Deadline to apply for Ethics Bowl team approaches

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KALAMAZOO--The Center for the Study of Ethics in Society is recruiting students for Western Michigan University's Ethics Bowl team and is giving prospective members until 5 p.m. Friday, April 13, to apply. Tryouts will be held Friday, April 20.

The Association for Practical and Professional Ethics Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl provides students with an opportunity to practice applying the moral theories and argumentation principles learned in ethics classes. Members receive about 15 case studies in advance involving ethical issues in a number of practical contexts, including engineering, law, medicine, personal relationships, school and politics.

To see the Ethics Bowl in action, the campus community is invited to attend an intramural championship between two teams from communication ethics classes in the School of Communication at 6 p.m. Monday, April 16, in Room 1025 of Brown Hall.

WMU has competed in the Ethics Bowl contest every year since it expanded from an intramural event at the Illinois Institute of Technology to a small regional contest involving a handful of colleges in 1994--an event WMU won. The Ethics Bowl now involves about 100 schools from around the country that compete in regional qualifiers every fall to be among the 42 chosen to compete in the national championship each spring. WMU was the regional champion in 2006 and 2007 and placed in the top 10 nationally in 1998, 2000, 2008 and 2009.

Applicants must be in good standing as registered undergraduates for the fall 2012 term. They must commit to meeting one or two times a week beginning in mid-September until the regional competition, usually in mid-November. If the team advances to the national championship on Feb. 28, 2013, team members will have a similar meeting schedule in January and February. Regular attendance at meetings is required, as well as independent work researching assigned cases and preparing the team's position.

Team members are eligible to sign up for one to two hours of independent study credit in philosophy or communication in spring 2013.

WMU's team is sponsored by the WMU Center for the Study of Ethics in Society. Dr. Sandra L. Borden, professor of communication, is the team's faculty sponsor and co-director of the ethics center.

For more information and sample case studies, visit the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl online. An application is available on the ethics center website at wmich.edu/ethics. Contact Borden at sandra.borden@wmich.edu or (269) 387-0362 with additional questions.