In order to travel to debate tournaments and other events with the Lawrence Debate Union, all students must be in good standing with the University and with the Lawrence Debate Union.
All students who have been on the team for two semesters are strongly encouraged to register for a minimum of 1 credit (and a maximum of 3 credits) per semester of SPCH 198: “Readings and Research” to be eligible to travel.
Individuals will be prohibited from traveling if one or more of the following is applicable:
• They are under investigation by the AAEO (Title IX) Office.
• They are on academic probation.
• They are on probation that restricts travel, are suspended from the team, or have been expelled from the team following a conduct hearing.
During the academic year, all efforts will be made to provide tournament travel opportunities for all participating debate team members. On average, there will be two “everyone goes” tournaments offered per semester. For these “everyone goes” tournaments, there are no specific requirements for participation. However, individuals are encouraged to attend practices in preparation for these tournaments.
All other tournaments outside of these “everyone goes” tournaments will be subject to space availability and a team selection process. The selection process will be determined by and conducted by the Director and Coaching staff. The selection process may include, but is not limited to, any of the following procedures, depending on the tournament:
• Coaching staff selection
When determining selection, the following criteria, in no particular order, will govern selection:
• Positive participation in team and contribution to positive team culture
• Competitive success at previous tournaments
• Prior opportunities for travel
• Commitment to debate and improvement (Note: In all cases in which tournament selection is a factor, individuals are expected to have been attending on average at least one practice per week in order to be considered for travel)
• Contribution/service to the team
• Contribution/service to the debate community
• Contribution/service to the UVM and/or local community through debate
• Trials performance (if applicable)
Definitions of selection criteria
Positive participation in team and contribution to positive team culture is governed by adherence to the Lawrence Debate Union community standards and code of conduct, including, but not limited to the following:
• Supports other team members
• Makes an effort to create an inclusive team environment
• Creates space for the involvement and education of all UVM students
• Acknowledges and takes responsibility for wrongful or hurtful behavior and takes initiative in repairing those harms
Competitive success at previous tournaments may include, but is not limited to, the following:
• Breaking to elimination rounds as a team
• Breaking to elimination rounds as a judge
• Winning a speaking award
• High team ranking on the team tab
• High individual ranking or overall high speaker points on the speaker tab
Prior opportunities for debate travel includes taking into account whether an individual has already had opportunities to travel, wherein efforts will be made to provide opportunities to other students on the team when appropriate.
Commitment to debate and improvement includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• Regularly attending debate practices
• Balancing school, work, debate, activities, etc. effectively
• Seeking additional training with team mentors, coaches, or volunteers
• Watching debate videos online
• Doing research for debate
• Creating matter files
• Practicing debate skills independently or outside of scheduled practices
• Seeking out debate related opportunities for improvement (e.g. debate workshops that are provided by tournaments we attend)
• Watching outrounds when you are eliminated at a tournament
Contribution/service to the team may include, but is not limited to, the following:
• Holding an officer position
• CA’ing our tournament
• Convening our tournament
• Serving as an equity officer for our tournament
• Volunteering in any other capacity at our tournament (e.g. running ballots, judging, serving food, etc.)
• Judging practice debates
• Offering info-sessions or strategy sessions
• Pro-aming in practices and/or at tournaments
• Leading the mentoring program
• Being a mentor/mentee in the mentoring program
• Organizing or assisting in the organizing of official team events
• Creating research/“matter” files that you share with the team
Contribution/service to the debate community may include, but is not limited to, the following:
• Holding an officer position in a debate organization (e.g. USUDC, WUDC)
• CA’ing for a tournament
• Convening a tournament
• Serving as an equity officer at a tournament
• Volunteering in another capacity at a tournament
• Teaching/training at a debate workshop
• Organizing or assisting in the organizing of debate community events
Contribution/service to the UVM and/or local community through debate may include, but is not limited to, the following:
• Participation in a public debate
• Organizing and helping to organize a public debate
• Participation in SPEAK
• Participation in Speech Lab
• Helping to coach a middle or high school debate team
In some cases, a trials procedure may be used to help determine who will travel to some tournament/s. In those cases, a more specific trials procedure document will be circulated amongst all participants no less than 1 week prior to the start of trials. That specific procedure will be governed by the following guidelines:
• Students selected to trial will have the opportunity to participate in at least two debates which will determine their overall trials score.
• Every effort will be made for at least one individual outside of the coaching staff to score the debates. However, in the case in which this is not possible, the coaching staff will determine the scores.
• Efforts will be made to adjust to student schedules, but students are expected to make time in their schedules to participate in the trials. Students will be notified of the trials schedule no less than 1 week prior to the start of trials.
• Students will trial as individuals rather than as teams.
• Students will have an opportunity to provide input on who they prefer to debate with amongst the individuals selected for the tournament, but final decisions on teams will be made by the coaching staff.
• Trials performance will not be the sole deciding factor in tournament selection—the other selection criteria listed above will also be used.
TRAVEL PROCEDURES AND POLICY
Students are expected to adhere to the University of Vermont Student Code of Conduct as well as the Lawrence Debate Union Community Standards & Code of Conduct at all times while traveling to tournaments or other debate related events with the team.
In addition, the following travel-specific procedures and policies apply. Please note that these are not exhaustive and are intended as guidelines. Refer to other related university, federal, and state policies as appropriate:
• The team will cover all costs related to tournament registration and fees, transportation, and lodging. Additionally, each student will be provided with $10 per of meal money for every full day of debate related travel.
• Students are responsible for any meal costs above and beyond the $10 per day for food
• Students are responsible for any transportation costs above and beyond that which is required to get the student to and from the tournament from the designated departure and arrival locations. Any additional travel at the tournament location that is not specifically sanctioned as tournament related is not covered by the team.
