© 2019 by Harvard College Debating Union

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HARVARD COLLEGE

DEBATING

UNION

Welcome to Parliamentary Debate at Harvard.

 

ABOUT US

WHO WE ARE

 

Established in the fall of 1981, the Harvard College Debating Union (HCDU) is Harvard University's only internationally competitive debate association. We were formerly known as the Harvard Speech and Parliamentary Debate Society (HSPDS).

DEBATE FORMAT

 

The HCDU debates in the American Parliamentary and British Parliamentary styles. We travel both domestically and internationally to attend tournaments every week.

OUR COMMUNITY

 

We welcome anyone interested in competitive debate. Our team is committed to being a community of equal access, free of discrimination, prejudice, or bias. Furthermore, our most valuable members range from people who were national debate champions in high school to people who did not know what debate was until they joined the team. No previous debate experience is required. 

A HISTORY OF SUCCESS

 

Ever since our founding, the HCDU has been one of the most successful teams in the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA), holding a record eight national titles, more than any other institution. Internationally, HCDU teams have been in five final rounds of the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) and won three world championships in the past five years

LIFE AFTER DEBATE

Our alumni have gone on to pursue a variety of successes in their fields, including becoming Rhodes, Marshall, and Schwarzman Scholars, attending top law schools and PhD programs at Harvard, Stanford, and Yale, and working at companies including McKinsey and Goldman Sachs. Membership in the HCDU is for life.

A HISTORY OF SUCCESS

 

Ever since our founding, the HCDU has been one of the most successful teams in the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA), holding a record eight national titles, more than any other institution. Internationally, HCDU teams have been in five final rounds of the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) and won three world championships in the past five years

LIFE AS A MEMBER

 

The HCDU is more than just a debate team, it is a family. We train together, with weekly general meetings, practice rounds, and casing sessions. We compete together, from Yale to Oxford to South Africa to Thailand. But we also hang out together, with regular socials, team dinners, and a yearly off-campus retreat. Debaters have many opportunities to be involved beyond just competing, including in the organization of our high school and college tournaments, demonstration debates, and travel opportunities as a debate judge.

2019-20 Executive Board

Tejal Patwardhan

President

Class of 2020

tejal_patwardhan@college.harvard.edu

Sarah Ryan

Vice President of American Parliamentary Debate

Class of 2020

smryan@college.harvard.edu

Aditya Dhar

Vice President of British Parliamentary Debate

Class of 2021

adhar@college.harvard.edu

Romina Lilollari

Vice President of Membership

Class of 2021

rominalilollari@college.harvard.edu

Paloma O'Connor

Vice President of Finance

Class of 2021

poconnor@college.harvard.edu

Lizzie McCord

Vice President of Public Relations 

Class of 2021

emccord@college.harvard.edu

Ye Joo Han

Vice President of Equity 

Class of 2022

yejoo_han@college.harvard.edu

Please reload

 

JOIN US

The HCDU holds competitive tryouts at the beginning of each academic year, usually in the second or third week of the semester. No previous debate experience is necessary, only intellectual promise and demonstrated commitment to the team. While many of our members were award-winning debaters in high school, some of our most successful debaters had no experience prior to joining the team.

Applications are now available here! The deadline to apply is Sunday, Sept 8th at 5 PM! To learn more about our team, please join us at our demo debate and info session on Saturday, Sept 7th from 12-1:30 PM in Emerson 105. 

Please email Romina Lilollari (rominalilollari@college.harvard.edu) if you have any questions about the applications process. 

 
OUR ADDRESS

Harvard College Debating Union

59 Shepard Street, Box 268

Cambridge, MA 02138

If you are interested in joining the HCDU and would like to learn more, please email Romina Lilollari (Vice President of Membership) at rominalilollari@college.harvard.edu.

If you are an organization interested in partnering with the HCDU, please email Paloma O'Connor (Vice President of Finance) at poconnor@college.harvard.edu

Other questions? Please contact Tejal Patwardhan (President) at tejal_patwardhan@college.harvard.edu.

 

CONTACT

US