Debate Team

British Parliamentary and International Public Debate Association

Compete in two styles popular on the college circuit

The British Parliamentary (BP) format puts teammates into groups of two to debate against other teams on a topic that everyone receives shortly prior to the actual debate.

International Public Debate Association (IPDA) puts individual debaters against each other.

We will show you how to prepare and present effectively for these debates. Examples of motions (topics) for debate include:

  • This house supports private space exploration.
  • This house supports a greater American military presence in East Asia.
  • This house regrets the commercialization of hip-hop.

“This house” simply refers to the team in the debate that supports the motion.

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 provides hands-on experience that increases your critical thinking, grows your knowledge of the world, and improves your written and oral expression. Students from any majors are welcome in the program and everyone learns valuable information and communication skills. With many 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.

More Information on Our Program

Team Info

  • BP Debate practices are held Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:15 to 8:30 p.m.
  • IPDA Debate practice begins in Mid October on Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. for the first four sessions followed by just Tuesdays 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. through the week before Thanksgiving. The IPDA schedule is similar for the Winter and Spring quarters but starts closer to the beginning of the quarter.
  • Practices are held in Room 011 in the 1103 Communication Department building.
  • The team attends tournaments from October through April.

More Reasons to Join Now

  • Markedly improve your public speaking, research, and critical thinking skills.
  • Become better informed on issues affecting our local, national, and international community.
  • BP Debaters take trips to other schools throughout the Northwest as well as the national championship.
  • Learn new information that will help you succeed in your classes.
  • Work with awesome people talking about interesting subjects.

Participating on the Seattle University Debate Union is great training for any vocation but especially for lawyers, educators, business people, scientists, and anyone who needs to communicate effectively.


Director of Forensics Jim Hanson

Jim Hanson

Director of Forensics