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Updated 10:00 AM Sept. 18, 2006




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  Presidential Initiative on Ethics in Public Life
Forum series continues with a look at Facebook,
other ethical dilemmas

Some 900 U-M student-athletes were given a word of warning earlier this month: Enter the popular social networking Web site Facebook at your own risk.

Graduates across the country have recounted stories of being told by prospective employers that photos and tales of the students' college escapades posted on the popular site hurt their chances to get job interviews.

Although the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has stopped short of banning Facebook use, it has made clear to students that scenes of them on the site hazing or otherwise misbehaving could be met with serious consequences, including possible suspension or the loss of a scholarship.

Participation in Facebook—a service that currently has more than 9 million college and university users, and soon could be available to everyone on the Internet—is one of the topics of the academic year's first Ethics in Public Life Forum 7-9 p.m. Sept. 20 in the Pendleton Room, Michigan Union.

The Presidential Initiative on Ethics in Public Life forum series continues for the second year with the presentation titled "We Can't All Be Super Heroes: Ethical Dilemmas for Mere Mortals." The Office of New Student Programs' Spotlight Theatre Troupe will present skits on Facebook use, cheating and what it means to be an "ethical Wolverine." A roundtable discussion facilitated by graduate students from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Graduate Teaching Consultants and Multicultural Facilitator Training Groups will follow each scene.

"The skit will show how a seemingly harmless Facebook entry may create difficult ethical and personal conflicts or dilemmas," says Marvin Krislov, vice president and general counsel. "We also hope to continue to address in new ways the issues of cheating, plagiarism, academic integrity and others students face on a regular basis."

The goal of the forum series is to offer students opportunities to explore challenging ethical questions with other members of the University community, Krislov says.

Refreshments will be provided at the event, which is sponsored by Students for Ethics and The Presidential Initiative on Ethics in Public Life committee.

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