Ethics seminar echoes Zingg’s call to action

A new eight-week program focusing on ethics is coming to campus.

The Living and Thinking Ethically Seminar and Retreat was developed as a response to President Paul Zingg’s recent call to action. Zingg urged citizens of Chico to find solutions to the problem of excessive, dangerous drinking, and the seminar aims to be a step in that direction.

The goal of the seminar is to build a platform for students to enhance character development, self-awareness and ethical knowledge through readings, team activities and open discussions.

The seminar is funded by the Bringing Theory to Practice Project and run by the First Year Experience program, which helps students become more civically engaged and involved in the campus community.

“This is something that’s so important to human nature,” said Lauren Clarke, a senior resort and lodging management student and program director for the seminar. “We can have our education, but this program is something that will be close to your heart, that will help you develop as a person in such a good way. Things that people should talk more about, but aren’t.”

The group will take an ethical self-assessment at the beginning and end of the eight weeks to see how the participants have progressed. The results will be made into a report which will be published on the project’s website.

Many teachers across campus are already interested in the results, said Lucy Hodges, senior business major and program director for the seminar.

Upon completion of the seminar, William Loker, dean of undergraduate education, will write the successful participants a letter of recommendation.

The seminar will use the book “Ethical Wisdom” by Mark Matousek in its program. The book was considered for last year’s Book in Common, but didn’t make the final cut.

The seminar plans to create a comfortable, accepting atmosphere for the participants.

“In my opinion, learning who you are is the first, most important thing in college,” Clarke said. That’s what I feel like is the most important journey during these four years people go through. Some people just focus on school, but they really lose out on what they could have gotten out of it.”

Gary Nelson can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.