Stanford Invitational Tournament

Frequently Asked Questions about Stanford National Forensic Institute programs

This FAQ page is intended to answer the questions which we receive most often from students and parents. We also have an Enrollment Policies page which addresses questions about our deadlines and enrollment procedures, and an Airport Transportation page which describes our optional airport shuttle. If you have a question that is not answered on this page, please contact us.


General FAQs:

If you are attending and wish to debate with your regular partner, both you and your partner must make mutual partner requests in order for our academic staff to pair you for camp.

For online programs, the Sunday evening orientation does not exist and camp starts on Monday morning with the academic component.


Online Virtual Programs FAQs:

We don't release the actual camp schedule for any sessions until shortly before the beginning of the program, but here is the sample daily schedule that illustrates the time blocks in which our Online Virtual Programs operate for your planning purposes.

Please review our Online Virtual Programs page for an in-depth look at the pedagogical model our programs follow and an overview of the general theory behind how a hybrid synchronous/asynchronous instructional model operates.

While we have designed our online programs to be as flexible as possible for attendees spread across the world, the vast majority of attendees are located between the US Eastern and US Pacific timezones (UTC -5 to UTC -8).  Our flexibility is made possible by using synchronous time only when it is truly necessary to enhance the student's educational outcomes, thus allowing for a majority of the course to be scheduled asynchronously.  Please reivew the sample daily schedule document for more specifics.

The sample daily schedule is best thought of as our attempt to flesh out a possible timeline on which students may complete their work.  The only inflxible portion of the programming is the daily synchronous period (from 1p-3:30p Pacific) each weekday.  All asynchronous work is completed on a schedule that works best for the student based on their timezone and other commitments.

It is best to conceptualize of the online program as being broken up into 24 hour blocks.  At the end of a given day's synchronous time, participants then have the flexibility to complete the next set of asyncronous material on whatever schedule makes sense for them such that they come to the next day's synchronous session having completed all of that "day's" asynchronous material.

Yes, everry program follows this same cadence with one exception: our Intensive Practice Round session programs.  These practice-focused programs are built around doing a lot of practice rounds and require more than 2.5 hours of synchronous time each day.  That said, participants are still spread around many timezones and as a result our staff will schedule practice rounds bbased on the availability of participants after collecting information from them at the beginning of the program.


In-Person programs FAQs (Residental & Commuter options):

During the academic year, before the summer camp season, Stanford Debate does not maintain a full-time office staff but we will work to reply to inqueries as quickly as we are able to do so--please understand that we likely won't be able to reply immediately and it may take several business days for your request to be answered.  During the period in which the summer camp is running we have a full time administrative staff in addition to the camp's academic staff that will be available to assist with camper and family needs from 7am to 1am in the at-camp office every day, and there will always be an administrative staff member on "night call" that is reachable through the camp phone number from 1am to 7am when the at-camp office is closed for the evening.

The academic content is identical for both programs. For the Commuter program, students arrive before 9AM in the morning, and should plan for academic activities to continue into the evening until at least 8PM. Commuters are able to eat lunch and dinner in the cafeteria. The Residential program adds breakfast (for a total of 3 meals per day) and accommodation in Stanford housing. Most students attending the SNFI choose the Residential program.  Note that by popular request of students from prior summers, 1-2 meals per week for both residents and commuters will be "dine out" meals where students eat in the Student Union building or other campus eateries of their choosing and pay for their selections themselves.

For more information on the difference between Residential and Commuter options, please see our Housing Status page.

Our sample schedule page provides a general overview of what a schedule at camp may look like, although specific session schedules are not released until studentas arrive to the first day of camp in order to allow for room assignemnts and other locations to be accurate up through any last minute space assignment changes made by the university.