The Cornell Speech and Debate Society is the only university sponsored speech and debate organization at Cornell. We compete in Policy debate, Worlds debate, and Individual Speech events. The organization is one of the largest of its kind in the United States, boasting over 120 members from diverse backgrounds.
The CSDS is one of the most successful debate societies in the world. The Worlds Debate team is consistently ranked in the top 10 debate programs in the world, the Policy team is ranked 10th nationally and rising, and the Speech team has produced several national champions. In addition to competitive success, we play a vital role in the campus intellectual community. Each semester, we host several public debates on topics relevant to the student community. Past debates have featured the British National Debate Team, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick.
Our organization is fortunate to receive funding from a variety of sources, including our alumni network and the ILR school. This funding allows the team to support a full team of coaches, all of whom have excelled in their respective formats at the collegiate level. You can check out their bios under the “Coaching Staff” section. The Speech and Debate Society also funds the majority of travel and tournament expenses for its members.
For many of our members, this is not only a debate and speech organization but also a close-knit family. Regardless of whether you are new or old to Cornell, or simply looking around, we invite you to learn more about our program. Our program is open to all Cornell students regardless of previous experience or course of study.
Feel free to contact any of the members of the student leadership, or coaching staff should you have any questions. Alternatively, you can join us for our weekly meetings – Mondays and Wednesdays at 5pm in Ives 305.