K-State Debate Wants You
The state of Kansas produces more amazing high school talent than any other state in the nation. There is more debate per capita in Kansas than in anywhere else. Here at KSU, President Schulz, the College of Arts & Sciences and the Communication Studies Division generously support the debate team with the intention of ensuring that talented Kansas debaters may continue to hone their craft and evolve into nationally ranked college debaters.
Join the Family:
K-State debate is a tight-knit group of undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff that work hard together, have fun and share the unique experience of representing Kansas State all over the country. Our dedication to our activity and each other positions us as both a team and a family--yet another facet of the K-State Family Tradition.
Unique Talented Coaching:
Kansas State University enjoys one of the largest and most diverse coaching staffs in the nation. The biggest difference between high school and college debate is undoubtedly coaching attention and resources. With two full time faculty coaches and between 3-4 graduate teaching assistants each year there is no shortage of coaching. Joe Koehle works directly with each student on research. His unique approach to research and strategy ensures each debater develops at their own pace.
Kansas State Debate travels a full regional and national schedule. Hard working debaters will be given the opportunity to compete nationally. We place no restrictions on how many teams will travel nationally; rather, every hard working team will be rewarded with travel. Debaters compete in the divisions in which they wish to or are eligible to compete. Every hard working debater who wants to debate Varsity will debate Varsity.
Generous support from the University and our alumni enable Kansas State Debate to provide modest scholarships for debaters. All inquiries should be directed to Joe Koehle before February 1st in order to be considered for the following academic year.
Let Us Know You Are Interested
Contact the Director, Joe Koehle.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I am not the best debater in the state?
That’s fine with us. We believe that the college years are a crucial turning point in young people’s lives. You are capable of becoming a nationally competitive debater if you want to be. Many of KSU’s best debaters were not even on the radar screen in high school.
- What if I have no high school debate experience?
Since 1905 we've been training debaters with little or no debate experience. Several of our students who began debate in college without high school experiences are among the most successful alumni of Kansas State University.
- Is your debate team diverse?
Yes, the KSU debate team attracts people from all walks of life. We are finding more and more that incoming first years and non-traditional students are attracted to debate. People from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, experiences and ages represent Kansas State on our debate team.
- Is it going to cost me money to debate?
Absolutely not! Because of the generous support of our university, K-State debate will provide you with the majority of your debate supplies, and pay for all of your travel expenses including housing and all of your meals. K-State debate is committed to maintaining the health of our debaters while traveling, in this vein we try to avoid fast food and attempt to make sure that all of our meals are diverse and healthy without asking you to put forth a dime.
- How much time will I have to spend on debate?
Your time commitment is based on your personal goals. Our coaching staff will work with you at the beginning of each year to identify your personal goals in debate. After discussing your goals we will work together to find a plan that helps you achieve your goals. In addition to our two practices a week, most of our debaters find that the squad room is a cool place to come in between classes.
- How big is the debate team?
The KSU debate team between 15-25 members.
- With a debate team that big, how can I be sure I will get personal attention from the coaching staff?
K-State debate is lucky to have a full time director and an assistant director. In addition, we have 2-3 graduate debate assistants per year. This means that we have one of the largest coaching staff’s in our region. In addition to meeting with you at the beginning of the year to identify your personal debate goals and developing a strategy to help you reach your goals we also have weekly one on one speaking and research sessions with debaters.