Ethics Bowl 2013

UALR Ethics Bowl Team

UPDATE: Help support the UALR Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team (pictured below) travel to compete at the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl in February 2015. You can make a tax-deductible donation through UALR Giving. You can also learn more about the trip, donate, and help spread the word at this Crowdrise fundraising link.

Ethics Bowlers and coaches at the Central States Regional Ethics Bowl, 2014

What is an Ethics Bowl?

Differing from long established debate competitions, The Ethics Bowl is a venue that encourages engagement in serious moral discourse. Teams consider and discuss cases drawn from current events, which range from social and political issues (voting rights, informed consent, death penalty, gun control), to environmental concerns (sustainable growth and development), to professional worries (hiring practices), to issues arising in the college classroom (grade inflation, plagiarism).

Teams from colleges and universities across the country compete at the regional level and winners then go to the finals where one team emerges victorious. Teams have at least a couple of months to prepare the cases, though they do not know the actual question associated with the case until they face another team. Emphasis is on reasoning and the ability to engage in moral discourse rather than on persuasion. The scores of three judges who are recruited from both the academy and the professions determine winners. The competition can be fierce and the winning margins tight. Still, the atmosphere is unceasingly civil and collegial. Our 2014-2015 team qualified at the regional level to compete at the national competition, making them one of the top 32 ethics bowl teams in the nation.

What do UALR Ethics Bowl Team Members Think?
Where does the UALR Ethics Bowl Team Compete?
Contact Information

What Do UALR Ethics Bowl Team Members Think?

  • “I think the best part is that the environment of Ethics Bowl is congenial and collaborative, certainly when you are first discussing cases with your team to develop arguments, so I do not ever feel upset or threatened by ideas I disagree with; instead, I am able to ask the smart questions needed to have others flesh out their ideas and effectively communicate with them to determine what message is trying to be conveyed before I give a response.”
  • “Through being a member of the UALR ethics bowl team I have been given the chance to experience new places, different people, and a variety of new ideas and ways of thinking. I believe I am now learning to have a more open and impartial mind because of this and will continue to learn as I continue with the team.”
  • “It is one of the most fun and rewarding competitive and academic experiences I have had. Exploring my thoughts with the help of the team and coaches, building friendships with everyone involved, and competing with all of this support is a gratifying experience, and I am lucky to be involved in it.”
  • “During the Ethics Bowl, I got to learn more about what ethics is and how to discuss ethical issues in a competitive and respectful manner … this club helped me to do better in the classroom. I can honestly say I have really developed a love for philosophy because it allows me to question the world around me and my place in it.”
  • “As I look back at my journey with the ethics bowl team, my main takeaway is the confidence I have developed. Before this journey I constantly second-guessed myself and as a result I was never comfortable speaking up in class and in everyday conversations … I can honestly say I am beginning to trust my thoughts and what I have to say. I am a better person because of the constant encouragement and positive push from this group of people.”

Where does the UALR Ethics Bowl Team Compete?

Regional Event

Marian University in Indiana, hosts the Central States Regional Ethics Bowl

Regional Event
St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, hosts the Texas Regional Ethics Bowl

National Event
The Association for Practical and Professional Ethics hosts the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Previous host cities include: Cleveland, Ohio; San Antonio, Texas; and Jacksonville, Florida. This year (February 2015), our UALR team will be traveling to Costa Mesa, California to compete.

Contact Information

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Allison Merrick axmerrick@ualr.edu

Ethics Bowl Team President: Bianca Mayo blmayo@ualr.edu