Welcome to Washington!

There is less than a week to go before the season opener at Washington Tech on October 3rd! Everyone here in the office is busy preparing for the tournament, and there’s a ton going on.

With debate teams all around the cities getting ready (cutting cards and planning strategies), making sure the season opener will be a success and a great experience for our debaters involves a lot of moving pieces all coming together just right.

Welcome to WashingtonFrom our administrative and logistics guru Genesia setting up bus schedules, ordering awards and pizza, to our Volunteer Coordinator Monica recruiting volunteer judges and planning judge-training, to our program staff Jake and Travis coordinating with Washington Tech and setting up pairings and a million other details – it’s a team effort with one goal: make Saturday, October 3rd, awesome for each and every participant!

On that morning, after all the walkie-talkie batteries have been checked, signs are put up for the judge lounge, snacks are out on tables, and when dozens of brilliant young debaters are filling the halls, their minds armed for the competition… that’s when all the hard work will pay off. That’s when all our debater’s hard work and devotion will shine and their voices will be heard.

We’re excited to start the year off at Washington Tech!

Who’s ready to debate?!

A “Would You Rather” Pizza Party

Pizza kick-off parties are starting at high schools, and the Minnesota Urban Debate League staff was excited to drop in and visit Patrick Henry High School for theirs! It was a fun time for everyone, and the students were able to talk about debate, share their answers to funny food-for-thought questions, and have delicious pizza.

It’s always great to have established debate team members in the room to share their debate experience with newer students. Some students came by hovering near the door, unsure whether debate would be for them, and found themselves welcomed in by teachers and peers.

The MNUDL’s Administrative and Program Assistant Genesia Williams is an alum of Patrick Henry and got a big cheer from the students!

There was a ton of interest from the twenty students and everyone was excited by the idea of being the person that everyone else will be listening to.

Then the room divided into small groups to tackle the following difficult questions, an exercise that gave the new students a feel of what it is like to argue their perspective to the whole room.


Patrick Henry alum and MNUDL staff member Genesia Williams was a big hit with the team.


  • “Would you rather be a Dragon or have a Dragon?” (“Owning a dragon would make me feel like a princess.” “If I was a dragon I could fly and be magical.”)
  • “Would you rather have no knees or no elbows?” (“No knees because I couldn’t be a writer if I didn’t have elbows.” “No elbows because I bike a lot.”)
  • “Would you rather have to use vinegar eye-drops or sandpaper toilet-paper?” (“Sandpaper, because you didn’t specify how many time we have to use it.” “I said sandpaper for the same reason.”)
  • “Would you rather be able to change the past or see the future?” (“Past, because you can’t do much about the future.” “Seeing the future lets you know that your hard work pays off.”)

Big thanks to Mrs. Stammers and Mrs. Roth, and the Patrick Henry High School debate team for welcoming us to their kick-off party!


The 2nd Annual Mayor’s Challenge: The Great Economic Debate

We are proud to announce that Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman,  Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, and Commissioner Michael Rothman are joining forces in supporting the Urban Debate League’s expansion into more high schools and middle schools. Come see top Minneapolis and Saint Paul high school students debate this year’s topic – Resolved: That NAFTA has been beneficial for the economy of Mexico and the United States, specifically Minnesota.

May 20th, 2014 

Augsburg College – Foss Center

2211 Riverside Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 55454 Continue reading