President Jo Ellen Parker hosted a tea at Sweet Briar House on Monday, Feb. 27, to honor Sweet Briar’s 2012 Ethics Bowl team. They were runners-up in the annual debate contest among Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges member institutions.
After impressively sweeping the group round 4-0, assistant professor of philosophy Kevin Honeycutt’s young team fell to Hampden-Sydney, the team Sweet Briar defeated in the final round of the 2011 Ethics Bowl. None of last year’s team members competed in the 2012 event, held Feb. 12-13 at Shenandoah University. That gave Honeycutt a whole new roster to work with, but even greater promise for next year should they decide to return.
Participating for Sweet Briar were sophomore Allissa Abdelwahed and first-years Amber Groves, Charlotte Hopkins and Chelsea Kane.
Kane said excitement was high going into the final round.
“There was definitely a tension in the air when we shook [their] hands,” she said. “You could tell that they were ready for round two. It was certainly [a] deja vu for Hampden-Sydney, but Sweet Briar had no returning members so to us it was all brand new.”
She credited the men’s excellent oratory for giving them the edge. “I’m not implying that their argument was better than ours, but I think the judges responded more to their poetic style than our straightforward approach,” Kane said.
“The fact that we got second place really displays how well Amber, Allissa, Charlotte and I worked together. It was an amazing time, and I had so much fun representing Sweet Briar.”
Honeycutt said he was proud of how the team conducted itself throughout the tournament. “Each of these young women is poised, articulate and intellectually courageous,” he said. “They are quality representatives of the type of student that we aim to produce.”
The theme of this year’s Ethics Bowl was “Ethics and Integrity in Campus Relationships.” The 15 VFIC member schools meet each year before a panel of judges for a lively debate and consideration of applied ethics in real-world scenarios. For more information, visit the VFIC website.