About Lafayette College

While Kirby Sports Center will house the debate hall and media center, the logistical preparations for an event of such national and global significance will impact other areas of Lafayette’s campus.

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Lafayette is hosting the vice presidential debate on Wed., Sept. 25, 2024. The debate will start at 9 p.m. EST and run for 90 minutes.

The debate will be held in the Allan P. Kirby Sport Center, located on Lafayette College’s campus in Easton, Pa.

The presidential and vice presidential debates are primarily television productions with limited numbers of audience seats available. Distribution of tickets is handled entirely by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), and no tickets are sold to the public. As with all host institutions of the CPD, Lafayette cannot influence ticket distribution. The CPD will notify Lafayette’s VP Debate Committee if and when tickets become available to the College.

Lafayette College will sponsor events on The Quad, located at the center of campus, throughout the week prior to and during the debate. These events will include a live broadcast of the debate on a large video board, to which all are welcome.

Lafayette was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to host the 2024 vice presidential debate. It seems fitting that the College should do so in the final presidential election prior to our Bicentennial as an institution founded in honor of one of America’s most revered early allies. The debate will provide a valuable educational opportunity for the Lafayette community to engage with this pivotal event in United States history and one of the most important features of the democratic process. Before, during, and after the debate, this event will showcase the College on a regional, national, and international stage while creating special opportunities for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members to participate in debate-related programs. The CPD estimates 1,500 national and international media will be on site for the debate.

The Commission on Presidential Debates (the “CPD”) is a private, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization. As a 501(c)(3) organization, it is eligible under federal law to serve as a debate sponsor. The CPD’s primary mission is to ensure, for the benefit of the American electorate, that general election debates are held every four years between and among the leading candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States. The CPD is an independent organization. It is not controlled by any political party or outside organization, and it does not endorse, support, or oppose political candidates or parties. It receives no funding from the government or any political party, political action committee or candidate. The CPD has sponsored general election presidential debates in every election since 1988.

All credentialing is coordinated by the Commission on Presidential Debates: media@debates.org

The College’s VP Debate Committee and Debate Planning Group are working diligently to limit the impact to campus as much as possible. Unavoidably, the logistical preparations for an event of such national and global significance will require disruptions and, when they happen, the grace and patience of the campus community. We will do our best to minimize these disruptions and to keep the community informed of them. This campus map indicates the anticipated physical and logistical impact to campus buildings and spaces.

Faculty are being encouraged to incorporate the debate into their teaching plans for the fall 2024 semester. Lafayette College sponsored events will take place on The Quad throughout the week prior to the debate. These events will include a live broadcast of the debate on a large video board, to which all are welcome.

Parking restrictions and street closures are anticipated, particularly during the week preceding the debate. As plans are finalized, this website will be updated and signage will be posted on impacted streets. We will also share updates via Lafayette Today (campus email newsletter), via Lafayette’s Campus and Community email newsletter, via local news media, and via the College’s social media channels.

Through its investment in hosting this debate, the College is prioritizing deferred maintenance that is required for the debate as well as projects that will enhance the campus and the overall student experience for the long term. Because of the national and global interest that typically accompanies such debates, hosting the vice presidential debate will provide the College with revenue opportunities to offset a portion of the required expenses. The event will generate valuable national and worldwide exposure as well as a significant financial benefit to the region and the City of Easton.

The College is working closely with the Easton Police Department and federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to plan for the debate and potential related risks. Safety on campus and in the surrounding community is our top priority. Necessary resources will be deployed in the days leading up to the debate.

The College has procured special event insurance coverage for situations out of its control that will help protect it financially should the event be canceled.

A few events unrelated to the vice presidential debate will be unavoidably scheduled throughout the week. In general, members of the campus community are encouraged to avoid scheduling events the week of the debate.

There will be many opportunities for volunteers to help make the vice presidential debate a success. More information will be updated on this site as it becomes available.

We are excited to partner with businesses and the community to support this important event. This site will be updated as more information becomes available.

Lafayette students, faculty, and staff will receive updates via email and through Lafayette Today. Please monitor your email for updates.

Updates will be shared via Pard Pride, the College’s website, social media channels, and additional avenues as appropriate.

We encourage alumni to update their information in Leopard Link to receive the latest debate updates.

Please sign up to receive the Lafayette Campus and Community email newsletter. Lafayette College values our partnership with our neighbors in Easton and across the Lehigh Valley and will send debate updates via email in addition to sharing them via social media and with local news media.

Have a question not answered here? Submit it to: debate@lafayette.edu