Notre Dame Debate Team 

Debate News 

ND Debate continues its legacy of success and Holy Cross tradition in fall 2016:

  • At the Loyola tournament, the policy team placed 2nd overall with Elliot McMillan and Mason Peeples. McMillan also won 4th speaker overall and Peeples won 5th speaker overall.
  • At the Long Beach Tournament, two teams placed in the top eight: Mikaela Appleby/Jax Rounds and McMillan/Peeples. Rounds also won 3rd speaker and Appleby won 4th speaker overall.
  • Both the policy and the World School debaters represented Notre Dame at the Holy Cross Tournament in New Orleans. This tournament and experience offered an opportunity to grow connections between Holy Cross schools since students had lunch with and met with Holy Cross students while in New Orleans.
  • At the nationally prestigious St. Mark's Tournament in Dallas, Appleby/Rounds placed in the top 16 teams, placing 9th overall after preliminary rounds. Appleby was 17th speaker and Rounds won 25th speaker.
  • At the USC Round Robin, McMillan/Peeples represented Notre Dame and placed 4th overall in the limited competition.
  • At the Damien Tournament, Notre Dame closed out finals with Noah Healy and Patricia Suico as co-champions with Michelle Mar and Nate Paguio. They also won 4 of the top 5 speaker awards at the tournament. In the novice division, Jack Daggenhurst won top speaker and Beaujais Harris-Kamal won 2nd speaker.
  • At the Glenbrooks tournament in Chicago, Appleby/Rounds placed in the top 16 teams out of over 170 teams from around the country. Their showings in Dallas and Chicago make them a nationally recognized team.
  • The World School Debate division of the team qualified to the Top 32 in the International Public Policy Forum. This competition started with over 200 schools submitted essays from around the world. The team will be writing essays in an attempt to advance to the Elite Eight. If they make it to the Elite Eight, then they win an all-expense paid trip to New York to debate in the Council of Foreign Relations in front of the President of NYU, several attorneys and national debate coaches. Team members Austin Compton, Austin Ellis, Lawrence Kim,​ Stacy Quintana, and Greg Santos are currently writing for the IPPF.
  • Seniors Appleby and Rounds are already qualified to the Tournament of Champions in policy debate with 3 bids. Juniors McMillan and Peeples are working on attaining a second bid to qualify to the Tournament of Champions this year. ​​

Lastly, the Fourth Annual Damus Hollywood Invitational at Notre Dame was a great success and continues to be recognized as an important national qualifier to the Tournament of Champions and the National Debate Coaches' Association Championships. 59 schools from 13 states competed this year.

Happy Holidays from ND Debate!


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