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Higher Ed Rez talk
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Author:  InfiniteUnderscores [ Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Higher Ed Rez talk

This is really early but why not.

Since like 75% of you guys are alumni anyway (and do collegey stuff), and since our rez is about collegey stuff, do you guys have any [truths to] misconceptions about higher ed [how the system might work differently than we would otherwise think it would] that would be potentially beneficial to know [for researching and stuff not irl]?

Maybe this will be useful. maybe not.

Also, would dual credit reforms fall under the res?

Thanks--- :)

Author:  Mindbender [ Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Happy to weigh in if you have more specific questions - in progress on my PhD, been in higher ed ~10 years, and preparing for an academic career. Has a resolution wording been settled on? Want to post it here?

Author:  InfiniteUnderscores [ Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Thanks!

So far I have one question,
I know that the government (state and feds) regulate the higher ed system and impose regulations on them, but the articles I read didn't really mention any regulation of the part of the student.

As a student, was is the extent of federal or state regulation? [if any at all I have absolutely no concept of it]
(This probably varies from state to state and school to school but still helpful to get an idea for)



--------
Oh also as far as the rez goes, it hasn't been posted to their website yet, this version was posted to their facebook page recently and will suffice till then with these kinds of questions. No top talk yet I guess.

" Resolved: The United States should significantly reform its policies regarding higher education."

Author:  Sharkfin [ Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

InfiniteUnderscores wrote:
the articles I read didn't really mention any regulation of the part of the student.

That's because there aren't. You have honor codes and whatnot placed on students by the university (thou shalt not cheat, thou shalt not be a bad representation of our university, thou shalt not wear pajamas to the dining hall (which I can say personally was not enforced)), but otherwise you're just adults and can do whatever you want.

The only real exception is if you're receiving some sort of federal scholarships/financial aid which is contingent on something, like not getting a drug conviction.

Author:  InfiniteUnderscores [ Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Sharkfin wrote:
InfiniteUnderscores wrote:
the articles I read didn't really mention any regulation of the part of the student.

That's because there aren't. You have honor codes and whatnot placed on students by the university (thou shalt not cheat, thou shalt not be a bad representation of our university, thou shalt not wear pajamas to the dining hall (which I can say personally was not enforced)), but otherwise you're just adults and can do whatever you want.

The only real exception is if you're receiving some sort of federal scholarships/financial aid which is contingent on something, like not getting a drug conviction.



I was more wondering from the admissions side of things [like if there were requirements], but this is good too.
On the same topic, does the gov [fed or state] have the ability to prevent someone from attending school? Like, besides arresting them and putting them in jail.

Author:  Mindbender [ Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Yep, adding to what Sharkfin said, my immediate thought was also conduct requirements tied to federal aid - namely, if you are convicted of a drug crime (specifically drugs, which is notable), you can no longer receive certain federal grants or scholarships and may be required to pay back what you've already received. To answer your follow-up, no, the federal government generally cannot and does not weigh in on admissions. This is why even people without legal papers can often enroll in US state universities, and even receive financial aid and in-state tuition. Requirements for admission are set by the school and influenced by the state. Universities can choose not to admit someone for many, many reasons. Having a criminal record absolutely does not (and should not) preclude you from higher education. I have attended classes, in a prison, through a program that specifically seeks to educate those who are incarcerated. This could be a cool area to investigate further - a case related to providing higher education to the incarcerated/formerly incarcerated would hook me quickly, or a case that changed the drug crime funding rules. There are several university debate programs that sponsor prison debate programs, too, which are awesome.

Most universities are attuned to state, not federal laws, and care mostly because they receive state funding. You'll note a lot of Department of Ed materials specifically note they do not accredit or otherwise really regulate major universities. Private universities like Harvard that have massive endowments may ignore some of these state laws, and smaller private universities, like a number of Christian ones, may eschew state funding altogether, including aid for students, if it's tied to conduct rules like Title IX. As Title IX is a federal law, that might be one avenue of exploration.

As a regular undergrad student, you'll likely not be aware of most of the state/federal/local administrative machinations of universities. As Sharkfin notes, student conduct codes, dorm rules, and other university-specific regulations hold far more of your attention. I can't say the no pajamas in dining halls is a common rule though, at least based on how my students come to class. :P But yes, overall you are treated as an adult who is expected to regulate your own actions, minus some particularities in dorms and classrooms. Remember too, that as state-funded properties, state universities are very open to the public, especially libraries and unions which are clearly public spaces. So not everyone a university is dealing with is an enrolled student, and members of the public have not consented to things like student codes.

