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10 April 2014

HACC’s team earns fifth in national Ethics Bowl competition

Four students at HACC’s Lancaster Campus competed with teams from seven other two-year colleges

LANCASTER, Pa. – HACC’s four-member Ethics Bowl team earned fifth place in the second annual national championship of the Two-Year College Ethics Bowl 2014 and an invitation to host a future competition.

Team members Eric Harzer, Philip Martin, Jared Sullivan and Amanda Sura are all students at HACC’s Lancaster Campus. They joined teams from seven other two-year colleges from around the country for the competition on March 15, 2014, at Harper College in Palatine, Ill.

The HACC team initially tied for fourth place with Georgia Military College in Midgeville, Ga., and lost the tie-breaker round. Earlier, HACC beat Santa Barbara City College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

HACC was invited to participate in the national competition after placing first in the regional championship with teams from five other schools at the University of Maryland in Baltimore on Nov. 16, 2013. Two HACC teams participated, including Robert Michael Connell, George Goshea, Heidi Kindon, Michael McMinnis, Danielle Otthofer, Deb Schmidt, James Wachter and members of the national team.

Once the 12 cases were released on Jan. 7, 2014, students worked with their coach, Edward  P. “Tedd” Hess, HACC adjunct professor of philosophy, to prepare for the national competition. Each team member was assigned three cases to be the lead person to acquire research and deliver the finished proposal. All team members were encouraged to include their own evidence and rationale pertaining to the topics, with the lead person considering the opposing team's perspective into the final proposal if it was not debunked by other research.

An Ethics Bowl is similar to a debate competition. The difference is that an Ethics Bowl team is presented with a dilemma of a controversial issue and therefore has to acknowledge both sides of the issue and push a solution or stance forward.

“We each feel this Ethics Bowl team opportunity to participate in such competitions has been of great value,” said Sura. “Participating in the team has allowed for friendships to grow, but most importantly to exchange ideas and open the environment to others’ points of view and to discuss them in a respectful manner.”

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