Wake Forest University Ethics Team Competes in National Ethics Bowl Semi-Finals

3.27.2012 Article, Ethics, School News

The Wake Forest University Ethics team advanced to the Semi-Final round of the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl earlier this month in Cincinnati, taking home a fourth place trophy.

The Ethics Bowl team, in its first year of existence at Wake Forest, won first place in the North Carolina Ethics Bowl and was a finalist in the Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl, earning the honor to compete at the national level.

Undergraduate students Louis Brotherton (Team Captain) (’12), George Bader (’15), Emily Bryant (’15), Kevin Cirronella (’14), Nick Cohen (’12), and Patrick Kelly (’12) advanced through their first four rounds of the Ethics Bowl to compete in the Semi-Finals. The Wake Forest team lost by just one point to the team that went on to win the national championship.

“Our team had a tremendous first year and made me very proud every step of the way,” said Wake Forest Ethics Team faculty advisor, Charles Lankau. “Formed from students across the University, this team represented the best Wake Forest has to offer in intellectual ability, and critical analysis of complex ethical dilemmas, as well as presentation and argumentation skills. These students handled themselves like seasoned debaters and made a real impact in each of the competitions they entered.”

Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl teams receive a set of ethical issues cases in advance to prepare for the tournament. Questions may concern ethical problems on wide ranging topics, such as the classroom (e.g. cheating or plagiarism), personal relationships (e.g. dating or friendship), professional ethics (e.g. engineering, law, medicine), or social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, etc.)

During the competition, teams present their solutions to questions presented from the set of dilemmas and teams of three to five students also respond to impromptu questions from the panel of judges.

Rating criteria include: intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness.

A total of 32 teams from around the country competed in the 16th Annual Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl on March 1.