That's quite the wide-open resolution, as is NCFCA tradition. I'm intrigued by the lack of actor (generally USFG), and would encourage you to look at national accrediting agencies as possible actors under this wording. The 50-states plan/CP will also be big this year, I feel, and as a judge I'd be willing to listen to an argument that changing less than 50 states' policies is also valid (26 or more? it's open to discussion re: significantly). I could even see an argument for changing one large system, like making a change to all California/New York state schools, as substantial if a decent modeling argument can be made (e.g., California makes a change to its ~30 schools that other states will follow).

Here's a couple of links I think will be helpful in generating case ideas:
https://www.rit.edu/fa/grms/fed-laws-by-alphabet
http://www.higheredcompliance.org/matrix/

Author:  InfiniteUnderscores [ Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Wow thanks for the sources and idea generating!

I don't have any more questions at the moment but this has been pretty helpful already!

Thanks!

Author:  Cyberknight [ Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Mindbender wrote:
Universities can choose not to admit someone for many, many reasons. Having a criminal record absolutely does not (and should not) preclude you from higher education.

You sure about this? From what I'm reading, it seems that many colleges take into account prior convictions.

Author:  anorton [ Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Cyberknight wrote:
Mindbender wrote:
Universities can choose not to admit someone for many, many reasons. Having a criminal record absolutely does not (and should not) preclude you from higher education.

You sure about this? From what I'm reading, it seems that many colleges take into account prior convictions.

I recall all of my applications asking whether or not I had committed a felony. I'm not sure if this precludes admittance or just some financial aid.

Author:  Mindbender [ Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Note I said it doesn't preclude you, legally, not that it can't be a factor, even a deciding one for admissions. Additionally, convictions tend to be far more relevant for receiving aid, as noted above, or determining whether you can be in campus housing. At many places, if you are able to pay for your education, they'll let you get it. But yes, I do know that merely having a felony conviction does not mean you can't ever get higher education. However, another option for a case might be a sort of "ban the box" case - google this and see how activists are working on this regarding hiring for more ideas.

Author:  Cyberknight [ Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Mindbender wrote:
However, another option for a case might be a sort of "ban the box" case - google this and see how activists are working on this regarding hiring for more ideas.

I highly doubt a case like this would do very well. In order to justify not even allowing colleges to know whether someone has past convictions, you have to demonstrate that it is not relevant information. That's a really hard sell, especially since studies repeatedly show that prison not only affects people's character, but it also often changes them for the worse, making them more likely to commit crimes in the future. Moreover, the mere fact that someone has committed crimes is relevant character information, because it says something about his or her willingness to follow rules.

Telling colleges that they can't know relevant information about applicant's character seems on its face like an unjust and tyrannical action, even if in reality it would be beneficial. A case like this simply screams "government suppression of the truth," because, well...like it or not, that's exactly what it is. This is likely the reason why not one single team (to my knowledge) ran a "ban the box"-related case CJS year or FCS year, even though you easily could have run something like that under either of those resolutions.

Author:  Mindbender [ Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Your objections would be more salient if the resolution actor was USFG. As far as I'm aware, it's just United States, which could mean a voluntary coalition of colleges or any number of other things that aren't federal government. Also, I'd note that background checks are still a thing, as is Google - you're hardly prevented from investigating a person without their self-incrimination.

The first bit of your post is making a number of assumptions that I won't delve into here as it's off topic. In the pre-season, one of the best things you can do is generate ideas for every possible topical case. I'd encourage more expansiveness in thought about potential cases early on, whether your aff or other people's, and these are all good possible areas of negative response. That would be a better framing for this discussion.

Author:  Cyberknight [ Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Mindbender wrote:
Your objections would be more salient if the resolution actor was USFG. As far as I'm aware, it's just United States, which could mean a voluntary coalition of colleges or any number of other things that aren't federal government.

I highly doubt anyone will run non-state actor plans. I mean, that opens the floodgates for all kinds of abusive fiat. You come dangerously close to fiating mindset changes when you allow private colleges to change policy. Also, under this interpretation of the resolution, what's to stop people from changing something absurdly specific, like one policy in one college?

Quote:
Also, I'd note that background checks are still a thing, as is Google - you're hardly prevented from investigating a person without their self-incrimination.

If an Aff team ran this argument, they'd basically be attacking their own solvency, wouldn't they? If people can get the info no matter what, why does it matter whether or not people say on the form that they have a criminal record?

