Jubb Elected 2014 TD, 5 Amendments Pass

Alex Jubb, just elected 2014 Tournament Director, makes a point during a debate round at the National Championships last month.
Alex Jubb, just elected 2014 Tournament Director, makes a point during a debate round at the National Championships last month.

Alex Jubb was elected to serve as Tournament Director of the 2014 Rutgers Invitational, the 13th annual tournament and the second major unopposed that Rutgers will host for the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) in elections held one week ago. The election was uncontested after Sean Leonard withdrew from the race. She will be the third straight woman to serve as Tournament Director of the Invitational (or co-TD), following in the footsteps of Bhargavi Sriram in 2012 and Deepta Janardhan in 2013.

Additionally, it was an active election session for amendments to the Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) bylaws, with five of the proposed seven amendments passing. Below is a list of the amendments that passed. While most of them offer minor tweaks to the Free Seed Formula, the mathematical equation by which determination of who gets the free seed at tournaments and especially Nationals is determined, one of them is a significant change that will impact the coming year. This is the creation of a Novice Buddy System whereby varsity debaters will adopt a novice or novices to shepherd through their first year on RUDU, serving as a point-person for questions and concerns they have, as well as helping them in practice.

Several other teams have long had such a system and a Committee will soon be formed within RUDU to design the implementation of this program to help Rutgers put together another banner novice class in 2013-2014. RUDU has placed a novice in the top five NOTY (Novice of the Year) standings in each of the last three seasons, as well as having several debaters who did not have terribly successful novice years break out in subsequent varsity seasons. The emphasis on training novices and general improvement is one of the main reasons for RUDU’s recent success and rise to the top of the APDA rankings.

Here are the amendments that passed:

EBoard Amendment: Judging Requirements
Phipps Amendment: Free Seed Points for Break Tournaments
Potter Amendment 2: Punting Points
Potter Amendment 3: Free Seed Points for Pro-Ams
Williams Amendment: Novice Buddy Mentorship


EBoard Amendment: Judging Requirements
In the event that a tournament has a judging requirement and will otherwise break up teams at their discretion, we will break up registered teams and have both people on the given team judge by the following criteria:

There will be a policy of “last in, first out”. In other words, the people who sign up first for a given tournament will be given the highest priority to compete. Everyone at the meeting sign-up will be tied for the highest competition priority.

If you have judged at any tournament at any point in the year, then you are guaranteed to not be compelled to split off from your partner and judge for the duration of that year.

Anyone forced to judge rather than compete by this policy will receive 2.5 free seed points.

This policy only applies to breaking up a team to meet a judging requirement, not for a team cap at a place like Nationals, North Ams, etc. The free seed will still apply to that.

This will not be used merely to avoid a judging fee, but only in cases where teams will be broken up by the tournament.


Phipps Amendment: Free Seed Points for Break Tournaments
Tournaments that fall fully within school sanctioned class breaks (i.e. Winter Break and Spring Break), should count for half-points within the free seed formula.


Potter Amendment 2: Punting Points
If any debater is obliged to punt to another team in order qualify them for Nationals, that debater will be awarded the same number of points in the free seed formula as the debater earned for advancing in the punted round.


Potter Amendment 3: Free Seed Points for Pro-Ams
The Pro-Am tournaments in both Fall and Spring Semesters shall be counted as half-points toward the free seed formula if there are not enough novices to accommodate all the varsity who desire to attend.


Williams Amendment: Novice Buddy Mentorship
There shall be a novice mentor/mentee system in which each incoming novice (or possibly group of novices) are given a varsity member to work with throughout the first semester.

Candidate Statements for Tournament Director and Proposed Amendments

Tournament Director Deepta Janardhan (right) places the knight's helmet over the head of the 2013 RU Invitational top speaker, Syracuse's David Kopel.  A different person has won top speaker at all thirteen Invitationals, with Maryland speakers winning thrice.  Kopel is the first winner from Syracuse.
Tournament Director Deepta Janardhan (right) places the knight’s helmet over the head of the 2013 RU Invitational top speaker, Syracuse’s David Kopel. A different person has won top speaker at all thirteen Invitationals, with Maryland speakers winning thrice. Kopel is the first winner from Syracuse.

TD & Amendment Elections will take place on Thursday, April 25th at 9:00 PM in Murray 210.

Who will award the big shiny helmet in 2014?

Tournament Director Candidates:
Alex Jubb
Sean Leonard


Alex Jubb
Hey RUDU! I really want to be your Tournament Director next year! As most of you know, I’ve been Head Runner at the past two tournaments and have put in a ton of work. I think that my experience makes me uniquely qualified to be TD. I am familiar with the planning that needs to occur before the tournament and am comfortable working with the administration. Delegating tasks is also incredibly important. The Head Runner position required me to work with many different people and I think I have a good idea of what people’s strengths are so I can better delegate important tasks. As for the day of the tournament, it is most vital to be able to respond to problems quickly and efficiently. I learned a lot after my first experience as TD and was able to anticipate and avoid many problems this year, which made the tournament run much smoother. I’ll of course answer any specific questions that people may have during elections, but overall I think that I am most qualified and excited to be your Tournament Director.


Sean Leonard
I’m Sean Leonard, and I’m running for the position of Tournament Director next year. I’m currently a Novice in RUDU, moving forward to my second year of debate. I feel as though, while running the Rutgers tournament is a difficult task, I have the right set of skills and enthusiasm to perform effectively as TD.

My dedication to the team has been constant throughout this year. I managed to attend every tournament, and nearly every meeting of the team. In addition to these commitments, I’ve had no hesitation to go above and beyond my responsibilities as a regular team member. After participating in numerous public debates, helping with the camp, as well as helping in tab during our 2013 tournament this spring, I feel as though I’ve made it clear I’ll spare no expense to contribute to the overall benefit of the team as a whole.

Considering the fact that I’m only a Freshmen in debate, the majority of my experience comes from coordinating high school events in the past. However, I have a lot of experience coordinating public events from those circumstances, ranging from fundraisers for various clubs and organizations, to Model United Nations events, to coordinating clubs and teams in general from leadership positions. I’m no stanger to the intricacies of event planning, nor will I be caught unaware by the nuances that can, and have, strung up other school’s tournaments in the past.

Next year’s tournament will be a challenge to everyone on RUDU, considering it will likely be unopposed, and one of the largest of the spring semester. We need someone who is not only willing to put the time in, but can also unify people to work in the most cohesive manner we possible can. I’ve always worked alongside the other members of our team without fault, whether as partners is public events, debate itself, or just as a friend in general. The ability to coordinate people without conflict and without reservation is vital to making sure one of the most complex and comprehensive processes goes off without a hitch.

Overall, I can guarantee that the two most important qualities that result in a successful tournament, dedication and communication, can be fulfilled. And with the help of the rest of RUDU, I’m assured that the upcoming 2014 tournament will be one of the best, and one that has the potential to outdo the examples of each and every other school that year. I can only ask for the honor of being a central part of that.

Thank you.


Proposed Amendments:
EBoard Amendment: Judging Requirements
Llaveshi Amendment: Debate House Use
Phipps Amendment: Free Seed Points for Break Tournaments
Potter Amendment 1: Incapacitation Penalty
Potter Amendment 2: Punting Points
Potter Amendment 3: Free Seed Points for Pro-Ams
Williams Amendment: Novice Buddy Mentorship


EBoard Amendment: Judging Requirements
In the event that a tournament has a judging requirement and will otherwise break up teams at their discretion, we will break up registered teams and have both people on the given team judge by the following criteria:

There will be a policy of “last in, first out”. In other words, the people who sign up first for a given tournament will be given the highest priority to compete. Everyone at the meeting sign-up will be tied for the highest competition priority.

If you have judged at any tournament at any point in the year, then you are guaranteed to not be compelled to split off from your partner and judge for the duration of that year.

Anyone forced to judge rather than compete by this policy will receive 2.5 free seed points.

This policy only applies to breaking up a team to meet a judging requirement, not for a team cap at a place like Nationals, North Ams, etc. The free seed will still apply to that.

This will not be used merely to avoid a judging fee, but only in cases where teams will be broken up by the tournament.


Llaveshi Amendment: Debate House Use
If you are in the Debate house you must be working on debate or have business with one of the coaches. If neither of these things are true, you are liable to be kicked out.


Phipps Amendment: Free Seed Points for Break Tournaments
Tournaments that fall fully within school sanctioned class breaks (i.e. Winter Break and Spring Break), should count for half-points within the free seed formula.


Potter Amendment 1: Incapacitation Penalty
If any debater is found to be incapacitated for any round of debate, barring legitimate reason per coaches’ discretion, to the point of where they are unable to perform to their fullest, 1 point for each missed round shall be deducted from their free seed total.


Potter Amendment 2: Punting Points
If any debater is obliged to punt to another team in order qualify them for Nationals, that debater will be awarded the same number of points in the free seed formula as the debater earned for advancing in the punted round.


Potter Amendment 3: Free Seed Points for Pro-Ams
The Pro-Am tournaments in both Fall and Spring Semesters shall be counted as half-points toward the free seed formula if there are not enough novices to accommodate all the varsity who desire to attend.


