of conduct before the tournament so that the tournament (perhaps our current tournament officials or an ombudsman) can more readily take action on violations of the policy without making a legal determination about sexual harassment or other problematic conduct.

                                                  iv.     Shunta and Adam will continue work in trying to craft a preliminary policy for the Board to consider.

 

IV.              NDCA Novice Packet

a.      Shunta reported that several people have expressed interest in being hired to help produce the novice policy packet for the coming season. The sense of the Board is that we should hire the people we hired last year absent a compelling reason to make a change and spend more money.

 

V.               NDCA Tournament Sponsorship

a.      The Board discussed whether we want to allow camp sponsorships of the NDCA tournament, and if so how they should be administered (e.g. should there be a process where any camp can buy a table to distribute their literature, etc.).

                                                    i.     The Board expressed the need to balance securing the financial viability of the tournament with the desire to avoid excessive commercialization of the tournament and to avoid creating the perception of inappropriate conflicts of interest.

                                                   ii.     The Board expressed a general preference to secure more sponsorships for the Conference so that it could subsidize the tournament rather than the other way around.

b.      The Board considered the possibility of non-camp sponsorships as a way to avoid the pitfalls of camp sponsorships but also attempt to provide more financial support for the tournament.

                                                    i.     Ideas for such sponsorships included discussion of a college fair in which college programs could provide information about their programs to prospective students. Dave suggested that we might be able to trade a table at such a fair for judging rounds from college program directors or coaches, which may help hold down our hired judge costs.

                                                   ii.     The Board adopted 8-0 that the tournament liason may explore non-camp sponsorships for the NDCA tournament, subject to the approval of the Board.

 

VI.              NDCA Point Formula (Tim Mahoney joined us for this discussion)

a.      The sense of the Board is that under the current NDCA Points Formula (used for tournament qualification and awarding our season-long student awards) has two primary deficiencies: It overweights preliminary rounds relative to elimination rounds, and using number of states in attendance as a proxy for regional diversity creates uneven results between regions with large states and small states.

                                                    i.     The Board discussed whether the season long awards should give greater weight to elimination rounds versus strong preliminary round performances. The sense of the Board was that this question turned partially on whether the season long award should place greater value on performances in individual debates versus having strong tournaments. The sense of the Board is that the latter should be given more weight, because elimination rounds have higher stakes and are judged by panels rather than individuals, and because tournament performance captures a variety of intangible variables we want to reward (such as mental toughness and tournament strategy).

b.      Several proposals for reforming the formula were proposed.

                                                    i.     Val MacIntosh proposed changes to the existing multipliers in our formula, and included quite a bit of data showing this would effectively address the concern about preliminary round weighting.

                                                   ii.     Chris Theis proposed a significant change to our underlying formula. In particular, the Board liked the suggestion of using either number of schools or the schools to entries ratio as a proxy for diversity rather than states in attendance.

1.      In addition, using teams as a proxy for diversity helps to decrease the extent to which only large, octofinals bids tournaments can receive the maximum diversity multiplier. Sheryl expressed that this was inconsistent with our goal of promoting local debate.

c.      Shunta is going to ask for help computing how these proposed changes to the formula would have affected past year’s results, and the Board will return to the discussion in light of what those experiments reveal.

 

VII.            Promoting the NDCA Tournament

a.      The Board reaffirmed the importance of what the NDCA tournament offers to the debate community. The Board discussed several ideas for promoting attendance. These included notifying teams and school administrations when people qualify to the tournament, recognizing the top five or ten teams in the season-long awards, and limiting our tournament rotation so that it always takes place in easily accessible venues.

b.      The Board recognized that one impediment to implementing our ideas to improve what we can offer is our reliance on volunteers and the limited time we each have to devote to additional responsibilities.

 

Meeting adjourned at approximately 2:30pm.

Newly passed motions by the NDCA Board.

Shunta Jordan made and Dave Weston seconded the following motion, which passed 8-0 by a rapid action vote on 2/26/2018.

