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Department ofPhilosophy


SCU Ethics Bowl Team takes 4th Place at National Competition!


A team of students from Santa Clara University made history in February by advancing all the way to the semi-final round of competition at the National College Ethics Bowl competition. This is the first time in the 21-year history of the competition that a team from California has advanced past the quarterfinal round of competition. We are very proud of our students: Leilan Nishi, Evan Meyer, Alex Arnold, Derek Sikkema, and Jonathan Jaworski! The team is coached by Erick Ramirez (assistant professor of philosophy) with assistance from Patrick Coutermarsh and Brian Green (Markkula Center for Applied Ethics). 

The Ethics Bowl is an applied ethics competition that is grounded on real-world moral dilemmas and has both a regional and national competition. Teams must advance to the national competition by performing well in their respective regional contests. The Ethics Bowl requires that students prepare 8-10 minute responses to fifteen cases, as a team. Because questions are not revealed until the actual competition, the Ethics Bowl requires that students learn to respond, in real-time, to complex and nuanced questioning from both their opponents and judges. 

Santa Clara University fielded its first Ethics Bowl team in 2012. Patrick Coutermarsh (class of 2013) organized the team with the help of a Hackworth Grant from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Professor Ramirez took over as coach in 2013. In those brief years, teams from Santa Clara have qualified twice for the National competition finishing in 9th place and 4th place.

Ethics Bowl