Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Articles

Education Ethics

Waitlists and VIPs
Can you extend the benefits of your student government position to your friends? When does it go too far?
Kori Lennon
Lean on Me
How do you deal with a close friend who has turned into a mooch?
Akshay Vyas
You Don't Say That
Does the unconscious use of derogatory terms contribute to harmful stereotypes or does everyone understand that they don?t really mean anything?
Akshay Vyas
A Cog in a Machine
Should customer satisfaction be held with utmost regard, even if that means that employees are treated as robots and pushed to unrealistic limits? Is it ethical to treat employees as a cog in a machine, or a means instead of an end?
Akshay Vyas
Charitable Acts
Are Greek life philanthropy weeks charitable and ethical, or just an excuse for rich college students to drink?
Akshay Vyas
Fostering Conscience and Moral Character in the Classroom
Director of the Collaboration for Ethical Education at Notre Dame discusses integrative ethical education
Darcia Narvaez
Lawson is faced with a tough decision when nominated to partake in a social media drinking game.
Akshay Vyas
Lying to be Nice
Mark goes on a date with Laura, to find not much in common. He lies when she asks if he'll call her back. Is lying acceptable when its purpose is to be nice?
Akshay Vyas
Spreading Wings
Lucy struggles to spread her wings as she gets a job on the other side of the country from her family, in a case about career opportunity versus family responsibility.
Akshay Vyas
Shot on the Job Hunt
Is it ethical to apply to the same job as your roommate or good friend?
Akshay Vyas
Off the Hook-Up Culture
Why do students hook-up? In the college hook-up culture, is the choice to not hook-up just as acceptable as the choice to hook-up?
Akshay Vyas
Go Greek or Go Home
Do you believe the desire to be in a Greek organization?even one that hazes?should outweigh a college student?s moral conscience? If you were forced to do something you didn?t want to do to join an exclusive organization, would you do it? Or would you walk away, knowing that dropping out will affect your social life at college?
Akshay Vyas
Online Ethical Communities: Finding a space for ethics in cyberspace
Sponsorship by startup Yiftee strengthens Center?s online community for undergraduates.
Give a Child a Book: How to build character for a lifetime
The gift of books brings literacy and ethics education to schools serving low-income children.
Academic Performance Enhancement
Is cheating black and white? Or does it vary in degree of severity? Frank and Bobby find themselves at odds when one decides to bring a cheat sheet to a test and the other uses adderall as a study drug.
Akshay Vyas
Browsing or Cyberstalking?
Many college students use social media to stay connected with old friends. But when do they cross the line into cyberstalking?
Akshay Vyas
Ethics is Newsworthy
Daily news digest for middle and high school students teaches the ethics behind the headlines.
Miriam Schulman
This Town is Big Enough for the Both of Us
College students and their non-affiliated neighbors have always had trouble getting along. Can students and their neighbors coexist peacefully? How?
Akshay Vyas
Emails Exposed
Universities reserve the right to monitor your email for campus safety. When does this monitoring cross the line into invasion of privacy?
Akshay Vyas
Scandalous photos are posted on Instagram everyday. Who should be responsible for how these images are perceived, the owner or the viewer?
Akshay Vyas
Outside the Fold
Alexa's parents are against interracial dating. What should she do when her white boyfriend wants to meet her Asian parents.
Ethics Center
To Snitch or Not To Snitch
What do you do when you have a conflict with your dorm roommate?
Akshay Vyas
Crusading at the Dinner Table
Grace has trouble deciding whether or not to express her views at the dinner table in her school cafeteria.
Ethics Center
An Offhand Remark
A student must decide what to do when a friend makes a racist comment.
Akshay Vyas
Whose Life Is it Anyway?
Robert has become an accounting major to please his parents, but his grades are suffering, and he really wants to be a filmmaker.
Akshay Vyas
Homework or Teamwork?
When Kim's dream of playing collegiate soccer becomes reality, she soon must weigh her athletic pursuit against her academic one.
Big Q Ethics
Restorative Justice in Schools
An approach to bullying and other school problems that focuses on developing empathy for both the harmed and the harmer and reintegrating the harmer into the community
Carrie Jaffe-Pickett
Home Sweet Home
A student comes home for summer break and chafes against rules she did not have to follow while she was on campus in this case study from The Big Q.
Akshay Vyas
One Fish, Two Fish
Two college students debate the ethics of water usage in dorm buildings.
Niki Petroff
The New Digital Divide
In this brief video, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and innovator Kim Polese addresses the new digital divide--between those who have high-speed wired broadband access to the Internet in their homes, and those who don't.
