WSU hosts 67th National Debate Tournament

Starting today and for the next four days, the nation’s top debaters will compete in 15-hour shifts at Weber State University to claim the title of Best Policy Debate Team in the country.

The debates will be held in the Shepherd Union Building and Elizabeth Hall today, Saturday and Sunday. All classes held in Elizabeth Hall today are canceled.

“Last year, the tournament was held at Emory University in Atlanta, which is one of the premier private universities in the southern part of the United States,” said Omar Guevara, WSU director of forensics. “Next year it will be held at a Big 10 university, Indiana University . . . With all of that great institutional company, Weber State should be very proud to have been chosen as a host . . .”

The tournament kicked off last night at the Ogden Summit Hotel with a welcome reception for the debaters, coaches and other attendees. At the reception, distinguished members of the debate community spoke, as well as Michael Vaughan, WSU’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

“Debate is probably the oldest high-impact educational practice and I’m confident that students who are gathered here for this tournament will look back in 10 or 20 years and say, ‘The most meaningful aspect of my college experience was my experience with debate,’” Vaughan said.

Awards were given to the top five pairs in the tournament, which were from Georgetown University, Northwestern University, Harvard University, Wake Forest University and University of Mary Washington.

Although no WSU pairs qualified for the tournament, the team will be busy over the weekend.

“We’ll be staffing each of the 15-hour days with no less than 20 Weber State debate students or alums from the program,” Guevara said. “With over 500 guests on campus, it’s important that we’re fully staffed.”

The first eight rounds of the tournament will be held at WSU and elimination rounds will be held at the Summit Hotel on Monday.

More information on the tournament is available at, and for more information on the WSU debate team, visit