The 2023 Gonzaga Debate Institute
Dates and Program Descriptions
Welcome to the 2023 GDI, one of the oldest and most experienced summer debate institutes hosted in the nation. For over 50 years students from across the United States, and from around the world, have entrusted the GDI to advance their understanding of the theory and practice of competitive debate. Our campus is located in the beautiful northwest, on the banks of the Spokane River in Spokane, Washington. Once again we plan to offer a wide range of program offerings to accommodate a variety of experience levels.
Students attending in-person will live in one of the most historic dorms on campus, Desmet Hall. The majority of student meals will be served in the COG in our state of the art student center, The Hemmingson Center. Students will participate in labs, attend lectures, and debate primarily in learning 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. We focus on two fundamental areas of debate success: inquiry (researching and developing argument) and advocacy (presenting argument to your 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 our 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.
A note regarding modality. This summer we will not offer hybrid programs. Instead, we are planning to offer our traditional slate of in-person programs: GDI Scholars, GDI Sophomores, GDI Varsity, GDI Two Week and GDI Novice. We also plan to offer two online programs: GDI Online Varsity and GDI Online Beginners (for students with less than a semester of experience in competitive academic debate). We also plan to bring back our one-week Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum Programs as in-person labs!
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 2023 GDI Programs and Dates
In Person Programs
Scholars Policy Debate—Wednesday, June 21 – Sunday, July 23. The Scholars Program is open to students with four semesters (two seasons) of competitive debate experience or students with at least two semesters of debate experience including at least one at the varsity level.
Sophomores Policy Debate— Wednesday, June 21 – Sunday, July 23. The Sophomores program is open to students with two semesters (one season) of competitive debate experience. This program is generally for students who are transitioning from their novice year to either JV or Varsity.
Varsity Policy Debate - Wednesday, June 28 – Sunday, July 23. The Varsity Policy Debate Program is open to students with 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) — Monday, July 10 – Sunday, July 23. 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) – Monday, July 17 – Sunday, July 23. 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, Beginner). Monday, July 10 – Sunday, July 23. We understand there are many reasons that prevent student’s 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!