Author:  anorton [ Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Cyberknight wrote:
Mindbender wrote:
Your objections would be more salient if the resolution actor was USFG. As far as I'm aware, it's just United States, which could mean a voluntary coalition of colleges or any number of other things that aren't federal government.

I highly doubt anyone will run non-state actor plans. I mean, that opens the floodgates for all kinds of abusive fiat. You come dangerously close to fiating mindset changes when you allow private colleges to change policy. Also, under this interpretation of the resolution, what's to stop people from changing something absurdly specific, like one policy in one college?

Likely the wording will be changed before the official start of the season. However, I could easily see interpretations of the rez where the actor is an organization of private colleges/universities (i.e. an accrediting organization or something similar). To avoid absurdly specific cases, notice the usage of the word "significantly."

Quote:
Quote:
Also, I'd note that background checks are still a thing, as is Google - you're hardly prevented from investigating a person without their self-incrimination.

If an Aff team ran this argument, they'd basically be attacking their own solvency, wouldn't they? If people can get the info no matter what, why does it matter whether or not people say on the form that they have a criminal record?

There's a difference between requiring people to self-identify and doing the legwork yourself to figure out if they're a convicted criminal. (Compare this to the Fifth Amendment and testifying against yourself. If we don't think it's morally justifiable to force people to self-incriminate in court, why is it morally justifiable to require them to mark such forms when entering a public college?) These aren't hashed-out thoughts, but I think it's enough to say this could be a viable case.

Author:  Mindbender [ Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Cyberknight wrote:
Mindbender wrote:
Your objections would be more salient if the resolution actor was USFG. As far as I'm aware, it's just United States, which could mean a voluntary coalition of colleges or any number of other things that aren't federal government.

I highly doubt anyone will run non-state actor plans. I mean, that opens the floodgates for all kinds of abusive fiat. You come dangerously close to fiating mindset changes when you allow private colleges to change policy. Also, under this interpretation of the resolution, what's to stop people from changing something absurdly specific, like one policy in one college?

This is all stuff I expect to be hashed out in debates throughout the year. If the topic framers intended USFG as the only actor, why didn't they spec it this year as has been tradition in past resolutions? You still have to wrangle with the meaning of "significantly" to get away with something like single-college plans. I've addressed some of this earlier in the thread. Obviously this may be revised by the topic committee yet, but I'm encouraging more thought about it rather than less at this point.

Quote:
Quote:
Also, I'd note that background checks are still a thing, as is Google - you're hardly prevented from investigating a person without their self-incrimination.

If an Aff team ran this argument, they'd basically be attacking their own solvency, wouldn't they? If people can get the info no matter what, why does it matter whether or not people say on the form that they have a criminal record?

This is where it would do you good to do some research on the specific solvency here. The goal of ban the box isn't to prevent employers from finding out this info, but to prevent it from being a gatekeeping issue (in other words, with the box you can auto-sort out everyone with a conviction; without the box, there's more chance of first reviewing qualifications and references, as well as having an in-person interview to judge a person in more context than a single box). There are many good arguments about why it's vital to get people working again on the outside to prevent them turning to illegal measures to survive. There are some really interesting, nuanced arguments on both sides of this question, including some research that indicates employers actually call back fewer black and Latino men in ban the box tests (an excellent case turn). Again, things that would make an excellent, in-depth, back-and-forth debate.

Author:  Cyberknight [ Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Mindbender wrote:
This is where it would do you good to do some research on the specific solvency here. The goal of ban the box isn't to prevent employers from finding out this info, but to prevent it from being a gatekeeping issue (in other words, with the box you can auto-sort out everyone with a conviction; without the box, there's more chance of first reviewing qualifications and references, as well as having an in-person interview to judge a person in more context than a single box). There are many good arguments about why it's vital to get people working again on the outside to prevent them turning to illegal measures to survive. There are some really interesting, nuanced arguments on both sides of this question, including some research that indicates employers actually call back fewer black and Latino men in ban the box tests (an excellent case turn). Again, things that would make an excellent, in-depth, back-and-forth debate.


Okay, that does make more sense now that you put it that way. I suppose it might make a pretty good case.

But this topic intrigues me, so I want to keep discussing it if you don't mind. :) The issue I still have is this: If an employer currently doesn't even look at people who check the "I've committed a crime" box, then what will change if you get rid of the box? Nothing, because the employer obviously doesn't want any people with prior convictions to work for him, and he'll find their crime records even without a box. Same goes for colleges.