Stay with the team.
• Team members must travel to and from the tournament with the team. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the team Director at least one week in advance of travel.
• Team members must stay with the team at the lodging provided by the Lawrence Debate Union. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the team Director at least one week in advance of travel.
• If you choose to stay at a location outside of that provided by the team, you are entirely responsible for your own safety and transportation to and from the tournament. You must provide a specific address and contact information for the location at which you plan to stay. Even if you are not staying with us, you are still expected to adhere to UVM’s Student Code of Conduct and all policies and rules related to participation in the Lawrence Debate Union.
• Students must behave responsibly in lodging, including respecting noise levels and property. Students are financially and legally responsible for any damage to property or fines incurred while lodging. Failure to take responsibility for damage or pay fines will result in major disciplinary action.
• Anyone who drives a vehicle rented by the Lawrence Debate Union for any debate team event must be driver certified (see http://www.uvm.edu/safety/field/driver-safety-program). No exceptions at any time.
• As per UVM policy, drivers must be at least 19 years of age.
• No debate team member should ever feel pressured to drive or to become driver certified. Pressuring team members to do so or making them feel bad for not doing so is considered a violation of Community Standards & Code of Conduct. However, if you are willing, able, and feel comfortable doing so, you are encouraged to become driver certified.
• Drivers must drive responsibly at all times, observing all traffic laws and speed limits. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action (see Community Standards & Code of Conduct).
• Drivers must adhere to the team alcohol policy (no drinking or drugs at any time during any debate team event). Violation of this policy will incur disciplinary action as per the code of conduct.
• The larger vans may have no more than 10-passengers at any time. Mini-vans and cars are also subject to capacity limits as provided by the vehicle renting agency.
• There must be two driver certified drivers in a vehicle at any time. Drivers should rotate driving.
• In inclement weather or if drivers feel they cannot drive safely to or from the tournament, they must stop for the night. The team will pay lodging costs.
• Drivers are responsible for any fines, traffic/parking, accident violations they incur while driving. Failure to take responsibility for and pay for these violations will result in disciplinary action.
• See also the UVM Driver Safety and Motor Vehicle Use Policy: http://www.uvm.edu/policies/riskmgm/driversafety.pdf (PDF).
• See also the UVM Student Government Association Transportation Policy: http://www.uvm.edu/sga/documents/sgatransportationpolicy.pdf (PDF).
Every effort will be made to accommodate student schedules when traveling to tournaments. However, in some cases, students will be required to miss class in order to attend a tournament. In these cases, the student should email the Director at least one week in advance of the tournament with their professors’ email addresses asking for a letter of excusal from classes. Please note that participation in debate tournaments is a University sanctioned and sponsored event, and your professors cannot penalize you for participating in these events. Your absence must be excused, but you are required to notify them prior to your travel in order to ensure that excusal. Different professors have different policies on timeliness of notification, so check in with them first.
Be on time.
• You are required to be on time for the team’s scheduled departures at the scheduled departure location (usually the Huber House, hotel lobby, or airport).
• Consistent tardiness will be taken into account when making travel selections.
• You will not be picked up at your house prior to departure—make arrangements to get to the scheduled departure location in a timely manner.
• If the team arrives back onto the University of Vermont’s campus after dark, individuals will be dropped off at their homes. If we arrive prior to nightfall, individuals will be dropped off at the Huber House and will need to make arrangements to get to their respective homes.
Remember that you are a representative of the Lawrence Debate Union and the University of Vermont, as well as yourself. Make every effort to treat the people and places you interact with respect and dignity.
Travel before or after tournaments.
• Students may make arrangements to travel independently before or after tournaments, but they must receive prior approval from the Director to do so.
• In this case, students are responsible for their own travel arrangements, and the University of Vermont will not cover any additional expenses related to this travel.
• Students wishing to make travel arrangements independently can seek reimbursement for the financial costs related to travel transportation up to the amount the team would have spent to transport them to that tournament.
• Students will be wholly responsible in this case for their own safety and that this travel is not sponsored by or covered by the University of Vermont or its insurance policy.
Independent travel to participate in tournaments.
Students are not allowed to travel to and participate in tournaments independently, including as judges, independent adjudicators, or competitors without prior approval. All travel to debate tournaments during the academic year, must be approved and sanctioned by the Director and coaching staff. The following policies also apply:
• Students are prohibited from “paying their own way” to tournaments during the academic year, including “Open” tournaments where they are not enrolled as the University of Vermont. All travel to tournaments must be approved by the team Director and coaches.
• Students must receive prior approval from the Director to attend a tournament as a judge or a participant outside of the academic year (e.g. during the summer)
• Students who are studying abroad at other universities are excluded from this policy, and may participate in debate as per their host institution guidelines
Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, suspension from the team.
See the Community Standards and Code of Conduct. In addition, keep in mind the following:
• The LDU expects you to do your best. We want to win! You have a serious responsibility to represent UVM and the LDU. Each debate is important.
• Some debaters dress up to debate. The LDU has no set dress code.
• In competitive debate, people win and lose. Be a gracious winner and a good loser. Learn from it. Show respect for your opponent and your judge. Learn from them so that you will win next time. Avoid “loser talk.” Every loss should set the stage for a future victory.
• Take the issues you are debating seriously. Show respect for your opponents, judges and all who are mentioned in the debate.
• Show support and assistance for other LDU people on the trip.
• Listen to your coaches!
• Support your teammates—congratulate them when they succeed, even if you did not. Support them when they lose, even if you won.