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.  

Transportation & Where to Go

Please review the two maps listed below and the schedule to find where our events will take place!

Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

3645 South Las Vegas Boulevard

Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

Map #1: Bally's Casino

Map #2: The Meeting Facilities. (Enter from the Casino, following the arrows on the map)

We will be meeting in Bally's Convention Center Area on Saturday at 10 am, which is located on the Casino level. The Convention Center Area can be accessed through a hallway that connects the Casino to the Convention Center.

On Sunday morning, teams advancing to semi-finals will be meeting at 10:30 am in Palace Meeting Rooms 1 and 2 in the Convention Center Area. Our transportation to Three Square food bank will depart at 12:30 pm from the Bally's Flamingo Road side door, located near the Casino area.

If lost, text or call Samantha Ross: (702) 279-3969


Saturday February 15, 2020

  • 10 am Registration/Check-In/Coffee Service
    • Bally’s Convention Area, PALACE 3
  • 10:15 am Judge Briefing
    • Bally’s Convention Area, PALACE 3
  • 10:45 am Round 1
    • Bally’s Convention Area, PALACE 1, 2, 4 & 5
  • 12 pm Round 2
    • Bally’s Convention Area, PALACE 1, 2, 4 & 5
  • 1:30 pm Lunch on Your Own
    • Bally's Food Court (Recommended)
  • 3 pm Round 3
    • Bally’s Convention Area, PALACE 1, 2, 4 & 5
  • 5 pm Round 4
    • Bally’s Convention Area, PALACE 1, 2, 4 & 5
  • 7 pm Breaks released on the LINK HIGH ROLLER FERRIS WHEEL (across Flamingo Road at the Link)

Directions: High Roller located between Flamingo & Link Hotels. Take Link Promenade just past the Yard House on the right is GROUPS ENTRANCE for High Roller.  Reservation for 2 cabins under Samantha Ross.

Sunday February 16, 2020

  • 10 am Check-in/Breakfast
    • Bally’s Convention Area, PALACE 3
  • 10:30 am Semi Finals
    • Bally’s Convention Area, PALACE 1, 2
  • 12:00 pm Break
    • Bally's Food Court (Recommended)
  • 12:30 pm Bus departs to Three Square Food Bank (approximately 30-minute bus ride)
  • Three Square Food Bank (Location for the rest of the tournament)
    • 4220 North Pecos Road
    • Las Vegas, Nevada 89115
  •  1:00 pm Service Project and Presentation
  • 2:30 pm Champion Round
  • 4 pm Concluding Ceremony/Awards
  • 4:30 pm Bus departs for Bally’s
Judge Handbook

Please click to see the 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 Affirmative Speaker: 6 minutes
    • Cross examination by 3rd Negative Speaker:  4 minutes
  • 1st Negative Speaker: 6 minutes
    • Cross examination by 3rd Affirmative Speaker:  4 minutes
  • 2nd Affirmative Speaker:  6 minutes
    • Cross examination by 1st Negative Speaker:  4 minutes
  • 2nd Negative Speaker: 6 minutes
    • Cross examination by 1st Affirmative speaker:  4 minutes
  • 3rd Affirmative Speaker: 6 minutes
    • Cross examination by 2nd Negative: 4 minutes
  • 3rd Negative Speaker: 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.