Williams Amendment: Novice Buddy Mentorship
There shall be a novice mentor/mentee system in which each incoming novice (or possibly group of novices) are given a varsity member to work with throughout the first semester.

Deepta Janardhan Elected Novice Mentor

Deepta Janardhan, pictured here at the NorthAms 2013 banquet, was already preparing novice training sessions and ways to grow the team.
Deepta Janardhan at the NorthAms 2013 banquet, was already preparing novice training sessions and ways to grow the team.

Deepta Janardhan, Tournament Director for the 2013 Rutgers Invitational, was elected as 2013 Novice Mentor Tuesday night after a brief five-person election that included a run-off between the top two candidates. Janardhan was elected to replace Kurt Falk, who served the position with an example that all candidates stated they would like to follow. She restores gender parity to the Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) Executive Board as the third woman to join the six-person Board.

The Novice Mentor of RUDU works with the Coaches to recruit new members to the team, help train them, and make them feel welcome within the ever growing club. The position was established in 2012 after the Novice Coach position had been eliminated when Storey Clayton first started coaching the team in the 2009-2010 season. As RUDU began to grow massively in 2010 and 2011, the team felt it necessary to assign a member of the team the responsibility for ensuring support of novices.

“This year I see a novice class that shows a lot of potential,” she noted in her candidate statement.

Candidate Statements for Special Election for Novice Mentor

A Special Election for 2013 Novice Mentor will be held on Tuesday, January 29th at 9:00 PM in Murray 210, at the outset of that day’s meeting. The position was made vacant by the resignation of Kurt Falk, who is taking a semester off from Rutgers.

A file photo of Kurt Falk preparing to mentor novices at a tournament.
A file photo of Kurt Falk preparing to mentor novices at a tournament.

There are five candidates for the position and their statements are listed below in alphabetical order:
Arbi Llaveshi
Deepta Janardhan
Henry Phipps
Russell Potter
Sean Leonard


Arbi Llaveshi
Hey guys, I didn’t have time to write a candidate statement. If you’d like you can look to my previous statement for vp to learn why I’m a generally cool guy. I just learned the deadline for novice mentor application was tuesday night during the first meeting of the year DURING THE FIRST MEETING OF THE YEAR. I’ll answer your cool questions during election night.
– Arbs.


Deepta Janardhan
Hi everyone, Deepta here. I am running to fill in for the position of Novice Mentor for the 2013-2014 term. I think the main reason why you should vote for me, out of all of those running, is because of my philosophy on the novice mentor position. I believe that it exists largely to integrate the people who are newest at debate, into our team as a whole. In order to do this, a good novice mentor would need to be approachable, patient, and proactive- all qualities which I possess.

I have spent a good deal of time getting to know the novices on our team this year. During meetings, I always offered to stay back to judge rounds during weeks when I wouldn’t be participating in a tournament. During tournaments, I ask them how their rounds are going, and if they had difficulty, give them ideas about how to overcome the challenge. Even while giving advice, however, I always try to do this in a manner as to not shut down their own ideas, but just to jog their brains and make them think about things that they hadn’t considered before.

As Novice Mentor, I would be willing to extend all of these things which I already do, to a far greater extent, by constantly looking out for things that the novices are having trouble with, or reasons that they may be getting discouraged. I would then take active steps to try and solve the problem, by bringing it up during e-board meetings, or holding special sessions with Storey and Baia if the issue is more skills-based.

This year I see a novice class that shows a lot of potential. If elected, I promise that I will do my very best to try and bring it out even further.


Henry Phipps
Hey RUDU, I’m running to be your Novice Mentor. I believe I will do an excellent job as your Novice Mentor, not to mention having fun doing it. I’d like to briefly go over why you should vote for me for your new Novice Mentor.

I think Kurt did a really great job outlining the roles and responsibilities of the Novice Mentor role. The Novice Mentor is meant to help (primarily) novices on the team become more acquainted with the style of debate we compete in. Beyond this, the Novice Mentor also helps incorporate new team members as part of the team, not just in a debate format sense, but a social sense as well. Having someone as a liaison when you’re becoming just acquainted with a new large group (especially as one as large, tight, and wacky as all of us) is incredibly vital in order to ensure their enjoyment of the activity. Furthermore, the Novice Mentor is also in charge of organizing high school visits and novice retreats. These events are important in garnering interest from the beginning, in order to ensure a strong team in the next year.

It would be a true honor to be elected as your Novice Mentor. First of all, I truly enjoy connecting with people and getting to know them. I quickly introduce myself to new people on the team and do it out of the enjoyment of meeting someone new. Not only that, but as someone who is well connected with APDA, I cannot only introduce new people to our team, but make them feel more acquainted with other teams as well. While Kurt was Novice Mentor, I was quick to volunteer myself with brief info sessions concurrent to meetings when there were a large number of people new at that meeting. Furthermore, I would also help Kurt with Pro-Am practice rounds to help these novices get a crash course in debate.

Bringing back Novice Workshops is also a priority. Having a time and place where Novices can work on a specific part of debate is important in helping with the confidence of any debater. Kurt started these last year before Swat novice, and I think we should bring these back with more consistency, and not just for the novices. Many teams have consistent case writing sessions, and it would be good to create these team bonding experiences in order to strengthen the confidence of both Novices and Varsity. Finally, events such as high school visits and novice retreats are necessary. One of the first things I did after I got to New Jersey (despite the many protests from Rachel) was make as much as the last Novice Retreat as I could. I think contacting more high schools, and making novice retreats more accessible are important for long term expansion.

At the end of the day, you probably have a tough choice ahead of you with many people with good ideas. Because of all the reasons stated before though, I believe voting for me for Novice Mentor is the right decision, for I would be more than happy to be that liaison that’s so important for our team.

Thank you.


Russell Potter
Hi everyone! Russell here, and I’m running for Novice Mentor of RUDU!

This position’s predecessor, Kurt, was a trailblazer, under whose guidance; RUDU had many successes. Having observed his formula for success, I too think that I possess many traits, which make me your ideal candidate. To these ends, I have three points as to why you should vote for me.

1. Dedication – I think that this was one of Kurt’s biggest strongpoints, in that I’ve never met someone else so dedicated to the success and establishment of camaraderie among the team. I like to think that I too embody this characteristic. I’ve made it a policy of attending nearly every tournament, meeting, and doing practice rounds every available night. I’ve been highly successful and demonstrated a marked improvement from my novice year, which has inspired me to look back on what made me successful as a debater. If something needs to be done, I always make sure I’m there serving the team, helping it achieve. I’ve volunteered to organize debates, participate in demo rounds, and am willing to offer anything, even something as small as an ear to listen, to my fellow teammates.

2. Responsibility – This is one of my best attributes, and where I think that I can demonstrate my ability to work as hard as Kurt, if not harder. As a student who balances a 3.83 GPA, responsibility and organization are crucial to my life. I’ve begun to take upon an increasing amount of responsibility to assist the team as a whole. A prime example is with the planning for our summer debate camp, where a lack of performance by certain team members threatened our deadline. When I found out about the issue, I took it to create an entire content schedule for the camp, breaking down core issues of how to teach debate, and leaving time for scheduled events. Having a sense of responsibility and understanding of how to breakdown content so that it is both entertaining and understandable is an area where I thrive. The majority of the job of Novice Mentor would be to adapt programs and exercises to working with novices and help to ensure that our novice classes can reach new heights.

3. Goals – This is something that any good candidate needs to show, and is a hallmark for why Kurt was such an excellent Novice Mentor. To these ends, I have three areas, where I would work to improve if elected.

– Novice Events: One of the greatest things that we did as a team was the facilitation of novice exercises and scrimmages with other schools. I think they are uniquely beneficial to novices who feel like they lack direction in competitive events. I believe we should organize more of these and work towards addressing areas where novices feel lost. I also think, that as someone who was fortunate enough to Pro-Am with an experienced varsity member during my novice year, that I uniquely see the benefits of working across skill levels, and would seek to promote more Pro-Am experiences.

– Inter-School Relations: One of my best experiences in debate was participating in the demo rounds in Point Pleasant high school. I know that Kurt’s dream was to set up a funneling program between high school and college to recruit future debaters, and I too would seek to pursue such a program to make our team as great as possible. Further, I think that we ought foster communications with our local schools, like TCNJ, and rekindle scrimmage programs between them. This could be especially beneficial to novices, who get experience in debating against more varsity members while also practicing in the comfort of their own school.

– Novice Feedback Program: Lastly is an idea I had recently, which is to establish a feedback program in some capacity in order to get feedback on areas of improvement, so we can become more successful in our debate career, and also in the retention of our novices, who are our literal future.

Kurt left large shoes to fill, as he truly made a difference on the team for the better. I too would like a chance to make equally great strides for our team and make our future bright. I’m not saying that I would ever be able to replace Kurt, as I don’t think any of us can, but I think that based on his successes and my skillset, that I am suited to work for this team as its next Novice Mentor.


