2013 MDTA Fall Meeting Minutes

MDTA Fall Meeting – Held at CTAM.  St. Cloud, MN – September 15, 2013.
I. Zach – Approval of Past Minutes.
II.  Chris – Treasurer’s Report.  MDTA Endowment Fund’s current balance is $217,587.00.  MDTA Checking Account current balance is $15,020.04.  Since the Spring of 2013, we have spent $12,500.00 to support the MDTA grant program, a Joy of Tournaments MN agreement to provide registration services to local Minnesota Tournaments, and payment to individuals for composition of novice policy and LD packets.  After all payments are made, we will have approximately $900 left in the account, which should be replenished by MDTA membership fees.  Please remember to renew your membership!
III. MDTA Grant Recipients.  Questions were asked about success that we’ve seen from the MDTA grant programs; some discussion was had about whether the grants have had a significant impact on continuation of debate programs in Minnesota.  DJ suggested that we could reach back to programs and have them write a testimonial of how grants have impacted their programs.  Many individuals spoke to the value of MDTA support in both establishing and maintaining their programs.   We should start keeping track of numbers and soliciting stories of coaches we could use to publicize those success stories.
III. Joy of Tournament Process.  We were able to negotiate a 1/3 reduction in price for Joy of Tournaments utilization for local Minnesota tournaments.  The MDTA is fully funding this and providing debate hosts access to JOT.  This will be helpful in making the tournament registration process easier for hosts, for automatic upload of NFL points, for MDTA Cup tracking, and for, in general, making our administrative lives easier.  DJ, Zach, and Chris are all helpful resources in navigating the Joy of Tournaments software.
IV.  MSHSL Hall of Fame Nomination Process – Bob Ihrig has indicated his interest in developing a nomination package for Cort Sylvester to the MSHSL Hall of Fame, and wanted to make sure the group agrees with his proposal.  In the only action item at the meeting, the group agreed to accept Bob’s desire to nominate Cort on a 13-0-1 vote (abstaining: Sylvester).  It has been a long time since the MDTA has taken the opportunity to nominate someone from its membership, and we would like to consider taking the opportunity more regularly to advocate for our members.  A HUGE thank you to Bob for his always thorough work in advocating for our membership.
V. MSHSL State Debate Tournament Voting: make sure to vote!  Encourage colleagues to vote! Names must be given to the MSHSL by October 1 so that they can begin contacting judges, and things can be set up as soon as possible.  If you are contacted to judge, please accept promptly.  If judges do not accept the contract in an acceptable timetable, the MSHSL will move on and go to the next person…so accept or reject the contract as soon as possible!  Ross has already sent the finalized ballot, make sure to complete it by the due date.
VI. State Tournament PF Community Judges Review.  Some concern was expressed with whether the judges that were hired from the outside were true “community judges” – that they were not lay enough, and that their experience in debate from years ago influenced the way that they judged today and that they were not true community judges.  Lots of discussion of the philosophy behind community judges was had…this will be discussed more at the MSHSL advisory meeting on Wednesday.  For now, it was decided that there will be a nomination again (like we had last year) and that more discussion will be had concerning this topic at the Chanhassen Jamboree regarding the purpose/intent of community judges.
VII.  Fall meeting Times…there always seem to be an issue with when we have it.  This has been in conjunction with CTAM for a significant amount of time.  This year, the date fell on a religious holiday, and that posed on issue to some and concerns were raised.   Chris noted that we should continue to meet at CTAM because we want to remain a part of the process and an important stakeholder in the organization.  How can we draw people to CTAM to come for more than just the MDTA meeting?  Perhaps we can do something similar to the MSCA “chat and chew” to draw people Friday night in order to the meeting.
VIV. Dues Restructuring: discussion with recommendation for a lifetime membership similar to what the NDCA does.  Another idea is a school/institutional membership…and we could make benefits such as free JOY access contingent upon membership.  At the spring, we would like to discuss and take action on how we could make the MDTA have a better dues structure to encourage membership in the organization.
Zach Prax
Chanhassen High School
Secretary – Minnesota Debate Teachers Association

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