Vol. 32, No. 1 -- September 2009

Officers of the AFA, p. 2

Letter from the President, p. 3

Call for Civil Discourse, p. 3

Convention Meeting Schedule, pp. 4-5

Call for Nominations for Daniel Rohrer Research Award, p. 6

Call for Nominations Outstanding Dissertation or Thesis Award, p. 6

Call for Nominations for the Distinguished Service Awards, pp. 7-8

Proposed Revisions to the Code of Forensics Programs, p. 9

AFA Ballots, p. 20

 AFA NEWSLETTER

A PUBLICATION OF THE AMERICAN FORENSIC ASSOCIATION

VOL. 31, No. 3 -- June 2009

The AFA Newsletter is published three times each year and is sent to all current AFA individual members. The first issue (September) contains a directory of current members of the American Forensic Association and a supplement to the tournament calendar for the current academic year. The second issue (January) contains the minutes of AFA Business and National Council meetings from the AFA's annual convention and a supplement to the membership directory. The third issue (June) contains the tournament calendar for the following academic year. Each issue also contains news items of interest to members.

You are invited to submit material to be published in the Newsletter. You may submit news items, announcements, or articles (especially ones which are related to forensic activities). Items for the newsletter should be sent to: James W. Pratt, PO Box 256, River Falls, WI 54022, or via e-mail to James.W.Pratt@uwrf.edu. Closing dates for each issue of the Newsletter are September 15th, for issue #1; January 15th, for issue #2; and June 15th, for issue #3.

 

OFFICERS OF THE AMERICAN FORENSIC ASSOCIATION, 2008-2010

Daniel Cronn-Mills, Minnesota State University-Mankato, President

Rich Edwards, Baylor University, Vice-President

Will Baker, Impact Coalition, Vice-President for High School Affairs

Mike Janas, Samford University, Secretary

M'Liss Hindman, Tyler Jr. College, Two-Year College Representative

Carol Winkler, Georgia State University, Immediate Past President

James W. Pratt, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Executive Secretary

Allan Louden, Wake Forest University, Webmaster

Dale Hample, University of Maryland, Editor, Argumentation & Advocacy

Tim O'Donnell, University of Mary Washington, Chair, NDT Committee

Frank Thompson, University of Alabama, Chair, NIET Committee

 

Nominating Committee:

Jon Bruschke, Chair, Cal State Fullerton

David Cheshier, Georgia State University

Scott Deatherage, National Association for Urban Debate Leagues

Becky Opsata, Cal State Northridge

Ben Voth, Southern Methodist University

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

The infamous CEDA incident during CEDA Nationals 2008 has spurred on the forensic community to develop and implement a conduct code. The AFA worked with other national forensic organizations to prepare a conduct code that is similar in wording and practice across all our forensic organizations. The proposed conduct code will be part of the overall AFA Code of Forensics Program and Forensics Tournament Standards for College and Universities.

The NDT and the NIET have been actively reviewing, and preparing additions and revisions to the AFA Code of Forensics Program and Forensics Tournament Standards for College and Universities. You will find included in this newsletter the proposed revisions to the code.

 

The process revealed the NDT and NIET have developed, over time, distinct differences for competitor practices. The one section in the code for competitor practices no longer worked effectively for either the NDT or NIET. The solution was to split the competitor practices into two sections-one section for NDT and one section for NIET.

Almost all of the proposed revisions to the code have already been reviewed and approved by the NIET and NDT Committees. The language that is underlined in the document is the new proposed language; the language with a strikethrough is existing language recommended for deletion.

My hope is the proposed revisions to the code will be vigorously discussed and approved at the AFA business meeting on Wednesday, November 11, in Chicago.

See everyone in Chicago,

Daniel Cronn-Mills

President, AFA

 A CALL FOR CIVIL DISCOURSE

 Most of us are aware of the "you lie" incident during President Obama's address before the U.S. Congress. The American Forensic Association supports promoting civil discourse from our elected representatives. Scott Segal, a member of the NDT Board of Trustees, and the AFA National Council has crafted a statement that is endorsed by the National Council.

 

"As professionals in the speech and debate community, we teach our students every day that reasoned discourse is a key element of the democratic process. An environment of good faith facilitates democratic cooperation regarding controversial and complicated topics. The recent actions by Members of Congress during a Presidential address on health care reform set poor examples for our students. Of course, the recent incident was not the first time in recent years we have witnessed overheated or insulting rhetoric in the policy context, and it will not likely be the last.  Therefore, the American Forensic Association calls upon all Members of Congress to renounce this behavior and to resolve to hold their communications to the highest standards when they seek to convince others of the merits of their position."

