Remember when the debate team was the most well-spoken, articulate students on campus? Not anymore!
At the 2014 Cross Examination Debate Association’s national championship in March, teams decided to throw the long-standing debate rulebook out the window. Teams ignored the topic assigned to them, and debated whatever topic they wanted. Breaking protocol is a no-no. But the judges overlooked that. And that was only the beginning…
Team members rapped, poetry, and theatrics to deliver their “arguments,” ignored time constraints, and repeatedly used foul language in their delivery. Several are violations of the competition’s debate tournament rules. Still, judges ignored the infractions and awarded one of the violating teams the national championship!
If the debate competition wants to amend the rules, that’s one thing. But to award the championship to a team who refused to play by the rules… what message does that send to our young people getting ready to enter the workforce? Think about how shocked they’ll be the first time they are FIRED for not following workplace rules!
There’s a place for innovation, imagination, and pushing the boundaries. And there’s a place to follow the rules and respect authority. Without rules, what kind of society are we? I personally think what happened in this national competition this is a dangerous precedence and a sad commentary on the product of our institutes of higher learning.
Photo & video credit Ricardo Saenz