McComb’s students form Business Ethics Team to emphasize morals in corporate world

Kaushiki Roy

A new UT student organization hoping to promote the importance of ethics in the business world held its first meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The Business Ethics Team, co-founded by president Thomas Marks and vice president Colton Schnell, focuses on teaching students about morals in the business field and the consequences of unethical behavior. Through experiences including skits and guest speakers, the organization aims to emphasize honesty in the corporate work field, Marks said.

“There are many motives to stay ethical, whether it’s to maintain your position in a company or to avoid dire consequences,” Schnell said. “We want to emphasize those motives in these organizations.”

Around 20 people attended the first meeting, where the team introduced the officers and committee chairs and presented business-related news. For the lesson, officers presented comparison slides of historically ethical companies such as Dell and Veja versus historically unethical companies such as Apple and Nestle.

Finance sophomores Marks and Schnell said their high school business ethics teacher inspired them to form the organization. 

“We both went to high school together and took business classes together,” Marks said. “We had this one teacher … who emphasized business ethics to the point where it was annoying, but it really stuck with us in the end.”

Marks said the team plans to cover topics including financial reporting, the importance of privacy, social responsibility, workplace discrimination and what to do in the case of a scandal. Marks said the team also plans to teach contemporary business topics.

“Nowadays, with the rising influence of technology, a big topic to cover is the release of information without people’s consent,” Schnell said.

One of the main lessons the organization will emphasize is comparing ethics and legality, Schnell said. 

“What we’re trying to teach people is while (certain business actions) may not be illegal in the fine print, it is still not morally correct and can have consequences,” Schnell said. 

Finance sophomore Aryan Patel, the team’s head of philanthropy, said ethics is applicable in multiple professional industries. 

“I want to go into the social impacts side of venture capital,” Patel said. “I want to look for businesses that make a positive impact on the world, and being a part of this club can help me cultivate my knowledge.”