It seems that what you want is really more of a mindset change than a policy change. You want people to examine each person and not immediately discount someone just because they have a prior conviction of some sort. This is a laudable goal, but the problem is that the existence of a box doesn't make any real difference to people's mindset. If they want to ban someone from attending college or receiving aid because he has a conviction, regardless of his individual situation, then they will do it regardless of whether the person checks a box.

College administration before plan: "Well, this applicant checked that he had a conviction, and we don't want people like this at our college regardless of what crime they committed or what they are like now. That's why we have a box in the first place. We'd have gotten rid of it years ago if we felt any differently. So let's just dismiss his application."

College administration after the plan: "Well, we got rid of the box, but our mindset hasn't changed, and we still don't want anyone who has committed a crime, regardless of his circumstances. And we just found out that this guy had a prior conviction on Google. So let's just dismiss him."

Author:  ConnorDaniels [ Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

anorton wrote:
Cyberknight wrote:
Mindbender wrote:
Your objections would be more salient if the resolution actor was USFG. As far as I'm aware, it's just United States, which could mean a voluntary coalition of colleges or any number of other things that aren't federal government.

I highly doubt anyone will run non-state actor plans. I mean, that opens the floodgates for all kinds of abusive fiat. You come dangerously close to fiating mindset changes when you allow private colleges to change policy. Also, under this interpretation of the resolution, what's to stop people from changing something absurdly specific, like one policy in one college?

Likely the wording will be changed before the official start of the season. However, I could easily see interpretations of the rez where the actor is an organization of private colleges/universities (i.e. an accrediting organization or something similar). To avoid absurdly specific cases, notice the usage of the word "significantly."

I hope the wording is changed to reduce confusion. Even with this wording, though, you can make a very good case that only government actors are allowed both by arguing abuse, as Cyberknight pointed out above, and by putting the burden on the affirmative to show a change by the United States as a whole, not a group of organizations. Further, the fact that the resolution reads "the United States" (plural) would be persuasive against plans that do not involve either a federal actor or all 50 state governments. One could even argue that "the United States" as opposed to "these United States" prohibits state actors entirely (coupled with the fact that the resolution reads "its" and not "their" policies).

Author:  Mindbender [ Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Cyberknight wrote:
But this topic intrigues me, so I want to keep discussing it if you don't mind. :)

I don't mind, although it's not a topic I'm super deep in the research on. I can give you basic outlines of answers, but there is a growing lit base on the topic, including some popular press coverage and some lawmaking back and forth that I would encourage you to look at if further interested. I have read research over the past few years that I will refer you towards in terms of search possibilities or things you may not be considering, but as this is a rez discussion rather than a direct debate, I likely will stop there.

Quote:
The issue I still have is this: If an employer currently doesn't even look at people who check the "I've committed a crime" box, then what will change if you get rid of the box? Nothing, because the employer obviously doesn't want any people with prior convictions to work for him, and he'll find their crime records even without a box. Same goes for colleges.

This makes several assumptions. 1) That extensive work outside of a review of a candidate's resume/possible cover letter is done prior to an interview, 2) that all employers are private companies, while municipal jobs are actually a very common and large pool of possibilities, 3) most people think of all convictions as equally bad regardless of type or time, 4) that employers see any conviction, for any reason, as making someone unfit for any legal work. Even if we prove the latter is true more often than not, there's also many reasons to think that's a very bad societal standard that should be pushed against, and making it harder/more expensive to do so is therefore an advantage.

There are studies on this so you can see what actually changes when the box is removed. Municipal jobs, in particular, show substantial increases in hiring people who were formerly incarcerated without a box on the application. As noted above, it often encourages employers to meet their potential employees and get to know their personality and skills so they can then judge a conviction in that context. Remember that stigmas are often about ideas or groups rather than specific people, and so adding the context of a specific person can certainly break a stereotype.

Further, design choices have real, tangible effects on behavior. There is a huge body of research on this. Including the box forefronts the importance of someone's record in a way we may not even be entirely consciously aware of. You may also be interested in studies of how equally qualified candidates with "white" or "black" sounding names are treated in hiring processes. This actually becomes important in box discussions, because some research indicates banning the box helps people who were formerly incarcerated and white, but hurts black people regardless of their record because more assumption is made of criminality in their cases. There are many ways (un)conscious gatekeeping modes are created and enforced, and they sometimes act unexpectedly.

