I came across the following article in response to a controversial event that was organized and swiftly cancelled at the University of Ottawa. The event in question was a racial awareness event organized by the student union where students were separated into two separate rooms. One room for Caucasians and one room for non-Caucasians. Seriously? Did they honestly think this was a good idea? Imagine if this event was proposed in the workplace. Wait…you shouldn’t have to because this would never happen.
I’m quite shocked that students would organize an event like this, but are they really to blame? Where in university education is ethics taught? Many programs do not require students to take an ethics course. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and computing science and I didn’t have to take a course in ethics. I now teach in a business faculty and a course in ethics is not required by all programs. Look at all the corporate scandals that have been happening lately among companies such as Amazon, Nestle, and Volkswagen.
Students are simply not learning ethics and are even committing unethical acts during their studies and getting away with it. Acts such as photocopying textbooks, copying other students’ work for assignments, and sneaking electronic devices into exams are just some of the examples of unethical behaviour that students commit. Moreover, some instructors let these acts slide under the table due to the overwhelming amount of work required to report, prove, and prosecute students through administration. This is a serious problem that needs to be fixed both for the integrity of universities and for the success of corporate businesses.