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NYC Summer Camp Director –

Executive Director –


Click here for the Manhattan Debate Institute Schedule and Curriculum

Click here for the Manhattan Debate Institute Schedule and Curriculum

Click here for the Manhattan Debate Institute Schedule and Curriculum


Click here to register for the Manhattan High School Debate Institute

Click here to register for the Manhattan Middle School Debate Institute

Click here to register for the Manhattan Elementary School Debate Institute


The Manhattan Debate Institutes (MDI) are our largest and longest summer debate institute program. The Debate Camps are hosted by the Manhattan Debate League and staffed by New York’s top middle school and high school debate coaches, teachers, alumni and debaters. Tracks are available for beginners as well as advanced debaters. Skills include public speaking, cross examination, critical thinking, research, argumentative writing, public forum debate, and policy debate. Subjects include the current policy debate resolution, philosophy, political science, critical theory, economics, history, geography, international politics and more. Students will gain a competitive edge for the upcoming debate season in the Manhattan Debate League and the New York City Debate League. 


Our Summer Debate Institute ends with a complete Friday Tournament where all participants receive awards. There will be a 3 round tournament from 9:00am-3:00pm with an Awards Ceremony. We also recognize students for their incredible work throughout the summer. All debaters with outstanding attendance will receive Certificates of Completion for the Summer Debate Academy. Individual Lab Leaders will also recognize top students in each lab. Our goal with our summer debate tournament is to replicate the monthly school year debate tournaments of the Manhattan Debate League in order to best prepare students for the upcoming regular debate seasons of the Manhattan Debate League and the New York City Debate League. 


Aubrey Semple

Aubrey Semple is the Program Director of the New York City Urban Debate League.  Aubrey is also an alumni of the NYCUDL and has been an award winning NYCUDL student debater, coach, volunteer, tabroom director, and Director of our High School Summer Debate Institute.  As Program Director, Aubrey is responsible for all day to day programming, tournaments, outreach, summer camps and everything else to to provide the best debate education opportunities for NYC youth and teachers! Aubrey was the former debate coach at Brooklyn Technical High School and has been coaching for over seven years at various high schools throughout New York City. Aubrey has coached several championship caliber policy debate teams including New York State Debate Coaches Association (NYSDCA) State Champions in Novice (2014) and Junior Varsity (2012) and Co-Champions in Varsity Policy Debate (2013). As a coach, his debaters qualified for elimination rounds in nearly every national circuit tournament including Champions of the New York Invitational at Bronx Science (2013), Quarterfinals at the Harvard Invitational (2013) and qualifying a team to the Tournament of Champions (2014) at the University of Kentucky.  Aubrey received his B.A. from City University of New York in United States History with a concentration in American History and Urban Studies.

Erik Fogel, Director

Mr. Fogel is League Director of the New York City Urban Debate League and coach of the Debate Team at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice. His debaters have won top awards at every single debate tournament in the Northeast including Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, NYC, Lexington, New Jersey, Washington and everywhere else!. He coached the first New York City middle teams to win top awards at the National Championships including Quarterfinalists, Semifinalists, and Second Place Top Speaker. Mr. Fogel received his Political Science & History from UC Berkeley, J.D. from UC Hastings College of Law, M.A. in Education from Pace University, and is currently enrolled in Baruch College’s Masters in Public Administration.

College Debate Lab Leaders

Debaters will be split into labs for individual training by the city’s top college debaters.

Varsity High School Debate Fellows

The Debate Academy will also be staffed by the top high school debaters from the top high school debate teams in the city. These debaters have collectively won hundreds of trophies and championships since middle school and even elementary school!

Guest Speakers

The Debate Academy will also feature Guest Speakers including the city’s top debate coaches and topic experts on this year’s debate topic.


Each year high school policy debaters throughout the country debate a single complex policy question, or resolution, for an entire year. In 2013-14, students will debate whether the federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela. Debaters conduct extensive research on the resolution and develop arguments for and against it. Two-person teams participate in a series of 90-minute debates and each team alternates sides, arguing for the resolution in one round and against it in the next.


Each month, public forum debaters throughout the country debate a single topic that is voted on by the national debate community. Debaters have one month to research and write their speeches and one month to debate the topic before the topic changes. Debates are 30 minutes long.  Public forum debates are intended for the general “public” and so emphasize persuasion and anyone can participate and anyone can judge public forum debates.


The largest division in the New York City Debate League is the middle school division where hundreds of students particpate every year. 


The New York City Urban Debate League founded the first elementary school debate camp and league in the country.  There are no age restrictions when it comes to public speaking, thinking about current events and current problems, and learning evidence based argumentation!


The New York City Urban Debate League founded the first girls debate league in the country.  The summer camp is our signature program where everyone comes together for a week of training in public speaking, debate, leadership, research, workshops, seminars and lectures on women’s issues.


Our summer debate camp concludes with a debate tournament where everyone is invited to see what our Great Debaters have learned! Food! Fun! Awards for everyone!

Summer Debate Calendar

“The New York Urban Debate League – MDI has been a great help to me.  It has helped me speak better, write better, and socialize better.  I hope that others will gain as much rom MDI as I have. Thank You MDI!” – Ifeoluwa


Erik Fogel

Erik Fogel