Department of Communication Studies


The debate team at UNI competes in two person, policy debate. Each year debate teams representing colleges and universities across the debate in actionnation select a single topic to research and debate for the year. After completing extensive research on the topic, teams from UNI travel to other universities to compete against teams from other schools. Topics about which we have debated recently include: amending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to increase protections against race and/or gender discrimination, increasing security assistance to Southeast Asia, increasing regulations on environmental pollutants, amending the federal sentencing guidelines, decreasing the use of fossil fuels in the U.S., the U.S. Supreme Court, and U.S. Foreign Policy in China and the Middle East.

The 2013-14 national college topic is:

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase statutory and/or judicial restrictions on the war powers authority of the President of the United States in one or more of the following areas: targeted killing; indefinite detention; offensive cyber operations; or introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.

Members of the team travel to a variety of regional and national tournaments for a total of between 5 and 12 tournaments a year, depending on skill, experience, and work level. In the past, UNI has attended tournaments at: Harvard University, Northwestern University, Missouri State University, Augustana College, Wichita State University, University of Texas-Austin, and many others. Our teams also consistently compete at the CEDA National Tournament and the National Debate Tournament (NDT). The debate program pays all expenses for tournament travel.

In addition to providing monetary support for tournament travel, UNI is able to offer an array of scholarships to debaters as a means to defray tuition expenses. Visit the Scholarship page to learn more.

If you have any questions about the debate program at UNI please contact:squad room

Richard Tews, M.A.

Director of Debate

322 Lang Hall

Department of Communication Studies

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, IA 50613-0139