SHU Students Compete in Ethics Bowl



On Nov. 11, Sacred Heart’s Ethics Debate Team competed in the Northeast Regional Ethics Bowl held at Marist College. The team made it to the quarterfinals, and placed fifth overall.

Teams from 26 universities argued their positions on complex ethical issues facing our society today. Topics included President Trump’s Muslim ban, protests of the Dakota Access pipeline, the regulation of social media and fake news, and many more.

“We worked so well together, and we were very composed while presenting,” said senior and team member Nicole Esposito. “Everyone was prepared coming into competition, and it showed.”

The team was especially proud of their performance, as many of their members had never participated in the Ethics Bowl until this year.

“I was new to the team and the idea of ethics,” said sophomore and team member Laila McGeorge, “but we all used our knowledge to enlighten each other and understand the cases better.”

“We had a great camaraderie, and worked really well with each other,” she said.

In preparation for the event, the team held weekly meetings to familiarize themselves with the concepts and strategies. After discussing and researching various ethics cases, they would create arguments and practice presenting them to one another.

They would also create responses to potential questions from the opposing team.

“Meetings were the prefect mix between focus and fun, which made the whole experience enjoyable,” said Esposito. “After all the meetings throughout the semester, it was great to see everyone present their findings.”

At the event, debate would occur between two teams at a time. The first team would be assigned a topic, and have 10 minutes to present their argument. The second team would then have five minutes to respond, and then a panel of judges would question the first team for 10 minutes. The second team would then be assigned a new topic, and the process would start again.

In the early rounds of the competition, the team defeated the University of Notre Dame and Northeastern University, securing a spot in the quarterfinals.

After 12 rounds of debate, the team lost to West Point by only a few points after arguing the ethics of Gonzo journalism and ethics of discourse and symbols.

“My favorite part of the entire experience was the day of the competition and seeing all of our hard work being put to the test,” said Esposito. “We all had the chance to present our research, so it was a great experience.

“Learning about ethics and different philosophical ideas has really ignited an interest in philosophy for me,” said McGeorge. “I was extremely nervous for the unknowns of going into the competition, but it was so exciting to meet other teams and finally present the topics we had been working so hard on.”

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