NYU Global Debate Program

The NYU Global Debate Program tournament competition returns in 2017, pitting undergraduate debate teams from the entire NYU global network against one another in a contest that will award prizes totaling over $30,000.

PLEASE VISIT: Global Debate NYU for up to date information on this year's competition.
The topic is "Resolved: that the benefits of refugee support outweigh the political costs to developed nations."

NYU President John Sexton — a champion debater and debate coach — said, "The key idea of NYU as a global network university is that our students and faculty, regardless of location, are part of one university. While many of our pursuits, both scholarly and extracurricular, will be particular to one campus, as NYU continues to evolve as a global network university, many others will take place across the network."

"It is especially fitting that our first cross-network activity is a debate competition. As an institution of higher learning, NYU strives to weave the life of the mind into all its activities, not foster it only within the classroom's four walls. An emphasis on being well-informed, on being able to articulate one's own views, on listening to the views of others, and on engaging in reasoned discourse should be just as evident in our residence halls, our common rooms, our lounges, and dining facilities as they are in our classrooms and lecture halls, and embraced just as fervently in Buenos Aires or Tel Aviv as in New York. The NYU Global Debate Program will reaffirm our emphasis on civil discourse and engage NYU students around the globe in thinking and discussing an important, pressing issue. I encourage as many students as possible to participate."

The Global Debate Program begins this fall semester with the formation of teams, with students registering for the competition in November. NYU faculty, graduate students, and others in the NYU community will serve as judges. In the spring semester, "knock-out" rounds will be held on TBD at the New York campus and through the use of video teleconferencing connected to other global sites to reduce the field to a group known as the "Sweet 16." The final rounds on the NYC campus will culminate in the Championship Debate on TBD and an awards ceremony with prizes to the top sixteen teams.

During the fall semester, the debate topic is announced and students will be invited to register to compete as individuals or as two-person teams. Those who register as individuals will be paired with other individuals to form two-person teams. A series of workshops will be held on campus to help students develop their arguments. These sessions will be available to students studying abroad through a Blackboard site.

Students at the NYU global sites and at NYU Abu Dhabi will be invited as individuals or pairs to upload a four minute video to an NYU blackboard site during a specified submission period. The videos, in which students will argue in support of or in opposition to the proposed resolution, will be equivalent to the preliminary rounds on the New York City campus. Judges will review the videos and provide ratings. A committee will then determine the advancing videos based on quality.

For the next round, students without partners will be paired with a partner. These pairs will then be pitted against other top entrants abroad for the subsequent rounds. This process will be continued until the top contestants remain. The top contestants will advance to the elimination rounds in New York City in the spring.

Early in the spring semester, registered teams will gather to compete in three preliminary rounds of debate as part of a one-day tournament. The top teams will advance to fill out a Sweet 16 bracket along with the international contestants.

In the spring, the Sweet 16 will participate in a single-day elimination that will culminate in a final round judged by a VIP Panel that includes key faculty and administrators at NYU, and President John Sexton.

Sweet 16- (16)
Elite 8 (8)
Semis (4)
Finals (2)
Champion (2)

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