Sean Leonard
The office of Novice Mentor requires a select set of attributes in order to fulfil it’s entire responsibility. This responsibility is not one to be taken lightly, as it arguably determines the success of the entire team, even if that success manifests a year or two after the actions of the office itself. To be an effective Novice Mentor, you have to adequately balance training, recruitment, and retention of new people. If any of these factors are neglected, then the team, as a whole, will suffer as a result. Understanding this, I, Sean Leonard, would like to declare my intent to seek the position of Novice Mentor, promising to fulfill the three attributes of being a novice mentor to the best of my ability.

As a novice myself, I have a unique perspective of recently joining debate, with the memory of my first tournament, or even my first round, still highly prominent in my mind. This not only allows me to relate to the people I would be helping in a beneficial way, but also be able to pinpoint certain issues that I remember going through in the beginning. In addition to this, although my total time in Debate has been short, my participation has been the maximum I could possibly muster. I’ve been able to participate in every tournament, the novice retreats, while only missing one meeting the entire semester. From the practice rounds at the debate house, to participating in the debate class, to volunteering in the debate team public recruitment opportunities, I’ve done my best to participate 100% in the club, and that same work ethic will be replicated if I’m elected here.

Considering there are three main attributes of a good Novice Mentor, I’d like to talk a bit about why I can easily fulfill and excell at each of them. Firstly, I am obviously more than capable at training novices in the basic rules of debate. There have been multiple times where I had to help out other novices or partners with learning, or casing, or whatever was required at the time. Due to the fact I’ve been working alongside novices the entire semester, I’ve acquired some valuable experience. However, I must admit that there is much I still do not know about Debate. Whatever short falls that I have in that capacity will be made up by the wealth of experience held by the remainder of the team. Obviously, the role of the novice mentor is not to teach everything, but rather, to facilitate basic understanding.

Secondly, the recruitment of new novices is highly important to team efficiency. I feel as though our current recruitment methods are more than adequate for the needs of the team as it stands now. Through a combination of the novice retreats, standard recruitment at activity fairs, as well as a little bit of press regarding our accomplishments, we can achieve the steady flow of people required to support the team in the long term.

Finally, retention of new recruits is arguably as important as the recruitment of them in the first place. Retention, in my opinion, is the area where the most potential good can be done. The reality is, a lot of people simply cannot be swayed to join debate, or even in some cases, try it out. Call in fear of public speaking, or simple disinterest, but we’ve all met the person who simply won’t entertain the idea of joining. Therefore, we need to focus highly on the people who show interest in the start, and try to facilitate a common image that incorporates them, and puts them in a position where they want to succeed. Having a novice mentor who is a novice themselves probably contributes to this, but additional measures are obviously required to ensure that more people stay on, ensuring a high overall skill level of the team itself.

In summation, I pledge to show the same amount of activity as Novice Mentor as I portrayed as a simple novice.

RUDU Elects 2013 Executive Board

The newly elected RUDU EBoard in individual shots.
The newly elected RUDU EBoard in individual shots. Left to right: President Ashley Novak, Vice President Adam Bomeisl, Treasurer Quinn Maingi, Public Relations Chair Rachel Moon, Novice Mentor Kurt Falk, and Alumni Coordinator Gordon Morrisette.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) took time out of practicing debating long enough to elect six officers to comprise the 2013 Executive Board on Tuesday night. Five of the six elections were contested in the three-hour meeting. The 2012 E-Board presided over one of the most successful years of Rutgers debate, capped by the second most successful semester in team history (just ended), in which the Union rose to 4th in the nation.

Junior Ashley Novak won the position of President without opposition after spending two terms as RUDU’s Treasurer. Junior Adam Bomeisl won the hotly contested position of Vice President after serving as the 2012 Co-Tournament Director. Sophomore Quinn Maingi joined the E-Board for the first time after being elected Treasurer. Sophomore Rachel Moon also debuted on the E-Board, winning Public Relations Chair. Sophomore Kurt Falk was re-elected to the position of Novice Mentor. And fourth-year junior Gordon Morrisette was elected Alumni Coordinator, having previously served as Webmaster in 2010-2011 before going abroad.

RUDU stands fourth in the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) rankings at the end of the fall semester, just behind Harvard and just ahead of Johns Hopkins. The highest year-end finish for the club is fifth, in 2010-2011. While the E-Board officially begins its duties in January, transitional meetings will be held this month to acclimate the new Board to their tasks and the ongoing projects of the Board.

The information on the outgoing 2012 is archived below:


The 2012 Executive Board of the Rutgers University Debate Union

Chris Bergman is the President of the Debate Union. A rising senior majoring in Economics, Bergman joined RUDU in 2009. He finished 2011-2012 as the 23rd ranked speaker on APDA and part of the 22nd ranked team with regular partner Ashley Novak. He broke nine times last year, qualifying for Nationals, and earned Rutgers’ second-ever top speaker award, at West Point. Chris also holds the all-time RUDU record for possession of dinosaur T-shirts. He is planning on working in ratings agencies after Rutgers.

Bhargavi Sriram is the Vice President of the Debate Union. A rising senior majoring in Finance, Sriram joined the Union in 2009. She made the elimination rounds at UMBC last year, finishing the year ranked on APDA with regular partner Arbi Llaveshi. She also represented Rutgers at the National Championships in 2011. After graduating, she plans to pursue a career in business, though her loyalty is shifting from Taco Bell to Chipotle.

Ashley Novak is the Treasurer of the Debate Union. A rising junior in the School of Arts and Sciences, Novak started debating for Rutgers in 2010. The highest-ranking first-year woman on APDA in five years, she finished second in the prestigious 2010-2011 Novice of the Year (NOTY) rankings, the highest finish in any annual APDA ranking for a Rutgers debater in history. She finished 2011-2012 ranked 22nd team on APDA with regular partner Chris Bergman, breaking eleven times with four different partners. Known for frantically studying several languages with different alphabets at once in the Debate House, Ashley is looking at a career in linguistics after Rutgers.

Henry Phipps is the Public Relations Chair of the Debate Union. A rising senior studying Urban Planning, Phipps joined RUDU in 2011. He finished last year ranked 42nd Novice of the Year, winning two novice final rounds with regular partner Alex Jubb while breaking six times to novice outrounds. While new to the team, Phipps has established himself as one of the most enthusiastic members of the club, or indeed people to ever to set foot in the state of New Jersey. He hopes to eliminate suburban sprawl after graduating from Rutgers.

Kurt Falk is the Novice Mentor of the Debate Union. A rising sophomore in the School of Arts and Sciences, Falk joined the team in 2011. He won 10th Novice of the Year last season and won two novice divisions with regular partner Quinn Maingi, finishing third Novice Team of the Year and earning nine trips to novice outrounds. You might think Falk is moderate and even-keel, but he’d need more time to carefully consider that proposition… and then rant about it! He is currently undecided on career plans post-Rutgers.

Alex Jubb is the Alumni Coordinator of the Debate Union. A rising junior in the School of Arts and Sciences, Jubb started debating for RUDU in 2011. She finished 2011-2012 as the 29th ranked Novice of the Year and broke eight times to novice elimination rounds with three different partners, winning two novice finals with regular partner Henry Phipps. She may be the shortest E-Board member in RUDU history, narrowly swiping the previous record set by Ashley Novak and Nisha Kumar. She is still deciding her path after graduation.


The 2013 Event Director of the Rutgers University Debate Union

Deepta Janardhan is the Tournament Director of the Debate Union’s annual tournament, to be held this year on March 8-9, 2013. A rising junior majoring in Economics and Political Science, Janardhan joined RUDU in 2011. Debating mostly with regular partners Thomas O’Rourke and Nisha Kumar, she won 23 rounds last year. She also took a novice speaker award at Fordham, a tournament that also featured her ironwomaning a round. Much debate is ongoing within the club about whether or not she is lanky. Deepta is undecided on her career plans after Rutgers.


The 2012 Coaching Staff of the Rutgers University Debate Union

Storey Clayton is the Coach of the Debate Union. A graduate of Brandeis University in 2002, Clayton began coaching at Rutgers in 2009. During his APDA career, he won the North American Championship (2001), was the 2nd ranked speaker (2002), part of the 3rd Team at the National Championships (2001), 3rd ranked novice (1999), and part of the 5th ranked team (2000). Prior to coaching debate, he worked in non-profits in the Bay Area, including the Seneca Center for Children and Families and the Glide Foundation. Since his arrival at Rutgers, the team as a whole has gone from unranked in the prior eight years to 24th in 2010, 5th in 2011, and 9th in 2012. Storey is currently coaching full-time and writing novels on the side, one of which was published in 2003 and two more of which have been completed in the last two years. He gets a haircut at least once every half-decade.

Chris Baia is the Assistant Coach of the Debate Union. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University in 2008, Baia officially starts coaching in September 2012. During his APDA career, he was President of the league (2008), 2nd ranked speaker (2008), on the 6th ranked team twice (2007, 2008), 8th ranked novice (2005), and finished 12th at Nationals (2008). Prior to his arrival at Rutgers, Baia coached the Collegiate High School team in New York and earned his Juris Doctor at American University. He is the third Chris B. to join RUDU.