THE AMERICAN FORENSIC ASSOCIATION

Annual Convention, 11 November 2009, Chicago, IL

Meeting concurrently with the National Communication Association and other affiliated organizations

Meeting space and accommodations hosted by the Palmer House Hilton

A block of rooms has been reserved for NCA members at special rates

For more details, see the NCA web site:

http://www.natcom.org/

AFA Meetings, Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

 

Please check the AFA website for the most current information: www.americanforensics.org

 

10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

NDT Board of Trustees

Palmer House Hilton, Crystal Room

AFA Professional Development & Practices Committee

Palmer House Hilton Logan Room

AFA Research Committee

Palmer House Hilton, Marshfield Room

AFA Educational Development & Practices Committee

Palmer House Hilton, Cresthill Room

AFA Finance Committee

Palmer House Hilton, Indiana Room

AFA Publications Committee

Palmer House Hilton, Madison Room

AFA Nominating Committee

Palmer House Hilton, Kimball Room

 

12:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

AFA National Council

Palmer House Hilton, Cresthill Room

AFA NIET Committee

Palmer House Hilton, Crystal Room

AFA NDT Committee

Palmer House Hilton, Indiana Room

 

5:00 - 7:00 pm

NPDA Annual Business Meeting

Palmer House Hilton, Wilson Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:00 - 7:00 pm

AFA Business Meeting

Palmer House Hilton, Crystal Room

I. Call to Order

II. Appointment of Parliamentarian

III. Approval of Minutes, 2008 Business Meeting

IV. Reports of Officers and National Council Members

V. Committee Reports

            A. Standing Committees

                        1. Educational Development & Practices

                        2. Finance

                        3. Professional Development & Support

                        4. Publications

                        5. Research

            B. Chartered Committees

                        1. NIET Committee

                        2. NDT Committee

                        3. NPDA Committee

VI. Old Business

VII. New Business

VIII. Resolutions

 

7:00 - 10:00 pm

AFA reception

Palmer House Hilton, Wabash Room

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

 

 

The Daniel Rohrer AFA Research Award recognizes outstanding scholarship in argumentation and forensics published in the previous calendar year. Any published article, text, or book in the field of argumentation and/or forensics is eligible for nomination. To nominate a published scholarly article please send a letter of nomination detailing why the publication should be honored and a copy of the complete publication.  If the publication nominated is a book, a copy of the table of contents and of one chapter is sufficient.  Electronic submissions are preferred; hard copy submissions should include six (6) copies of all necessary materials.  Eligible scholarship for 2009 must have a publication date of 2008. The award shall be presented at the annual AFA business meeting to be held in Chicago in 2009. The committee chair must receive nominations no later than October 1, 2009. Nominations received after this date may not be considered.

 

The AFA Outstanding Dissertation or Thesis Award recognizes the best dissertation or thesis in the theory and practice of argumentation and forensics completed in the previous calendar year.  The candidate must be a member of AFA.  To nominate a thesis or dissertation, a letter of nomination detailing the significance of the dissertation or thesis (usually from the project advisor), a copy of the table of contents, and a representative chapter of the completed study.  Electronic submissions are preferred; hard copy submissions should include six (6) copies of all necessary materials.  Eligible scholarship for 2008 must have a completion date of 2008. The award shall be presented at the annual AFA business meeting to be held in Chicago in 2009. The committee chair must receive nominations no later than October 1, 2009. Nominations received after this date may not be considered.

 

Information about past recipients of these awards may be found on the AFA website.

Send nominations and submissions for the 2009 awards to:

 

Jim Dimock

Speech Communication Department

230 Armstrong Hall

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Mankato, MN 5601

 james.dimock@mnsu.edu

 

 

 

The AFA Distinguished Service Award recognizes long-term service to the American forensics community.  The recipient of the award typically comes from within the forensics community (active or retired).  Nominations do not need to be elaborate.  When possible, however, a nomination file may include a letter of nomination and the candidate's vita, indicating service and supporting items.  Areas of interest to the committee might include items such as: positive impact on the field in terms of current research practices, educational practices, community development, and consideration of career as a model for AFA professionals.

 

Nominations should be sent by 1 October to:

 

David Gaer

Laramie County Community College

1400 E. College Dr. Cheyenne, WY 82001

dgaer@lccc.wy.edu

 

PREVIOUS AFA DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AND SPEAKER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

 

                Distinguished Service Award                                                          Distinguished Speaker of the Year

 

2008

Duane Fish

Northwest College

Actor Paul Newman

2008

Bruce Manchester

George Mason University

 

2007

Allan Louden

Wake Forest University

Former Vice President Albert Gore

2006

Melissa Wade

Emory University

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

2005

David Hingstman

University of Iowa

Nina Tottenberg, National Public Radio

2004

Dale Herbeck

Boston College

Christopher Reeve, Actor and Advocate for Medical Research

2003

James F. Klumpp

University of Maryland

Janet Reno, Former Attorney General of the United States

2002

Guy Yates

West Texas A & M University

 