Kim Polese
It's Not About You
Center executive director addresses the 2013 graduates of University of Portland.
Kirk Hanson
Beth and Katie, two friends, go out to lunch. During their get-together, they are constantly interrupted by each other's social media use.
Chloe Wilson
A Tale of Two Cheaters
Two college students at the same school face very different consequences for plagiarizing. Is this fair?
Chloe Wilson
Time is of the Essence
Stephanie, a college student, must make a difficult decision about whether or not to be honest with a future employer in order to be hired.
Chloe Wilson
Can You Keep a Secret?
Scott, an SCU student, discovers an entry about him on a Facebook "confessions" page. He tries to decide if sites like this are funny or simply hurtful.
Chloe Wilson
Catholic School Standards and Character Education
Lorraine Ozar, director of the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness, outlines the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Schools
Miriam Schulman
Picking Up the Slack
Greg, a college senior, struggles to decide whether or not he should give an apathetic groupmate an honest evaluation.
Chloe Wilson
Do Honor Codes Work?
Gary Pavela, director of academic integrity at Syracuse University, explores the evidence.
Miriam Schulman
Forgive and Forget
Two college students could be deeply affected by the passing of a new student loan forgiveness act, the FSSA.
Chloe Wilson
Character Education in Bering Straits
Bering Straits School District in Alaska uses the Center's Character Based Literacy Curriculum
Leah Stanek
Caught in the Middle
Ben sees his friend, Tyler, cheating on his girlfriend. He feels caught in the middle.. What should he do?
Chloe Wilson
Sister, Can You Spare a Dime?
College students struggle with a decision about how to help a man who is homeless.
Miriam Schulman
It Would Be an Honor
Does your school have an Honor Code? Do you think it works? Why or why not?
Chloe Wilson
Boys Will Be Boys
A college student in a relationship is challenged by her significant other's use of pornography.
Chloe Wilson
Members Only
Two students at UC Hastings disagree about the school's basis for club funding. Based on the Supreme Court case "Christian Legal Society v. Martinez."
Chloe Wilson
Students Rule the School
Hackworth Fellow Satre-Meloy discusses the creation of an honor code at Santa Clara University.
Aven Sartre-Meloy
Rock the Vote
A college student tries to decide if one moral issue is enough to prevent her from voting for a political candidate.
Chloe Wilson
The Pre-Game
Two college students, Ari and Daniel, face difficult decisions about what to do on a night out. An interactive video illustrates the possible outcomes!
Miriam Schulman
A college freshman, Derek, tries to figure out how to deal with a clingy roommate.
Chloe Wilson
Rushing Into Things
Katie, a college freshman, decides whether or not to rush for a sorority.
Chloe Wilson
Five Ethical Choices You Will Need to Make in College
Based on news stories of the past year, ethical issues that students will need to face
Miriam Schulman
Passion or Practicality?
Mark must decide whether to please his parents and be relieved of his tuition costs or follow his passions and accrue substantial debt.
Chloe Wilson
Who Should Pay for College?
Are parents or students responsible for college costs?
Miriam Schulman
How Ethics Can Help You Land a Job
Hiring managers look for respect, responsibility, honesty
Miriam Schulman
When Someone You Care About Is Depressed
Ethical duties of friends toward the mentally ill.
Miriam Schulman
Petty Theft
A college student sees her best friend stealing from her roommate, and is forced to make a difficult decision.
Chloe Wilson
Once a Cheater...
An undergrad has to decide if he can still trust his friend when he sees the friend cheating in class.
Jake Teeny
Cheat Sheet
Shelby must decide whether to report to her professor that one of her friends was cheating on a curved exam.
Jake Teeny
Tyler Clementi Case - What Punishment Is Justifiable?
Dharun Ravi has been convicted of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering, and hindering arrest. What should be his punishment?
Jake Teeny
Protesting Commencement
A student contemplates the most ethical way to register objections to the University's choice of commencement speaker.
Jacob Teeny
The Dream Act
Should those who reside in the U.S. illegally still be allowed to attain a U.S. education and what constitutes this eligibility?
Ethics Center Media
Paying For College ? Who Should Take Responsibility?
Should a college student's parents be burdened with paying expensive college tuition?
Jake Teeny
Sexual Assault on College Campuses
A review of effective sexual assault policies with Michael McFarland, former president of College of the Holy Cross
Miriam Schulman
A Good Sport? Do College Athletics Build Character
Nathan seems to have different values on and off the basketball court in this case study.
