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Catawba Students to Participate in NCICU Ethics Bowl Feb. 5-6

February 01, 2016

Category: Academics, Events, Students


ethicsbowl15c.jpgCatawba College will be one of 22 independent colleges and universities from across North Carolina participating in the fifth annual Ethics Bowl on February 5 and 6 at Meredith College in Raleigh.  The Ethics Bowl is hosted by North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (NCICU) and seeks to emphasize applied ethics as a hallmark of the student experience.

The theme of this year's Ethics Bowl is Ethics in Technology, with Duke Energy and Wells Fargo serving as presenting sponsors.

"The NCICU Ethics Bowl is designed to provide an academic experience which increases awareness and discourse among students and business and community leaders," said Hope Williams, president of NCICU.  "Students are asked to apply ethical consideration to leadership, decision-making, interpersonal relations and societal issues."

Ethics Bowl teams consist of four-to-six students with campus coordinators who works with the students to help them prepare for the competition.  In addition, more than 50 business leaders from around the state serve as judges and moderators for the event.

The first three rounds of the competition will be held on Friday, February 5.  For each round of the competition, teams will be asked to respond to ethical questions based on a case study which was sent to them in advance.  In one of the rounds, teams will be given a surprise case.  The teams will be evaluated on the quality of their argument, research, presentation style and moral theory.

After completion of the fourth round on Saturday, February 6, the semifinalists (the top four teams) will be paired and will participate in two simultaneous matches.  The final round and the trophy presentation will be held in Jones Chapel on the Meredith College campus and will begin at 11:45 a.m.

Catawba's Ethics Bowl team is sponsored by the Lilly Center for Vocation and Values.  This year's team members participating in the Ethics Bowl and their academic majors include Blake Brewer (Politics),Sarah Bushey (Politics/Religion & Philosophy), Brianna Gordon (History), Jon Rife (Literature) and Gavin Wooten (Politics).  Campus coordinator for the team is Dr. Norris Feeney, assistant professor of politics.

During fall semester, according to Dr. Feeney, team members met on Friday afternoons to discuss last year's Ethics Bowl event, families of ethical theories, and the 12 cases possible for inclusion in this year's event (these cases were provided by NCICU Ethics Bowl leadership). Case preparation involves discussion of various positions team members could take on each case, and considering which ethical theories apply to each case.  Other Catawba team members who are not travelling to this year's event include Justin Burroughs, Michael Downum, Shelby Wellmon, Ethan Chirico, and Janyi Johnson.

Feeney shared that the cases for this year's Ethics Bowl are organized around the "ethics of technology."  "These cases were extremely interesting and touch on a broad range of topics, including: personal privacy and security, ownership of data, and issues related to technology's replacement of humans in transportation and home care," he said.

During the last weekend of January, Catawba's team held a practice event at the Black Lake Retreat Center in Asheboro in partnership with Pfeiffer University's Ethics Bowl team, led by Dr. Kevin Taylor, assistant professor of religion. There they held mock rounds using cases for this year's event, followed by discussion of each team's performance in the mock rounds. Feeney said the practice event allowed both teams to practice and to enjoy fellowship before travelling to Raleigh on February 5th.

In addition to Catawba, other colleges and universities participating in the 2016 NCICU Ethics Bowl include Barton College, Campbell University, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Louisburg College, Mars Hill University, Meredith College, Methodist University, Montreat College, N.C. Wesleyan College, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, St. Andrews University, Saint Augustine's University, Salem College, University of Mount Olive, Wake Forest University and Wingate University.

NCICU is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation that represents North Carolina's 36 private colleges and universities.  The mission of NCICU is to support, represent, and advocate for North Carolina independent higher education.  NCICU represents independent higher education in the areas of state and federal public policy and on education issues with the other sectors of education in the state.  It also raises funds for student scholarships and enrichment experiences, provides research and information to and about private colleges and universities, conducts staff development opportunities and coordinates collaborative programs.  For more information about NCICU, visit www.ncicu.org.