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Whitworth Ethics Bowl Team completes successful season with ICW win

Ethics Bowl Team 2016Whitworth's Ethics Bowl team, the Philosoraptors, closed out the season on April 22 at University of Puget Sound by taking first place at the Independent Colleges of Washington (ICW) Ethics Bowl for the second time in three years. The team of five students defeated the University of Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran University and Gonzaga University in the preliminary rounds, Gonzaga University in the semifinals, and Whitman College in the finals.

In addition to the ICW win, the Philosoraptors celebrated several other victories this season, including second place at the Northwest Regional Bowl and, for the second time in five years, first place at the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, in Washington, D.C.

The 2016 ICW Ethics Bowl featured 10 teams from colleges and universities that are members of the Independent Colleges of Washington. During an Ethics Bowl match, a moderator poses questions with ethical problems on a wide range of topics to teams of three to five students. Each team receives a set of ethical issues in advance of the competition, and questions posed to teams at the competition are taken from that set. A panel of judges evaluates answers based on intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness in considering opposing viewpoints.

This season, teams prepared to analyze 12 different cases composed by the ICW on a wide variety of issues, including whether California should use prisoners to fight wildfires; ethical considerations of a "never negotiate with terrorists" policy; obligations of democracies to refugees; hunting of endangered lions; and an assessment of Starbucks' "Race Together" campaign. Examining relevant, real-world illustrations of complex ethical issues showcases students' knowledge of applied ethics and their ability to apply ethics to everyday challenges as future leaders in their own communities and places of business.

The Whitworth Ethics Bowl team comprises political science major Phillip Allevato, '17; English and philosophy major Kaitlin Barnes, '17; political science major James Eccles, '17; psychology major Ellie Probus, '16; and philosophy and psychology major TJ Westre, '17. The coaches for the team are Professor of Communication Studies and Director of Forensics Mike Ingram and Associate Professor of Philosophy Keith Wyma.  

Guest judges at the ICW Ethics Bowl included Whitworth alumni Sam Director, '15, Rebecca Korf, '15, and Travis Walker, '12.