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Let’s Talk About…50 Shades of Grey (Part I)

50 Shades has swept audiences off their feet, selling 100 million copies worldwide, and making $237.7 million in its global opening in theaters. In many ways, this success could have been predicted by its eerie similarity to other phenomenally profitable franchises (ahem…Twilight), but in other ways, what 50 Shades presents is entirely new. The series follows the love story of an unassuming bookworm girl and an older millionaire businessman—nothing new there. But the catch? He’s into BDSM: he likes violent sex.

At a cultural moment where sex is a hot-button issue, the timing of the movie release couldn’t be more perfect (read: lucrative). But as Emma Green pointed out in her article for the Atlantic, on film, “the Fifty Shades version of hot, kinky sex will become explicit and precise, no longer dependent upon the imaginations of readers.” With the book, interested folks could discretely download the books on their e-readers and choose if they wanted to share their guilty fascinations. With the movie, it’s public.

So now that everyone knows you’re curious, let’s talk about some of the major debates surrounding the movie and the issues it brings to light.

One of the biggest arguments is the sheer volume of sex. With a full twenty-five minutes of pure sex scenes, one has to wonder what the motives are. Is it simply an empty shortcut to boost ticket sales? Or is the motive to open up the viewer to a more liberal approach to nudity and sex? One thing is clear: sex sells. But is there something inherently wrong with steamy sales tactics? Or, more specifically, is there something inherently wrong with using fetishized sex to sell?

This leads us to another point—one that was discussed in the Atlantic article: the movie’s representation of a particular community. The fact is that there really are people who are into BDSM. Some of these people have come forth, claiming that the movie misappropriates, among other things, the level of emotion and consent that’s actually involved. The movie didn’t show the couple talking, going on dates, falling in love… the focus is on the sex. And the moments not in the bedroom are uncomfortable: he sells her possessions, and pops up unannounced, and somehow maintains an constant aura of creepiness…uh, no thanks. As Green put it, “the most troubling thing about the sex… isn’t the BDSM itself: It’s the characters’ terrible communication.”

Now, it could be that the film is riding the wave of sexual liberalism, giving the public insight into a taboo community and ultimately promoting openness. And some feminists will give it this. In her HuffPost article, feminist writer Soraya Chemalay says that, “this not secret, not silent, non-judgmental openness is a feminist success”.

Many have also brought up the issue of class. Yes, this type of rare sexual preference is glamorous in a marble-floored penthouse between two good-looking people. Basically, would it have been as appealing without the helicopter?

This conversation goes on and on, back and forth and then back again. If you’re interested in reading more about the discussions surrounding the movie, as well as my personal take, head over to the PrindlePost.org. Personally, I haven’t read the book, but I saw the movie. I said it was just because everyone else was, but the truth is that I was genuinely curious…which I was 50 shades of embarrassed to admit.

Prindle and DePauw Philosophy Department to host Young Philosophers Lecture Series

On Thursday-Friday, February 26-27, the Prindle Institute and the DePauw Philosophy department will host Young Philosophers Lecture Series. The series was started by Andrew Cullison, Director of the Prindle Institute, in 2008 at SUNY Fredonia. This is the first year that the series will be held at DePauw.

The lecture series brings four recent Ph.D. grads to campus to deliver talks on their philosophical research. This year, the selected participants are Dr.Brandon Carey of Columbia Basin College, Dr. Wesley Cray of Grand Valley State University, Dr. Danielle Wenner of Carnegie Mellon University, and Dr. Micheal Hannon of Fordham University.  Each scholar will present one introductory level and one research level lecture. The introductory talks take place Thursday, February 26th in Watson Forum and are geared to those who have little to no philosophy background. The research talks are primarily directed towards other philosophers and experienced philosophy students, however, all are welcome to attend. The research talks will be held on Friday, February 27th in the Prindle Auditorium. One of the objectives of the Young Philosphers Lecture Series is to have something for everyone. This is why both introductory and research level talks are presented.

