Create Reform In DebateDrills

Create Reform In DebateDrills

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Donovan Dickerson started this petition to DebateDrills and

In the online Debate community, 1 company has gone far above any else. That company is DebateDrills -- they give incredible resources to those who can afford it as well as incredible coaching. They're well known for having 3 finalists at the Tournament of Champions since 2016, 113 bids (2 of which get a debater into the TOC) and had 24 TOC qualifiers. This sounds like an incredible resource, yet I'd like to go into what is wrong with them.

1) They charge $5,000 a year -- this charge goes into paying for coaching and resources, an amount of money that extremely few people are able to afford. This has created a huge skew in the debate community -- their resources are a huge factor in making debaters more successful, and 

2) They're extremely careful with keeping their resources from those who can't afford that charge -- they're known for being litigious against people who violate their prep rules and attempting to prevent prep from being shared at all costs.

They are their own company, run by their own people, and they're certainly allowed to make their own decisions. However, this is a quote from their own website:

"Students that lack access to elite debate coaching are at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to their peers. Elite coaches help students think through strategies, find high-quality evidence, write strategic cases, and think through strategies that can tip the scale to win big debates. DebateDrills was founded to help balance this disparity."

In the end, they've done terrible things to the disparity that exists currently. Low income debaters are unable to access these resources, creating a structural skew that strongly harms those who can't afford it -- they're purposefully trying to prevent debate from being accessible. They say themselves that "[they were] founded to help balance" the disparity created by students lacking access to elite debate coaching -- what they did since they were founded was charge $5,000 dollars to offer elite debate coaching and fight to prevent their prep from falling into the hands of debaters who can't afford to pay that cost.

What I, as well as those who sign this petition ask, is for DebateDrills to 

1) Acknowledge the fact that they have strayed from their original goal and widened an already large gap between low and high income debate students,

2) Offer scholarship opportunities for low income debaters, and

3) Loosen their rules on prep sharing -- either allow debaters the opportunity to have private or public resources so that the debater who makes the prep can choose or allow debaters to share on discretion.

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