Chicago Debates relies on a large network of volunteers—college students, debate league alumni, professionals in the community, parents, and teachers—to help our debate program thrive. There are a variety of ways to get involved at Chicago Debates.
Academic Debate is life changing for the debaters, but you can benefit too!
Empower a young person
Serve as a conscientious educator
Use your professional skills to support future leaders
Improve your professional network working with other judges
Academic service learning opportunity
Build comradery with your team/group
We need judges to give our students the opportunity to debate at tournaments! No experience is required; we will train you to be an effective judge. Judges have the option to volunteer for a half-day or full day. We offer judge volunteers a small stipend and lunch.
Not ready to become a tournament judge? You can help make sure tournaments run smoothly, assisting with registration, meals, and running the information table. We offer tournament operation volunteers a small stipend and lunch.
Community Debate Coach
Coach a specific school’s debate team on an ongoing basis. Coaching occurs weekly at the school during school hours, and at six weekend tournaments per year. External coaches can work in either a paid or volunteer capacity. The position requires prescreening as well as a deep commitment to coaching debate. Ongoing training and support are provided by Chicago Debates.
Background checks are required for volunteers
Calendar of upcoming trainings, tournaments, etc. found here.
The debate tournament is a long day, but you can feel free to help out in shifts. Come support one (or all) of our working shifts.
Shift 1: 8:00am – 12:00pm
Shift 2: 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Friday shifts: 3:30-9:00 pm/ 4:30-8:30
*Please note debate tournaments take place in schools across metro Chicago. Tournament dates and locations will be available at training.
Do you have a group interested in volunteering or planning a day of service? Then volunteer with Chicago Debates. Come work with Chicago students to support their skills in policy-making, speech, and critical thinking in a competitive environment. No debate experience needed!
You don’t have to have debate experience to volunteer
All volunteers will receive a 1-2 hour orientation and training tailored to the type of role you sign-up for to make sure volunteers are prepared and comfortable with this new opportunity
All sessions are held at Chicago Debates’ office at 200 S Michigan #1040. Orientation training sessions are held throughout the year and future dates will be scheduled soon.