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Randolph students to debate ethics and the environment during VFIC Ethics Bowl

From left to right, Elizabeth Bailey ’25, Jordyn Shumpert ’25, Sofi Forshey ’24, and Ranay Bingham ’25 are representing Randolph in the 2024 Ethics Bowl competition.

Students from Randolph College will compete in the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ (VFIC) 24th annual statewide collegiate Ethics Bowl this weekend.

Sofi Forshey ’24, Jordyn Shumpert ’25, Elizabeth Bailey ’25, and Ranay Bingham ’25—along with alternate Luke Chapman ’26 on standby—will debate case studies relating to the theme, “Ethics and the Environment,” on Jan. 28 and 29 at Hollins University.

Randolph’s team is led by faculty coordinators and comparative philosophy professors David Schwartz, who took part in the very first VFIC Ethics Bowl competition in 2000, and Kaija Mortensen, who has led the team since 2015 with various co-coordinators.

“This is the third year Sofi and Jordyn have participated in this competition, and the third year Elizabeth has practiced with us full-time,” Mortensen said. “They have dedicated a lot of time developing and refining their ability to compete at a high level in this competition, and with the addition of Ranay’s passion for philosophy and her direct argumentative style, I think this year’s team is going to be unstoppable.”

The Ethics Bowl program was conceptualized to involve students at VFIC colleges and universities in the debate and consideration of applied ethics—real world dilemmas that affect people’s lives in increasingly complex ways.

The first competition focused on ethics and technology. Since then, topics have ranged from healthcare, education, and business to social justice, politics, and civic responsibility.

The 2024 VFIC Ethics Bowl begins with an opening session on Sunday and includes five rounds of matches, the first two scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m., respectively.

Rounds three and four begin on Monday at 8:45 a.m., with the final round at 11:30 a.m.

Founded in 1952, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges is a nonprofit fundraising partnership supporting the programs and students of 15 leading independent colleges in the Commonwealth: Bridgewater College, Emory & Henry College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Mary Baldwin University, Marymount University, Randolph College, Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College, University of Lynchburg, University of Richmond, Virginia Wesleyan University, and Washington & Lee University.

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