"I make a motion that we offer breakfast and lunches for $29 and figure out a way to pay for it that is not camp funding."

In addition, Christina Tallungan made and Dave Weston seconded the following motion, which passed 7-0 on 2/24/2018.

Motion 1:

"The 2018 budget for the NDCA Conference cannot exceed $3000. This budget includes 4 - $250 stipends to cover travel expenses for out-of-town presenters who are not getting assistance from their schools, the cost of the conference session rooms, and the cost of food for a single event during the weekend. Allocation of the travel stipends are subject to Board Approval."

Motion 2: 

"The NDCA Conference Coordinator may solicit for sponsorships for the conference."  

Minutes from NDCA Board Meeting 11/19/2017

NDCA Board Meeting – November 19, 2017.

Meeting called to order by Shunta Jordan at 11:30am.

 

Members Present

Shunta Jordan

Sheryl Kaczmarek

Shane Stafford

Christina Tallungan

Chris Theis

Aaron Timmons

Adam Torson

Dave Weston

Ed Williams

 

Business

I.                 NDCA Conference Conference

a.      Christina is checking group rates at various hotels in the Chicago area. In particular she is examining whether airport hotels will be the cheapest option or whether we should locate elsewhere in the Chicago metro.

b.      Panels –

                                                    i.     There are only four panels submitted so far, so we are hoping for a few more

                                                   ii.     We would like to have panels set in mid-January if possible so that they can be advertised before the conference. We decided to set a deadline of January 15th to submit panels and then extend the deadline if folks needed more time.

c.      Christina reports that we are planning for same number of attendees as last year, but we have started reaching out to more people and hope for a larger turnout.

d.      The Board affirmed that we should seek out sponsorships again, and there is an indication that some alums are willing to donate to the conference.

e.      Christina confirmed that we will once again partner with the NSDA to count conference hours toward their professional development program.

 

II.                Tournament Report (Dave)

a.      Marist plans to use their catering in-house catering service, which will cost $31 per person for two breakfasts and two lunches. Marist will donate $1000 toward the meals to help with price, and Summit Debate may sponsor a meal. Other entities listed in the bid are unlikely to sponsor a meal. It is the sense of the board that given this uncertainty we should price the tournament on the assumption that there will be no additional donations.

                                                    i.     Last year the entry fees were $100 per LD entry and $150 per team entry. The year before that the entry fees were $100 per LD entry and $100 per team entry, but with a $40 meal charge per person.

b.      At Marist we will have eighty six rooms available. Tim reports that this should be enough given that we are unlikely to have radically more entries than in past years.

c.      It looks as though the tournament will be able to secure a Promo code for discounted Delta airline tickets and a discounted tickets for a Braves game.

d.      Marist plans to sell T-Shirts for tournament, selling them at cost in the range of $7-10.

e.      Adam recapped the discussion from Greenhill about the tournament.

f.       The Board reaffirmed the importance of focusing on hiring local judges in Atlanta, and promoting diversity in the judging pool.

g.      Food Fee

                                                    i.     Is it necessary to raise the food fee? Our cost looks to be $31 person compared to the $40 food fee.

                                                   ii.     The Board considered the options of offering four meals (two breakfasts and two lunches), or offering only lunches and starting the tournament an hour later to accommodate people getting breakfast on their own. Dave is going to email Tim to see if a later start time is feasible.

                                                  iii.     Ed moves that we remove breakfast from meal request and keep the $20 meal fee we already voted for. This should generate $10,000 in revenue. This motion was adopted by acclamation.

                                                  iv.     It is the sense of the Board that the meal fee calculation needs to be clear. There is a sense that it may be a mistake to include a food fee as a separate line item on teams’ invoices as some districts have a policy that they will not pay a food fee.

h.      It is the sense of the Board that we need to be more explicit in our invitation to ensure that teams are complying with the Entourage Rule.

i.       Dave is going to send an email at the end of January or February notifying schools and their principals that they have students qualified to the tournament.

j.       The Board briefly discussed the possibility of adding Congressional debate for future years, in the hopes of offering more competitive opportunities and creating another revenue source. The sense of the Board is that for the moment we should focus on growing our current slate of events.

