SRU Ethics Bowl seeks student team participants


March 14, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's department of philosophy is seeking student teams to take part in the 2016 SRU Ethics Bowl. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, April 23, in the Spotts World Culture Building.

The College of Liberal Arts, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Transformational Experiences and the Stone House Center for Public Humanities are co-sponsoring the event.

The SRU Ethics Bowl, now in its second year, is an offshoot of the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, and is designed for teams of three to five students to discuss and debate contemporary moral issues in a friendly competition.

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl was developed in 1993 at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Resembling a quiz bowl competition, a moderator poses questions to two teams that deal with a variety of ethical problems, ranging from professional ethics to social and political topics. Team responses are scored on the answer to the questions posed as well as rebuttals to the opposing team's response.

Since 1997, the National Ethics Bowl Competition has taken place at the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. For the past few years, 10 regional bowls have taken place throughout the U.S. with more than 100 teams competing. The top 32 teams are then invited to participate in the national competition.

According to Laura Coulter, SRU instructor of geography, geology and the environment and event co-organizer, the goal for this year's event is to successfully solicit eight or more teams - comprised of three to five students each - to take part.

"We'd love to have teams that are comprised of as many different majors as possible," said Coulter. "One reason that variety among participants is so important is because we deal with a variety of contemporary ethical concerns.

"Philosophy students might approach developing their arguments one way, while business majors can presents a completely different perspective. It's a opportunity for everyone to learn from one another."

Coulter added that students are invited to create diverse teams with members from any combination of majors and/or class standing.

"It is really a very dynamic competition, but it can only be enhanced with participation from a variety of disciplines," she said.

Following registration, which closes March 18, teams will receive five or six scenarios for which they will need to prepare discussion points. Each team will be provided a faculty mentor who will assist the team in preparing its arguments and counter-arguments.

Top participants from the April 23 event will be invited to represent SRU at the University's entry at the 2016 Central States Regional Competition in Indianapolis, Indiana later this year.

For additional information on the event, contact: Andrew Colvin, associate professor of philosophy at 724.738.4996 or, or Andrew Winters, instructor of philosophy at 724.738.4386 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |