From October 19th through October 21st, two Webber students and one faculty representative were able to attend the 2017 College Ethics Symposium on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. This was the 40th year this event has been taking place and it did not disappoint. 18 colleges and universities were represented at the Symposium (including Webber’s branch campus, St. Andrews University), which allowed for quite a diverse group of students and faculty. Attendees were able to stay with various host families during their visit, setting this event apart from many others. Instead of going back to a hotel after the day’s events, there were extended discussions over a shared home-cooked meal.
The schedule of events for the Symposium consisted of facilitated discussions on hot topics such as religion in the workplace, healthcare, and the death penalty. Students were guided in a cordial discussion about these and other topics and were encouraged to express their thoughts about the ethics behind each. Attendees also had a chance to interact with former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner. On Friday night, students were able to ask him questions and on Saturday morning he visited with the faculty for another time of Q & A.
Seniors Gabriella Gonzales and Alberto Pinazo Caro were the two Webber students chosen to attend this event. Students were chosen based on a consideration of both their GPA and faculty recommendations. This is what one student had to say about the event –
“The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the past three days spent at the College Ethics Symposium is the incredible honor and opportunity it was to have been nominated and to attend. The learning experience alone is something that I along with the other attendants will have for the rest of our lives. As a 21-year-old senior getting ready to graduate and face the ‘real world’ there is a lot going through my mind. It was refreshing to spend three days with people in the same boat as me and to have long, mature, educated conversations about real world issues. So much of the time we were able to branch the cases out into a number of other related topics and to take all of our ideas and opinions and relate them back to ethics. It was truly amazing to listen to what everyone had to say and to feel respected and listened to when I was speaking.”
Gabriella Gonzales ’18
Overall, the Symposium was educational and insightful for all who had the privilege of attending. To learn more about the event, visit http://www.ethicssymposium.org/.