At the Center
Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
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Friday, Apr. 12, 2013 1:00 PM
A college junior must decide whether to tell a hiring manager that she is only available to work until September when she knows that the company is looking for a longer term hire. This case study is the latest in the Center's Big Q project, an online dialog on everyday ethical issues for undergraduates.
Thursday, Apr. 4, 2013 4:51 PM
The big question on The Big Q this week: What do you think of college confessions sites? Websites where undergrads share secrets--theirs and others'--have proliferated recently, and the Ethics Center's Big Q project on everyday ethical dilemmas for undergraduates offer's a brief case study encouraging students to talk about their reaction to this phenomenon. Best comment by an undergrad wins a $100 Amazon gift certificate.
Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013 1:00 PM
Group projects present a classic ethical dilemma for college students, when one member of the team does not pull his or her weight. In this case from The Big Q, a senior is asked to evaluate the work of a Friend whose contributions are either sloppy or unfinished.
The Big Q is an online dialog on everyday ethical issues for undergraduates. The best student comment on the case wins a $100 Amazon gift certificate.
Friday, Mar. 8, 2013 2:41 PM
Gary Pavela, director of academic integrity at Syracuse University, had a simple answer to the question, Do honor codes promote greater academic integrity on college campuses. Yes.
At a talk today sponsored by the Ethics Center, Pavela shared his experiences developing the first "modified honor code" at the University of Maryland in 1991. As background, Pavela described traditional honor codes at schools like the University of Virginia and the service academies, where the punishment for any violation is expulsion. Students must sign an honor pledge, and they are obligated to report their classmates if they see cheating.
According to Pavela, traditional codes have a clear affect on cheating, even though "the PR is sometimes better than the reality." For example, honor courts at traditional honor code schools may be reluctant to convict students who are referred to them because they have only one choice of sanction--expulsion. Also, he reported, "students don't turn each other in."
Pavela and the group of students he worked with at Maryland wondered if they could get the same effect by adopting the elements of traditional codes that actually worked. The Maryland code included:
§ Student leadership
§ Serious penalties but not automatic expulsion
These elements work together in a modified code. For example, if a student is caught cheating, he or she receives an XF in the class. This grade is coded on the transcript, "failure due to academic dishonesty." The student cannot change the F grade, but he or she can get the X removed by taking an academic integrity seminar.
The modified code developed at Maryland and later adopted at many other schools does have an impact on the ethical culture of the school, Pavela said. He cited the work of Donald McCabe, who has been studying academic integrity since 1990. McCabe found there was less cheating at modified honor code schools than at schools with no code at all, although there was more cheating than at traditional honor code schools.
Pavela stressed that honor codes can be a source of pride for students, and that schools that adopt them begin to see results in two to three years.
Pavela's talk was part of a multi-year effort at Santa Clara University to develop an honor code system.
Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2013 1:17 PM
Gary Pavela, director of academic integrity at Syracuse University, speaks March 8 at noon in the Weigand Center, Santa Clara University, on honor codes.
Since last year, SCU students have been engaged in a dialog, which they hope will result in the adoption of a code at Santa Clara. Ethics Center Hackworth Fellow Aven Satre-Meloy has spearheaded the effort this year.
Pavela will be speaking about how SCU can adopt an honor code; what kind of code may make the most sense to adopt; and how to address such concerns related to honor codes like the academic freedom of faculty; faculty worries about time spent involved in cumbersome disciplinary procedures; and faculty worries over reporting requirements.
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 10:00 AM
A student must decide whether to tell his friend's girlfriend that he's cheating on her in the most recent case study on everyday ethical dilemmas confronted by college students.
The case is part of The Big Q, an online dialog on typical ethical issues facing undergraduates. Students from more than 100 different universities follow The Big Q.
Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 9:57 AM
Fourteen hundred SCU students responded to a survey this fall on attitudes toward the adoption of an honor code by Santa Clara University. The majority supported a modified honor code, in which students are encouraged but not required to report violations.
Just completed is a response period, in which a draft statement of the code and possibilities for implementation were posted on the Web. More than 350 comments addressed the code and concerns about the current campus culture of academic integrity. Students were disturbed about what they saw as a lack of due process and inconsistent sactions in the current system. They weighed in on whether signing the code should be mandatory, and if so, how often students should be required to sign it.
The effort so far has been led by Ethics Center Hackworth Fellow, Aven Satre-Meloy, an SCU senior, supported by Associated Student Government and other interested students. The next step will bring students and faculty together to advance the process.
Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 10:00 AM
Aven Satre-Meloy, Hackworth Fellow, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and Chief Justice, Associated Student Government, and members of the Student Honor Code Committee will update the SCU community February 7 on progress in drafting an academic honor code. The meeting will take place at noon in the Weigand Center, Arts and Sciences Building.
Last spring a majority of SCU students expressed an interest in adopting an academic honor code. This fall a student survey on implementing an honor code received an overwhelming and positive response, and provided many insights for what kind of honor code could work at SCU. At this event, the students leading the effort to have SCU adopt an honor code will present to campus the state of the drafting process of a proposed new code, a new disciplinary procedure, and a new faculty reporting process.
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 4:48 PM
The Center's Big Q project, an online dialog on ethics for undergraduates, is gearing up for Homelessness Awareness Week Jan. 28 with a new case study asking for student comments on how they might deal with a campus panhandler. The best student comment will win a $100 Amazon gift card.
Photo Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-12227485/stock-photo-asking-for-help-a-homeless-man-panhandles.html?src=lb-16096948>
Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 4:18 PM
Cynthia Mertens, SCU professor of law, and Laura Nichols, SCU associate professor of sociology, have been involved for the last years with a national effort to understand and better address the experience of undocumented students at Jesuit universities. On Jan. 15, noon, in the Arts & Sciences Building, they will report on their findings -- with the assistance of Kristin Heyer, Bernard J. Hanley Professor of Religious Studies, who has written extensively on Catholic social ethics and immigration.