Georgetown Debate Seminar

The Georgetown Debate Seminar is an elite summer debate workshop with programs in policy, public forum, and public speaking/basic argumentation. The Seminar offers an unparalleled experience with top-tier faculty, a well-crafted curriculum, and an unbeatable location in the nation’s capital!

GDDI Fellows (7 Weeks)

June 21-August 8, 2020

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Georgetown Policy Debate Seminar (3 Weeks)

June 21-July 10, 2020

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Public Forum

June 28-July 9, 2020

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In light of developments in the COVID-19 outbreak, Georgetown University has announced its decision to move to an all-online environment for summer 2020. Unfortunately, this will include all on-campus conferences and camps, including the Georgetown Debate Seminar (GDS) and Georgetown-Dartmouth Debate Institute (GDDI) Fellows programs.

As mentioned in our prior update on March 12th, we have been hard at work preparing for this possibility, and, while we regret that we will be unable to host you in Washington, D.C. and Hanover this summer, we are committed to maximizing the pedagogical opportunities of the remote learning environment and retaining as many of the unique strengths of our programs as possible. 

Summary

  • All Georgetown-affiliated debate programs will take place virtually in 2020;
  • Participants will be able to access Georgetown’s electronic library resources for the duration of the program in which they enroll;
  • We will spend the next three months drawing upon the resources, experiences, and best practices of the virtual learning environment both at Georgetown and at the various institutions in which our teaching staff is immersed.

We are monitoring the situation with the current coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) very closely. Currently, we hope and intend to hold all programs as planned. Our campuses are focused on events in March and April, and will likely wait to make determinations about summer programs until there is more clarity about what the situation will look like by then. Until we have more information, we are proceeding under the assumption that programs beginning in June can occur as scheduled. You can see some of the precautions we will take for the health and safety of program participants below.

However, we also want to let you know that we are committed to hosting the camp and are exploring all options. Should the outbreak look likely to affect our ability to host on-site, or to create a significant negative impact on participation, we will provide an option for remote/online attendance. We are currently working with experts and putting into place infrastructure to facilitate this. We intend to keep essentially all aspects of the camp the same to the maximum possible extent, including daily real-time labs, practice debates, extensive instructor feedback, etc. We will release additional details about exactly what this would look like, including an adjusted price structure, as soon as we can. We will also be as flexible with our refund policy as possible given the developing situation, for both in-person and online versions of the program.

We are focused on ensuring the health and safety of our staff and participants. Measures that we plan to implement include the following:

  • Coordinate closely with on-campus medical facilities and resources.
  • Create a dedicated space for self-quarantine purposes if necessary.
  • Provide hand sanitizer to every student and faculty member as well as make it available in common spaces.
  • Limit large group gatherings in confined spaces; utilize smaller classroom-size gatherings as much as possible.
  • Work to minimize physical contact like shaking hands.
  • Regularly sanitize all shared spaces.

This is not an exhaustive list, and we will continue to develop additional protocols over the coming weeks.

It is difficult to predict what may happen in the upcoming weeks and months, but we are committed to providing an safe, healthy, educational, and enjoyable camp experience. You can expect to receive further information about the possible contingencies and how we plan to adapt over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we recommend that you stay up-to-date with recommendations from your local health agencies and from the U.S. government at coronavirus.gov (new window).

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at georgetowndebateseminar@gmail.com (new window). We look forward to working with you this summer!