MDR-2015


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Monash Debating Review
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EDITORIN CH
Syed Saddiq
EDITOR
Ary Ferreira da Cunha
Michelle
roenewald
uairidh Macintosh
Yi-An Shih
N
ANAG
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CO
DITORI
hy isn’t the
ebate Universe Characterised by
iversity: A Case
for Formalised
quity Policies in
ntervarsity
Johnson-Castle and Lucian Tan
Are you
DITORI
elcome to
olume 13 of the world’s only international peer-reviewed debating journal, the
Monash
eview (M
Joining me on the editorial team are Associate
uairidh Macintosh,
aguilat Jr., Michelle
roenawald, Yarn Shih & Ary Ferreira da Cunha. After months
of reviewing & writing, we are pleased to bring to you this year’s edition of the Monash
eview which features opinion articles and research pieces which will hopefully
improve the overall quality of the global debate circuit.
DER
D
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PA
niversity of
ape Town Debating
ill Debating
LUC
niversity of
ydney
Y I
’T T
E DE
TE
E
AC
ED
Y DI
ITY?
E
OR
IZED EQ
ITY
VA
ITY DE
Introduction
“Advocating the mere tolerance of di\terence…is the grossest reformism.
denial of the creative function of di\terence in our lives.
i\terence must be not merely
“ e Master’s
ill Never
ismantle the Master’s House.” 1984.
Sister Outsider: Essays and
Speeches
, edited by Audre Lorde: 110-114,
erkeley, CA: Crossing Press, 1984.
D
avid Aronson. ‘Managing the
iversity
evolution:
est Practices for 21
Century
usinesses,’
Civil Rights Journal
, 6 (2002): 46-9; Mary Ann
odine Al-Sharif. ‘ e Need for Change:
eform,’
Race, Gender & Class
, 18, 3/4 (2011): 192; Michalle
. Mor
Managing Diversity:
Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace
. ( ousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications, 2005), 218;
obert
. Putnam. ‘
luribus Unum
iversity and Community in the 21
Century: e 2006 Johan
Skytte Prize Lecture,’
olitical Studies
Monash Debating Review
e growing awareness of increased diversity comes with an understanding that structural
Patricia
radshaw. ‘Power as
adical Organisational
Change,’
European Journal of Work and Organizational
sychology
, 7, 2 (1998): 122-3; Prue
urns and
Jan Schapper. ‘ e
thical Case for Armative Action,’
Journal of Business Ethics
Monash Debating Review
Caroline
ickie, Zhanna Soldan and Mike Fazey.
iversity at
ork:
orking
ith and Managing
iversity. (Melbourne:
ilde Publishing) 2012; Mor
arak, Managing
iversity.
G
. Cunningham and Michael Sagas. ‘People make the di\terence: e in\buence of the
coaching sta\t’s human capital and diversity on team performance,’
European Sport Management
Quarterly
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have generated prejudices that oppress people through operations of
E
ray. ‘
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thought and productive discussion about a broad spectrum of perspectives.
found in the context of the higher education that diversity enhances learning experiences,
problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills
. ese elements are all crucial
to the success of intervarsity debate.
mportantly, these bene\nts cannot be achieved
oherty and Chelladuri, “Managing Cultural
iversity”, 284; L.
. Ho\tman. ‘Homogeneity of
member personality and its e\tect on group problem solving,’
Journal of Abnormal
sychology,
. Ho\tman and N.
. Maier. 1961. ‘Quality and acceptance of problem solutions by
Monash Debating Review
ly and omas, “Cultural
iversity” 232; A. M. Konrad, S.
inter, and
iversity in
work group sex composition:
mplications for majority and minority members’ in
esearch in the
Sociology of Organizations, edited by P. S.
olbert and S.
reenwich, C
Press,
1992); S. J. South, C. M.
. Markham, and J. Corder. “Social structure and intergroup
interaction: Men and women of the federal bureaucracy.” American Sociological
eview, 47, 5 (1982).