Candidate Statements for 2013 E-Board

The election of the Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) Executive Board for 2013 will be held on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012, at 9:00 PM in Murray 210.

Below are the candidate statements for all thirteen candidates for the six positions available. Please note that candidates can “drop down” to lower positions of their choice on election night if they are unelected to the position they are initially running for.

PRESIDENT
Ashley Novak (unopposed, elected)

VICE PRESIDENT
Adam Bomeisl
Alex Jubb
Arbi Llaveshi
Henry Phipps
Oksana Soomai
Russell Potter

TREASURER
Quinn Maingi

PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR
Deepta Janardhan
Rachel Moon

NOVICE MENTOR
Kurt Falk (incumbent)
Sean Leonard

ALUMNI COORDINATOR
Gordon Morrisette


PRESIDENT

Ashley Novak
Hi, I’m Ashley and I’m running for president of RUDU. I’ve been treasurer for almost 2 years, and have done a lot for the team while treasurer. I’ve written budgets for the team 4 times with the help of the previous president, set up the contracts necessary for our previous two tournaments and made sure everything was in place and paid for, and made sure every tournament is paid for (and that anyone who spent money was paid back as quickly as the school bureaucracy would let me). I’ve also volunteered for many events for the debate team, driven for the team to most tournaments, and stepped up to do other members’ of the eboard’s jobs when they were unavailable or just not doing their job.

I think I’d make a good president for a few reasons. First, I have a lot of experience. I’ve worked with the administration of both our school and over other schools, and have worked on the eboard for two teams. I’ve always put a lot of effort in to the eboard, and have taken on tasks that weren’t my responsibility (like handing in waivers and helping to make the tournament packet). Second, I’m incredibly devoted to the team. I spend every weekend debating and attend almost every practice. I want to continue to be actively involved in RUDU as both a competitor and a leader on the team. Finally, I also think that I’m best suited to be the representative of RUDU to the league because I’m already on the APDA board and can work closely with the league to help RUDU. Also, I’ll send in registration emails on time!

I think so far I’ve done a lot of important work for the team (in fact, we wouldn’t be a team this year if I hadn’t gotten us registered) and I want to continue to help improve the team and to represent us to both our university and the league.


VICE PRESIDENT

Adam Bomeisl
Hey, my name is Adam Bomeisl; if you don’t know me I’m kind of a big deal. Seriously though, I’m a junior who has been with the team since his freshmen year. I’m running for the position of VP. You might ask yourself, what are my qualifications? After all being VP involves a lot of different responsibilities and you want the right person for the job. There’s taking attendance at meetings and keeping track of it to see who can vote/run for e-board. I’m at basically every meeting on time so I can certainly handle taking attendance. I keep all my important records on google drive so the records could be accessed from any computer and wouldn’t be lost if my computer explodes or I lose a piece of paper or something. Another responsibility is sending emails to people every Tuesday and Thursday about meeting time/locations, accomplishments at the last tournament, etc. I have a good amount of downtime and could set some aside to send out emails to the members of our team. The VP needs to update databases relevant to the team which I could easily handle. The VP also has to handle taking care of waivers for tournaments. I have a lot of experience working with forms for debate. I was Tournament Director for our last tournament and a lot of my job was filling out the right forms and responsibly managing time. I had all classrooms reserved by September which proves that I handle responsibilities in a timely and efficient manner. The other part of my TD job was working with e-board members, SABO, and the administration to organize tournament logistics; so I have experience working with the same people and institutions I would work with as VP. From what I understand, e-board minutes falls under the responsibility of the VP (or at least they should). I fully support more e-board transparency and would be more than happy to take notes for e-board minutes. Another responsibility of the VP is to take over for the president if he/she is not around, sick, etc. I go to every meeting so I could run meetings if the president is not around. Also I go to every tournament so for APDA meetings if the president is not around, I could fill in. I have experience with APDA because I’ve been on the circuit for more than 2 years, and am well known on the circuit so I could temporarily fill in to represent Rutgers. Despite the fact that I am often sarcastic and joke around A LOT I am very responsible and take things seriously when the situation warrants it. Plus we could always use a bit of comic relief from time to time, am I right? I’m well suited for the position and I hope you will give me the opportunity to serve RUDU.

Alex Jubb
Hey everyone! I’d love to be VP this year. I don’t want to bore you to death, but here are some reasons why I want to be VP :D. I think my skills are well-suited for the position. VP is all about logistics and paperwork. This past year, I did a lot of work with logistics at our tournament and I think that it showed that I am pretty effective at getting things done. As Alumni Coordinator, I wrote and submitted a grant for RUDU’s tournament.There is also quite a bit of interaction with the administration involved. I’ve worked in a Rutgers office before and think I’d be capable of working with the administration effectively and punctually. I’m certainly open to any thoughts on what the team thinks the VP should do differently. Bhargavi has done a great job this year with sending out bi-weekly emails and I’ll be sure to continue that. Most importantly, I care a ton about RUDU and am willing to put in the work. 🙂

Arbi Llaveshi
Hi everyone. I’m running for the position of vice president. I really love this team and want to be an integral part of its continued success. If I were to be elected vice president if the club I would work hard on all if the duties assigned to me. I would also try to expand the transparency of the board. We’re having an election right now and it’s pretty funny that we have absolutely no clue what a lot of board members have contributed in their positions. If I was VP I would consistently hold every other member of the board accountable for their votes and the ways they attempted to affect the team. I would take the role of transcribing every meeting very seriously, and wouldn’t shirk on that duty. The board continually makes decisions that affect us day to day and they should be held accountable for their decisions more than once per year. I would also attempt to reduce the board’s ability to exclude members from club activities because I personally believe that when we start excluding varsity from things like the novice retreat based on personal preference we create a negative environment. We don’t need to treat every event like a hostage crises.

I’ve been called chaotic before and while the word comes nowhere near to defining me as a person, I do admit I have a rebellious nature. I believe this allows me to be confrontational when it is called for. I am not the type of person who is afraid to voice his opinions. I want to be not only a rational voice on the board but a critical one. I think I can be down to earth If I am elected and I’m looking forward working with everyone to make this team a better, more inclusive group.

Henry Phipps
Hey RUDU, I want to personally thank you for past year and a half. Not only have you all been a team, but you’ve also been a wonderful group of people I personally feel connected to, a family if you will. That being said, I want to give back to the group of people that has done so much for me, and this is why I’m running to be your Vice President. I believe, by electing me to be your VP, I can be a valuable member of the E-Board, and representative of RUDU to the school at large.

I believe I’m the correct choice for the VP position for multiple reasons. First off, I can execute on clearly defined goals. The VP position is about being able to carry out weekly tasks in order for the team to function and go to tournaments. Tasks like these are submitting waivers and itineraries, updating the listserv, and sending out emails in a systematic fashion. I showed some of this during my time as the PR Chair of the team. Both semesters I organized a scrimmage with the TCNJ team (only to have the second one be canceled by a hurricane, go figure), as well as getting the team sweatshirts and increasing the number of mentions in the Targum. During the Rutgers tournament, I was quick and efficient in not only reg-ing teams soon after they sent Rutgers their registration information, but I made housing quick and easy for Rutgers and other teams. At the same time, I understand that as PR Chair I could have done a more thorough job in reaching out to the Rutgers community. I recognize the mistakes I’ve made and I believe I can build upon those in order to further the team’s interests. Since VP has more concrete goals, I believe it’s a position that I’m better suited to fulfill.

The second reason I believe I could do well as your VP is how I interact with people. Since much of the VP role is dependent on being able to converse and interact with people, you are going to want to elect someone who you feel comfortable being a representative of the team. For one, being a liaison to the administration and patiently working with them to get the team needs. This also includes working with APDA as a body. As VP, I’ll participate in APDA meetings acting as a backup representative in order to see that RUDU’s interests are not overlooked in the grand scheme. I believe I would be an excellent candidate for this. I like to think of myself as a friendly individual who can easily work with people, at the same time not lose track of what’s important. Having many connections within APDA, both north and south, I think I could be a fine representative for Rutgers.

The final thing I want to talk about is my relationship with the team. Electing a VP is electing someone you want to be your voice not only to the school, but also to the E-Board. It is important that the people of the RUDU be represented and informed of the decisions of the E-Board. This relationship has been had a few bumps in the past semester and I personally want to be the intermediary that helps with a less contentious relationship amongst all members of the team. As VP, I will help relay information related to E-Board meetings. I believe that our team is also based off of the idea that we not only want to do well, but also have fun. I don’t believe that constraining the team is in its best interest and I hope to help facilitate people being more involved in their choices, such as deciding when/where we split, or what kind of activities the team would like to organize.

At the end of the day you need to make a decision on who you’re voting for. I sincerely hope that when you cast your vote you are voting for whomever you believe will do the most good for the team, whether or not it’s me. That said, I do believe that a vote in confidence in me is a good step in furthering the interests of the team here at Rutgers and in APDA. I want to give back to this team and help it grow, and that is why I ask for your vote at elections. Thank you.

