Debate & Forensics Society

“The members of DFS look to the organization as a place for constructive academic growth aimed at public advocacy addressing local and global issues. The skills and confidence students can gain from this organization are indispensable to any professional path.”

Communicology Major Ryan Delaney

Warrior Intramural TournamentClaremont IV DFS 2012 team

 Don’t hate…debate!

The Debate and Forensics Society (DFS) at UHM has been active since 2008.  The program supports the UH Debate Team and has benefited hundreds of students across the UH campuses.  The organization has three primary goals;

1)  a top tier intercollegiate debate team that competes at the most prestigious competitions in the World,

2) hosting a thriving local intercollegiate intramural league, and

3) offering community support related to youth forensics


The mission of the Debate and Forensics Society (DFS) is to provide the University with a forum to develop student’s argumentative abilities through good-spirited competition to engender active and sophisticated participation in educational, professional and civic dialogue. Our weekly meetings center around competitive argumentation, but we also host, participate, and support a variety of other collegial and community events. DFS is particularly focused on national and international debate competitions in the Worlds Parliamentary format and an intercollegiate intramural program that benefits all Hawaiian colleges. Our program contends debate is not an ivory tower exercise; it is an activity with wider benefits to our university and local community.




    • The Debate and Forensics Society, sponsor of the UHM Debate Team, competes at prestigious debate tournaments such as the Yale IV, the Oxford IV, the Claremont National Open, the U.S. Nationals WUDC tournament, the UHM/HPU Pan Pacific Championship, & the WUDC Debate World Championships (E.g. Istanbul, Botswana, India).
    • Each semester DFS hosts an Intramural Debate Tournament at UHM featuring 75+ debaters from UHM, Hawai’i Pacific University and Hawai’i Community Colleges.
    • DFS supports local debate organizations by providing volunteer student judges for the Hawai‘i Speech League, Chevron Keiki Speech Tournaments, and the Radford Complex Speech Festival. In addition, DFS regularly hosts panel discussions and open houses with live debates on pressing social and policy issues.
    • DFS has hosted guest speakers such as the British National Debate team and U.S. Rep. Ed Case for special events.
    • UHM students on the UH debate team can earn up to 6 University credits for participation in Communicology 353; Practicum in Debate and Forensics.
    • DFS has an active program of training and institutional knowledge development that encourages both novices and experienced debaters.
    • The Debate and Forensics Society is a Non-Profit Registered Independent Student Organization at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa supported by a faculty Director, student governance, and the Communicology department. It is open to all UHM students.


To learn more about the Debate and Forensics Society, please contact:

Dr. Robert R. Boller, Asst. Professor of Communicology & Director of Forensics
(808) 956-3324 – – George Hall 317


To help support the DFS mission, please consider a tax deductible gift:


Upcoming events:

Travel Team try outs

Warrior Intramural Debate Tournament

Claremont IV WUDC Debate Tournament

UC Davis IV Debate Tournament

UHM/HPU Pan-Pacific WUDC Debate Tournament

US Nationals Tournament