Gonzaga’s annual summer debate tournament for middle and high school students began today [Wednesday]. In past years, students have flocked to Spokane to advance their arguments in person. This year it’s different.
The Gonzaga Debate Institute is one of most well-established summer debate camps in the country. It features 150 students, seventh-through-12th grades, from the U.S., Canada, Taiwan, South Korea and Switzerland.
The students have spent the last month preparing for this week’s tournament. They’re done their research, consulted with their peers and formulated their arguments. The opening round began Wednesday morning.
Glen Frappier is the director of the institute and GU’s director of debate. He says there are drawbacks of not having the students in Spokane, but there are advantages too.
“Our camps cost a lot more, all summer camps do, obviously, when it’s on campus because we have food costs, we have dorm costs. One bright spot is that we were able to lower the tuition substantially because we weren’t covering those kind of costs and students didn’t have travel costs," Frappier said.
Another advantage is that parents can dial in and watch their students’ debate rounds. The preliminary rounds are Wednesday and Thursday, elimination rounds on Friday and the finals on Saturday.