An update from Meredith Tavallaee:
We landed in Cincinnati at midnight, adrenaline racing, pumped and ready to go for the National Ethics Bowl competition. It was the first competition for all members, including myself: Mary Fan, Celesstia Valdez, Rachel Buchanan, and our coach, Stacy Cherones.
The competition began early in the morning, and we were ready for the first round. The first case was about teachers’ tenure being based on student achievement. Our team presented our proposition to have teachers’ tenure be based one-third on peer and supervisor review, one-third on student and family review, and one-third by standardized testing. We held our position and made a strong argument, anticipating the second case.
The second case was about whether it is ethical to have “Failure due to Dishonesty” notated on a student’s transcript if they failed a class due to cheating. We argued that this “FD” would be necessary because, to put it briefly, cheating requires harsh consequences to try to prevent it from occurring.
It was a tough road, but we won! Our team worked so well together, and it felt so rewarding to win. Unfortunately, we did not make it into the semifinals, but we are proud of our accomplishment of making it to nationals and being able to hold our own against tough competitors. We learned a lot and are already gearing up for next year! We are hoping to expand our team into two and recruit new members. These competitions are fun because they give you the opportunity to bond with your team members and become better friends.
While we were very busy with the competition, we were still able to have some leisurely fun. We got to explore downtown Cincinnati and tried Donato’s pizza, which was amazing, and even found an old bookstore – The Ohio Book Store, Inc – that has been in Cincinnati since 1940. They have all sorts of old, valuable books in their three-story building, and we were able to go behind the scenes of their book bindery! I even bought a 1940 book in French!
Overall, looking back on my experience with SEED, I am so grateful for the opportunity to make new friends and expand my knowledge of philosophy, ethics and debate. As an art history major, philosophy and ethics are almost foreign to me, but I don’t feel that way anymore after being a member of SEED.
I’ve learned important things about philosophy that have helped me in my other classes, specifically English. My debating skills have definitely improved as well as my ability to think on my feet. It can be nerve-racking to argue your team’s position in front of a panel of educated professionals, but when you win, the feeling is unbelievable. I can’t wait to improve and win next year!
If you are interested in joining SEED, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.