Ethics Bowl team’s season ends at first regional competition of the school year

Alex Goldstein

The Ethics Bowl team finished in second place at the Southern California Regional Ethics Bowl at Chapman University on Feb. 3, ending their season.
The team, which is overseen by English teachers Charles Berezin and Melina Mamigonian, won first place in the same competition the past two years, and two years ago came in second place in the national competition.
Earlier in the year, the team received hypothetical situations that posed potential ethical and moral dilemmas. During the year, the team discussed the cases and the central ethical questions during their practices.
At the competition, teams analyzed the ethical theories of each case and responded to questions posed by a panel of judges and an opposing team. To win the round, team members must defend their opinion and prove that they have thought through the case.
The judges evaluated the performances of the debaters based on how well they understood the case, answered the questions and responded to the other team, team member Jenna Wong ’19 said.
Some case topics included the morality of driverless cars, a discussion over bodily identity integrity disorder and breed-specific legislation.
One team did not show up the morning of the competition. A team of alternates made up of Joseph Kagan ’19, Anita Anand ’19 and Erin Lee ’18 competed in their place.
At the competition, only the team who came in first place moved on to the next round to compete against the winning team from Utah.
Aside from two returning seniors, the team consisted solely of juniors who were new to Ethics Bowl and said they learned from the experience.
“The competition was really interesting because I had never done anything like that since I have never done debate,” team member Chloe Carter Beardmore ’19 said. “It was cool to see how each school had a different ethical stance on each question. It was really fun to be able to work with [Berezin] and [Mamigonian] because I learned how to talk about ethics and what is morally permissible and what isn’t.”