Scholars Summer Debate Institute

New York City's Premier Summer Debate Camp for Advanced HS Debaters



More about the Summer Scholars Debate Institute  


The Varsity Scholars Debate Institute is open to varsity high school debaters in public forum debate and policy debate. “Varsity” students should have at least one year of high school experience in debate. The Varsity Debate Institute is focused on in depth skill building in numerous practice debates as well as a particular focus on research. Thanks to our partnership with Hunter College, students will have full access to library, computer and internet resources to maximize debate research opportunities.  In policy debate students will work in small labs to prepare files to prepare on the annual debate topic. In public forum debate, students will be researching and writing on the topic areas of the September/October public forum debate resolution.



Our Summer Debate Institute ends with a complete Friday Tournament where all participants receive awards. There will be a 3 round tournament from 9:00am-2:00pm with an Awards Ceremony. We also recognize students for their incredible work throughout the summer. All debaters with outstanding attendance will receive Certificates of Completion for the Summer Debate Academy. Individual Lab Leaders will also recognize top students in each lab.




Aubrey Semple

Aubrey Semple is the Program Director of the New York City Urban Debate League.  Aubrey is also an alumni of the NYCUDL and has been an award winning NYCUDL student debater, coach, volunteer, tabroom director, and Director of our High School Summer Debate Institute.  As Program Director, Aubrey is responsible for all day to day programming, tournaments, outreach, summer camps and everything else to to provide the best debate education opportunities for NYC youth and teachers! Aubrey was the former debate coach at Brooklyn Technical High School and has been coaching for over seven years at various high schools throughout New York City. Aubrey has coached several championship caliber policy debate teams including New York State Debate Coaches Association (NYSDCA) State Champions in Novice (2014) and Junior Varsity (2012) and Co-Champions in Varsity Policy Debate (2013). As a coach, his debaters qualified for elimination rounds in nearly every national circuit tournament including Champions of the New York Invitational at Bronx Science (2013), Quarterfinals at the Harvard Invitational (2013) and qualifying a team to the Tournament of Champions (2014) at the University of Kentucky.  Aubrey received his B.A. from City University of New York in United States History with a concentration in American History and Urban Studies.


College Debate Lab Leaders

Debaters will be split into labs for individual training by the city’s top college debaters.


Varsity High School Debate Fellows

The Debate Academy will also be staffed by the top high school debaters from the top high school debate teams in the city. These debaters have collectively won hundreds of trophies and championships since middle school and even elementary school!


Guest Speakers

The Debate Academy will also feature Guest Speakers including the city’s top debate coaches and topic experts on this year’s debate topic.



Each year high school policy debaters throughout the country debate a single complex policy question, or resolution, for an entire year. In 2013-14, students will debate whether the federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela. Debaters conduct extensive research on the resolution and develop arguments for and against it. Two-person teams participate in a series of 90-minute debates and each team alternates sides, arguing for the resolution in one round and against it in the next.



Each month, public forum debaters throughout the country debate a single topic that is voted on by the national debate community. Debaters have one month to research and write their speeches and one month to debate the topic before the topic changes. Debates are 30 minutes long.  Public forum debates are intended for the general “public” and so emphasize persuasion and anyone can participate and anyone can judge public forum debates.