Warren Court essay contest deadline on Thursday

Sonoma State University has an annual scholarship opportunity for students interested in writing about civil liberties and ethics. The Warren Court Essay contest is brought forth by the Center for Ethics, Law, and Society, a sub-department of the philosophy department, with the submission period ending Thursday.

The contest is open to all students in good standing, with a 2.0 GPA. The contest is named after Earl Warren, 14th chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. For the contest, students must write and research a topic related to ethics, justice, or constitutional law that reflects empirical research, textual analysis, or theoretical innovation and must present an argument.

The winner will be awarded at a ceremony on Dec. 2 in Stevenson 1002.  The essay contest rewards the first place winner with $500, $250 for second place and, $100 to an honorable mention. The prize money is donated by retired professor Dr. Ken Marcus.

“The goal of the Warren Court Prize is to encourage excellence in student writingabout constitutional law, civil liberties, ethics, and justice,” said Joshua Glasgow, assistant professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Ethics, Law and Society. “These are obviously pressing areas of concern, and SSU students are approaching them with energy, passion, and focus.”

The contest is designed to be entered with broad topics concerning ethics, justice, law and society. Last year’s Warren Court Prize honorable mention winner, Senior Lauren Funaro, wrote about assisted suicide.

“I discussed the issue of assisted suicide for the terminally ill, and determined through research on various arguments that it is ethical when practiced correctly.” said Funaro.
Funaro encourages students to apply to the contest and to write about something one is interested in.

“I would say to definitely go with something that you are interested in and want to learn more about. That makes the process more enjoyable,” said Funaro. “Also, find as many books or articles of various opinions on the topic as you can. I researched for a little less than a month.”

She still is deciding whether to enter this year’s contest though.

The deadline for the Warren Court Prize for Excellenceis Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. and submissions can be turned in to Nichols Hall 363. More detailed guidelines for the contest can be found at sonoma.edu/philosophy/CELS/warrencourtprize/index.html.