The talk schedule is as follows:
Thursday Feb. 26 in Watson Forum:
11:00 AM – “The Paradox of the Stone” by Dr. Brandon Carey
11:45 AM – “That’s Not Art!” by Dr. Wesley Cray
1:00 PM – Lunch at Two West
4:30 PM – “What is the Meaning of Freedom?” by Dr. Danielle Wenner
5:15 PM – “Does Knowledge Matter?” by Dr. Michael Hannon
Friday Feb. 27 in Prindle Auditorium:
11:00 AM – “The Threshold for Knowledge” by Dr. Michael Hannon
12:00 PM – “Unperformable Works and the Ontology of Art” by Dr. Wesley Cray
1:00 PM – Lunch at the Prindle Institute
2:00 PM – “Autonomy and Non-Domination in International Clinical Research” by Dr. Danielle Wenner
3:00 PM – “The Power To Do The Impossible” by Dr. Brandon Carey

If you are interested in attending lunch on either day, please fill out this form by February 24.

Additionally, those interested in past Young Philosophers Lectures may visit the Young Philosophers website to view previous presentations. This year’s presentations will be available online shortly following this week’s event.

The Prindle Institute for Ethics and the DePauw Philosophy department are thrilled to be hosting this exciting event. We hope that those in the area, including the DePauw and Greencastle communities as well as those from nearby Indiana colleges, will be able to join us!

Lying in the Military

an image of the Pentagon

A new study conducted by the U.S. Army War College has found that U.S. Army officers regularly lie, and that the Pentagon is fully aware of that behavior.  Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed concern about ethical behavior within the military prior to stepping down on Tuesday. This new study has found that the U.S. Army is “rife with ‘dishonesty and deception.'” This does not apply just to the senior officers, but to all levels of military members.

This raises some serious concerns. While in certain cases, senior military officials lying can be justified – for example, if they are truly protecting national security interests and dissuading an imminent threat – lying should not be happening frequently. However, the fact that Hagel was worried about an “ethical breakdown” in the military and even sent an memo to senior officers emphasizing the need for ethical behavior and honesty means that the lies extend far beyond those of national security interests. The study has found that lying is widely accepted and common, and that many forms are simply filled out dishonestly in order to make the bureaucracy move more quickly and make the workload easier. Officers are becoming “ethically numb,” the study claims. This seems completely valid in wake of numerous ethical investigations of the military, including a scandal involved cheating nuclear missiles officers last year and a fraud and bribery scandal in the Navy.

The military is supposed to be a trusted institution, and the fact that they have been shown to continually lie is detrimental to their integrity and the confidence citizens have in them. Junior officers who are trained by senior officers that lying is acceptable will continue to train the new batch of officers in that manner, perpetuating the culture of deceit. While it may be tempting to lie to save time on paperwork, a culture that operates on lies is unhealthy for the country and for the institution.

Thoughts on the DePauw Dialogue

Two days after the DePauw Day of Inclusion, Prindle hosted the “Debrief with Desserts” event to continue the conversations started at the dialogue itself. It was a lunch hour of conversation and delicious desserts from Almost Home, and I had the opportunity to interview a few of the attendees.
Overall, I was thrilled to see that many people came away with a fairly positive impression of the day, and even more excited to see that the consensus was to continue forward in the same direction: to keep the conversation going. In the words of freshman Caesar Tobar-Acosta, “Just talk about it.” I was also humbled and pleased to know that no one felt the problems of campus climate here at DePauw were solved; rather, the day was the first step on a long road.

Robo-Journalists: Can Robots Do The Job Of A Human Journalist?

Time is crucial when it comes to the news; every news agency wants to be the first to break a large story. To save time for journalists to focus on the big stories, template stories have been used for a basis for smaller stories. Journalists can type in the specific facts and then be on their way. But something further has been emerging in the field of journalism – robots.

For example, the L.A. Times uses an algorithm called QuakeBot to report each earthquake that happens, and the story appears online in three minutes, according to CNN. A company named Narrative Science has been marketing their software Quill, which works through data to create reports. In theory, this saves time for human journalists who can spend their time on analysis rather than wading through piles of data.

However, the software company believes that the software will soon develop to the point where it can provide analysis; the company’s chief scientists believe that writing software could even win the Pulitzer Prize within five years. While I find nothing wrong with saving journalists time in reporting earthquakes or crunching raw data, is passing off journalism to computer algorithms really right?

While the type of words can be programmed into computer software, can the code handle the sensitivity required in reporting stories that have affected many people, or know which facts might not be verified enough to report? If information is reported incorrectly – say, in the case of a libel lawsuit – is the computer algorithm responsible for that? You can’t prosecute software. Additionally, allowing software to write stories is also denying news consumers the human perspective on the issue. While stories written by software give us the raw facts, do we get the same level of analysis as a human can offer? Are the same potential solutions proposed? Can a computer write an op-ed?

