9 December 2019 • Martijn Tamboer
The Week of Integrity
Fraud, theft, also ‘taking’ a pen from work or cheating during an exam. Every decision you make, can be judged by standards of integrity. This week is the Week of Integrity. On Wednesday 4 December, students were introduced to all sorts of dilemmas concerning acting with integrity.
Integrity concerns the morality of actions. Do you have integrity or not, what norms do you apply to your actions, and are you or are you not aware of them? Being more aware of your own actions enables you to take the right decisions. It provides a framework in which you are stronger as a person. ‘This is aneyeopener for many students’, says Abiola Makinwa, Principal Lecturer in Law. ‘As soon as you identify your most important values, you see what’s really important in life’.
But it can cause friction. There is a large grey area in which you excuse your own actions that lack integrity. These excuses can go so far that even genuine fraudsters can justify their behaviour. And that behaviour is widespread. After all, who doesn’t know someone in their immediate surroundings who fiddles with their tax return on occasion?
According to Laurance Guérin, Global Citizenship professor, a good example of an integrity dilemma is the known fact that many social workers are against the policy of the participation society. ‘There is silent resistance against the council’s policy to make vulnerable groups stand up for themselves. An extremely interesting case study and a great example of the grey area in which personal norms and values determine actions’.
Moreover, integrity often takes on a whole new meaning within other cultures. Global citizenship, an important theme within The Hague University of Applied Sciences, is about the merit you have and about sharing it with the world around you. And that world is becoming ever bigger. Globalisation makes integrity more complex.
‘Earning money, wealth, can of course be a good and important value’, continues Makinwa. ‘But in the professional field, you can find yourself on a slippery slope before you know it. White collar criminality is a large-scale phenomenon in the financial sector. And it incurs a prison sentence’.
Guérin: ‘To prepare students for a future career, we want to equip them with a moral compass, tools to act with integrity. It is all about asking questions and finding the answers. Being encouraged to think and become aware of your own actions. Everyone makes their own decisions’.
Activities in the Atrium
The event held in the Atrium focused on The Week of Integrity. Students were challenged with an integrity game, a quiz and a pyramid.
Did you know ..?
Did you know that THUAS applies an Integrity Code and the Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity to its research? This prevents things including plagiarism and fraud within science.