The Debate Union is 5-C program, open to any interested undergraduate
One of the largest and most successful college debate programs in the world
No prior debate or speech experience is required; About half the members of the Debate Union have had no previous experience



Request to be Added to the CCDU Mailing List

John Meany, Director of Forensics,

There are regularly scheduled training sessions for intercollegiate debating in the British Parliamentary, Social Justice/Lafayette/International Humanitarian Law/Society of Professional Journalists, and Public Debate Program formats, professional communication events support including conference and presentation programming, Healthy Eating Initiative, FirstReporters!, and Civics in Action programs, and national and international educational debate outreach in the Public Debate Program and World Schools formats. National and international opportunities are scheduled throughout the year, including summer and break events. The Debate Union pays all major costs of participation.

Debate Union Office – Bauer South 21, CMC
John Meany, Director of Forensics, Office Hours – Tu/Wed, 12:00-1:30 PM and by appointment

UCLA Tournament is Happening – November 9-10

The invitation arrived today. Those interested in attending the UCLA tournament may begin confirming their participation this weekend.

Oct/Nov Tournament Registration – Please Confirm!

There are spaces available for all November tournaments. I have the following students registered for tournaments through November. If you are unable to attend, please contact me immediately, Those in bold are currently confirmed. If you are able to drive to Loyola or Long Beach (compensated, of course), please let me know. Remember – I cannot register individuals for events and certainly cannot purchase airline tickets until you have completed CCDU participant, risk, and contact forms. They are available on this site.

If you have not yet requested registration for tournaments this semester, please review the tournament calendar and speak to John Meany about appropriate events for your experience level.

Loyola Marymount University, October 26-27 
Ali Abbas and Nevada Lee
Sydney Baffour and Amanda Kandasamy

Dominican University, November 2-3
Departure, Friday, November 1/Return, Sunday, November 3

California State University, Long Beach, November 2-3
Zane Chung-Mehdi and Jonathan Miller
Neely Yates and Stella Li
Nevada Lee and Kayla Solomon
Helena Ong (’20) – Judge

University of Vermont, November 2-3
Departure, Friday, November 1/Return, November 3
Maya Kurkhill

UCLA, November 9-10
Will stay in LA overnight, Saturday, November 9
Updated registration list on Friday, October 18

University of British Columbia, November 16-17
Departure, Friday, November 15/Return, November 17
Maya Kurkhill and Helena Ong (’22)

University of Rochester, November 16-17
Departure, Friday, November 15/Return, November 17
Kristen Brown and Neely Yates (Spanish)

Howard University (Social Justice Debates), November 23-24
Departure, Friday, November 22/Return, November 24
Michelle Ramirez and Angela Yeh

New Tournament Addition – CSU-Long Beach, November 2-3

California State University, Long Beach is adding BP divisions to its tournament, Saturday-Sunday, November 2-3. This is the same weekend as Dominican University and the Univerity of Vermont. But it may be a more viable local option and more may want to attend this weekend. In addition, the Long Beach tournament will offer 2 divisions of debating, an upper/open division and a junior division (appropriate for those in their first year of BP debating).

This may also be a substitute for those otherwise planning to attend UCLA on November 9-10 (no invitation yet for that event).

Please consider requesting registration for this event!

Information Regarding Emory Conference, November 9-10

This is s specially-designed event, featuring competitive presentations. Please read the attached document.

Emory Conference

Information Regarding Loyola Tournament, October 26-27

This is a specially-designed debate tournament. Please read the attached document.

LMU Conference

Tues/Wed BP Practice Locations – RN 103 & 104

Fir Fall 2019, BP Tuesday and Wednesday practice debates will be held at CMC in Roberts North 103 and 104 (building on the north side of the cube). Please come to Roberts North 103 about 5 minutes before your scheduled start time so that the practice can be organized and the motion announced on time.

