The introduction to USC’s Carolina Creed states, “Choosing to join the community obligates each member to a code of civilized behavior.” Every student agrees to abide by the creed’s tenets, and by their agreement, the students’ collective voice gives the creed meaning. Rather than being a hollow charter, I have found the Carolina Creed to be the values that form the cornerstone of the academic character of the university.
The classes I have taken as part of the Carolina Core have given me a holistic education. While I am a science major, I have taken many courses in the liberal arts, including ancient history, foreign language and an ethics class (all of which were required).
I fail to see how organizing these classes under the Carolina Core denigrates the liberal arts. Furthermore, the focus of my ethics course was not promoting a university brand of morality. The function of higher education should not be to force a system of principles and specific ideas about virtue onto its students. Rather, in my ethics class we discussed virtue in the context of diversity.
Diversity doesn’t remove virtue from the university; it creates an environment for learning and inquiry that I have experienced nowhere else. In letter writer Trenton Smith’s opinion (“USC’s values? What values?” April 13), the Carolina family is a fallacy designed to mask an educational machine that churns out graduates, wrapped in the shiny wrapper of the Carolina Creed. I believe your experience in college is proportional to what you put in, and my experiences have been the opposite of Mr. Smith’s.
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The family I have gained at the University of South Carolina has taught me so much about virtue. Through the Carolina Creed, the university provides a unique and diverse environment to join with fellow students of many ethnicities, nationalities and religions in the joint pursuit of knowledge. I am not limited to only one view of virtue and morality.
As a student at the University of South Carolina, I have no limits.