Stanford Invitational Tournament

Thanks for joining us this summer!  Our summer 2017 schedule will be available and open for for signup by early November; join our email list to be notified when our schedule is posted.  We expect our summer 2017 program dates to fall in the range of July 16 to August 19.

Parliamentary Debate

At SNFI we believe that there isn't a single "correct" way to do parliamentary debate, but rather that in order to succeed at the national level in both high school and college, parliamentary debaters need a well-rounded set of skills and the ability to borrow from numerous regional styles.  That belief is embodied in the staff we've assembled--at SNFI you'll work with some of the best minds in each parliamentary format!

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.  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.

Director's Note:

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.

I look forward to working with you all this summer to help you get more than ever out of your experience with parliamentary debate!

-Bryan St. Amant, Co-Division Director, SNFI Parliamentary Debate

2017 Parliamentary Debate Staff Members Include:

Check back closer to the start of camp for details on our 2017 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.

2016 Parliamentary Debate Staff Members Included:

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.  In 2015 & 2016, five Windsor parliamentary debaters 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 - Ben Anderson (LD & Parli Instructor)

Ben Anderson, LD & Parli Instructor

Ben Anderson is a sophomore at Stanford, originally from Liberty, Missouri. In high school, he competed in International Extemporaneous and Lincoln-Douglas debate with the Liberty High speech and debate team. He qualified to nationals three times, finishing in the top 30 of IX his junior year, on top of a third-place finish at State. Ben continues to debate in college with Stanford's Parliamentary Debate team. Though he hasn't figured out his major yet, Ben's interests include literature, politics, philosophy, math, and music. He plays in the Stanford orchestra and is involved in climate activism on campus. Ben is very excited to join SNFI as a Parli and LD instructor.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Emma Barton (Parliamentary Instructor)

Emma Barton, Parliamentary Instructor

Emma Barton is a rising Sophomore at the University of California Berkeley majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in Philosophy. Emma is a varsity debater for the Berkeley APDA team. In her first year at Berkeley she broke to varsity from novice at several tournaments. She was the 5th novice speaker and the 2nd novice team at the Stanford APDA tournament and 3rd place novice team at the Wellesley APDA tournament. She is going to be the tournament director for the Berkeley APDA team for the 2016-2017 year. 

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Taylor Blackburn (Parliamentary Instructor)

Taylor Blackburn, Parliamentary Instructor

Taylor Blackburn is a graduate student at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. A 2015 graduate of Bates College, she majored in Rhetoric and competed for the Brooks Quimby Debate Council in both British and American Parliamentary formats. She was champion of the Yale IV, Brandeis IV, and was the first American woman to win the United States Universities Debating Championship in 2014. She also proceeded to finals at the North American Universities Debating Championship, and twice to outrounds at the World University Debating Championship. While competing on the American Parliamentary Debate Association circuit, she received numerous team and speaker awards, including 4th place Team of the Year in 2014. Taylor is pursuing her MFA in Writing and Producing and Television. In her spare time she enjoys movies, hiking, and cooking.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Sebastian Miller (Parliamentary Instructor)

Sebastian Miller, Parliamentary Instructor

Sebastian Miller is a rising Sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, who plans to major in history. He competed in parliamentary debate for Windsor High School all four years of his high school career, and taught at the Windsor Debate Institute for three years during the summer. His competitive successes include winning the 2012 UOP invitational, placing 5th at the 2015 State Championship, and being ranked as the top parliamentary debater by the National Speech and Debate Association for the 2014-2015 debate season. Additionally, during his senior year, he reached quarterfinals or better at every invitational he attended, including the Long Beach Invitational, the UOP Invitational, the Colt Classic, the Wolf Pack Invitational, the MLK Invitational, the Stanford Invitational, the 2015 Tournament of Champions, and the 2015 California State Championship, while also winning top speaker at MLK. He currently debates for Berkeley’s APDA debate team, and had competative successes at the University of Chicago Invitational (3rd place novice team and 5th place speaker) and the Stanford APDA Invitational (4th place novice team and 6th place speaker).

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Edwin Zhang (LD & Parli Instructor)

Edwin Zhang, LD & Parli Instructor

Edwin Zhang recently graduated from Yale University, where he majored in Applied Mathematics and Ethics, Politics, & Economics, and will be working as a consultant at Redstone Strategy Group. He has been involved in debate since his sophomore year of high school, competing primarily in Lincoln-Douglas debate. As a parliamentary debater in college, he broke at the World championship, was a runner-up at the North American championship, and won the US Universities Debating Championship. In his spare time, he enjoys singing and basketball, interests sparked by his favorite movie, High School Musical, which he first watched on January 21st, 2006. His favorite restaurant is Olive Garden, and he recommends the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks combo.

Upcoming Camps

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 22 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 ...

2-Week Parliamentary Program

Our two week Parliamentary program will provide students with the opportunity to participate in more practice debates and attend more lectures with our faculty on theoretical and practical issues that are critical to success in Parliamentary debate.

Please view our one week Parliamentary program for more details of what a student will experience during the SNFI Parliamentary program.

Director's Note:

Parliamentary debate offers high ...

Worlds Schools Parliamentary

This camp will focus on the Worlds Schools style of Parliamentary debate.

More details will be posted late in the spring.