On Jan. 16 and 17 San Marin’s Ethics Bowl team made it to the Northern California Regional quarter-finals. In the Ethics Bowl, this year San Marin had two teams competing because of the expansion of the club. While San Marin team one did not place in the competition, San Marin team two is waiting to find out their rank in the competition after losing to Stanford online school in the quarter-finals. The students on team two were returning member senior Maria Klymenko, and first year members senior Maxine Walas, sophomore Mahalia Morgan, senior Emma Rice, and junior Ted Chor. The coaches for this year’s team were returning coach Philosophy and English teacher Wesley Swedlow and new coach English teacher Scott MacLeod.
Ethics Bowl is designed to foster critical thinking by discussion through having students give arguments about the ethics of a situation.
“The goal of Ethics Bowl is to have students think about the topics at hand and have the ability to change their minds mid discussion,” Swedlow said. “Ethics bowl is not about right or wrong it’s about pushing each other to come to a mutual understanding and deeper recognition of the case being discussed.”
During the competition, the team discussed cases such as returning to in-person learning, exploitation in the KPOP industry, defunding the police, dining out during the pandemic and responsibility of different groups, whether its ethical for the government to ban TikTok and whether the government can control the apps citizens use.
“There was a high level of professionalism during the tournament,” junior Ted Chor said. “Every team was well-prepared and the discussions were very productive. The cases were very exciting and interesting because of how relevant they were. My favorite case was the Kpop case because our team had a strong presentation as well as the case itself being relevant to other parts of the entertainment industry which made me think about how the world really works.”
In addition to enjoying the cases, Chor mentioned that the Ethics Bowl competition was unlike any other competition he has been involved in.
“Ethics bowl is a lot different from Speech and Debate,” Chor said. “This is because the goal is to reach a mutual conclusion with the other team because you are able to acknowledge different opinions on very controversial issues and work together to create a solution that benefits as many people as possible.”
Even though team two did not win in the quarter finals, their coaches are still delighted with the outcome and the outcome of the event.
“I’m proud of all the Ethics Bowl team members,” MacLeod said. “The veterans really helped the newcomers and one of the judges, a member of the Stanford University Ethics Bowl team said that he had not seen a better effort even at the university level.”