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Be Honorable. Be Orange.

Posted December 15th, 2013 by plattg

“Orange” is a representation of the values that represent Oregon State University, these values are that the administration here at Oregon State want all of its students to embody. These values range from accountability and diversity to integrity. Many of these values are lined out in the OSU Strategic Plan that was put in place by the President in 2004. This plan lays out what accomplishments that OSU wants to do along with the values that the administration wants to instill in its students. These values that are laid out in the Strategic Plan are accountability, diversity, integrity, respect, and social responsibility. Every student is a part of the Oregon State’s community and is a citizen of Oregon State, however the values that are stated in the Strategic Plan are values that state what the required values that one needs to be an exemplary citizen of Oregon State.

While Oregon State as a whole have a definition of “Orange” values students have other values that they also identify with. Many students talked about defining “Orange” as a value of pride. Pride is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct. Pride can be expressed by confidence in oneself or by overconfidence in oneself and his or her abilities. The reason that they give Oregon State this value is for the fact that we stick behind our sports teams even if they are losing. In other words they stated that as students they have pride in our school and what it stands for these values are the ones stated above in the strategic plan. Many people that I asked that gave me values when I asked them why they picked this value they refer to our athletics teams. This is what some believe “Orange” stands for however I want “Orange” to stand for something besides this.

The two main values that I want “Orange” to mean are honor and integrity. One of these values is already in the Strategic Plan and I wanted to emphasize this values importance and the other I wanted to show the importance of this in personal and work relationships between people. The reason that I want this is that if students have honor and integrity they will be desired because out in the work place for the fact that they will have the honor to be trustworthy to others and have the integrity to ask help with problems along with having the integrity to finish their work. Integrity is adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character. Integrity can be demonstrated by one’s ability to adhere to their own principles even when others around him or her are trying to convince them to do otherwise. One example could be not giving into peer pressure.  The reason I believe it is a good value because it requires work and thought to be a person of integrity. This work and thought require a person to take time and be mindful so that they can assess their values so that they can put their values to use when the time arises. Honor is honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions. Honor can be shown by simple acts such as not cheating on a test and telling the truth. As a value honor is very simple to do in many cases on a basic level but when a person exemplifies honor they go beyond what is asked of them. Honor requires a person to asses themself and to be true to their beliefs. The reason that I find these values to be extremely valuable to ethics is that they require one to think and asses themselves to see who they are and what values they stand for.

An effective way to introduce and communicate my message of integrity and honesty is to introduce it early by incorporating these values into the first year experience. The reason for this is that people are very impressionable with their first impressions and if students are started with these values they will carry them on for their entire time at Oregon State. This method can be compared to the anti-tobacco message that is given to kids in elementary school. If you introduce a concept early enough people will pick it up and incorporate it into a part of themselves and that is my idea of incorporating it into a part of the new first year experience which is part of the introduction of freshmen to Oregon State then it will be more effective in incorporating it if this were to happen. This method is like the old proverb of striking while the iron is hot.

The implementation of this plan would be most effective by putting a part of Orientation week that all new and incoming freshmen are a part of. This way a majority of freshmen will participate in the event. However this alone will not be enough to have it stick in their minds. Only covering this once will be ineffective in the long term because freshmen like most people will forget about it. And that is why to make this program the most effective there will need to be reinforcement sessions during the school year. Now these reinforcement sessions will not be possible in large groups because of classes and commitments that freshmen will have during the term. My solution for this is to train the Residents Assistance to then teach the freshmen. There are two Resident Assistance per floor in most halls with around 40 for each Resident Assistant. This way there will be smaller groups which will facilitate learning. It is feasible to do this once per term any more would put too much pressure and commitment upon both the Resident Assistance and the freshmen in the terms of time. This is the basic outline for implementation for me it can be tweaked and reworked so that it will be more effective.

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