2001

James A. "Al" Johnson

Colorado College

Jimmy Carter, The Carter Center, Atlanta

2000

Jerry M. Goldberg

Pace University, New York

Parents Campaign Against Violence in the Schools

1999

Joseph W. Wenzel

University of Illinois, Urbana

 

1998

James W. Pratt

University of Wisconsin, River Falls

Kofi Annan, Secretary General, United Nations

1997

Rebecca Bjork

University of Utah

Franklyn Haiman, President, American Civil Liberties Union

1996

V. William Balthrop

University of North Carolina

Bill Moyers, Public Broadcasting System

1995

Larry Schnoor

Mankato State University

Barbara Jordan, Professor of Law, University of Texas

1994

Jerry Anderson

Concordia College (MN)

Brian Lamb, C-SPAN

 

1993

Scott Nobles

Macalester College

Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady of the United States

1992

Walter Ulrich

University of Northern Iowa

Barbara Jordan, Professor of Law, University of Texas

 

1991

Gerald Sanders

Miami University (Ohio)

William Brennan, Justice, United States Supreme Court

1990

Raymie McKerrow

University of Maine

Laurence Tribe, Professor of Law, Harvard University

1989

David Zarefsky

Northwestern University

Dianne Feinstein, Mayor, San Francisco

1988

Donn Parson

University of Kansas

Ann Richards, Governor, Texas

1987

Vernon McGuire

Texas Tech University

C. Everett Koop, Surgeon General of the United States

1986

Jack Howe

California State University-Long Beach

Franklin Zimring, Distinguished Law Professor

1985

Malcolm Sillars

University of Utah

Richard Lamb, Governor, Colorado

1984

Wayne Brockriede

CSU-Fullerton

Paul Simon, United States Senator, Illinois

1983

Lucy Keele

California State University - Fullerton

Larry Pressler, United States Senator, South Dakota

1982

Glenn Capp

Baylor University

Joshua B. Everett

1981

George Ziegelmueller

Wayne State University

Thomas Bradley, Mayor, Los Angeles, California

1980

Austin J. Freeley

John Carroll University

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

1979

Annabel Hagood

University of Alabama

Henry Cisneros, Mayor, San Antonio, Texas

 

 

                      

 

Proposed Revision

 

Code of Forensics Program and Forensic Tournament Standards for Colleges and Universities

 

The American Forensics Association, as a professional organization for forensics educators, believes forensics programs and tournaments are to provide environments where students become intelligent, effective and responsible advocates and communicators. We believe in equality and fair play in all forensics competition, and believe all tournaments should exist in an environment free of any behavior (whether verbal or nonverbal) which results in the harassment of any participant (whether student, coach, or judge). We therefore promulgate the following Code of Forensics Program and Forensics Tournament Standards for Colleges and Universities in the hopes that the guidelines outlined here will serve to govern and regulate effectively the conduct of forensics competition in the United States.

 

 

ARTICLE I: COMPETITOR STANDARDS

  1. A tournament contestant is to be an officially enrolled undergraduate student in good standing at the college or university he/she is representing in competition.
    1. A contestant is considered "officially enrolled" when he/she is duly registered in accordance with institutional regulations as an undergraduate student at the college or university he/she is representing in competition.
    2. A contestant is considered an "undergraduate" if he/she is registered as a bachelor or associate degree seeking student at the institution he/she is to represent in competition and is not in possession of a BA degree.
    3. "Good standing" shall be determined by rules and policies set by the institution the forensics competitor is representing in competition.
  2. A student's eligibility for forensics competition shall expire following participation during 5 academic years, or 4 academic years of AFA national tournaments.
    1. A student shall have used his/her eligibility in a given academic year if he/she participates in three or more forensics tournaments:
      1. A student shall be considered to have participated in a tournament if he/she competes in at least half of the scheduled preliminary rounds of the tournament.
      2. A tournament is defined as a forensics contest involving at least four schools in which at least four rounds of debate or two rounds of individual events are held, decisions are rendered by judges and awards given. This definition does not include summer workshop tournaments.
      3. A student's participation in individual events shall not count against his/her eligibility to compete in debate, and vice versa.
    2. Students may appeal cases of medical hardships to a designated appeals committee of the NDT or the NIET.
  3. Students are free to transfer from one college to another so long as the transfer is not the result of an unscrupulous effort by one school to cause the student to transfer to it in order to receive financial compensation and/or other rewards for forensics competition.
    1. "Unscrupulous" is used here to refer to cases where the college that the student transfers to initiates contact with the student and makes an offer of compensation and/or other rewards for forensic competition if the student transfers.
    2. The Educational Development and Practices Committee will determine if a student's transfer is the result of unscrupulous recruiting efforts based on the facts of the individual case. It is the burden of the school alleging unscrupulous recruiting to provide proof to the Educational Development and Practices Committee that the school that the student transfers to initiated the contact with the student and the decision to transfer was motivated by the promise of financial compensation and/or other rewards for forensic competition.
  4. Under unusual circumstances, involving valid educational or profession justifications, students who have received bachelor degrees may participate if:
    1. The student has never competed in forensics as an undergraduate.
    2. The coach who desires to let the student compete informs chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee of the decision and the reasons for it, and a majority of the Educational Development and Practices Committee agrees that the student has valid educational or professional reasons for participating.
    3. Such students may participate for a maximum of two academic years.
  5. The above eligibility rules shall not restrict additional eligibility requirements established by either the NDT or NIET Committees or by individual tournament directors.

