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Stoa 2021-2022 Team Policy Spring Voting Guide

The 2021-2022 Stoa Team Policy resolutions are officially out the vote is open! With that being said, we wanted to help you out if you are having trouble deciding on which resolution to pick, or if you're just looking for a second opinion. In this post, I'll detail out which resolution gets first, second, and third place in my opinion, along with some examples of potential affirmatives for the first place resolution. With that in mind, let's get right to the top pick for this year's Spring Vote:

Helmsmen’s Pick: Resolved: The USFG should substantially reform the use of Artificial Intelligence technology.

Artificial Intelligence is both a diverse and adaptive resolution. The topic will develop and unfold as the year does, both in Stoa and the real world. Artificial Intelligence is engrained in almost every sector of commerce, trade, international relations, law enforcement, armed forces, agriculture, tech, and healthcare. From high-frequency trading to CRISPR to deep learning algorithms to facial recognition technology, AI presents a limitless well of knowledge, cases, and possibilities. Moreover, the rate at which artificial intelligence is both growing and learning how to become more autonomous had drastically increased over the last few years, meaning there is great potential for AI to have major breakthroughs and new developments in the coming months.

For affirmatives, AI presents a year full of potential affirmatives with an unenumerable number of advantageous cases to be had. Conversely, the limitless nature of affirmative ground is only matched by its primary issue prevalent within the concept of AI itself: is artificial intelligence ethical, feasible, threatening, and, most importantly, an intelligence that we can control? These questions provide grounds for both sides that is sure to spark a lively and studious field of debate throughout the course of the new season.

The Applications: Examples of potential affirmatives include, but are not limited to, the following:

· Abolish the use of CRISPR in the healthcare industry

· Abolish the use of AI facial recognition software in Law Enforcement

· Abolish the use of AI in High-Frequency Trading

· Abolish the use of AI in data collection or management

· Abolish the use of AI in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the military

· Abolish the use of AI in the Automobile Industry

· Abolish the use of AI in warehouse management

· Abolish the use of AI in government surveillance

· Abolish the use of AI in cell phone technology

· Abolish the use of AI in social media

· Abolish the use of AI in Internet Search Engines

· Abolish the use of AI in Smart home devices

· Abolish the use of AI in banking

The Verdict: Resolution One is the best pick overall. From the diversity of cases and research to the versatility of an ever adapting and evolving environment surrounding AI, this resolution is sure to provide grounds for debate all year long. We would highly recommend you to vote for resolution 1 in the Spring 2021 vote!

Runner-up: Resolved: Election law should be substantially reformed in the United States.

The Background: Election law is our runner-up due to its feasibility and its relevancy, but ultimately falls short in regards to the sheer amount of depth and content in research that AI provides, along with the fact that Election law specifies no actor within the text of the resolution. Election law is largely centralized in the context of the previous election on Presidential election laws. Given this, the scope of Election law is innately limited through context given the development of last November’s election.

While competitors have the opportunity to refine the parameters surrounding the Election law debate, the outstanding issues of significance in election laws pertaining to local districts and cities for officials and representatives who do not operate at a state or national level present uncertainty as to what significant changes will be made to Election law. Additionally, the question of substantial topicality also is prevalent in the debate around non-presidential election reformation.

For Affirmatives, the challenges posed by this topic are not few and far between. From navigating stock issues to the theoretical boundaries of the resolution set forth by the framers of this topic, there is a certain degree of uncertainty surrounding what election reforms can be made. Would state election law fall underneath the jurisdiction of the Affirmatives power, or is the affirmative only capable of reforming federal law? Would the Affirmative have to hold a constitutional convention to make reformations to Election law(s)?

Given the lack of clarity and specificity the resolution presents, it stands on a precipice. It has the potential to provide a wealth of research and content for debate given the ability Affirmatives will have to be creative in writing their cases, but such is the case to the contrary. Given the lack of a specified agent/actor/enforcer, the resolution is also poised with a high degree of uncertainty which could invariably lead to a year of debate mired with debates on topicality, significance, and vagueness arguments, one which invariably disrupts the intent of the framers of the resolution to promote creativity and opportunity for students.

The Verdict: Resolution Two is our second pick overall. The resolution offers the potential for a year of action-packed debates surrounding an incredibly poignant and topical issue in American society. However, it ultimately presents more structural and theoretical issues in regards to the wording of the resolution that may nullify the breadth of debate and focus on Election law throughout the competitive year.

5th and below: Resolved: Tort law should be substantially reformed in the United States.

The Background: Tort law suffers from the same Issue as election law, only to a larger extent with the fact that Tort law can deal with any number of harms or grievances that are entirely established at the civil level. Given the level at which tort law operates, the question of significance for harms remedied, and the question of what quantifies as a substantial reform, are a severe issue that is wholly uncertain.

The complexities surrounding tort law complicate the issue even more so in the context of a resolution that is focused on an overarching change to the entirety of Tort law. Suppose we address the issue of monetary awards: how is a civil dispute that is subjective in nature remedied with a large, sweeping reform? The disconnect between the issue and the solution is what invariably makes for an overcomplicated and confusing debate that presents no clear solution on how comprehensive Tort law reform is effective or possible.

The Verdict: Overall, Tort law reform is a well-intentioned resolution, but is displaced by uncertainty regarding the actor within the resolution, what actions are significant or substantial, and finally the largest issue of attempting to resolve a specific and subjective issue with a general reformation overall. Because of this, Tort law is third on our list, and the resolution we least endorse.

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