Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication

Loyola University Chicago Debate Team

Debate Team 2017

Debate Team places first at Wheaton tournament

‌‌‌Founded in 1875, the debate team is the oldest student organization on campus. The team is open to all undergraduates.

Style: British Parliamentary

Although we are a parliamentary team we invite students with no experience or experience in other styles of debate to join us. Students from a variety of styles have been successful in our program.

‌‌Fall 2015

The Loyola University Debating Society hosted a Harry Potter Debate Tournament on October 29th in the Den of the Damen Student Union.  The event was sponsored by SAGA and co-hosted by the School of Communication and the Alliance for Awesome. The event drew over 75 participants who debated topics based on the world of Harry Potter. The event coordinator, Debating Society Vice President Dara Davis, stated “We were overwhelmed by the turnout and enthusiasm”. The event also featured trivia and prizes for the top speakers in each debate.

‌‌Fall 2013‌

Loyola University Debate Team vs. the 2013 British National Team

Loyola University Chicago’s Debating Society hosted the British National Team to a debate on the topic “This House regrets the re-election of Barack Obama” on October 21, in Regis Hall on Lake Shore Campus.

The Debaters

Representing the Loyola Debating Society were Phillip Kraft and Joe Carroll. Last year Kraft and Carroll placed 13th in the nation at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence and won a study tour of Europe through the Elysee Treaty Debate competition.‌

The British team, Nesahy Aqueel, a member of the Pakistani National Debating Team and Charlie Morris, a history and politics graduate from the University of Sheffield, chose to defend the debate topic.

Aqueel, was the best speaker at the ESU Pakistan’s National Public Speaking Competition in 2009, represented Pakistan in the IPSC in London in 2009, and competed in the World Schools Debating Competition in Qatar in 2010. After graduating from University College Lahore in 2011 with an LLB Hons she continued her legal studies at the University of Kent where she was the Best Speaker at the First Internal Kent Debating Competition in 2012.

Morris graduated with a first-class degree in History and Politics from the University of Sheffield. His research interests include U.S. Foreign Policy in the Great Lakes region of sub-Saharan Africa, and the politics of development in Rwanda. During his time at university, he was an active member of the UK debating circuit, winning several competitions and finishing as part of the top-breaking team at tournaments in London, Dublin, Paris and Budapest.

The Debate

Morris started the debate by noting that President Obama has not lived up to his promises on a wide range of issues including the closing of Guantanamo Bay and by claiming Mitt Romney would have done a better job on the economy. During the debate Aqueel shared her perspective as a citizen of Pakistan on drone strikes. Several members of the audience commented on the effectiveness of her presentation.

The Loyola team countered by touting the accomplishments of the President on health care, the stimulus, and his achievements in foreign affairs. The question and answer session brought a wide range of questions from the audience that each team did an excellent job of handling. In the end the audience was evenly split on who the winner of the debate was.

Kraft, Loyola team president, said that they learned a great deal from their opponents both during the debate and after. “It was great that we had some time to sit down with them and talk about different strategies used in international competitions” Kraft said.

The British debaters also had an opportunity to share some of that knowledge by meeting with students and giving a guest lecture to a class. The British are off to Lincoln Nebraska and next up for Loyola is a competition at Purdue.

Rambler Debate Tournament

The Loyola University Chicago Debate Team hosts the annual Rambler Debate Tournament one weekend during fall semester.

‌The debates follow the National Parliamentary Debate Association’s guidelines.  Each debate a new topic dealing with issues of the day will be selected. Students are welcome to attend and serve as audience members if they do not wish to compete. For more information, contact David Romanelli,  Director of Debate, at dromane@luc.edu.


All travel decisions are determined by the Director. Students who attend meetings regularly, complete research assignments on time, and participate in practice rounds increase the possibility of being selected for travel. All students are expected to follow the rules expressed by the Director and those outlined in the Student Handbook. 

Urban Debate League

Loyola is committed to the support of the Urban Debate League of Chicago. ‌Debaters often serve as critics/mentors for the UDL.

Debate Scholarship application.

For more information about Loyola's Debate Program please contact:
David Romanelli, Debate Coach
School of Communication
Lewis Towers 902