Montana State University

MSU ethics team wins regional contest, qualifies for nationals

November 16, 2010 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - A Montana State University team that debates ethical questions in competition won first place in the recent Northwest Regional Ethics Bowl in Seattle, thus qualifying for the national competition in March.

It will be the third time the MSU Ethicats have gone to nationals since coach Kristen Intemann organized the team in the fall of 2006. Intemann is an assistant professor of philosophy in the Department of History and Philosophy.

This year's award-winning Ethicats were Sam Foulkes of Bozeman, philosophy; Madeleine Pike of Washington, D.C., philosophy and English; Shelby Rogala of Darby, history SETS and philosophy; Matt Smith of Helena, philosophy and business; Griffin Stevens of Bozeman, mechanical engineering; and Joseph Thiel of Idaho Falls, Idaho, chemical engineering.

On their road to victory, the Ethicats defeated teams from the University of Washington, the University of British Columbia, Central Washington University, Whitworth College and Washington State University.

Intemann said the University of Washington has won more ethics bowl titles than any other team in the northwest region. In recent years, Whitworth - which MSU defeated in the 2010 regional finals -- has won three Regional Ethics Bowl titles, one National Ethics Bowl title, and placed fourth at nationals.

In this year's regional contest on Nov. 13, MSU won the first round 144-121, the second 124-122 and the third 148-127. The Ethicats won the semi finals 130-124 and the finals 130-127.

The Ethicats debated a variety of ethical issues, including the morality of whaling and whether or not Brazil should build the third largest hydroelectric dam in the world, Intemann said. Other topics focused on coal energy, objective journalism, privacy policies on Facebook, child porn, citizenship rights for children of illegal immigrants, bullfighting, mandatory voting, and insurance annuities for terminally ill patients.

Thirty-two teams will compete in the 2011 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For a related story, see "MSU students to compete Feb. 22 in national ethics bowl" at