Snow ethics students shine in national competition
BALTIMORE — Four Snow College students competed in the Associate for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) Two-year College Ethics Bowl and will move on to the 2017 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB) in February.
In November, Calli Cahill, Elysa Garcia, Adam Hall and Shawnee Platero competed against teams from two-year colleges across the nation at the University of Baltimore in Maryland.
The team defeated multiple groups, including the two-time defending champions, Harper College from Palatine, Ill.
“I’m so proud of these students,” said Dr. Greg Wright, chair of the philosophy department and Ethics Bowl team coach. “The amount of work and effort required of them is extraordinary.”
As a result of their victory, the Snow College team was the only two-year school invited to compete in the 2017 IEB in Dallas, Texas, where they will stand against large universities such as Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Naval Academy, to name a few.
“My coaches were amazing and taught us so much,” Cahill said. “They were extremely dedicated to the point of staying up with us until 2 a.m. in our hotel to help us finalize our cases. My teammates put in so much effort and were incredible in their preparation and insights. I was lucky just to (hear) them speak.”
Dr. Matthew Gowans, assistant professor of English, said students put a lot of time into the cases, and the team did an exceptional job of presenting them. “It was exciting because they added a unique dimension.”
When students present their cases during the competition, the APPE panel reviews how well students understand the facts of the case, articulate principals involved, present an effective argument to resolution and respond to their team’s opponents.
The cases students present are meant to provide resolution to controversial moral dilemmas in a well-spoken manner, something Wright said is not evident in our national leaders.
“One of the things about the ethics bowl that is important is it asks students to participate in civil discord on topics that are controversial, which is something that is lacking in our country when it comes to talking about tough crucial issues,” Wright said. “You can see that from last presidential election. If the political candidates were to go and observe (the Ethics Bowl) they would probably learn something valuable.”
Overall, the students said they had a great time and are making preparations for the IEB, although they will not receive new cases until Jan. 4, which Wright said is a good thing because it gives them a nice break to catch their breath.
But Cahill said she and others will begin preparing over the Christmas break by studying various ethical theories and philosophers.
“It’s pretty hard work preparing for these competitions, but also very rewarding,” she said.