Ethics Bowl

ethics bowl

Openings on the Villanova University Ethics Bowl Team Each year the Villanova Ethics Program sponsors one team consisting of five undergraduate students to prepare, travel, and compete in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. The competition begins with ten regional matches in the fall that feed the national competition, held in the early spring.

The Ethics Bowl competition is presented annually by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics as a method of involving students in deliberating and debate on difficult ethical cases and controversies. The national competition, which draws together the top 32 teams from the regional rounds, is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

At the regional competition, the participating teams compete in three rounds. The teams are given a dozen or more complex ethical and policy cases to study in advance of the competition, though they are not told what questions they will be asked about any case. For each match, one team is required to present a view on a case and then respond to questions from the opposing team and judges. Then the roles are reversed, and the opposing team presents an argument surrounding a different case, after which they respond to questions. Teams are evaluated at the end of each match for the quality of their arguments, responses, and counter-responses. The top three to four teams advance to the national competition.

At the national competition, the 32 participating teams compete in three rounds in the morning, using a format similar to the regional competitions. The top eight teams advance to the quarterfinals, which are held in the evening.

Interested students should send their name, year, major (or possible major), along with a statement of interest by email, to Dr. Mark Wilson.

Applicants are encouraged to include information about their coursework and background in ethics, along with any questions about the Ethics Bowl team that they may have. Team members meet twice a week from around late September until the November regional event. If they are successful in being selected to participate in the national competition, they will again meet twice a week from the beginning of second semester until the national competition.

National Team
National Team 2015

Spring 2015

Villanova Debate Team Competes in Nationals, Makes It to the Quarterfinals

Villanova University’s Ethics Bowl team did well at the 2015 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl held on February 22 in Orange County, CA.  The competition began with 32 teams from across the country. In the initial morning rounds, Villanova went undefeated, earning it a spot in the elimination rounds. In the quarterfinals Villanova competed against Taylor University, a mid-west institution. One judge tied them, another judge gave Villanova the win, and the final judge gave Taylor the win. This is a tie, and in the elimination rounds ties must be broken. The points given by each judge gave Taylor the win by one point. Villanova was proudly represented by Christine Albert, Brian Myung, Rishi Chauhan, Eric Aldieri, and Ronald Berra, all of CLAS. They were ably coached by Professors Mark Wilson and Albert Shin. The eventual champions of the event were from Taylor University. If you are going to lose, lose to the eventual winner! And by a point!

Fall 2014

Villanova Debate Team Competes in Regionals, Wins Invitation to Nationals

This fall, we had two teams to send to the regional Ethics Bowl, held at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. This took place on Saturday, December 6, 2014.
Villanova's two teams both did extraordinarily well. The coaches, Mark Wilson and Albert Shin, are incredibly proud.  After the opening rounds, the VU teams were undefeated, both going 3-0 against their opponents, which included Providence, Tufts, Manhattan, Buffalo State, St. Joseph's (not Philly’s St. Joseph’s!), and the USMMA, among others. Entering the elimination rounds, VU-White was the first overall seed, and VU-Blue was the third seed, indicating their stellar performances.  In the quarterfinals, VU-White competed against the United States Military Academy—where the VU-USMA Conference on the Ethics of War was much discussed. VU-White defeated the USMA in a closely contested match and advanced to the semifinals. This secured an invitation for Villanova as one of thirty-two teams invited to the national Ethics Bowl competition. VU-Blue met Salisbury in the quarterfinal and lost narrowly.

In VU-White's semifinal round, they lost in an incredibly close decision to Providence, who competed against Marist in the finals.

With these outstanding results at the regional, Villanova University will again, for the third straight year, send a team to "march madness" in the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. This is a rare achievement, and we celebrate the accomplishment of our students!

The Team Members are:

VU-Blue: Christopher Wilson, James McConeghy, Prasanth Romiyo, and Luke Hensley

VU-White: Christine Albert, Eric Aldieri, Rishi Chauhan, Brian Myung, and Ronald Berna
The Ethics Program is very proud of the students’ accomplishments and deeply grateful to Mark Wilson and Albert Shin for the many hours spent working with these students, often on Sunday afternoons! The national competition will take place on Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Cosa Mesa, CA. Thirty-two teams from around the country will participate. Please join me in congratulating the students for a job very well done and in wishing them great success in the national competition.