Should the Brazilian government flood a valley to create a hydroelectric power plant that will displace thousands of indigenous people?
Thorny moral questions such as this were among the issues tackled by BGSU's Ethics Bowl team at the Upper Midwest Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, held Nov. 13 at Harper College. Their responses earned them a ticket to the national competition to be held this March in Cincinnati.
Sixteen teams from 14 colleges and universities competed in the bowl, which is sponsored by the national Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. Students had to prepare arguments for 15 cases, drawn from issues reported in the media, not knowing which they would be asked to address.
Coached by Dr. Ian Young, philosophy, along with philosophy doctoral students Bradley Gabbard and Nicholas Sars, BGSU's seven team members come from varied majors. "It originated as a way of getting engineering students at the Illinois Institute of Technology to think more deeply about the ethical implications of their profession, and it took off from there," Young said.
Business administration major Nicole Lepore said, "Ethics in business is really important. On the team, we separate legality from morality — something that is unethical is not always illegal. Being on the team is almost like a course in critical thinking. It's hard to always want to see the other side, but here you have to listen carefully to the other team's argument and critique it carefully, even when you are arguing the same position."
Now in its second year at BGSU, the Ethics Bowl team has received strong support from the philosophy department as well as from Dr. Neal Jesse, new director of Connecting Undergraduate Education, Young said.
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BGSU will close out its centennial year with a concert and program Friday (Dec. 10) in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Dining Services will host a reception, with seasonal hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, at 6:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 7 p.m.
The Centennial Celebration Concert will feature a variety of the University's musical ensembles, a tribute to a year of service and the filling of a centennial time capsule.
Many of the musical selections have direct connections to BGSU. Ryan Nowlin, an alumnus who was recently named staff arranger for the U.S. Marine Corps Band, composed or arranged two of the compositions; current faculty members Chris Buzzelli and David Bixler had a hand in two of the musical pieces, and "American Pageant" was composed by Thomas Knox, a friend of Dr. G. Philip Cartwright, husband of BGSU President Carol Cartwright.
Representatives from the Bowling Green and BGSU communities will contribute items for the time capsule, which will be displayed rather than buried.
Admission to the event is a food item or monetary donation. All donations will benefit the Bowling Green Food Pantry.
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