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Policy debate is done in pairs. A judge decides which team wins debate and awards each participant speaker points based on their individual performance. The format for a debate is four constructive speeches (8 minutes) each of which are followed by a cross-examination period (3 minutes). Each participant then has a rebuttal speech (5 minute). The speech order is modeled after the judicial system so theaffirmative speaks first and last, while the negative has a block of back-to back speeches in the middle

The college admissions process recognizes debate as one of the most influential extracurricular activities, because it is basically an intellectual sport. In my time as the director, Jesuit debaters have attended Northwestern, Boston College, Gonzaga, Catholic, St. Louis, Kansas, University of Chicago, Duke, Harvard, Notre Dame, Texas (including Plan II), Texas A&M, Georgia, American, and Fordam. In the past 5 years, debaters have received over $250,000 in college scholarships. Through competitive travel and summer programs, debaters are able to visit college campuses prior to their decision process. Jesuit debate team members have been invited to tournaments and summer programs at Wake Forest, Kentucky, Baylor, Texas, Colorado, Arizona State, Northwestern, Emory, Texas Tech, Stanford, Michigan, Michigan State, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Dartmouth, and the University of California at Berkeley. No other activity can influence the college decision-making process as much as debate.

Why Join?

Debate is the ultimate college prep activity. The skills learned and developed through debate enhance academic achievement. Through debate you will develop research, organization, analysis, argument construction, time management, and speaking skills which you will use in your Jesuit courses and beyond. Each year debaters discuss the political, economic, philosophical, military, cultural, and social implications of specific types of public policy.

The debate team competes at the local, state, and national levels against public and private schools. In addition, debate and speech competitions are co-educational activities. The varsity debate team is the only extracurricular activity to make multiple trips outside the state of Texas. In the last five years, the varsity debaters have competed at tournaments in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Nashville, New Orleans, Omaha, Minneapolis, and Portland, San Francisco/Oakland in addition to the universities listed above. Through summer debate workshops and tournaments, debaters are able to make friends and rivals all over the country.

Contact Debate
Dan Lingel
Counseling / Debate
972-387-8700 x361
Tracy McFarland
Social Studies / Debate
972-387-8700 x417
Current Topic

The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance. The resolution creates the focus of controversy and divides the ground between the affirmative and negative sides. The affirmative side supports the resolution by advocating a specific way to enact the resolution.