Smith School Freshman Going to National Ethics Bowl
Grace Lee, Luis Rodriguez, Dillon Hagius, and Ethics Bowl coach and philosophy
professor Susan Dwyer
While Terp fans were getting excited to watch the University of Maryland’s
football team compete in the Military Bowl at the end of December, one Robert H.
Smith School of Business freshman was getting excited for a bowl competition of
his own—the 17th Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.
Finance major and honors student Dillon Hagius, along with teammates and
fellow honors students Grace Lee and Luis Rodriguez, is headed to the national
competition of the Ethics Bowl. Sponsored by the Association for Practical and
Professional Ethics, the Ethics Bowl is a competition during which undergraduate
teams examine cases involving practices and/or professional ethics.
Hagius and his team competed in the local bowl, winning first place. They
joined forces with another University of Maryland team, competing in the
regional bowl and winning third place. And now, they are off to nationals in
March. Other teams competing in the local and regional bowls included teams from
the Naval Academy, the University of Maryland – Baltimore County, the University
of Baltimore, and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.
“I did mock trial in high school, so when I heard about the Ethics Bowl
through an Honors seminar with professor Susan Dwyer, I was interested in
participating,” Hagius said. “I figured it would be different than my finance
classes, and so far I’m really enjoying it.”
The team meets weekly to prepare for each round of the Ethics Bowl, studying
the cases that are given to them before each round of the competition. For each
case, teams have to explain both sides of the argument and make a conclusion
about the ethical decisions. Then, the opposing team has a five-minute rebuttal.
“In one of the competitions, I had to argue the ethics on a Facebook case,
which was interesting,” Hagius said. The question: Was Facebook morally
justified in its decision to automatically change users’ default privacy
settings to publishing users’ posts and photographs unless users specifically
Another case the team had to discuss regarded voting in the United States and
whether the country should make voting compulsory for American citizens 18 years
or older, like in Australia.
With two rounds complete and the next bowl looming, Hagius and his team
continue to prepare for the National Ethics Bowl on Thursday, March 3, 2011, in
Jessica Bauer, writer and editor, Office of Marketing