The MNUDL’s volunteers keep debate strong in the Twin Cities. The recent Umbrooks tournament at the University of Minnesota was a big success through the efforts of volunteers and volunteer judges, and our Outreach Coordinator Monica Finke expresses our thankfulness for the invaluable contributions of our community:


During this Thanksgiving time, I want to express my gratitude for all of the great people who volunteer with MNUDL. At the beginning of August, I
started my position as the AmeriCorps Volunteer/Outreach VISTA at the Minnesota Urban Debate League (MNUDL). While it was a very exciting time, I was definitely nervous because my background knowledge didn’t include the best practices of  volunteer management. I realize now that I had nothing to worry about, thanks to MNUDL’s fantastic volunteer base.Thanksgiving 1

From the Kickoff Tournament at Washington Technology Magnet School to the UMBrooks tournament at the University of Minnesota, volunteers have given up part of their weekends to serve as debate judges at high school tournaments. As a debate judge, they listen to the arguments and evaluate both teams. They also provide crucial feedback that helps debaters grow their skills over the course of a season. In total, our volunteers have donated approximately 567 hours of their time to MNUDL as debate judges and tournament support volunteers.

Thanksgiving 2It’s also been such a pleasure to get to know our volunteers and learn about their motivation for serving as a debate judge. Our volunteers come from many different backgrounds, including professionals, college students, law students, UDL alumni, and many others. Some have a background in policy debate while other volunteers are brand new to the activity. What they all share, however, is a passion for supporting youth in debate.