Mean Green Comet Debate Institute

Policy Debate

Policy Debate Online – What Should You Expect

Personalized Curriculum — While research skills are important our workshop focuses on individual instruction and skills development. This includes daily speaking drills, individual “office hours” of instruction, and intensive individualized instruction in the areas of notetaking (flowing) and speaking. Our curriculum allows students to learn at their own pace while working with instructors to maximize their camp experience.

Flexible Daily Schedule— Unlike traditional camps which have very rigid schedules this year’s camp will take full advantage of our online flexibility by employing a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous learning environments. This type of instruction allows students to more easily fit debate camp into their busy summer schedules. It is our goal to make sure that we maximize learning opportunities and flexibility during the summer session. In this way we will offer regular check-ins and skills meetings with lab leaders while rotating these meeting so that each camper gets individualized coaching and teaching.

Morning lab — will be set for check-in, lectures and debriefing. During this time we will lecture the students on the current 2020-21 debate topic, debate theory; and have expert guest speakers who will help us map the contours of the criminal justice system and some of the pragmatic ideas for change.

Afternoon lab — will be time for research and argument creation. During this time we will meet in small groups of campers with a lab leader in our Blackboard breakout rooms. Instructors will teach to the campers experience level allowing them to learn at their own pace. These sessions will also be used to do speaking drills.

Evening lab — will be used for debating. Debates will begin right away with our starter pack and gradually introduce the arguments we conceive and write during camp.

Strong Faculty - Students will work with some of the finest coaches in the country including:

  • Dr. Phillip Samuels, Asst. Director of Debate at the University of Texas at Dallas;
  • Hunter McCullough, head argument coach at the University of Texas at Dallas and Coach at the St. Marks School;
  • Ragya Kaul, a recent recipient of the prestigious Archer Fellowship, current debater at UTD where she has won numerous speaker awards and participated in out rounds at many national tournaments.

While this is the backbone of our teaching faculty, we also are going to add many outside speakers who now in the professional space:

  • Courtney Schauer, NDT elimination round participant, assistant coach for the College Preparatory School, she specializes in debate theory and has a worked in the legal field while doing extensive work in the field of criminology;
  • Attorney Kayja Stanley, also a former high school debater and a practicing public defender.

Privacy and Security — Our camp will be using Blackboard instead of free online meeting rooms. It is our goal to ensure that student information is safe and private. We are also employing a cyber-security specialists in order to ensure that all chatrooms and online activity remains safe and private.

Affordable — Our camp costs are reflexive of resources that we put into maintain elite instruction and student privacy and safety. We do our best to make camp accessible to all kids who want to attend in the form of scholarships and grants. To apply for scholarships please follow this link: https://debatecamp.utdallas.edu/scholarships

* All lectures and debriefing will be recorded for those in different time zones. We will post them to our YouTube page.

** We are well aware that many of campers will come from multiple time zones and the while debates are happening we will also set up individual meetings with those in the mountain and pacific time zones for instruction.

Policy Debate Schedule 2020

Download the Daily Schedule (PDF).

What to Expect

The Policy Debate Division at the Mean Green Comet Debate Institute is a skills and strategy intensive experience. Between practice rounds, speech redos, mini debates, and other speech activities students will be thinking about and executing debate strategy every day of the institute. Students will leave the institute with a solid understanding of debate arguments and strategy, prepared to not only execute on the topic generics produced by the camp but also to develop and write new and innovative arguments.

Students will learn to exceed in their circuits. Special time is taken to teach students to adapt their speaking style and arguments to the common set of judges they will encounter during their season. The Mean Green Comet Debate Institute has excelled in training debaters to succeed in local and regional circuits, Urban Debate Leagues, and National Circuit debate. We will create a plan to assure every student is well equipped to use the knowledge they gained at institute when they return to their circuit.

The MGC policy debate experience focuses on building effective strategy, speaking and research skills for debaters of any level. The following three components provide the foundation for the MGC experience:

  • In-depth lectures focused on building topic knowledge - the MGC staff break down the topic from every angle, covering what you need to know to have a head start for the 2018-2019 immigration topic.
  • 10:1 Student to Staff Ratios means small lab sizes for more contact with nationally recognized staff.
  • Practice debates with experienced judges - get one-on-one time with our exceptional staff in structured practice debates and rebuttal redos.

