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Randolph Students Score Victories at Ethics Bowl

LYNCHBURG – Members of the Randolph College Ethics Bowl team scored several victories during the 9th annual VFIC Statewide Collegiate Ethics Bowl hosted by Marymount University in Arlington Feb. 10-11.

Themed around “Ethics and the Environment,” the event was well-subscribed and included the attendance of the History Channel’s Roger Mudd, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, and Senior Correspondent for the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Margaret G. Warner, among other civic and corporate leaders.

Caleb Moxley, a first year, and Rissa Wolff and Elizabeth Ferrantino, sophomores, represented Randolph College in the two-day event. They scored victories in two of their four cases, knocking off the defending champions, the University of Richmond, in a close round.

Case studies invited student participants to weigh and assess the ethical duties involved in private property owner’s development of coastal wetlands, in balancing corporate profitability with the development and implementation of ‘green’ solutions to minimize impact on local ecosystems, and in determining the limits of ethically justifiable means to generate awareness of environmental issues.

Event judges responded favorably to the Randolph College team’s deft argumentation and obvious passion for ecojustice, which earned the team a reputation as “ecorangers.”

Wolff, for whom the environmental focus was deeply personal, found the competition “invigorating, educational, and inspirational.”

“I was gratified to see so many of my peers taking a strong, active interest in preserving our world in its most desperate time of need,” she said. “If only everyone acted as if they were an at an Ethics competition all the time, the world might be a better place!”

Co-coaches Laura-Gray Street and Gordon Steffey were delighted with the team’s performance.

“Despite their relative inexperience in contrast to other teams, Caleb, Beth, and Rissa put in a first-rate performance,” Steffey said. “Their positions were well-conceived, their case presentations well-wrought, and the judges rewarded them for it, noting the case by case growth of the team and the high quality of their critical reasoning skills. The team looks forward to next year’s Bowl at Washington & Lee.”

Congratulations to the Randolph College team on their performance and to this year’s winners from Mary Baldwin College.


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