 

ARTICLE II: COMPETITOR PRACTICES IN DEBATE

  1. Forensics competitors shall not use fabricated or distorted evidence.
    1. Evidence is defined as factual material (statistics and examples) and/or opinion testimony offered as proof of a debater's or a speaker's contention, claim, position, argument, point or case.
    2. Fabrication of evidence refers to falsely representing a cited fact or statement of opinion as evidence when the material in question is not authentic. Fabricated evidence is so defined without reference to whether or not the debater or speaker using it was the person responsible for fabricating it.
    3. Evidence is presumed ethical when it has a complete source, no internal omissions or unmarked additions, and is not directly contradicted by the text immediately before and after the quoted material. Distorted evidence refers to misrepresenting the actual or implied content of factual or opinion evidence. Distorted evidence is so defined without reference to whether or not the debater or speaker using it was the person responsible for distorting it. Distortions shall be judged by comparing the challenged evidence against the material as it appears in the original source. Distortions include, but are not limited to:
      1. quoting out of context
      2. misinterpreting the evidence so as to alter its meaning.
      3. omitting salient information from quotations or paraphrases. MLA Standards will be considered advisory with respect to this standard.
      4. adding words to a quotation which were not present in the original source of the evidence without identifying such an addition.
      5. failure to provide a complete citation of the evidence. Citations should be as complete as possible to serve the goals of allowing others to find the source and allowing the debaters/judges in the round to argue/evaluate the quality of the source. Not all evidence citation issues are ethical violations. Complete citations should include (name of author(s), source of publication, full date, page numbers (where relevant), and author(s)' credentials where available in the original when challenged. failure to provide complete documentation of the evidence (name of author(s), source of publication, full date, page numbers and author(s) credentials where available in the original) when challenged. Debaters and speakers are expected to be in possession prosession of the forms of documentation listed here at the time they used any evidence which was challenged.
      6. Failure to provide complete documentation of electronically retrieved evidence, including:
        1. Name of author(s), source of information, full date, and author(s) credentials where available;
        2. The nature and type of the electronic site identified in the evidence citation [e.g., "listserve," "Lexis/Nexis," "Homepage," "CD-ROM"] for any source which isn't a public webpage.
        3. A full current Universal Resource Locator (URL) when applicable [e.g., http://www.epa.gov], and a complete title for the material quoted where available. (iv) The date the information was retrieved [date of access]; (v) Unique and original page numbers where available, or an indication if not available [e.g., "n.pag.," "p. Lexis"].
  2. In individual events which involve original student speech compositions (oratory/persuasion, informative/expository, after-dinner/epideictic, rhetorical criticism, impromptu, extemporaneous or other similar speaking contests), the speaker shall not commit plagiarism.
    1. Plagiarism is defined as claiming another's written or spoken word as one's own, or claiming as one's own a significant portion of the creative work of another.
    2. A speech in individual events competition is considered plagiarized when the student presenting it was not the principal person responsible for researching, drafting, organizing, composing, refining and generally constructing the speech in question.
  3. Forensics competitors are expected to do contribute to their own research. Learning to research should be considered a primary value. Competitors' experience should result in research competence.
    1. Persons other than the forensic competitor and their undergraduate team members (undergraduate students, such as graduate students or instructor/coaches) are not to get charged with the primary responsibility for doing a forensics competitor's research.
    2. This provision shall not be construed to prevent coaches or assistants from engaging in limited collaborative research designed to:
      1. teach research techniques
      2. provide limited examples of high quality research
      3. identify areas of research which students should pursue, and
      4. provide the coach with the working knowledge necessary to function as effective critic with respect to the debate or speech topics being investigated by his/her students.
  4. All forensics participants are expected to compete honestly and fairly. Students are not to intentionally lose debates or perform badly in individual events rounds for the purpose of allowing other competitors to benefit as a result. Directors of forensics, judges and coaches are not to encourage dishonesty in competition by asking students to purposely lose or do poorly in rounds of forensics competition.

