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Proof That UI Is So Much More Than a Party School

The Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa has a required course for all undergraduate students titled Business Communications and Protocol—or BCaP for short.

The purpose of this course is to prepare students for the world of work, giving them the practical day-to-day operations knowledge regarding the ins and outs of email, report writing, telephone etiquette, public presentations, and business/personal ethics.

Too often we hear about student arrest records, that Iowa is a "party school," and general negativity surrounding our "college students." Below are excerpts from several personal codes of ethics as written by students currently enrolled in a BCaP class:

• When looking back and talking with friends about elementary school, I am always referred to as the bully. I never thought that this was the case when I was a kid; I thought I was protecting myself. ... Kids that I used to bully are still uneasy around me. The first question I ask myself is: Do my choices harm others? I might never have realized this if not for my days as a bully. ... Now I am constantly evaluating whether I am harming others in anything that I do.”

•  "I think it is imperative to protect the people closest to me and the innocent at all costs. As an adult male, I think it is crucial that I ensure that nothing bad happens to family or close friends, and I take ownership and responsibility when something does happen. ... My thoughts in caring for these groups of people first is that my friends and family have invested the most in me and so I need to reciprocate that energy toward them, also I need to use my size and capabilities to protect those who can’t protect themselves (innocent)."

•  "The most successful person in the world is probably that middle-class father of three who has some great friends and a fantastic family. Being humble is another difficult thing to do. When someone makes it to the top, all they want to do is flaunt it to the people that thought they wouldn’t make it and their friends. It is hard, but I try to stay modest when I am successful. ... When someone sends a compliment my way, it is nice to hear once in a while, but I always remind myself that I still want to do even better."

•  “I will take ownership for my own mistakes and not let anyone else take the fall or the blame. I will not let someone else feel the consequences from my own mistakes. On the contrary, I will always give credit where credit is due. I will not take credit for an idea that someone else came up with. ...  I will graciously accept constructive criticism and do my best to incorporate that advice into my work ethic.”

•  "I feel that a 'reciprocity' test in every situation is valuable in making the best decision. When you try to understand the other party or person involved in a dilemma, fight. or even plain conversation, the way you behave and communicate is only enhanced. I feel that understanding the other side assists you in everyday life and in hardships where making a decision is necessary.”

•  "Respect the personal choices of others. If it does not directly affect the way I feel or live my life, then it should not matter. Do not share the business of others or gossip about their personal choices. Do not care about the negative thoughts of others but do care about the thoughts of those who matter. Have integrity and keep in mind that even the smallest choices can have a big effect on the way others perceive my character."

We’ve got some great students attending the University of Iowa. Their words and ideas are hopeful, and I’m thankful our futures will include these introspective leaders.

Writers’ Group member Terri Larson is a local real estate agent.

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