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February 2015

SCU's Ethics Bowl Team Advances to National Competition

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 3, 2015— After beating more than a dozen teams in analyzing ethical questions such as whether children should be able to choose euthanasia or whether “Batkid day” was an appropriate use of state funds, Santa Clara University’s Ethics Bowl team is headed on to the national Ethics Bowl competition Feb. 22 in Costa Mesa, California.  
 
SCU’s team placed third in the California Regional Tournament of the Ethics Bowl. That qualifies them to square off against 31 other teams at the national competition.
 
 “We’re extremely proud of our students for demonstrating a thoughtful and creative approach to ethics, which won over the judges in Santa Barbara,” said Kirk Hanson, executive director of Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, which co-sponsors the team with the SCU philosophy department.
 
Ethics Bowl is a team-based competition in which students analyze ethical cases in areas such as business; personal relationships; or social and political affairs. During the competition, teams offer their moral analysis and answer questions about cases they are given, and judges evaluate them based on the quality, relevance, and logical rigor of their analysis.
 
 SCU’s ethics team went 3-0 in the preliminary rounds of the California Regional in December, placing third in the tournament overall. 
 
Team members Ryan Barry, Paris Coyne, Stephanie Thatcher, Eric Johnson, Kelly Shi, Kat DeLong, Alex Arnold, and Andrew Weaver worked intensely throughout the fall to prepare for competition. They studied cases and practiced arguments as part of the philosophy department’s Ethics Bowl course (Philosophy 180), a new 5-unit course that deals with ethical theory and argumentation. SCU faculty helped by participating as mock judges in November practice sessions.
 
The team was instructed and coached by Erick Ramirez, assistant professor of philosophy; Brian Green, assistant director of campus ethics programs at the Markkula Center and engineering lecturer, and Patrick Coutermarsh, business ethics program coordinator at the Markkula Center. 
 
SCU’s team will be joined at the national competition by two other California schools: Azusa Pacific University and Cal Poly Pomona. 
 
Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | dlohse@scu.edu | 408-554-5121