Frequently Asked Questions

For information on UTNIF Debate Programs: Contact Prof. Brendon Bankey at 512-937-2984, or for quicker response email brendon.bankey@austin.utexas.edu

For information on UTNIF Speech Programs, Contact: Prof. Eva Margarita at 512-666-0146, or via email evamargarita@austin.utexas.edu

Where will students stay/dine during the institute?

Students will stay overnight and eat meals in the Castilian private dormitory adjacent to campus. Castilian suites are fully furnished and include a microwave and refrigerator. There is a common area for entertainment, laundry facilities, and a cafeteria located on the main floor. You can visit the Castilian website for photos of the location and a virtual tour of the suites.

The University's Youth Protection Program policy requires that students be housed on separate floors according to their gender.

When do students move in/move out of the workshop?

Student check in and move in occurs on the first day of the program from 12:30-2:30PM. Move out is on the last day of the program.

Program               Check In                                            Check Out

LD                      6/24 - 12:30-2:30PM CST                   7/8 - 8AM-Noon CST

PF                       6/24 - 12:30-2:30PM CST                   7/8 - Noon-2PM CST

IE                        6/24 - 12:30-2:30PM CST                   7/7 - Noon-2PM CST

IE+                      6/24 - 12:30-2:30PM CST                  7/10 - Noon-2PM CST

CX                       6/24 - 12:30-2:30PM CST                  7/8 8AM-Noon CST

CX Soph Select     6/24 - 12:30-2:30PM CST                7/11 8AM-Noon CST 

Can the UTNIF transport students from the airport?

Unfortunately, we can not. Youth Protection Program protocols are very specific about student transportation and UTNIF staff are unable to transport students in private vehicles at any time barring a justifiable emergency. We recommend that students arriving via air travel use Super Shuttle, which is available in the baggage area of the airport, for transportation to the dormitory. The street address is 2323 San Antonio Street, Austin, TX 78705. At the end of the camp, our dorm staff will coordinate with small groups of students to help reserve returns to the airport where needed. Many students who travel extensively also arrange for transport via Uber or Lyft.

What is the daily schedule?

Our in-person learning schedule breaks each day into three general time blocks, with some variation and staggered times depending on the division: 

  • 8:00AM-9:00AM - Breakfast in the Castilian

  • 9:00AM-11:45AM - Morning Session - Program-wide lectures and/or meetings with assigned labs on campus. 

  • 12:00AM-1:00PM - Lunch in the Castilian

  • 1:00PM-5:00PM - Afternoon Sessions - Meetings with assigned labs on campus and/or research in the Perry-Castañeda Library

  • 5:00PM-6:30PM Dinner in the Castilian

  • 6:30PM-9:00PM Evening Session - Practice debates in the Castilian and/or meetings with assigned labs on campus. Speech students in the minor program continue on.

What are the UTNIF's COVID-19 Health Policies?

The UTNIF will abide by the University of Texas at Austin's COVID health measures. Students are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated and boosted prior to attending the institute. Additional information regarding university policy is available here.

How will my child access their required medication during the camp?

Parents/students should provide all prescription drugs to UTNIF office staff when they arrive at registration. Prescriptions will be stored safely and discreetly throughout the duration of the workshop. UTNIF front-office staff will administer proper doses of medication during mealtimes.

Can I check my child out during the workshop?

Yes. Parents and authorized guardians can check students out during the course of the workshop. It is required that all parents/authorized guardians physically go to the UTNIF office in the Castilian to provide valid identification. Authorized guardians can be declared at registration or via communication to our UTNIF office staff.

What will happen on the weekends?

We maintain a full schedule even on Saturdays and Sundays! Please do not plan to check students out while the camp is in progress except under extraordinary circumstances and recognizing that students may lose material & activities.

Can my child select their roommate/suitemates?

We will do our best to honor mutual roommate/suitemate requests. Parents who backchannel Camp Co-Director Brendon Bankey by May 15 will have their child's requests honored assuming space and program needs do not present any barriers.

What are the technology requirements for the debate programs at the UTNIF?

Contemporary evidence-based debate requires laptops for the organization of files and sharing evidence with opponents. Students should be expected to have access to a computer with steady connection to the internet. The computer needs to be able to download and view multiple word documents and allow multiple tabs of a web browser open for research. 





How do I register my child for the UTNIF?

UTNIF registration is available via the UT Ideal Logic portal. Registration

Once you have created a profile and added the student attending, under Catalog, select Programs and then Moody College of Communication, then Register Now for the program in which you wish to enroll.

Note that the UTNIF is designed for students entering and participating in high school level speech and debate programs. The minimum age of attendees is 13 years of age on arrival.