National Issues Forum


The National Issues Forum (NIF) is a unique program that offers opportunities for high school delegates to debate and research issues of national and/or international importance. 

In Lansing, the National Issues Forum uses a format where proposals are presented to delegates in four successive rounds (each of increasing size) at “Proposal Hearings”. A Chair leads delegates in each forum.

Delegate Roles


As a delegate you are responsible for:

  • Independently identifying and researching an issue of national or international importance
  • Writing a one-page proposal on the topic of your choice
  • Preparing and delivering a two-minute speech in favor of your proposal at your initial session hearing and subsequent rounds (should you advance)
  • Participating in the debate and discussion of fellow delegates’ proposals

During the Lansing Conference

  • Every delegate will have several opportunities to speak.
  • Delegates engage in intense discussions, argue in favor of their own proposal and debate the merits and flaws of other delegates’ proposals in four forums/hearings of ever increasing size. (We call these forums “rounds”.)
  • At the end of each round, delegates will rank the proposals presented using specific criteria. Each proposal’s composite score from these rankings determines the proposals that advance to the next round.
  • In General Assembly, (“GA”) the fourth and final round, the top proposals are presented by their author to the entire National Issues Forum, where the proposal is passed or defeated.

Debate Style and Rules

You can find the current NIF Procedures and Rules HERE


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