JDI - Information

Jayhawk Debate Institute

The Jayhawk Debate Institute prides itself on providing exceptional preparation to its students on the upcoming high school debate topic. The JDI summer institute offers nationally competitive debate instruction at a cut rate price. We specialize in providing experienced adult instructors with vast experience teaching both high school and college debate. The teaching staff includes professors and PhD students from KU's national championship winning coaching staff and experienced instructors from other Universities. We will also facilitate students getting the opportunity to take advantage of facilities at the flagship University for the state of Kansas and to communicate with University admissions.

Topic Lectures

Topic lectures will provide students with an intensive introduction to the topic and argumentation theory. Affirmative cases areas and negative approaches to the topic will be discussed. Separate lectures will be targeted for advanced and beginning debaters.

Debate Theory

Classes emphasize debate theory, case construction, strategy, and refutation. Students will be placed in labs with other students at their level to maximize their educational experience.

Library Resources

Students will have access to the Universities vast online research data bases. Students will receive instruction in using online research sources.‚Äč One of the most valuable aspects of attending the KU Institute is the opportunity to do research in the multimillion volume KU Library system. This includes the main library, a full Federal Documents Depository, as well as the KU law, science, and engineering libraries. Holdings at the KU libraries include more than 650,000 government documents, over 32,000 serials, 2.89 million microforms, and book holdings upwards of 3.3 million volumes. 


Each year at the JDI we produce 750+ pages of evidence that is available for all students in digital formats. We will also provide students with a packet of evidence at the beginning of the camp to facilitate practice speeches as quickly as possible.

Practice, Practice, Practice

We will provide students with extensive opportunities to refine their debate skills through numerous practice debates and speeches with feedback from our staff of excellent instructors. Students will participate in multiple practice rounds and will participate in tournaments at the conclusion of both the two week and three week camp sessions.

Education Targeted for Your Experience Level

The Jayhawk Debate Institute realizes that debate is not a "one institute fits all" activity. For this reason, the JDI offers different possible experiences for a student. Whether you are a novice debater looking to get some experience before the start of the season or a senior wanting a longer, more in-depth camp, the Jayhawk Debate Institute is the camp for you. 

Two-Week Policy Debate Division

The two-week camp will offer labs in the novice, intermediate, and advanced. The advanced division is for experienced high school debaters. Students are exposed to advanced theory and work intensively on developing in-depth approaches to the topic. The intermediate division is for students with some experience who seek to improve upon their basic skills and to begin investigating more advanced theoretical concepts. The novice division is meant for those students who are brand new to debate, either they are just entering high school or they picked up debate late, this special lab is a chance to focus on the basic skills needed to compete the following season. All students are placed into both topic and generic research labs. A tournament concludes the two-week camp. 

Three-Week Policy Debate Division

The most advanced workshop offered by the Jayhawk Debate Institute. The three-week session is for advanced high school debaters. Students will receive extensive assistance in research, argument construction, and debate skills; participate in tournaments; and receive special instruction in advanced debate theory. Jayhawk Extended Debate Institute students should expect to participate in ten tournament-style practice rounds during the institute as well as numerous, individualized practice sessions. Students participating in this session should expect to be doing a great deal of original research during their stay at the institute. A tournament concludes the three-week-camp. 

Three-Week Policy Debate K Lab

This three-week lab at the Jayhawk Debate Institute is oriented toward juniors and seniors who are specifically interested in kritikal research, argument construction, and argumentation at a nationally competitive level. During the three weeks of camp, students will read and develop familiarity with various subsets of critical literature, such as antiblackness, Marxism, queer theory, and settler colonialism; conduct both guided and independent research into this literature; develop and hone the ability to construct kritikal affirmative and negative positions; and explore various types and formats of kritikal debate as well as the traditions and histories out of which kritikal debate has developed. Students in this lab will participate in intra-lab debates as well as the traditional three-week JDI camp tournament. 

This lab will include a maximum of 20 students and requires a separate application. The application for this lab will open on February 19, 2024. It must be completed by March 31, 2024 and students will be notified of their acceptance into the lab by April 30, 2024. Selection for the lab will be determined by camp directors Scott Harris, and Azja Butler. Any students not selected for this lab will be automatically accepted into the traditional three-week Jayhawk Debate Institute camp. Please note that tuition for this lab is $300 more than the traditional three-week camp due to the guest work sessions and lectures this lab includes.  

Lab Leaders: Coming Soon

Lab Tuition: $3,300 (resident), $2,500 (commuter) 

Lab Application: 

Standard JDI Application 

What are some of your goals for the 2024-2025 debate season? 

What kritikal arguments have you run in debates? Please provide the name of the argument and a short description of it/the thesis.  

With which of the following critical literature bases are you familiar? Select all that apply. 

In which of the following critical literature bases are you interested? Select all that apply. 

What do you hope to learn from this lab? What work do you hope this lab does? 

Why are you interested in kritikal debate?  

Coaches Workshop

The coaches workshop will provide coaches with an in-depth exploration of this year's policy debate topic. The workshop will include the material from the topic lectures, presented in an open-discussion format. It is an opportunity for coaches to learn what their students have been working on at summer debate camps.