French Embassy Co-Sponsors Lafayette Debates
On April 12 and 13, the Embassy of France and The George Washington University hosted a student competition called “The Lafayette Debates.”
Beginning with a series of online French- and English- language debates and multimedia competitions, the debates culminated in a tournament hosted by the university’s Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies.
Responding to the prompt of defending the cultural exception, the best and brightest student debaters had the opportunity to engage with prominent scholars, diplomats, military figures, and professionals on issues of political, social, and cultural significance.
The winning pair of the tournament was Emory University, represented by Brian Klarman and Kristin Lowe. The other finalists were Danny Alexander and Eric Lanning from Houston University. The best speaker of the tournament was Joseph Nelson of The George Washington University.
The individuals who competed in the semi-finals of the tournament were from Emory University, Houston University, The University of Southern California, and Mary Washington University. As a prize for their performance in the debates, the students have been invited to travel to France in June. While there, they will have the opportunity to continue their exploration of the tournament topics firsthand in discussions with French government officials, intellectuals, businesspeople, and topic experts.
The first day of the event also featured a tournament organized by the Military Academy. The competing schools were the United States Naval Academy, the United States Military Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, and the Ecole de Guerre from France. The winning team of this part of the tournament was the U.S. Naval Academy.
The Lafayette Debates were intended to promote international civil society by engaging future leaders on relevant topics of mutual interest to France and the United States.