DETROIT (11/19/2012) — The 13th Annual University of Detroit Mercy Ethics Bowl had a few athletes on the winning team as men’s lacrosse juniors Drew Schupbach (Clarkston, Mich. / St. Mary’s) and Joe MacLean (Bloomfield Hills, Mich. / Country Day) along with sophomore Thomas Sible (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Forest Hills Central) were members of the victorious TLC squad.
The team – which also included UDM student’s Erica Taylor and Alaa Aljibir – made it through five rounds of fierce competition, debating such topics as “Street Art”: Vandalism or Philanthropy?, Drug Legalization, There is an App for THAT!, and Student Loan Forgiveness.
As the winning team, Plus, they will have the honor of representing UDM at a regional Ethics Bowl and may go on to compete in the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, which takes place at the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics in February.
Last year, a team that had three UDM men’s golfers (Britt Pronk, Mark Hicks, Kyle Benford) were victorious in the annual competition.
The Ethics Bowl is inspired by TV’s College Bowl, but modified rules adapt the game to the subject of ethics. In Ethics Bowl, a moderator poses questions to teams of three to five students. Questions may address ethical problems on classroom topics (e.g. cheating or plagiarism), personal relationships (e.g. dating or friendship), professional ethics (e.g. engineering, law, medicine), or social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, etc.). 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 rates answers in terms of intelligibility, focus, depth, and judgment. No specialized knowledge in ethical theory is required to compete in or judge an Ethics Bowl.
The competition is one of the few events at UDM that draws participants from virtually every part of the University. Many students who initially compete for extra credit in a course are surprised at how much they enjoy Ethics Bowl, and often enthusiastically return to compete in subsequent years. Judges and moderators are drawn from faculty, staff, administration and alumni, many of whom return every year.