Loyola Marymount Debate Program

Over the years Loyola Marymount University has proudly supported and sponsored the LMU Debate Program. The LMU debate program is an extension of the missions of the University, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, and the Department of Communication Studies, respectively. Our program projects the mission toward the encouragement of learning of education, the whole person, the service of faith and promotion of justice. Our program welcomes all undergraduate and graduate students to engage in intelligent, ethical, and critical discussion within a community of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in a context of creative performance, collaboration, and competition. As part of the curriculum of the debate program participants are expected to engage, accept, and adapt to the diverse community which we all share.

The LMU Debate Program has a rich tradition in forensics. Over the years LMU debaters have participated internationally at World Championships providing our students with the opportunity to compete against the best debaters in the world. LMU teams have competed in intercollegiate completions placing first in over two hundred invitational tournaments in policy, value, parliamentary and Lincoln-Douglas debate, including the Women’s North American Debate Championship, Oxford, Cambridge, Pan America, Pan Pacific, and Hart House tournaments as well as national competitions including the USU, NPDA, and NDT National Championships, the HWS/IDEA Round Robin, Yale, Western Regionals, and the California Cup just to name a few.

The goal of the LMU Debate Program is to provide all LMU students with the opportunity to engage in the process and performance of argumentation and debate. Within this framework, the LMU Debate Program strives to give students opportunities to strengthen their skills in civic performance, research, rhetoric, teamwork, and leadership by facilitating participation in public discourse, academic debate competition, and service to the debate community. Our Program serves as a laboratory for students to express themselves creatively, to think, research, and argue critically, and to communicate and compete ethically and effectively in order to promote responsible citizenship, service and transformative social change.

The tournament schedule this past year (2016-2017) included LMU student participation at debate tournaments including:

  • Pan Pacific Championship, Hawaii
  • Pan American Championship, Jamaica
  • USUDC National Championship, Denver, CO
  • Hart House University, Toronto, Canada
  • Yale Intervarsity in New Haven, Connecticut
  • World Universities Debate Championship at The Hague, Netherlands
  • North American Women’s Debate Championship, Vancouver, Canada

Recent accomplishments include:

  • 2017 Pacific Southwest Forensic Association, Semifinalists
  • 2016 Pacific Cup, Semifinalists
  • 2016 Pan Pacific Championship, Semifinalists
  • 2015 US Open National Champions
  • 2015 Pacific Southwest Forensic Association Spring Champions
  • 2014 North American Champions
  • 2014 US Air Force Academy Champions
  • 2014-2015 Hart House University, Finalists
  • 2013 Oxford Champions
  • 2013-2015 US National Championship, Finalists or Semifinalists
  • 2013 Lafayette Debate Champions
  • 2012 NDT Semifinalists


LMU Debate Team 2014-2015

  • PSCFA Spring Championship - Michael Dewey and Mike Himes 1st Place
  • University of Denver - Courtney Pickard and Brittany McKinley, 2nd Place
  • Georgetown University - Jon Haderlein and Krikor Kouyoumdjian, 5th Place
  • Western Regional Championship - Brittany McKinley and Michael Dewey, 2nd Place
  • California Cup at LMU - Landon Wike and Brittany Rosario-Gregory, 2nd Place
  • Hobart William Smith Round Robin - Jon Haderlein and Krikor Kouyoumdjian, North American Champions
  • National Championship - Jon Haderlein and Krikor Kouyoumdjian, 3rd Seed, Semifinalist
  • National Championship - Courtney Pickard and Megan Elsayed, 27th Seed, Quarterfinalist
  • National Championship - Mike Himes and Brandon Cating, 13th Seed, Octofinalist

On Saturday, March 28th, LMU hosted the middle tournament of the California Cup Championship debate series. Universities that participated included UCLA, Claremont, USC, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, La Verne, Santa Monica College, and Irvine Valley College. Beginning at 9am, LMU students Brooke Radding, Daniel Rodriguez, Larissa Sterling, Carolina Moreno, Paige Dobon, Chandler Wright, Nicole Franko, Madelaine Sanfilippo, Landon Wike, and Brittany Rosario-Gregory competed for four rounds over eight hours before the top four teams advanced to the final round. The final round involved four two-person teams, which turned out to be Cal Poly, UCLA, USC, and LMU's Brittany and Landon. After an intense discussion about whether the US should provide reparations and truth and reconciliation commissions to victims of US torture, the results were announced with Cal Poly taking 1st Place, LMU 2nd, UCLA 3rd, and USC 4th. The LMU tournament was part of the first ever California Cup Championship debate series which involved three one day tournaments taking place over three days at Claremont McKenna College, LMU, and UCLA, respectively.

On April 3rd, debate team members Jon Haderlein and Krikor Kouyoumdjian traveled to New York to participate in the invitation only International Debate Education Association/Hobart William Smith Round Robin. LMU earned their invitation by winning the North American Universities Debate Championship in October. Over two days LMU competed against each of the top 15 debate teams in the world, which included the winners of the Asian Championship, Austral/Asian Championship, Pan African Championship, European Championship, International Mace, Yale, Oxford, and the four teams that were in the finals of this year's World Universities Debate Championship. Ultimately, Jon and Krikor finished in 7th place, as the University of Toronto's Hart House was declared the tournament champion with Cambridge University finishing in second and Harvard University in third.

The debate team will be having a small banquet and public debate on Tuesday, April 7th from 5pm to 7pm in the 3rd Floor Foley Garden. Please feel free to stop by anytime.

On Thursday, April 9th I will be accompanying ten members of the debate team to the US National Championship at the University of Alaska. I look forward to giving you the results of our efforts next week.