Founded in 1947, PLU’s debate team is one of the oldest and most decorated forensics programs in the country, with a long history of participating in and hosting intercollegiate forensics competitions. Regionally, nationally and internationally active, students participate in parliamentary debate. On average, the program attends 10 tournaments per year and hosts three events on PLU’s campus, including the T.O.H. Karl High School Invitational, The Forensics Scholar Lecture, and the Ruth Anderson Public Debate Series.

The Forum’s mission is to provide undergraduate students a democratic laboratory to craft and test arguments, explore new literature, hone critical reasoning, practice public speaking, and develop leadership skills. The co-curricular and regionally competitive debate program provides travel opportunities for all skill levels. We balance competition with service to the local community by featuring a forensics mentoring programs and hosting public debates on matters of concern.


Future members of the T. O. H. Karl Forensics Forum are eligible to apply for scholarships through the School of Arts and Communication. Students must be new to the university (incoming freshmen or transfer students) and submit an application online. Scholarship applications are typically accepted September-February in the school year before students plan to attend PLU. Applications for the 2021-22 year will be open in fall 2020.

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Debate Practice
Parliamentary Debate

PLU’s T.O.H. Karl Forensics Forum presents it’s informational guide to British Parliamentary Debate