The Washburn debate squad competes in American style parliamentary debate, which is an ever popular form of collegiate debate that finds its inspiration in both British and World's parliamentary debate and American team policy debate. The Washburn debate squad travels to national-circuit parliamentary debate tournaments across the United States, such as William Jewell, California Berkeley, Texas Tech, Colorado College, and Whitman. We are quite successful at what we do! Washburn Debate is the reigning national champion squad of the National Parliamentary Debate Association.
Our season begins in September and ends in March at two National tournaments. Parliamentary debate tournaments typically run Friday through Sunday. We attend around five tournaments per semester. At most tournaments, the entire squad competes as one, traveling by charter bus whenever possible. There are around twenty students who debate for Washburn at a given time. These students are joined by around five coaches and judges.
Our squad meetings are Wednesdays, 3:00-5:00 p.m., in Morgan Hall 206. Anyone is free to drop by and check out what's going on. Scholarships are available. Students with high school debate experience will certainly have a leg up in joining the squad, but we have also had great success with students new to debate.
Recent success: In terms of sweepstakes, Washburn Debate was crowned the season-long sweepstakes national champion in 2015 by the NPDA organization, which meant that the Washburn Debate squad performed better than any other squad over the entirety of the season. Due to our squad's total of wins in elimination rounds (10 wins) as well as preliminary rounds (24 wins) across our top four teams, Washburn Debate was crowned the national champion squad at the 2016 NPDA Championships. Our 2016 squad championship marks our third such championship since 2010 at the NPDA Championships.
Kevin M. O’Leary, Ph.D.
Director of Forensics
Steve D. Doubledee
Assistant Director of Forensics