The competition draws between 15 and 20 teams of five students each from colleges and universities in the Northeast, and teams face each other before panels of three judges. The judges must assess the teams on their clarity, thoroughness, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and thoughtful consideration of a variety of points of view.
The competition depends on conscientious judges, and especially judges who can provide clear feedback for the competitors.
No particular background in ethics is required. The students competing know that they will be presenting their arguments before a general audience. The judging guidelines instruct judges to set aside any personal bias and to focus on the four criteria (clarity, thoroughness, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and thoughtful consideration of a variety of points of view). There will be a brief training session one week before the competition to go over the competition format and the judging guidelines.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Amy Bloom, associate director of the Ethics Across the Curriculum Program, at extension 8386. Breakfast and lunch will be served.