Students face off on current issues in Ethics Bowl

Students face off on current issues in Ethics Bowl

by Tara MaurerStaff Writer

Simpson College’s fifth annual Ethics Bowl took place on Nov. 3 in Jordan Lecture Hall. This debate-style competition brought students from many different backgrounds together to discuss ethical issues prevalent in today’s society.

The two final teams, Kappa Theta Psi and Philosophy, were told to answer “What are the ethical implications of a national health care plan?” After a prepared presentation from both teams, the judges announced Kappa Theta Psi to be the winning team.

Judge Fritz Wehrenberg briefly discussed the two teams before announcing the winner. He accentuated Kappa Theta Psi heartfelt presentation and Philosophy’s smooth, compelling presentation.

Judge Ellie Olson, Director of Counseling Services, further commented by expressing how difficult the decision to choose the winner was.

“It was very difficult to make the decision in the end,” Olson said. “Health care has no easy answer. This was a huge challenge for both teams.”

Judge Dr. Lora Friedrich also commented on the teams, saying that the way the teams chose to present the question made their decision.

“Both teams were very well prepared,” Friedrich said. “In the end, Kappa Theta Psi presented the question while Philosophy reinterpreted it.”

The Ethics Bowl, hosted by Students in Free Enterprise, is meant to help students dig into ethical problems and see how they apply in their everyday lives.

“The purpose of the Ethics Bowl is to have participants think deeply about real-life scenario dilemmas and bring light to the importance of applications of ethics,” sophomore SIFE member Kirk Ford said.

Senior Allison Wittry, SIFE president, also underlined the importance of the Ethics Bowl.

“It is important that we have the Ethics Bowl at Simpson because it gives students a chance to learn about ethics in a way that is fun and outside of the classroom,” Wittry said. “It also really gets students thinking about how ethics can play a role in business and in their everyday lives.”

Judge D. Lora Friedrich, who has been a judge for the bowl every year, commented on how successful this year’s bowl was.

“Every year it gets smoother and more refined,” Friedrich said. “Both teams were very well prepared. However, the Ethics Bowl could be improved if the teams weren’t thrown together so quickly.”

Senior Karen Hart participated in the Ethics Bowl and says the event is a great way to have various groups and departments interact with each other.

“The Ethics Bowl gets different groups on campus together to discuss ethical issues in an environment used to enlighten each other,” Hart said. “Sometimes departments are secluded and the Ethics Bowl gives students a way to apply what we have learned to our answers.”

The Ethics Bowl began with a preliminary round on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Questions ranged anywhere from deciding to take the job of your dreams after already accepting a different job offer to Wal-Mart taking away profit from small business owners.

SIFE was responsible not only for hosting the event, but also for putting the event together.

“SIFE contacts department heads to put teams together, contacts potential judges and researches to create the questions,” Wittry said.

SIFE also provided a $300 prize for the first place team and a $100 prize for the second place team.

This year seven teams participated in the bowl: Criminal Justice, English, Management, RLC, Psychology, Kappa Theta Psi, and Philosophy.

The teams consisted of students put together through department heads and through students creating their own teams. Winners of the bowl were chosen by how ethical their arguments were.

One team from each of the rooms in the preliminary round moved on to the final round. Here, the competition became much more formal.

The winning teams were given a question after the preliminary round and they had a week to prepare a minute presentation.

The panel of judges consisted of Director of Counseling Ellie Olson, Indianola mayor Jerry Kelly, Allison Wolf, assistant professor of Philosophy, John Bolen, registrar and associate academic dean, Andrew Bardole, Jim Hayes, associate academic dean and director of the Center for Vocation and Integrative Learning, Christin Slorah, and Fritz Wehrenberg, interim Campus Chaplain.