Nigel
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and should not be unlimited, policies and governance frameworks are convenient and
E
quality Challenge Unit, Promoting
Kreitz, “
est Practices”, 101.
B
agilhole. ‘Applying the Lens of
qual Opportunities and
iversity
Policies,’
Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences
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conduct of participants. Anecdotally, the majority of equity violations at major tournaments
are committed not out of malice or ill intent, but rather through a misunderstanding of
appropriate boundaries and acceptable conduct. is can be avoided if there clarity as to
what actions may constitute discrimination. For a policy to be clear it must explain that
protected attributes are unacceptable reasons for people to feel unsafe
both what conduct is prohibited
what conduct is expected. e only way to do this is
it is likely to cause confusion that can result in equity violations.
E
quality Challenge Unit, Academic
eaching Sta\t, 12-4.
B
ntersectionality”, 268;
quality Challenge Unit, Academic
eaching Sta\t,
B
ntersectionality”, 269.
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quity policies need to be explicit and go beyond simply ‘don’t break the law’.
B
radshaw “Power as
ension” 132; Foster and Newell, “Managing
iversity”,18.
E
quality Challenge Unit,
Mainstreaming: equality at the heart of higher education
Accessed 15 November 2015, http://www.ecu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/external/mainstreaming-
equality-at-the-heart-of-he-\nnal-report.pdf
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Moreover, it wrongly locates the sole problem of the equity violation as the individual.
t is also important to look at the contexts in which that misunderstanding may have
occurred, and tackle those in order to change individual behaviour. is requires an
expansion beyond the punitive and into the educative.
is might involve starting a
Aronson “Managing the
iversity
evolution,” 59-63; Crenshaw, “
ntersection”,
quality Challenge Unit,
Mainstreaming
quality Challenge Unit,
Quality assurance:
embedding equality within college practice and processes
, (2012), 9. Accessed 15 November 2015, www.
ecu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/external/quality-assurance-embedding-equality-within-colleges.pdf
ielby. ‘Promoting racial diversity at work: Challenges and solutions,’ in
Diversity at Work
edited by Arthur P.
rief, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008) 69-70; Mor
Managing Diversity
Monash Debating Review
3) the factors referred to in subsection (2)(b) include the following:
is is particularly true for stigmatized groups whose di\terence is less visible – without clear and
accommodating frameworks such as equity policies, they are likely to choose non-disclosure to avoid
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Of course, there is still a need for punitive aspects in an equity policy.
f o\tenders do not
sincerely engage with equity ocers about their conduct punitive action may need to
be taken. For example, if they are \bippant or disengaged when apologizing. For similar
reasons, protection of complainants through a prohibition on victimisation is needed to
ensure those who choose to report are not unfairly harmed for raising issues that they
feel are important and to encourage reporting of issues.
Punitive action would also be
justi\ned in cases where there have been egregious violations of the equity policy. Policies
Chan “Policy
iscourses”, 144-5.
iversity and the
emands of Leadership” 170.
ly and omas, “Cultural
iversity” 254;
oberge and van
ecognizing the bene\nts”, 303-4.
Mai-
alton, “Managing Cultural
iversity”, 197.
ere may be outlier circumstances, for example, in cases involving self-harm, that requires equity
Crenshaw “Mapping the Margins”, 1246.
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I
nvestigating all complaints; and
I
ssuing a report at the close of the tournament
ere is almost no explanation of how complaints are investigated, or any of the
associated procedures. is can cause confusion for equity ocers about how they are
meant to respond, and further complicate the handling of sensitive complaints and
the broader operation of equity.
f a very egregious o\tence occurs which the equity
ocers feel warrants the violator being expelled from the tournament, the violator could
challenge the authority of the equity ocer where a code of conduct or equity policy
doesn’t explicitly list that as a possibility.
n part, the problems faced by the CUS
For example, see the case study of a higher education diversity committee without clear terms of
reference and procedure in Chan, “Policy
iscourses”, 143-145.
