Ethics Bowl team reaches national semifinals

Congratulations to members and coaches of the Indiana University Ethics Bowl team. They reached the final four of the recent Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl national competition before falling to Taylor University, the eventual champion.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our students,” said Joe Bartzel, one of the team’s coaches. “They’re sharp thinkers, they work incredibly hard, and they compete the right way. As a coach, I really couldn’t ask for anything more out of a team.”


Ethics Bowl team

IU Ethics Bowl team members, from left: Nikhil Nandu, John Hanks, Grant Manon, Radikha Agarwal and Alexandria Henke.

The IU team, sponsored by the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, won the Spirit of Robert Ladenson Award, which recognizes excellence in exemplifying the competition’s core values of respect and civility.

The Ladenson Award, named for the founder of the Ethics Bowl competition, is awarded on the basis of voting by members of all the Ethics Bowl teams. Emma Young, one of two coaches of the IU team, said it’s the most important trophy presented at the competition.

The national competition took place Feb. 22 in Costa Mesa, Calif., in conjunction with the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics International conference.

Members of the IU team and their academic majors include Radhika Agarwal, biochemistry and biology; John Hanks, economics, English and philosophy; Alexandria Henke, chemistry and political science; Grant Manon, economic consulting; and Nikhil Nandu, business.

Ethics Bowl requires teams to argue for and defend their assessment of complex moral issues across a variety of fields, including biomedical ethics, public policy, technology and personal relationships. Teams received 15 cases to debate at the national competition five weeks in advance and were required to analyze and research them before the competition.

Two Indiana University Bloomington teams placed first and second in the Central States regional competition in October, winning IU a slot in the 32-team national competition.