News Briefs


Four Virginia Wesleyan students will debate a timely topic Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 as they argue issues relating to “Ethics and Civic Responsibility” at this year’s statewide collegiate Ethics Bowl, sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) and Wells Fargo. VWC students will travel to Hollins University, where they will take a stand against 13 other highly qualified teams from independent colleges and universities across Virginia, debating a variety of case studies highlighting potential ethical dilemmas of a civic nature. Led by faculty advisor Kathy Merlock Jackson, this year’s Wesleyan team members are junior Riley Conrad, and seniors William Edmundson, Marlan Hare and Amberlea Villafane. To help prepare for the event, the students will participate in an Ethics Bowl Demonstration Jan. 28 organized by VWC’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom. The program, titled "Ethics & Civic Responsibility: When Religious Rights Feel Wrong," will highlight some of the issues that the students may debate—specifically those relating to religious freedom in America—and the audience will have a chance to interact, critique, and discuss. The Ethics Bowl was established by the VFIC as a means of engaging students with complex ethical dilemmas based on studies of real-world cases. Students, faculty members, and distinguished professionals judge and moderate the event, placing priority on personal ethics in the workplace and the classroom. Virginia Wesleyan won the first-ever Ethics Bowl, held in 2000 at the University of Richmond. The College hosted the event in 2005 and 2011, and VWC’s Ethics Bowl Team placed as runner up in 2014. For additional information about the VFIC Ethics Program, visit