Click the banner above for more information about the Victory Briefs Institute 2014.

Click the banner above for more information about the Victory Briefs Institute 2014.

Lawrence Zhou is NSDA National Champion

Congratulations to Lawrence Zhou of Bartlesville HS (OK) and his coach Linda Shipley for winning the 2014 NSDA National Tournament in LD. Lawrence is the 10th VBI alumnus to win Nationals in the past 11 years. 

Image courtesy of the National Speech and Debate Association

Image courtesy of the National Speech and Debate Association

Congratulations also to Katie Hughes of Immaculate Heart High School and her coach Naemah Morris on winning 3rd place in LD, and Danny DeBois and his coach Chetan Hertzig for winning top speaker in the World Schools Debate Competition hosted at this year's nationals.

Pre-Fiat in LD: A Defense of "Kritikal" Engagement

Pre-Fiat in LD: A Defense of "Kritikal" Engagement

If pre-fiat arguments need to die, it is only because the very idea of pre-fiat is no longer useful within LD debate. As much has been said about the nature of pre-fiat, there is generally a lack of clarity within the LD community as to what pre-fiat arguments look like and how they function. While pre-fiat arguments have traditionally been associated with a specific kind of kritik that draws its link from the discourse used in a debate, there has been a recent trend of referring to any argument that discusses race or gender as being “pre-fiat.” Although many positions that address race and gender involve arguments about discourse, I would argue that labeling these positions as generically pre-fiat allows critics of such arguments to dismiss them as an argumentative fad or trick that exploits the structure of fiat in order to gain an unfair advantage and win rounds. Contrary to what the label “pre-fiat” might suggest, critical arguments about structural oppression are not an attempt to avoid substantive debate for a strategic advantage.

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NDCA Results Available; Top Honors to Kors, Quiroz, Prasad & Reddy

Full results from the NDCA Championships are now available at the NDCA website

Dukes & Bailey Cup: Ram Prasad, La Jolla HS,  (Coached by Tom Evnen, Jeff Liu, Jordan Lamothe, and Zach Parker)

Top Speaker: Annie Kors, Harvard-Westlake School (Coached by Mike Bietz, Stephen Babb, Bill Neesen & Daniel Tartakovsky)

Tournament Champion: Pranav Reddy, Harker School (Coached by Greg Achten, Ryan Fink & Nikhil Nag)

Tournament Runner-Up & Second Speaker: Christian Quiroz, Newark Science (Coached by Jonathan Alston, Elijah Smith & Chris Randall)

VBI Family: Interview with Ellen Noble

VBI Family: Interview with Ellen Noble

Ellen Noble graduated in 2013 from Macalester College with a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in International Security at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She has interned at Human Rights Watch, The Constitution Project, and The Nonprofit Roundtable. She debated for four years at Walt Whitman High School in Maryland, where she qualified twice to the TOC and won the 2008 NCFL tournament. She has worked as an assistant coach at Apple Valley High School. She attended VBI as a student in 2007 and 2008, and returned as an instructor in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013. 

 

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