In a time when robots and computers are replacing individuals in certain industries and threatening to eliminate the jobs in others (Google’s self-driving cars replacing taxi drivers, for example), one would think the job of a journalist would be relatively secure since society will always need news. Even if print media is in jeopardy, online media outlets still need content. Yet computer software can threaten the jobs of journalists worldwide.

While it seems unlikely to me that human journalists will have their jobs eliminated in the near future, the thought of our news media being run by computers is disconcerting. Journalists bring the news from a human perspective that I’m not sure can be programmed, in addition to acting in a surrogate role for the rest of the community who cannot be present for every breaking news event. While a computer can relay back facts, most people go to news for analysis and how it affects their lives rather than plain facts and details. Can computers truly adopt that role?

Dartmouth Bans Hard Liquor On Campus — What Could This Mean for DePauw?

Recently, Dartmouth’s president, Philip J. Hanlon, banned hard alcohol across the entire campus and implemented  mandatory four year sexual violence prevention and education programs. By banning all alcohol with a 30 proof or higher for everyone on campus, regardless of age, President Hanlon hopes to rid Dartmouth of its party school reputation and take strides against sexual assault.  Continue reading “Dartmouth Bans Hard Liquor On Campus — What Could This Mean for DePauw?”

WISH-8 to WTTV-4 switch is bellwether for local TV nationwide

This post by Dr. Jeff McCall was originally published in The Indy Star.

Media executives nationwide are watching to see how the Indianapolis television market will respond to the CBS affiliate change from WISH-8 to WTTV-4. These execs want to know if a highly established television station can survive when its longstanding network affiliation ends. That’s because the challenges facing WISH-8 right now could be the challenges facing all local broadcasters in the future.

CBS unceremoniously dumped WISH-8 when contract talks stalled. Clearly, CBS puts no value in loyalty. WISH-8 had been with CBS for 58 years. CBS’ hardball strategy was designed to frighten affiliates nationwide, and the approach has worked. Other CBS affiliates, including 10 CBS affiliates owned by WISH-8’s corporate parent company, got in line, caved to the network and signed the checks.

CBS, like all the television networks, is demanding that affiliates pay higher rates for the opportunity to carry network programming. This practice is known as “reverse compensation” in the media industry, because until about 20 years ago, networks paid affiliates. Networks have the upper hand in negotiations with affiliates, particularly when other stations exist in the market that might want the programming. In Indianapolis, that willing new partner is WTTV-4.

Here’s hoping the new landscape can work for the stations and for the Indianapolis viewing audience. WTTV-4 has quickly built a fully operating news department, so the Indianapolis market now has five TV news operations. That’s a lot for a market of Indianapolis’ size. Maybe too many for the nation’s 26th largest market. But, more news and more journalists should be good for the region, as long as the news agenda expands and there is more original reporting. If the stations just duplicate the same content, the potential benefit is lost.

To fill some of the lost CBS hours, WISH-TV has expanded its news programming. Again, that’s a good thing, unless they simply rehash the same old stories over more air time. WISH-TV has picked up CW network programming for evenings, but that network’s ratings are dismal and declining, some of its shows getting fewer than a million viewers nationwide. Further, CW’s viewers are, putting it mildly, not news hounds. Thus, WISH-TV will get no audience flow from its CW shows into its late night news.

WISH-TV is facing today what many local stations could face down the road. Major networks now have the capacity to reach most of their viewers nationally without relying on local affiliates, or even cable and satellite distributors. New distribution models allow networks to go with over-the-top (OTT) content to reach viewers through streaming. The model works for Netflix, Hulu Plus and other programmers. HBO is getting into the OTT world, too.

CBS has already launched its stand-alone streaming service. CBS Chairman Les Moonves made a comment at the recent Consumer Electronics Show that should put a chill in the spine of every CBS affiliate. “We don’t care how or when you watch our content; we just want you to watch it,” Moonves said. Once that CBS streaming service gets traction, the network will have little need for local affiliates, and CBS can keep all of the commercial time for itself. Thus, the moment networks think affiliates can’t deliver enough cash or that the affiliate relationship is just not worth the hassle, the nets can go OTT, leaving the local broadcasters to fend for themselves. And fending for themselves will have to mean more than stale sitcom reruns, bizarre talk shows and goofy game shows.