Oksana Soomai
So what I’ve gathered from the descriptions about the vice president is that you need to be at least 2 things: dependable and organized. It goes without saying that I believe I have these qualities but this isn’t about my belief in my abilities but all of you guys believing I can do it. It is difficult to convey the trait of “dependable” or “organized” over a 3 month timespan but I still believe I have demonstrated enough overall responsibility to be deserving of the vice president position.

Dependable: I am always at meetings save for 6, and each time I missed I posted about it in the facebook group to just let everyone know, whether or not you guys even cared. Also, I am not just here on time but early, sitting in the same exact spot. Seriously, you guys can depend on the fact I will be at most meetings, sitting in my anti-social corner. In addition, anytime I have dropped from a tournament I have always done it the Sunday before the tournament to not leave my partner hanging. I try to do everything in a timely fashion to make sure no one is waiting on my response or unsure of my actions. I am a consistent person as well, typically giving everything in early and I do not freak out when it comes to handling official work. Even on the occasion I do freak out, I still maintain composure. No matter the situation, I am a person who can be counted on to come through and someone who will rise to the occasion. As your vice president, I would be a person to count on to be here and be able to just help the team in anyway I possibly can.

Organized: I am extremely organized but it is not just that I like being organized. I also like rearranging things so that they become organized. I excel at keeping things in place, making sure they stay in place and if they are not in place, I will make them that way. I will try to reduce the amount of miscommunication and make sure that everything is the way it should be. I will ensure that my area of control in the club will not be in any disarray.

Now, I can also understand your lack of faith in a novice being in charge of such an important part of the debate team but the majority of the work required by the vice president is work I have already done. When I did debate in high school all four years, I handled the paperwork such as field trip forms, keeping track of attendance at meetings, emailing teachers, etc… I am used to doing this type of work already and I am very good at it. Also, I can work well with authority and keep good relations with them. When I want to be, I can be nice and enthusiastic.

Overall, I just really enjoy being on this team. Everyone is really awesome and I really love being in this overeager atmosphere. I feel that with me as your vice president, we can keep up the carefree attitude and not have any of you guys worrying over pesky paperwork or forms. Instead, I will do the worrying for you and handle everything with ease. So vote for me if you believe that I will do a good job of being your vice president.

Russell Potter
Hi! Russell here, and I’m running for Vice President of RUDU! I’m entering the second half of my sophomore year, working towards a degree in business law. Having seen the successes and pitfalls of E-Board members past, I hold a unique combination of traits, which make me your ideal candidate. To these ends, I have three points as to why you should vote for me.

1. Dedication – Barring my first semester, I have made it a policy of attending nearly every tournament, meeting, and doing practice rounds every available night. I’ve been highly successful on the circuit, and demonstrated a marked improvement, which has inspired me to reach new heights. Every time I go to do just about anything, debate is in the back of my mind, a reminder of a higher duty. If something needs to be done, I make sure I’m there serving the team, helping it achieve. I’ve volunteered to run debates, participated in demo rounds for recruitment trips, driven to tournaments, offered my car up for transportation, organized team dinners, and am willing to offer anything, even something as small as a ear to listen, to my fellow teammates.

2. Responsibility – As a student who is trying to create my own major and is maintaining a 3.79 GPA, responsibility and organization is a tenant of how I live. I’ve slowly begun to take upon myself an increasing amount of responsibility to assist both present E-board members, as well as the team as a whole. A great example is with the tournament last year, where an oversight caused us to not have Internet access for our tournament. When I found out about the issue, I took it upon myself to navigate the Rutgers bureaucracy to get individual accounts for each and every debater and judge at the tournament. Moreover, I’ve made certain to do things like gather receipts and store cash while on trips, holding myself financially liable for any losses that may occur. I’ve done an excellent job at both maintaining the receipts and organizing them for the treasurer. The majority of the job of VP is organizing paper and dealing with the bureaucracy, and these experiences make me quite experienced with it.

3. Goals – This is something that any good candidate needs to show how they will make a long lasting, positive mark on the team. To these ends, I’ve listened to opinions about what most needs to change about the team and E-board in general, and compiled three areas, which I would work towards improving if elected.

– Inclusive Policymaking: Many people have expressed opinions of feeling left out with regards to executive decisions. The very recent publication of minutes is a step in the right direction, but it can be better. There are better ways we should include the team, and if elected, I will seek to promote improved interaction between the club and the E-board, something that is often distant. I would be willing to discuss issues that occur in E-board meetings with those who ask (not just dismiss it as something we’d discuss in a meeting), and would be willing to write detailed minutes, not just the week before elections, so that the team knows exactly where we stand.

– Increased Funding: The team is facing cutbacks, and you need someone who is willing to work with Rutgers’ system, to be a representative who will help us achieve proportionate funding to support our ever-increasing growth. I also would be willing to aid in fundraising efforts and work cohesively with the PR chair to establish sponsors for the club, as it becomes necessary to do so in these tough times.

– Long Term Growth: The team is growing at a rapid rate, with our past two years yielding the top novice classes in Rutgers’ history. With such growth, we are making major strides, like our working in union with the School of Communication, TCNJ, high school programs, and other organizations to make our team one of the most successful and well known. I have the willingness and fortitude to make our team excel even further, and will support this team no matter what.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of qualified candidates who are running for an E-board position, and even if you decide I am not right for the VP position, I am willing to work for you, either on the E-board or off it, to make RUDU as great as I know it can be.

Cheers.


TREASURER

Quinn Maingi
Hey everyone, my name is Quinn and I’m running for E-board for the position of treasurer.

The treasurer’s main job in to maintain good relations with SABO and get money for each tournament. A treasurer is also responsible for finances of the tournament and maintaining good relations with the administration, all of which require similar skills.

These functions of the treasurer require several skills, of which I will highlight three to elucidate why I am the best candidate for the job.

The first of these is dedication to the team. It is very important that a treasurer to be dedicated because they need to be able to continue focusing on their job, as well as being present at as many tournaments as possible to do all of their responsibilities. I think I am pretty clearly very dedicated to the team: I spend a lot of time at the debate house and doing practice rounds, and have literally never missed a tournament, which no one else on the debate team can claim. At that point, it will be easy for me to translate my commitment to the debate team to fulfilling the above mentioned responsibilities of the treasurer.

The second fact that is important for the treasurer is knowledge. Knowledge is important for the treasurer because SABO has some rather tense employees that mandate you stick to a rigid procedure. I have a good amount of knowledge about the positions of the team in terms of SABO and finance. The first reason is that I frequently conversed with the previous treasurer, Ashley Novak, about the procedures that are used with SABO. I also am the only member of the club that attended the treasurer training session in the fall, at which I learned both general SABO procedures and other things we have to do on the debate team because we may not fit entirely in the rules and have to go through special procedures to finance our trips. At that point, I clearly understand the procedures to be treasurer and will be best suited for the job.

The third thing that is important for treasurer is being relaxed. This is important because the job of the treasurer can often be a very stressful job and would lead to both worse performances as a treasurer and less general success in debate. This is also important because it is very bad if you freak out at SABO employees, so you still need to be very relaxed. I am clearly very relaxed in terms of my general persona and the way I act around the team. I can easily deal with stressful jobs, and stay focused and deal with the job easily.


PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR

Deepta Janardhan
Hey RUDU, it’s been an awesome year for us so far. I’m running for PR Chair on the e-board to try to make it even better.

The PR chair has several distinct obligations to the team, which I believe that I am most qualified to fulfill.

1) To promote the Rutgers Debate team to the larger Rutgers community.
So far, we have tried to contact the Targum and keeping them informed of news events. In addition to this, I would shift to making Rutgers Debate a bigger presence on campus in other ways, such as by signing up for involvement fairs, and putting up posters for general meetings and RUDU events. I think that one of our main goals should be to eventually make Debate a club that everyone at Rutgers automatically accepts to be a completely integral part of campus life. This will help us attract talented students who already attend our school. Throughout my three years at Rutgers, I have gotten to know many different people on campus whom I would be able to contact to help us achieve this. Finally, I would work to ensure that RUDU always has a seat at the table, in terms of the administration’s priorities.

2) To work out the logistics of various inter- and intra- school events.
This includes scheduling the above-mentioned involvement fairs, but also, planning some of the public debates that we usually try to have. In the past, Storey has ended up shouldering a lot of the burden for these extra events, and I would be willing to take on a lot of this responsibility. As many of you know, I am the tournament director for the March 2013 tournament. During the course of that event, I would have to perform many of these tasks, such as budget planning, scheduling, and talking to the administration. This would allow me to gain an insight into the nuances of Rutgers administration, and learn the “tricks” that are needed to get work done in a timely, effective manner, which would make me best suited to plan other events going forward.

I would also continue to work with other schools’ debate teams, such as how we have in the past with TCNJ. A few years ago, we had a Kings-Queens debate event with Columbia University, outside of the regular APDA schedule. This might be another example of something I’d work to plan, as part of re-forming connections with APDA Central.

