Speech & Debate

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student speakingCollege of Western Idaho's (CWI) Speech and Debate team is one of the oldest and most successful programs at the College. As of 2023, the team has earned nine national titles and a multitude of regional and conference awards, on top of a significant number of individuals awards each season.

  • Members of the Speech and Debate team (COMM 114) are taught skills in research, public speaking, and argument and are provided opportunities to refine these skills in preparation for intercollegiate competitions.
  • Former competitors have gone on to compete for university teams, receive scholarships, become Pi Kappa Delta All-Americans, and more. Some have gone on to achieve master's and doctorate degrees, practice law, and even run for public office. 

Join the Team

We are looking for students who are hard-working, have an open mind, and are willing and able to compete and travel with the team. Prior experience is not necessary, and students from any major are welcome! In addition to school, many of our competitors have found success while also balancing a job or family. While the list of accolades and achievements of this team may seem overwhelming, the barrier to join is likely lower than you expect. We would love for you to be part of our ongoing story of success!

Contact Luke Yeates at lukeyeates@cwi.edu for more information or to join. 


Assistant Professor, Communications
Room: NCAB 107A
Instructor, Communications
Room: NCAB 107A

Speech and Debate News

Julia Bennett

Congratulations to Communications Instructor and Assistant Director of Forensics, Julia Bennett, Ph.D., who was named Faculty of Distinction for October 2023.

Speech and Debate in front of Mt. Hood

College of Western Idaho’s Speech and Debate team returned triumphant from the Steve Hunt Classic at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, on Oct. 14 and 15, after securing a tournament championship.

Speech and Debate team pose with award

CWI's Speech and Debate team is back from the Fran Tanner Tournament hosted by College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls — returning as outright tournament champions!

CWI Speech and Debate Team posing for a picture

College of Western Idaho’s Speech and Debate team was recognized as the top Northwest Forensics Conference school in debate for the 2022-2023 season — marking the first time a community college has been honored with this achievement.

CWI Speech and Debate Team

College of Western Idaho’s Speech and Debate team made history this past weekend beating every team, regardless of division, at the Steve Hunt Classic Tournament.

2021 CWI Speech and Debate Team

Congratulations to College of Western Idaho’s Speech and Debate team for earning their 8th national title!