Friday, October 27, 2006

Ethikos Bloggers Wanted / Introduction

When I came back to college in my late 40's my second semester was interrupted by the world-view shattering events of 9.11. The very next semester I enrolled in a class that I hoped would shed some light into the dynamics of the world I had come to find myself in suddenly. It was called "Islam and the West" taught by Dr's Brad Cook and David R. Keller. I had only vauge notions of the history of Islam, and was interested in grasping the world stage before events erupted in Manhattan as it related to the players.

The class happened to be an introduction to the Integrated Studies major, and that's how I came to choose it as my major. Not only did that class whet my appetite for knowledge of the world of Islam, but it also introduced me to the myriad of events that were sponsored and coordinated by the Center for the Study of Ethics. David Keller, as its Director, passed around flyers for the various events and offered extra-credit for "response papers" if one attended. That year I attended a facinating seminar on Postmodernism, presentations that gave insight into religious supersessionism and many others. One thing that surprised me was how few students and community members even knew about these events let alone attended them. I mean, they brought the Dalai Lama right here to Utah Valley State College and and I never knew!

One of the greatest times for discussion on campus occurred when the culture war clash of Michael Moore and Sean Hannity came to campus and the Ethics Center hosted a community/faculty/student/administration panel discussion. Despite some of the buffoonery that ensued, it provoked an amazing amount of discussion and lots of mind/soul searching.

The thing is, with less attention, the Ethics Center sponsors events all the time that have the potential to open all sorts of portals into what is going on in the world -- and it's all free and open to the public! Over the past years the Ethics Center has provided a forum for both well-known people like George McGovern, Ralph Nader, Orrin Hatch, Tensin Gyatso, and Sister Helen Prejean as well as the long list of academic and intellectual luminaries like Omar Kader (speaking just yesterday on Iran, how it became a player in the New Middle East and how the U.S. is likely going to engage it), Sandra Steingraber, David Rothenberg, and Baird Calicott to name a few. And then there are all the informed presentations that mine UVSC's own faculty taking advantage of their particular specialty and insight.

So those are a few of the reasons I jumped on the possibility of working for the Ethics Center. I get paid to coordinate and attend these events now. It's like being paid to play. Which brings me to the help wanted section of this introduction. We're interested in paying a stipend of ten dollars to any UVSC student that attends one of these events and writes a "blog response" that we publish. We're also interested in publishing (without the stipend) responses from faculty and adjunct instructors, staff members, administrators and members of the community that attend and respond to these events.

If you're interested in participating, contact me at:

Don LaVange
Executive Program Coordinator
UVSC's Center for the Study of Ethics

Monday, October 23, 2006

Upcoming Events for October - November

Here is a list of upcoming events here at UVSC's Center for the Study of Ethics. A complete list can always be found here:

On October 26th we will hear from Omar Kader. Mr. Kader is the founder and Past President and CEO of Planning and Learning Technologies. He will speak in LC 243 from 10-11:15 on "The Rising Influence of Iran in the Middle East Conflict: How Did it Happen and What are the Likely Consequences to the US?".

This lecture will be followed by a Faculty Bookgroup, details as follows:
Rashid Khalidi, Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East. The discussion will be led by Omar Kader, Founder, Past President and CEO, Planning and Learning Technologies. Event will be held from 3-4:30 p.m. in PS 203. this is sponsored by the UVSC Library. For more information, contact Mike Freeman , Faculty Bookgroup Coordinator.

On October 27 we are hosting the Utah Lake Symposium, Round 2. This will be held from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Faculty Seminar Room (LC 243). this event is cosponsored with the June Sucker Recovery Implementation Program, the School of Science and Health, and the Environmental Studies Program.

On November 1 for our regular Monthly Ethics Forum we welcome David Irvine, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (retired) speaking on “Tortured Times for American Values” from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Faculty Seminar Room (LC 243).

On November 2, U.S. Congressman Chris Cannon will speak on “Ethics, Democracy, and Politics” in LA 025 at 10:00 a.m. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Ethics, and The Office of the President.

On November 3 we welcome U.S Senator Bob Bennett at 10:00 am in LA 023. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Ethics, The Office of the President, ASUVSC, and professor Dennis Farnsworth.

Finally on November 9 from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the Faculty Seminar Room (LC 243) our Lunchtime Ethics Open Discussion we will feature a panel discussion entitled: “Lies that Tell the Truth: Creative Writers as Ethicists”. The panel is made up of:
Rob Carney, Associate Professor, English and Literature, UVSC
Stephen D. Gibson Assistant Professor, English and Literature, UVSC

For more information or questions call 801.863.6455.

Senator Gordon H. Smith

Senator Gordon H. Smith
Originally uploaded by Center for the Study of Ethics at UVSC.

Senator Smith spoke today on the topic of suicide prevention. The Senator's son, Garrett, took his own life while a UVSC student. The Senator, and his wife Sharon, shared the story of Garrett's life-long depression and the events leading up to his taking his life. Senator Smith spent a portion of the talk telling the large Ragan Theatre audience how to spot the signs of depression. He gave a list of things to not do, such as telling the depressed person to just get to work and stop being depressed or daring them to take their life. He stressed that a good friend of a depressed person would take active efforts to insure there were no fire-arms or life-threatening drugs available to the person, and not agreeing to keeping suicidal confidences.

After the speech, Senator Smith and his wife Sharon fielded questions from the audience.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Upcoming Events

Early one fall semester at Utah Valley State College, student Garrett Smith succumbed to a lifelong depression and took his own life. His devasted family, including Oregon Senator Gordon H. Smith (R, Oregon) found their lives changed forever. Senator Smith wrote a book about the experience, Remembering Garrett and sponsored legislation that would fund higher education to combat severe student depression.

On October 23rd we welcome Senator Smith as he continues his education crusade on suicide in young people. Utah has devastatingly high suicide rates, and UVSC seems to have an even higher rate.

Join us on 10/23/2006 at 10-11:30 in the Ragan Theatre for an informative and welcome presentation.