The Princeton University Debate Panel, also known as the PDP, is one of the premiere collegiate debating societies in the country. Throughout the year, the PDP competes in weekly tournaments across the country sanctioned by the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA), of which Princeton was a founding member.
Princeton’s historical success has been unrivaled since APDA’s founding in 1983. A Princeton team, composed of two individuals, has won the Team of the Year (TOTY) award a record eight times, most recently in 2009. Similarly, an individual competitor has won the coveted Speaker of the Year Award (SOTY) a record nine times. The PDP is also one of the world’s premier international debating squads, with teams consistently reaching late elimination rounds.
Many of PDP’s debaters have also gone onto outstanding post-graduate success. Post-debate careers have included clerkships for the Supreme Court, associate positions at Morgan Stanley, and Solicitor General positions in Texas. Most notably, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ’72 was president of the Princeton Debate Panel during his time as an undergraduate. Post-debate graduate school destinations have included Harvard Law, Penn Law, Cornell Law, MIT, Oxford, and Cambridge.
The Princeton Debate Panel also hosts two debate tournaments during the year. Each December, the Princeton Classic offers Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum Debate as well as Congress and Individual Events for high school competitors in the National Forensic League. In the spring, the PDP hosts the Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Debate Tournament, one of the largest and most prestigious collegiate parliamentary debate tournaments in the nation.
The Princeton Debate Panel makes an unparalleled contribution to the Princeton intellectual community. As part of the American Parliamentary Debate Association, Princeton debaters are regularly recognized as among the best. Team members enjoy success at weekly intercollegiate debates and sponsor two yearly on-campus tournaments. For contact information as well as more about APDA and parliamentary debate, the team, and tournaments, please visit debate.princeton.edu