CSU, Chico News

Ethics Bowl Team Headed to Nationals

Date: 12-11-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Eric Gampel
Department of Philosophy

Two Ethics Bowl teams from California State University, Chico tied with competitors for first and second places at the 2012 California Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl at UC Santa Cruz on Dec. 3. The team of Mark Gaynor, Jeremy McNutt, and David Omega tied with UC Santa Cruz for first place. The team of Jordan Draper, Michelle Grek and John Ryan Muldoon tied with CSU, San Jose for second place.

This result qualifies CSU, Chico to send one team to compete in the 17th annual Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition in San Antonio in February. Philosophy students Mark Gaynor, Jeremy McNutt, Michelle Grek and Jordan Draper will travel to San Antonio. Ryan Muldoon is graduating and David Omega has a scheduling conflict, so they will not be attending.

Ethics Bowl is a team competition in which each team presents its answer to a question about a specific issue in practical or professional ethics, an opposing team comments, and a panel of judges determine the winner based on criteria of intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance and deliberative thoughtfulness.

To prepare for the regional meet, each team receives a set of cases that raise issues in practical and professional ethics in advance of the competition and prepares an analysis of each case. Each team member takes four of the 12 cases and acts as the lead for those cases. The questions concern ethical problems on wide-ranging topics in fields including classroom ethics, interpersonal relationships, law and medicine.

“Our two teams faced very tough competition from the other schools,” said Professor Eric Gampel, advisor to the Ethics Bowl teams. “I'm very proud of how they did. The teams worked together for months preparing for the event, researching the 12 ethics topics, discussing the ethical principles relevant to each topic and practicing their presentations. The winning team was thrilled, but our other team got almost as excited for their fellow Chico students."

CSU, Chico came in second in the 2011 regionals and went to nationals, but they did not place. Gampel says that he and the students are optimistic about placing this time around. The College of Humanities and Fine Arts is providing funding for the competition.

Other teams in the regional competition included UC Santa Cruz, Santa Clara University, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Community College, San Jose State University, National Hispanic University, Azusa Pacific University, University of Southern California and Golden West College.

The championships are held as part of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics Annual Meeting. Colleges and universities across the United States and throughout the world who qualify in a regional bowl can enter teams in the national competition.