The video-viewing world has changed, and traditional, local broadcasters must fight to maintain their relevance. Only 55 percent of millennials now consider television their primary viewing platform, with the others watching streamed content on laptops and smartphones. Digital viewing grew 62 percent last year among the 25-54 demo that advertisers love. More than seven in 10 households with broadband now stream full-length programs from the Internet. None of this is good news for traditional, local broadcasters.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently threatened that broadcast television will be dead by 2030. That might seem far-fetched at the moment, but no doubt local television will look much different by then.

Libertarian Paternalism: An Introduction

We’re now over a month into the new year – how are those resolutions coming? Even if you didn’t happen to make any for yourself, the cultural phenomenon of the new year’s resolution sheds interesting light on the persistent gap between what kinds of lives individuals think would be best for themselves and what kind of lives they’re currently leading. A survey of top resolutions, conducted by psychologists at the University of Scranton, reveals that they’re pretty much exactly what you’d predict, including losing weight, spending less, staying fit, and quitting smoking.

That study also revealed that, in general, people’s new year’s resolutions fail. Probably attempts to change oneself at other times of the year are likely to fail as well. While the psychology of change is really a topic unto itself, today the question at hand is whether the government ever has a proper role to play in promoting better behavior of the kinds people obviously hope to. To some extent, this is already happening – think government-funded smoking cessation programs, tax breaks for certain kinds of savings, and soda taxes.

“Libertarian paternalism,” a term coined by academics Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler, is a research program founded on the idea that government can and should help to align individuals’ behavior with those individuals’ own self-interest by encouraging – not forcing – those choices at a policy level. “Soft paternalism” involves choice-manipulating components, but not the difficult-to-bypass tools of “hard paternalism,” like steep fines or criminal punishments. (For the record, despite its name, I actually don’t know many other libertarians who endorse libertarian paternalism, for reasons discussed towards the end of this piece).

Now-quintessential examples of libertarian paternalist policies include requiring store owners to keep the junk food away from the register where people are prone to impulse-purchase it, or having employers set up benefits enrollment forms so that workers must opt out of, rather than opt into, a hefty recurring retirement contribution.

The philosophical component of the libertarian paternalists’ claim is that a government legislating in this way is just, because helping someone to do what he actually wants to do does not thereby violate his rights. The empirical component of the claim is that “libertarian paternalist”-type policies, policies that “nudge” behavior, actually work.

Naturally, libertarian paternalism faces any number of philosophical and practical challenges. There are those who consider any government interference, however minimal, into people’s lives a miscarriage of justice – but hey, we were promised libertarian, not anarchic, paternalism, so that’s a debate for another level of abstraction.

Libertarian paternalist policies may crowd out some opportunities for mistake, self-reflection, and character development, but apparently not enough for this to be a clear reason to reject them. People are still free to consume the wrong foods and face the health consequences, albeit at slightly higher prices. And would it really be regrettable if “nudge”-type opt-out savings policies kept some individuals from suffering a lack of sufficient retirement funds? The “character development” opportunity provided by eating cat food in an unheated apartment in one’s old age is of questionable importance, considered in the totality of the circumstances.

The most serious philosophical challenge to libertarian paternalism asks us to notice that it’s prohibitively difficult (to literally impossible) to understand anyone’s motives for action, other than our own. Because legislators cannot account for this in their development of libertarian paternalist policies, they will inadvertently harm people for whom the nudge makes little sense – a person with low blood sugar who needs a very large soda to boost her blood sugar immediately, or a person who opts out of a savings plan and incurs additional taxes at the margin because he plans to expatriate to a lower-cost country in a few decades.

We must admit that a libertarian paternalist policy in some sense would make these particular individuals worse off than they might otherwise have been – but the harms of obesity and poverty also flow from its absence. But it invites us to inaccurately think of ourselves as ultra-special snowflakes when we argue that no one, least of all a legislator, could ever begin to grasp our best interests, even in principle. But the tenets of positive psychology suggest otherwise, that people are much more alike in their desires and conditions of well-being than they are different. If a particular proposed soft paternalist policy fails, then, it’s due to the specifics of how it would help some people at the expense of others, not because there’s any unique epistemological burden here as compared to ordinary policy considerations.

To be fair, even if libertarian paternalism is justified in theory, its policies might also work less well in the field than we’d hoped, for instance based on empirical results following compulsory menu board nutrition facts labeling in some places. And certainly the pop science media has done its typically poor job in explaining the nuances of unconscious behavior, making it sound like the automatic choice is always the right one. So we should temper our expectations for the power of the nudge – which actually is cause for philosophical critics to rejoice!

