The 2024 Gonzaga Debate Institute
Welcome to the home of the 2024 Gonzaga Debate Institute (GDI)! We are excited you stopped by, and whether you’re here to apply or to just learn more about what we’re about, we encourage you to explore the site and get a sense of our programs, curriculum and faculty. For over 50 years students from across the United States, and from around the world, have attended the GDI to advance their understanding of the theory and practice of competitive policy debate. They are drawn by our award-winning faculty, track record of success, and our beautiful location. The Gonzaga campus is located in the inland northwest, on the banks of the Spokane River in Spokane, Washington. Whether you are a novice and brand new to debate, a rising first year or sophomore, or an accomplished junior or senior, we invite you to explore the site and consider joining us for another outstanding summer program.
Nearly all our programs are in-person, and for those unable to join us in-person we offer one of the best online labs in the nation. Students attending in-person will live in historic Desmet Hall, one of the most historic buildings on campus. The majority of student meals will be served in the COG in the GU student center, The Hemingson Center. Students will participate in labs, attend lectures, and debate primarily in classroom spaces located in Jepson Center and College Hall.
Our classroom lab model provides students the opportunity for daily interaction with a cohort of their peers, as they learn from among the most experienced debate faculties in the world. Our curriculum focuses on reinforcing the fundamentals of good argument, while educating students on the most recent theoretical and practical developments in their format, and preparing them to compete on the upcoming NSDA topic. We focus on two fundamental areas of debate success: inquiry (researching and developing argument) and advocacy (presenting argument to an audience/judges) through small group discussion, lecture, group and individual research projects, and many, many opportunities to present speeches and engage in practice debates. The institute culminates, for all programs, with the GDI Tournament where students will have the opportunity to compete against the field while being critiqued by some of the most preferred and experienced college and high school debate judges.
Debaters seeking a challenging, rewarding, and competitive summer should consider joining us for what promises to be another outstanding GDI experience.
Our application is available here and we encourage you to apply early!
The 2024 GDI Programs and Dates
In Person Programs
Sophomores Policy Debate — Wednesday, June 19 – Sunday, July 21 The Sophomores program is open to students with two semesters (one season) of competitive debate experience. This program is generally students who are transitioning from their novice year to either JV or Varsity.
Juniors/Seniors Policy Debate — Wednesday, June 19 – Sunday, July 21 This Program provides students a five- or four-week option and is open to students with at least two semesters (one season) of competitive debate including at least one semester at the JV or Varsity level.
Two Week Policy Debate (Varsity, JV, Novice) — Sunday, July 7 – Sunday, July 21. Varsity Two Week are students who have at least two semesters of debate experience and are planning to compete in the Varsity division next season. JV Two Week are students with at least one semester of debate experience and are planning to compete in the JV or Varsity division next season. Novice Two Week is for students with no experience, or less than one semesters or three tournaments worth of experience and are planning to compete in the Novice division next season.
One Week Lincoln Douglas Debate (Varsity, Beginner) – Sunday, July 7 – Sunday, July 14 Beginner Lab are students with no more than two semesters (one season) of competitive debate. Varsity lab are students with at least two semesters (one season) of competitive debate experience, or students who have already competed at least one semester at the jv or varsity level.
Two Week Online Policy Debate (Varsity, JV, Beginner) - Sunday, July 7 – Sunday, July 23. We understand there are many reasons that prevent students from attending the GDI in-person so we will continue to offer online labs for those wanting the GDI experience, but unable to join us in Spokane. We’ve got a lot of experience offering virtual debate experiences and look forward to hosting those who are able to join us in cyberspace!
Check out our daily schedule here!