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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:38 pm 
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I think HSD can be a good place to discuss change in the NCFCA. That's why I'm starting this thread. This thread isn't for saying negative things about NCFCA. Instead it is about proposing positive changes that we think would be beneficial. If this thread actually gains traction I'm more than willing to send an email to Mrs. Hudson with an explanation of the thread and with the positive changes that we've come up with.

Again, the point isn't to be negative about leadership. If as part of proposing a change you feel like you need to explain the problem with the status-quo that is fine, but I hope we can all be respectful. This thread isn't about being destructive of NCFCA; it's about being constructive and doing so in a Christlike manner.

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Also, Cashley died in a hole. I don't know why you keep trusting him. I mean sure he's super good at mafia and knows exactly what he's doing, but I feel like maybe some game you would just not trust him. :P Props to you Cashley, always making my games exciting.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:08 pm 
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I'm sure we can all see great potential in this thread considering NCFCA's great track record of positively responding to criticisms and actively seeking reform (especially when the changes are proposed by students!).

I want to see fair treatment of students.
I want to see more transparency in tournament management.

Now everybody close their eyes and wish really hard. It might happen if we get enough posts on HSD!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:38 pm 
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elijahcook wrote:
I'm sure we can all see great potential in this thread considering NCFCA's great track record of positively responding to criticisms and actively seeking reform (especially when the changes are proposed by students!).

I want to see fair treatment of students.
I want to see more transparency in tournament management.

Now everybody close their eyes and wish really hard. It might happen if we get enough posts on HSD!


Unnecessary. Unproductive. Condescending. 0/10 post.

On a more productive note, I have two thoughts on this.

1) If anyone actually wants something to happen here, it has to be small (or more accurately, start small). NCFCA doesn't make big changes very often, especially in regards to how adjudications are handled or rules enforced. Demanding big changes to an organization that rarely changes at all isn't realistic.
2) Once concrete changes are made, I think it would be a good idea to put it up on Ipetitions.com to show exactly how much support there is for it.

Personally, I feel like an idea for an obvious and small change would be established Rules of Conduct for competitors. Based on a lot of things that have happened in the past two years, serious punishments are sometimes handed out for behavior that was not specifically or in any way addressed in any written rules. Also, preferably there would have to be at least two administrators besides the President that would have to agree that the punishment needs to be handed down. Just an idea.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:06 am 
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This post is a bit of a harangue and I hope you won’t interpret it as disrespectful or as a personal attack--it's not. I’m not the kind of person who likes to get involved in online debates, I find them pointless and this post is a bit out of character for me, but this needs to be said.

I’m honestly getting fed up with those who are willing to hijack these threads with nothing but negative comments that add nothing constructive to the discussion. Your negative responses are only serving to perpetuate this attitude from the NCFCA. It is responses such as those that make our objective futile. Can’t you see that we are trying to do something bigger here? Come on people! You are debaters! You should understand rhetoric at this point! Would you expect to convince a judge to vote for you if you spent the entire round criticizing your opponent’s character or the judge himself? How can you then hope to approach the NCFCA board if all you have is complaining, criticism, and no respect? If you don’t have something constructive to say, then please don’t post . . . in the very least not in this thread.

Caleb, Justin, Razi, Joshua, myself, and others have recognized that there are issues with the NCFCA as there are with any other organization, but we still try to treat them with respect and give them the benefit of the doubt. I have never been opposed to legitimate suggestions to actually improve the system. However, your criticism actually sidelines the discussion and we are now spending as much time arguing about tone and “respecting NCFCA leadership” as we are actually talking about real, viable options for reform.

This thread needs to continue and the discussion that Caleb has asked for needs to happen. Stay positive people! :D

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:35 am 
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ShaynePC wrote:
Seeing as Mrs Hudson personally hates HSD, and yes, "hates" is a fair word to use, this thread will be pointless as a means of changing her opinion on anything. That's not a negative dis on NCFCA or your motives- that's a valid opinion for her to have, and I just want to point that out to you as a friendly critique.


That's why I was advocating putting it on Ipetition, which can be spread through social media, if you want to actually change something. I don't think anyone expects Mrs. Hudson to get on HSD and get reform ideas from here, no one thinks that is going to happen. But if we could get a few hundred signatories on a petition and then send it to her in a very respectful way, I don't think it would be ignored. Is it a sure-fire way of getting it done? No. Will it get her attention and prompt her to consider the proposal? Probably yes.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:36 am 
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I still like my "no harm no foul" idea. It's concrete, simple, and impactful.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:19 am 
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I'll second what Elijah says. From the issues I've read about in the other threads, the top two (small) policy changes that NCFCA can take are:
1) Adopt a "no harm, no foul" policy. That is, if a rule violation doesn't have any impact, give a warning instead of a penalty. Let's face it--a lot of the people who violate a rule because it's their first tournament (or similar) probably aren't going to win anyway.
2) Create a list of specific behaviors that are not allowed and stick with it. If someone finds a way around the rules this year, let them slide but eliminate the loophole for next year/tournament/whatever. Just saying "this isn't acceptable" without a specific rule to point to (and a general "be good" guideline doesn't count) simply breeds contempt.

