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VSCC New Ethics Bowl Team

By Aubrey Cox

Vol States Ethics Bowl team, a new one-credit hour class will offer students ethical scenarios in the form of a debate team. 

The class will meet in SRB 252 (Steinhauer Rogan Black) at 4 p.m. on Oct. 3, 24, 31, and Nov. 14. 

Ethics Bowl is a faculty-run competition consisting of two teams that are offered ethical scenarios based on a question asked by the judges.  

Similar to a debate team, however instead of trying to go against the opposing team students will work to produce a solution. 

It can be taken as a class for credit; students are not required to enroll in the class to compete in tournaments. 

The class requires meeting every other Tues. starting Oct. 3; students will be discussing scenarios that are going to be used in the tournaments.  

The topics for the Ethics Bowl: Book banning, eviction and renters, art vs pornography, ethics of sex and gender, insurance and medical treatments, retirement, true crime TV, wilderness access, NASA funding, drag shows, unhelpful professors, judicial ethics, morality and investing, moral dilemmas in foreign affairs, unwanted gifts, and art and commercialization. 

At the end of the semester, there will be a reflection paper for students to discuss the class, as well as weekly assignments requiring students to write a summary about the topics discussed.  

For the tournaments, two teams of three to five students will be given 30 seconds to prepare their statement for the ethical situation, then present their solution. Each team can comment on each other’s solution instead of a rebuttal.  

Teams gain points for being open to the other team’s suggestions and changing their viewpoint, therefore instead of trying to bring another team down the teams will help each other.  

According to Professor Williams-Wyant, one of the lead organizers of the Ethics Bowl, other schools around Tennessee encouraged Vol State to take part in the Ethics Bowl and not only compete in regional tournaments in the fall but to also compete locally in the spring if students take interest and move forward in the Ethics Bowl. 

“I’m most excited to debate with other students about stuff that more than likely won’t affect our lives, it is enjoyable. The class will probably influence me to speak more to others. Chances are I won’t be participating because I simply work a lot, but I feel like the traveling aspect of it would encourage others to join the tournaments, it sounds fun,” said Sophomore student Leo who is taking the Ethics Bowl class. 

According to the overall lead of the Ethics Bowl, Professor Shipley, the meetings for team prep will all be in-person meets. If there are any questions email and

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