 

III.              Debate Camp Survey

a.      Some questions were created relating to the debate camp survey discussed on the September Board meeting. Shunta and Aaron are going to discuss the issue further, including how to share the information collected, and report back to the Board.

 

IV.              Board roles

a.      Adam and Chris will switch roles for the coming year. Adam will be the Curriculum Coordinator and Chris will be the Internal Communications Officer.

 

V.               Rostrum

a.      Steve Schappaugh has told Shane that the next Rostrum will be focused on education, accessibility, inclusion. There is a December 15th deadline for us to submit an article for the February Rostrum.

 

VI.              Curriculum Packet –

a.      Shunta and Adam will collaborate to coordinate the packet after the 2018-2019 policy topic is announced. The Board expressed the desire to have better communication with people working on the novice packet moving forward.

 

Meeting adjourned at 12:41pm

Minutes from NDCA Board Meeting 9/17/2017

NDCA Board Meeting – September 17, 2017

Meeting called to order by Shunta Jordan at 8:40am

 

Members Present

Aaron Timmons

Adam Torson

Christina Tallungan

Dave Weston

Shane Stafford

Shunta Jordan

 

Members Not Present

Chris Theis

Sheryl Kaczmarek

 

Business

I.                 Membership Reminder Email

a.      Shunta reported that we have very few new memberships and membership renewals. Shane is going to send a reminder email to the list serve and post reminders on social media.

 

II.                Public Forum Case Wiki

a.      In response to the accusation that some PF coaches who were writing down opponents’ citations were ‘stealing evidence,’ several have proposed a Public Forum case wiki.

b.      Adam moved that we create a Public Forum case wiki, which was approved by unanimous consent.

 

III.              New Board Member Elections

a.      At present Aaron is unopposed in his run to remain on the Board.

 

IV.              Topic Voting Reminder

a.      Shunta reminded the board to vote for next year’s policy topic, and reminded us that we may vote both as an institutional member and an individual member.

 

V.               The NSDA has solicited an article for the Rostrum on the topic of making connections and staying connected with alumni. Dave has been working on alumni relations at his school and volunteered to complete the article, which is due on October 5th.

 

VI.              2018 NDCA Conference

a.      After discussion of possible dates, the Board agreed by unanimous consent to keep our current weekend, which this year will be May 19th and 20th. These avoid Mother’s Day the weekend before and Memorial Day the weekend after.

b.      Location

                                                    i.     The Board discussed the possibility of hosting this year’s conference in Chicago. The advantage of doing so would be providing easier access to coaches from the Upper Midwest, which might in turn cultivate a new market for future conferences. The potential disadvantages are the costs of travel, venue, and technology.

                                                   ii.     The sense of the Board is that a move to Chicago is probably a good idea. Christina will investigate costs and report back to the Board.

c.      Topics

                                                    i.     The Board is interested fostering a community discussion about debate camp practices with particular emphasis on pedagogy and issues of race and gender.

                                                   ii.     The Board discussed creating a broader theme for the conference of pedagogical practices in debate, of which camp pedagogies might be one example.

                                                  iii.     Christina will put out a call for panel topics related to the theme of debate pedagogies.

                                                  iv.     The Board briefly discussed soliciting a presentation from members of the college debate community about debate in college, recruiting, etc. for the benefit of our member coaches advising college-bound students.

d.      Youtube Channel

                                                    i.     Shane raised the possibility of creating a Youtube Channel for recordings of the NDCA conference session. The idea was met with approval and the sense of the Board is that such a channel should be created.

