Notre Dame Debate Team 

The Knights Debate Team fielded 5 teams in the UC, Berkeley varsity policy division. Out of over 200 teams, ND finished in the top 16. Mikaela Appleby and Jax Rounds did not lose a ballot in preliminary rounds, earning the 4th seed. They earned their 6th bid to the Tournament of Champions.

ND Debate is officially in championship season with JV/Novice Nationals in March and then the NDCA Championships and the Tournament of Champions in April.


According to the Wall Street Journal, state and national award winners in debate have a 22 to 30 percent higher acceptance rate at top tier colleges. Being captain of the debate team improved an applicant’s chances by more than 60 percent compared with the rest of the applicant pool.

Debate affords interested students an opportunity to learn the rudiments of persuasive speech while acquiring an in-depth knowledge of national affairs. ND debaters participate in tournaments on weekends, competing against schools from throughout the United States. Debaters combine after school practices on speaking and argumentative strategy with individual research, all of which bolster a sense of personal achievement and team camaraderie.

Students can get involved in many different levels of debate. All students start as novices and move to varsity in their second year of debate.

To start on the debate team, one should enroll in the Introduction to Debate course. This basic argumentation course teaches students the basics of policy debate. Students then get hands-on opportunities to practice their public speaking and critical thinking skills. This practice is then put to the test at competitions. For more information, see the course catalogue here.

For more information, read the FAQ and/or email Ms. Christina Tallungan, the Director of Debate, at