Knights show strong at hotly contested debate
The St. Andrews University ethics team traveled to Meredith College in Raleigh for the inaugural North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) Ethics Bowl competition Feb. 10 – 11.
While Wake Forest University took first place in the event themed “Ethics in the Workplace,” the St. Andrews team of Park Hoey, Brian Shanks, Bobby Vermillion and Ramsey Vogt returned energized following the contest, according to faculty sponsor Francis Boyle.
“Our team fought in four hotly contested debate rounds, all of which were decided within two points,” Boyle said. “Despite the 1-3 final score, our Knights made quite an impact. Entire opposing teams were populated with Business and Economics majors, some on scholarship specifically for debate and our team gave each one a memorable fight.”
The competition for the Knights began with a debate against eventual winner Wake Forest.
“The first round started out collegially despite the dichotomy between the six business majors of Wake and our acting, art, politics and psychology majors,” Boyle said. “The differences in our teams became clear immediately. While your Knights met and adopted their stances as they huddled, Wake ran off their argument without notes, a clearly memorized affair. Our team kept all arguments respectful and logically sound despite some questionable tactics by members of the Wake team, including a personal attack.
“The Knights fought valiantly and cleanly, never resorting to fallacious argument, and were shocked when the decision went to Wake by a one point margin.”
The team continued the competition with a second round match up with Mars Hill on the topic of a tax themed case study. Despite Mars Hill taking the victory by two points, the Knights made an impression on the opponent.
“A Mars Hill student expressed his disbelief, saying they were not sure how they won,” said Boyle. “Another member of the Mars Hill group even said they believed we took them on all but one round. Despite the controversy, the two teams spent much of the reception and dinner together making new contacts and networking together.”
It was in round three, a surprise case regarding a business owner being given the opportunity to keep his 600 job company alive by making a $100,000 campaign contribution to a Congressman, that the Knights made their biggest impression against the team from Methodist University.
“The contribution would be a bribe,” said Boyle. “It surprised both myself and co-sponsor Doug Glass that the team argued that the contribution was ethical. They made a perfect Utilitarian argument, and became, as far as we could gather, the only team to argue in favor of the bribe and win.”
The Knights would lose by one point to Campbell University regarding a response to an apparent food poisoning outbreak.
“The students competing in the Ethics Bowl were most impressive,” said A. Hope Williams, NCICU president. “They demonstrated impeccable judgment and strong ethical standards in their decision-making. It was exciting to see the interaction between these future leaders and our state’s current corporate and civic leaders.”
Rounding out the field of 14 teams were representatives of Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Livingstone College, Meredith College, Montreat College, Mount Olive College, Salem College, Shaw University and Wingate University.
About St. Andrews University
St. Andrews is a student and teaching-focused University which offers a broad range of undergraduate majors in a curriculum that is global in scope and practical in its application. The quality of the St. Andrews educational experience has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and GI Jobs among others. In addition to its academic programs, the University has an acclaimed university press, men’s and women’s athletic teams, a nationally competitive equestrian program, and an award-winning pipe band. St. Andrews is a branch of Webber International University, Florida. Further information may be obtained by visiting the University’s website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198, or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.