3) To foster a sense of camaraderie on RUDU amongst its members.
In my opinion, this might be the most important duty of PR chair which has been under-addressed in the past. One aspect of this is, of course, doing things for the team which they request, such as ordering sweatshirts or varsity jackets that members would enjoy. The larger spirit of this is all about encouraging members of the team in their efforts, offering advice whenever it is solicited, and performing basic conflict-resolution when people ask for it.
This is especially important, considering the PR chair’s role with respect to the e-board. They should be someone who can represent the team’s interests as a whole, while still keeping in mind the e-board’s duties.

Ultimately, the PR chair needs to be someone who is responsible and practical enough to do whatever needs to be done, while still being approachable and easy-going enough to project a great image of RUDU, and I believe that I will fit into this role well.

Rachel Moon
Hey guys! I want to run for the PR position because I think our team is awesome, but not many people really know just how awesome we are. I have a lot of connections with people in RUSL (RU Student Life) and the leaders of other organizations on campus through my position on the RUSA Allocations Board, and not only am I always telling people about how great and highly-ranked our team is, but I also have an office right next to the Targum office. It would be really easy for me to badger them if they don’t respond to my incessant emails, should they choose not to respond (because apparently this is a problem that we’ve been having). In general, I just would really love to spread our team’s reputation even more and garner more attention to us, and I promise that I’d be good at this. I’ve gone to every tournament this year (except Swat Novice and Yale IV, obviously) and I like this team a lot. But I have noticed that there’s all this controversy over the whole “transparency” issue, and I think that’s because the E-Board is lacking someone who talks to literally everyone about everything… which is me. I also really want to break this conceived notion that you can’t have an opinion or an important role in the team if you’re not a super highly-ranked debater. I think a lot of incoming members think this, and I want to show everyone that that’s absolutely not true. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re first or billionth on the SOTY board – this is everyone’s team, and I want to make sure that we bridge a lot of the gap between all the members and the E-Board as well as between novices and varsity, and I truly believe that I could do all of this and more if I were on the board.


NOVICE MENTOR

Kurt Falk
As your incumbent Novice Mentor, I am extremely excited to be running for the position once again. Through my experience as an e-board member this year I believe I fulfilled my duty to the highest extent in my approach to the Novice Mentor Position.

Novice Mentor was a brand new position re-introduced last year. This required me not to just fulfill the basic requirements of the job but to also set the precedent for how all future novice mentors should act. I completed this challenge by taking the initiative needed to make a new, untested position succeed. I shaped the Novice Mentor Position by doing the following:

Organizing and Running Novice Training Workshops: Throughout the semester I led workshops that were focused around improving Novice debaters in debate practicum. It was an endeavor that I took upon myself and believed them integral to the success and improvement of the novice class.

Reaching out to High School debaters: The future of our team relies on getting a continuing stream of members once they enter Rutgers. Over my tenure, I took active steps to achieve this goal by personally visiting High Schools in the Fall of 2011, organizing an Open House for interested students, and taking charge of summer recruiting efforts, including manning the Summer Orientation fair interest table.

Introducing Novices to the Team: One of my favorite aspects of Novice Mentor was connecting with the new members of the team and making sure they felt acclimated to the team atmosphere as well as removing any obstacles they may have had towards learning debate. This was evident in my proactive behavior at tournaments, where I made sure to check in with every novice after rounds and would prep and cheer on novice teams that broke to novice out rounds. I took a similar approach at meetings, where I would forgo my own practice rounds to teach new members the basics of debate. This is perhaps the most integral role of the Novice Mentor and it’s a role that my personality and experience make me uniquely suited for.

In addition to solidifying the Novice Mentor position, I tried to take advantage of my position on the-board in ways that benefited the whole team. One of my favorite additions to the team traditions is the Senior Banquet. From inception to implementation, I organized and planned every action, from making the menus, renting the space, collecting the money, and creating the activities.

You will find no other candidate that has accomplished what I have done as Novice Mentor. I have proved, above and beyond, my ability to fulfill the position. Not only that, I also have the approachability needed for someone who deals with making new people feel comfortable. Also, I make sure to look out for everyone on the whole team, from our most active varsity to the newest member. It means that if I’m elected I’ll always be able to advocate for what’s in the best interest of the team instead of my own selfishness or the advocacy of select friends.

If you elect me for Novice Mentor, you’ll get someone who won’t just sit in place and only do the bare minimum. You’ll get someone who has shown they have the initiative, the experience, and the right attitude to get things done and make the Rutgers Debate Union even better than before.

(Still not convinced? Here is a list of Kurt’s lesser known, but still worthwhile accomplishments)
-Was born in a log cabin in the foothills of suburban New Jersey
-Decided to become a Religion Studies major for the money
-Commutes to Rutgers by sailing down the Raritan on a converted 1967 Buick
-Was the lead ukulele player for a polygamist-lesbian-folk-glamrock band called Slippery Slope but quit over creative differences
-Related to that, Kurt also coined the term “Slippery Slope”, but not for the reasons that you would guess
-Still believes that Mother Night will become a major world religion after his violent martrydo…..um…..I mean peaceful death of natural causes
-Has such an adverse fear of snakes that he has minor trouble eating spaghetti because the resemblance of the noodles to the reptile is just too uncanny

Sean Leonard
The office of Novice Mentor requires a select set of attributes in order to fulfil it’s entire responsibility. This responsibility is not one to be taken lightly, as it arguably determines the success of the entire team, even if that success manifests a year or two after the actions of the office itself. To be an effective Novice Mentor, you have to adequately balance training, recruitment, and retention of new people. If any of these factors are neglected, then the team, as a whole, will suffer as a result. Understanding this, I, Sean Leonard, would like to declare my intent to seek the position of Novice Mentor, promising to fulfill the three attributes of being a novice mentor to the best of my ability.

As a novice myself, I have a unique perspective of recently joining debate, with the memory of my first tournament, or even my first round, still highly prominent in my mind. This not only allows me to relate to the people I would be helping in a beneficial way, but also be able to pinpoint certain issues that I remember going through in the beginning. In addition to this, although my total time in Debate has been short, my participation has been the maximum I could possibly muster. I’ve been able to participate in every tournament, the novice retreats, while only missing one meeting the entire semester. From the practice rounds at the debate house, to participating in the debate class, to volunteering in the debate team public recruitment opportunities, I’ve done my best to participate 100% in the club, and that same work ethic will be replicated if I’m elected here.

Considering there are three main attributes of a good Novice Mentor, I’d like to talk a bit about why I can easily fulfill and excell at each of them. Firstly, I am obviously more than capable at training novices in the basic rules of debate. There have been multiple times where I had to help out other novices or partners with learning, or casing, or whatever was required at the time. Due to the fact I’ve been working alongside novices the entire semester, I’ve acquired some valuable experience. However, I must admit that there is much I still do not know about Debate. Whatever short falls that I have in that capacity will be made up by the wealth of experience held by the remainder of the team. Obviously, the role of the novice mentor is not to teach everything, but rather, to facilitate basic understanding.

Secondly, the recruitment of new novices is highly important to team efficiency. I feel as though our current recruitment methods are more than adequate for the needs of the team as it stands now. Through a combination of the novice retreats, standard recruitment at activity fairs, as well as a little bit of press regarding our accomplishments, we can achieve the steady flow of people required to support the team in the long term.

Finally, retention of new recruits is arguably as important as the recruitment of them in the first place. Retention, in my opinion, is the area where the most potential good can be done. The reality is, a lot of people simply cannot be swayed to join debate, or even in some cases, try it out. Call in fear of public speaking, or simple disinterest, but we’ve all met the person who simply won’t entertain the idea of joining. Therefore, we need to focus highly on the people who show interest in the start, and try to facilitate a common image that incorporates them, and puts them in a position where they want to succeed. Having a novice mentor who is a novice themselves probably contributes to this, but additional measures are obviously required to ensure that more people stay on, ensuring a high overall skill level of the team itself.

In summation, I pledge to show the same amount of activity as Novice Mentor as I portrayed as a simple novice. Also, Vote Communist.

Thank You,
Sean Leonard
☭☭☭☭☭☭


ALUMNI COORDINATOR

Gordon Morrisette
Dear RUDU,

Our debate team has greatly developed over the past four years. We now have two coaches, half a house, and we take more teams in a single weekend that we would send in a semester. The dangers we face, as we grow and change, are that alumni no longer feel the debate team is the same club they were part of and that RUDU as an organization become unsustainable.

As a fifth-year senior next year, I will be one of the only members of the team who personally knows the alumni from my freshman year. A familiar face, while not a panacea, can help create a sense of continuity and will aid in outreach. As Alumni Coordinator, I would advocate for the alumni on the e-board in order to bring back the traditions they held dear and to support their interests.

RUDU’s most pressing concern over the next year will be diversifying its income streams to insure sustainability. We should be looking for companies to sponsor our tournament, connecting with Rutgers alumni to fund our team or trips, and applying for more grants. I’m running for Alumni Coordinator because I feel this position which offers the greatest opportunity to give back to the team and help build a stronger and more lasting financial foundation for the years to come.