quality Challenge Unit,
romoting Good Relations
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Equity ocers should be independent from other positions at debating
tournaments
quity ocers may not be needed at all at a given tournament but when they are needed
it is important that they not distracted from their responsibilities. For example, if the
tournament director/convenor is doubling as an equity ocer it might be quite dicult
E
quality Challenge Unit,
Mainstreaming
, 3-5; Foster and Newell, “Managing
iversity”, 13; Mor
Managing Diversity
R
esearch in diversity management research demonstrates that having a clear and
changes perceptions and attitudes in everyday contexts, while con\bicting messaging impedes a
diversity friendly culture. See further: Al-Sharif, “ e Need for Change,” 196;
ielby, “Promoting
iversity”, 55-6;
radshaw “Power as
ension”, 128;
oherty and Chelladuri,
“Managing Cultural
iversity”, 286-7;
quality Challenge Unit,
romoting Good Relations
quality Challenge Unit,
Academic Teaching Sta
oberge and van
bene\nts” 300-1.
World Universities Debating Championships Debating and Judging Manual
, (2014). Accessed 15
November 2015, http://debate.uvm.edu/dcpdf/
C%20Malaysia_2014_
Judging_Manual.pdf
Monash Debating Review
t is important that our communities have a say in the continual evolution of equity
policies going forward because they are who equity is working for.
ngaging through
E
quality Challenge Unit,
Mainstreaming,
quality Challenge Unit,
romoting Good Relations
D
iversity at
ork, 145;
quality Challenge Unit, Mainstreaming, 3-5, 14;
Challenge Unit, Quality Assurance, 6-8.
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atricia Johnson-Castle is a beneciary of the Nunatsiavut landclaim agreement. She is
currently studying as a master’s student in the anthropology department at the University
of Cape Town. Her undergraduate degree is in African studies/philosophy from McGill
University. She is enthusiastic about the use of debating for education, equality of outcome and
learning from her peers.
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X
CO
N 
:
CODE
F
CO
Purpose
e purpose of this Article is to give e\tect to the principle that all participants
at rounds of the Championships should have an opportunity equal with other
individuals to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and
obligations as participants in the Championships, without being hindered in or
prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or
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Participants include all:
e) observers
Participants found to be in breach of this code of conduct agree to be bound by the
Implementation and Enforcement
Making a Complaint
Participants wishing to make a formal complaint alleging a breach of the Code of
submit the complaint to the designated
quity Ocer of the Championship
Complaints made in written form shall be submitted through any submission
box at the
vent marked for the express purpose of submitting Code of
Conduct related complaints.
d) e tournament organising committee must provide a box for the express
purpose of submitting Code of Conduct related complaints on each day of
Nothing in the above subsections (a) – (d) prevents tournament participants
from orally informing the designated
of an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct
f)
Such an allegation will not be considered a formal complaint and will not
trigger the complaints mechanism until a written complaint is submitted.
Complaints Mechanism:
Subject to the provisions of section 2 of this Article, upon receipt of a
quity Ocer of the event shall without delay notify the
Chair of
orlds Council that a complaint has been received, and where
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twenty-four hours of the receipt of the complaint or before the end of the
Championships, whichever is sooner, issue a decision on the complaint to
orld’s Council and to the parties involved.
W
here the
quity Ocer, acting reasonably, believes the Chair of
Council to be in a position of a con\bict of interest with regard to such a
xecutive Committee
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Ocer under seal. ese are the only copies that will be made by the
quity Ocer,
to anyone other
than the members of the Appeals Committee and the party receiving discipline.
Any person receiving disciplinary action may appeal the decision to an Appeals
Committee to be comprised of the Convenor of the
vent, any one of the
Chief Adjudicators and the Chair of
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X
ID
ODE O
T
LAW
y-Law is to give e\tect to the principle that all participants at
events organized by CUS
members should have an opportunity equal with other
individuals to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and
obligations as participants in events organized by CUS
hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race,
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All orders shall take the form prescribed in Schedule A.
Denitions
ylaw,
Harassment is de\nned as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct
that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.
Participant is de\nned as a debater, adjudicator, observer, or individual involved in
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X
ALS E
ITY
reamble
1.1 Purpose
e Solbridge Australasian
ebating Championships 2015 (Australs 2015) is committed
to providing a tournament free from discrimination, harassment, bullying and vili\ncation,
and which fosters equity, inclusion and respect for social and cultural diversity.
is policy explains what conduct is prohibited and outlines the procedures for raising
complaints when participants feel that their equity has been breached.
ackground and principles
ach year, the Australasian
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is policy is a crystallization of those principles, and it seeks to protect all participants
of Australs 2015 from conduct that would make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe, to
encourage and facilitate discussion and education, and ultimately to make debate a more
inclusive space for all.
is policy applies to all participants at Australs 2015, including but not limited to:
b) Adjudicators
c) Members of the Organizing Committee
e) Observers
is policy applies for the entire duration of the tournament, which includes, but is not
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Note that sexual harassment has a speci\nc meaning as any unwelcome sexual advance,
request for sexual favours or any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that
humiliates, o\tends or intimidates a person and which a reasonable person, having regard
to all the circumstances, would anticipate making the person humiliated, o\tended or
Indirect Discrimination
ndirect discrimination is imposing, or proposing to impose, a requirement, condition or
practice that has, or is likely to have the e\tect of disadvantaging an individual or group
with a particular protected attribute, and which is not reasonable in the circumstances.
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R
eligious aliation, belief, views or practice
m) Sex
n) Sexual orientation (including but not limited to asexuality, bisexuality,
Someone is too drunk to understand what they are doing
You are using social status or a position of authority to pressure someone
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onduct and Matters Regarding Debates
ebaters are required to treat each other and the adjudicators with respect. is includes:
R
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As such, adjustments may need to be made for participants with a disability, such as
allocation of debating rooms close to the brie\nng hall, or use of assistive technology.
f a participant with a disability requires an adjustment, they should contact the
provide recommendations to the Adjudication Core and the Organising Committee,
who will make any adjustments deemed reasonably necessary.
rocedures and
f a participant feels that there has been a breach of this policy, then they may raise the
matter with a member of the
eam. All complaints raised are treated as con\ndential,
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7.2 Progressing an
f the complainant does wish to progress with a complaint, the
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7.4 Appeals
Any participant subject to disciplinary action may appeal the decision within twelve
hours of receiving noti\ncation. Complainants also have a right to appeal under the same
Under the A
A Constitution s 17, participants who feel that their equity has been
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X D
ALS
PRO
UN
TROD
C 2015, Australs 2015 has a pronoun introduction procedure. is is because
participants have diverse gender identities that should be respected. Misgendering
someone or failing to use their correct pronoun can be alienating and is disrespectful.
No one should ever assume a person’s gender identity or their correct pronouns based on
t is the responsibility of the chair judge to introduce themselves to the entire room with
their correct gender pronoun, and to give a chance to any wing judges present to do the
ebaters, in \nlling out the team ballot, will have the opportunity to state their
correct gender pronouns.
f a speaker does not wish to identify a pronoun, they are not
required to do so.
hen the chair judge calls each debater to speak, they will also announce their correct
gender pronouns. For example, a chair may say “
now call on the \nrst armative speaker
X, whose pronouns are she and they, to begin this debate”.
f a speaker has decided not to
state their pronoun, the chair should state that the speaker has expressed no preference.
e process should be explicit and deliberate, and is the responsibility of the chair,
hen speaking, it is also an option for people to structure their sentences in a way
that avoids referring to someone through gender pronoun at all. is can be useful, for
example, where a speaker has forgotten someone’s correct pronoun and wishes not to
o\tend by making a mistake.
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X E
ALS
ANGUAG
e goal of equity at Australs is for the event to be as inclusive as possible for every
potential participant, and the burden of that is on each and every participant to be
sensitive and considerate in how they interact with others.
