Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

From the archives: Seniors should pledge to consider social effects of future jobs

Note from the Editors: This article was originally published on May 21, 2004. The Carletonian is 147 years old, with over 3,400 issues published since its inception. To reflect and learn from the newspaper’s substantial history, pieces from the archive that have particular relevance either to current events will be republished. 

The topic that many seniors want to think least about right now, it seems, is that of their future plans. Some of us have tentative ideas of what field we may want to enter, while others of us intend to explore many before selecting any particular career. This is as it should be – most people will probably hold many jobs over their lifetimes. But that should not stop us from thinking broadly about our goals for the future. Over our time at Carleton many of us have developed an understanding of our own personal values, and while we may not in the future, our actions in the workplace will have environmental and social consequences. Some may choose to address these consequences by selecting jobs that explicitly focus on environmental and social goals. Others may simply choose to minimize their impact in the workplace. In any career path we pursue, whether in teaching, business or science, our actions can work towards positive change. Teachers can choose to educate their* students to become responsible citizens; businessmen and women can start recycling programs in the workplace; scientists can know precisely where these values will lead us, we maintain a desire to improve the world in our own small way. It is in this spirit that the Graduation Pledge Alliance was created. The Pledge asks graduating seniors to commit to considering the moral implications of their job choices as well as their ability to make a positive impact in the workplace. It reads: “I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work. The Pledge allows seniors to define for themselves the relevant social and environmental issues to their job choice. It does not require seniors to commit to particular professions, nor does it omit any professions from consideration. It is simply a recognition that in whatever jobs we take choose to study topics of social relevance. In any number of ways, simply by choosing to be aware of our actions, we can take positive steps to reduce our impact. The Graduation Pledge has been active at Carleton for two years now, with more than 1 in 5 seniors signing the Pledge last year. In running Pledge drives on our campus, we are joining seniors at over 50 colleges and universities in a nationwide effort. Tabling will be going on all throughout ninth week. All who sign will be given the option to wear a green ribbon at graduation to demonstrate support for the ideals of the Pledge. If you are a senior, I urge you to consider signing. It is a small statement, but also a powerful expression of commitment to being conscientious citizens of our environment and our society. THE GRADUATION PLEDGE: “I pledge tO explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work.”

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