Location & Directions

Public Forum Debate Institute


GAC-PFDI is located on the beautiful campus of Gustavus Adolphus College, located in St. Peter, Minn., 65 miles southwest of the Twin Cities on Highway 169. We offer a free shuttle to and from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.

The camp offers a carefully supervised introduction to college life. Students live in college residence halls, eat in the nationally ranked campus-dining center, and attend sessions in college buildings. Students will utilize the Gustavus library, an excellent and extensive resource for researching debate topics. The structure, opportunities, and adult supervision available at Gustavus make it a first choice for concerned parents.

What to Bring

Thank you for enrolling in the Gustavus Adolphus College Summer Public Forum Debate Institute. We are getting excited to work with you in hopes of shaping you into an elite competitor.

In order to facilitate your planning, I thought it would be good to share with you some important logistical information. First, you are free to check in anytime between 1:00 and 2:30 pm on Saturday, July 11th. Please enter campus via College Avenue where you will find signs clearly indicating the direction to the Jackson Campus Center. You will find parking lots located directly in front of the Jackson Campus Center. Please report to the lower level of the Jackson Campus Center to obtain your room key, housing assignment, and institute mementoes. Once you have checked in, a faculty member will escort you to your dorm. Our first official function will begin at 3 pm.

Second, when packing, you will want to consider preparing/bringing the following:

  • Please research the below two topics PRIOR to camp. If you can prepare an initial case, pro and con, even better.
    1. Resolved: On balance, police are more responsible than protestors for recent civil unrest in the United States.
    2. Resolved: The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans.
  • I would ask that you do some reading prior to camp.
    1. Read the headlines each day on Huffington Post and the Drudge Report
    2. Be caught up on American political news. (Reading the two sources above will give you both a liberal bias and a conservative bias). Read Google news each day.
  • Professional tournament attire for the “GAC-PFDI Tournament”– We recommend men bring dress shoes, dress socks, suit or dress pants with sport coat, dress shirt, and tie. We recommend women bring dress shoes (no open toed shoes), nylons, and dress suit with pants or skirt.

  • Casual summer attire is appropriate for Saturday-Thursday. The academic buildings utilized during the day are air-conditioned and can be a bit chilly. Please plan accordingly.

  • Laptop (If you own a laptop, you will have access to our wireless network, but not the printers. Having a laptop will provide you with more flexibility.)

  • USB Stick/Jump drive

  • Legal Pads

  • Red and Blue Pens

  • Passwords to any debate sites you use (Planet debate, etc.)

  • Fan (Your dorm room is not air conditioned!)

  • Alarm Clock 

  • Pillow

  • Blanket (Sheets will be provided.)

  • Toiletries

  • Towel

  • Cash for snacks or a trip to the Gustavus Bookstore

  • Notebook and writing utensils

  • Highlighter

  • Camera 

  • Sunscreen

Third, we have assigned a staff member to take high quality pictures for the week. We will load roughly 1,000 pictures onto a 4GB flash drive for you to take home at the conclusion of the institute. The cost is $20. You will also have the opportunity to purchase a group photo and featuring all staff and students. These photos will not be on the flash drive. The cost per photo is $5. These items need to be ordered at the time of registration. We will also have an institute store featuring water bottles, bags, sweatshirts, t-shirts, flash drives, snacks, etc. that you may purchase during the week. 

Fourth, the GAC-PFDI schedule and faculty biographies are accessible via www.gac.edu/camps/publicforum. We have assembled a nationally recognized staff, and you should walk away with a plethora of ideas and areas for improvement.

Fifth, your remaining tuition balance of is due on Saturday, July 11th when you register on campus. We accept checks, cash, and credit card. Credit card transactions will inquire a $15 processing fee.

Finally, while we will have fun dedicating an entire week to forensics, our goal is for you to leave GAC-PFDI tournament ready, giving you a leg up on the competition. Be prepared to have fun, work diligently in order to maximize the opportunities afforded to you throughout the week, and never be tired. Positive attitudes make us happy!

Needed at the time of registration:

  • final payment
  • order for flash drive with camp photos - $20
  • order for camp group photo and pride photo - $5 each
  • order for fan ($20 rental fee for the week)

Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to seeing you on July 11th.

Kristofer B. Kracht
Director of Summer Academic Programs