Established in 1850, the University of Rochester Debate Team is a student organization which engages in competitive argumentation. We support two varieties of debate: Policy Debate and British Parliamentary Debate. Topics debated vary based upon the form of debate engaged in and personal preferences, and may range from U.S. nuclear policy to critical philosophy.
Get involved now! Not only is it a great way to improve your communication skills and educate yourself extensively about a variety of topics, but you'll also travel all around the country and have a great time! If you have never debated before, don't worry: no previous debate experience is required, and we'll teach you everything you need to know!
The best way to
do this is to hop in on one of our meetings Mondays and Thursdays at 7:00 PM in Morey 100.
E-mail: email@example.com (Ken Johnson, Director of Debate)
Phone: (585) 275-3873
Facebook: University of Rochester Debate Union
STAFF & LEADERSHIP:
Ken Johnson - Director of Debate
Gordy Miller - Assistant Director of Debate
Buddy Khan - Assistant Coach
Chris Lattucca - Assistant Coach
Rona Yang - Student President
Tommye Weddington - Student Vice-President
Nick Stevens - Publicity Manager
Chiranjeevi Raghunath - Webmaster
Aini Chen - Business Manager
More on Policy Debate:
Policy debate is a form of research-based speech competition in which two teams, the Affirmative
and the Negative, of two persons each advocate for and against a resolution. Each debater will
give a 9 minute constructive speech and a 6 minute rebuttal speech, in addition to 3 minutes of
cross-examination, and each team will debate an equal number of debates as the Affirmative and
as the Negative.
The resolution chosen for the entire 2009-10 season is "Resolved: The United States Federal
Government should substantially reduce the size of its nuclear weapons arsenal and/or reduce
and restrict the role and/or missions of its nuclear weapons arsenal."
When debating on the Affirmative, debaters affirm the resolution through justifying the action of a
specific plan. For example, this season, the Affirmative may justify the disarmament of U.S.
nuclear weapons in order to reduce global proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Negative may
argue that countries such as Japan and Germany rely on the U.S. nuclear umbrella to protect
them, and that
if the U.S. were to get rid of its weapons, they would be compelled to produce
nuclear weapons of their own, and that this would lead to increased proliferation around the
world and conflict. For those who prefer critical argumentation, different Affirmative
plans and Negative answers may be used. For example, critical teams may argue that nuclear
weapons are a product of a flawed political structure which perpetuates resource wars, and that
only challenging the structural causes of nuclear weapons can create a peaceful world; that is, even if all
nuclear weapons were disarmed, states would inevitably search for bigger, even worse weapons to replace them. The critical literature base stems from authors like Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche.
If all this sounds overwhelming, don't worry! Many of the debaters on the team came in with no
Policy Debate experience, and you'll be able to debate in the Novice division against people who
similarly have had no past experience. For more experienced debaters,
Junior Varsity and Open divisions are recommended.
More on British Parliamentary Debate:
British Parliamentary debate is a common form of academic debate. The debate consists of four teams of two speakers, called factions, with two factions on either side of the case. Each debater will give one seven minute speech. The topic of debate is decided prior to each debate round, and typically covers important current events and issues. This form of debate is great for people who want practice debating a variety of topics thinking on their feet.