The Embassy of France to the United States and The George Washington University Debate & Literary Society are excited to partner with Caesars Entertainment to host the Lafayette Debates at Bally's Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada!  During the Las Vegas debates future leaders from U.S. colleges and universities and U.S. food recovery professionals will explore our 202o theme of corporate social responsibility through research and debates comparing and contrasting French and U.S. approaches to food waste recovery as well as a site visit and service opportunity at the Three Square Food Bank. 

Click here to register!


Should food waste recovery in the United States be mandated or motivated?

Topic Statement

One in seven people are hungry.  One third of the world's food goes to waste. Since 2016 France has enforced an unprecedented ban on large grocery stores throwing away unsold food that could be given away. The French approach is an experiment in mandating the recovery of food that would otherwise be wasted by the businesses that sell the food. This is in sharp contrast to programs in the United States and elsewhere focused on motivating businesses to recover food waste via tax credits and/or subsidies.

In the United States 15% of Americans are food insecure while 40% of the food we produce is thrown into landfills. Extending on the 2020 Lafayette Debates theme of corporate social responsibility, debaters at the Lafayette Debates Las Vegas will be invited to examine the question of which approach is more effective and efficient as a general rule in promoting social responsibility in the recovery of food waste by U.S. businesses selling food directly to consumers for consumption outside of the home in the United States.


Each debate will involve two teams composed of three debaters each.  The tournament research question addresses the question of motivate versus mandate and judges will include food services and food recovery professionals.  The first team to speak should argue for either a motivate or a mandate approach to national food waste recovery in the United States by the food service industry.  The second team may win the debate either by rebutting the first team's arguments as to the desirability of their proposed approach or by winning that the mandate or motivate approach not chosen by the first team would be a more desirable approach.  For example, if the first team chooses a motivate approach, the second team may win the debate either by rebutting the desirability of a motivate approach or by showing a mandate approach would be more desirable as a general rule.


On Saturday, judges will include Caesars' representatives and attending debate coaches including administrators of Caesars' ongoing food recovery program in partnership with Three Square Food Bank.  On Sunday, judges will include representatives from the Three Square Food Bank, an organization that works with Caesars Entertainment to deliver recovered food to food insecure individuals.  

Click here to register before Friday, January 24th!

Debates are being held at Bally's Hotel and total registrations are capped at twelve teams of three debaters each.  Schools may enter one team and request a second team for the waitlist.  Registration for first teams closes Friday, January 24, 2020, and requesting schools will receive second team slots shortly thereafter first come, first serve. 


Saturday February 15, 2020

10 am Registration/Check-In (Location: Bally's Hotel Convention Area)

10:15 am Judge Briefing

10:45 am Round 1

12 pm Round 2

1:30 pm Lunch on Your Own (Recommended: Food Court)

3 pm Round 3

5 pm Round 4

7 pm Breaks released on the High Roller Ferris wheel

Sunday February 16, 2020

10 am Check-in/Breakfast

10:3o am Semi Finals

Lunch (on your own)

12:30 pm Bus departs to Three Square Food Bank

1 pm service project and presentation

2:3o pm Champion Round

4 pm Concluding Ceremony/Awards

Judge Handbook

Please click to see the draft Judge Handbook. The finalized Judge Handbook will be given to our judges from the food services and recovery industry. Debate judges will be asked to judge rounds in a manner that best prepares the participating debaters to excel before judges who are food services and food recovery professionals and who are applying the approach outlined in the handbook.


1st Speaker: Affirmative 6 Minutes

Cross examination by 3rd Negative 4 minutes

1st Speaker: Negative 6 minutes

Cross examination by 1st Affirmative 4 minutes

2nd Speaker: Affirmative 6 minutes

Cross examination by 1st Negative 4 minutes

2nd Speaker: Negative 6 minutes

Cross examination by 3rd Affirmative 4 minutes

3rd Speaker: Affirmative Rebuttal 6 minutes

Cross examination by 2nd Negative 4 minutes

3rd Speaker: Negative Rebuttal 6 minutes

Cross examination by 2nd Affirmative 4 minutes


Fees are $55/person. This covers bus transportation from the hotel to the Three Square Food Bank and back on Sunday, breakfast on Sunday at Bally's hotel for semi-finalists and judges, trophies, and incidentals. Other than breakfast for semi-finalists, coaches and judges on Sunday morning, meals are on your own.  

Hotel Information

All debates will be held in conference rooms at Bally's Hotel and Casino.  Caesars has arranged a special room rate for our event of $115 (plus tax) at Bally's Hotel and Casino. To reserve rooms at the tournament rate please email the following information to Amber Owen at

Subject Heading: Lafayette Debates Vegas Room Reservation
School Name:
Coach / Coaches names:
Arrival date:
Departure date:
Student names: 
Members of Room 1:
Members of Room 2: