Stanford Invitational Tournament

May 1st is the deadline for guaranteed admission to your program of choice! To be guaranteed admission (so long as the program is not totally full), sign up online by May 1st and postmark the full tuition by May 4th.

View our 2018 schedule of programsNot sure about which program?  Review our "How to pick the right program" guide.

2-Week Core Beginners' Policy Program

NOTE: if you are looking for a beginning debate program and aren't sure if you are specifically intereested in policy debate, we suggest that you review our "how to choose the right program" guide.  We offer a camp for beginning students in each type of debate, although this is the only session sepcifically called "beginner."

The SNFI is proud to offer a policy debate program specifically for beginners!  This lab will teach students the core principles of policy debate, provide a first in-depth glimpse into the evidence production process (all digital), and instill the love for policy debate that all of our staff shares. The core two-week program is designed to introduce major concepts while fitting into the tightest of summer schedules while the extended week provides students several additional practice debates and a mini-end of camp tournament. We strongly encourage students who plan on debating during the school year to sign up for all three weeks as it guarantees them substantial practice time.

Main features of our Beginner’s Program:

• Introduction to Policy Debate concepts using curriculum designed in conjunction with our poicy debate director, Brian Manuel, the Stanford Debate Society policy debate coach, and our site director Corey Turoff, a full-time teacher and debate coach at the Head Royce School in Oakland.

• Introduction to research methods by guiding students through the production of one small affirmative case and a small negative off-case position.

• Introduction to electronic file production that most high schools have shifted towards using in the last two years.

• An Extended Week with opportunity for additional practice debates and argument seminars.

Admission to this lab is limited by our ability to staff it with quality educators with experience teaching beginning debaters. If the lab fills before we can find an additional instructor, some applications may not be accepted. Please apply early! Make sure to select the Beginner’s Lab option on the application to be considered for admittance.

NOTE: if you are looking for a beginning debate program and aren't sure if you are specifically intereested in policy debate, we suggest that you review our "how to choose the right program" guide.  We offer a camp for beginning students in each type of debate, although this is the only session sepcifically called "beginner."

2018 2-Week Core Beginners' Policy Program Staff Members Include:

Check back closer to the start of camp for details on our 2018 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.

2017 2-Week Core Beginners' Policy Program Staff Members Included:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Elsa Givan (Policy Instructor)

Elsa Givan, Policy Instructor

Elsa is currently a debater at Georgetown University and a student in their School of Foreign Service.  Prior to Georgetown, Elsa debated for the College Preparatory School in Oakland, CA.  In 2013, she was the Top Speaker and Semi-finalist at the National Forensic League National Championship, Third Speaker and Octafinalist at the Tournament of Champions, and Champion of the Golden Desert Tournament.  In 2012, Elsa and her partner were finalists at the 2012 National Forensic League National Championship.  In addition, to these successes Elsa has cleared and/or received a top 10 speaker award at every major national tournament she's attended.  She is an alumnus of the Sophomore Scholars program at SNFI and this will be her second summer as an instructor.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Brian Manuel (Division Director, Policy & LD Debate)

Brian Manuel, Division Director, Policy & LD Debate

Brian has been coaching debate for 17 years. He is widely recognized for unrivaled talent in creating and rebuilding programs from the bottom up. Brian is currently the Director of Policy Debate for the Stanford Debate Society at Stanford University, the Director of Debate for Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School in Scarsdale, NY, and a support consultant for the National Speech and Debate Association.

While the Director of Policy Debate at Stanford, Brian has rebuilt the program and most recently coached teams to 3rd place at the Cross Examination Debate Association and elimination rounds at the National Debate Tournament.  At Edgemont, Brian coached the 9th ranked policy debate in the country, four NY state championships in Policy Debate and Public Forum,  established a middle school debate program, and introduced the school to the format of Lincoln Douglas Debate.  In addition, he has had students compete on Capitol Hill in front of the House Judiciary Committee on the topic of Domestic Surveillance.

Prior to Stanford, Brian coached for Harvard University, Lakeland High School, Chattahoochee High School, Cathedral Preparatory School, and Scranton High School. 

Brian’s teams have cleared at virtually every major natural tournament they’ve attended.   He has coached the champions of the 2003 Big Bronx Invitational and 2008 Barkley Forum.  Additionally, Brian has had multiple teams in the elimination rounds of the Tournament of Champions, NDCA, NCFL, and NSDA National Championships with finals finishes in 2007 and 2012.  He has also coached the Phyllis Flory Barton top speaker in Policy Debate at NSDA Nationals in 2013.  Along with his tremendous tournament successes, Brian’s students have attended every major national round robin in the United States.

During the summer Brian serves as the Policy Institute Director at the Stanford National Forensic Institute and has previously taught at the Kentucky National Debate Institute, with the Fellows program, Capitol Debate Summer Institutes, Millennial Institutes, and the Georgetown Debate Seminar.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Ian Beier (Policy Instructor)

Ian Beier, Policy Instructor

Ian Beier is currently a PhD student and assistant coach at the University of Kansas and the College Preparatory School. In 2017, KU cleared three teams to the elimination rounds of the National Debate Tournament and had one team in the quarter finals of the tournament. In 2016, KU qualified three teams to the National Debate Tournament and made it to the finals of the tournament. From 2013-2015, he coached at Damien High School. During this time, the debate team remained competitively successful and cleared at several national tournaments. In 2015, Damien High School made it to finals of the National Forensics League tournament.  Prior to his time at Damien, Ian was the Assistant Director of Debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 2010 to 2013. During that time, UNLV qualified six teams to the National Debate Tournament, qualifying with the top seed in the district in both 2012 and 2013.

Upcoming Sessions
* Tentative and Subject to Change

Session Grade Location Price Range  
Jul 15th - Jul 28th 9th-12th Stanford University $2,595.00 – $3,250.00
Pricing Options