Stanford Invitational Tournament

It's not too late to join us for summer 2018!  We still can still generally accommodate last-minute enrollments in our high school sessions--if you're planning to attend, we strongly suggest that you sign up soon!

View our 2018 programs schedule.  Not sure which program to choose?  Review our "How to pick the right program" guide.

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.


2018 1-Week Parliamentary Program Staff Members Include:

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 Debating Championship title, an appearance in the final round of the World Universities Debating Championships, five collegiate national championship final round appearances, three 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 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 - 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 - 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 - 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.


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. 


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.


2017 1-Week Parliamentary Program Staff Members Included:

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 - Claire Ernst (Parliamentary Instructor)

Claire Ernst, Parliamentary Instructor

I graduated from Winsor High School's engineering program in 2016, having competed for the Windsor Debate Team for three years. I saw a decent amount of competitive success in Parliamentary debate, not so much in Public Forum or Extemporaneous speaking. After high school, I took up coaching Parli at Windsor, which I will continue to make the time to do because I absolutely love teaching and helping students become confident speakers. My greatest passions in debate are colorful intros and foreign policy/military intervention.

I'm an Economics major at my local junior college with a flair for American history and statistics. Alongside my dream of becoming a teacher, I hope I am able to pursue coaching debate for the forseeable future. Presently, I work for the Sonoma County Water Agency, which allows me to get up-close and personal with our local waterways while also giving me a healthy wariness of government. I also get paid to head the California branch of a political organization I am affiliated with, and the frequent trips to D.C. the job affords make my history buff self very hapy.

In my free time, you can find me at a local car show or in my garage, tinkering with my '69 El Camino. ~


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Jonathan Haderlein (LD & Parli Instructor)

Jonathan Haderlein, LD & Parli Instructor

Jon has competed in debate for ten years and coached for two. While competing for North Hollywood High School he qualified for the TOC in Public Forum and Congressional Debate and made elimination rounds in both Lincoln Douglas and Congressional Debate at both the California State Championship and the NFL National Tournament. Jon went to college at the University of Chicago, and during his fourth year he became the highest ranked individual UChicago APDA debater in recorded history (a record he hopes will soon be broken). While competing in British Parliamentary Debate he was the 2014 North American Universities Debating Champion as well as a two-time Hart House IV Finalist, a two-time USUDC Semifinalist, a Cambridge IV Semifinalist, and a Yale IV Semifinalist. 

Jon has been coaching high school debate in California for two years, during which he has coached students to elimination rounds at the California State Tournament in both public forum and parliamentary debate as well as coaching a student to late elimination rounds in Lincoln Douglas at the 2016 NSDA National Championship. He is excited to be teaching at SNFI, even though it will take him away from his four year old shar-pei labrador mixes, in part because his best friend and fellow 2014 North American Champion Krikor will be teaching as well. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Krikor Kouyoumdjian (Parli Instructor)

Krikor Kouyoumdjian, Parli Instructor

Krikor Kouyoumdjian has been involved in debate for 12 years as both a competitor and a coach. In shigh school he compeded in Congress and Parli at the state champion level as well as winning the Duke Moot Court competition undefeated. Krikor attended Loyola Marymount University and competed in British Parliamentary debate as well as APDA. He attended 5 different national championships, making it to elimination rounds in each one. He has won multiple tournaments at the national and international level, most notably the 2013 Oxford IV and the 2014 North American Championships. 

Krikor has experience coaching and teaching students at every grade level from elementary to high school and has worked as a debate coach at 5 schools in the Los Angeles area. Most recently his 5th and 6th graders from the Center for Early Education won the National Championship title for their age range in the MSPDP.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Tori Sheber (Parliamentary Instructor)

Tori Sheber, Parliamentary Instructor

I have been competing in forensics for over six years. I competed for four years in high school and two years in college. Though my primary focus has always been parliamentary debate, I have won awards in Lincoln-Douglas, extemporaneous, and impromptu. I was ranked the #1 Community College parliamentary debater in May 2016. I coached debate at my former high school and will continue coaching debate in Los Angeles this year. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Anna Skarr (Parliamentary Instructor)

Anna Skarr, Parliamentary Instructor

A rising sophomore in International Relations and Disease Biology at UC Davis, Anna competed in forensics for four years at Windsor High School, captaining the parliamentary team her senior year. She holds a Degree of Superior Distinction from the National Speech and Debate Honor Society. During her parliamentary debate career, she reached semifinals at four invitationals and won one, also reaching finals for extemporaneous speaking at the University of the Pacific's Jon Schamber Invitational. Having judged at SNFI for the past two years, Anna is a returning member of the family of debaters who make this camp possible. 


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, Claremont, Bishop O’Dowd, Santa Clara Spring, the Windsor Invitational and the California State Championship.  Five Windsor parliamentary debaters have finished in the top-10 in of the NSDA's national ranking, including the 1st & 2nd ranked parli debaters in the nation.  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 - Megan Wilson (Parliamentary Instructor)

Megan Wilson, Parliamentary Instructor

Megan debated at Yale University for 4 years. She had great success in both American and British Parliamentary styles. In the fall she will start work at Cornerstone Research in New York.

 




Upcoming Sessions
* Tentative and Subject to Change

Session Grade Location Price Range  
Jul 29th - Aug 4th 9th-12th Stanford University $1,395.00 – $1,695.00
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Aug 5th - Aug 11th 9th-12th Stanford University $1,395.00 – $1,695.00
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Aug 12th - Aug 18th 9th-12th Stanford University $1,395.00 – $1,695.00
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