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Empowering the Next Generation of Speech and Debate

Raised toward our $25,000 Goal
153 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 06, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

The Cornell Speech & Debate Society - Empowering the Next Generation of Speech and Debate Students!

Why Support the Cornell Speech & Debate Society?

For the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic severely restricted the Cornell Speech and Debate Society’s ability to travel. As a result, two years worth of CSDS students have had little to no exposure to speech and debate as it always was: home to a cooperative team spirit built on global competition, to quick thinking that feeds off the energy of the room, and to advocacy that takes us beyond the boundaries of Cornell.

Despite a global pandemic and significant budget cuts, Speech & Debate students and staff have ensured that we never faltered. We’ve created new partnerships in China and Vietnam; brought home (virtual) trophies from Lincoln, Nebraska to Belgrade, Serbia; and continued our long-standing community service programs such as teaching public speaking to homeschooled students in Ithaca. 

But we can't do it alone. We need YOU to help the next generation of Speech and Debate students get back on the road.

Above: Cornell Speech and Debate Society members assembled in front of Uris Hall before the end-of-year banquet.

Speech & Debate has been growing — we have resurgent policy debate and Spanish debate teams, as well as scores of new British parliamentary debaters and speech competitors — and counts more than 100 members in its ranks. To support all of them, seniors to freshmen, veteran debaters to brand new recruits, we rely on your generosity. 

Your gift to the Cornell Speech and Debate Society ensures the program remains accessible, and enables students to travel to the season's most important and educational competitions.

Cornell alumni Jeremy Rosen '93 and Jodi Kruger '90, both former Cornell Speech & Debate students themselves, are generously matching up to $5,000 in gifts! Will you help us reach this goal and double your impact?

Above: Cornell Speech and Debate Society President Eli Pallrand debates at the 2022 Vanderbilt BP Tournament.

Your contribution, no matter the size, is ESSENTIAL to our continued success. Please give what you can and empower the next generation of Speech & Debate!

The following programs are made possible by your generosity:

1. Global Empowerment: Cornellians teach debate to students and adults in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Uganda, South Africa, China, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and India — and in the constitution state, Connecticut!

2. Local Service: We’ve worked with everyone from prisoners to high school students to senior citizens, including programs with Ithaca High School, Dryden High School, Spencer Van Etten High School, and the Roads Scholar program. 

3. Informing the Campus: We’ve taught debate skills to ROTC cadets, hosted major intellectuals speaking on everything from the future of money to the midterm elections, and moderated campus political debates.  

4. Speech & Debate Competition: During the past two years of the pandemic, Cornell Speech and Debate competitors have amassed hundreds of appearances in elimination rounds.  

Below, you can see the Cornell International Summer Debate Camp's most recent graduation class. Your support makes this camp possible!

Our programs all have one thing in common: a learning experience impossible anywhere else. Whether it’s informing the campus, competing world-wide, or teaching speech and debate to others, the work of the Cornell Speech and Debate Society leaves its members with permanent community bonds that stretch across state and national boundaries, the ability to advocate for themselves, and a sense of fulfillment having taught that skill to others. When you give, that transformative work grows. 

And when you donate, you can see some of the students you’re supporting. Pictured below, Cornell Speech and Debate members over the last year: 

Above: Spanish debate competes in the 2022 Spanish Debate World Championship in Madrid. 

Above: Speech competes at the Pi Kappa Delta tournament and American Forensics Association national championship. 

Above: British Parliamentary/Worlds debate competes at Vanderbilt and the University of Vermont.

Above: Policy debate prepares for a tournament, and attends one at Wayne State University.

Your donation also supports speech and debate education across more than 3 continents. Below, see pre-pandemic photos of our work: 

Above, Program Director Sam Nelson leads a class in South Africa.

Donate now to support the Cornell Speech and Debate Society’s worldwide success and service! Hundreds of students are endlessly grateful for your generosity. 

Choose a giving level


CSDS Supporter

We appreciate any and all support that you can provide!


Junior Varsity

Your contribution will cover registration fees for a team at a tournament.



Your contribution will go to local accommodations and lodging for a team.


Quarter Finalist

Your contribution will fund a bus ticket for a team.



Your contribution will pay for the plane ticket of one international student to attend our Cornell Speech and Debate Camp



Your Contribution will support a low-income student to learn speech and debate at one of our international camps


World Champion

Your contribution will support 4 of our staff to come and teach students to speak and debate at one of our international camps