The Rutgers University-Newark Debate Team, founded in 2008, is sponsored by the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) and the Office of the Chancellor, Newark. The team is open to undergraduate students at the university.
The 2015-2016 College Policy Debate Resolution is "Resolved: The United States should significantly reduce its military presence in one or more of the following: the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, the Greater Horn of Africa, Northeast Asia."
Christopher Kozak, as the Director of Debate, has lead the Rutgers University-Newark Debate Team to three consecutive years as the #1 ranked team in the Northeast. For the year of 2014-2015, the team was ranked 14th in the nation and again sent qualified members to the invitation-only National Debate Tournament (NDT) while taking 1st place at numerous regional level tournaments.
They have competed in tournaments hosted by James Madison University, United States Military Academy, Harvard, University of Vermont, Wake Forest University, Monmouth University, United States Naval Academy, Mary Washington University, Binghamton University, Wichita State University, and University of Iowa. The team has won several tournaments, comprising of multiple novice and junior varsity championships, outranking many first-tier schools like Boston College, Dartmouth, New York University, Wake Forest University, and Cornell University. Debaters range from freshmen to seniors with various majors such as social work, economics, public administration, criminal justice, and psychology.
Along with annually hosting a successful collegiate tournament since 2011 – with the tournament size growing larger each year – the RU-N Debate Team also hosted a high school tournament in collaboration with the Newark Debate Academy accomodating over a hundred high school students and coaches. The team has also been effective at supporting debate at the local level with internships as assistant coaches at many schools in the Newark area ranging from elementary grade students to high school students. In addition to policy debate competitors and educators, the RU-N Debate Team has participated in a series of public debates including the Mvubu Debates at George Washington University and public debate about student debt hosted at Rutgers University-Newark with Senator Cory Booker.