Texas A&M at Qatar's sixth annual Ethics Week asks tough questions about professional ethicsPublished Apr 15, 2018
Texas A&M at Qatar recently hosted its sixth annual Ethics Week, with the goal of creating awareness about professional ethics and the significance of ethical behavior in the workplace and life in general.
The week’s events were organized by The Initiative in Professional Ethics (TIPE) and supported by the Council of Debating Engineers (CODE), a Texas A&M at Qatar student organization. TIPE is supported by QAPCO.
Collectively more than 250 students, faculty and staff from Texas A&M at Qatar and other campuses in Education City participated in Ethics Week events this year. The week featured activities included an interactive discussion on academic integrity and the Aggie Honor Code, an ethics bowl, a film screening and discussion and a faculty and student debate in which students participated from campuses across Education City.
Dr. Hassan Bashir, associate professor in the Liberal Arts Program and founding director of TIPE, said, "Ethics Week highlights the importance of ethics in daily life with events geared as a way to engage students and make them play a key role in what they get out of it. We teach ethical practices that are the backbone of the engineering profession and complement the Aggie core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service."
Ethics Week began with a discussion on academic integrity and the special importance Texas A&M places on it through its own core values and its Honor Code, which aim to hold Aggies to a high code of ethics and personal conduct. Students and faculty deliberated about its merits and application. Questions raised included, “What does academic integrity mean to you? How do you view the Aggie Honor Code? And how do you think the faculty see it?” During the discussion, students said that they see a distinction between collaboration and cheating, while faculty emphasized the ramifications you inflict on yourself and your fellow students by cheating.
Mechanical engineering professor Dr. Eyad Masad said, “If you cheat, in 20 years you will know you do not deserve your [Aggie] ring. Looking back, that’s what’s going to hurt the most. Protect yourself now from this feeling 20 years from now. The pressure you think you are in college will increase by orders of magnitude in the workplace.”
The student-faculty debate saw the faculty team of Dr. Michael Schuller, Raelene Gibson and Dr. Phillip Gray compete against a team of students from across Education City. The teams debated whether it’s wise to ban research that extends human life indefinitely. The students argued for the ban, saying that it will only benefit the one percent as most healthcare is reserved for the lucky few nowadays anyway. Faculty argued against the ban, referencing the foolishness in banning research and not considering how life has drastically improved for all because of similarly themed research. Judges included members from Qatar Debate and Texas A&M at Qatar research associate Dalia Elsayed.
Texas A&M at Qatar dean Dr. César Octavio Malavé said, “Ethics is vital to the engineering industry and something Texas A&M at Qatar strives to instill in future Aggie engineers.”