Business Ethics Forum Sparked Lively Discussion

Business Ethics Forum Sparked Lively Discussion
Members of SIFE and Interim Dean Lynn Turner gather during the forum.

Students and business leaders had a unique opportunity to engage in a provocative discussion of ethical behavior in today's business world.

On March 6, the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Business Ethics Forum, welcomed executives from a vareity of business sectors to the Bronco Student Center. The business professionals presented real-life problems that straddled the line of right and wrong, and it was up to the 160 people in attendance to figure out an ethical way to handle the situation.

The questions were intended to be challenging and invoke discussion, said SIFE club President Ryan Guenther. One person, for instance, asked whether a CPA firm should conduct business with a company it is auditing. Another participant raised questions regarding when and how to deal with supervisors who date their staff members.

Guenther, a fourth-year international business and marketing student said he was glad to see a large turnout for the event. For Guenther, ethics is an often overlooked issue.

“Ethics is a really important part of business that never goes away,” said Guenther, who hopes to someday run his own business. “Some people think if they can make a deal that's good business but just because it's a good deal doesn't mean it is the right decision.”

The panel consisted of: alumnus Don Driftmier of Nobel House Entertainment Pictures; Jeff Branman of Vanguard Mattress Corp.; Michael Bannen of Top Minds Inc.; Kim Martin of Enterprise Rent-a-Car; and Jaime Perez of Target.

Lynn Turner, interim dean of the College of Business Administration and SIFE faculty advisor helped organize the 2-hour event.  

“The SIFE Business Ethics Forum is one of several activities undertaken by the SIFE club this year,” Turner said. “The Cal Poly Pomona chapter has a great group of highly motivated young people who really enjoy working together on these projects.”

The forum was also co-hosted by the United Business Student Senate. Food was provided by Kaplan and Los Olivos.

SIFE is a global non-profit organization with over 2,000 chapters in more than 40 countries. SIFE student teams develop community outreach projects that address SIFE's five educational topics: market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and business ethics.