2017 Students

Competitive Debate

2017 Students

The Barkley Forum for Debate, Deliberation, and Dialogue's nationally ranked intercollegiate policy debate team is an exemplary program for training students to be “inquiry-driven.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan noted:  "[debate] is uniquely suited to building what's been called the "Four C's" of 21st-century skills—critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity."  To that list, the Barkley Forum adds a fifth "C"—for civic awareness and engagement. 

Preparation for debate not only involves intensive research but also advanced critical thinking. Because debate is a contest of ideas—and because students have to switch sides during the debate from arguing against a proposition to defending it—debate forces students to anticipate their opponents' strongest arguments and rebut them with evidence. This forces students to think deeply about both sides of an issue, and it teaches them to be good listeners. You can't refute an argument if you do not understand it.

What is policy debate?

Emory participates in two-person policy debate. A debate resolution is voted on and selected by the entire debate community before the season begins. Other colleges and universities host tournaments that are attended by many different universities from around the country. Debaters compete at tournaments with six to eight rounds of preliminary competition debating both sides of the question. Teams who perform well during the preliminary rounds can debate in up to three to six single elimination rounds depending on the size of the tournament. Emory attends tournaments sponsored by the National Debate Tournament, the Cross Examination Debate Association, and the American Debate Association. 2015-2016 Topic - Resolved: The United States should significantly reduce its military presence in one or more of the following: the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, the Greater Horn of Africa, Northeast Asia.

Coaching Staff

James Herndon Director of Debate Programs

Kyle Lastovica Assistant Director of Debate

Jason Sigalos Debate Coach

Viveth Karthikeyan Melissa Maxcy Wade Fellow for Competitive Debate