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UTSA Honors Alliance hosts Ethics Bowl March 24

By James Boullosa
Graduate Intern, Office of Student Judicial Affairs

(March 13, 2008)--The UTSA Honors Alliance and the Office of Student Judicial Affairs will host the Ethics Bowl from 6 to 9 p.m., Monday, March 24 in the University Center Retama Auditorium (2.02.02) on the 1604 Campus.

The Ethics Bowl provides a competitive setting in which UTSA students can enhance their intellectual abilities and capacities, as well as broaden their understanding of ethical issues facing today's college students. The debates will include topics such as academic dishonesty, interpersonal relationships, gender/sexuality issues and potential conflicts of interest.

Unlike traditional debates, Ethics Bowl teams go beyond taking "pro" or "con" stances on an issue or by employing argumentation strategies. "The goal here is to develop a defensible position that a reasonable and responsible person could hold when presented with complex, ambiguous and highly viewpoint-dependent questions," said Charlin Jones, UTSA assistant director of student activities. "UTSA's goal is to build Ethics Bowl and to send teams to the national competition."

Before competing, each team will research, analyze and seek consensus on an ethical issue posed by the sponsors. On the night of the competition, the teams present their responses. Judging is based on clarity and intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant factors, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, deliberative thoughtfulness and teamwork. In this format, each team's members may first have to challenge his or her own ethical stances and motivations as part of the consensus-building process in order to achieve the most reasonably defensible and ethically responsible position for the team.

Ethics Bowl began in 1997 as an intramural event at the Illinois Institute of Technology as the brainchild of Robert Ladenson, IIT professor of philosophy. UTSA's Ethics Bowl began in 2005 in a modified version of Ladenson's format. The UTSA event was created under the supervision of Anita Leffel, senior lecturer in the College of Business, with the support of the Office of Student Life and the Office of Student Judicial Affairs.

To register for the UTSA Ethics Bowl, go to the Office of Student Activities in University Center Room 1.02.08, 1604 Campus, or Durango Building Room 1.302, Downtown Campus, or visit the UTSA Honors Alliance Web site.

For more information, contact Juan Pequeño, Honors Alliance scholarly programming chair, at (210) 458-7273.

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