Congratulations to Helena Ong and Naomi Tilles for their outstanding performance at the US Air Force Academy’s British Parliamentary Debate Tournament, held September 21-22, 2019.

Helena and Naomi won the novice championship (an event for students in their first 12 months of intercollegiate debate competition, regardless of prior experience). Helena was also the top individual speaker in that division.

Oregon State Penitentiary Debates

The CCDU is one of 12 college debate programs to receive an invitation to the debate tournament at the Oregon State Penitentiary, October 5, 2019. This is a highly selective and competitive event. Zane Chung-Mehdi and Jonathan Miller will represent the CCDU at this year’s tournament.

If you are interested in judging (should be familiar with BP debating and likely to attend this tournament, if available, in the future), please contact John Meany,, by September 12.

Request Registration – Upcoming Early Fall 2019 Tournaments

To request registration, you may complete the registration forms available at the opening meetings for new and returning debaters on September 3 and September 10, Bauer Forum, CMC  (new to the Debate Union, 8:15 PM and returning debaters 9:00 PM). Registration for later events is rolling but there is a hard deadline for the September tournaments and the Morehouse tournament, October 4-5 – registration for these events closes on September 10.

All tournaments have a mix of experienced and novice contestants. Some events, however, have a much greater proportion of highly experienced debate teams. Students should have considerable proficiency to request registration for these events. On the current list, those tournaments include the Morehouse, Denver, and Vermont tournaments.

IMPORTANT!  Students must complete 2019-20 CCDU contact, participation, and travel documents before requesting registration.

Returning debaters and new debaters with substantial debate experience in any format, able to train in a fast-track for early fall competition may request register now for the following tournaments:

September 21-22 US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO (BP)
September 27-28 Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL (BP)
October 4-5 Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA (SJD)
October 5-6 San Diego State University, San Diego, CA (BP)
October 12-13 Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR (BP)
October 19-20 University of Denver, Denver, CO (BP)
October 26-27 Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA (SJD/BP)
November 2-3 University of Vermont, Burlington, VT (BP)
November 2-3 Dominican University, San Rafael, CA (BP)

New debaters with limited or no prior speech or debate experience may request registration for the following events:

October 5-6 San Diego State University, San Diego, CA (BP)
October 12-13 Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR (BP)
October 26-27 Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA (SJD/BP)
November 2-3 Dominican University, San Rafael, CA (BP)

Thank you, Panama Debate Workshop Staff

Led by Pastor Arroyo (CMC ’18), a Fulbright Scholar and English instructor at the University of David, high school teachers and students in Panama began training in PDP debating this year. Pastor sponsored workshops for hundreds of students in Spring 2019, leading to an English language debate competition in July.

CCDU members Trevor Christensen and Gonzalo Secaira traveled to Panama in August to assist in Spanish language workshops for more than 175 students and teachers. In September, the HSPDP-Panama will host 5 high school Spanish language debate tournaments throughout the country. The HSPDP-Panama champion and one other Panamanian team will represent the country at the HSPDP Championship in April 2020.

Thank you, CDLI Summer Interns

Thank you to members of the Debate Union and CCDU alumni for their outstanding instruction and administrative work during this summer’s Claremont Debate and Leadership Communication Institutes. This year, there are 9 institute sessions, scheduled from June-September, for secondary school teachers and students. College students and alumni participated in 7 residential debate and professional communication workshops held at CMC from mid-June to early-August. More than 350 students attended the sessions. The final workshop is for Public Debate Program secondary school teachers, scheduled for the last weekend of September.

CCDU members from CMC, Pitzer, and Pomona participating in Summer 2019 included Sydney Baffour, Jonathan Miller, Trevor Christensen, Jaelin Kinney, Amari Huang, Zane Chung-Mehdi, and Maya Kurkhill. Debate Union alumni included Lauren Phillips (CMC ’13), Pastor Arroyo (CMC ’20), Timmy Song (CMC ’19), and Matthew Reale-Hatem (PO ’19).