Jake Teeny
Do Sports Build Character? (video)
Panel discussion on the role of sports in moral formation.
Matthew Savage, Christopher Kulp, and Zoe Kranzler
Making the Grade
Should Alejandro take an easy A or a challenging course in his major?
Miriam Schulman
Resume Inflation
Should a graduating senior stretch the truth on her resume?
Jake Teeny
Body Image in Sports: What No One Seems to be Talking About
The problem of eating disorders for college athletes
Matt Savage
Down So Long: Helping a Friend With Depression
Megan struggles to deal with her friend and college roommate's depression.
Jake Teeny
Pay Attention: Using Study Drugs
Offered some Adderall by a friend with a prescription, a freshman weighs whether using study drugs is the right thing to do.
Jake Teeny
Sleeping Around
A case examining the ethics of casual sex
Jake Teeny
The First Report
A college president must decide how to respond to a report of a faculty member's sexual misconduct
Kirk O. Hanson
Four Ethical Questions You Should Ask Yourself About Sex
Issues for college students to consider about the place of sex in their lives
Miriam Schulman
The Value of Giving
After all her Christmas gifts are purchased, Jessica wonders whether to get something for herself or give the rest of her money to charity.
Jake Teeny
A Recycling Dilemma
Steve and his housemates have thrown a big party. When he gets up the next morning, he finds that his friends have bagged up all the trash without recycling. What should he do?
Callie Tepper, Jared Pizzo, Andrw Kells, Kyle Dand
Mary's boyfriend asks her to text him a nude photo of herself. Is there anything wrong with that?
Jacob Teeny
Should College Athletes Be Paid? (Case Study)
Jordan, who plays football for a big university, is having trouble making ends meet. Should he be compensated for the revenue he helps generate for his university?
Jacob Teeny
Should College Athletes Be Paid? Savage on Sports Blog
Student athlete and blogger Matt Savage reflects on whether players should receive pay or benefits beyond tuition, room, and board.
Matt Savage
The Drinking Age
David, a freshman, is re-evaluating his previous decision not to drink until he turns 21.
Jake Teeny
Let Me See Your Grades
Juliana's parents expect her to show them her grades in college. Isn't it time for them to treat her as an adult?
Rebecca Bivona-Gutadauro
Why Am I at College?
An incoming freshman questions whether she is ready for college in this video case.
Oh, the Cleaners Will Get That
Whose responsibility is it to keep college common areas clean--the students who use them or the custodial staff?
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
The Dealer in the Next Room
A student must decide what to do when he realizes his roommate is dealing drugs from their apartment.
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
I Want to Remain a Virgin
Katherine's boyfriend Max wants to express their growing love for each other sexually. Katherine has valued her virginity. What should she do?
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Facebook Gossip or Cyberbullying
When Paige expresses her annoyance at her roommate in her Facebook status, is she cyberbullying?
Miriam Schulman
Living Situation
Should Mo decide to live in an ethnically grouped dorm building?
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Dangerous Curves: A Case on Cheating
Francesca sees friends cheating on a test, where the grades will be curved. Should she tell?
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
A look at the ethical questions in rushing a fraternity
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Should I Call the EMTs?
A student must decide whether to call for help when a friend passes out from drinking.
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Major Decision
Do parents have the right to decide on their child's college major?
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Freshmen Brad and Wilson have to work out a fair way to share their room.
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
A pre-law student tries to balance his academic and social life.
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Navigating the Minefield of Social Media
Sr. Mary Angela Shaughnessy explores cyberbullying, friending, and other social media topics for teachers.
Miriam Schulman
The Slowdown Hits Home
When her family's financial situation changes, Kayla must decide whether to go to her first-choice, expensive college and allow her parents to dip into their retirement.
Rebecca Bivona Guttadauro
10 Milligrams (video)
Prize winning video on the use of study drugs on college campuses. From The Big Q contest for films on student ethics
Nicole Grazioli, Tara Khalilnaji, Jen LaPonte
The ethics of taking study drugs. Entry in The Big Q contest for films on student ethics
Robyn Louie
Media's Effects on Body Image (video)
Commercials, movies, impact body image for students. Entry in The Big Q contest for films on student ethics
Kathryn Klein, Caitlin Whalen, Kristina Woodcock
Student Debt and the Importance of College: An Ethics Case
A student reflects on whether taking out a tuition loan is responsible
Meghan Skarzynski
Hook-Up Culture (video)
A look into how, as a result of changing technology, the world of dating has become more and more informal, leading to the hook-up culture we know today that is perpetuated by frequent drinking on and off campus.
