Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility

Posted on May 17, 2002

[From the COMM-ORG Newsletter]

Humboldt State University (California) initiated the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility. It states, "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work." Students define what being "responsible" means to themselves. Students at over a hundred colleges and universities have used the pledge at some level, at schools which range in size from Whitman, to Harvard, to University of Wisconsin. This now includes some schools overseas, graduate and professional schools, and high schools. Graduates who voluntarily signed the pledge have turned down jobs they did not feel morally comfortable with and have worked to make changes once on the job.

Manchester College now coordinates the campaign effort, which has taken different forms at different institutions. At Manchester, it is a community-wide event involving students, faculty, and staff. Typically, fifty percent of students sign and keep a wallet-size card stating the pledge, while students and supportive faculty wear green ribbons at commencement and the pledge is printed in the formal commencement program.

The pledge helps educate and motivate one to contribute to a better world. Think of the impact if even a significant minority of the one million college graduates each year signed and carried out the Pledge.

PLEASE KEEP US INFORMED OF ANY PLEDGE EFFORTS YOU UNDERTAKE, AS WE TRY TO MONITOR WHAT IS HAPPENING, AND PROVIDE PERIODIC UPDATES ON THE NATIONAL EFFORT. Contact NJWollman@Manchester.edu for information/questions/comments; or write GPA, MC Box 135, Manchester College, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, IN 46962. The Campaign also has a web site, at
http://www.manchester.edu/academic/programs/departments/peace_studies/files/gpa.html


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