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Ethics Awareness Week discusses religion, sexuality

March 4, 2011

By Emily Hadden, Staff Writer

Campus Minister, Tim Moore gave one of the more popular Ethics Awareness Week presentations this week called, “A Hot Meal: A Conversation about Sex (sexuality and the church) over Lunch." by Karen Rodriguez

Young Harris College hosted Ethics Awareness Week Feb. 21-25. The goal of this event was to provide insight on ethical issues to the Young Harris College community. Ethics Awareness Week was made possible by Jamie Watson, associate professor of philosophy and Ethics Across the Curriculum coordinator. Many students and faculty have been inspired by the knowledge they gained from this event.

Ethics Awareness Week consisted of film showings, book displays and lectures given by YHC faculty and two guest speakers.  Every different portion of the event provided a unique ethical topic to bring about new ideas and discussions.

Katie Holcomb, a junior outdoor leadership major from Hampton, attended as many lectures as she could. Holcomb said, “At first I was attending the ethics presentations for class. However, after attending the first presentation I continued to go to the others because it caught my interest.”

Some of the week’s topics included discussions on different religions, personal health, ethics in the environment and animal welfare. The event was well-attended with equal involvement between students and faculty members.

“I was pleased with the evenhandedness of the discussions,” said Watson said. “Everyone was congenial and seemed to be interested in the topics.”

There were two presentations during Ethics Awareness Week that seemed to spark the most interest in students. The first being “A Common Ground: Buddhist Compassion and Levinas’s Responsibility to the Other,” given by Nathan Eric Dickman, assistant professor of religious studies.

Kelly Bryson, a freshman outdoor leadership major from Wareshoals, SC, really enjoyed Dickman’s presentation. “It opened my eyes to the effects and repercussions of my immediate actions,” said Bryson.

The second topic of the week was “A Hot Meal: A Conversation about Sex (sexuality and the church) over Lunch,” presented by Rev. Dr. Tim Moore, campus minister. The presentation was followed by a student reflection workshop.

“The presentation was enlightening because we were given an accurate understanding of certain scriptures. We were challenged to test for ourselves what we have heard in church all of our lives. I’ve always been told that homosexuality was a sin but now I’m re-thinking it,” stated Amanda Noonan, a junior English major from Smyrna.

While this is not YHC’s first event with Ethics Across the Curriculum, Ethics Awareness Week is new to campus. In the past, YHC hosted ethics awareness workshops for faculty members only. This week allowed students and the community to participate as well as faculty.

Jennifer Gianfalla, assistant professor of English said, “I think that Ethics Awareness Week allows students to develop connections to different issues that they would not have access to in the classroom.  The workshops provide students with the opportunity to be exposed to more ethical issues, therefore allowing them to make more ethical decisions.”

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