Mount St. Joseph University

Ethics Bowl Team Prepares for Competition

Arts & Humanities, Press Releases


File Under: contemporary moral debate, department of general studies and philosophy, ethics bowl

The College of Mount St. Joseph’s Ethics Bowl team will compete in their second competition on November 3. The team will participate in the 14th Annual Central States Regional Ethics Bowl in Indianapolis against other colleges and universities from the surrounding states.  In preparation, the team will host a scrimmage against Xavier University on October 16.           

Contemporary Moral Debate

Formed last year as a response to student interest and initiative, the Ethics Bowl team now receives course credit for their participation through the accelerated class “Contemporary Moral Debate.” The class is divided into two teams to tackle the 15 cases they must be prepared to present at the competition. One student from each team is assigned the same three cases, which allows the students to work in partners. Students also work closely with faculty members with expertise in the areas of each case. 

Dr. Adam Konopka, assistant professor in the Department of General Studies and Philosophy, has been with the group since their beginning last year. Dr. Konopka is the instructor for “Contemporary Moral Debate” and appreciates that the class structure can help the students better prepare for the competition in November. Dr. Melissa Houlette, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership also assists in instructing the course.  

Research and Preparation

Dan Kramig, a junior history and education major, is a returning member from last year’s team and describes their motivation to return to the competition and do better this time around. He says their preparation has been more thorough—in his words, the team has been “breathing ethical principles.” 

Kramig has been working closely with Dr. Sontag, Chair of the Department of General Studies and Philosophy for one of his assigned cases—a question of student loan forgiveness for college students. He hopes the scrimmage with Xavier University will give them another perspective on their arguments and find any flaws they’ve missed. “The scrimmage will show us where we are and what we still need to do to prepare for the full competition in November,” Kramig says. 

14th Annual Central States Regional Ethics Bowl

On November 3 the 10 students on the Mount’s Ethics Bowl team will travel to Indianapolis to compete in the Central States Regional Ethics Bowl. The competition consists of three matches, and the team won’t find out which three cases they will present until the match itself. In addition, the team must defend their arguments against another team’s critique, and also provide critique for an opposing team’s argument. The matches are judged on a point system. The team hopes to improve their score from last year, and Kramig hopes the team can score a spot in the top 10.