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2. Sex and
t is important to keep aware of another’s correct gender pronoun, the one they identify
o not assume what a person’s gender pronoun is based on their appearance. ere
will be an opportunity for each participant to state their correct gender pronoun, and it
is important to be aware of this and respect the pronouns of others.
Some L
GBT
A people may have reclaimed previously derogatory words, such as “fag,”
or “dyke”. is does not make the use of these words by people who do not identify as
GBT
A appropriate. ese words can still be loaded with cultural baggage in ways
GBT
A might not understand, and this can be very hurtful to someone
still struggling with that reality.
ecognize that language has evolved in a very gendered way, and hasn’t caught up to
be inclusive of many identities now such as with people with a gender identity other
ealize that this re\bects on our unconscious habits in its use.
more inclusive to make an e\tort to not use “he” as a default pronoun when referring to
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4. Corrections in-round
e believe it appropriate for chairs to comment on the use of language in a round in
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X
ALS
COM
PLA
S
PRO
SS INF
APH
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CLAU
chool of Economics
chool of Economics
Introduction
e demographics of university debating are changing. Circuits joke about “dinosaurs” and
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mma Pierson discussed the potential
e surprising thing about Figure 1 isn’t that there is a gap in experience – debating has
been historically male dominated, so we might expect to initially see a gap in experience
Pierson, ‘Men Outspeak
omen’, Monash
eview, 2013
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had more opportunities to practice and improve their debating skills than speakers with
less experience. Having had more time to hone their skills, they are more likely to be able
to construct arguments in skilful ways, engage with other teams more meaningfully, and
so on. ey also tend to bene\nt from general knowledge of the debating circuit. is
knowledge should not be under-estimated in its importance.
curricular knowledge may include familiarity with certain motions or topics, knowledge
of debate jargon or knowledge and ability to respond to the preferences of individual
judges. All of these things can be useful, but not necessarily always decisive, in debates.
any case, we can reasonably conclude that a greater amount of experience in debating can
increase a speaker’s likelihood of success at national or international tournaments, both
in terms of ability to improve debating skills and in terms of extra-curricular knowledge
of debating gained through increased participation in and exposure to the debate circuit.
equivalent success
reaking at a tournament is a zero-sum game.
eams either will or will not break. One
team breaking in a particular position necessarily comes at the expense of another team
breaking in that position.
e e\tect of this is to deprive teams and speakers that otherwise might have broken
the opportunity to speak in out-rounds, and deprives them of a debating success more
generally.
n particular, this means that teams consisting of highly-experienced debaters
are more likely to beat out less experienced teams to the break. Owing to their lack of
comparable experience, and thus lesser knowledge and skill levels, they are more likely
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to be successful as a result of this. 86% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “my
national debate circuit is male-dominated”, with 36% of respondents strongly agreeing.
e \ngure is higher in relation to international tournaments (including
C). 97% of respondents agreed with the statement “the international debate circuit
is male-dominated”. us, not only is it statistically the case that there are more male
debaters than women debaters; there is also a strong awareness of this trend. is may
not be harmful in of itself. However, women debaters may also perceive that their success
will be impacted harmfully by this gender disparity. 61% of respondents either agreed or
strongly agreed with the statement “
feel less likely to succeed at international debating
tournaments on account of my gender.” us, not only do women debaters perceive that
there are far more men than women in debating; they also believe this to damage their
chances of success, which a\tects how likely they are to enjoy and continue engaging in
is phenomenon is exacerbated by the predominance of experienced male debaters.
hen asked, “Have you ever felt that you have been deprived of an opportunity or
success in debating owing to the presence of a highly experienced male speaker?” 74%
of respondents answered armatively.
epeated experiences of being deprived of the
opportunities we described above may serve to decrease the enjoyment that women feel
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TTTT]hose speakers seem vastly more likely to ‘pro-am’ upcoming male debaters than
female ones. at means female debaters aren’t just being edged out by older male
debaters but by the younger male speakers who are speaking with them.”
