Frequently Asked Questions
Who do I contact at the MGCDI in case of emergency during the camp? How do I do that?
The Mean Green Comet Debate Institute can be contacted throughout the year by phone or email.
Louie Petit – (417) 459-0350 or Louis.email@example.com
Scott Herndon – (214) 546-6614 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Prior to the start of the MGCDI, the staff is available to talk to during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm CST).
**During the camp, someone will be available around the clock, and the office phone number will be given at registration.
Who is in charge of the MGCDI?
The Mean Green Comet Debate Institute is run by Co-Directors Scott Herndon (Director of Debate at UTD) and Louie Petit (Associate Director of Debate at UNT). If you have further questions, please email –
Scott Herndon – email@example.com
Louie Petit – Louis.firstname.lastname@example.org
Why is the MGCDI less expensive than other camps in the area?
MGCDI makes an ideological choice to keep our tuition low to increase access to summer debate education. Teaching students about argument and advocacy shouldn’t be a means test. The MGCDI works hard to bring students the highest quality summer debate experience while offering a range of tuition options so that no student is “priced out” of their desire to grown as a debater.
Where and when is registration?
You will find all registration information here.
When is the MGCDI application deadline?
The application deadline to avoid any late fees for all programs is June 7, 2020. A $300 registration fee is due when you complete your application.
Full payment is due by June 22, 2021.
Can I get a refund?
The camp registration fee is non-refundable. Tuition refunds will be honored if communicated before May 1, 2021. No refunds will be given for withdrawals after May 1, 2021.
My student is in Middle School, is MGC right for them?
Yes! The MGC offers a special division designed for middle school students. If your student is transitioning FROM middle school to high school, we recommend that they DO NOT enroll in the middle school camp and instead select the appropriate division for high school students.
What does tuition include?
Camp tuition covers participation in the program, housing, food, camp t-shirt, and instructional materials.
Is my deposit due with my application?
Yes. A $300 deposit is due when registering for the camp. Camp registration and payment is available online through the website.
Who do I write my deposit check/money order to?
All deposits and payments should be made online at Market Place.
Can I pay with a credit card?
Yes, you can pay the deposit and/or your entire balance of Mean Green Comet Debate Institute tuition by credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. To pay by credit card, please visit Market Place.
When is the balance of my tuition due?
After the registration fee is submitted, the balance of the tuition is due by June 22, 2021.
All registration fees are non-refundable for accepted students.
Is financial assistance or discounts available for students?
Please visit our Scholarships webpage to find out more information about financial aid and Scholarships.
Are there scholarships available?
Please visit our Scholarships webpage to find out more information about financial aid and Scholarships.
Life at Camp
How much spending money do students need to bring?
Students are not required to bring any money, as there are no required costs beyond tuition and travel. However, many students will bring money to purchase discretionary items (occasional meals outside of the Residence Halls, souvenirs in the union, and supplies from the general store on campus, etc.)
The appropriate amount of spending money varies for each student. We recommend that students bring cash and/or credit/debit cards as the form of spending money. Locations on campus do not accept personal or travelers checks.
Can I request a roommate?
Yes, we will attempt to honor roommate requests when possible. Please indicate the preferred roommate(s) in the notes section of the registration form.
What personal items do I need to bring?
Students should plan to bring clothing for Texas weather in July which is HOT. In past years, the weather has ranged from 90 to very hot and humid.
- Bed linens (twin-sized sheets &blankets/comforters)
- Laptop Required
- Flow paper
- Laundry Detergent (free washer & dryer in dorms)
- Dryer Sheets
- Recreational clothing
What are the institute rules?
MGC 2021 – Rules & Expectations
- Students must abide by the Code of Conduct Agreement for On-line Programs
- Absolutely no illegal drugs, other restricted substances, or weapons of any kind allowed.
- Treat all peers and staff with respect and courtesy.
- Racist, sexist, hetero-sexist language, violence or bullying of any kind will not be tolerated.
- Video backgrounds – Physical backgrounds must be free of offensive materials and virtual backgrounds must be appropriate.
- Appropriate Dress – You are expected to dress as you would for an in-person camp. Lab being online is not an excuse to wear Pajamas or Swimwear instead of clothes.
- Students may not miss any scheduled camp or lab activities without first informing their lab leaders.
- Students are not allowed to be in a Teams lab or breakout room without a lab leader or staff member present.
- You cannot message or share your screen with another student outside of lab rooms or breakout groups. Private, direct contact is prohibited.
- Do not attempt to communicate with your lab leaders or camp staff outside of email or MS Teams. This means no phone and no social media contact is allowed.
- Recording anyone other than yourself is strictly prohibited.
