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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

The Big Q Blog

  • Job Search Ethics

    The Big Q offers an FAQ on the ethics of searching for work including resume inflation, interview fairness, and accepting offers.

  • Fast Friends

    Rushing Intimate Relationships

    The promise of new friendships at college is exciting, but be careful not to rush into oversharing.

  • Five Ethical Dilemmas Freshmen Face

    A discussion of a few key ethical issues that freshmen face in the first year: fitting in, choosing a major, roommates, hookup culture, and partying.

  • Waitlists and VIPs

    Can you extend the benefits of your student government position to your friends? When does it go too far?

  • Lean on Me

    When does friendship overstep it's boundaries? How do you deal with a friend who is a mooch?

  • 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?

  • A Cog in a Machine

    Is it ethical to treat employees as a cog in a machine, or a means instead of an end?

  • Charitable Acts

    What defines a charitable act? Are greek philanthropy weeks actually charitable or just an excuse to party?

  • Neknominated

    Lawson struggles with his decision to partake in an online drinking game when he's challenged by his friend.

  • Lying to be Nice

    When Mark lies to a girl about calling her back, he thinks he's being nice. What are the ethics behind telling the truth?

  • Spreading Wings

    Lucy struggles to spread her wings when she gets a job on the other side of the country from her family, in a case about career opportunity versus family responsibility.

  • Off the Hook-Up Culture

    Frank's friends think he's depressed when he decides to stop engaging in the hook-up culture. Is it as acceptable to not hook-up as it is to hook-up in the college culture?

  • 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?

  • This Town is Big Enough for the Both of Us

    Steve and his housemates struggle to coexist with their new neighbor. Are college students victimized or do they need to be more accommodating to their less noisy neighbors?

  • Emails Exposed

    Robert is punished after his university email account is searched without his knowledge.

  • Selfies

    Stacy is addicted to posting scandalous selfies on Instagram. Should her friends be worried about her?

  • Outside the Fold

    Alexa faces an issue when her Irish Catholic boyfriend expresses interest to meet her very traditional Chinese parents.

  • To Snitch or Not To Snitch?

    Joseph begins his collegiate athletics experience, finding that his most difficult transition is off the field.

  • Crusading at the Dinner Table

    Grace faces a dilemma when her values regarding animal rights collide with the beliefs of the general college community. Should she speak out?

  • An Offhand Remark

    Danielle and Lindsey, new freshman roommates, become at odds when Danielle makes an offensive comment at a party.

  • Whose Life is it Anyway?

    Robert is at odds with his parents over what major he should pursue. Who should get to decide, Robert or his parents who are paying the bills?

  • Homework or Teamwork?

    When Kim's dream of playing collegiate soccer becomes reality, she soon must weigh her athletic pursuit against her academic one.

  • Home Sweet Home

    When Sophia heads home for summer vacation, her independence is quickly threatened by her parents' expectations.

  • Making the Cut

    Patrick and Lindsey, two high school students, have different priorities as they apply to colleges... and receive very different outcomes.

  • Insta-Interruption

    Beth and Katie, two friends, are out to lunch. However, they are constantly interrupting each other with their social media use.

  • Time is of the Essence

    Stephanie must make a difficult decision about whether or not to be honest with a future employer in order to be hired.

  • Forgive and Forget

    Two college students could be deeply affected by the passing of a new student loan forgiveness bill.

  • Caught in the Middle

    Ben witnesses his friend Tyler cheating on his girlfriend. He feels caught in the middle.. What should he do?

  • Members Only

    Two students disagree over UC Hastings' student involvement policies with regards to a religious club.

  • Rock the Vote

    A college student must weigh different ethical factors in her decision to vote for a senator.

  • Passion or Practicality?

    Mark must decide whether to please his parents and be relieved of his tuition costs, or to follow his dreams and accrue significant debt.

  • Petty Theft

    Jackie sees her best friend stealing from another roommate... What should she do?

  • Once a Cheater...

    Does cheating in one area of your life mean you are more likely to cheat in others?

  • Cheat Sheet

    Shelby's friend is using a cheat sheet. What should she do?

  • Resume Inflation

    Padding will make a student's resume fit the qualifications for a job.

  • Sleeping Around

    Is there anything inherently wrong with having multiple partners?

  • Sexting

    In the context of a longterm relationship, a student wonders whether to send a naked picture to her boyfriend.

  • The Drinking Age

    Should David ignore the fact that he is under age and drink with his friends?

  • When Do I Friend?

    Emily gets a friend request from a creepy guy in her orientation group.

  • Rush

    What are the pros and cons of fraternity membership?

  • Should I Call the EMTs?

    When a roommate passes out from drinking, a student must decide whether to bring in the Emergency Medical Technicians.

  • A Major Decision

    A student wants to study history, but her parents want her to be an engineer.

  • Sexiled

    Wilson is spending too many nights on the lounge couch.

  • Party!

    Balancing good times with studying proves difficult.

  • The Slowdown Hits Home

    A student's financial situation changes after she is accepted at a prestigious, expensive university.

  • I Can't Get a C

    Melissa thinks it doesn't matter if she copies homework in a course outside her major.

  • Not Hungry

    Naomi thinks her roommate has an eating disorder.

  • Poster Wars

    When Is Speech Offensive?

    Floormates disagree on whether a poster should be displayed.