Matthew Harris-Ornstein

Washington Summer Debate Institute

The Matthew Harris Ornstein Washington Summer Debate Institute is hosted each year by the Washington Urban Debate League in partnership with the Matthew Harris Ornstein Memorial Foundation. The Institute provides an intense but fun debate experience that will prepare debaters for the coming competitive season and beyond.

The Ornstein Summer Debate Institute will be hosted online this summer. 

Novice Lab #1, aka "Alpha Lab", during summer 2016 before the camp tournament at Georgetown University

We will offer 5 different levels of working groups to ensure that every student is appropriately challenged: ​

​July 20th - August 1st: 

  • 2 Week Novice Labs 

  • 2 Week Transition to JV Labs 

  • 2 Week Junior Varsity Labs 

  • 2 Week Transition to Varsity Labs

July 13th - August 1st: 

  • 3 Week Varsity Labs

Our “Novice” labs will provide an exciting challenge for those new to competitive debate while our "Junior Varsity" and "Varsity" labs for returning students will sharpen their research skills, go over advanced forms of argumentation, and provide lots of hands-on practice to hone their skills.

*New for 2020: 3 Week Varsity Labs will be research focused and designed to help students develop a comprehensive knowledge of the coming year's topic. 

We pride ourselves on a low student to faculty ratio throughout the program to ensure that each student receives a personalized and engaged institute experience. Breakout sessions in small lab groups are designed for students to expand their intellectual horizons.

The Institute has a proven track record of improving a debater’s skills. Many of the most competitively successful students in the WUDL attended the summer institute. Participation makes the jump from Novice to JV, or from JV to Varsity easy, and can help students prepare for regional travel.  

The summer institute is named in honor of Matthew Harris Ornstein, a former debater who found his voice, his confidence, and a home in the debate community. The Matthew Harris Ornstein Outstanding Debater award is given in his honor to the student who best reflects Matthew’s values.

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