Quote:
It seems that what you want is really more of a mindset change than a policy change.

It seems like you do not think these go together, especially in a world of imaginary fiat. I think you'd have to do some work on making the distinction between mindset change and policy change and explaining why it matters. This is another reason why actor is important this year. It also depends whether an aff is claiming advantages off of mindset shift (gay marriage passes so everyone stops discriminating against gay folks because the government says it's chill now), or things that are clear results of a policy change (gay marriage passes so discrimination is now banned at a governmental level, this results in housing/tax/whatever measurable changes).* Overall, I see this as a debatable distinction and not at all obvious in a world of fiat.

Quote:
You want people to examine each person and not immediately discount someone just because they have a prior conviction of some sort. This is a laudable goal, but the problem is that the existence of a box doesn't make any real difference to people's mindset.

Calling you out here for making assertions without reading the research on real, measured changes. You need to explain those tangible results away, as discussed a bit above. You may be right in some aspects and wrong on others, right with some employers and wrong with others. Nuance is real here.

I also think you underestimate the institutional power of continuity. An alt hypothetical conversation: "Why is this box on our application?" "Because it always has been." Many, many things in institutions go unquestioned until they are, and then they can either be justified or changed. But not asking/thinking about something because it just is that way is more common and damaging in any institution than you may think.

Topically, there are also distinctions worth thinking about here between public and private universities and their distinct roles/rights in the culture.

*loose example to demonstrate a different advantage claim, not interested in gay rights debate here

Author:  Cyberknight [ Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

Mindbender wrote:
This makes several assumptions. 1) That extensive work outside of a review of a candidate's resume/possible cover letter is done prior to an interview, 2) that all employers are private companies, while municipal jobs are actually a very common and large pool of possibilities, 3) most people think of all convictions as equally bad regardless of type or time, 4) that employers see any conviction, for any reason, as making someone unfit for any legal work.

1) No, that's what you seem to be assuming, because you said they'd figure out the person's record no matter what.
2) Only 17% of US employees work for the government.
3/4) Apparently they do, or else they wouldn't HAVE a box in the first place. That's my whole point. nobody's forcing them to have the box. If they have a box and they use it to automatically weed out people who have committed any crime whatsoever, they clearly already DO think that every crime warrants disqualification, regardless of time or place. Meaning that getting rid of the box will do nothing, assuming you're correct that they'll find all the info on Google regardless.

Mindbender wrote:
I also think you underestimate the institutional power of continuity. An alt hypothetical conversation: "Why is this box on our application?" "Because it always has been." Many, many things in institutions go unquestioned until they are, and then they can either be justified or changed. But not asking/thinking about something because it just is that way is more common and damaging in any institution than you may think.

Hmm...good point. But this would be a tricky argument in a debate round since it's so hard to prove one way or the other.

Mindbender wrote:
Even if we prove the latter is true more often than not, there's also many reasons to think that's a very bad societal standard that should be pushed against, and making it harder/more expensive to do so is therefore an advantage.

First of all, if the government is doing this, it's still suppression of the truth, even if it only makes finding the truth more difficult. But I admit that you an avoid this with non-state actors.

Second, if you're admitting that getting rid of the box makes it more difficult to find out about past convictions, you've set up a great DA for yourself. As I previously pointed out, this is relevant information, and you're making it harder for people to obtain valuable info on people's character. This makes it easier for people that actually should be disqualified to slip through the cracks.

Quote:
There are studies on this so you can see what actually changes when the box is removed. Municipal jobs, in particular, show substantial increases in hiring people who were formerly incarcerated without a box on the application.

True, but that could be because the employers weren't able to discover their past convictions (which, as I mentioned above, is a bad thing).

Also, the race thing is fascinating. Looks like an absolutely killer DA against a case like this if anyone decided to run it. There doesn't seem to be a single study refuting it.

Author:  Mindbender [ Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Ed Rez talk

As I said, I don't want to have a direct debate on this issue in this thread because it is off topic and distracts from resolution questions and generating case ideas. Start a thread in CC or SD or ask for a mod split if you'd like a direct debate.

Second, you're still making a lot of assumptions that are directly answered in the lit base. If this topic interests you, a little more research would set you up a lot better on understanding its goals, functions, and the intervention it is making.

On another note, it occurred to me that the wording is broad enough that even something like using the NCAA or some of the athletic conferences as actors to change the status of student athletes/college athletics in some way may even be topical.

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