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Renowned community members discuss ethics with students

Around 100 people gathered in the Satellite Student Union Tuesday night to attend Conversations: Ethics and Integrity in Leadership.

Conversations is a panel discussion focused on ethics in a leadership position. The panel featured Grandville Homes President Darius Assemi, former Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Larry Powell, Associate Dean of the Arts and Humanities Honora Chapman and President of Students Inc. Tim Ryan.

Senior Program Manager of leadership programs Breanne Scogin helped coordinate the event. Scogin said she hopes the event sparks a conversation on campus about what it means to be ethical.  

“We decided to have a panel because we wanted this to be more conversational,” Scogin said. “We want to discuss what ethics means in positions of leadership.”

Scogin said she hopes the panel teaches students the value of ethics in all roles of leadership.

“We’re hoping students walk away knowing that everyone deals with ethics and integrity in every leadership position, whether that be in a family or in class or in a business,” Scogin said.

The event was sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, the Center for Leadership, the Ethics Center, the Lyles Center for Entrepreneurship and the Office of Student Conduct.

Philosophy Chair Dr. Andrew Fiala was one of the founders of the event. He said the event is intended to inspire students.

“The idea was to invite some ethical leaders from the campus and the community to inspire students and talk to them about why ethics and integrity matters,” Fiala said.

Fiala said the panelists were chosen because they are renowned members of the community and serve as good examples for students.

“We wanted on campus and off campus types,” Fiala said. “All three of them are a really good embodiment of ethics and integrity and leadership.”

Fiala also said he hopes students will learn that being an ethical person is worthwhile, though challenging.

“I hope they realize that it’s a lifelong endeavor to be a good person and give back to the community in a way that is meaningful,” Fiala said. “It’s not always easy, it can be challenging.”

Third year business major German Franco attended the event because one of his professors suggested it to him. Franco said he was especially inspired by Ryan.

“It’s great to see someone close to my age in such a high position and up on stage with these other highly regarded people,” Franco said.

Franco said attending the event helped him to better understand his own view of ethics.

“Sometimes the ethical choice isn’t going to be the most popular,” Franco said. “To be ethical is to be strong and inflexible. You’re either ethical or you’re not.”