Chris Skiles -- Cal Poly SLO

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Judging philosophy:

1. I generally judge only novice and JV debate, so I am unfamiliar with cutting edge arguments. My ability to flow extremely fast debaters has diminished greatly, as has my ability to understand complex theory debates and extensive cross-application short-cuts. Minimize your use of jargon to explain complex interactions among and between arguments in the round

2. Despite how obnoxious debaters from my school are/have been, I expect debaters to behave like professionals while debating. Please be polite and professional. I have a very low tolerance for behaviors considered inappropriate outside the safety of our setting. I allocate low speaker points to those who engage in rude, condescending, and obnoxious behaviors. Please restrict your use of profanity, intimidation, insults, ad hominems, etc., when debating in front of me. I understand this may seem ironic/unfair given the behavior of some debaters from my school, nevertheless, these are my expectations for appropriate behavior in a debate round. I can only try to influence my debaters and hope that they follow my lead, which as many of you know/have experienced, they often do not.

3. We label ourselves "policy debate" and despite how unpopular/outdated this might be, I expect debaters to argue about resolution-specific policy options. I would rather not try to adjudicate unfocused, non-resolutionally germane philosophical claims, nor simply bear witness to identity politics that are unrelated to/disconnected from the plan/resolution. Consider this closely: the more you communicate about how (i.e., "frame") the substance of your claims connect to the plan/resolution, the more likely I am to find them relevant. The burden is on you, as a speaker, to make the connections apparent and relevant to the topic.

I prefer to hear debates about "how" and "why" not "that" democracy assistance should be increased. I prefer that the affirmative advance a topical plan, that is, a specific call for the United States Federal Government to increase democracy assistance. Negative teams, however, need to do more than invoke my preference in order to win a vagueness T challenge: develop a series of arguments that explain why--and that move past debate norms of simply labeling these headings "fairness" and/or "education"--the affirmative has not met reasonable burdens of proof.

Permutation debates should involve evidence. Bringing attention to the fact that mutual exclusivity rarely characterizes competing policy options lacks rigor. Evidence and detailed explanations about how the permutation recasts the role of DAs, solvency deficits, and political intent/philosophical underpinnings in the round significantly increases both the strength and the appeal of this argument. I prefer affirmatives argue solvency deficit and disadvantage arguments against CPs over permutation and theory positions.

I am more likely to vote for a topic specific/topic-relevant kritik than I am a generic "catch-all" position. This means that both: a) the way you present the argument, and; b) your framing of its relevance in the debate need to demonstrate more than a general/tangential connection to what has occured in the 1AC. When advancing a kritik, make the relevance as clear, and as soon, as possible. The more nuanced your "links" are to affirmative assumptions/implications/omissions, the easier it is for me to integrate into my decision calculus. Repeating a concept or phrase from the introduction of the argument to the final appeal of the 2NR is less likely to gain my adherence.

4. I adopt the role of rhetorical critic of argument within a policy making paradigm. For me. this means that how you talk about your arguments is equally as important as the substance of the arguments. Communication--the way you frame, develop, respond to, and extend arguments in the round--is just as important as evidence. I tend to vote as much on the quality of work debaters do in the round as I do on the probable, intrinsic appeal of the ideas. You may be right about a series of claims, but if you under-develop these claims in response to your opponents' challenges, chances are you will not win them.

5. If you want me to adjudicate the round in a manner that differs from a policy-making paradigm, then please articulate clearly HOW I can/should modify particular default behaviors in accordance with your request (should I not flow?, should I value potential emotive response over empirical/historical studies?, ie., be clear about how I might modify my behaviors as a judge to best grasp your preferred mode of advocacy) . Absent clear and compelling recommendations to base my decision otherwise, I weigh the quality and quantity of direct advocacy and of evidentiary support in concert with linear argument development on the flow to determine who controls particular arguments and, ultimately, who wins the round.




Seasonal voting record:

TourneyDivRdAFF    NEG    Decision
BerkeleyNov6SacSt.Ashton27.5Herman27.2LRCCDGover27.7Severson28NEG
BerkeleyNovFinalCSUNBelzberg0Islam0LRCCDBrooks0Priyadarshini0NEG 3-0 (NEG)
NCFASpringOpen4SFSUTurner27.5Voeller28.5LRCCDChowdhury28Stanfield27AFF
NCFASpringOpen5LRCCDEvans27.8Kumar27.5ChicoMcGarry27.3Trinkeller27AFF
NCFASpringOpen6SacSt.Ashton27Herman27.3CSUNBelzberg26.5Harryman26AFF
NCFASpringOpenQurtLRCCDChowdhury0Stanfield0SFSUHamud0Teter0AFF 2-1 (AFF)

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