Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-11-15

The Samford University Ethics Bowl team has qualified for the national tournament on the basis of its strong showing at a regional tournament held Saturday, Nov. 13.

The Samford team posted a 2-1 record after three matches to finish fifth at the competition in St. Petersburg, Fla.  Their placement and overall performance merited them qualification for the national event, to be held March 3 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Team members are junior Aaron Carr and sophomores Wes Spears, Jordan Ross, Josh Brandl, Evan Elmore, Steven Thomas and Garrett Brown. All are enrolled in Samford’s University Fellows honors program.

The team is sponsored by University Fellows director Dr. Chris Metress. Coaches are communication studies professor Dr. Mike Janas and ethics professor Dr. Wilton Bunch.

In placing fifth, the team finished ahead of such schools as Georgia State, Florida State, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Florida and the University of Richmond. Their one loss was to Eckerd College, which went on to win the regional event.

“This is quite an accomplishment,” Metress said of the team’s ranking, noting that this is only the second year for Samford to field an Ethics Bowl team.

“Also, the Southeast region is considered one of the strongest regions in the nation,” he said.

According to Bunch, Ethics Bowl teams debate previously unknown questions on cases that are issued to them for study before the competition. Team members then appeal to ethical principles to support their position on each case and challenge the competitor’s position.

Cases deal with such topics as California’s proposed legislation to prohibit spanking of children younger than age 3; and automatic citizenship for children born in the U.S., regardless of the parents’ citizenship status.

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About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.