Ethics Bowl Club: A new club, with a new purpose


Kristin Drenning, Junior

Ethics Bowl is a new club at Nogales High School focusing on the evaluation and discussion of ethical topics on controversial issues. 

The club is currently advised by Mr. Malignaggi. The founder of the club, Bradley Kwon, a junior, revealed his intentions: “I started this club because there is a strong need for awareness about ethical and political issues in our local and global communities. This club is perfect for such a need.”

The program itself was developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. The founders intentions’ were recognizing a teenager’s role in the community, developing skills and strategizing associated with citizenship while helping students think and persevere through challenging ethical matters. 

Each year, fifteen ethically controversial cases are released in September, and are expected to be reviewed and studied by the club participants. The participants research and become experts within these topics. This year’s topics include forced chemotherapy, student debt crisis and drug addiction. 

By April, the students are expected to be proficient on these subjects, ready to participate in a competition against other high school students who have examined the same material. Each group is given six minutes to state their case while being monitored by a panel of judges. The scores are based on the team’s analysis, ethical argument and responses to the judges’ comments. 

This is not the first time Nogales High School students will be competing in an Ethics Bowl Competition. Juniors: Benito Gonzalez, Bradley Kwon and Fernando Rax, participated in the 2018 competition. Benito Gonzalez, junior, shares his experience: “I had never done anything of the sort before and wasn’t sure how our team would be judged.”

The Ethics Bowl club is seen as a great way for students to gain experience and learn new skills that are applicable to the real world. Advisor, Mr. Malignaggi, explained the benefits: “Through this whole activity, I really feel the students will learn how to have a wholesome discussion and generate discussion on campus through a variety of activities that are connected to their studies on ethics.”

Last year, Jesuit High School from Oregon won first place at the seventh National Ethics Bowl Competition. The Nogales High School Ethics Bowl Club hopes to improve from last years ranking of 16th place.