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Press Release

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Tamara Chumley
Office: 1-443-627-7495

Debate Team from The National Hispanic University become California Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Champions with win over University of Southern California

(San Jose, CA)— The National Hispanic University is proud to announce that its Ethics/Debate team defeated the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business to become California Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Champions.  The NHU Debate team went undefeated in the 8-team competition hosted by Chico State on December 2nd, beating the host, CSU San Bernardino, Cal Poly Pomona, UC Santa Cruz and the University of Southern California in route to the title.  Their first place finish qualifies them for the 32-team national competition which will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio this February.  As second and third place finishers, the teams from USC and UC Santa Cruz will also represent California in the national competition.  This win means much more than what one might think as it is truly a story of David versus Goliath as the team from the 25 year old, little known university serving 600+ nontraditional college-going undergraduates defeated the team from a 126 year old, premier institution with 16,500 undergraduates for the title.

     The NHU Debate team was founded in 2003 by a group of 5 students that were interested in creating a discussion group outside of the classroom where a variety of philosophical and ethical issues could be discussed.  The team has faced obstacles including inexperience, a lack of confidence and the fact that more than half of the team had to debate in their second language- English.

     ““It was difficult at the beginning.  I was the one with the heaviest accent and the least amount of confidence.  This was at a point in my life when English was becoming my daily language and it was nerve-wracking having to express ideas to find out that I was not very articulate.  These were moments that could either make you or break you and I decided that it wouldn’t break me”, said senior, team captain and founding member Xavier Flores.

    Since, NHU has competed in 5 Ethics Bowls, winning the most recent one in Chico.  The keys to the team’s successful development has been “their passion, commitment, intellectual drive and preparation”, said Michael Jordan, coach of the team and professor at NHU.  “As a result of the preparation and competition experience, their intellectual confidence has gone through the roof.”  The team is now preparing for the national competition in February that will pit them against schools such as Indiana University, University of Washington, Clemson University, Depaul University, Tuskegee University and the U.S. Military and Naval Academies.

     The Ethics Bowl competition is inspired by TV’s College Bowl, but modified rules adapt the game to the subject of ethics.  In Ethics Bowl a moderator poses questions to teams of three to five students.  Questions may address ethical problems on classroom topics (e.g. cheating or plagiarism), personal relationships (e.g. dating or friendship), professional ethics (e.g. engineering, law, medicine), or social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, etc.).  Each team receives a set of ethical issues in advance of the competition, and questions posed to the teams at competition are taken from that set.  A panel of judges evaluates answers; rating criteria are clarity and intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant factors, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness.

      The National Hispanic University is a private, accredited, 4-year university authorized to grant degrees since 1981.  For more information on NHU, please log onto www.nhu.edu or contact Roberto Cruz II at (408) 273-2737.


About The National Hispanic University
For 30 years, The National Hispanic University has provided Hispanic students and others with access to quality higher education. Located in San Jóse, Calif., the university offers a diverse portfolio of online and campus-based undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in business, teacher education, child development and computer science. Students are supported in a multicultural and collaborative learning environment that is based on Familia™ a personalized approach that fosters students’ success through mutual respect and cultura. The National Hispanic University, a member of the Laureate International Universities network, is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). For more information, visit www.NHU.edu.