Affiliations: West Bend
I'm currently a senior at UW Madison majoring in both Math and History. I also have a strong background in physics and the arts, and I am an experienced violist and painter to boot.
  • Policy debate 2006-2010 for West Bend (All Levels, primarily V4)
  • 2 years judging - all divisions and levels

  • Communication: I'm pretty able to follow speed. That being said, I don't suggest that you should go fast, especially if you aren't clear at all. Personally, I hate it when teams in any division use speed as a tactic. I think it's fine when you have a lot of legitimate points to make, but it becomes kinda ridiculous when you plow through twenty solvency arguments and say that you should win when your opponents missed refuting number 16. Analysis/Well-developed arguments > Crap tons of arguments
  • I'm not a big fan of giving oral critiques at the end of the round, unless I think it's really important to do so before you folks leave the room. Assume I won't give you them unless I explicitly say I will.

  • Cases: Right now, I think I see the LD debate structured so that the affirmative's goal is to show me that their case is true/ is valid (and therefore, so should the resolution), while the negative needs to show me that the affirmative is wrong in their support for the resolution, or that the resolution can never be fulfilled/ is false. However, I think that the negative's case is still important. It's probably the best way to show the judge that the resolution must be negated, or it should be used as a way to point out a fatal flaw in the affirmative's argument by showing that they don't take X into account. So, both teams have the burden of proving their case, which leads me to accept or reject the resolution accordingly.
  • V/VC: I think that the value/criteria debate is pretty important in LD. If the debaters don't show me what is important to the debate, how can I judge accordingly? After all, I should try to be as impartial as I can, and not judge things the way I personally might judge them, or just default to how mainstream society would judge the outcome of each side's arguments. As far as values go, I think it's often the case that both sides have the same value, but that doesn't always happen. Arguing over values really only matters when both sides realize that they're not actually talking about the same thing in the round. Value criterions are pretty integral, in my opinion, but you don't necessarily have to pull yours through the entire round. If you could turn your opponents criterion to support your position, then by all means adopt their criterion.
  • Analysis: I think analysis is always important in debate, but even more so in LD. I feel that the nature of LD is to have a structured dialectic, with the goal of showing that your arguments are better than your opponents. However, if you make an empirical claim about the world (like a majority of those incarcerated in the US identify as some minority), then it would make your point much stronger if you had evidence to support your argument. What follows from this evidence should then be your analysis of how it pertains to the debate as a whole, and shows why you beat your opponent.
  • Speed: Despite the common theme between the divisions, I actually think speed could be more important in LD debate than in policy. Why, you ask? Well, LD often approaches complex philosophical arguments, that talking about for only half an hour does them very little justice. So, it might be necessary to talk faster in order to follow your arguments to the end. See above in General:Communication for more on how I feel about speed.

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