Frequently Asked Questions



I've never debated before.  Is this something I can do?

Certainly!  The Seawolf Debate program has a long history of preparing those with no experience to debate well.  The full resources of the team will be available to you, from group training sessions to individual coaching.  Participation in a training session will be required of all participants in the tournament; at the Introductory Session you will learn about the format for the debates, preparation of arguments for your position and strategies for successful debating.  Finally, members of the Seawolf Debate traveling team are not eligible to compete in the tournament; we expect that those who compete will have little or no experience in competitive debate. 


What does a debate look like?

Please see the section on how to debate.


How do I register?

First, you should find a partner with whom to debate.  Once you have a partner, click on the registration page and complete the registration form.

What if I don't have a partner?

Complete (2 person) teams are given priority in registration for the competition.  Individuals unable to find a partner may submit an individual registration.  The tournament organizers will attempt to pair individual registrants with another individual registrant.  Individual registrants are not guaranteed participation in the competition.

You should also check out our Facebook page.  Post on our wall that you're looking for a partner.  Who knows, you may find your perfect match!


Who is eligible to compete?

Participants must be enrolled for a minimum of six (6) credits for the current semester in an undergraduate or graduate program at UAA.  UAA students who have attended more than one competitive tournament as part of the Seawolf Debate competitive team are not eligible to compete in the tournament. 


How much will this cost?

Participation is free for eligible UAA students.


How much time will this take?

The tournament is scheduled for Tuesday evenings, from 7:00-10:00pm, beginning on January 29th and running through March 7th.  The Final Round will be held Thursday, March 7th. You and your partner will be required to attend the Introductory Session (January 31st) and one Preliminary Round (scheduled on either Feb. 5th, 12th, 19th or 26th).  If, based on your performance in your preliminary round, you are selected to participate in the Semifinal Round, you'll debate again on March 5th.  If, based on the Semifinal Round, you qualify for the Final Round, you’ll debate again on March 7th. 

Please see the schedule for more information.


How will I know when we'll be debating?

Pairings (a schedule of the teams competing in a round, the topic for the debate and position assignments) will be released one week prior to the preliminary or final rounds.  Pairings will be announced in the sessions and on this website.

What topics will we debate?

Topics will be drawn from current controversial events.  They may be local, regional, national or international in nature.  The topic for each debate will be announced one week before the debate so that teams may prepare.

The following motions were used in the 2010 Cabin Fever Debates:

Rd 1: President Obama's first year in office was a success.
Rd 2: Corporations should be prohibited from engaging in electioneering communication.
Rd 3: The U.S. should decline to sell arms to Taiwan.
Rd 4: Any federal health care bill should not provide funding for abortions, except in the cases of rape, incest, or risk to the mother's life.
Rd 5: The U.S. should impose a sin tax on unhealthful foods.
Rd 6: The U.S. should explicitly endorse the opposition in Iran.
Rd 7: The United States should end governmental support for manned space exploration.
Rd 8: The State of Alaska should support the use of nuclear energy to address the energy needs of Rural Alaska.

Semifinal #1: Anchorage should bid to host the 2022 Olympics.
Semifinal #2: The State of California should legalize marijuana.
Final: The University of Alaska should allow individuals to carry guns on campus.


I have more questions.  What should I do?

You should contact the Amie Stanley (786-4354) or Steve Johnson, Director of Debate (786-4391).