The Comp

Our comp process is among the simplest of any organization’s. In the fall, we ask you to judge at the college parliamentary debate tournament we host and run. Senior colleagues who have already participated in debates, as well as the experience of from will help you in your preparation. Thus, you will be able to cover your target audience faster and better than without deep knowledge. You’ll judge three rounds on Friday night and two on Saturday (ending around noon). Because the tournament is towards the beginning of the year, many new members actually find that judging is helpful because it helps them better understand the activity, see a variety of cases, and observe what techniques are most effective and persuasive in a debate round. In the spring, we ask that you judge Lincoln-Douglas or Public Forum debate at a three-day high school debate tournament held on Harvard’s campus over Presidents’ Day weekend. We will train you to judge before any comp process, so you will never be unprepared.

Further Obligations

There are none. In return for a few days of your time each semester, you can debate or judge at as many or as few parliamentary debate tournaments as you would like (tournaments are held every weekend around the United States, except during holidays).  HSPDS will pay for your registration fees and transportation; you may have to pay for a meal or two, but those are typically provided free of charge by the host school.

We hold weekly general meetings on Mondays at 7 PM, during which time we hold hour-long training sessions. Practice rounds are typically held three days per week, though most people will not attend all three days.  Team parties are held several times per semester. All of these are optional, but– with the exception of the last one– the more effort you put in, the more successful you will be at debate.