Marymount Students Participate in Ethics Bowl

Marymount University’s Ethics Bowl team planned on just having fun and making the most out of its limited practice at a recent competition in Roanoke. “Then we won our first few debates and things started to get serious!” said Amanda Bourne, a senior from Owings, Maryland.

Marymount ended up finishing with a 3-1 record in the 2016 Wells Fargo Ethics Bowl, losing only to defending champion and this year’s runner-up, Washington and Lee University. The event was held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 on the campus of Hollins University. The program of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges featured 16 teams that deliberated cases related to Ethics and Civic Responsibility.

The Marymount team was comprised of Bourne; Collin Chartier, a junior from Fairfax; Lorine Margeson, a junior from Burke; and Caroline Benz, a junior from Italy.

At the beginning of each match, teams were given cases involving ethical or civic dilemmas.

“They didn’t have much time to prepare, maybe five minutes, which makes it a lot of fun,” said Dr. Matthew Shadle, the Marymount associate professor of religion and theology who coached the team.

The point, he said, was to come up with solutions.

For example, one of the cases involved a neighborhood in which children had narrowly escaped being struck by vehicles on several occasions. Residents asked the city to create a crosswalk but were denied. Should they do it themselves?

“In the real world, there will be complex problems with competing demands, and they’ll be asked to come up with solutions that involve all stakeholders,” Shadle said. “One thing that really impressed me about our team is that that they were able to put together really nuanced, balanced solutions.”

Bourne said the experience has made her more comfortable discussing complex issues both in and outside the classroom. And while winning matches was fun, she added that the camaraderie and teamwork were the most important parts of the competition.

“I think the team’s biggest takeaway was that we were able to successfully draw on our diverse life experiences to become a better team with every round,” said Bourne, an English major with a minor in theology and religious studies.

Chartier, who is studying health science in the pre-physical therapy program, didn’t know what to expect going into the weekend.

“I got to be a better speaker, met new people and gained a new perspective,” Chartier said. “It was a fun weekend full of networking with more than 150 students from other schools.”

In the physical therapy field, it will be important to relate to different types of people, Chartier said.

“We made a great team, and we have three members coming back next year,” he added.

Photo captions

Photo 1
From left:
The team from Marymount University had a 3-1 record at this year’s Ethics Bowl. Pictured are team members and their coach: Amanda Bourne, Dr. Matthew Shadle, Lorine Margeson, Collin Chartier and Caroline Benz.

Photo 2
Caroline Benz, Amanda Bourne, Collin Chartier and Lorine Margeson represented Marymount University during the 2016 Wells Fargo Ethics Bowl in Roanoke.