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Department of Communication

Our Mission

The Fresno State Debate Program aims to enhance students’ skills in policy construction, argumentation, and advocacy.  Toward these ends, the program strives to compete at the highest levels of national competition while continuing to exercise an “open door” policy for students with little or no debate experience.

Our objectives are:

  • To offer an intense academic experience involving in-depth research, the meticulous construction of briefs, and the public presentation of arguments
  • To assist in the organization and preparation of public debates on the campus and on the campuses of surrounding schools
  • To work in conjunction with the Communication Department to complement the curriculum and research goals of the College of Arts and Humanities and the CSU as a whole
  • To enhance the perspectives and argumentative thoroughness of the members of the debate team as well as the broader community
  • To attract to the university the best students from among the growing numbers of high school debaters across the country
  • To retain students while providing an unparalleled educational experience that challenges even the most gifted undergraduates
  • To provide graduate students with teaching and coaching opportunities as well as training for future careers in forensics and debate.
  • To augment the academic prestige of California State University, Fresno in a number of forums that feature competition with other colleges and universities
  • To graduate students with an arsenal of tools for success, including the ability to communicate an idea to a diverse audience, the ability to perform well on tests such as the GRE or the LSAT, and the ability to research and compile complex arguments in an organized and compelling way
  • To assist debate programs in the region, both high school and collegiate, to reach similar goals and increase participation in debate for all age groups
  • To work toward meaningful community outreach programs involving debate