Sara Phillips, Melissa Martin, Jenny Nicholson, Ke
Exposed! (video)
An interesting take on the implications of revealing personal information online.
Sara Phillips, Misa Mascovich, Melissa Martin
Top Ten Ethical Issues for College Freshmen
From "Why Am I Here?" to "What About Cheating?" a list of typical ethical dilemmas for new students.
Miriam Schulman
World of Warren
Warren is so involved in WoW that he rarely leaves his computer except to go to class. Is there anything ethically wrong with what he's doing?
Miriam Schulman
Job Search Dilemma
A job applicant is offered a job that is not his first choice. Should he take it and continue looking?
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
I Can't Get a C
A pre-med student considers copying the homework in Art History.
Miriam Schulman
Group Project
One member of a group project team is failing to carry her weight. What is the fair way to deal with members who don't do their fair share?
Miriam Schulman
Not Hungry
A college student must decide what to do when her roommate shows signs of having anorexia.
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Theme Party
A "Fresh off the Boat" party pokes fun at Asians.
Friends With Benefits
When alcohol and sex mix, two students wake up angry. Who is responsible?
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Poster Wars: When Is Speech Offensive?
Dorm floormates come into conflict over a political poster.
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Diane Ravitch Discusses Dangers of Corporate Education Reform
Education historian and policy analyst Diane Ravitch looks at charter schools, merit pay, and other proposals for education reform.
Miriam Schulman
What Works to Stop Bullying
Practical steps for schools
Steve Johnson
Importance of a CEO Who Cares
Kirk O. Hanson, Executive Director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and University Professor of Organizations and Society, shares his observations about Leadership and Corporate Governance.
Kirk O. Hanson
Law and the Catholic School
Review of a talk on Catholic schools and the law by Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN, presented at the 2010 Catholic Principals Institute
Miriam Schulman
Tomando una decision etica
Metodologia para la toma decisiones eticas del Centro de Eticas Aplicadas Markkula.
Associated Student Government Code of Ethics and Values
Basic standards of ethical behavior for personal and professional life signed by all members of the SCU student government
Daniel Solomon
Medical Amnesty and Responsibility
Three questions for campuses considering a medical amnesty policy
Kari Kjos
Social Justice
Reflection questions address, "What do we mean when we talk about social justice?"
Noelle Lopez
Social Justice as a Moral Concept
Hackworth Fellow Noelle Lopez reflects on the place of social justice in the SCU experience and the lack of a shared understanding about what the term means.
Noelle Lopez
Student Choices: My Poster, My Identity
A political poster creates conflicts on a dorm floor.
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
Student Choices: My Homework or Our Homework
When does collaboration become cheating?
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
Student Choices: What Will Sex Mean?
Katherine wants to remain a virgin.
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
The Duties of Friendship
A student must decide whether to call the EMTs when her friend passes out after drinking
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
Competing Identities
A poster on a student's dorm room door causes controversy.
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
Finals Week: What to do about stimulants?
A case exploring whether taking drugs like Adderall to improve cognitive performance is simply a form of enhancement or a form of cheating.
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
When Do I Friend?
Do the same rules apply to Facebook friends and "real-world" friends?
Noelle Lopez
Ethics Camp 2008
Summer workshops for educators show how to integrate ethics into the curriculum
Setting a Moral Vision for Academe
PowerPoint presentation on bridging the "isought" divide in international education
Lester Goodchild
Academic Freedom and Religious Freedom
An exploration of academic freedom in the religious university and religious freedom in the public university.
Robert M. O'Neil
Orange County Character-Based Literacy Program Wins Award
CBL receives California County Boards of Education 2007 Exemplary Program Award
Character in the Catholic Schools
The Center launches a new national character education curriculum for Catholic schools.
Character Education for Churches
Build. Plant. Grow. provides intergenerational lessons on character based on readings from the Lectionary and children's literature.
Teaching Ethics
SCU Philosophy Professor William Prior discusses moral cultivation.
Dealing With Bullies
Fighting back: Is it right and does it work?
Miriam Schulman
Students Left Behind: Is It Ever Okay to Give up on a Child?
From the 2005-06 National Ethics Agenda, a look at what we owe children who are expelled from school.
Ethics Center Emerging Issues Group
Is Tolerance Enough: Catholic Universities and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Issues
Comments from an Ethics at Noon presentation.
Michael J. Meyer, Michael Zampelli, S.J.