It will not be possible for the blunt tools of government to turn every citizen into the best possible version of herself, but it’s well within the scope of a moderately liberal (or moderately conservative) government to take steps in this direction, especially when setting some default option is unavoidable anyways. Libertarian paternalism does not provide a complete vision of the relationship between the citizen and the state – it doesn’t say much about the times when private and public interests genuinely conflict. And libertarian paternalism falls victim to all the difficulties of implementation that any government program does (for instance, the pitfalls explained by public choice economics).

But libertarian paternalism, as such, raises no new issues of legislation – as always, we face hard questions about how we may or may not trade off the welfare of one citizen against another. The assumption that the state exists to promote individual welfare is a double-edged sword, providing on the one hand a strong presumption of welfare-conducive individual liberty and, on the other, a reason to nudge people towards better lives without violating their rights, when possible. To assume that these rights preclude nudging just begs the question.

Prindle To Host High School Ethics Bowl Competition

On Saturday, February 7, The Prindle Institute will host the first annual Midwest Regional High School Ethics Bowl competition. Ethics Bowl competitions consist of two teams that argue two cases, switching off as the primary speaking team for each case. Teams analyze ethical dilemmas and argue their points of view, although they do not have to disagree with one another (as is required in a debate competition). Teams are to point out the morally and ethically relevant features of a case and then discuss potential solutions to the problem. Case topics could range from bioethics to academic honesty to the use of drones. The style of competition is modeled after Collegiate Ethics Bowl. This past winter term, Prindle Institute Director Andy Cullison taught a winter term course modeled after Ethics Bowl.

Prindle staff, interns, former winter term students, and DePauw staff and professors will be judges and moderators for Saturday’s competition, which will take place both on DePauw’s main campus and at the Prindle Institute.

Eleven teams from five Indiana high schools (Avon High School, Bloomington High School North, Greencastle High School, Fishers High School, and Herron High School) will compete to go to the national High School Ethics Bowl competition. Nationals will be held April 10-11 at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s Parr Center for Ethics.

The Prindle Institute Hosts Piper Kerman

Orange is the New Black came to life last night as Piper Kerman joined students and faculty in Kresge Auditorium for the first Ubben Lecture of the semester. Kerman got personal quickly, discussing not only her journey through the prison system, but also the specific ethical dilemmas she encountered and witnessed throughout her sentence.  Kerman served thirteen months in prison (from 2004-2005) for money laundering- a crime that she committed once in 1993 while romantically involved with a woman who dealt narcotics internationally.  Shortly after carrying drug money across international borders, Kerman realized she had crossed a line and ended the relationship. She returned to the states, got a stable job, and dissociated herself from the life she had been living with her former partner. Five years later, she was indicted and sentenced to fifteen months in federal prison at Danbury Correctional Facility. The title of her memoir is not only catchy but also meaningful. Orange is the New Black is a reference to fashion trends, but the underlining message is true and sincere. Her title highlights the fact that women make up the largest rising prison population. In the past 30 years, the number of women in prison has increased by 800%.
Continue reading “The Prindle Institute Hosts Piper Kerman”

Media Have Warped Our Perception Of Athletes

Illustrated book cover for My Dream of Martin Luther King featuring a close-up painting of Martin Luther King Jr.'s face on a blue background. He is an African American man with a dark mustache. He is wearing a suit and looking off into the distance.

This post by Dr. Jeff McCall was originally published by The Indy Star.

Let’s remember a key fact as we prepare snacks and grab the remote to watch the Super Bowl. The people playing in the game are important only because they happen to be good at football. They aren’t super heroes. They aren’t necessarily good at anything beyond football. Some are philanthropists who give back to their communities, but even those efforts are the result of being good at football.

The media world has concocted a culture in which athletes are idolized and their importance exaggerated. Rhetorically, television constantly tells us that a guy who can tackle or throw a ball contributes more to society than an elementary teacher or car mechanic. Americans need to carefully consider whether their favorite NFL quarterback is more important in their lives than the workman who hauls away the trash each week.

Television and the sports leagues have snookered society into an oversized obsession with athletes. And it is all about dollars. The media have to boost sports personalities because huge money is invested in contracts to broadcast sports. The NBA recently signed a $ 24 billion contract with ABC/ESPN and TNT to carry pro basketball for the next nine years. The NFL collects more than $5 billion a year for TV rights. It is no wonder the broadcasters and leagues supercharge the players to make sure people watch their favorite athletes.

