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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

EthIC committee allocations to promote ethical decisions

<al Inquiry at Carleton (EthIC) began its EthIC Associates program this spring, adding four student members to the EthIC team of professors and administrators. Michael Bonin ’11, Karen Campbell ‘09, Vera Chang ‘09, and Chris Logel ‘10, will relay student input to the college’s initiative to encourage ethical inquiry throughout the community. “EthIC does not try to give the students an ethical framework to look at the world, but it tries to help students have the tools that they need to help address ethical issues,” says EthIC director Professor Mike Hemesath. Some programs planned by the new associates include an Ethical column in the Carletonian, where associates can answer ethical questions students ask, a film series and Ethics Bowl.

In 2002 Dale and Elizabeth Hanson, Carleton alumni, gave Carleton a gift with the condition that the money go toward promoting ethical reflection among the Carleton community.

Originally, the gift manifested itself as the Program in Ethical Reflection at Carleton (PERC). In 2006 however, a review of the program recommended structural changes to make it more effective at “preparing community members to confront ethical issues personally and professionally in their lives,” said Hemesath.

Out of the structural changes EthIC was born. While PERC ran out of the Chaplin’s office, under the supervision of the Dean of Students’ Office, EthIC runs out of the Dean of the College’s Office, which “gives the program a little more heft and raises the profile of the program,” Hemesath said. EthIC also has a faculty member directing the program now, whereas it was run by an administrator before.

“EthIC is still trying to figure out what the community is most interested in,” Hemesath said. There is money set aside to bring courses into the curriculum, host outside speakers, facilitate faculty workshops, and conduct college conversations that have an ethical component to them. However, there is also money set aside for students and faculty who have an idea about an ethical conversation to come to EthIC with a proposal, Hemesath said. FoodTruth is among one of the campus groups that has so far engaged with EthIC and co-sponsored events. Boots Riley’s visit earlier this year was another event co-sponsored by EthIC, and the American Studies department will co-sponsor an event with EthIC May 13 called “ETHICS in the Professions: Boots-On-The Ground.” Last year EthIC hosted a campus conversation about Hurricane Katrina and issues related to it. Next year’s topic is still in discussion, but may incorporate the visit of New York Times journalist and author Thomas Friedman in the fall.

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