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A Matter of Ethics How to incorporate ethics into your Mortar Board chapter, and beyond!

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Presentation on theme: "A Matter of Ethics How to incorporate ethics into your Mortar Board chapter, and beyond!"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Matter of Ethics How to incorporate ethics into your Mortar Board chapter, and beyond!

2 What is A Matter of Ethics? National ethics project supported by ACHS (Association of College Honor Societies) to promote character building, honesty, and integrity among young leaders Many different honor societies belong to ACHS, and all are carrying out the project in unique ways Mortar Board is promoting the project here at conference and by encouraging individual chapter projects

3 Project Objectives Commit to a leadership role in increasing campus and community awareness of ethical standards Engage in dialogue between student groups regarding ethical issues Promote, encourage, and strengthen commitment to ethical behaviors at all levels of the campus community Serve as role models of ethical behavior

4 How does this activity relate to Mortar Board? The dilemmas we will discuss are applicable to real life and your own Mortar Board chapter By learning to make ethical decisions within your chapter you can apply these principles to your daily life Getting practice examining ethical dilemmas will help you implement the ethics project when you return to campus

5 Explanation of activity Divide into 20 groups, each group will have 10- 15 members Each group will receive a case to discuss and questions to answer. Please spend time going over your case in detail, and coming up with an appropriate plan of action. All groups with the same case study will then meet and discuss their findings and appoint someone to present their case study.

6 Case Study #1: Where has all the money gone? It is springtime, and your Mortar Board chapter has just concluded the initiation ceremony for all of its new members. You have a pretty small chapter so you all know each other well, especially the officers. After the new officers are elected, you attend the transition meeting to turn over all of your materials as historian to the new historian. After the meeting begins, you notice that Jeff, the treasurer, is not there. The new treasurer expresses her concern to your advisor, who also thought Jeff was supposed to be there. The meeting passes, and Jeff is nowhere to be found.

7 Case Study #1: Where has all the money gone? After repeated attempts to contact Jeff from your advisor, past president, and new treasurer it seems as though he has run off and taken the chapter funds, totaling over $2,000, with him. You are devastated and surprised, because you thought Jeff was a good treasurer, and certainly not someone who would steal from the chapter.

8 Case Study #2: Membership Selection Dilemma As the membership chair for your chapter of Mortar Board, you have been excited about the selections process for quite some time. When the time comes to sort through applications and nominations, you are shocked to see one from Jennifer Smith. Because you are an intern in the Judicial Affairs office, you know that Jennifer is currently under review for academic misconduct. But, this is not public information and the case will not be resolved until after your chapter finishes its selections and initiation process.

9 Case Study #2: Membership Selection Dilemma You are not sure that Jennifer is guilty, but you hear the evidence against her is pretty strong. You dont want to damage Jennifers character by publicly disclosing information about her that might not be true, but you also do not want to jeopardize the integrity of Mortar Board by knowingly initiating someone who does not represent the strong ideals of the organization.

10 Case Study #3: The Case of the Missing President As a new officer in Mortar Board, you are excited about what the year will bring. But, you are somewhat disappointed with the chapters selection of president. You know Robert is well-liked and involved on campus, but you also know that he is overcommitted. You fear that Robert may not devote enough time to Mortar Board and the chapter will suffer.

11 Case Study #3: The Case of the Missing President Sure enough, when January rolls around, Robert stops calling meetings and will not answer phone calls or emails from anyone in the chapter, even the advisor. It seems as though he has completely abandoned his role as president, but he has not officially resigned. While you are very disappointed at the sudden disorganization this presents for your chapter, you are especially concerned about the impending selection process now that the chapter has no official leader.

12 Case Study #4: You mean I have a co-chair? As your chapters community service co-chair, you are charged with developing and implementing all of the service projects for your chapter throughout the year. Your co-chair, Beth, is in charge of spearheading your chapters commitment to a local elementary school. Your chapter has a longstanding agreement with the school to provide tutors and volunteers, and many of your members look forward to this partnership as one of their favorite things about the Mortar Board chapter. You are in charge of all of the other service activities your chapter is involved in, so you are quite busy organizing other events.

13 Case Study #4: You mean I have a co-chair? The year starts off OK, but then Beth starts neglecting her responsibilities with the elementary school. You express concern to your advisor, but your advisor is not close enough to the project to notice how much Beths actions are hurting the partnership with the elementary school. You do not want the tutoring program to suffer, but you also do not really have time to take on Beths responsibilities too.

14 Case Study #5: Adventures in Advising While you are not an officer for your Mortar Board chapter, you are heavily involved in activities, attend all meetings, and serve on two committees. In the course of working on the fundraising committee, you get to know the advisor better than you could during regular chapter meetings. As the year goes on, you notice the advisor becoming more and more prohibitive; he does not allow your chapter to do certain fundraisers because he feels they are a waste of time and he arranges other fundraisers without asking your chapter (he committed your chapter to cleaning up the campus basketball arena after a big game).

15 Case Study #5: Adventures in Advising You have talked to others on the fundraising committee and they have also observed the advisors controlling behavior, but they are not sure what to do about it. The advisor in question is your senior advisor; your chapter does have one additional advisor but she is new and seems to defer to the senior advisor on most decisions. You appreciate your advisors involvement, but his actions are starting to have a seriously negative effect on your chapter, and not just in the area of fundraising.

16 How to get your Mortar Board chapter involved Sponsor a public forum on ethics on your campus Make contacts with campus leaders willing to speak about ethics Sponsor an ethics-themed day or week on campus Encourage student organizations at your school to publicize their codes of ethics Create and distribute ethics-themed materials Promote ethical activity within your chapter and strive to recruit ethical new members

17 Become a model of ethics! Ethical behavior is important now and for the rest of your life Mortar Board members are well respected members of their campus community; be good models of character too! You can be a positive influence on those around you

18 Additional Resources Please see the A Matter of Ethics brochure or for more resources!

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