February 14, 2012
College Students and Morality Many individuals in any environment, location, or setting can share similar qualities, personality characteristics, backgrounds, interest and knowledge. Despite that fact, there is something that can separate everyone within an atmosphere, which determines and defines the way an individual will act, interpret, and react in most situations. This is known as moral behavior. It is quite common for someone’s moral background to reflect the way they behave within society. The very same scenario often foreshadows the lifestyles of college students. Before even entering college, some students are conditioned to be strong and faithful to certain principles that were introduced to them at some point of time during the beginning stages of their lives. This is what separates students within the college environment, which includes dorm halls, living and learning communities, classrooms, clubs, student organizations, and more. Even though both are freshmen couples, the things that Billy and Sally do may significantly differ to the things that Sarah and Bryan do. Both couples smoke marijuana, but Billy and Sally only smoke on Friday and Saturday nights, and Sarah and Bryan smoke consistently on weekdays, especially for study sessions and homework assignments. Believe it or not, both couples act this way due to personal beliefs. Billy and Sally strongly believe that interaction with marijuana should not be juxtaposed with college education, and Sarah and Bryan strongly believe that it is wise to study and focus on school work while intoxicated. Both are living by principles during the course of their college careers, which determines their behavior in regards to what they do and don’t do. The example of Billy, Sally, Sarah, and Bryan is a representation of the moral behavior of individual college students. In The Journal of Higher Education Vol. 24 No. 6, author, Charles I. Glicksberg is the host of a section entitled The Morality of College Youth, which discusses the definite purpose of the needed existence for college students with morals. Glicksberg talks about how the future of the world’s society is highly determined by the actions of today’s youth, especially the ones in college. Individual morals play a significant part in the meaning of this statement, simply because it is the moral backgrounds of college students, or just youth as whole, that reflect the things they’ll do in the future. This is a major important factor of the production towards the outcome of the stories of college youth and the society they live in. In The Morality of College Youth, Glicksberg slightly reflects on his past experience with college students and morality. He states:
“My own experience as a teacher in getting student reactions to situations that involved the acceptance or the moral reprobation of senseless criminal violence, makes me believe that perhaps as much as a third of our student population of college grade may, for all practical purposes, be considered moral imbeciles, or at least moral illiterates. So poorly have the moral values that still remain partly operative been transmitted to these students that they are potential, if not active, delinquents” (Glicksberg) With this statement, Glicksberg simply insinuates that the moral values of students can have a great effect on their potential lifestyles. His statement has provable truth within it. He did not just speak of moral values having effect on the potential of individuals, but more specifically, the effect that moral values taught to college students has on their potential. The type of thought that his words provoke is frightening. So he’s telling me, being a college student myself, that some things that I receive and imbibe within my classrooms could have a significant result on my individual potential? Wow, so basically Glicksberg is...