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.

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).


Thank you, CCDU intern staff and members – 2019 PDP Outreach Championships!

Thanks to members of the Debate Union for their outstanding work managing the MSPDP and HSPDP Debate Outreach Championships on April 27-28. More than 1,200 debaters, coaches, judges, and guests attended the tournaments on the championship weekend. The MSPDP and HSPDP are national debate leagues founded and maintained by the Claremont Colleges Debate Union.

The Middle School Southwest Regional Championship was held at Mout San Antonio College on Saturday, April 27. More than 130 teams from 10 leagues qualified to participate at the tournament. Ella Hanry, Rowan Macy, and Matthew Reale-Hatem had major roles administering operations for attending teams and guests. In the competition, Oakwood School defeated Colina Middle School on a 2-1 decision in the Grand Final Debate to win the 2019 championship. In addition to the regional championship, they will share national championship honors with the other MSPDP regional winners. All students debated the following topics (pre-announced) at the event:

  • The First Amendment should not protect lying in campaigns and elections.
  • Expand Social Security to provide an adequate retirement.
  • Eliminate farm subsidies!
  • Autonomous weapon systems do more good than harm.
  • The US President should serve a single 6-year term

Students in the championship debate argued the following topic:

  • Facial recognition technology does more harm than good.

The High School National Debate Championship was held at the International School of Los Angeles on Sunday, April 28. Ella Henry, Sydney Baffour, and Gonzalo Secaira served prominent roles as tournament tabulation and administrative staff and other members of the Debate Union judged at the competition.

The Webb Schools defeated the International School of Los Angeles on a 2-1 decision in the Grand Final Debate to win the 2019 championship. HSPDP tournaments feature a mix of research-based pre-announced topics, known for several weeks prior to a competition. Students also debate impromptu topics on enduring controversies and current events, which are announced 30 minutes prior to the beginning of those debates. All students debated the following topics:

  • The First Amendment should not protect disparaging and threatening trademarks. (pre-announced)
  • Soldiers should be able to opt out of specific conflicts for moral reasons. (pre-announced)
  • Inmates in prisons and jails should be allowed to vote. (impromptu)
  • Citizenship should be a privilege, not a right. (impromptu)

High school students in the championship debate argued the following topic:

  • In the US, small states have too much power.