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Ethics and Debate Team brings home first place at the International Business Ethics Case Competition

By Jamie Boyle

ST. PETERSBURG (July 12, 2021) -- The Ethics and Debate Team, a student organization sponsored by USF’s Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership, has risen above the pandemic and continues to bring home awards.

The 2021 International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) was held virtually this spring. The contest invites university students to compete in a full 25-minute presentation, a 10-minute presentation, a 90-second presentation, and a Moral Compass Competition. This year, the USF Ethics and Debate Team brought home first place for its 25-minute presentation and second place for its 90-second presentation.

USF competed against schools from Canada, Spain, Turkey as well as the United States.

“It’s an international competition,” said Tijen Jones, who has served as president of the Ethics and Debate Team since her freshman year at USF, so the amount of people, as well as the diversity among them, is always an interesting factor, and I love it because of that.”

The organization consists of three branches: The conversation branch allows students to talk about current events and the ethics and politics of various topics. The ethics branch competes in ethics competitions such as the International Business Ethics Case Competition and the Regional Ethics Bowl. The competitive branch of the organization was started in 2019 and participates in local and international competitions each year.

Jones said her participation in the Ethics and Debate Team has helped her in the classroom. She said she has honed her critical thinking skills through the Ethics and Debate Team and that has better equipped her to handle schoolwork, public speaking and interviewing.

“This team embodies much of what the Bishop Center is about,” said David O’Neill, director of the Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership. “They have built a culture in which mutual trust for one another creates the space for critical thinking and vigorous debate on ethical issues.

“It's an applied learning environment,” he said, “that prepares students to step into a business, or any organization really, and contribute thoughtful analysis and communicate innovative solutions to challenging problems.”

The Ethics and Debate Team meets weekly on Monday nights in a face-to-face and virtual format on the St. Petersburg campus so that students on all campuses can participate.