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Randolph Ethics Bowl team takes second place in statewide competition


The Randolph College Ethics Bowl team discusses a question posed during the 2015 Ethics Bowl competition.

Randolph College placed second in a statewide Ethics Bowl competition Sunday and Monday—the highest the College has ranked in the history of the Ethics Bowl.

A Randolph team of four students—James Potter ’15, Sarah-Elizabeth Cottone ’15, Donald Saltmarsh-Lubin ’16, and Sarah Biegelsen ’17—competed against students from 13 other private colleges in the 16th annual Wells Fargo Ethics Bowl, organized by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. On each day of the competition at Marymount University, they faced off against other teams in debating the ethical considerations of a variety of issues.

The Randolph team won five rounds in the two-day tournament and faced Washington & Lee University—which has won the Ethics Bowl five times in its 15-year history—in the final round. They actually presented their best case of the tournament in that final round, said Kaija Mortensen, a Randolph philosophy professor and the team’s faculty coordinator. “Many audience members (judges and coaches alike) remarked how very close the final match was and how it was the best final match they had seen in years,” Mortensen said. “It truly could have gone either way.”

The Randolph team excelled this year thanks to experience as well as determination. “They were focused; They metabolized constructive criticism from judges and coaches throughout our weeks of practice and, notably, from case to case during the competition,” she said. “They made strong arguments, listened carefully to the questions of their opponents, and provided incisive rebuttals.”

Mortensen added that the Ethics Bowl judges praised Randolph’s team for its enthusiasm, passion, clarity, and consistency.


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