Ethics Bowl Students Advance to Nationals

A team of Cal Poly Pomona students heads to San Antonio this February for the national Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition following their big win Dec. 1 at the California regional competition.

The Broncos dominated universities throughout the state by winning all three of its matches by decisive margins in the regional competition. The team is comprised of students Ara Astourian, John Balla, Melinda Carrido, Jennifer Cryer and Cionn Villalobos.

The regional finals, which were held at the Kellogg West Conference Center, pitted Cal Poly Pomona against local rival Cal State San Bernardino. The Broncos came away with a 136-116 victory.

“It was a lively and intense exchange, focusing on two contemporary moral controversies in education: the teaching of intelligent design in public schools and policies charging college students majoring in costly disciplines higher tuition,” says team coach and associate philosophy professor, Michael Cholbi. “Having the competition take place at Cal Poly Pomona enabled us to showcase this wonderful event to our campus and to the wider community.”

The Ethics Bowl is an exciting oral presentation competition designed to improve students ethical reasoning and public speaking skills. A moderator poses questions that involve ethical dilemmas on wide-ranging, controversial topics. A panel of judges from academia and from a variety of professional fields evaluate answers based on intelligibility, focus on relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance and deliberate thoughtfulness.

The Cal Poly Pomona team competed against teams from San Jose State, Cal State San Bernardino, National Hispanic University and Weber State.

“Their extremely impressive performance in this competition is a tribute to their dedication, hard work and intellect,” Cholbi says.