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Living Ethically @ Millsaps

In the Art of Teaching that the Academic Tech committee recently hosted, it seemed that there was a disconnect between our having an honor code and our students' practice of it in daily life, which got me to thinking (about the QEP, of course!) The time that students spend at College can profoundly change the way in which they interact with their world. SACS defines this in terms of "values," and several of the QEP proposals already submitted fall along these lines.

This college has a strong tradition of principled action, from its beginnings as a school with a mission to educate the poor to its leadership during the Civil Rights movement to its current local grass-roots involvement in the One Campus One Community project. We often talk about it in terms of career/vocation, but it is our everyday actions, rather than our monumentous decisions (career) that make up the bulk of our lives. Several of the proposals already submitted (Delta Development Initiative, Experiential Learning, Leaders for a Sustainable Future) and many of our extant academic programs (i.e. Philosophy, Religious Studies, Environmental Studies, Service Learning, Peace Studies) have to do with questions of ethical living. It seems to me that we might pose the question to the campus: What does it mean to live ethically?

We could then gear our programming, public speakers and even some coursework towards helping each student to come to his or her own answer on the matter. Community service, green initiatives, food waste in the cafeteria, sportsmanship (what does it mean to play Football ethically?) interactions with our local (Jackson) and larger Delta community, and a community-wide, student-led revision of the Honor Code for the 21st Century might all form part of this project. We could measure student uptake of the idea of living ethically by many different measures (decreased food waste in the cafeteria, number of Honor Code cases, numbers of students participating in our community service projects, and/or surveys).

Contact person: Sarah Bares

For a PDF of the proposal, click here.

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