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AACC Students 3rd in Annual Ethics Bowl Competition

April 26, 2012

      A team of six Anne Arundel Community College students placed third in a field of 10 teams competing in the 10th annual Community College Ethics Bowl on April 14 at the University of Baltimore campus.

      AACC team members are Kristen Cranford of North Beach, William Moynihan of Arnold, Cody Parsons of Severn; Margaret Salamon of Pasadena, a returning member from the 2011 AACC Ethics Bowl team; Kasey Schumacher of Bowie; and William Smith of Millersville.

      Sponsored by the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at the University of Baltimore (UB), this year’s competition attracted teams from Baltimore City Community College, each of the three campuses of Baltimore County Community College (Catonsville, Dundalk and Essex), Carroll Community College, Howard Community College, Montgomery College – Rockville and Montgomery College – Takoma Park/Silver Spring (two teams). For the first time, out-of-state students participated from Harrisburg Area Community College.

      The winning team represented CCBC’s Catonsville campus. The Montgomery College – Takoma Park/Silver Spring (blue team) finished in second place. AACC prevailed in two of three sessions but was defeated by the winners and won third place.

      The Ethics Bowl challenges community college students to explore the same cases that are used in national competition by teams representing four-year colleges and universities. Often reflecting current events, the cases require students to identify moral and ethical dilemmas and to justify opposing positions in their resolution.

      This year’s topics included: whether transient college students should be prohibited from voting in the community where their campus is located; whether one’s exercise of free speech should include burning the Quran to protest the anniversary of 9/11; whether “attractiveness” as a factor in hiring is permissible or discriminatory; whether a law school should inflate grades retroactively to ensure that its graduates are competitive in a shrinking job market; whether parents should have an unfettered right to home-school their children; whether parents should “de-sex” their children by raising them in a gender-neutral environment; whether a state should carry out the death penalty by engaging in questionable importation means and in off-label uses of drugs otherwise not approved for this purpose; whether doctors should make patients aware of the doctor’s political views by suggesting that those who don’t agree seek treatment elsewhere; whether universities should outsource the recruiting of international students to meet the school’s financial needs; and whether pediatricians should be prohibited from asking patients about and reporting their ownership of guns.

      Although given the cases in advance, teams did not know until the competition which cases they would address, and teams were not permitted to use notes. Each team had three opportunities to initiate the discourse with a 10-minute presentation, followed by a five-minute response from the opposing team and an additional five-minute concluding analysis by the presenting team. Panels of judges from educational institutions and the business community scored each team’s performance to determine the winner.