- Campers will not endanger their own physical safety or the safety of peers, staff or others.
- Be aware of what is happening, report inappropriate or suspicious behavior. You have an affirmative responsibility report any rule infractions.
- No gambling is allowed during the MGC.
- Inappropriate Romantic Relationships - Regardless of legality, at no point in the institute are romantic relationships between a staff member and student, whether perceived or actual, permitted. Public displays of affection are prohibited among all students. Students are reminded of Texas state law regarding age restrictions for sexual relationships (Texas Penal Code Chapter 21, Section 21.11).
- Violations – anyone who is violating rules will receive a verbal reminder of the rules. Continued and consistent violation will lead to a call to a parent and, eventually, removal from the camp.
- Abide by the spirit of the camp rules and procedures.
Participant Code of Conduct Agreement for On-line Programs
- I will not, under any circumstances be disrespectful to guest speakers, counselors or anyone associated with the UT Dallas-sponsored program and The University of Texas at Dallas.
- I understand that if I am expelled from the program, my parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified and will not receive a refund for the program.
- I understand I am expected to dress appropriately while on camera. My shirts and tops must cover the midriff and my shorts must be an appropriate length (follow public school dress code guidelines). Pajamas or swimwear are not permitted at any time.
- I understand an online summer program should be treated the same as an in-person program. I will be respectful of the instructor and other participants in the program. I will log in on time each morning, participate in assignments and will not be disruptive to the program. I will be aware of strong language, all caps, and exclamation points when communicating with the instructor and other participants.
- I understand the online programming environment does not excuse me from adhering to the rules and regulations. I understand I am expected to refrain from excessive electronic usage of my personal devices (i.e. cell phones, tablets, etc.).
- There is a zero-tolerance for bullying. I understand that engaging in cyberbullying will result in being immediately expelled from the program. I understand I am not allowed to communicate virtually one-on-one with other participants during the program.
- I understand that there is a zero-tolerance for alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, vaping and tobacco products. Any violations of this rule will result in immediate expulsion from the program.
- I understand if any of the above regulations in the Participant Agreement are not followed, my parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified and I will be subject to immediate dismissal from the program.
- Parent(s): I understand that though my child will have online supervision while participating in programming, it is his/her responsibility to conduct him/herself as a young adult and abide by all program rules and regulations at all times. Participants under 12 years of age must have appropriate in-home supervision while participating in the program.
- Parent(s): I understand it is my responsibility to notify the camp director if my child will not participate in daily activities due to illness or other planned activities. No partial refunds will be given for the time missed.
Are visits possible?
Parents and relatives are always welcome! Parents and guardians should check students in and out in the camp office. Visitors who are not parents or guardians must have parental permission to take students off the grounds and must sign students out in the camp office.
Should I bring a computer or laptop?
We highly recommend that students that own laptop computers bring them to camp. Almost every debate at the Mean Green Debate Institute are done paperlessly on students' laptops. We strongly recommend that computers for camp have Microsoft Word installed and that they be capable of connecting to the internet for research.
What happens on weekends?
Schedules are more relaxed on weekends as we try to provide the students with some free time. We try to integrate recreational events, like volleyball, soccer, and basketball. Lab groups will still meet on the weekends but the camp will build "fun time". Students will have Sunday morning free and can attend a religious service if they would like.
What is a typical day like?
The daily schedule for Mean Green Comet Debate Institute participants is pretty full. The daily schedule will vary according to the division and lab of the student. The instructors of the labs set different paces based on the session, age, and experience level of their students, but a sample day might look like this:
- 7-8:45am -- Breakfast (optional)
- 9-noon -- Practice round, activities, or speeches in lab
- 12-1:30pm -- Lunch
- 1:30-5pm -- Guided research, work groups, and lectures
- 5-6:30pm -- Dinner
- 7-9:30pm – Practice, work groups, etc
- 9:30-10:30pm – Free Time
- 11:00 -- Bed Check - Students MUST be in dorm rooms
During week one there is some variance in the schedule because the camp has some group lectures which a lot of the divisions attend. During some weeks, instructors might heavily emphasize research time and strategy development. In other weeks, lab instructors will do more speeches and less library research. Free time is often built in when the group needs it. Students are most likely to have individual free time before or after meals when there is supervision around and on the student floors.
What is the difference between commuter and residential?
As a rule, commuters check-in between 8:30 – 8:45AM and check out in the evenings at either 8PM (middle school) and 9PM (high school programs.
Commuter and residential programs have the same basic curriculum, with a few exceptions. Occasionally, lab leaders will have practices, redos, conferences after 9PM that commuters may not be available to attend if they’ve checked out.