Stanford Invitational Tournament
Thanks for joining us this summer!  Please return to our website later this fall to see the dates of our 2020 programs.  We expect to have dates posted and camp enrollment for summer 2020 open by approximately mid-October.

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: A low student to staff ratio - averaging 1 staff to every 10 students or better A great number of practice debates - half of the total instructional time will be spent on conducting practice debates Seminars on brainstorming, constructing and supporting arguments and theory of argumentation from the ground up Topic analyses on a number of commonly used topic areas through a spirited examination of current events Living and working on the Stanford University campus in a stimulating and secure environment Videotaping of speeches for review and analysis of speaking styles, cross-examination techniques and argument selection 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.

2020 1-Week Parliamentary Program Staff Members Include:

Check back closer to the start of camp for details on our 2020 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.


2019 1-Week Parliamentary Program Staff Members Included:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Uma Nagarajan-Swenson (Instructor)

Uma Nagarajan-Swenson, Instructor

Uma is a rising Sophomore studying politics and history at Scripps College. She debated Parliamentary for four years at Berkeley High School, making semifinal at the Stanford invitational and reaching elimination rounds at numerous other invitationals. She and her partner also made it through elimination rounds at the CHSSA state championship in 2017. As former co-president of her team, she has experience judging and teaching debate, and she helped grow the team, hire a coach, and create lasting success.  

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Ben Schwartz (Instructor)

Ben Schwartz, Instructor

Ben is an incoming sophomore studying economics at Stanford University. He debated in MSPDP for three years at Sutter Middle School and in NPDL (American Parliamentary) for four years as the captain of the C.K. McClatchy High School team, finishing his senior year ranked 12th nationally. He coached the Sutter Middle School debate team from 2016-2018, during which the team achieved its first league championship since Ben's 8th grade year on the team. He also served as the Assistant Tournament Director for the Capitol Region Debate League for the 2017-2018 season. Ben now debates in British Parliamentary and American Parliamentary Debate for the Stanford Debate Society.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Krish Visht (Instructor)

Krish Visht, Instructor

Krish is an incoming sophomore at Carnegie Mellon Univeristy studying statistic and machine learning and is entering his 8th year of parlimentary debating and 5th year of debate coaching. As a highschooler, he finished his senior year as the top ranked parli debater in the nation and won the NPDL-TOC. Cal Lutheran, Santa Clara University, University of Pacific, Cal Parli invitational and the Martin Luther King Invitational are other notable championship performances. 

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Henry Weikel (Instructor)

Henry Weikel, Instructor

Henry Weikel is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley, where he was president of the BP and APDA team. He competed mostly in BP, breaking at more than 15 tournaments including the Oxford IV, Cambridge IV, and national championships (USUDC) and winning a number of regional tournaments including the Edinburgh Cup and California Cup. He has judged the finals of numerous tournaments including NPDL-TOC and USUDC in 2019 and coached at Berkeley and three high schools in California. He will begin graduate studies in English Literature at Oxford or Cambridge in the Fall.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Talia Wolf-Jacobs (Instructor)

Talia Wolf-Jacobs, Instructor

Talia is an incoming sophomore at UCLA studying bioengineering. In high school, she debated for four years, reaching the fifth round in the state championship and the semifinals of the Stanford tournament, finishing her senior year ranked 23rd nationally. She served as co-President of the Berkeley high school debate team for two years, helping to coach, build the program, and hire a program director and coaches.



Upcoming Sessions
* Tentative and Subject to Change

No Sessions Currently Scheduled For This Camp