Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join?

Attend the activities fair at the start of fall quarter and/or visit our recruiting page ( to sign up for a tryout. No prior experience is necessary!

Who is eligible to join?

All registered Stanford undergraduate or graduate students are eligible to join the Stanford Debate Society.

What are the activities of the team?

The team meets a minimum of once a week. Practice rounds are conducted as needed to prepare for tournaments. We sometimes hold public debates on campus or in the community. Our main activity, however, is the intercollegiate competition. These competitions occur all over the country, nearly every weekend, for most of the academic year. There is no minimum number of tournaments you must attend to remain on the team.

What are the tournaments like?

The tournaments are generally far enough away to require plane travel—i.e. the East Coast or abroad. The Parliamentary team usually leaves Thursday nights and returns Sunday mornings. There is some intense debating, but also time to relax and socialize with the Stanford Debate team, as well as with teams from other universities. For most tournaments, debaters themselves get to choose the topics that they will debate.

What commitments must team members make?

There is no minimum competition requirement. Because the team fully funds competitors' travel, lodging, and food for each tournament, we ask that all traveling members meet three requirements: 1) work at our High School Invitational Tournament, held in early February; 2) participate in a sufficient number of practice rounds to prepare for the tournaments to be attended; 3) attend regular team meetings.