From the Program Director's Desk

WUDL Season 2017-2018 Has Started!

240 students. 27 schools. 76 judges. A ridiculous (in a good way) number of parents, administrators, and other observers. 7 teams entered at least 7 teams, showing growth within schools. Its so easy to measure success by numbers and let them tell the story of an event or organization. In some ways, we're floored that the WUDL has grown so much. Capital City (many thanks for hosting us!) was almost out of space! This was by far our largest tournament, and for that we are very proud. We're furthermore looking forward to November when most of those observers (and the 5/6 schools that had homecoming this past weekend) jump in as competitors. Its also important to remember the qualitative reasons

Topicality and the Supreme Court

Tuesday, in downtown D.C., two well funded and well prepared teams of debaters faced off. The affirmative's case argued that Wisconsin's recent re-drawing of congressional districts gerrymandered Democrats into a permanent minority. They pointed to the results of a recent election, where Republicans won 48.6% of the vote, but won a 60-39 seat majority in the State House. Their argument was that the redistricting restricted free speech and violated the equal protection clause. The negative went for Topicality and Solvency. This debate wasn't between high schoolers, but took place in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, which heard oral arguments from both sides in a highly publici

Debate and Social-Emotional Learning

As the dust settles on the WUDL's experience at Georgetown Day School's Invitational Tournament, some memories are still vivid--the happiness when each team won their first round and the frustration showed by each team when they lost a tough round that felt well within reach. For many of our students, this was their first exposure to national competition and/or a regional tournament's "Varsity Division." Big travel tournaments like this are hard, even when you've had months to prepare. They put the experience of debate in context--its a big world out there, and what makes you a consistent trophy winner in our small pond isn't enough to make your mark on the national circuit without some extr

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