If you’re considering running for the Executive Board of the Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU), below are detailed explanations of the jobs as written by each current member of the Board. One must submit a candidate statement (with no more than 750 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, November 20th in order to run.
Elections will be held during the regular RUDU meeting on Tuesday, December 4th at 9:00 PM in Murray 210. Those who have attended at least ten (10) meetings this semester are eligible to vote.
The President has 3 main duties: first, to register the club for tournaments; second, to represent RUDU at APDA meetings; and third, to assist the coach in the running of the club. Registering the club for tournaments involves sending the reg e-mail a week in advance before tournaments, and updating it if people add or drop or team names change. Representing the team at APDA meetings involves being the voting member at meetings and voting in elections at BU. Helping to run the team involves making sure that other E-Board members do their job and helping them with their jobs if they need it, taking down minutes at E-Board meetings, and helping to lead both E-Board meetings and regular team meetings.
I spent my two semesters as Vice President mainly just hoping for something to happen to Bergman 😛 But…if you would actually like to do the job, you need a good dose of organizational acumen and the ability to subtly maneuver your way through a bureaucracy to get the things you need. There are five main things that you will be responsible for getting done:
1) Sending out emails to club members every Tuesday and Thursday about tournament accomplishments, meeting agendas and general club news. You are also responsible for maintaining the listserv to make sure that you are getting to all the people who want to hear from us and removing all the people who don’t.
2) Keeping track of attendance at meetings & collecting information from new members to our club.
3) Maintaining and updating the databases in our group which keeps track of important member information.
4) Submitting Travel itineraries before every tournament and making sure the members attending the have submitted their waivers to SABO.
5) Maintaining a good relationship with our administrative advisor & people at Student Life, in order to streamline the administrative process and minimize headaches all around.
The most important job of the treasurer is to request funding for each weekend, distribute cash to drivers to pay for tolls and gas, to pay for each tournament, and to collect all the receipts and extra money at the end of the tournament, and to return it to SABO. This requires a trip to SABO once before the tournament and once after. Reimbursing students who spent money on trips and paying rental car companies also falls on the treasurer. The treasurer is also responsible for designing the budget for the fall and the spring, which requires estimating the costs for every tournament on the schedule and submitting that to the RUSA allocations board. If the allocations board provides too little funding, it is the treasurer’s job to organize an appeals meeting and petition for more money.
The treasurer is also the go-between for the e-board and the administration. Weekly or biweekly meetings with the administration are necessary, to discuss the club policy and financial policy. This also means that when the university administration wants something corrected (if someone else on the e-board hasn’t done their job or if a trip has a missing receipt) the treasurer will be the party held responsible for resolving those issues.
The treasurer is also in charge of funding at our tournament, which means negotiating and creating contracts for food for banquets and for room and equipment rental, as well as for providing funding for dinos to travel to our tournament. Negotiating registration fees and collecting registration money at the tournament is also important, as well as keeping track of who has and hasn’t paid and giving the administration a detailed record of financial transactions at the tournament.
Public Relations Chair
There are multiple tasks allocated for the position of the PR Chair.
The first and most obvious is contacting media outlets to relay information related to the team and team successes. The most prominent and likely contact is the Daily Targum, Rutgers’ own printed newspaper. Contacting the Targum has shown itself to be tricky at best. Emailing them has proven to be a largely ineffective means to relay information. The few ways that has proven to work in the past is 1) getting someone’s specific email and contacting them directly (this requires you knowing or meeting someone who writes for the Targum first); 2) walking into the Targum offices, this annoys them but gets results; and 3) is finding the facebook of Targum writers and bug them there, it may be creepy but it’s worked well in the past.
Another task is gathering promotional materials for the team.
First among this are clothing. Starting in Spring of 2012, the Rutgers University ordered clothing for team members who wanted them, starting with Sweatshirts. The process of organizing people for this task is difficult. The way it was initially organized is people signed up, money was given to the PR Chair for the amount needed for one article of clothing. The PR Chair ordered the sweatshirts WHILE this process was taking place. This accounts for everyone, and with sign-ups accounted before ordering allows you to know the price for each sweatshirt (which varies depending on the order size). At the same time, this might cause the PR Chair to take a financial hit, if people do not end up paying after signing up. The business I suggest ordering from is 4imprint. The reason is because they are approved by the Rutgers Administration (which most companies are not) and are cheap, reliable, and friendly. Asking for the word “Rutgers” on the clothing requires additional approval from the Trademarks & Promotional section of the University Relations department.
Secondly, beginning in 2012, RUDU has started a portfolio for promoting the team to possible donors. This portfolio is a notebook with an overview of the team and highlights from the team’s history. This portfolio is meant to be updated whenever an important event or tournament has happened.
