Four MC students attend ethical decision-making seminar

November 17, 2003
David Rasnake, Communications Assistant

Four Maryville College students recently returned from the 26th annual College Symposium on Ethical Issues and Decision Making. Charles King, Matt Russell, Emily Snow and Olga Vasilyeva were selected to attend the conference, held Oct. 30 through Nov. 1 in Hilton Head, S.C.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Dealing with Ethical Issues in the Decision-Making Process.”

The four students and Dr. Jenifer Greene, assistant professor of management, represented the College at the conference, which was attended by 18 colleges from across the Southeast region. Student attendees were selected by the faculty of the College’s Division of Social Sciences; the Maryville College Initiative on Vocation subsidized student travel expenses.

“ This conference is a great experience for students because it offers them a wonderful opportunity to explore the complexity of ethical decision-making in real terms,” Greene said. “This exploration occurs in a forum that allows them to share ideas and perspectives with other college students from around the southeast.”

According to Harry Macdonald, Symposium Committee Chair, conference activities are geared toward developing practical ethical decision-making skills. A series of discussion groups encourage students to engage each other in working through problems.

“Highlights of the program include small discussion groups on Friday and Saturday mornings, in which participants have opportunities to share their ideas with facilitators and students from other schools,” stated Macdonald.

Students were also asked to read a series of real-life case studies that presented ethical dilemmas and consider the best way to ethically handle each situation. At the conference, these case studies are a starting point for group discussions about business ethics.

“Students are challenged to identify the ethical, personal and professional issues involved in these cases,” Macdonald added.

Attention to ethical decision-making is a distinctive feature of the Maryville College Curriculum. In 1997, the Templeton Foundation added Maryville College to its Honor Roll for Character-Building Colleges, citing the College’s integration of values and ethics in both its curricular and co-curricular activities.