 

ARTICLE III: COMPETITOR PRACTICES IN INDIVIDUAL EVENTS

 

  1. Students competing in individual events are expected to provide sufficient support for their claims. The ethical use of evidence includes appropriate citations, accurate representation of evidence content, avoidance of plagiarism and reflection of autonomous student work.

2.      Appropriate Citations of Evidence: Outside sources shall be verbally cited during the speech. A verbal citation shall include sufficient information for an audience member to locate the source. The AFA-NIET recommends the following (additional information may be included):

  1.  
    1. Print periodicals shall be cited with the title of the periodical and date of the publication regardless if the material was electronically retrieved. The date a source is accessed online is not considered the primary publication date. For example: "According to the May 21, 2009, New York Times"
    2. Materials distributed via electronic means only should be indicated as such. For example: "According to a May 21, 2009 on-line report by the Associated Press"
    3. Books shall be cited with the title, date and author. Essays or articles collected in an anthology should be cited using the primary author's name not the editor of the collection. When applicable, students should find and cite the original publication of the anthologized work. For example: "Augusto Boal argues in his 1979 book Theatre of the Oppressed"
    4. Websites shall be cited using either a brief URL or the name of the sponsoring organization and the date the site was last updated. The date a source is accessed online is not considered the primary publication date. For example: "As reported on www.ptoweb.org last updated May 2009" and "The AFA-NIET states on its website last updated April 10, 2009"
    5. Interviews shall be cited with the name of the interviewee, his/her qualifications and the date on which the interview occurred. Interviews include face-to-face, e-mail, chat, facebook, and other forms of electronic exchange. For example: "In an e-mail correspondence on July 7, 2009 with Joe White, former Chair of the Tucson, AZ Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors"

3.      Accurate Representation of Evidence: When incorporating evidence into a speech, students shall avoid the following:

A.     Citing evidence out of context

B.     Misinterpreting evidence to alter intent or meaning

C.     Cutting words from or adding words to a quotation or paraphrase in such a way that the intent or meaning of the evidence is altered

4.      Avoidance of Plagiarism: In individual events which require the construction of the speech to be the original work of the student (persuasion, informative, after-dinner, communication analysis, impromptu, extemporaneous, or other similar speaking events) the speaker shall not commit plagiarism.

A.     Plagiarism is defined as claiming another's written or spoken words as one's own, or claiming as one's own a significant portion of the creative work of another.

B.     A speech in individual events competition is considered plagiarized when the student presenting it was not the principal person responsible for researching, drafting, organizing, composing, refining, and generally constructing the speech in question

5.      Reflection of Autonomous Student Work: Forensics competitors are expected to do their own research.

A.     Persons other than competitor (e.g., undergraduate students, graduate students, instructors/coaches) are not to be charged with the responsibility of doing a forensics competitor's research.

B.     This provision shall not be construed to prevent coaches or assistants from engaging in limited research designed to:

i.   Teach research techniques,

ii.  Provide examples of high quality research or,

iii. I dentify areas of research for students

6.      Ethical Use of Literature in Individual Events (as iterated in the AFA-NIET Charter/Bylaws)

A.     Contestants may not rewrite a prose, a poem, or a dramatic text so the work differs from the original text.

B.     Contestants may not add or reassign scenes or lines to the performed cutting. Although an occasional line might be added, especially if a character has been deleted, this practice should be discouraged.

C.     Contestants may not rewrite the ending of a work.

D.     Contestants may not rewrite lines to change the gender or person of a character.

E.      Contestants may not perform a text in a genre for which it has not been written.

F.      Protests should be filed according to AFA-NIET Charter and By-laws Section X.

 

 