 

VII.            Summer Institute Quality Feedback

a.      The Board raised various concerns about practices at summer debate camps, including absentee instructors, overpopulated labs with insufficient individual feedback, deceptive advertising practices, inadequate insurance coverage and logistical planning, and insufficient adult supervision. We expressed particular concern over the lack of information available to parents and coaches, the latter of whom often advise students on camp choice and may expose themselves to liability and professional disrepute by making uninformed recommendations.

b.      The Board discussed mechanisms for gathering data about camp practices and pedagogy in the form of anonymous surveys to camp students and camp directors, and then aggregating and sharing the relevant findings with the wider community. Shunt and Christina will work on a proposed approach to the survey and perhaps solicit an amateur statistician from our organization to help crunch the numbers and present the results.

 

VIII.           NDCA Tournament

a.      Future Locations

                                                    i.     Shunta reported that the new director at UCF wants to maintain their commitment to hosting the 2021 NDCA Tournament. Dave is going to communicate with him about requirements for hosting and verify that the venue will be ready and able to host the tournament.

                                                   ii.     Once the 2018 Tournament at Marist is in the books, Dave and Shunta will begin soliciting bids for hosting the 2022 NDCA tournament. The sense of the Board is that a host in the Western United States may be desirable given that our next several venues are in the South and Midwest.

                                                  iii.     Dave is going to reach out to our 2018 hosts at Marist to thank them again for hosting this year’s tournament, offer any support we can provide in preparing the venue for the tournament in the coming months, and check-in to see that preparations are on track per our tournament requirements and Marist’s bid. 

                                                  iv.     The Board expressed concern about the future use of food trucks at the NDCA tournament. They tend to be inconvenient, expensive, provide insufficient food, and not provide food fast enough to accommodate an efficient schedule. In the future we will advise hosts to be extremely reticent to plan the use of food trucks.

b.      Finances

                                                    i.     Shunta reported that the 2017 NDCA tournament took in approximately $24,000, primarily in entry fees, and paid out approximately $27,000, primarily for hired judges.

1.      This represents approximately a $3,000 loss notwithstanding Weber State’s substantial contribution for food and other resources.

2.      By far the most significant expense is hired judges. The tournament hired numerous judges and provided transportation and lodging for many, with costs often running to well over $1000 per judge. This figure is greater than even our substantial hired judge fees. The net loss from hired judges is substantially greater than the tournament’s net shortfall.

                                                   ii.     The sense of the Board is that the organization cannot afford to take a loss on the tournament given the slow pace of membership growth. The Board discussed various ways to address the shortfall, including raising entry fees, returning to a food fee, and increasing the hired judging fee.

1.      The Board approved by unanimous consent a rule that teams must provide at least one judge in each division in which they have entered a team, and may hire from the tournament no more than one full time judge in each division.

a.      The sense of the Board is that an important community norm is the willingness of coaches to judge, so that everyone in the community has access to high quality adjudication and feedback as much as possible. We hope to encourage adherence to this norm.

2.      The Board approved by unanimous consent a $10,000 cap on hired judge expenses for the 2018 NDCA Tournament.

3.      It is the sense of the Board that hiring out the commitments of those otherwise coming to the tournament to coach is a good practice. However, the Board feels that the costs of coaches’ travel should be born primarily by the schools and students those coaches represent, and so we should avoid paying for the travel of judges who are otherwise coaching at the tournament whenever possible.

4.      By unanimous consent the board approved a $20 food fee to be charged to each person attending the tournament.

Meeting adjourned at 10:13am.

Newly Passed Motion by the NDCA Board

Adam Torson made and Dave Weston seconded the following motion, which passed 7-0 on 5/25/2017.

The NDCA Public Forum tournament procedures should be amended to replace this sentence:
After March 15 teams will be released from the waiting list until the tournament is full.

with this sentence:
After March 1 teams will be released from the waiting list until the tournament is full.


The NDCA Lincoln Douglas tournament procedures should be amended to replace this sentence:
Five weeks prior to the first day of competition additional debaters will be released from the waiting list, even if some of those applicants don’t have 500 points, until a maximum of 100 debaters are entered in the tournament.

 
with this sentence:

After March 1st, additional debaters will be released from the waiting list, even if some of those applicants don’t have 500 points, until a maximum of 100 debaters are entered in the tournament. 

