By Alyssa Long
UC Santa Barbara’s Ethics Bowl team is preparing to compete nationally after its first-place victory at the Wasatch Regional Competition in Salt Lake City last weekend.
The team is composed mainly of undergraduate Philosophy majors and coached by Philosophy graduate students. At the regional competition, these students beat 15 teams from colleges including Stanford University and the University of Utah.
“We previously made it to the national playoffs with a pioneering team and coaches in 2016-17, but this is now a new generation team with new coaches, so it’s great to see we are still going great guns,” said Tom Holden, Philosophy Department professor and chair.
The Ethics Bowl was created by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, an international organization that seeks to advance education and practice of ethics in the workplace and in public dialogue. The association’s intercollegiate competition provides an opportunity for students to debate relevant ethical issues.
Hundreds of teams from across the U.S. and Canada participate in eleven competitions each fall, arguing their ethical analyses of issues from a variety of categories, including business, inter-personal relationships, engineering, journalism, law, medicine, and politics.
Successful teams are able to understand the cases presented, discuss the moral principles of the issues, communicate strong arguments, and respond to challenges presented by the opposing university and the panel of judges.
The UCSB team will advance in March to the national finals competition in Baltimore, where they will compete with hundreds of teams from across the country.
Alyssa Long is a second-year student at UC Santa Barbara, majoring in Communication. She is a Web and Social Media Intern with UC Santa Barbara’s Division of Humanities and Fine Arts.