Candidate Statements Due Tuesday, November 20th

Chris Bergman, President of the Debate Union for the last year and a half, is looking for new leaders to run RUDU.

If you’re considering running for the Executive Board of the Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU), below are detailed explanations of the jobs as written by each current member of the Board. One must submit a candidate statement (with no more than 750 words) to storey.clayton@rutgers.edu by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, November 20th in order to run.

Elections will be held during the regular RUDU meeting on Tuesday, December 4th at 9:00 PM in Murray 210. Those who have attended at least ten (10) meetings this semester are eligible to vote.


President

The President has 3 main duties: first, to register the club for tournaments; second, to represent RUDU at APDA meetings; and third, to assist the coach in the running of the club. Registering the club for tournaments involves sending the reg e-mail a week in advance before tournaments, and updating it if people add or drop or team names change. Representing the team at APDA meetings involves being the voting member at meetings and voting in elections at BU. Helping to run the team involves making sure that other E-Board members do their job and helping them with their jobs if they need it, taking down minutes at E-Board meetings, and helping to lead both E-Board meetings and regular team meetings.


Vice President

I spent my two semesters as Vice President mainly just hoping for something to happen to Bergman 😛 But…if you would actually like to do the job, you need a good dose of organizational acumen and the ability to subtly maneuver your way through a bureaucracy to get the things you need. There are five main things that you will be responsible for getting done:

1) Sending out emails to club members every Tuesday and Thursday about tournament accomplishments, meeting agendas and general club news. You are also responsible for maintaining the listserv to make sure that you are getting to all the people who want to hear from us and removing all the people who don’t.

2) Keeping track of attendance at meetings & collecting information from new members to our club.

3) Maintaining and updating the databases in our group which keeps track of important member information.

4) Submitting Travel itineraries before every tournament and making sure the members attending the have submitted their waivers to SABO.

5) Maintaining a good relationship with our administrative advisor & people at Student Life, in order to streamline the administrative process and minimize headaches all around.


Treasurer

The most important job of the treasurer is to request funding for each weekend, distribute cash to drivers to pay for tolls and gas, to pay for each tournament, and to collect all the receipts and extra money at the end of the tournament, and to return it to SABO. This requires a trip to SABO once before the tournament and once after. Reimbursing students who spent money on trips and paying rental car companies also falls on the treasurer. The treasurer is also responsible for designing the budget for the fall and the spring, which requires estimating the costs for every tournament on the schedule and submitting that to the RUSA allocations board. If the allocations board provides too little funding, it is the treasurer’s job to organize an appeals meeting and petition for more money.

The treasurer is also the go-between for the e-board and the administration. Weekly or biweekly meetings with the administration are necessary, to discuss the club policy and financial policy. This also means that when the university administration wants something corrected (if someone else on the e-board hasn’t done their job or if a trip has a missing receipt) the treasurer will be the party held responsible for resolving those issues.

The treasurer is also in charge of funding at our tournament, which means negotiating and creating contracts for food for banquets and for room and equipment rental, as well as for providing funding for dinos to travel to our tournament. Negotiating registration fees and collecting registration money at the tournament is also important, as well as keeping track of who has and hasn’t paid and giving the administration a detailed record of financial transactions at the tournament.


Public Relations Chair

There are multiple tasks allocated for the position of the PR Chair.

The first and most obvious is contacting media outlets to relay information related to the team and team successes. The most prominent and likely contact is the Daily Targum, Rutgers’ own printed newspaper. Contacting the Targum has shown itself to be tricky at best. Emailing them has proven to be a largely ineffective means to relay information. The few ways that has proven to work in the past is 1) getting someone’s specific email and contacting them directly (this requires you knowing or meeting someone who writes for the Targum first); 2) walking into the Targum offices, this annoys them but gets results; and 3) is finding the facebook of Targum writers and bug them there, it may be creepy but it’s worked well in the past.

Another task is gathering promotional materials for the team.

First among this are clothing. Starting in Spring of 2012, the Rutgers University ordered clothing for team members who wanted them, starting with Sweatshirts. The process of organizing people for this task is difficult. The way it was initially organized is people signed up, money was given to the PR Chair for the amount needed for one article of clothing. The PR Chair ordered the sweatshirts WHILE this process was taking place. This accounts for everyone, and with sign-ups accounted before ordering allows you to know the price for each sweatshirt (which varies depending on the order size). At the same time, this might cause the PR Chair to take a financial hit, if people do not end up paying after signing up. The business I suggest ordering from is 4imprint. The reason is because they are approved by the Rutgers Administration (which most companies are not) and are cheap, reliable, and friendly. Asking for the word “Rutgers” on the clothing requires additional approval from the Trademarks & Promotional section of the University Relations department.

Secondly, beginning in 2012, RUDU has started a portfolio for promoting the team to possible donors. This portfolio is a notebook with an overview of the team and highlights from the team’s history. This portfolio is meant to be updated whenever an important event or tournament has happened.

Signing up for involvement fairs is important to get the team noticed by the university community. Keep an eye out for sign-up dates for involvement fairs. They happen once a semester, during the beginning of the semester. Sign up dates are usually 1-2 month before the event itself. If you are late signing up, calling or emailing will put you on the waiting list, but more likely than not, you will not get to the fair if you’re not on time with signing up.

Once a semester, the team has organized a scrimmage with the TCNJ debate team. This is usually taken up by the PR Chair. It has usually ended up on a Wednesday so the team is not worried with a meeting afterwards. Usually there is a game night after the scrimmage as well.

Although not mandatory, taking pictures at each tournament is good promotional material for the PR Chair to utilize. This can be done with anyone with a camera, however it is in the best interest of the team for the PR Chair to get someone else take pictures (if they don’t have one) so photos can be used for the website and possibly a Targum article, if they request photographs.


Novice Mentor

Novice Mentor Roles and Responsibilities

Executive Mission Statement
The Novice Mentor is an executive board position whose main responsibility is to instruct new members (novices) in fundamental parliamentary debate practicum and to make sure that they feel comfortable in both the social and competitive atmospheres of the Rutgers Debate Union. As an extension to this is that the Novice Mentor also acts as an advocate for new members during closed e-board discussions.

The Novice Mentor fulfills this mission statement by;

Making first contact with new members of the team. It is the responsibility of the Novice Mentor to ensure that any new member of the team is given an introduction to American Parliamentary Debate (APDA) and RUDU as a whole, whether meeting them at a scheduled meeting or other location. This involves answering any questions that new members may have as well as making them feel comfortable and welcome.

Facilitating Novice workshops. Throughout the year the Novice Mentor should organize periodic workshops that hone in and develop specific parliamentary skills. Part of this responsibility also includes recruiting other Varsity members to lead the workshops if the Novice Mentor themselves is less proficient in a certain subject area or cannot attend a desirable workshop time because of scheduling conflicts.

Monitoring the status of Novices throughout the year. The Novice Mentor should be aware of how Novices are doing competitively throughout the season as well as making sure they continue to feel welcome on the team and that their needs are met. This is done through personal one-on-one contact at tournaments and other settings as well as through surveys done electronically. Novice retention should be a high priority for the Novice Mentor.

Additionally, the Novice Mentor is also partially responsible, in conjunction with the Public Relations Chair, for recruiting new members to the Rutgers Debate Union. The Novice Mentor accomplishes this task primarily through two methods:

Organizing, recruiting, and facilitating the summer Novice Retreats. Each year the Rutgers Debate Union holds two summer Novice Retreats that are designed to train incoming members of the team the basics of parliamentary debate before the academic year starts. It is the role of the Novice Mentor to organize the retreats. This includes finding space, setting the date, planning a curriculum, and staffing the retreat with volunteers. As an extension to this, the Novice Mentor in conjunction with the coaching staff must recruit and monitor interest for new members that wish to partake in the retreat.

Connecting with high school debaters in the New Jersey area and beyond. The Novice Mentor should takes efforts to get in contact with local high schools and introduce prospective students to the Debate Union. In addition to sending brochures and emailing high school advisers, it is helpful for the Novice Mentor to accompany other union members on personal visits to their high school alma mater.

Past Novice Mentors
2005-2006: Ross Mazer (Class of 2006)
2006-2007: Carl Kunda (Class of 2007)
2007-2008: Simon Burger (Class of 2008)
2008-2009: Eisha Chopra (Class of 2010)
2009-2010: Eisha Chopra (Class of 2010)
2012: Kurt Falk (Class of 2015)


Alumni Coordinator

The most important job of the Alumni Coordinator is keeping in touch with alumni. In the past, RUDU has had very few alumni. Given the current size of the team, keeping track of alumni will be more difficult and more important going forward. Maintaining a database of this information is important.

One of the duties of alumni coordinator is finding and updating information about alumni, particularly on the Alumni Tab of the RUDU blog (coming soon). The biggest challenge of the Alumni Coordinator position is actually building a relationship with alumni so that they are willing to talk to you. The Alumni Coordinator has to be comfortable reaching out to people they do not know personally. Convincing alumni to come to events, especially our tournament, is very important. There is a lot of room for creativity in any other events. The goal should be to have alumni involved and interacting with the current team. Regular communication, through a newsletter or other means, is key.

