Debate Team


Seattle University Debate competes in the British Parliamentary style, which is becoming increasingly popular on the collegiate circuit. Teams of two compete against other teams of two, debating on topics they receive 15+ minutes before debating (we will show you how to use that time to prepare effectively for these debates). The format values extemporaneity and persuasive delivery.
Topic examples include (“This house” simply refers to the team in the debate that supports the topic):

  • This house supports private space exploration and colonization.
  • This house believes that the United States should attack North Korea.
  • This house regrets the commercialization of hip-hop.


Contact Director of Forensics, Jim Hanson, at

While SU is home to a regionally strong and nationally competitive debate program, interested students are always welcome to join regardless of their prior experience. Many of our debaters have been extremely successful in college without any high school experience at all.
Debating is a vital part of the liberal arts tradition, providing hands-on experience that increases your critical thinking, grows your knowledge of the world, and improves your written and oral expression. Whether your interest lies in the humanities, social sciences, or the sciences, you’ll put to use and enhance your knowledge of many subjects.  With abundant opportunities for collaborative work in teams, along with supportive coaching, our program helps you to build your debating skills, allowing you to take on new challenges and accomplish the goals you want to achieve.


Team Info

  • Practices are held twice a week in Campion residence hall.
  • The team attends about ten tournaments from October to April.

In addition to competing at tournaments, the team also holds a public debate once a quarter, focusing on an issue that is relevant to the SU community.

More Reasons to Join in Now

  • Markedly improve your public speaking skills.
  • Learn new information that will help you succeed in your classes.
  • Spend your weekends talking about interesting subjects with cool people.

Great training for any vocation but especially for lawyers, educators, business people, scientists, anyone who needs to communicate effectively.