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Southwestern Team Brings Home Prize in Ethics Competition

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    Southwestern's team (right) squares off against the team from Southwestern Adventist University in the final round of the 2009 Business Ethics Match.

Southwestern wins its division for the second year in a row

For the second year in a row, a team of students from Southwestern won its division and placed second overall in the annual Business Ethics Match hosted by the Texas Independent College Foundation (TICF).

The competition was held Nov. 6 in Fort Worth and featured 14 teams from small, independent (private) colleges and universities in Texas. The teams were split into East and West divisions and the two division winners competed against each other for first and second place.

This year’s Southwestern team consisted of seniors Ross Harrison, Zach Joplin, Christopher McMartin and Ashley Richards. The team won its division, but lost in the final round to Southwestern Assemblies of God University in a match that had to be decided by a tiebreaker.

The competition provides students the opportunity to show their reasoning skills through debating current issues in business ethics.  For example, in the final round the teams had to debate two cases – one that focused on a company’s responsibility to make sure the products it manufactures are only used for the approved purpose and another that focused on whether trade agreements should include labor agreements that preclude the use of sweatshops.

Marcia Hawkins, president of the TICF, said these issues are often not as simple as they might seem. For example, she said, in India the ultrasound machines that General Electric manufactures have been used for sex selection – even though this use is prohibited by law. And in Cambodia, some people are so poor that a sweatshop job is actually a step up from making a living by rummaging through garbage dumps.

Southwestern received $750 for taking second place in the event. The money will be used to contribute to ongoing business ethics conversations and programs on campus.