Taylor Ethics Bowl Team Advances to Nationals

By Jim Garringer Published: Nov 17, 2011

Taylor's 2011 Regional Ethics Bowl Team

For the sixth time in the past 11 years, Taylor University’s Ethics Bowl team has earned the right to compete in the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, an event held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Taylor sent two 5-member teams to last weekend’s Central States Ethics Bowl regional championship, held at Marian University in Indianapolis, Ind. They finished 4th and 5th in the 22-team field (19 schools).
During the competition, Taylor’s teams competed against University of Michigan, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Southern Indiana, Ripon, St. Olaf and Wright State, losing only to Wright State by one point.

“Both of our teams performed brilliantly at the regional competition,” said Dr. Jim Spiegel, who along with faculty colleague Dr. Jeff Cramer, serves as coach and sponsor of Taylor’s Ethics Bowl team. “The cases concerned issues ranging from freedom of expression to sexual ethics, and our teams' presentations were organized, well-researched, and powerfully argued. After over a decade of consistently strong performances as the regional competition (two championships and qualifying for nationals over half of the time), Taylor has earned a reputation as one of the strongest teams. And many of the judges and coaches mentioned this on Saturday. This is very gratifying, of course, since we work so hard to prepare them for the competition.”

Judging at the events is based on the quality of debate and presentation in the following criteria:

  1. clarity and intelligibility
  2. focus on ethically relevant factors
  3. avoidance of ethical irrelevance
  4. deliberative thoughtfulness

“We're excited about moving on to nationals again,” said Spiegel. “As coaches, Jeff and I have the enviable difficulty of having to select five students among an excellent group of ten to send to nationals. We will make this decision sometime in January as we begin preparing for the new set of cases. But those who don't make the official nationals team roster will still work with them to prepare for the event.”

Institutions who qualified for the national competition included:

  • Indiana University
  • Xavier University
  • DePauw University
  • Taylor University
  • Ripon College (Wisconsin)

Taylor’s student teams were composed of students from fields including philosophy, economics, history, math, political science and sociology.

Taylor student roster:

Daniel Kasper ’12
Tim McDermott ’12    
Libby Trudeau ’12
Sean West ’12
Suzanne Neefus ’14
Paul Nurkkala ’12     
Maggie O'Connell ’11  
Jonathan Povilonis ’12
Jenna Stupar ’12
Tom Weingartner ’13        

The National Ethics Bowl will be held in Cincinnati on March 1, 2012.