It Pays to Be Ethical’: SIFE-sponsored event offers prizes for getting it right

It Pays to Be Ethical': SIFE-sponsored event offers prizes for getting it right

by Peter Kaspari and Stacey MagnesonStaff Writers

The third annual Ethics Bowl took place in Camp Lounge in the BSC on Thursday, Jan. 24. The event is a tournament-style competition in which three teams from philosophy, social sciences and women’s studies majors debate and discuss real ethical issues.

This event is put on by Students in Free Enterprise, which is a group of 10 students who contact students to form teams for the event and work with professors to create questions for the preliminary round.

SIFE also did advertising for the Ethics Bowl and put together a panel of judges. This event got started through the organization with the goal of promoting ethics.

The theme of this year’s Ethics Bowl is “It Pays to Be Ethical.” This event is important to Marshall because she believes that people face ethical dilemmas every day and in most circumstances the easy way out isn’t always the most moral.

Senior SIFE President Emily Marshall is the project manager of the event and helps with communication between the SIFE project team, judges and the participants. Marshall was also the host on Thursday night for the final round.

“I make sure the project is implemented smoothly and that the different facets of the event are executed,” Marshall said.

For this year’s event, there were 12 teams competing during the preliminary rounds in order to be one of the three teams to compete in the forum event final.

“Most consist of four people and each was presented with ethical questions that were assigned randomly,” Tom Schmidt, chair of business administration and economics and faculty sponsor of SIFE, said.

The winners were evaluated on how ethical their argument was. This year’s final question to the three final teams was, “what is the most important ethical dilemma facing Simpson College at this time?”

The philosophy team felt it was the commercialization and commodification of the liberal arts education.

The social sciences team believed it was academic dishonesty and how it could potentially put a bad reflection on Simpson College.

Lastly, the women’s studies team focused on the ethics of admissions. After each team presented, the three-judge panel met and discussed who they believed the winner should be.

This panel of judges consisted of Allison Wolf, assistant professor of philosophy, Professor of Management Ruth Weatherly and Mayor of Indianola Jerry Kelley.

The winner of the event was the women’s studies team, which was comprised of freshmen Kate Harris and Anna Holley and senior Alison Jepsen.

“Our strongest argument was that Simpson College has struggled with being a great academic institution instead of with different backgrounds and diversity,” Jepsen said.

The prize for this year’s winners was $400, which was given by a grant that was approved by the Student Government Association.

“While we might have to devote more time, resources and energy when we choose to go the ethical route, the results pay out in dividends,” Marshall said. “The Ethics Bowl brings to light many important ethical issues that we face today and provides a forum event for open discussion and debate. It gives students a better understanding of ethical issues that they and their peers will face in their future careers.”