Stanford Invitational Tournament

Our remaining space is limited--some sessions are available and some are currently waitlist only.  If you'd like to join us this summer we suggest that you sign up as soon as possible to avoid dissapointment.

View our 2015 programs schedule.  Not sure which program to choose?  Review our "How to pick the right program" guide.

Parliamentary Debate

If you want an opportunity to learn all manners of arguments and debating cultures, parliamentary debate is the format for you! Parliamentary is the most popular form of debate in the world and the most popular form of collegiate debate in the United States.  It is a format that is accessible to students of all different background and perspectives, and, since the topic changes every single round, emphasizes knowledge and research in a breadth of issues.

The camp is rigorously structured in such a way that emphasizes both theory and practice, with classroom lessons running from morning to night, and exemplary instruction offered throughout. In the context of only a week-long camp, there will be an extraordinary fifteen (15) practice rounds evaluated by professional critics who are college competitors and coaches; the fifteen rounds comprise roughly one-third of the total time spent at camp. The rest of the time is spent learning communication theory from professionals and academics, practicing strong research methods, and utilizing small-group exercises to enhance the students’ understanding of the techniques taught. The fundamental premise is that through a combination of theory and practice, the students will not only understand how to write speeches with strong argumentative rigor, but also how to present them in an effective manner to their colleagues and critics.

Parliamentary debate is the most popular form of debate in the world, and it’s only growing. By emphasizing a liberal education approach to debate, where breadth of knowledge is placed at a premium, it is enjoyable to students of all different backgrounds and approaches. At SNFI, we take a student’s passion for debate and argumentation, and use it in order to teach them life skills such as effective presentation, critical thinking skills, and research in an academic setting.

Director's Note:

Parliamentary debate offers high school students a unique opportunity to master a broad range of valuable skills – critical thinking, persuasive public speaking & knowledge of world affairs – that will help them succeed in the classroom & in the “real world” of business, government and community.

The fact that mastering these skills also translates into a high level of competitive success at the high school level is what makes parliamentary debate so rewarding to coach.

My goal in structuring this year’s SNFI Parliamentary Debate program is to make sure every student walks away with a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of persuasion, a variety of useful frameworks for debating questions of policy/value/fact, a toolbox full of proven tactics for first & second speakers, and a big-picture context for evaluating world affairs.

Since the norms of parliamentary debate vary from judge-to-judge & region-to-region, our goal is to broaden the tools & strategies that our students can use to succeed in any situation.  Rather than teach a one-size-fits-all method to parliamentary debate, the broad skills of our instructors and a newly expanded lecture/practice format is designed to give you the opportunity to drill down in areas of interest while maximizing your exposure to new perspectives and winning ideas.

I look forward to working with you all this summer to help you get more than ever out of your experience with parliamentary debate!

-Bryan St. Amant, Co-Division Director, SNFI Parliamentary Debate
 


2015 Parliamentary Debate Staff Members Include:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Bryan St. Amant (Division Director, Parliamentary)

Bryan St. Amant, Division Director, Parliamentary

Bryan St. Amant co-founded Windsor High School’s parliamentary debate program in 2007.  Under his leadership, Windsor has won or reached the final round of parliamentary debate at UOP, James Logan, Bishop O’Dowd, Santa Clara Spring, the Windsor Invitational and the California State Championship.  Bryan's unique perspective on persuasion and argumentation draws from his distinguished career as a marketing executive/CEO in addition to his experience as a national-circuit policy debater -- winning the California State Championship for Damien High School and serving as captain of the UC Berkeley debate team.  Bryan holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, an MS in Management from MIT, and is Founder & CEO of VinterActive LLC.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Taylor Blackburn (Parliamentary Instructor)

Taylor Blackburn, Parliamentary Instructor

Taylor Blackburn is an undergrad studying Politics and Rhetoric at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and a member of the Brooks Quimby Debate Council (BQDC). After just one year at university, she achieved notable success on the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) circuit, garnering top novice speaker awards at Stanford and Providence College, as well as top novice team awards at Providence College, Vassar, UChicago, and Dartmouth. Her record ultimately earned her 7th Novice of the Year. She also received numerous varsity team and speaker awards throughout the course of the year, and finished 10th team at Nationals 2012 with her partner, Colin Etnire. Taylor is trained in both British and American Parliamentary style, and will be serving as the Director of Novice Affairs on the 2012-2013 BQDC Board.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Nick Cugini (Parli Instructor)