Note how the networks promote upcoming telecasts. An Indianapolis Colts-Denver Broncos football game is billed as Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning. An NBA game is promoted as Kobe vs. Lebron, as if their teammates are unimportant.

The leagues allow, and television captures, every player’s display of grandstanding. A player who makes a routine play and then dances is sure to get a television replay and approving comment from the play-by-play announcer. Interestingly, a high school player who made such a display would likely be penalized by the officials and sanctioned by the coach.

The television spectacle includes sideline reporters who act star struck as they adoringly ask players how they feel and then nod approvingly as the athletes utter meaningless phrases about intensity or how much they wanted the win.

Sports sensationalism has even seeped into network news. The major networks all led their evening newscasts one day last week with Deflategate, the story about underinflated footballs at the AFC title game. The morning network newscast hosts have all squeezed underinflated balls on set, telling us more about football inflation in the last week than President Obama’s tax proposals. And all Deflategate coverage includes mandatory video of Patriot star Tom Brady’s supermodel girlfriend, Gisele Bundchen.

Most professional athletes are decent, sensible people. But the marketing geniuses at the networks and sports leagues don’t help sort the deserving from the undeserving. Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis’ checkered past was washed away by CBS and the NFL with a gaudy celebration of Lewis’ retirement two years ago. Lewis is now an analyst on ESPN. Steelers’ star Ben Roethlisberger remains an NFL poster boy, in spite of past sexual assault allegations. Former NBA bad boy Ron Artest parlayed his multiple altercations into a spot on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” NASCAR’s Tony Stewart’s anger management issues haven’t diminished his profile on race telecasts.

Rasmussen Reports research shows 24 percent of Americans believe pro athletes are good role models for children. That’s up 9 percent from a year earlier, and comes after the Ray Rice domestic violence incident last summer.

Responsible adults now wear jerseys of prominent athletes. It hasn’t always been like that. Look at videos of crowds at sporting events in the 1940s and 1950s. Nobody wore player jerseys. Maybe that’s because the crowd included real heroes from the Greatest Generation that survived the Depression and won a world war.

Americans love sports, and for good reason. Americans enjoy competition and admire athleticism. Nothing wrong with that. But obsessing over and worshipping the people in the games distort cultural values and lead to misguided priorities. It is no wonder athletes with inflated egos think they are bigger than life and engage in ridiculous and destructive behaviors. And it is all because the media have created these big heads. Long gone are the days when a level-headed star athlete like Cardinals baseball legend Stan Musial offered to take a salary cut after a season in which he didn’t meet his own lofty standards.

Why the “M” Requirement is Not Enough

After an emotionally-charged and educational first DePauw Dialogue, many students, faculty, and staff are asking: What’s next? in terms of campus-wide education and commitment to inclusion and diversity.  Previous discussions of the Multicultural requirement (“M”) as an addition to DePauw’s graduation requirement list brings about important issues of both ethical and social concern.

Continue reading “Why the “M” Requirement is Not Enough”

Prindle Intern Spotlight: Natalie Weilandt

Natalie is a senior intern from Winnekta, Illinois. She is an English Writing major.

  1. Tell us about an ethics/social justice issue that is particularly important to you.

Because I’m about to graduate, I find ethical issues involving the job market particularly interesting. For instance, what are the ethics of internships? How do those issues vary depending on whether the internship is paid/unpaid? As an intern, what is your role in driving the morals of a company, and what is your responsibility when you come across a questionable situation? And ultimately, how can we (DePauw Students) use our education in ethics to benefit the existing world?

  1. What upcoming Prindle event are you most excited about?

The Piper Kerman Ubben Lecture and Q+A!

  1. Which class(es) at DePauw have most challenged and expanded your worldview?

I took Human Cultures with Mona Bhan my sophomore year, and I would say that that class is the one I refer back to all the time, even though I’m not an Anthropology major. It was definitely the class where I had the most “Aha!” moments about society and culture.

  1. What’s the coolest thing you’ve heard about in the past week? This could be something you read, listened to, watched, talked about, etc.

C+J Foods! It’s a company that Camille and Jacquelyn (our Prindle Graduate Fellows) are starting—their homemade, raw Boulder Bars are awesome!

  1. Tell us about something you’re looking forward to.

Figuring out post-grad plans…

Read more about Natalie on her Prindle Intern bio page.