Join the JHU debate team

The Johns Hopkins Debate Council, among the most successful competitive student organizations on campus, will host tryouts on Saturday, Sept. 10, and Sunday, Sept. 11, in Maryland 110.

JHDC competes on the American Parliamentary Debate Association university circuit, and has historically been, and remains, one of the most successful debate teams in the country. We welcome any and all applicants for tryouts—no prior experience is required.

The range of possible topics in APDA format is literally unlimited. Teams can decide for themselves exactly what they want to debate about, from art history to Middle Eastern geopolitics to whether Hufflepuff or Gryffindor is the best House (or whether Hogwarts should abolish the House system altogether). Several memorable rounds the past year have included the philosophical conundrum "Are there things?" (the side that said no won), the rather obscure "George Washington should not have sent American aid to help suppress the Haitian slave revolt" (alongside more contemporary questions of American intervention in Iraq and Syria), and the classic "You are Batman. Caveating that you will be successful in the attempt, should you kill Superman?" Other topics have included divestment, tax policy, Republican election strategy, draft dodging in the Vietnam War, and George Orwell's 1984. Seriously, if you name a topic, it's probably been debated.

Those interested in participating should sign up in advance online.