ARTICLE III IV: TOURNAMENT PRACTICE

  1. Tournament directors must ensure that all participants compete on a more or less equal basis.
    1. A debate team should not meet the same team twice during preliminary rounds of a tournament unless:
      1. There are so few teams entered that it would be impossible for the tournament to proceed, in which case the two teams should switch sides the second time they meet, or
      2. The schools entering the tournament have agreed to suspend the provision that teams not debate each other twice in preliminary rounds.
    2. So far as possible, debate teams should debate an equal number of preliminary rounds on each side of the debate proposition.
    3. Speakers in individual events shall not be repeatedly matched against the same opponents in a given event, unless:
      1. the tournament cannot proceed otherwise, or
      2. the schools attending the tournament agree to suspend the provision that speakers should not repeatedly meet the same opponents in a given round of individual events.
    4. So far as possible, speakers in individual events contests should rotate speaking positions.
    5. Judges for forensics contests shall be assigned in accordance with these stipulations:
      1. A judge shall not be assigned to judge his/her own team
      2. A judge shall not judge the same debate team or student speaker in one particular individual event twice during a tournament's preliminary rounds unless there is no way to avoid this conflict. In such cases:
        1. the judge will hear the debate team on the opposite side, unless it is impossible to do this or the schools competing agree to suspend this provision, and
        2. the judge will hear the student speaker compete against as many different opponents as those involved in the judge's first hearing of the speech, unless it is impossible to do this or the schools competing agree to suspend this provision.
        3. Exceptions to this principle, such as for district tournaments using panels, should be clarified in tournament invites or governing documents.
      3. A judge shall not judge debaters or speakers where there is a conflict of interest possible, such as:
        1. The judge has previously coached had a significant coaching or affinity relationship in college a debater or speaker he/she is to hear,
        2. The judge was, within the last two years, the coach of the school whose team or speaker he/she is to hear,
        3. The judge was, within the last two years, an undergraduate forensics competitor at the school whose team or speaker he/she is to hear.
      4. Prior to the start of the tournament, all judges shall have an opportunity to declare themselves ineligible to hear specific debate teams, speakers, or events.
      5. The practice of allowing debate teams or individual events speakers to prevent a specific judge from hearing a particular team or speaker is permitted only when:
        1. all teams or speakers are given an equal chance to declare judge strikes or fill out preference sheets prior to the start of the tournament,
        2. all teams and speakers are granted the same number of strikes-the number to be determined by the tournament director(s), and
        3. The procedures for removing strikes (if any) are stated openly to all competitors.
  2. Tournaments should be completely and fairly advertised.
    1. The levels of competition expected should be specified.
    2. If the tournament has more than one division of competition, eligibility requirements for the divisions shall be clearly defined in the tournament invitation.
    3. The basis for advancing competitors to the elimination rounds, and/or for awarding trophies or prizes, shall be specified either in the tournament invitation or in written or oral statements presented to all tournament participants prior to the start of the first round of the tournament.
    4. The rules governing all competitive events (event description, procedures, time limits, etc.) shall be clearly specified in the tournament invitation.
  3. All tournament rounds are open on a space available basis to any and all interested observers, who may take notes. All tournaments are encouraged to invite interested any and all interested observers, on a space available basis, to view tournament rounds and take notes. Participants, coaches of the teams involved, judges or authorized researchers (with the tournament director's approval) may electronically record any tournament round of competition except for oral interpretation events. Member organizations may develop appropriate policies about the uses of recorded material.
  4. Tournament judges are obliged to provide detailed and constructive criticism of any and all rounds of competition they evaluate. Judges are expected to provide either oral feedback or written comments on the ballots provided by the tournament, as appropriate for the event. If judges choose to provide written comments, these written comments should be made available to all the competitors a judge has heard by the conclusion of the tournament. All provisions of this article shall apply to high school and college competitors.
  5. Tournament directors should ensure that:
    1. Results are made available to all contestants as soon after competition ends as is humanly possible.
    2. Their tournament is not run to benefit financially the best school. An anticipated profit in excess of 10% of total entry fees is considered excessive.
    3. Their tournament runs smoothly and efficiently, with breaks in between rounds for power-matching minimized whenever possible.
    4. All results are kept secret if that is specified by the tournament rules.
  6. All tournaments should operate in an environment free of any behavior (whether verbal or nonverbal) which that results in the harassment of any participant (whether student, coach, or judge).
  7. This section is not intended to preclude experimental practices by tournaments, so long as those practices are clearly spelled out in the invitation.

 

ARTICLE IV V: PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

 

1.      The American Forensic Association (AFA) is committed to promoting professional communication conduct. The members of the AFA recognize the adversarial and competitive nature of academic debate and individual events may place students, directors, coaches, judges, and tournament administrators in situations where professional conduct by participants may be called into question.

2.      The explicit focus of this policy addresses conduct by participants outside the specific time period when a student is competing in a round during a tournament. Participants include audience members, students, directors, coaches, judges, and tournament officials.

3.      The AFA acknowledges the district and national tournaments sponsored by the association are designed to promote responsible and effective discourse. The AFA recognizes that behaviors which belittle, degrade, demean, or otherwise dehumanize others are not in the best interest of the activities sponsored by the AFA. Such behaviors interfere with the goals of forensic education.

4.      All participants in an AFA sponsored event shall recognize the rights of others and communicate with respect for opponents, colleagues, critics, tournament hosts and audience members. Behaviors by any tournament participants occurring at an AFA sponsored event that violate the community standard of a healthy educational environment shall be deemed "Unprofessional Conduct." Unprofessional conduct is subject to sanction(s) by the AFA.

5.      Forensics educators shall act in accordance with their own institutional obligations. Failure to adhere to employer's policies (e.g., a person suspended or terminated for violations of university sexual harassment policy, substance abuse policy, fiduciary policy or academic responsibility policy may be subject to sanctions by the AFA).

6.      A charge of unprofessional conduct shall follow the appropriate steps detailed in Article 5: Adjudication Procedures.