See responses to question 11
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many people save their fourth chance at speaking until they are in a third or fourth
degree to maximise their chances of success, while
C has no restriction at all.
many circuits have provisions for novice tournaments, we aren’t aware of any that o\ter
undergraduate-only tournaments that would allow speakers.
xperienced debaters can provide a lot to the circuit, through judging, training and
o\tering pro-am opportunities.
RE
D
RG
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oward
ollege Debating
MOTIO
E TR
Introduction
is opinion piece, like its writer, is \nxated on inclusivity in debate: in divining and
contributing to mechanisms to achieve such the text does not spent time exalting on
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A perfect example is the motion “ is House
ould close the Nationals 2011
roup”.
n post-apartheid South Africa, the polarizing conversations on gender, race and class
were creeping into
ebateland. Our discourse on the prevailing perspectives was
reaching an aggressive peak online, and many in our circuit felt the Facebook
roup
would endanger the reputation and stability of our community. e opposing stance was
separated into two factions: one distinct sect believed the
roup was a platform for truth
however unsanitary and exploitative its expression, and its fellow, an umbrella of various
types, believed that with moderation and consensus-making, whatever came from the
roup online, transparently, was bene\ncial for enhancing the strength and collective
were existentially included in the discussion that was raging inside the federal structures
and across unions.
t was a momentous break from simply
egardless of what
the rankings may reveal or how arguments were treated by judges, the motion coerced
people to cross over the self-drawn lines of factionalism in healthy
ritish Parliamentary
n South Africa,
omen, Queer and Multi-lingual debaters use this bridge
Karl Marx spoke of the inherent revolutionary tendency of the underclass in a hegemonic status quo.
t is in the nature of the dominated to voice and act out liberation.
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Exclusion and Inclusion: the dialectic of power in space
Hegel
asserts that a listener and receiver create a debate, the dialectic that manifests their
subject-hood in an ensuing exchange. Fanon
the context of the listener and receiver: an understanding that a dominant voice claims
and creates knowledge and shared-space, which the dominated voice exists in as its other.
oman and Queer debater cannot simply speak into space and claim
and create knowledge: they must confront the
hite Male subject-voice that situates
them as the Othered-voice.
nherently, the dominant subject-voice also su\ters in their
narrow conception of knowledge and cultural production.
e as debaters recognize that
G
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e were joined by Keith
ries, Mmeli Notsch, Comine Howe and
umede in ensuing years
for projects such as branded
-Shirts and research surveys.
Over a four year period, implicating Lindelwe
ube, Athinangomso
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queer debaters to relax around our fellow debaters as we felt like we were being heard in
a new space within
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ROE
WAL
orth
niversity
E
T
Calls on the circuit are continuously made for the improvement of adjudication and
rightly so. As a debate community we constantly aspire to more, the realm of adjudication
should be no di\terent. Some might even claim that those words of “with great power
comes great responsibility” might even ring ever more true when it comes to this sphere.
A speaker having a bad round a\tects himself and potentially his partner.
a\tects all four teams in the room. As many teams on the cusp of breaking will tell you
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compile a comprehensive training guide. is could include the importance of dedicated
adjudication training, actual training drills catered speci\ncally for adjudicators, di\terent
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S AN
LL OF TH
S:
OT
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e exact motion: “ is house, as a medical professional employed by the United States military or
security services, would, and would encourage others, to refuse orders to provide medical treatment
to individuals undergoing ‘enhanced interrogation techniques.’”
e exact motions: “presuming feasibility, at we should allow individuals to selectively erase
others’ memories of them” and “presuming it were possible, at we would opt for a digital existence
over a physical one.”
is House, as a superhero, would agree to use their powers solely in service of the democratic
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e \nrst class are what
will call “Unusual Actor Motions”
. ese are motions such as
the one mentioned in the introduction, where debaters discuss what a certain individual
Another example of this kind of motion: “You are an 18 year-old feminist-identifying female pop
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e exact motion: “You are a very respected debater from a very underrepresented institution. You
are judging at a major international
P tournament, and in a bubble round that you chair, there is
an exceptionally close decision for 1
. One of the two teams in this close split is a prestigious
institution, and the other is from a very underrepresented and small one with no break history. Your
reasoning leads you to believe that the team from the prestigious institution probably won; your
single panellist, who is a suspected biased judge, also believes it was a close win to the prestigious
institution. is house would actively push for the call to the underrepresented institution and
in\bate speaker scores.”
