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JMU Policy Debate

 Welcome to the James Madison University Policy Debate homepage!

Picture of JMU Debate team celebrating qualifying for the NDT in 2012











If you have any questions or wish to join, please contact our Director of Debate Mike Davis.

If you have debated before or even if you have not, joining the squad is a great way to become involved at James Madison University. You will not only have fun and be a part of one of the nation’s top debate programs but you can also work on your own public speaking, research, critical thinking, leadership and teamwork skills.

Our debate program has two main activities, policy debate and public debate. The JMU Debate policy team is for those of you looking for a competitive activity that includes traveling, in-depth research, rigorous practice, critical thinking and problem-solving. We compete against any and all universities and colleges across the country; from the ivy leagues to state schools to community colleges.

The Madison Debate Society is our public debate organization. This is for students who might not be interested in the competition of the debate team but enjoy political discussion, public deliberation and community service. We host public debates each semester and the Madison Cup every spring.

Alumni: Please attend our Alumni Event on Thursday April 17th at the Madison Cup. You can reserve your spot here.

If you would like to give to JMU Debate, we have three funds which you can donate to here.

JMU Debate Foundation: Donations to the JMU Debate Foundation support the general operation of the JMU Debate Team including travel, coaching resources and scholarship funds, as well as recruiting and outreach efforts.

The John Morello Scholarship Fund: The John Morello Scholarship fund is given in recognition of long time JMU Director of Debate John Morello. Dr. Morello was the DOD the first time JMU qualified for the National Debate Tournament and helped to increase the debate team size and budget from the late 1970s through the early 1990s. The scholarship is given each year to a JMU Debater selected by the JMU Alumni Association from a list of debaters nominated by the JMU Debate Coaching staff.

The Mark Waugh Memorial Fund: The Waugh Memorial Fund was establish to remember former JMU Debater Mark Waugh (’12) who was tragically killed in the Fall of 2013. Mark began debate at JMU as a novice, won novice nationals and was a two time qualifier for the National Debate Tournament. This fund is designated to support novice debate at JMU.


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