about smu's debate program

SMU Debate


Our program believes  that Forensics represents the best way to develop the human voice of  students.  We believe competition is an appropriate means for developing  strength of character and a degree of excellence necessary for the  formation of civic leaders.  We strive for the strongest development of  the human voice because it is the most ideal means of resolving  conflicts, establishing our personal identities, and advocating for the  well being others.  With these goals in mind we submit to rigorous  processes of research, organization, presentation, and judgment in order  develop student abilities to speak well.  

We are a program created by the Meadows School  and the Communication Studies division in 2008.  We are appreciative to  Dean Sam Holland  and the SMU Student Affairs office led by Vice  President K.C. Mmeje. 


SMU WINS JV National Championship




SMU Wins its Sixth National Championship at IPDA Debate Nationals in Louisiana

Price Morgan won the junior  varsity national championship in Shreveport, Louisiana on April 16,  2019 after completing a 6-2 win/loss record and winning five consecutive  elimination rounds.  Morgan won a 4-1 decision by a national panel of  debate coaches based on his arguments concerning whether Hulu should be  able to sell consumer data gathered from its subscribers. Morgan was the  #6 speaker at the tournament based on his speaker points.  He defeated  the #1 rated speaker in the final round.  One of Price’s coaches was  Farmer fellow Matthew Lucci who won the overall season national  championship in junior varsity IPDA for 2018.  Both Lucci and Morgan won  their titles with one year of debate experience and no previous high  school debating experience.  SMU fielded nine debaters in all five  divisions of the 2019 tournament:  team, novice, junior varsity, varsity  and professional.  Five of the nine students advanced to elimination  rounds in team, novice, junior varsity, and varsity.  Maggie Cook Allen  and Price Morgan defeated and knocked out of the tournament the #2 rated  team varsity team in the nation and won a quarterfinal award.   Stephen  Frantz completed the varsity division as the #17 ranked varsity debater  and won his double octafinals debate before losing in the octafinals.   Maggie Cook Allen was the #29 seed in varsity after completing a 5-3  record.  She lost in the double octafinals round.  Connor Pittman was  the #4 seed in novice after completing a 7-1 preliminary record among  more than 120 competitors.  Berkley Breaux competing in only her second  debate tournament ever completed a 5-3 record and advanced to the  elimination rounds of the tournament.  Pittman (journalism major) won  two elimination rounds before losing in the quarterfinals. Pittman was  11th speaker based on speaker points.

This was the best  performance of an SMU debate squad overall at a national championship  tournament in more than 10 years.  More than 150 colleges and  universities nationwide competed in IPDA debate in 2018-2019.  SMU’s  nine debaters completed more than 70 preliminary rounds including topics  such as health care, sports, international affairs, domestic politics,  and entertainment.  Students debated more than 50 different topics and  had 30 minutes to research and prepare for each debate.  SMU won more  than 58% of its preliminary round debates.  SMU won 67% of its  elimination round debates.  There were more than 200 competitors from  across the nation at the IPDA championship tournament.  SMU has competed  in the IPDA debate format since 2015 and Jaden Warren won the overall  season national varsity debate title in 2016.

SMU entered the tournament  as the number eight rated program.  With only nine students, SMU was  able to finish in the overall sweepstake rankings as the number five  program in the nation.  More than 130 universities compete in the  International Public Debate Association debate league nationwide for  2018-2019.  Competing universities include:  University of North Texas,  Texas Christian University, Liberty University, Idaho State University,  University of Tennessee, University of Oklahoma, Exeter University  (Great Britain), University of Colorado, California State University,  Oregon State University, and Boise State University.

SMU debate is supported by  the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Provost office, Dedman School  of Liberal Arts, and the Meadows School of the Arts.  SMU Student  government also provides considerable financial support.  This is the  tenth year of SMU debate since it restarted in fall of 2008.  The  program has won six national titles in policy and IPDA debate.  




Maggie Cook-Allen  

Ryan Booth  

Chip Myers  

Price Morgan  

Berkely Breaux  

Grayson Sumpter  

Alexandra Randolph  

Connor Pittman  

Stephen Frantz  

Coaches were:  

Ross Sloan  

Keith Milstead  

Matthew Lucci


Ross Sloan

Keith Milstead

Matthew Lucci

Dr. Ben Voth