A third option that may or may not already exist: In robotics competitions, we are given a very specific rulebook (on the order of 30-40 pages) explaining what is not allowed for a robot. If someone has a "borderline" idea that they're not sure about, they can ask for clarification on a public forum. That way, if team X thinks "hmm, a widget design may or may not be allowed--I'd better ask!" but team Y thinks "better to ask forgiveness than permission," there is a written record that team Y should have been aware of.

For NCFCA, these could be questions like "is taking source material from [some medium] acceptable for [some event]?" or "we wanted to have a bracket competition for NCFCA, we think it would help foster friendly competition. Is this ok?" With a public log of these questions (and their answers), it allows for the "code of conduct" (or whatever you want to call it) to be updated throughout the season.

Then again... I've never done anything related to NCFCA, so these may be useless ideas. Just three positive changes I thought could be enacted.

//Andrew

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:55 am 
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Anorton, I really like that system.

My #2 change is as follows:

Problem: Effectively there are two sets of rules: the written rules, which are public, and the official interpretation of the rules, which are somewhat secret and counter-intuitive. Sometimes students get punished for understanding a rule in a way that does not match the bizarre official interpretation [example needed].

Proposal: JO should keep a written record of each adjudication.

The record should contain who was involved (the accused party, the "victim" if applicable, and the JO official), what the decision was, and why it was made. Even a few sentences and a time stamp would suffice. A skeletal record is better than none at all. Ideally this record would be public for the sake of true, open justice, but I can understand the NCFCA's desire to shield informants and officials from public scrutiny. At the very least, redact the names, time, and place, then make a permanent record of the decision and reason for decision available to all NCFCA members. Students could reference this case law to learn the official interpretation of the rules.


Objections: Of course, this sort of thing smells too much like accountability. Sadly, the fear of transparency is understandable since NCFCA is like many old school top-down business. It fosters a hostile environment in which transparency could get someone fired for looking bad or making his/her superior look bad [example needed].

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:36 pm 
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Mr Glasses wrote:
Proposal: JO should keep a written record of each adjudication.

What about the public shame factor that this undoubtedly leads to with the adjudicated students?

Mr Glasses wrote:
I still like my "no harm no foul" idea. It's concrete, simple, and impactful.

As enticing as this idea sounds, it doesn't provide enough accountability of the students. Establishing this policy would require that a definite harm is actually proven for adjudication to take place. It would be easy for an unscrupulous student to get away with the world under this policy. Take the extemp labeling issue for example. The reason behind making us label our extemp computers are so that no one can share computers or sabotage computers for that matter. If the label is no longer enforced, it would be a simple matter to run circles around the extemp proctors. With all the identical computers in extemp prep (especially with the Mac Books) how would they be able to say for sure? They wouldn't be able to bring solid charges unless the violators were downright stupid.

You're then faced with the word of the student against the word of the proctor, both of which are perfectly plausible. Who do you listen to? The students? Harm is committed. The proctor? All well and good, until they make a false accusation which is inevitable with such a vague rule and an innocent student is kicked out.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:58 pm 
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Hammy wrote:
Mr Glasses wrote:
I still like my "no harm no foul" idea. It's concrete, simple, and impactful.

As enticing as this idea sounds, it doesn't provide enough accountability of the students. Establishing this policy would require that a definite harm is actually proven for adjudication to take place. It would be easy for an unscrupulous student to get away with the world under this policy. Take the extemp labeling issue for example. The reason behind making us label our extemp computers are so that no one can share computers or sabotage computers for that matter. If the label is no longer enforced, it would be a simple matter to run circles around the extemp proctors. With all the identical computers in extemp prep (especially with the Mac Books) how would they be able to say for sure? They wouldn't be able to bring solid charges unless the violators were downright stupid.

You're then faced with the word of the student against the word of the proctor, both of which are perfectly plausible. Who do you listen to? The students? Harm is committed. The proctor? All well and good, until they make a false accusation which is inevitable with such a vague rule and an innocent student is kicked out.

