Saluki Debate Team

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Southern Illinois University has a long history of success in competitive debate, both policy-style and parliamentary-style, with two-person teams winning National Championships in six different years, the squad winning National Sweepstakes Championships five times, and an individual taking home the National Top Speaker award four times. All of this spans several decades of competition in the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA), National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA), and the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE).

Recently, the team has improved its legacy by winning the 2008, 2013, and 2015 NPTE National Championship, the 2013 and 2014 NPDA National Championship, the 2008 NPDA Top Speaker Award, and NPTE Top Speaker Award in 2015.

SIU teams were ranked #1 or #2 in the country during the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 seasons. SIU had a team in the semifinal round or better of at least one national championship tournament for nine years, a feat never before accomplished.


The debate team is headed by Professor of Debate, Dr. Todd Graham, and we are currently accepting walk-on debaters. Debating experience is a plus, but not required. All team members are required to maintain strong academic credentials while participating in debate.


The SIU Debate Team formerly competed in NPDA-style parliamentary debate and NDT/CEDA policy debate. As of the 2017-2018 academic year, the team moved to the Worlds format of debate (also called British Parliamentary or BP). BP is growing rapidly and is now the largest format of collegiate debate; the team will compete against world-renowned schools from Ivy Leagues to the most prestigious universities from around the world. The SIU debate team will attend tournaments across the United States and internationally for the World University Debate Championship. The team is welcoming any new students who would like to participate; please contact Dr. Todd Graham at