Hoosier students have debated for fun, for education, and for the spirit of competition since the founding of Indiana University (Debate History). The oral process of challenging ideas to test their strength and validity is at the very heart of a liberal education and university life.
The contemporary team came into being in 2009 after a group of students took part in a 200-year celebration of Abe Lincoln's life.1 The celebration of debate as an integral part of our democracy revealed that for sixteen years a competitive team had lost its place, lacking campus support or a home department. John Graham, Dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, established a stearing committee with representatives from the College of Arts and Sciences, Kelley School of Business and the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education. With the hiring of Professor Brian DeLong as the new director of debate the team returned to competitive travel debate in 2010. The team has since focused on competing in NDT/CEDA policy debate, public debates, and intramural campus debates.
Growth of the program has been rapid. Since its return IU debate has travelled from coast-to-coast debating the nations best and brightest. Indiana's flagship university's return has reveiled to the debate world the brilliance of our student body as we return individual and team laurels in Novice, JV, and Open debate. IU Bloomington was a proud host of CEDA and the NDT in 2014, the two largest and oldest policy debate national debate championship tournaments in the nation. We have since qualified teams to the National Debate Tournament, a major feat considering the only other IU squad to accomplish this was in 1993. From our annual high school debate camp, public debates, including international friendlies against the British and Japanese, our Hoosier debaters have regained their status as a strong pillar in debate in the Midwest.
IU will be the proud hosts of the 14th annual NDCA high school debate championships in 2020. We will welcome up to 500 students and coaches to campus in the Spring.