Catawba College Students Participate in Ethics Bowl

Five students from Catawba College participated in a statewide Ethics Bowl, an annual event organized by the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU). The event was held February 9th and 10th at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

Representing Catawba College this year were Jennifer Carbajal, Rachel Davis, Margaret Thurman, Claire Vinskus, and Damir Zababuryn. The team was supported through the generous sponsorship of IMA Financial Group. Thanks to sponsors’ generous support, the NCICU Ethics Bowl experience is fully funded, with no expenses for the students or the College.

This year’s team experienced considerable success, ending the event with a record of 3-1. The sole loss came in a round where Catawba tied their opponent on points, losing on a 2-1 split decision across the three judges. This round reflected the high level of parity and close competition that the team’s campus coordinator, Dr. Norris Feeney, associate professor of Politics and the Associate Director of the Catawba Honors Program, found notable about this year’s event.

The 2024 NCICU Ethics Bowl theme was Ethics in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity. In the event, two participating teams of four students receive a case study with a question to answer in each of the four initial rounds. They then offer competing opening statements before having an opportunity to direct questions to one another before formulating closing arguments. Cases argued by Catawba this year addressed the use of ChatGPT, AI-generated art, hardware and software developers’ obligations to cooperate with government investigators requesting access to data on users’ devices, and the obligations of potential whistleblowers discovering a data breach in their organization. Additional cases examined the challenges faced by independent cybersecurity researchers who discover illegal content during their work, and the question of who should have the primary role in determining how AI can be used.

Dr. Feeney and the Catawba College team congratulate the Queens University of Charlotte team for repeating as Ethics Bowl champions this year. 

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