Harvard College Debating Union (HCDU)

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Harvard College Debating Union
Fall Comp? Yes
Spring Comp? No

The Harvard College Debating Union (HCDU) is Harvard University's only internationally competitive debate association. Formerly known as the Harvard Speech and Parliamentary Debate Society, the HCDU was founded in 1981 and currently competes in both American Parliamentary and British Parliamentary style debate. We travel both domestically and internationally to attend tournaments every week. 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.

Comp Process

The HCDU holds an open, competitive comp. We hold competitive tryouts at the beginning of each academic year, usually in the second or third week of the semester, and involves both a writing and speaking round. Since we evaluate applicants within the context of their debate experience (or lack thereof), there is no need to prepare for the comp itself! No previous debate experience is necessary - we welcome anyone interested in competitive debate. While many of members were award-winning debaters in high school, some of our most successful debaters had no experience prior to joining the team. Our team is committed to being a community of equal access, free of discrimination, prejudice, or bias.

Additional Information

For more information, check out our team website or Facebook Page (Harvard College Debating Union). For any questions about recruitment, please contact the Vice President of Membership at mayarazmi@college.harvard.edu!