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National initiative leads Concordia to Resposibility and Ethics Initiative

Concordia was one of 18 schools chosen to lead the first phase of a national initiative called “Core Commitments: Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility.” It focuses on questions about ethical responsibility, the revitalization of student social responsibility and student preparation to fulfill roles as global and local citizens.

In March 2007, Concordia was accepted as a member of the Core Commitments Leadership Consortium within the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

AACU President Carol Geary Schneider said that the participating schools are already promising leaders concerned with personal and social responsibility.
There is often not a link between student life on campus and academic studies, Schneider said. This leads to the isolation of values, ethics and civic responsibilities that are learned in the classroom.

“Core Commitments and the Leadership Consortium will strive to create an encompassing vision of how to integrate these vital principles into the core of the undergraduate experience for all students,” Schneider said.

As an effort within this group, Concordia Student Government Association chose to “find the essence” of the already formed Social Responsibility and Academic Integrity statements by creating the Responsibilities and Ethics Initiative.

Last year, former Academic Affairs Co-Commissioners Paul Fretham and Sheena Patel, along with a small committee, formed the new Responsibility and Ethics Statement. In contrast to the Social Responsibility and Academic Integrity statements that were written by the faculty for the students, the REI statement is written by students and for the students.

This year, Academic Affairs Co-Commissioners Nate Larsen and Sudhir Selvaraj have a goal to promote and apply the REI statement.

“We’re looking to implement this new statement throughout Concordia so as to saturate the community with this ideology of academic integrity,” Larsen said. “Our excitement comes from the fact that this statement was written for the students, by the students.”

Larsen and Selvaraj would like student feedback on the new statement, as it was created for the entire student body. It is also important that they have the faculty and administration opinion, too.

“We are hoping that students will incorporate this in not only their academic lives, but in their personal lives as well,” Selvaraj said. “We hope to create a new culture on campus and a new environment of learning on campus.”

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