Hailey Robertson ParadigmLast changed 3/24 12:03P CDT
I did policy for 4 years at Washburn Rural High School (2013-17) in Kansas and I currently debate for the University of Southern California (2021).
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- I'm probably more "good" for technical DA/CP strategies than high theory K's, but my voting record shows I’ll vote for any style of argument. As a debater, I have always been a 2N which probably shapes how I think about debate to an extent. Throughout my career, I’ve read both policy + critical affs, and on the negative, most often go for politics, framework, Marx, topic DAs/CPs, etc.
- I will immediately vote against arguments that are moral blackmail (and tank your speaks for trying), regardless of how they are answered by your opponent. This applies to “vote for me or else I have to quit” and similar arguments. If you have a concern like this, talk to your opponent/coaches, but do not make me the arbiter of that decision. These debates really weigh on me as a judge and are bad for my (and maybe your opponent’s) mental health, so please don’t put me in this position, you’ve been warned. You will be angry when I immediately vote against you, and I will not care.
**More pet peeve/other things at bottom, but basically, don't be rude, don't cheat, and know that I am a mandatory reporter!
Critical Affs v FW:
These debates can be some of the most engaging or most boring, in my opinion. My biggest qualm is with teams - either side - that don't tailor their positions to answer the specifics of their opponent's argument. In cases that I vote negative, I find that it is often because aff teams don't generate offense beyond "USFG bad." That said, many neg FW arguments seem to be just repetitive cliches or unresponsive blocks that they stole from a college team (and thus can't articulate args beyond the block). I generally think affs should have some relation to the topic, but saying “JuDgE tHeY dIdN’t sAy UsFg” isn’t going to get the job done.
Policy Affs vs T:
T is always a voter and never a reverse voter. I default to competing interpretations, and generally think that I think that limits are the most persuasive standard for evaluating T. That said, I don’t think limits or ground are impacts on their own — it’s simply an internal link to education, fairness, etc.
I generally believe theory is a reason to reject the arg, not the team. Exception is condo/disclosure (maybe?) but that doesn’t mean I want to hear a theory debate. Does anyone? If you must, contextualize your violation to the round + give warranted analysis why something should/should not be theoretically allowed in debate. Please slow down in these debates and give me pen time. Tech over truth, but the args need to be warranted and impacted.
I like politics DAs, love case specific DAs, and Hate "The Spending DA."
I'm not a fan of politics theory args, or DA theory args generally. If the DA's so bad, beat it on substance.
I also will not assign zero (or 100%) risk to an advantage/DA unless there is an explicitly dropped argument.
CPs that are usually good:
- Process (though some people have tested me recently lmao)
These CPs are more susceptible to theory but still generally enjoyed:
- International fiat
- States (especially those cheat-y multi plank ones)
Not a fan:
- Word PICs
** this is not a comprehensive list, just a few common ones
Not super technical in my knowledge of CP theory, mostly due to a lack of interest.
I believe that fiat and the ability of the aff to weigh their impacts are generally good. I have debated kritiks from both sides, but have not read as much of the literature (especially for high theory arguments), so I will need you to explain your argument very clearly to me. I would prefer if it was obvious to me what your argument is in the 1NC -- if you have a performative argument, it would help if you allocated time in the first speech to establish links, rather than just hoping I can deduce them from the thesis of your K. If you do not articulate your argument until the block, I will be sympathetic to new 1AR/2AR answers. Ultimately, I will not vote on something if I do not know what it means, so don't just read a K in hopes of confusing your opponents -- I will probably be really confused too.
I generally believe that links should be as specific to the aff as possible -- links to the status quo or links of omission are not links -- they're solvency deficits or FYI's about how messed up the world is and will likely lose to a perm. I enjoy block strategies that pick specific lines from evidence/look at author quals and use that to generate offense for the K.
Kritiks that claim death is good will probably never win my ballot, just a heads up. Before you read these type of arguments, you should also ask the other team for triggers. DBAD.
Because I judge this a bit now...
1. I don't think RVIs are real args.
2. Framing contentions don't substitute for impact explanations and vise versa. If you say that most DA link chains are highly improbable you have to prove that by contesting the links, not just repeating Nate Cohn's math at me.
3. More likely to vote on theory here than in policy (still would prefer not to), as long as it's not like about font size.
- Asking your opponents for argument clarification and which cards they did/didn't read and pretending it’s not prep
- Asking questions outside of CX and expecting me to listen
- Reading your blocks monotone at 100% speed
- The phrases: “method debate” “logical policy maker could do both” “fiat solves the link”
- Not listening during the RFD
- Being mean, laughing during speeches, etc — I’ll drop your speaks significantly.
- Bad/miscut/misrepresented evidence.
- Not pointing out that someone’s evidence is bad.
I'm still working on developing my speaker point scale and will adjust by tournament/division, but generally:
29.4+ -- Top 5
29-29.3 -- Speaker Award
28.6-28.9 -- Good, hope you clear
28.0-28.5 -- Didn't do anything wrong
27s -- Dropping arguments, ending speeches early, etc.
Below that -- you did something offensive
I am a mandatory reporter because I am employed by a high school, so if your position includes disclosure of sexual harassment/violence, I am required by law to stop the round and report. If it is something that you feel unsafe about, I am more than happy to assist you in finding the resources necessary to remedy the problem, but I ask they do not become a central component in the debate. That's not to say your concerns are not welcome or invalid, but I'd rather pursue a solution rather than give you a ballot and move on with my day.