Lynchburg College will celebrate its ethics bowl team at a basketball game Wednesday night, just a few days before they compete in a national contest for ethical debate.
At about 6:55 p.m. Wednesday, the ethics bowl students will take to the court in Turner Gym so the crowd can cheer them on and wish them good luck, as well as recognize the team’s outstanding performance this year. Students also will sign a banner congratulating the team.
“We’re all very excited to be there and have people cheer us on,” said Dr. Laura Kicklighter, ethics bowl coach.
LC’s ethics bowl team has competed in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl for several years. In November 2015, LC’s team placed second among the 14 colleges in the regional contest, winning a spot in the national competition this Sunday in Reston.
Many other teams in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl events come from larger universities with more resources, including entire classes in the curriculum, devoted to ethics bowl. At LC, it’s an extracurricular activity. But the students triumphed thanks to dedication and teamwork, said Dr. Kicklighter. “We had a perfect set of circumstances in terms of a group that works really well together, and their ability to do the work and get the research done that makes them successful,” she said.
In ethics bowl matches, students engage in debates about the ethical issues present in a variety of case studies. For the national competition, students review 15 cases in advance and research and discuss each one.
This weekend’s competition includes cases on wage differences between CEOs and minimum wage workers, self-driving vehicles, the cost of patented drugs and pharmaceuticals, concussions, the ethics of the word “thug,” and more topics. “They really need to become expert in a lot of different areas,” said Dr. Kicklighter.
In Sunday’s competition, the team will accumulate points in three rounds of matches, after which point the teams with the highest cumulative score will advance to the semifinal round.
A total of 36 schools will compete in the national tournament this weekend. Other colleges and universities represented include California State University, Bakersfield; Harper College; Northwestern University; Samford University; San Jose State University; Tufts University; United States Military Academy; University of California Santa Barbara; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of Richmond; and Utah State University.