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

Debate Instruction – Weeks of February 17/24

There are opportunities for format and argumentation instruction.

Wednesday, February 19 – Bauer 2
6:15 PM-7:15 PM – Advanced Argumentation/Refutation (counterplanning, answering counterplans, identity politics, critiquing, AT standard claims)

Tuesday, February 25 – Bauer Forum
6:00-6:50 PM – British Parliamentary and Lafayette/Social Justice Formats
7:00-7:50 PM – Argumentation and Refutation

Wednesday, February 26 – Bauer 2
6:15 PM-7:15 PM – Advanced Argumentation/Refutation (counterplanning, answering counterplans, identity politics, critiquing, AT standard claims)

Middle school debate outreach – Thank you!

Thank you to CCDU members volunteering to support the Middle School Public Debate Program outreach tournament, held at the Center for Early Education in West Hollywood, on Saturday, January 25. The MSPDP’s Golden West Debate League, established and supported by the Debate Union, is the sole authorized league exclusively for 5th and 6th grade students. More than 200 middle school students, teachers, parents, and observers attended the event.

Maya Kurkhill directed the tournament and managed tournament tabulation. She was assisted by Michelle Ramirez and Kayla Solomon. Both learned tournament operations and the proprietary MSPDP event software. Trevor Christensen volunteered as a tournament judge.

Volunteers are needed for the next outreach event, a high school competition to be held at Compton High School, Saturday, February 15.

BP Seminar/Practice for New Members, Friday, January 31

The British Parliamentary format debate seminar and practice for those new to the format will be held Friday, January 31, Bauer 22.

There is format instruction at 1:15 PM. There is argumentation/refutation instruction session (thematic introduction, ARESR, offensive arguments for the opposition, generic argumentation, argument turns, etc.) at 2:15 PM. There is a practice debate at 3:15 PM.

The motion for the debate is the following – This House believes that the Trump impeachment does more harm than good. 

Room Location – BP Debate Practice, Spring 2020

Debate practices (BP format) will be held in Bauer 2 this semester. Bauer 2 is located on the ground floor facing the trailers south of Bauer Center South. The room is located one floor below Bauer Forum and accessed from the outside of the building.

Practices are scheduled in 2-hour slots, beginning Tuesdays, 8:00 PM or Wednesdays, 4:15 PM.

Debate Practice – Week of January 27

Debate practice for the spring semester begins this week.

Practices are scheduled on Tuesdays, 8:00-10:00 PM and Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 PM. Please register for one of these times. If you have a scheduling conflict, please notify John Meany to arrange for a new practice time. Practices will be held in Bauer 2 throughout the semester.

There is a practice on Friday, January 31, 3:00 PM for those new to debating. Please come to Bauer 22 for practice. There is a BP format instructional session in  Bauer 22 (1:15 PM) and an argumentation and refutation training session (2:15 PM) prior to the debate.

The motion for debate – This House believes that the Trump impeachment does more harm than good.

Register for Tournaments!

Available for immediate registration.

February 8, Loyola Marymount (Los Angeles) – Lafayette topic/Venn format

February 8-9 Point Loma University (San Diego) – British Parliamentary Debating

February 15-16, Las Vegas Debates (Las Vegas) – Lafayette topic and format

February 15-16 University of Southern California (Los Angeles) – British Parliamentary Debating

February 15-16, Cornell Debates (National Novice, National Spanish, and Invitational) (Ithaca, NY) – British Parliamentary Debating

February 22, Palomar College (San Marcos/San Diego) – British Parliamentary Debating

February 22-23, Hawai’i Pacific University (Honolulu) – British Parliamentary Debating (limited entry)

February 22-23, George Washington University (Washington, DC) – British Parliamentary Debating (limited entry)

New Members of the Debate Union, Sunday, January 26, 4 PM

There is a meeting for all new students for the Debate Union on Sunday, January 26, 4:00 PM. The meeting will be about 35 minutes and will be held in Bauer Forum, CMC. Please let interested students know about the event.

Public Debate – Abolish the Electoral College, Sunday, January 26

Please promote and attend a public debate on the following topic, The United States should abolish the Electoral College, on Sunday, January 26, 2:30 PM. The debate will be held in Bauer Forum.

Debate Exchange/Practice and Public Debate, Sunday, January 26

On Sunday, January 26, the Debate Union will sponsor the opening session of a home-and-home debate exchange with Cape Cod College. Students are welcome to attend either of the morning sessions, featuring core training in professional communication (10:00 AM-10:30 AM) and argumentation and refutation (10:30-11:30 AM). Practices will be scheduled at 12:30 PM. There will be a public debate on the following topic, The United States should abolish the Electoral College. The debate is scheduled for Bauer Forum, 2:30 PM.

Please contact John Meany to participate in the practice debate and public debate.

Volunteers Needed – Middle School Outreach, Saturday, January 25

The Debate Union will help manage one of its Middle School Public Debate Program league tournaments on Saturday, January 25. The tournament will be held at the Center for Early Education in West Hollywood. The Debate Union will provide staff for tournament tabulation and judging (judges must be PDP-certified). In addition, Debate Union members will assist in training staff and students from Cape Cod College attending the event in order to support the development of an MSPDP league in Massachusetts in Fall 2020.

Please contact Maya Kurkhill by Thursday, January 23, 6:00 PM to register for the tournament. The Debate Union will arrange transportation and meals for participants.

CMC Family Weekend Debate

The CCDU will sponsor a public debate during CMC’s Family Weekend. The debate will take place on Sunday, February 16, 11:15 AM-12:10 PM.

Please let John Meany know if you are interested in participating in the debate. You do not have to be a CMC student to participate.

Lafayette Debates Topic/Tournaments

This year’s Lafayette Debates will use the following topic:

Corporations should prioritize stakeholder value over shareholder value.

Four tournaments will use the Lafayette Debates topic and format. These include the Western Championship at Loyola Marymount University (Saturday, February 8), the Lafayette Debates at Las Vegas (Saturday-Sunday, February 15-16), the Lafayette Invitational at Claremont McKenna College (Saturday, February 29), and the Lafayette Debates Championship at George Washington University and the French Embassy to the United States (Saturday-Sunday, April 3-4).