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.