Signing up for involvement fairs is important to get the team noticed by the university community. Keep an eye out for sign-up dates for involvement fairs. They happen once a semester, during the beginning of the semester. Sign up dates are usually 1-2 month before the event itself. If you are late signing up, calling or emailing will put you on the waiting list, but more likely than not, you will not get to the fair if you’re not on time with signing up.
Once a semester, the team has organized a scrimmage with the TCNJ debate team. This is usually taken up by the PR Chair. It has usually ended up on a Wednesday so the team is not worried with a meeting afterwards. Usually there is a game night after the scrimmage as well.
Although not mandatory, taking pictures at each tournament is good promotional material for the PR Chair to utilize. This can be done with anyone with a camera, however it is in the best interest of the team for the PR Chair to get someone else take pictures (if they don’t have one) so photos can be used for the website and possibly a Targum article, if they request photographs.
Novice Mentor Roles and Responsibilities
Executive Mission Statement
The Novice Mentor is an executive board position whose main responsibility is to instruct new members (novices) in fundamental parliamentary debate practicum and to make sure that they feel comfortable in both the social and competitive atmospheres of the Rutgers Debate Union. As an extension to this is that the Novice Mentor also acts as an advocate for new members during closed e-board discussions.
The Novice Mentor fulfills this mission statement by;
Making first contact with new members of the team. It is the responsibility of the Novice Mentor to ensure that any new member of the team is given an introduction to American Parliamentary Debate (APDA) and RUDU as a whole, whether meeting them at a scheduled meeting or other location. This involves answering any questions that new members may have as well as making them feel comfortable and welcome.
Facilitating Novice workshops. Throughout the year the Novice Mentor should organize periodic workshops that hone in and develop specific parliamentary skills. Part of this responsibility also includes recruiting other Varsity members to lead the workshops if the Novice Mentor themselves is less proficient in a certain subject area or cannot attend a desirable workshop time because of scheduling conflicts.
Monitoring the status of Novices throughout the year. The Novice Mentor should be aware of how Novices are doing competitively throughout the season as well as making sure they continue to feel welcome on the team and that their needs are met. This is done through personal one-on-one contact at tournaments and other settings as well as through surveys done electronically. Novice retention should be a high priority for the Novice Mentor.
Additionally, the Novice Mentor is also partially responsible, in conjunction with the Public Relations Chair, for recruiting new members to the Rutgers Debate Union. The Novice Mentor accomplishes this task primarily through two methods:
Organizing, recruiting, and facilitating the summer Novice Retreats. Each year the Rutgers Debate Union holds two summer Novice Retreats that are designed to train incoming members of the team the basics of parliamentary debate before the academic year starts. It is the role of the Novice Mentor to organize the retreats. This includes finding space, setting the date, planning a curriculum, and staffing the retreat with volunteers. As an extension to this, the Novice Mentor in conjunction with the coaching staff must recruit and monitor interest for new members that wish to partake in the retreat.
Connecting with high school debaters in the New Jersey area and beyond. The Novice Mentor should takes efforts to get in contact with local high schools and introduce prospective students to the Debate Union. In addition to sending brochures and emailing high school advisers, it is helpful for the Novice Mentor to accompany other union members on personal visits to their high school alma mater.
Past Novice Mentors
2005-2006: Ross Mazer (Class of 2006)
2006-2007: Carl Kunda (Class of 2007)
2007-2008: Simon Burger (Class of 2008)
2008-2009: Eisha Chopra (Class of 2010)
2009-2010: Eisha Chopra (Class of 2010)
2012: Kurt Falk (Class of 2015)
The most important job of the Alumni Coordinator is keeping in touch with alumni. In the past, RUDU has had very few alumni. Given the current size of the team, keeping track of alumni will be more difficult and more important going forward. Maintaining a database of this information is important.
One of the duties of alumni coordinator is finding and updating information about alumni, particularly on the Alumni Tab of the RUDU blog (coming soon). The biggest challenge of the Alumni Coordinator position is actually building a relationship with alumni so that they are willing to talk to you. The Alumni Coordinator has to be comfortable reaching out to people they do not know personally. Convincing alumni to come to events, especially our tournament, is very important. There is a lot of room for creativity in any other events. The goal should be to have alumni involved and interacting with the current team. Regular communication, through a newsletter or other means, is key.
There is also an aspect of the Alumni Coordinator position that is focused around fundraising in various ways. Recently, RUDU has been building connections with the School of Communication and Information (SC&I). The Alumni Coordinator is important in working with SC&I to plan general alumni events and in relaying information about RUDU to SC&I alumni. Applying for grants for RUDU can also fall under the scope of Alumni Coordinator.