More About Debate at GSU

The Nature of the Debate Team

The modern debate team at GSU competes in a variety of tournaments, both regional and national. We participate in NDT, CEDA, and ADA-sponsored events. Students are paired into two-person teams through a combination of their own input and guidance from the coaching staff. How often (and to which tournaments) a student travels will be determined by a combination of factors including experience, academic status, and the student’s own interest in competing. We are committed not only to supporting, but to celebrating all kinds of diversity on our team. The goal of the coaching staff is to provide an environment where everyone feels comfortable and enthusiastic.

The debaters themselves have developed most of the practices we follow. Those who are interested in higher level competition usually choose to take on a greater research load, but everything produced by anyone on the team is shared by all debaters. We do not have “card quotas,” but we do expect those who volunteer for assignments to live up to their responsibilities. Coaches frequently help debaters with arguments, but debaters almost always make their own decisions about what to research and which arguments to run. We support traditional policy argumentation as well as critiques and even more radical attempts to change the basic framework of debate.

The debate team maintains a series of offices in the Department of Communication. This includes a squad room where students have access to office supplies, computers, internet research, printing, and photocopying. Dr. Bellon and the rest of the coaching staff have offices near the squad room.

Debate Events at GSU

GSU hosts two nationally prominent college tournaments every year. In September, we host the GSU National College Debate Tournament, which has become one of the four most significant regular season competitions in college debate. In February, we host the Southeast and Southeast Central CEDA Regional Championship, which also serves as a qualifier for the National Debate Tournament. 

How Competition Works

Our goal is to maximize the number of quality competitive experiences for every student on the team, and to make sure that students travel to the kinds of tournaments that are appropriate for them. Georgia State pays for most aspects of a debater’s travel, including: transportation, lodging, meal money, and supplies. The coaching staff serves as a liaison between students and faculty, but students are expected to be proactive in their academic lives.