Nick Cugini, Parli Instructor

Nick began his debate career at Cypress Ridge High School in Houston, Texas. During his time there, he was a two-time state champion in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, a two-time state finalist in Student Congress and a finalist at the MBA Round Robin. During his senior year, he placed 3rd at the 2009 NFL National Championship in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking. Nick went on to graduate from Yale University with a degree in political science. While competing with the Yale Debate Association, he won 9 individual tournaments, was a finalist at the APDA National Championship in 2012 and a semi-finalist at the World University Debating Championship in 2011. During the 2014-15 season, Nick coached the Yale Debate Association, which won its 7th consecutive Club of the Year Award. He currently serves as a coach for the Stanford Debate Society.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Allison Douglis (LD & Parli Instructor)

Allison Douglis, LD & Parli Instructor

Allison competed in LD for four years at Ridge High School in New Jersey, where she won the NCFL National Championship and the NJ State Championship, received a bid to the Tournament of Champions, and advanced to elimination rounds at every national circuit tournament she attended her senior year. She continued debating with the Yale Debate Association, winning or finaling at several APDA tournaments and twice reaching semifinals of the BP National Championships. She coached LD for Ridge and served as the Yale Debate Association's Membership Director, where she led training for the team's novice class. Allison just graduated from Yale University with a degree in Philosophy, and will be returning to Yale Law School in the fall. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Nick Robinson (Parli Instructor)

Nick Robinson, Parli Instructor

Nick Robinson has over a decade of debate experience as a coach and competitor in LD, public forum, and parliamentary formats. He coached the Whitman College parliamentary debate team from 2009 to 2011, winning two NPDA season sweepstakes championships. In 2011, Whitman placed first or second at 10 different tournaments, qualified a record six teams to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence and placed three teams in the top 10. As a competitor at Willamette University, he won 17 major speaking awards and finished his career ranked fourth in the country. In the fall, he will pursue a masters degree in political communication. He enjoys basketball, Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, and travelling.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Zoe Seaman-Grant (Public Forum Instructor)

Zoe Seaman-Grant, Public Forum Instructor

Zoe graduated from Academic Magnet High School (SC) in 2013 where she was the captain of her team and competed in public forum. During her senior year she advanced to semifinals at the Blake tournament, octofinals of Blue Key, qualified to the Tournament of Champions, won the South Carolina District tournament, placed 2nd at the SC state tournament and finally finished 7th at NFL nationals. She is now a rising junior at Bates College in Maine where she studies English and women's and gender studies. In college, she competes in parliamentary debate, where she was a semifinalist at the 2015 national championship and advanced to elimination rounds at the Worlds University Debating Championship in 2015.


We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed.


2014 Parliamentary Debate Staff Members Included:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Bryan St. Amant (Division Director, Parliamentary)

Bryan St. Amant, Division Director, Parliamentary

Bryan St. Amant co-founded Windsor High School’s parliamentary debate program in 2007.  Under his leadership, Windsor has won or reached the final round of parliamentary debate at UOP, James Logan, Bishop O’Dowd, Santa Clara Spring, the Windsor Invitational and the California State Championship.  Bryan's unique perspective on persuasion and argumentation draws from his distinguished career as a marketing executive/CEO in addition to his experience as a national-circuit policy debater -- winning the California State Championship for Damien High School and serving as captain of the UC Berkeley debate team.  Bryan holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, an MS in Management from MIT, and is Founder & CEO of VinterActive LLC.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Isabella Burch (Parli Instructor)

Isabella Burch, Parli Instructor

Isabella (Buddy) Burch is entering her sixth year of parliamentary debate. In four years of CHSSA debate, she competed in league tournaments, as well as major invitationals including the California Cup. Entering her second year of British Parliamentary debate at Claremont McKenna College, Buddy has had the opportunity to compete nationally and internationally, most notably at Cambridge University in England. In addition to competing, Buddy has judged in the World Schools, Middle School Public Debate Program and High School Public Debate Program formats. She is a potential government/philosophy double major who also enjoys time spent singing with her all-female a Capella group.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Jakob Christensen (Parli Instructor)

