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The Good, the Bad, and the University

            Theodore Roosevelt may not have been adequately thorough when stating that educating "a man in mind and not in morality is to educate a menace to society" (quotesonmorality). Assuming that he is referring to education at the university level, this could imply that if a university does not provide a moral education, the product may result in an immoral individual using acquired knowledge in a way that harms society. If this were true, universities would be producing "menaces to society" left and right because, according to John Mearsheimer, most major schools "are silent on the issue of morality" (Mearsheimer). The issue then raised is whether or not universities should in fact teach morality. Due to the fact that student bodies are culturally diverse, the only morals that would be appropriate to teach, and thus encourage, are those which are universally acceptable. These basic morals, such as honesty, are already evident in university policies; no cheating, respect fellow students and professors, respect school property, etc. Most students entering universities already have their own general concepts of what is right and wrong and would find it ridiculous to be sitting through Morality 101. Since universal morals are existent in university policy, universities without religious affiliation should not be obligated to teach morality itself, but instead focus on improving the critical thinking skills necessary for individually discovering the importance of a moral life.
             Universities already require students to adhere to basic morals, and because of this universities should not over-emphasize them by further instruction. They are already evident in policies such as the code of conduct, and in university housing policies. Plagiarizing, cheating, respect, substance abuse, loud music passed a certain hour, and destroying school property are all acts condemned by universities and are based on basic morals that set ground rules for the pursuit of knowledge.

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