Students, attorneys discuss ethics over coffee

The role of ethics in everyday life was discussed at the Coffee and Ethics meeting, bringing in around 20 students and staff members on campus April 7.

Attorney Amanda Carpenter said being ethical means doing what a person knows to be the right thing.

Carpenter talked about a good rule-of-thumb test of ethical behavior.

“If I am not proud enough to tell my father or grandmother about it, I am probably not doing the right thing,” she said.

Three attorneys from the City of Oklahoma City came to the meeting to discuss the role of ethics in their personal lives, in the workplace, and in society.

Twenty students and faculty members attended the meeting to talk with the panelists.

Each gave a personal definition of what ethics means to them.

Brett Logan said the legal profession sets ethical standards for attorneys to follow.

“As an attorney, there is a code of ethics that you will work under, that flows into your personal life,” he said.

Most of the people in the room agreed with Carpenter that ethics can mean following a set of rules given by the employer, college, or society, to the point of believing they are morally sound.

Examples of scenarios in everyday life that would challenge personal ethics were discussed.

One example involved a decision of whether to cheat on an assignment when a classmate is offering the answers to you.

Most students in the room agreed that they would most likely take the answers from their classmate.

Good ethics suggest that cheating on the assignment would be wrong.

Erin Logan, director of Student Life, said if the cheating is caught, the students would face consequences.

“Both parties would be held ethically responsible for their cheating on the assignment,” Logan said.

Some choices are harder to make, Carpenter said.

“When do we step out of our comfort zones, to do what is ethically right?” Carpenter said as the meeting wrapped up. Determining what is ethical and unethical can be tricky in everyday life, Carpenter said.

Being ethical can mean being honest, loyal, or showing integrity.

For more upcoming events, contact the office of Student Life at 405-682-7523 or email

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