San José, Calif.- November 28, 2011- The National Hispanic University (NHU) award-winning debate team, coached by faculty member Michael Jordan, will compete in the California Regional Ethics Bowl at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles on Dec. 3. The top teams from regional competitions around the country will qualify for the 16th annual Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl℠ scheduled to take place in Cincinnati in 2012.
The NHU debate team achieved national recognition in 2008 when they won the first National Undergraduate Bioethics Bowl, beating the University of Miami, Dartmouth College and Southern Methodist University. The NHU debate team won the 2006 California Regional Ethics Bowl championship, also under the guidance of coach Jordan. “Other universities know our reputation, and they know we are formidable competitors,” Jordan said.
The NHU team has been one of only a few collegiate debate teams primarily composed of Hispanic students with experience competing at the national level. The entire 2011 team is made up of Hispanic students.
Jordan, who teaches philosophy at NHU, has led the debate team since 2003. Students on the team are chosen for their aptitude for logical analysis, verbal capabilities and ability to do thorough research. The students participating in this year’s debate competition are Stephanie Anchondo, liberal studies major; Eric Morales, computer science major; Gabe Sanchez, business major; Ben Vega, liberal studies major; and Ernie Martinez, who is currently undeclared for his major.
Prior to the December debate, each team is provided with a list of ethical cases drawn from current events and topics related to personal ethics, environmental and business ethics. Team members conduct exhaustive research on the topics, consider possible questions the judges might ask and develop arguments that they test out on each other during intensive practice sessions. Jordan said students who go through the debate team training develop a confidence and clarity in their communications that carries over to their personal and professional lives.
The California Regional Ethics bowl, held at USC, is one of 10 regional competitions taking place in November and December leading up to the national competitions. The California competition will start at 9 a.m. on Dec. 3 and last all day. The top ranking 32 teams from the 10 regions will go on to the national competitions on March 1, 2012.