The Matador Ethics Challenge Is Approaching!

Back in 2005, Texas Tech chose to take on a quality enhancement plan (QEP) that would affect the campus for the next five years.

According to Ph. D. Yi-Hui Lee, an administrator for Tech’s Ethics Center, the QEP was decided based on whatever Tech felt like the school was lacking, and how they were going to promote it over the upcoming years.

Lee said Tech wanted to focus on ethics and in order to promote it, they came up with the idea that students could participate in a competition making videos based on ethical values and topics relatable to Tech. Lee said they started the event in fall of 2009 and called it the Matador Video Challenge, which was later changed to the Matador Ethics Video Challenge.

She said it has been a Tech tradition over the past few years and this year’s challenge is fast approaching. The deadline has been decided for October 28th. Lee said they announce it this far in advance to help students have plenty of time to prepare, and at this point, she said, this competition is something the ethics center looks forward to now that they have the process down to a science.

“So starting in 2009, we weren’t sure because it was still the beginning of everything,” said Lee. “The students could pick out any of the ethical principles, which include mutual respect, cooperation and communication, creativity and innovation, community service and leadership, pursuit of excellence, public accountability, diversity, and academic integrity.”

She said in order to help get faculty involved in the Challenge, the TTU Ethics Center contacted different professors to see if the topic or theme for the video challenge matched their curriculum to see if they could either encourage their students to participate or give them extra credit for submitting a video. Lee said sometimes they get a lot of submissions for one year and the following they get less than they were hoping for. She said another incentive for the students to win is what they could possibly achieve as their main prize.

“We thought it was a good place to start, said Lee. “We contacted the athletic department and what we requested was to screen the winning video before kickoff at the last home game, which is usually in November. The athletic department has been working with us since then.”

Lee said it should be even more of an incentive for students to submit their videos for the ethics video challenge this year thanks to the new jumbo-tron at Jones Stadium.

She said the videos are judged by a panel of five judges. Lee said it consists of someone from student faculty, a committee member, and three students (graduate and undergraduate). Lee said they want a variety of opinions to help judge the videos.

“We ask for a 30-45 second video with 15 seconds of credit,” she said. “It’s usually one minute long. You can ask anyone to be in it. Some people do animation, some people write up scripts. You can get music people or theatre involved; you can get Coach Kingsburry in your video if you want. It’s all up to how creative you want to be.”

Lee said last year the theme was diversity and this year the theme is mutual respect. She said the judges typically look for a lot of creativity when it comes to the videos. But, she said, the main objective is the students videos portray the essence of ethics in an original format.

When considering if the Challenge has made a difference in promoting ethics on campus, she paused. Lee said she doesn’t interact with students on a daily basis, but she said it’s more about the effort of bringing ethics to students and faculty’s attention.

“The TTU Ethics Center isn’t like the police department,” she said. “We’re not going to come and get you if you don’t do the right thing. But what we try to do is promote and bring out that awareness. This is just one of the programs that we do.”

Lee said the TTU Ethics Center also participates in Arbor Day and other programs around campus to try and reach out to students. She said it all starts with the faculty support, which she thinks Tech has plenty of.

“I’m not going to sugar-coat it because I don’t teach class or anything like that,” said Lee. “You know, so many people are busy and they don’t know that there is such a thing as the Challenge. This is one of the programs students and faculty are still getting used to.”

To learn more about the Matador Ethics Video Challenge and to learn how you can compete in the competition, click here, and be sure to check out last year’s winner in the video above.

About Lauren Estlinbaum

Entertainment Director    —    Journalism major, Class of 2014
Lauren Estlinbaum grew up in Pearland, Texas, south of Houston (go Texans). She is a journalism major with a minor in apparel design. Lauren would like to work for either a fashion or lifestyle publication post-graduation. As she likes to say, she considers fashion magazines survival guides.

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