There is also an aspect of the Alumni Coordinator position that is focused around fundraising in various ways. Recently, RUDU has been building connections with the School of Communication and Information (SC&I). The Alumni Coordinator is important in working with SC&I to plan general alumni events and in relaying information about RUDU to SC&I alumni. Applying for grants for RUDU can also fall under the scope of Alumni Coordinator.

Candidate Statements for 2013 Tournament Director

Four (4) candidates are running for Tournament Director for the 2013 Rutgers Invitational: Adam Bomeisl, Rachel Cusumano, Deepta Janardhan, and Daimler Vadlamuri.  Their candidate statements are below.  The vote will take place on Tuesday, April 24th, at 9:00 PM in Murray 210.  All members who have attended at least ten (10) meetings will have a vote and are encouraged to attend.

Adam Bomeisl
Hi, this is Adam Bomeisl your current co-tournament director along with Bhargavi Sriram. This year I will be running by myself for tournament director (dropping the co, moving up in the world, but seriously). I love our tournament, it’s one of my favorite parts about debate, and running it, although pretty stressful, was also really enjoyable. Our last tournament, The Rutgers 2012 Invitational: Go the Fuck to Sleep, was a resounding success. We ran largely on time (especially when compared with other unopposed, 20 point tournaments) and we had a great judging pool made up of all of you guys (thanks again for giving up your weekend, we couldn’t have done it without you!) and many dinos from across the APDA nation. I had many people from a variety of schools (such as Brandies and GW to name a few) come up to me and say our tournament was awesome. A great way to get a repeat performance of this would be to re-elect me, the A-bomb, as tournament director. I have experience running a gigantic tournament and because of this I know what preparations need to be done and when. For the last tournament I was very responsible. I booked rooms as early as possible (I put in the request before W+M I on September 16th) and ordered trophies weeks in advance. I even went so far as to contact our administrative representative early on so as to give her a heads up about our tournament on September 15th and that we would need to coordinate with the administration on logistics of the tournament. Of course there were a few mistakes made, but nobody is perfect and I hope you all won’t blame me for not being omnipotent and omniscient (hell even in debate cases actors only get a choice of one or the other). Also I have learned from these mistakes and know how to prevent them in the future. Running a tournament is a lot of work and takes a lot of preparation, but if one delegates responsibility well and manages one’s time properly it can get done. Seeing as how I successfully did that this year, I see no reason why I can’t again. And thanks again to all who helped out with the tournament this year; whether you were a runner, judge, tabstaffer, e-board member who was delegated responsibilities involving the tournament, and/or anyone else I may have forgotten. Let’s you and me run another awesome tournament this year.

Rachel Cusumano
Looking back on this past year’s tournament I am eager to be involved again in the coming year. The tournament was a great success but I think even more can be done to improve the quality of the event. I am running for this position because I would like to put my ideas to use and make the tournament run even better than in previous years.

For a tournament to run smoothly there must be an adequate amount of thoughtful and detailed planning. Whereas many decisions are made months prior to the event, the tournament director in charge of this planning must be able to think of every little detail in the long term. I am able to look at the big picture and the smallest details to think out the most effective plans. More importantly, I have the work ethic and responsibility to actually carry out these plans. As seen at this past tournament I not only lived up to my responsibilities as a runner but I went far beyond. Throughout the tournament I eagerly volunteered to help at any needed moment such as offering up my car to transport materials or arriving early to clean up GA. As a tournament director I can definitely use my eager work ethic to carry out essential plans needed for the tournament.

Even with the most well thought out plans, events don’t always occur as planned. Surprises in plans are to be expected, what’s most important is how one responds to these changes. A major problem of this past year’s tournament was the stressed demeanor many had in response to disruptions in set plans. Too often one would see something wrong and instead of approaching the situation in a rational way they would become stressed and act in an emotional manner. Unfortunately this course of action not only prevented the actual problem from being dealt with in a timely manner but it caused others on the team to react negatively to said occurrences as well. I think the majority of disruptions can be minimized with effective planning, but even if said disruptions are to occur the best way to attack them is with a calm and rational demeanor. I’m known by many on the team to smile even in the face of a tough situation. This is a very important quality to have, especially while dealing with the stressful responsibilities that come with planning a tournament. I am able to approach tough situations rationally and think proper solutions. I am flexible and resourceful, both of which are important in carrying out solutions to spur of the moment problems. The fact that I can uphold a calm demeanor while effectively solving problems ultimately creates a better atmosphere and a more enjoyable tournament all around.

I believe communication is another crucial component in running an effective tournament. Tasks are more likely to be accomplished when people are working with each other rather than against each other. A big problem of this past year’s tournament was the miscommunication that occurred within the team. People often expected others to complete various tasks rather than taking the initiative to do so upon themselves. I believe I can change this and create positive communication amongst the team. This past year I was often seen as a cheerleader, not only did I approach tasks with a positive mind, but I also provided encouragement to many people on the team. I believe this encouragement can be used to motivate more people on the team to help out with the tasks needed for the tournament. This will ultimately create a smoother tournament and a more enjoyable atmosphere for everyone involved.

I’m sure we’re all looking forward to a great tournament next year. At the end of the day I believe I have the qualities needed to run a strong tournament. I have some great ideas and I am very eager to put them to use. Thank you for your support, I am looking forward to a very successful tournament next year.

Deepta Janardhan
Hey, RUDU.

Recently, the APDA Board recently released its Spring 2013 tournament schedule. Under this plan, Rutgers would no longer have an unopposed tournament weekend. While this really does have very little to do with the way the tournament was actually run, and discussion on this topic is far from closed, one thing is clear. The RU 2013 Tournament will face a lot of scrutiny, and the way that we run it will definitely have a great effect on the way that the circuit views the Rutgers team. Given these pressures, I feel that I am an ideal candidate for the position of next year’s Tournament Director. A few questions should be paramount in your mind when you write a name on the ballot.

What kind of experience does a TD need?

Ideally, I think that the role of TD should shift from year to year, to a rising sophomore or junior. This way, for any given year, we always have plenty of people on the team who have the experience to help deal with problems that may arise. Remember that running a successful tournament always requires a combined team effort, even while the TD is the leader of this.

I have the sort of experience required to take on this leadership role. In my freshman year, I participated in helping run the Rutgers Model Congress (this was before I found out about RUDU, I swear), which had about 40 high schools in attendance. Part of my job was to confer with the heads of each committee, ensure that they had executed the goals that they had set for themselves, and provide them with help to get them on track.

This semester, besides debate and schoolwork, I have concurrently been involved in an Aresty Research project and an internship. I know what it’s like to have to plan meetings with people with tight schedules, from my work with professors at Rutgers and the assignment judge at Middlesex Courthouse. As TD, I would clear my schedule more to concentrate on the tournament. However, this does show that I can handle multiple projects successfully. I am therefore confident in my ability to manage the many responsibilities needed to run a tournament.

How is a tournament supposed to run?

First, it’s essential that everything runs on time. Tab notwithstanding, the other factors of this are streamlining the registration process, ensuring that everyone keeps up their housing commitments, and ordering food from a reliable source.

Additionally, the TD must ensure that people at each level of the planning process understand where their responsibilities fit into the scheme of things. This means that specific tasks should be delegated early on so that different people are picking up on errors in a pinch.

If a problem does arise, it’s important for the TD to immediately accept responsibility and take actions to first, prioritize the issue, and then attempt to fix it accordingly.

In the end, the TD is mostly responsible for the final outcome of the tournament, and must be proactive in determining this, even if that means having to deal with some friction in the short run.

What’s the link between the TD and RUDU in general?

For having joined mid-semester in my sophomore year, I have actively attempted to take on more responsibility in RUDU. This semester, I have debated in 9 out of the 12 tournaments that I was allowed to attend. I was a runner at the Rutgers tournament this year, and became certified to drive the large vans. (Even if I just barely passed the test, it still counts.)

If I were not elected to be TD, I would still be more than willing to help in any way I can to make the tournament a success, and of course, I will continue to extend my efforts to support the team in other ways. Additionally, I have tried to reach out to as many people on this team as possible. I have given and received advice as well as constructive criticism, in the context of not only debate, but everyday life. I do stick firmly to my views, but I also have a good sense of when I should concede them.

I feel that ultimately, I have a good combination of the discipline and open-mindedness needed to run what should be one of the best tournaments of the year. With regards to the latter, I welcome any suggestions via Facebook message or email at deeptaj@eden.rutgers.edu.

Daimler Vadlamuri
I’m a member of RUDU. I go by Daimler, though members of RUDU do refer to me by a few other affectionate names which I have no idea where they come up with. So I want to run for TD. As TD the only plans I have are about how I’d run the tournament regarding food. I love food. I have our menu planned out. Its pretty awesome. Vote for me if you want to find out the menu. Hint: Its ethnic food. Did I say it’d be awesome. Oh P.S there is a slim possibility I might not be here next year, just fyi. Thanks!