Marymount Rotaractors Cindy Sanchez and Dominique Alvarez spoke about their participation in our District 5280 and 5320 Rotaract Ethics Forum on April 9, at Loyola Marymount University. Rotaract Clubs in our District formed teams of 4 to participate in the 2016 Ethics Forum. (Our president, Lew Bertrand, introduced this annual event during his year as District Governor.)

Each team presented discussions on the ethical dimensions of a topic chosen from among a list of 23 proposed. Judging criteria included how well each team communicated why its chosen topic is an ethical issue, the complexity of the topic, preparation, organization, presentation, application of the 4-Way Test, and overall persuasiveness, including whether the solution proposed is legal and ethical. Prizes were given for first, second and third place.

The Preliminary First Round was a 10-minute presentation, and the Elimination Second Round was an abbreviated 5-minute presentation, concluding with feedback from the panel of judges. Cindy and Dominique chose the topic of Capital Punishment (death penalty or execution for a specified serious crime). Although it has an ancient history in most societies, Capital Punishment has been abolished by most countries in modern times, with public opinion in many countries increasingly against it. The US is the only country in the Americas still carrying out this penalty. Most other countries utilizing capital punishment are in Southern & Eastern Asia and Northeastern Africa, especially China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia.