I didn’t realize this until yesterday, but Ethics is not part of the core curriculum that every business student has to take. There is a chapter on ethics in one of our management classes, and we do have to take business law, but the role of ethics is really passed over, which seems a little odd.
What got me thinking about this was when I mentioned to JChin and AC yesterday that I needed to have my landlady sign a document saying that I’ve lived in my apartment since January, but if she didn’t get back to me, I might just have to forge it. Is it illegal? Yes. Am I likely to get caught? No. Is it ethical? It depends.
I’m not lying–I have lived in the apartment since last January–and this document is necessary for me to get in-state tuition. Said in-state tuition is $5,000 cheaper than what I’m paying now. JChin said right off the bat that she wouldn’t notarize it–not that I expected her to, given her “high moral standards”–but AC said she would, you know, as long as I didn’t tell her it was forged. I can understand that. Ignorance is bliss, after all 😉
Honestly, I know it’s illegal to forge someone else’s name–for obvious reasons–but I don’t see the big moral dilemma about this situation in particular. I’m not lying, it’s nothing she wouldn’t sign if I could find her face to face, and it doesn’t involve any money or actual involvement on her part. I mean, I hope she takes away all moral ambiguity by signing the form and returning it, but if she doesn’t, I’m not about to pay $5,000 extra per semester because she’s lazy.
And then there’s this situation with my group for finance. There are supposedly five of us in this group. I took charge when no one else did and sent out a group email, so we could divide the parts and figure out a game plan. One person got back to me within two days. Two people got back to me a week later, one of whom said that “she never goes to class and has no idea what’s going on, so could I tell her exactly what the project is about and what to do?”
Um, if I have to tell her exactly what to do, why should she get credit when I’m actually the one behind it all? I haven’t responded to her yet, but I’m considering emailing the prof and telling him that I don’t want to work with someone who won’t come to the class that she signed up for and who wants me to do at least half of her share of the work (I mean, if I have to explain everything, I might as well just do it). JChin says I should confront the person directly and tell her to start coming to class, not go straight to the prof, but if this person hasn’t gone in the past 13 weeks, she’s not going to change in the last two. I mean, come on, get real. JChin thinks I should compromise and “learn how to work in a group.” It’s not that I don’t know how to work in a group–I’ve been doing it since I was single digits–it’s that I don’t like to, especially when some members are essentially deadweight. In the corporate world, I wouldn’t put up with someone like this either, so why should I in the academic world?
I still haven’t decided what to do. Is it ethically wrong to go over her head to the prof and keep her out of the loop? Maybe. But, is it right for her to jeopardize my grade because she’s too lazy to get her ass out of bed? Exactly.