See for instance the motion in the introduction, motions about individuals cheating on their lovers,
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aval
nowledge: e Issue of Epistemology
ie. e study of what we can and cannot know.
t should be noted that these are basically just the processes of deductive and inductive reasoning.
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policy: after all, the actors are still humans, at the end of the day, and none of these
experiences are entirely removed from the lives that we lead already. us, there are a
multitude of reference points we can use to ground our discussions – and, as adjudicators
can arbitrate which team was more persuasively able to use theory and examples to debate
Monash Debating Review
Monash Debating Review
amidst indulgent creativity. is article’s title is somewhat of a reference to this:
e exact motion: “Assuming that no sight leads to a slight heightening of the four other senses
(hearing, touch, smell, taste), this house prefers a world where everyone is born blind.”
Monash Debating Review
inal
djudication: e
CHNOLO
Monash Debating Review
E
RT O
TORY
PH
Royal Melbourne Institute of Melbourne
niversity of
CHUAN
tanford
niversity
niversity of
niversity of
Introduction
f software is eating the world then debating was swallowed a long time ago. Hand-tabbing
is rare; in its place we \nnd a range of digital tab systems, each making ever-increasing
strides in their allocation algorithms, user interfaces, online accessibility, and data entry
Monash Debating Review
would remove this barrier: archives that are easy to exchange are easy to preserve, and
analysts could use the same tools to inspect data regardless of the tab system used in each
particular tournament.
ackground
ere are many tab systems. Some run only on web servers, on PCs, or as
Monash Debating Review
e basic aim of the standard would be to make it easier for interested debaters to use tab
data to archive tabs, run statistical analyses, and create tools such as motion banks.
envision there will, eventually, be a diverse range of applications to help us understand
and improve our sport.
e do not profess to imagine all such applications—others
will undoubtedly have more ideas than we do—but examples could include motion
banks, analyses of adjudicator bias or gender equity, records of institutional achievement,
Monash Debating Review
Decoupling tab systems from uses of tab data.
and analyses would be able to use tab data irrespective of which tab system it comes from
as long as the data is exchanged in a manner compliant with the standard.
n this way,
we decouple the tab systems that provide the data from the applications and analyses
is decoupling would mean developers of tab systems and other applications would
only have to implement one format to be compatible with all other applications.
Similarly, analysts would be able to apply the same procedure to data from di\terent tab
systems. More broadly, it would allow each tab system and each application using tab
data to progress independently of each other, unhindered by diculties in importing and
standardising data.
Improving accessibility.
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will help guide discussion and demonstrate the viability of this endeavour.
e standard should admit any tournament structure and debate format.
e world
Monash Debating Review
e note, again, that there is a trade-o\t here: the more \bexible the standard, the more
mindful application developers will need to be that not all information can be assumed
to be present.
e believe that this is acceptable if it means more tournaments can release
their archives in a common format.
e standard should be extensible.
e needs of the debating community have
changed with time, and will continue to do so: consider, for example, the recent advent
o ensure the longevity of these archives, the standard therefore
needs to be able to evolve to add new \nelds, while remaining compatible with previous
versions of the standard.
t is this need that informs our suggestion that XML or JSON
formats be used. However, extensibility will also need to be kept in mind as we formulate
the structure of archive \nles.
Monash Debating Review
Although the standard itself would be XML- or JSON-based, we imagine that there will
be libraries written in each of the major programming languages, to provide an interface
Monash Debating Review
would open the door to more enduring historical records.
TI

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