Ethics Bowl Debate team goes national

UAB students advance to next level of debates after four-round winning streak at the Southeast Regionals in Jacksonville, Florida.

ethics 2018 streamFrom left: Danielle Madsen, Carly Snidow, Claire Elliott (in front of Carly), Katie Beaman, Mohammad Waqas all students in the UAB Honors College and team coach Joshua May, associate professor of philosophy.The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Ethics Bowl debate team will compete at Nationals again after winning all four rounds during the Southeast Regionals in Jacksonville, Florida, and placing third overall.

The team debated ethical issues in current events, such as the #MeToo movement, restrictions on gun permits, a ban on Kosher slaughter in Belgium, restoring voting rights for felons, Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and the case of Rachel Dolezal, who self-identifies as a black woman despite having white parents.

“The team put in a great deal of work over the past two months to research 12 cases and develop their stance on them,” said coach Joshua May, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy. “Team members practiced three nights per week, developing arguments for their positions and anticipating alternative points of view. It takes discipline and a passion for debating ethical issues.”

The five team members, all students of the UAB Honors College, are Katie Beaman (freshman, Fairhope, AL, biomedical Sciences), Claire Elliott (freshman, Franklin, TN, immunology), Danielle Madsen (senior, San Diego, CA, public health), Carly Snidow (freshman, Atlanta, GA, philosophy and biology) and Mohammad Waqas (junior, Syosset, NY, philosophy and neuroscience).

Nearly 200 teams will compete across the country in various regionals in order to qualify for Nationals, but only 35 will have the opportunity to advance.

Other university competitors at the Southeast Regionals included Auburn University, U.S. Naval Academy, Georgia State, University of Richmond, University of Tampa and Wake Forest University.

The National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 2-3, 2019, and will be hosted by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.