Ethics Corner

fundraiserBy Rahul Garg

Dear T-birds,

Welcome to the Ethics Corner sponsored by the Thunderbird Honor Council. In an effort to better educate our student body on ethical business practices, we will present to you an article, news link, or story from our own students that helps to showcase what is going on in the business world with ethical business behavior. We hope to create a dialogue between students to better prepare themselves for what might lie ahead in their careers. Moreover, we hope to provide information to better prepare you for your life ahead.

Following this past week’s conclusion of the Mr. Thunderbird Competition, a campaign to raise funds for the Class of 2013’s gift to the school, this week’s Ethics Corner article highlights the delicate business of fundraising.

The article titled, “Fundraising Poses Ethics Issue for Senator” discusses alleged actions by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) in soliciting donations for an academic institution that bears his name. Ms. Melanie Sloan, executive director of campaign-finance watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says, “…it is hard for politicians to resist these ‘Monuments to Me.’”

“Senate rules allow members to solicit donations to nonprofits except from lobbyists and foreign agents, but senators must avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of them, and not ‘bring the Senate into dishonor.’”

Regardless of the reason or need behind fundraising, always examine the actions behind it, and remember that the perception alone of an impropriety can cause irreparable damage to not only the party seeking contributions but to the contributing party as well.

The article, (“Fundraising Poses Ethics Issue for Senator”) can be found in the print edition of the Wall Street Journal (3/21/13, A5) or online at the following link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323639604578370381332192270.html

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