Katie Gjerpen -- Niles North

Use the back button on your browser to return to the pref entry page or tournament entry list. The judge philosophy appears in a different format at the bottom of the page.

Judging philosophy:

Background: I have previously debated at MSU and coached at Groves H.S.


1. Not to sound cliche, but do what you’re good at. I will do my best to objectively evaluate the round, however, my biases are specified below.
2. I think you should read a plan and defend said plan. I have voted for project and performance teams in the past, but only in instances where they do this. If this is not your style of debate, I am not the judge for you.
3. I am not strictly an offense/defense judge and will vote on terminal defense if it is well articulated.
4. I am not a truth-seeker and tend to think a dropped argument is a true argument.
5. If you clip cards or cheat in any other way, I will drop you and give you the lowest speaker points permitted by the tournament.
6. Please be nice to one another. If I think you’re being rude to your partner, me or the other team, I will dock your speaker points accordingly. If it’s egregious enough, I will consider dropping you.


I don’t lean heavily towards competing interpretations or reasonability. If this debate isn’t had, I will default to competing interpretations. Make sure you impact your arguments well – even if the aff doesn’t meet your interpretation, you need to tell me why this hurts your ground, education, etc. I think OSPEC, RVIs and kritiks of topicality are dumb and it will be difficult to convince me otherwise.

In general, I think it’s a reason to reject the argument not the team, but this is not absolute (see CP section). As with topicality, make sure you impact your arguments.

The neg should always be making specific disad turns the case arguments and the aff always needs to answer these – I think this should be obvious, but so many debaters neglect to do this. There is usually a risk of the disad, but if you win terminal defense on the impact or link/internal-link level(s), this substantially mitigates its risk, if not taking it out completely. I’m not a huge fan of politics theory because I think politics disads are important neg ground, but if the aff wins it, I won’t be particularly happy about it but will vote on it.

I enjoy CP/disad debates. I think consult CPs are kind of silly. The neg can run multiple conditional CPs but I will be more persuaded to vote on “reject the team” here more so than with other theory arguments. Perm is a test of competition. I think you should probably have a solvency advocate.

Critical Arguments
Of relevance for this year (2010-11) – I graduated with a degree in International Relations and Comparative Cultures and Politics, so I am well-versed in a lot of the literature related to the topic. That being said, it’s better to have too much explanation – I have a terrible poker face so you will likely be able to tell if I am confused and have no idea what you’re talking about. On the neg, explain to me why the kritik should be evaluated first (discourse, reps, ontology, etc.), why you access the aff’s impacts (root cause, etc.) and/or why the alternative solves the aff. On the aff, you need to answer any and all of the above arguments. It is also smart to make permutations and case outweighs arguments (again, this should be obvious) in front of me. In general, I think the aff /neg should get to weigh their impacts versus the critical argument.

Case debates are underutilized – the neg shouldn’t be afraid to go for the status quo.

Good luck!

Seasonal voting record:

TourneyDivRdAFF    NEG    Decision

Judge Philosophy Alternate Format: