The Lafayette Debates North American Championship

The 2016-17 Lafayette Debates engaged more than 300 debaters from 50 schools for the 2016-17 school year.  Morehouse College won the Lafayette Debates North American Championship and will be traveling to Paris with the Embassy of France in the United States' Young Ambassador's Program, along with students from: The George Washington University, Morehouse College, Vanderbilt University, University of Pennsylvania, and  Yale University.

2016-17 Topic

Democracies should prioritize interculturalism.


Morehouse College

Military Champions

United States Military Academy


Vanderbilt University

Participating Universities

Alberta University

Adelphi University

Bard College

Bates College

Belmont Abbey College

Carleton University

Claremont Colleges

Clemson University

Columbia University

Cornell University

Dalhousie University

Duke University

Duquesne University

Ecole de Guerre

George Fox University

George Washington University

Franklin and Marshall College

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

James Madison University

Johns Hopkins University

Kings College

Loyola University Chicago

McGill University

McMaster University

Morehouse College

Ottawa University 

Patrick Henry College

Princeton University

Pepperdine University

Queens University

St. Francis University

St. John's University

The University of Miami

United States Military Academy

United States Naval Academy

University of British Columbia

University of Denver

University of Georgia

University of Kansas

University of Mary Washington

University of Miami

University of Mississippi

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburgh 

University of Rochester

University of Vermont

Vanderbilt University

Vassar University

Yale University

York University



2016-17 Topic Statement

Managing increasing cultural diversity in a democratic manner is a crucial challenge for both the United States and France. The “White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue” argues in the name of the governments of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe that an intercultural approach offers a forward-looking model for managing cultural diversity distinct from and superior to past models of assimilation and multiculturalism. The paper seeks to clarify a conceptual framework and guide for policymakers that appreciates diversity while sustaining social cohesion.

During the Lafayette Debates North American Championship, affirmative teams were asked to defend the proposition that democracies should prioritize implementation of the conceptual framework and guide defined by the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue for managing cultural diversity over other models such as assimilation and multiculturalism.  Negatives will be asked to negate this proposition.  During the debates both affirmative and negative teams were asked to focus their arguments on and draw their examples from the United States, France, and democracies similarly situated to the United States and France. 

2016-17 Opening Round

The opening round of the 2016-17 Lafayette Debates was held at the Hart House Invitational at the University of Toronto in Fall 2016. Two hundred and twenty six students from over thirty different U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities participated in the event. Congratulations to the tournament champions from Yale University for being the first debaters to qualify for the 2017 Young Ambassadors Program & Study Tour!

2016-17 Early Bird

The 2016-17 Lafayette Debates Early Bird was held at The U.S. Universities Debate Eastern Championship at The George Washington University in February 2016. Over 200 students from over 20 different U.S. colleges and universities participated in the event. Congratulations to the tournament champions from Patrick Henry College!