I agree with Hammy on this one. No harm, no foul isn't sufficient, even if it does cover the majority of offenses. The issue lies with intent. Rules still need to be followed. Three things need to happen:
1) Intent judged - Did the students mean to confuse all the laptops in extemp prep room? Are they trying to game the system? I think that intent should be a fairly easy thing to establish
2) Violation fixed - The student has to fix the problem at the earliest legitimate opportunity. If they do fix it then they can continue to compete without being penalized, if they refuse to then they will be disqualified. Here's how that would work: Let's say that the student doesn't label their extemp computer before the first speech pattern he competes in. He is brought into JO and is told he needs to fix it. From there, he can refuse to do so and be automatically disqualified (which is an alternative that obviously wouldn't happen), or he can actually atone for his mistake by labeling the computer.

Proposal: Comprehensive determination of need for punishment
Simply put it would work like this:
1) Determination of rule violation by the staff
2) determination of Intention, Rectification of the problem, determination of Harm to others.
3) If the student violates any of the 3 policies, then he is punished appropriately (dropped to the bottom, losses the round, disqualified in the event, etc.). If the student had good intentions, rectified the issue, and brought no harm to other competitors by virtue of the violation, then no foul will occur.

This is a bit more comprehensive then "No Harm - No Foul" which should satisfy most parties.

Also @keeping records, theoretically it's a good idea but it would be time-consuming and the shame factor is an issue.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:41 pm 
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Speaker points!

The NCFCA should either...

1) Do more to ensure that speaker points are less subjective.

or

2) Not use them as a factor in deciding power matching or competition results.

I, personally, am favoring the latter option, seeing as past attempts to objectify speaker points have been ineffective.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:58 pm 
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A/T "Public shame"
Hammy wrote:
What about the public shame factor that this undoubtedly leads to with the adjudicated students?


1. Non-unique. Public shame happens anyway. Everybody finds out in a short period of time through non-official channels.

2. Uhm, bro. Did you miss my comment about redacting the records?
Mr Glasses wrote:
I can understand the NCFCA's desire to shield informants and officials from public scrutiny. At the very least, redact the names, time, and place, then make a permanent record of the decision and reason for decision available to all NCFCA members.

Emphasis added


A/T "Too lenient"
Hammy wrote:
Establishing this policy would require that a definite harm is actually proven for adjudication to take place. It would be easy for an unscrupulous student to get away with the world under this policy.

I think you misunderstand how this policy normally works. "No harm no foul" (from here on, NHNF) does not mean "never enforce the rules", which seems to be what you're arguing against.

1. Limited affect. NHNF does not affect the determination of whether or not someone has violated a rule. It only affects the punishment given.
Impact: the normal process for determining a rule violation still applies.

2. The Official decides. The referee, a JO official, invokes NHNF according to his or her own judgement. The student has no say in whether or not NHNF is applied. It simply gives the official the leeway to act reasonably.
Impact: the normal process for determining a rule violation still applies.

3. Infrequent use. NHNF is not invoked regularly. It's intended for outliers or unusual circumstances in which strict adherence to the rules would abandon the course of justice.
Impact: Even if NHNF was simply "not enforcing the rules", NHNF wouldn't happen often enough for your apocalyptic hypothetical to materialize.


A/T "Not good enough"
JohnMarkPorter1 wrote:
No harm, no foul isn't sufficient, even if it does cover the majority of offenses. The issue lies with intent.

I agree, NHNF can't fix all of the NCFCA's adjudication problems, but should we let perfection be the enemy of progress? I tried to make my recommendation as narrow as possible. NHNF is a hard enough pill for the league to swallow, and adding more "radical" components might provide too much room for objection.

NHNF is not sufficient, but it is an excellent first step in the right direction.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:20 am 
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I like Mrs. Hudson. She's always nice to me. #BuildingBridges

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:56 am 
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Mr Glasses wrote:
A/T "Not good enough"
JohnMarkPorter1 wrote:
No harm, no foul isn't sufficient, even if it does cover the majority of offenses. The issue lies with intent.

I agree, NHNF can't fix all of the NCFCA's adjudication problems, but should we let perfection be the enemy of progress? I tried to make my recommendation as narrow as possible. NHNF is a hard enough pill for the league to swallow, and adding more "radical" components might provide too much room for objection.

NHNF is not sufficient, but it is an excellent first step in the right direction.
This is about acceptance as much as it is about how to fix the problems. We can throw around all the hypothetical rules we want but they still have to be accepted by the NCFCA board. I think my proposal of slightly more comprehensive rules more closely aligns with the intent of the NCFCA itself while also giving the NHNF principle a chance to occur. I simply never see the NCFCA accepting a NHNF approach and I think it makes more sense to propose what would be the obvious next step. I also get that you argue that NHNF can be applied at their leisure, but this is really no different then the status quo, and if you think that the status quo has abusive/unjust decisions, what changes?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:36 pm 
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Mr Glasses wrote:
2. Uhm, bro. Did you miss my comment about redacting the records?

My apologies. If you look at your wording it states that only the informants would be covered and have their names redacted.
Mr Glasses wrote:
then make a permanent record of the decision and reason for decision available to all NCFCA members.

If I may ask, what's the benefit of this? Are you saying that tournament officials will be forced to follow this reference? If not, will it really do anything?

Side note: NCFCA is going to need a much better computer system before this happens. :P

Mr Glasses wrote:
2. The Official decides. The referee, a JO official, invokes NHNF according to his or her own judgement. The student has no say in whether or not NHNF is applied. It simply gives the official the leeway to act reasonably.
Impact: the normal process for determining a rule violation still applies.

So the official is put into the place to judge motive? Oh dear. I feel that's an unfair position to put the official in. Was it just an honest mistake or is there something deeper going on? That's an extremely precarious position to put a person into, especially when dealing with students who have poured their whole year into their speeches/debate.

Mr Glasses wrote:
3. Infrequent use. NHNF is not invoked regularly. It's intended for outliers or unusual circumstances in which strict adherence to the rules would abandon the course of justice.
Impact: Even if NHNF was simply "not enforcing the rules", NHNF wouldn't happen often enough for your apocalyptic hypothetical to materialize.

If it's so infrequent, then how is the official able to judge between honest mistake and sinister plot? What's the protocol here?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:36 pm 
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Crazy-Clubin'-People wrote:
I like Mrs. Hudson. She's always nice to me. #BuildingBridges

She gives me hugs.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:00 pm 
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I have voiced my opinions on changes many times, here are what I think are the biggest changes that need to happen:
1) remove script submission
2) institute a warning system for rule violations
3) discuss rule violations with coaches, not students
4) allow judges to read cards after debate rounds
5) allow, but don't mandate,verbal critiques and disclosure of decisions after debate rounds.
6) allow tv shows, movies, and internet sources in interps
7) remove apologetics and biblical interpretion
8) stop changing IE categories every year
9) release a list of rule violations that had been punished (with identifying information removed) at the end of each season
10) institute elections for all leadership positions

I'm quickly losing hope for reform in the NCFCA, which is a shame because it really is an organization I care aboutand I want it to be better. Reform is needed and while I doubt anything will change, we can always hope.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:38 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:50 pm 
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Quote:
4) allow judges to read cards after debate rounds


Goodness, yes!! And go back to letting competitors tell the judge to ask for.evidence. i would have lost multiple rounds without that ability.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:55 pm 
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Db8r_from_Dixie wrote:
Goodness, yes!! And go back to letting competitors tell the judge to ask for.evidence. i would have lost multiple rounds without that ability.

Are you really not even allowed to ask the judge to ask for it?? I think remember telling a judge at nats THIS YEAR to ask for evidence if they didn't believe me.

If that was actually a rule violation, that is the dumbest rule I have ever heard. There are teams that specialize in twisting evidence in the last speech, and the only way to pre-empt them is to warn the judge ahead of time.

LocutusofBorg wrote:
4) allow judges to read cards after debate rounds

Making judges go through JO is an understandable rule to put in place. They don't want students explaining evidence to the judge after the round or the judge asking anything about it. Judges that are new might ask things they shouldn't.

Quote:
1) remove script submission

What?? How do they check if you're cheating or not? Not even Stoa doesn't have script submission.

Quote:
3) discuss rule violations with coaches, not students

First of all, many people including me do not have a coach.
Second, even if I did have a coach, I would want to argue my own case, not have him in there. I would have to explain everything I did to him in order for him to defend me, which would be a huge hassle and risk a lot of miscommunication.

Quote:
5) allow, but don't mandate,verbal critiques and disclosure of decisions after debate rounds.

PLEASE no. This would be a tragedy. It could result in all kinds of wacky strategic losses. If you know what your record is, and you are sure you are gonna break, you might be tempted to purposely lose or not try as hard against another team you want to break. Or, if you know you CAN'T break, you may feel bad about spoiling someone else's chances, and might purposely lose or not try as hard. Plus, the mere knowledge that you can't break encourages you to not try as hard, which means anyone matched against you will have it unfairly easy.

Quote:
7) remove apologetics and biblical interpretion

What's wrong with Apol??

Quote:
8) stop changing IE categories every year

So that people don't get to try as many events? That sounds like a bad idea. Unless you think they should just keep adding events upon events and have them all at the same time, which is bad because a) there aren't enough judges, and b) there are so many categories that there are very few people competing in each one.

Quote:
10) institute elections for all leadership positions

Why? What possible advantage is there to electing people? There's no reason to think that some random person that was popular is going to do a better job than Mrs. Hudson, especially when she has so much experience.

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