K-State Debate trains high school, middle school students for upcoming season

Sept. 28, 2023

K-State Debate staff and campers

Every team needs a workout, and the Kansas State University Debate Team helps high school students get in their reps for a strong competitive season.

In its third year, the debate team’s August camp brought 32 high school students to the Manhattan campus for a week to hone their competitive skills, prepare for the upcoming season, and get a taste of college-level competition.

“This is one very good way for us to serve and engage Kansans, but it is also a great recruiting tool, exposing some of the very brightest students to K-State,” said Alex McVey, A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication assistant professor and K-State Debate director.

Kansas has an exceptionally strong debate tradition. We want to keep it that way, supporting this educational opportunity while also letting students get to know our program,” McVey said.

With one of this year’s high-school debate topics on U.S. federal policy related to economic inequality, campers heard guest lectures from K-State professors Dr. Nathaniel Birkhead, political science, and Dr. Daniel Kuester, economics. Debaters also participated in a camp tournament where they received hands-on feedback from K-State Faculty and K-State Undergraduate and Graduate Student lab leaders to help them improve their debate performances.

“Last year, two of our camp alumni went on to win the 3-2-1A Kansas State Debate High School Championship. We know that this camp gives students the tools they need to become successful high school debaters. We can’t wait to see what all these awesome students do this upcoming season,” McVey said.

Debate Camp at K-State Olathe

This month, K-State Debate continued their outreach by hosting one-day Wildcat Warmup Clinics on the K-State Olathe campus and at Manhattan High School. These clinics reached nearly 80 students across the state of Kansas, helping prepare them for the upcoming high school debate season.

K-State Debate began its season of national competition last weekend at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where K-State Debaters argued about U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

College debate is a highly competitive, intercollegiate co-curricular activity, putting K-State students in rounds against those from the largest and most selective universities in the country. This rigorous academic activity dramatically increases students’ ability to identify problems, engage in extensive research and analysis, and propose solutions to pressing public issues.

About K-State Debate

K-State Debate participates in both Policy Debate (NDT/CEDA) and British Parliamentary / Worlds style debate. Kansas State University has a long history of success, including as national champions in 1991, 1993, and 2011. K-State Debate welcomes competitors of all experience and skill levels. K-State students interested in joining the team can reach Dr. McVey at jalexandermcvey@ksu.edu