It’s on mobile devices, it’s on computer screens, and it even creeps its way into television. With such a dominating presence, do ethics play a role in social media in today’s society? This past weekend five students found out by participating in the Virginia Foundation for Independent College’s Ethics Bowl at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Charles Krauser, Shelby St. Gelais, Brendan O’Donoghue, Don Lawrence, and Philip Smith represented VWC in a tough weekend of debates against fourteen of the top independent colleges in Virginia. The topic for this year’s debate was the ethics and social media.
“The team did an incredible job,” said sophomore president of the debate team Charles Krauser. “We didn’t take home a trophy, but we only have three weeks to prepare. We were a team of five competing against schools that have a team comprised of five from dozen or so students that compete for a spot on the competing team. They practice year round and are required to take a class or participate in an independent study to even be considered for a spot. I am incredibly proud of the work we did.”
The team won rounds with Sweet Briar College, last year’s second-place winner and the University of Richmond. Their performance was admirable, but they did not win rounds with Washington and Lee University, who came in second this year, and Randolph College, this year’s host. Hampden-Sydney College took the trophy. The losses were narrow, and it was reported by our team that the judges appeared torn and conflicted when it came time to announce winners.
“It was a phenomenal experience,” said Krauser. “There were priceless networking opportunities and I met a lot of incredible people. It was honestly one of the most incredible opportunities I have ever had through this school. It has really strengthened my pride in the college.”
The Ethics Bowl team is looking for new members and plans on staging debates twice a month. If interested, contact the faculty advisor, the Professor of Communication Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson or Debate Team President Charles Krasuer.