How To Join

Getting Started

Start by contacting us. The best method is to email debate@msu.edu. Provide your name, whether you are a prospective student or currently enrolled at MSU, your year in school, and whether you have previous experience with debate. 

The best time to join is in early August. The team meets before the school year begins for our "Pre-Season Retreat," a week-long orientation to the team and topic that typically takes place in the third week of August.

What's Involved

The MSU Debate Team participates in NDT/CEDA Debate, also known as Policy Debate or Cross-Examination (CX) Debate. Students compete with a partner on teams of two and debate a year-long topic that is decided by a national vote.

Typically, the team travels to 10-12 tournaments a year, although each two-person team attends 3-4 a semester on average. The MSU Debate Team covers the cost of travel, judging, entry fees, basic supplies, and provides a meal stipend to students when traveling. The college debate "season" begins in mid-September and concludes with the National Debate Tournament at the end of March. 

There are also many opportunities for students who are interested in debate, but would prefer a less-competitive path. The team participates in public debates and outreach, including involvement with the Detroit and Kalamazoo Urban Debate Leagues and Michigan High School debate teams, and there are always opportunities to get involved. 

Scholarships

The MSU Debate Team does offer limited, dedicated scholarships to some team members. Scholarships are awarded to both incoming policy debaters and to returning team members and are based on a combination of competitive success, commitment to the team and academic merit. 

Previous recipients of the Distinguished Debater Award:

  • Mitchell Scott, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2020
  • Eva Farber, Northbrook, Illinois, 2019
  • Nathan Glancy, Chicago, Illinois, 2018
  • Ezra Serrins, Austin, Texas, 2017
  • Lena Grossman, Niles, Illinois, 2016
  • Luc Walkington, Niles, Illinois, 2015
  • Connor Munsinger, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 2014
  • Margaret Strong, Homewood, Illinois, 2013
  • Tyler Thur, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2012
  • Pablo Gannon, Rancho Cucamonga, California, 2011

​Inquiries about the Distinguished Debater Award should be directed to debate@msu.edu.