Lafayette Debates Topic/Tournaments

This year’s Lafayette Debates will use the following topic:

Corporations should prioritize stakeholder value over shareholder value.

Four tournaments will use the Lafayette Debates topic and format. These include the Western Championship at Loyola Marymount University (Saturday, February 8), the Lafayette Debates at Las Vegas (Saturday-Sunday, February 15-16), the Lafayette Invitational at Claremont McKenna College (Saturday, February 29), and the Lafayette Debates Championship at George Washington University and the French Embassy to the United States (Saturday-Sunday, April 3-4).

International Humanitarian Law Topics/Tournament

This year’s Internal Humanitarian Law topics are the following:

• It is unethical to deploy autonomous weapons systems.
• Abolish the International Criminal Court.

There is one tournament on this topic, hosted by the Claremont Colleges Debate Union. It is scheduled for Sunday, March 1.

The Debate Union sponsors an international secondary school debate outreach program, the International Public Debate Program (IPDP). Students primarily debate in the World Schools Debate Championship format, which is used for many major international competitions.

Members of the Debate Union may assist coaching and judging students for international competitions and may accompany them to major events during the academic term and summer.

The CCDU is now preparing for WSDC-format tournaments at Cornell University and Simon Fraser University in October, as well as the Euro Championship in Croatia in December and Spring 2020 Pan American Debate Championship and China Schools Championship. If you are interested in learning the WSDC format and assisting as IPDP staff, please review dates for IPDP training or contact John Meany,

All students enrolled in Speech 61 must practice weekly to maintain good standing in the course. In addition, debaters must complete 2 hours of weekly argumentation training and preparation. All debaters, regardless of registration for Speech 61, need to practice weekly, attend argumentation sessions, conduct sophisticated research, etc. to succeed in rigorous event competition. In general, active intercollegiate debaters should practice 3 times every 2 weeks to maintain sufficient practice for competition.

Weekly practices will be scheduled on Tuesdays/Wednesdays in Fall 2019. Each debater should reserve a regular slot in one or more practices. Additional scrimmage sessions and seminars will be scheduled.

Anyone may attend to observe practice.



The CCDU will host a college PDP championship, Saturday-Sunday, January 25-26, 2020. This is the second year of college-level PDP competition. École de Guerre, the French war college, was the 2019 tournament champion. The top-ranked US team (representing the second-place Claremont Colleges team) also won tickets to a Lupe Fiasco concert in Los Angeles. HSPDP high school teams may also participate in the event; there are separate awards for high school contestants.

The primary differences from other debate formats include team number and members (two 3-person teams), use of POIs and argumentative heckling, integration of pre-announced, research-based topics and impromptu topics, judge certification, and a comprehensive 100-point standards-based assessment rubric for individual speaker scores and awards.

Members of the Debate Union are eligible to participate in the PDP championship.