 

 

ARTICLE IV VI: ADJUDICATION PROCEDURES

  1. Anyone wishing to initiate a formal complaint may do so by sending SIX copies of the charges, in writing, to the Chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee. The complaint must:
    1. Indicate the specific section(s) of the Code allegedly violated.
    2. Name the person(s) charged with the alleged violation(s).
    3. Indicate the factual circumstances and events associated with the alleged violation(s).
    4. Include all necessary supporting documents which would constitute, at least, a prima facie case that there is a reason to believe that a violation of the Code may have occurred.
    5. Include the addresses and phone numbers of the person making the complaint.
  2. The Educational Development and Practices Committee, upon receipt of SIX copies of the charges, will inform, in writing, the person charged with an alleged code violation. The person(s) charged will have 30 days to respond to the charges. The person charged will be informed of the nature and extent of the charges against him/her. The person charged may supply any relevant information in his/her defense in regard to the charges. SIX copies of any material supplied should be sent to the Chair of Educational Development and Practices Committee.
  3. Once all materials are gathered, the Educational Development and Practices Committee members will independently review the case and determine if there is reason to believe that a code violation has occurred.
    1. If the Educational Development and Practices Committee agrees, by majority vote, that there is insufficient proof of a violation, the charges will be declared dropped and all parties to the dispute informed.
    2. If the Educational Development and Practices Committee agrees, by majority vote, that there is sufficient evidence to support the charges made, the Chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee will inform all parties of this fact and will schedule a formal hearing involving the members of the Educational Development and Practices Committee, the accused and the person bringing the complaint. The location of this hearing will be determined by the Chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee, with the location being as convenient as possible to all parties. The hearing shall occur as soon as it can be feasibly scheduled, and shall be electronically recorded. The accused will have the right to make an oral defense at the hearing, and can be represented by legal counsel if desired. The complainant will have the same rights. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Educational Development and Practices Committee will vote on the charges. At least a 4-1 vote is required to convict the accused of a Code violation. Following the verdict of guilty, the Educational Development and Practices Committee will determine the penalties to be imposed in accordance with Article V VI of the Code. A majority vote will be required to impose penalties.
  4. The accused may appeal both the verdict and the penalties determined by the Educational Development and Practices Committee.
    1. The appeal will be made to the President of the AFA, who will appoint a special three-person appeal board composed of impartial members of AFA.
    2. The appeal board will review all documents gathered by the Educational Development and Practices Committee, and will also listen to electronic recordings of the formal hearings. The recordings shall remain with the archives of the AFA.
    3. The appeal board may gather any additional information it deems necessary to judge the case from any of the parties (the accused, the complainant, or the Educational Development and Practices Committee).
    4. The accused and the complainant have the right to present an oral argument to the appeal board. If so desired, the appeal board will set up a convenient method for allowing either the accused or the complainant to address it. The accused and the complainant have the right to counsel in these instances.
    5. A majority vote of the appeal board is necessary to overturn the Educational Development and Practices Committee's actions.

 

ARTICLE V VII: PENALTIES

  1. Directors of forensics, assistants or coaches found guilty of entering ineligible students in forensics competition will:
    1. Have their names published in the AFA Newsletter with a note of censure.
    2. Have the notice of censure conveyed in writing by the AFA President to appropriate officials at the offending institution.
  2. A student declared ineligible will be barred from national competitions or awards sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA. Notice of this action will be published in the AFA Newsletter, with a letter sent by the AFA President to appropriate officials at the offending student's school informing them of the student's ineligibility for competition in forensics.
  3. In instances of evidence distortion and/or fabrication, the judge(s) shall automatically award the decision in the debate to the opposing team and give the offending speaker zero speaker points, noting the violation of the rules of evidence on the ballot as the reason for the judge's decisions and points. In individual event, the judge(s) will treat evidence distortion and/or fabrication by giving the offending speaker zero points and by dropping that speaker from the speaker rankings to be assigned at the end of the round. The judge(s) will note the violation of the rules of evidence on the ballot as the reason for the points and no-rank given.
  4. Speakers found guilty of plagiarism will be disqualified from the round in which the plagiarism occurred, with zero speaker points and no rank assigned and plagiarism noted on the ballot as the reason for the judge's action.
  5. A judge who makes a decision on the basis of evidence distortion, evidence fabrication or plagiarism will immediately report his/her action to the tournament director. The tournament director will, as soon as possible, investigate the incident and determine if the offending speaker should be declared ineligible for further competition, elimination rounds or award at the tournament. Directors should base such decision on the severity of the case involved.
  6. Tournament directors must report, to the Chair of Educational Development and Practices Committee, any and all instances of judge decisions granted for reasons of evidence distortion, evidence fabrication or plagiarism. If the Chair receives, in any given academic year, two such complaints involving the same student, the student will be declared ineligible for national competitions or awards sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA for a period of 12 calendar months from the date of the second offense. The student will be informed when notification of the second offense is received. The student has the right to appeal that the penalty should not be imposed, under the appeal procedure outlined in Article IV V, Section 4 of the code. Notice of the student's ineligibility for national competitions sponsored by the AFA will appear in the AFA Newsletter, with a letter by the AFA President sent to appropriate officials at the offending student's school.
  7. Forensics squads found guilty of using non-competitors for primary research purposes will have a note of censure published in the AFA Newsletter, with written notice of the censure communicated by the AFA President to appropriate officials at the offending school. The squad will be barred from national competitions sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA for a period of 12 calendar months from the date when the Educational Development and Practices Committee ruled the school to be in violation of this part of the Code.
  8. Tournament directors found guilty of violating any section of Article III of the code will be subject to any or all of the sanctions listed below, as deemed justified by the Educational Development and Practices Committee:
    1. Censure of the offending tournament.
      1. The Educational Development and Practices Committee finding that the tournament had violated the Code will be published in the AFA Newsletter.
      2. Appropriate officials at the offending school will be notified in writing by the AFA President of the decision to censure the tournament.
      3. In cases where the Educational Development and Practices Committee determines the Code violation to be severe, the tournament will not be allowed to publish its dates in the next AFA tournament calendar following the Educational Development and Practices Committee's decision that the tournament was in violation of the Code.
    2. Tournament probation.
      1. When a tournament is found guilty of a Code violation on a second separate occasion, the tournament may be put on probation; viz. The results of the next occurrence of the tournament, following the Educational Development and Practices Committee's decision to place it on probation, cannot be used for the purpose of qualifying forensic participants for national tournaments sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA.
      2. If a tournament is placed on probation, this decision will be printed in the AFA Newsletter Tournament Calendar edition covering the tournament season in which the probation will be served, with notification that this tournaments results cannot be used for the purpose of qualifying forensic students for national competitions sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA.
      3. Probation will be for one year. When the probation ends that fact will be reported in the AFA Newsletter Tournament Calendar issue.
  9. Tournament directors should forward names of all judges who fail to turn in written ballots for all the preliminary rounds they judge at a tournament to the chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee. Any school which leaves a tournament without all of the preliminary round ballots it should have, and assuming there is no valid explanation for missing ballots, may notify the Chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee of the judge(s) who failed to provide ballots. If a judge is guilty of failing to provide written preliminary round ballots for all rounds judged by the end of the tournament on two occasions, the judge shall:
    1. Be subject to censure by notification in the AFA Newsletter, and
    2. Be declared ineligible to be hired as a judge at any national competition sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA.
    3. Be informed when notification of the second failure to turn in ballots is received. The judge to appeal that the penalty should not be imposed, under the appeal procedures outlined in Article IV V, Section 4 of the Code.
  10. Forensics directors, coaches, assistants or judges found guilty of asking students to throw rounds of forensics competition will be subject to the penalties listed under section I of this Article.
  11. A student transferring from one school to another as a consequence of unscrupulous recruiting will be ineligible to participate in the next national tournament sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA occurring after the Educational Development and Practices Committee's decision that the transfer resulted from unscrupulous contact initiated by the school to which the student transferred.
  12. Participants at an AFA sponsored event found guilty of unprofessional conduct:
    1. will have their names published in the AFA Newsletter with a note of censure.
    2. will have the notice of censure conveyed in writing by the AFA President to appropriate officials at the offending institution.
    3. may be barred from participation in AFA sponsored events for a specific length of time as determined by the Educational Development and Practices Committee.

 

ARTICLE VI VIII: AMENDMENT

This code may be amended by majority vote at any General Business Meeting, provided that those members with voting privileges have been notified of the proposed text of the amendment at least 30 days prior to the date of the General Business Meeting; or without prior notice by a two-third majority of those present and voting at the General Business Meeting.

 

AFA BALLOTS

 

All ballot forms consist of three pages: original on white, and two carbonless copies on pink and yellow. Form W also has an additional white half-sheet.

 

FORM DESCRIPTION

All ballot forms are supplied in lots of 100 @ $15/100

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A: CEDA with boxes (8-1/2 x 14")

E: Without boxes  (8-1/2 x 11")

H: Lincoln-Douglas without boxes (8-1/2 x 14")

P: Parliamentary (8-1/2 x 14")

W: With short form, with boxes (8-1/2 x 14")

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All orders are sent via Federal Express and are subject to a $5.60 handling and packing charge plus actual Federal Express charges. Usual delivery time is two weeks; Second Day Air or Next Day Air are available at an additional charge.

 

TO ORDER

BY TELEPHONE: 1-800-228-5424

BY FAX: 1-888-314-9533

BY E-MAIL: AmForensicAssoc@aol.com

BY MAIL: Box 256, River Falls, WI 54022-0256

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