Debate Society

News Scholarship Tournaments

WCC Debate Tournament

About the Debate Society Squad:

The HPU Debate Society is always excited to welcome new minds and talent to its already excelling debate squad. Undergraduate and graduate students of all majors with or without previous debate and public speaking experience are eligible to participate in and/or observe debate practices and activities.

A student wishing to join the squad should have an open mind, want to increase her/his ability to speak in public and have the desire to learn about and critically analyze problems and policies at local and global levels. The world of collegiate debate will challenge your mental and academic boundaries, help you grow as an individual and communicator and allow you to make friends and contact with students of debate all over the world.

If you have any questions please, contact:

LeaDan Yee, HPU Director of Debate
1166 Fort Street Mall, Suite 302
ph: 808-544-1464; fax: 808-544-0835


Debate practices for the 2016-2017 school year are on Mondays, WEDNESDAYS, and Fridays from 5:15 - 8:00 pm in room MP 315.

HPU Debate Society events will be held throughout the school year to engage the HPU and Honolulu communities in debate and discourse.

Students interested in competing should contact the director of debate. See the "Tournaments" section of the website for more details.

There are several other traveling and tournament possibilities for members such as the HPU hosted Island Invitationals and the Pan Pacific Championship. Faculty, staff and HPU students are encouraged to participate in tournaments. Students, faculty and staff may serve as judges and students (undergraduate and graduate) may register as debaters.Tournament information can be found on the "tournament" section of the web site.

Team members also participate as judges and instructors at high school tournaments and debate institutes for the Hawaiian Speech League and the Hawaiian Home School League.

HPU Debate Practice


About Debate:

There are many different formats of debate practiced throughout the world. The Sea Warrior squad primarily participates in two formats modeled after British Parliament. The first style is used at local island tournaments and consists of two opposing three person teams. Topics for each preliminary round are announced about a month before each tournament. The second style is used at our Pan Pacific Championship and the World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC). It is often referred to simply as "Worlds style." In this extemporaneous style of debate, teams are given 15 minutes before the start of each round to prep arguments for or against a motion (an assertion such as "child labor is morally unjustified"). Motions are different every round and cover a wide range of political and philosophical subjects.

Only in recent years have US universities consistently hosted Worlds style tournaments and exclusively participated in this style even though some schools have a long history of competing at WUDC. This means the Sea Warrior squad is in the world of college debate at an exciting time. The increased focus many US universities have put on Worlds style debate has paid off as American teams are now regularly placing in the top 32 (if not 4!) of the 330+ teams that compete at WUDC every year.

Debate Team at Hawaii Capitol - Dec 2012

Online resources:

World Debating Website:

HPU Debate Society Facebook Group

Cork Worlds 2009:

Debate Central:

Debate Scholarship