and Mock Trial at Macalester
Macalester has a long and storied tradition in intercollegiate forensics.
Our first intercollegiate debate took place on April 7, 1911.
While our story began with a 2-1 loss to St. Olaf College, it did not
take Macalester debaters very long to develop a reputation as one of
the best forensics programs around. Over the course of the last
99 years, Macalester students have won national titles in events ranging
from extemporaneous speaking and oratory to debate and mock trial.
Today, our co-curricular forensics program provides a wide variety of
opportunities for students to improve their skills in the core liberal
arts disciplines of rhetoric, logic, and argumentation.
The Macalester Debating Union is designed to serve a broad range of
students: those who wish to make intercollegiate competition a
central part of their college experience as well as those who want to
make improving their public speaking skills just one of the many tasks
that they hope to accomplish during their time at Macalester.
For both groups, the Macalester Debate Union provides a place where
those needs can be met.
The Macalester Debate Union offers experiences ranging from audience
debates with neighboring institutions to an extensive schedule of tournament
competitions. Our students compete in the Parliamentary League
of the Upper Midwest as well as other parliamentary debate tournaments
in the region, debate the National Forensic Association’s policy topic
using the Lincoln-Douglas format, compete in mock trial tournaments
using the case materials provided by the American Mock Trial Association
and compete in the Ethics Bowl, a competition sponsored by the Association
for Professional and Practical Ethics.
These “varsity sports of the mind” are both challenging and enjoyable.
The Macalester Debate Union is open to all interested students.
While we encourage those with considerable high school experience to
join our ranks, we are also open to those who have never competed before.