Jakob Christensen, Parli Instructor

Jakob competed in high school for the Windsor HS debate team. He had the best league record in Parli his sophomore and junior years and the best PF record his senior year. He competed for two years for Santa Rosa Junior College where he took the gold medal at the California state championship as well as the Phi Rho Pi national championship; he finished the season as the #43 ranked NPDA team. Jakob coached the Sonoma Academy debate team in the 2012-2013 school year where they finished third at the Stanford Invitational in Parli debate. Jakob now competes for the University of Nevada at Reno, a top 10 NPDA school.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Nick Cugini (Parli Instructor)

Nick Cugini, Parli Instructor

Nick began his debate career at Cypress Ridge High School in Houston, Texas. During his time there, he was a two-time state champion in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, a two-time state finalist in Student Congress and a finalist at the MBA Round Robin. During his senior year, he placed 3rd at the 2009 NFL National Championship in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking. Nick went on to graduate from Yale University with a degree in political science. While competing with the Yale Debate Association, he won 9 individual tournaments, was a finalist at the APDA National Championship in 2012 and a semi-finalist at the World University Debating Championship in 2011. During the 2014-15 season, Nick coached the Yale Debate Association, which won its 7th consecutive Club of the Year Award. He currently serves as a coach for the Stanford Debate Society.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - James Kilcup (Parli Instructor)

James Kilcup, Parli Instructor

James has been involved as a debater, coach and judge in the American and International debate communities for over 12 years. After graduating with degrees in philosophy from Seattle University (B.A.) and Loyola Marymount University (M.A.), he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of the Loyola Marymount University debate team from 2012-2014, during which time LMU placed in the USUDC finals twice, and won the Oxord IV along with over a dozen other regional and national tournaments. As a competitor, James reached the Grand Finals of the Cambridge IV twice, and was ranked as the top speaking debater from North America at the World University Debating Championship in 2009. James won over 15 tournaments in the APDA, NPDA, US BP formats, as well as the CUSID and IONA circuits, including the Stanford IV, the Claremont National Open, the Cork IV, the UBC IV, and America's Cup. James loves discussing philosophy, and helping debaters become deeper thinkers and more skilled speakers. He is currently a law student at the University of Chicago. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Mariah Noah (Parli Instructor)

Mariah Noah, Parli Instructor

Mariah is currently entering her 7th year of competitive speech and debate. She debated for four years at Analy High School and two years in college. She is currently attending UC Berkeley and will continue to debate there for two more years. She mostly competes in Parliamentary debate but also has performed in persuasive and after dinner speaking as well as Lincoln Douglas debate. Mariah worked as the assistant debate coach at Analy High School for the past two years and has judged many high school tournaments.  In college debate, she took a gold metal at the state tournament two years in a row and a gold metal at the national tournament two years in a row. She has been tournament champion at three large 4 year tournaments and is currently ranked as the number 43 team in the nation along with Jakob Christensen. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Nick Robinson (Parli Instructor)

Nick Robinson, Parli Instructor

Nick Robinson has over a decade of debate experience as a coach and competitor in LD, public forum, and parliamentary formats. He coached the Whitman College parliamentary debate team from 2009 to 2011, winning two NPDA season sweepstakes championships. In 2011, Whitman placed first or second at 10 different tournaments, qualified a record six teams to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence and placed three teams in the top 10. As a competitor at Willamette University, he won 17 major speaking awards and finished his career ranked fourth in the country. In the fall, he will pursue a masters degree in political communication. He enjoys basketball, Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, and travelling.



Upcoming Camps

1-Week Parliamentary Program

The Stanford Parliamentary Debate program returns this summer, bringing the same professionalism to parliamentary debate that SNFI has brought to policy debate and Lincoln-Douglas debate for the past 22 years. Serious student of parliamentary debate wanting to take their activity to the next level are encouraged to attend, as are those just beginning in this style of argumentation. A special Advanced section is planned for this summer. Small group activities ensure that students of all ...

2-Week Parliamentary Program

Our two week Parliamentary program will provide students with the opportunity to participate in more practice debates and attend more lectures with our faculty on theoretical and practical issues that are critical to success in Parliamentary debate.

Please view our one week Parliamentary program for more details of what a student will experience during the SNFI Parliamentary program.

Director's Note:

Parliamentary debate offers high ...

Worlds Schools Parliamentary

This camp will focus on the Worlds Schools style of Parliamentary debate.

More details will be posted late in the spring.