Public Forum Debate

Click here to pay your $250 nonrefundable deposit and register  by March 16th, 2018. After March 16th, a $50.00 late registration fee will be added to your total.

We offer two sessions of our Public Forum Debate program – the only difference between Sessions 1 and 2 are the dates. A camper should attend either Session 1 or Session 2, but not typically both.

Session 1 | June 30th – July 12th, 2018

$2,000 (includes dorm stay & all meals)

Commuter rate $1,765 (must live <35 mi. from UT)


Session 2 | July 21st – August 2nd, 2018

$2,000 (includes dorm stay & all meals)

Commuter rate $1,765 (must live <35 mi. from UT)


UTNIF Public Forum workshops are designed for students of all skill levels and they will be placed into the appropriate instructional group at the discretion of the curriculum director at the start of the program. Less experienced students will be introduced to the foundations of argument construction, presentation and speaking, tournament preparation, and in round strategy.  Students with more experience will finely hone debating skills and work with the unique structure of the PF activity to develop strategic approaches to victory. All students will give many practice speeches, have practice debates, rebuttal re-dos, and do stop/start skills drills. All students will participate in experience-appropriate discussions and background seminars on rotating PF topics. The goal is to train students to seamlessly incorporate sound argument and persuasion skills into competition rounds. Students will learn to how to incorporate evidence into their speeches without becoming dependent upon it. All students will receive the individualized instruction, encouragement, and resources they need to come away from the workshop much improved.

Students attending UTNIF camps must be at least 13 years of age to stay as residents in the dorm. Students who are not 13 may be able to attend as commuters, with prior permission from the camp director. Please contact Kate Richey at or (717) 478-8643

Our Public Forum Curriculum Director is Joseph Uhler of Westlake High School in Austin. Joseph was previously the Director of Forensics at Anderson for over a decade.  His students at Anderson reached elimination rounds at TFA State, UIL State, NFL/NSDA Nationals, and the Tournament of Champions. In 2010, Joseph’s students were in the final round of the Tournament of Champions in Extemporaneous Speaking. In 2015, one of Joseph’s students won TFA State in Original Oratory and his Public Forum team was invited to the Harvard Round Robin. Anderson consistently finished in the top five overall sweepstakes at the UT Longhorn Classic and finished in the top ten in overall sweepstakes at TFA State five times under his leadership.

The UTNIF PF instructors are dedicated to making you a better debater. We offer a rigorous and engaging curriculum designed to build and enhance your skills. Participants in UTNIF PF will have the chance to be heard and critiqued by judges and coaches from within the PF field as well as across the forensics spectrum. 2017 Instructors included:

  • Anindu Rentala is a rising freshman at Dartmouth College. He competed in Public Forum for four years at Anderson HS in Austin, TX and was the team captain. He is a four-time TFA State qualifier and qualified for NSDA Nationals in 2016. Anindu excelled on the national circuit, reaching Quarterfinals and Semifinals at UT, Doubleoctofinals at Glenbrooks, and Quarterfinals and Octofinals at Grapevine. In 2016, Anindu received a speaker award at all but two tournaments.
  • Andy Stubbs is a debate consultant in the Houston area and works with the Houston Urban Debate League. He previously competed in cross-examination debate and advanced to the tenth round at NSDA Nationals twice in addition to receiving a speaker award there in 2007. Andy has coached PF teams into invites to the Stanford and Berkeley Round Robins.
  • Hanh Do She has been a judging coordinator, assistant speech and debate coach, and consultant to countless high school teams and students across the state of Texas and her students have advanced to outrounds at the Tournament of Champions, the TFA State tournament, and have qualified for NSDA nationals and UIL State. Her teams have been invited to participate in the Stanford and Berkeley Round Robins.
  • John Mast is the Debate Coach at Stephen F. Austin High School in Austin, Texas.  He has coached students to the elimination rounds of the Tournament of Champions and TFA State.  He has had students qualify for NSDA Nationals in all of the debate events, including elimination rounds. His students have been in elimination rounds of major national tournaments including St. Marks and the Glenbrooks.  John’s students have been invited to multiple round robins across the United States.
  • Cale McCrary debated for Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, Texas, serving as the Team Captain his junior and senior years. In 2016, Cale ranked as highly as 20th in the nation, reaching late out-rounds at the NSDA National Tournament, the Grapevine Classic (5th overall speaker), the Bellaire Forensic Tournament (1st overall speaker) and has bid to the Tournament of Champions. In Extemp, Cale has bid to the Extemp Tournament of Champions and gotten to late out rounds at the Texas Forensics Association Tournament.
  • David Morales competed in Public Forum for four years at Plano Senior High School. He is a four-time TFA State qualifier, reaching the Octafinals his sophomore year, Semifinals his Junior year, and Octafinals again his senior year. David and his partner qualified for the TOC their senior year and broke at every tournament during that year. In addition to winning the Hockaday Invitational and reaching the Quarterfinals at the Blue Key Invitational, David also was a member of the IPPF World Championship team in 2016. He is very excited to join the UTNIF PF staff!
  • Robert Boley has been in Public Forum Debate for three years. During his career at Hendrickson HS he won second place at the Hockaday School Classic, where he and his partner earned a TOC bid, achieved the round of octofinals at the TFA 2017 state tournament, became the first team from his district to advance at the Harvard University Invitational in PF and advanced to quarterfinals of the first annual International Public Forum division at the Kentucky Tournament of Champions. He has also qualified to the Extemporaneous TOC at Northwestern twice and qualified in Extemporaneous speaking at the Kentucky TOC. The most important feat for him however, has been teaching his teammates and peers how to achieve any goal they desire in debate while also learning the true benefits of being a quality communicator.
  • Alina Shivji competed in Public Forum for four years at Colleyville Heritage High School. In addition to winning the St. Mark’s Heart of Texas Invitational her junior year, Alina also advanced to the semifinal round at the University of Texas Longhorn Classic. She has reached elimination rounds at prestigious tournaments such as the Apple Valley Minneapple, the Cal Berkeley Invitational, and TFA State, and qualified for the Tournament of Champions and the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Tournament. Alina looks forward to working at UTNIF this summer.
  • Mallika Tripathy in Public Forum for four years at Clear Lake High School in Houston, Texas. She consistently earned multiple speaker awards and debated in late elimination rounds. She served as one of the Public Forum captains and the Vice President of Team Operations, both of which allowed her to create lecture notes, edit cases, and organize practice debates for the novice and varsity debaters on her team. Over the course of her career, Mallika competed at the UT Longhorn Classic, Harvard Invitational, and TFA State.
  • Neha Momin debated for Clear Lake High School all four years and was a Public Forum captain as well as the Vice President for her debate team her senior year. She competed mainly in Public Forum, qualifying for the TFA State Tournament. Neha also competed at the Harvard Invitational and the UT Longhorn Classic. She earned multiple speaker awards and placed at many tournaments on the Houston circuit.

Public Forum Curriculum Core Areas of Focus

1 – Core Expertise: Research, Flowing, and Speaking: Stylistic approaches and judge preferences vary by area. However, having superior evidence, addressing important arguments made by your opponents and your partner, and speaking better than your opponents are universal skills. Improving in these areas will immediately make you more successful. Each day debaters will participate in a series of drills designed to hone, improve, and advance their core debate skills. Students will also be provided with drill session handouts and notes for practice during the season and to share with teammates at home.

2 – Argument Development: Elements to Advanced Techniques: Debaters will learn and practic a variety of argument strategies. These approaches include components of an argument, analyzing and developing link chains, offensive vs. defensive arguments, logical fallacies, and weighing arguments.

3 – Case Construction – A Thematic Approach: Winning debaters begin with winning cases. Debaters will be exposed to and encouraged to try several different casing strategies. These strategies include using definitions and resolutional concepts to craft logically consistent cases.

4 – Speech-Specific Best Practices – A Formula for Success: Debaters should have specific goals for every speech in a Public Forum round. These goals include identifying and refuting your opponent’s key arguments as well as understanding and executing your team’s strategy. Debaters will participate in several practice rounds and drill sessions focused on maximizing the effectiveness of every rebuttal, summary, and final focus.

5 –Argument Integration – Using and Refuting Policy and Lincoln-Douglas Debate in Public Forum: Many times debaters cross-over from Policy or LD into Public Forum. This creates challenges for conventional Public Forum teams, especially if they are not exposed to or trained in dealing with the more technical aspects of their debating counter-parts. In addition to learning how to refute these positions, debaters will also learn how to package and present these same strategies in a manner appropriate for their area.