Success Camp: A Character Education Program for Youngsters in Foster Care
Language arts and "survival skills" form the core of a three-day workshop for youngsters in the child welfare system.
Not Just About the Money
Business students defy selfish, cash-hungry stereotypes, according to SCU senior and Hackworth Fellow Carmen Wahlgren.
Carmen Wahlgren
Character Education Programs Expand
New programs and expansions of existing programs in Character Education.
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Internet Ethics: An exploration of how students use the Web for research
Miriam Schulman examines the way students use the Web for internet research.
Miriam Schulman
Education in Plato's Republic
This paper examines the two explicit accounts of education in Plato's Republic, and analyzes them in relation to Socrates' own pedagogical method, thereby unveiling the ideals of Socratic education.
Ariel Dillon
Talking to Your Teen
This article highlight suggestions on how to open the lines of communication between parents and teenagers.
Steve Johnson, S.M.
Responsibility for Multicultural Education: An Ethics of Teaching and Learning
This article looks at the benefits of a multicultural education and how it can prepare students for the diverse world in which they will live and work.
Marilyn Fernandez and Marilyn Edelstein
Setting Limits: TV-Watching Is Not a Constitutional Right
What are the important, growth-producing activities that your child should be engaged in that aren't entertainment or media consumption, and how can you encourage these?
Steve Johnson, S.M.
Cheating is not the problem
Cheating is not the problem but the symptom of a larger failure in the way we are raising our children.
Steve Johnson, S.M.
Defining the Institution's Values: Four questions to guide discussions of gift acceptance
Gift acceptance policies for universities.
Kirk O. Hanson
Ethics of Ethical Advising: Confessions of an Ethical Advisor
Member of Geron Corp.'s ethics adivsory board discusses the delights and dilemmas of her role.
Karen Lebacqz
Nation of Cheaters
A look at the rise in cheating in America.
Kirk O. Hanson
Building Character
A description of the character education program at Santa Clara County's Juvenile Hall school.
Miriam Schulman
Teaching Values in School
The Center's director of character education describes Character-Based Literacy and other approaches to integrating ethics into the curriculum.
An Interview with Steve Johnson, S.M.
Six Es of Character Education
Example, emotions, experiences, explanation, ethos, and expectations for excellence.
Kevin Ryan
Challenge Problem
Assignments that invite cheating.
Miriam Schulman
When Inappropriate Behavior is Just Plain Wrong
An expert on moral development advocates straight talk when children do something wrong.
William Damon
Why Should We Care About Racial Inequlity Per Se ?
Is a color-blind approach to racial issues the best route to equality?
Glenn Loury
Tough Talk
Talking to children about ethics and sex.
Miriam Schulman
An Education in Ethics
Students often know the right thing to do. How can schools help them to do it?
Steve Johnson, S.M.
Lesson in Perspective
A sample character education lesson using John Scieszka's The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!
Steve Johnson, S.M.
Like a Bear Robbed of Her Cubs: Compassion
Compassion evokes not only tenderness but also the will to right wrongs.
Stephen A. Privett, S.J.
Cheating Themselves
A discussion of why students cheat and what academicians can do to discourage it.
Miriam Schulman
Teaching Ethics and Teaching Engineering-Some Parallels
This paper looks at the problem of ethical dilemmas, teaching engineering design, and the implications which arise from the teaching of engineering and the teaching of ethics.
Tim Healy
May the Best Man or Woman Win
Establishing fair criteria for college admission.
Miriam Schulman
Affirmative Action or Negative Action
A different way to frame the debate over race-based preference.
Miriam Schulman
Moral Literacy: The Virtue of the Book of Virtues
An historical look at the moral power of literature.
Miriam Schulman
Molly has just been accepted at Stanford University and calls her friend Terri to tell her the good news. Terri assumes that Molly was accepted because of her race.
A Student Scenario
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
What are the ethical questions involved when an innocent prank turns into academic cheating?
Thomas Shanks
Parental Relations
Jeff is questioned by his mother about his recent behavior. Has one of them overstepped his or her boundaries?
Student Scenario
A student buys a paper from an Internet site.
Student Scenario
A student discussion of prejudice and homosexuality.
Student Scenario
Beaten Track
A dialogue on ethics and ability tracking in schools.
Shannon Peters Talbott
Date Rape
Some students are at a party, drinking and watching movies. One of the students finds herself being taken advantage of.
A Student Scenario
Students debate a revenge act of vandalism.
A Student Scenario
Medical Amnesty
Podcast of a discussion on university Good Samaritan policies related to alcohol consumption
Emerging Issues Group