Alfred Snider: “I would first of all strengthen the basis for debate”

Datum: Jan 2nd, 2013
Category: International

Today, Achte Minute had the chance to talk to Alfred Snider, called Tuna in the debaters’ world. Tuna is a debating veteran, having served on many many tournaments as adjudicator and trainer throughout the world. In his normal live, he is a professor of Forensics at the University of Vermont. We talked with him about his WUDC Berlin experience. 

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Alfred “Tuna” Snider answers the questions of Philipp Stiel, President of the VDCH.

Achte Minute: Hi Tuna, thanks for your time. How are you and your teams doing here at WUDC?
Snider: Unfortunately, none of my teams broke. But they were all alive on the third day. This is great work. Yet, we haven’t broken since Botswana. But it happened twice that after 9 rounds, we were at 17 points but then took a 4th in round 9.

Achte Minute: You are a frequent reader of our magazine, Achte Minute. Any comments?
Snider: I like your work – it’s very ambitious to publish in two languages. I myself am trying to get some of my material into Spanish to support the Spanish speaking debating community.  We came a long way since the establishment of the Spanish speaking debating championships some years ago. They started with 44 teams, now they are at 72 and this year in Madrid we expect it to become even bigger – we are only waiting for the dates to be confirmed.

Achte Minute: You got into contact with the WUDC organizers right on the first day – what are your thoughts about the tournament?
Snider: I was very impressed that the organizers read my blog and responses came directly, even before the tournament started. And all responses were so helpful – nobody said “You bastard, why are you criticising our tournament”.

Achte Minute: So everything is fine here in Berlin?
Snider: Yesterday, I was talking to the org com and asked them: “Do you have a never ending flow of small shit you have to deal with?” And they told me, “Yes, we do”. So I said, “That’s great, so there’s no big shit you have to cope with.” Of course, there are always some problems, but they seem to handle them well. And by the way, concerning food, you will never satisfy everybody. There were too much potatoes, that’s what other participants told me. Hell yes, but we are in Germany!

Achte Minute: Yes, we are in Germany – and the way debating is organized here works a bit different than elsewhere.
Snider: That’s why I like the German debating scene with its small and regional tournaments. That’s how people actually come to debating. People don’t buy plane tickets for 200 dollars to go to their first tournament. So you have to bring tournaments to their communities. And you have many young debaters here at WUDC aswell – this is great, as much of the learning takes place in your early years of debating.

Achte Minute: So, you’ll keep at good memory of your stay here?
Snider: Oh yes, and I’ll also go to some of the museums once this is over. I am a fanatic of museums. And all the rest – people complaining about missing free alcohol or other stuff – just forget it. “I came here for free alcohol” – that’s absurd. If you do think so, stay at home and drink. I actually do want to know that no cent of my reg fee was spent on alcohol.

Achte Minute: Is there anything else you would tell the organizers?
Snider: After Belgrade Euros, the organizers said to me: “and now, we are applying for Worlds.” But I don’t think that’s the right thing to do after you organized such a big competition. I would first of all strengthen the basis for debate: more schools, more universities, get more government support. That’s what I hope Germany will do, too. You should use all the support, new connections and achievements made so far in order to strengthen the basis.

Achte Minute: Thank you for this talk. And enjoy the museums!

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1 Kommentare zu “Alfred Snider: “I would first of all strengthen the basis for debate””

  1. Alex (DD) says:

    Okay, BDU, you heard it: Next tournament for you (apart Punk, IV and Einladungsturnier 😉 should be DDM 2014 to spread the word under newbies that Debating is awesome!

    P.S: Some Updates from Achte Minute about Spanish Worlds would be great as there are plans from at least three people in VDCH-Land to participate…

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