Stanford Invitational Tournament

Thanks for joining us this summer!  Please return to our website later this fall to see the dates of our 2019 programs.  We expect to have dates posted and camp enrollment for summer 2019 open by approximately December 15th.

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 26 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 experience levels can be accommodated.

This exclusive one-week programs feature:

The camp is held in an intimate setting that allows plenty of question and answer sessions and one-on-one interaction with instructors, not just rote learning. Students are allowed to develop in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere with excellent supervision. Students will emerge from the program as more confident public speakers and as experts on the rules, style, and strategies of parliamentary debate, ready to compete in the fall.

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, and I have traveled all over the world in academic conferences and taking high school competitors to tournaments. 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.

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.


2019 1-Week Parliamentary Program Staff Members Include:

Check back closer to the start of camp for details on our 2019 staff

We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed and as we have complete biographic information available. Staff listing may not be fully up to date or reflect all hires to date.


2018 1-Week Parliamentary Program Staff Members Included:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Rich Boltizar (Director of Debate, Stanford University)

Rich Boltizar, Director of Debate, Stanford University

Rich Boltizar is the Director of Debate at Stanford University.  Rich is a graduate of Stanford University, twice served as President of the Stanford Debate Society and served on the board of the American Parliamentary Debate Association.  Rich previously served as Executive Vice President and CTO of a major academic summer camp company.

Rich has coached Stanford teams to the North American Universities Debating Championship (NAUDC) title, the North American Debating Championship (NorthAms) title, an appearance in the final round of the World Universities Debating Championships, five collegiate national championship final round appearances, five collegiate continental championship final round appearances, multiple appearances in elimination rounds at the World Universities Debating Championships, numerous tournament championships and top speaker awards, and regular appearances in elimination rounds at tournaments across the nation.  While debating at Stanford, Rich competed in both APDA (American Parliamentary format) and British Parliamentary Debate, reaching elimination rounds at the World Universities Debating Championships and numerous tournaments on the APDA circuit.  Rich debated for Capital High School in Boise, Idaho, clearing at many of the top Policy Debate tournaments in the country, earning five career TOC bids and competing at the Tournament of Champions.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Andrew Bempah (Congress & Parli Instructor)

Andrew Bempah, Congress & Parli Instructor

Andrew is a rising senior at Stanford currently majoring in Management Science and Engineering. Starting as a freshman competing for SDS, Andrew has broken at multiple APDA tournaments and was awarded the nation's top novice speaker at the US Universities British Parliamentary National Championships.  Andrew attended Evanston Township High School in Chicago where he competed in Congressional debate under the guidance of Jeff Hannan and former national champion Noah Whinston.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - David Wang (Parliamentary Instructor)

David Wang, Parliamentary Instructor

David Wang is a recent graduate from George Washington University, where he studied Economics and Philosophy. He debated for four years in high school, finishing his senior year ranked second in California for Parliamentary Debate. At the college level, he competed in the American Parliamentary Debate Association, where, from his sophomore to senior year, he finished as the 6th, 5th, and 2nd team in the country, and the 9th and 7th best speaker. This fall, he plans to attend NYU Law and study public interest law. Now that he's done debating, David spends most of his time getting into Facebook arguments and eating Thai food.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Malik Jarvis (Parliamentary Instructor)

Malik Jarvis, Parliamentary Instructor

Malik is a recent graduate of Brown University, where he studied Public Policy and competed on Brown's Parliamentary Debate team for four years.  During his Senior Year, Malik was the second-ranked Speaker of the Year ("SOTY") on the APDA circuit and served as the President of the Brown Debating Union during the third consecutive year of Brown being the 2nd ranked College of the Year ("COTY").  In the fall Malik will be working full-time in New York in addition to coaching the Brown Debating Union.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Jack Kelly (Parliamentary Instructor)

Jack Kelly, Parliamentary Instructor

Jack is a rising sophomore at Yale University, where he competes in both American annd British Parliamentary Debate for the Yale Debate Association. Jack also serves as the Assistant Tournament Director in charge of concessions for the Yale Invitational, a high-school tournament hosted annually in September for over 1,000 competitors.  Before college, Jack competed in Public Forum Debate in Massachusetts, where he was also involved in coaching novice debaters on his team.  Having just finished his own novice year of college debate --  a time full of learning from amazing coaches, elder debaters on my team, and from competing nearly every weekend -- Jack is thrilled to share what he's learned about parliamentary debate with others! 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Miriam Pierson (Parliamentary Instructor)

Miriam Pierson, Parliamentary Instructor

Miriam is a recent graduate of Swarthmore College, where she studied political science and economics. At Swarthmore, she served as President of the Peaslee Debate Society and competed in both American Parliamentary (APDA) and British Parliamentary Debate. Miriam won the APDA Nation Championship tournament her junior year, and during her senior year Miriam was the top ranked individual APDA debater in the country ("Speaker of the Year") and part of the top ranked team in the country ("Team of the Year"). Miriam is currently conducting research on the LGBT rights movement, and will also coach the Yale Debate Association in the fall. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Samantha Wood (Parliamentary Instructor)

Samantha Wood, Parliamentary Instructor

Samantha is a rising junior at Yale University majoring in Religious Studies. She has been debating in and judging both British and American Parliamentary tournaments for two years. She also served at tournament director for the Osterweis Invitational, a charity tournament for high schoolers in the New Haven area. As Social Chair of the Yale Debate Association, one of her goals is to make debate a great activity for everyone.




Upcoming Sessions
* Tentative and Subject to Change

No Sessions Currently Scheduled For This Camp