Background: I debated primarily in LD for all four years of high school at Brookfield East. I am a couple of years out and currently a student at UW-Madison.

Speaking Style: I don't care. Speak as fast or as slow as you want, but please be clear. As long as you articulate, I will be able to understand you and get it on my flow. I greatly appreciate clear signposting, so although it won't help you win the round, it will make my flow look more like yours, which is to your advantage.

Value/Criterion: This is crucial to me. The way that I decide a round is to look at the value structure that was established in the round, then consider the arguments that were linked to that value. It honestly doesn't matter to me weather you win "your" value, as long as your arguments link to the value of the round. If you are smart, you will clearly defend why your value is superior, how you link to it, and if at all possible, how you link to the other value. This way, you have a shot at winning no matter which value I use. I love "even if" statements! The only thing that can really trump this is if there is a clear burden or standard that is either mutually agreed upon or argued and clearly won by one of the sides. In this case, obviously, I will look at who best meets the established burden.

If you haven't gathered from before, links are crucial. If you make a brilliant argument, but don't tell me how it fits in with the standard for the round, don't expect to win on it. Further, make sure to weigh your arguments. I need to know why your points achieve the standard better than the arguments your opponents will also link to the standard.

Overall: I will listen to pretty much any argument, but it must be explained clearly. This is particularly crucial if the debate comes down to one particular card, as I believe that the arguments in debate need to be 100% oral. Because of this, I will not ask to see a card after the round to try to figure out what it was saying and weather or not the other side's response correctly answered the card. This is something I should be able to do entirely from what was said in the round. If an opponent misconstrues your card, it is your responsibility to point that out in round and clarify the card. I won't vote on an argument that I don't understand unless it is dropped by your opponent, extended, and linked to the standard. Since this isn't often the case, I would suggest that your arguments are clear.

Other than that, you will have the most success with me if you use the style that you are best at. If you want to debate technically, then by all means do, and if you prefer a more rhetorical style, that is also fine. However, you should be conscious that I will judge on the arguments on the flow, so you must be able to keep up with your opponents style, however technical that may be.

Burden of Proof: I believe that the Affirmative has the burden of proof and the neg only needs to prove why we should not affirm. This still must be done by extending offense regarding why the Affirmative world is bad rather than just simply what is wrong with the Affirmative world (i.e. why it is hard to implement). I suppose that pure refutation could theoretically work in front of me, but only if it took away every piece of Aff offense. If, however, Aff extend even a single piece of offense and Neg gives no offense regarding disadvantages of the affirmative or unique advantages of the negative, I would affirm. If you want me to use a different burden of proof, establish that in round, and I will vote accordingly.

Voters: Yes!

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask me before the round. Otherwise e-mail at morgan.schumann@gmail.com.