Jan Term Productivity: Raechel Nelson on Competing in the Ethics Bowl

Ah, Jan Term. For many Salem College students, having aethic single class makes the month of January an easy time to relax, catch up on sleep, and to watch Netflix to their heart’s content. However, there are a few students on campus who are using this time to their advantage, working hard to prepare for next semester, or to reach personal goals. Raechel Nelson is one of these students, as she, along with Megan Taylor, Magdalena Chavez, Teresa Kennedy, and Reka Madarasz, has been preparing to compete as a part of the Salem College Ethics Bowl Team. The Ethics Bowl is an intercollegiate competition held by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) in which students from across the nation meet and debate various ethical issues faced in our society today. Following is Raechel’s perspective on the Ethics Bowl and how she has used this Jan Term to her advantage.


Me- How did you get the opportunity to compete in the Ethics Bowl?

R- I was invited to join the team after they learned that the topic for this year’s competition would be Education. They wanted someone from the department to be a part of the team so that they could have an Education Major’s perspective.

Me- Why do you think the Ethics Bowl, as a whole, is important?

R- I am extremely passionate about education, and I think that being passionate about this particular field requires you to also see value in ethics. Ethics allow us to better not only our own lives, but also the lives of the people around us, and education allows us to prepare young minds to enter the world as innovators and creators. If education was void of ethics, we’d be harming our youth and thus our society and nation as a whole.

Me- What preparation have you done for competing?

R- Research, research, and more research. So much background  information is needed to properly prepare ourselves for the debates, and so research has been the biggest help thus far. We’ve also done some ethics training as a team, which has been a really great experience.

Me- How has preparing for this competition made your Jan Term a more productive experience?

R- The preparation process is definitely getting more intense during Jan term, but it has given me a lot to do during my down time. I’ve really been enjoying working through the cases with the team and Professor Francisco’s class.

Me- Would you compete again, if asked?

R- I’d do this all again in a heartbeat, and if the opportunity is still here next year, I would love to participate again.

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