Newly Passed Motion by the NDCA Board

The following motion was introduced by Adam Torson and seconded by Sheryl Kaczmarek, and passed 8-0 on 5/17/2017.

In the tournament qualification section of the policy debate tournament procedures after the line “16 or more states: 2.0” add the following sentence:
To count toward number of teams attending or the Diversity of Tournament Multiplier a team must have participated in at least one round of competition.

AND

In the tournament qualification section of the Lincoln-Douglas debate tournament procedures:

after the line “16 or more states: 2.0” add the following sentence:
To count toward number of debaters attending or the Diversity of Tournament Multiplier a debater must have participated in at least one round of competition.

AND

In the Award for Season Long Excellence section of the Public Forum tournament procedures
after the line “16 or more states: 2.0” add the following sentence:
To count toward number of teams attending or the Diversity of Tournament Multiplier a team must have participated in at least one round of competition.

Newly Passed Motion by the NDCA Board

Adam Torson made and Sheryl Kaczmarek seconded the following motion, which passed 7-0 on 5/11/2017.

The NDCA policy debate tournament procedures should be amended by replacing this part of the Tournament Qualification section:

"Teams registering for the NDCA Championships will automatically be placed on a waiting list until they achieve the requisite points, as detailed below, determined by sending in their qualifying point sheets or using the NDCA points database. Teams will be released off the waiting list immediately if they have earned at least 500 points and if they apply prior to March 15 and until 75 teams have been admitted to the tournament. The application deadline is April 1. On April 1 an additional 25 teams will be released from the waiting list even if some of those applicants don’t have 500 points. Applications will be accepted, regardless of a team’s point total, after April 1 until 100 teams are entered in the tournament or until the Monday preceding the start of the tournament whichever comes first."

with

"Teams registering for the NDCA Championships will automatically be placed on a waiting list until they achieve the requisite points, as detailed below, determined by sending in their qualifying point sheets or using the NDCA points database available on tabroom.com. Teams will be released off the waiting list immediately if they have earned at least 500 points and if they apply prior to March 1. On March 1 additional teams will be released from the waiting list even if some of those entries don’t have 500 points. Entries will be accepted, regardless of a team’s point total, after March 1 until 100 teams are entered in the tournament or until the Monday preceding the start of the tournament whichever comes first."

Newly Passed Motion by the NDCA Board

Christina Tallungan made and Shunta Jordan seconded the following motion, which passed 8-0 on 5/11/2017.

In response to a protest respectfully submitted by Scott Wheeler, the Board reaffirms MBA KR as the winner of the 2017 Baker Award after the Chair of the Executive Board manually calculated the top 5 tournament results for both MBA KR and Peninsula TW. There were discrepancies in the calculated data posted on Tabroom due to varying practices in adjusting teams that drop from the tournament thereby affecting the state diversity multiplier. These discrepancies affected the calculation of the Heart of Texas tournament (change indicated below) and the NDCA calculations. While the Board regrets the discrepancies and will make efforts to correct these with Tabroom, both the errant and corrected calculations indicate that MBA KR won the 2017 Baker Award.

Peninsula TW
St. Mark's - 206 points (changed from 230 originally posted on Tabroom)
Greenhill - 247 points
USC - 275 points
Blake - 288 points
Berkeley - 368 points
Total: 1384

MBA KR
Michigan - 166 points
Greenhill - 288 points
Glenbrooks - 368 points
Barkley Forum - 368 points
NDCA - 215 points (replaced their low which was St. Mark's at 161 points)
Total: 1405
 

Newly Passed Motion by the NDCA Board

Sheryl Kaczmarek and Adam Torson seconded the following motion, which passed 7-0 on 5/11/2017.

The word NFL should be replaced by the word NSDA in all NDCA National Championship tournament procedures.