MGC SCHOLARS LAB – 20 days

Led by Phil Samuels the Scholars lab students will receive in-depth instruction in how to write, debate, and understand all forms of arguments. This includes a thorough examination of the 2017-2018 topic, a detailed examination of policy debate, as well as a an investigation of various kritik authors. At the conclusion of the scholar's lab students will understand the mechanics of argumentation and be ready to debate any style of argument. The Scholars lab is the perfect environment for those students ready to join high school debate's elite. This is an intensive debate experience, designed specifically to hone already advanced skills, and push students to realize their debate potential.

Intermediate and Advanced Labs – 10 days

These labs will emphasize direct staff to student instruction in small learning environments. Students will engage in multiple practice debates, practice speeches, and block writing sessions. The curriculum is focused on skills development through practice and engagement with instructors rather than the lecture and research model of other institutes.

Director's Statement

The policy camp is designed to build the skills necessary to excel in policy debate. Where some camps prioritize evidence production the MGCDI instead focuses on building speaking and research skills while building a solid base of topic knowledge. Lectures and labs are designed to immerse students in the upcoming topic while at the same time emphasizing the importance of practice, strategy and process.

Divisions, Date and Pricing

Session Dates Price
10 day June 27 – July 10 $750

Division Director

Phil Samuels

Assistant Director of Debate, UT Dallas

Phillip has been involved in college debate for over ten years. He debated at Emporia State University where he cleared at most national tournaments, including the National Debate Tournament. As a coach, Phil did his graduate work under Scott Harris at the University of Kansas where together they coached six first rounds in six years and an NDT champion. Phil now coaches and teaches at The University of Texas at Dallas. He has worked at numerous debate camps over the last decade including the Jayhawk Debate Institute, the Spartan Debate Institute at Michigan State, and Stanford University. Phil's lab students have gone on to receive multiple TOC bids, compete at every major national tournament, and have won the Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri State tournaments. For the last four years Phil has also been an assistant coach for the College Preparatory School (CPS), in Berkley California. As a coach at CPS, Phil has coached teams to out rounds at every major national tournament including the TOC and a finalist at the 2012 NFL National Tournament. Finally, Phil has worked with Urban Debate Leagues (UDL) all over the country, including the Minnesota UDL, the KCUDL, and the NYUDL.

Phil was also an assistant coach for the College Preparatory School (CPS), in Berkley California for four years. As a coach at CPS, Phil has coached teams to out rounds at every major national tournament including the TOC and a finalist at the 2012 NFL National Tournament. Finally, Phil has worked with Urban Debate Leagues (UDL) all over the country, including the Minnesota UDL, the KCUDL, the Dallas UDL, and the NYUDL.

Division Staff

Hunter McCullough

Debate Coach, St. Mark’s School of Texas

Hunter McCullough debated for the University of North Texas, advancing to the elimination rounds of many competitive tournaments, including Northwestern, Wake Forest, CEDA, and the NDT. As a coach, Hunter has worked with students at every level of competition. He currently coaches at St Mark’s in Dallas.

Ragya Kaul

Debate Coach, St. Mark’s School of Texas

Student at the University of Texas at Dallas and a member of the debate team. In their time in college policy debate, they have qualified for the National Debate Tournament twice and competed in out rounds of several regional and national tournaments. Having worked at the MGCDI for the past two years, they look forward to engaging students in discussions over criminal justice reform this summer.

Guest Lectures

Colin Quinn

Debate Coach, Highland Park

Colin Quinn debated for the University of North Texas, advancing to the elimination rounds of many competitive tournaments, including Northwestern, Wake Forest, CEDA, and the NDT. As a coach, Colin has worked with students at every level of competition.

Enroll Now

Click Here to Enroll

MGCDI enrollment is open! Follow the link above to reserve your spot in our 2021 summer program. The final deadline for all registration is June 22, 2021.