Presidential perspectives: What will you do after graduation?
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung once wrote, ?Creative powers can just as easily turn out to be destructive. It rests solely with the moral personality whether they apply themselves to good things or to bad.?
As hundreds of graduating Carnegie Mellon students prepare to enter the workforce, they are confronted with the choice of applying their education to either good things or to bad, to creation or to destruction.
To encourage students to consider this decision, colleges and universities across the nation have adopted the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility. It reads, ?I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work.?
This pledge is voluntary and allows students to determine for themselves what they consider socially and environmentally responsible. Students who take the pledge typically wear green ribbons on commencement day as a public statement of their commitment to social and environmental responsibility, both before and after being hired.
Graduates who sign the pledge pursue careers in organizations that seek to create positive change in our society. Even with a difficult job market, some may turn down lucrative offers that go against their ethical principles. Others have worked to make changes once on the job, by promoting recycling at their organization, removing racist language from training manuals, working for gender parity, or advocating health benefits to same-sex domestic partners.
The student government and the Green Practices Committee will be co-hosting a forum this Friday at 4:30 pm in McConomy Auditorium to discuss how the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility should be incorporated into Carnegie Mellon commencement exercises. I encourage you to attend this forum, even if you will not be graduating this May.
The Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility began in 1987 at Humboldt State University in California. It is now used at over 100 colleges and universities, including, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania. The Graduation Pledge Alliance(GPA), a consortium of these schools, currently coordinates the nationwide campaign.
For more information, visit the GPA?s website at www.graduationpledge.org.