Sommer Hamilton '04, March 1st, 2005
Undergraduate students in the three-year-old Texas A&M University chapter of Students in Free Enterprise launched a new ethics-based program, bringing 72 fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students to campus in February to become an “Aggie for a Day” and learn about A&M’s core values.
Whooping and leading yells for one another, the Bryan-College Station elementary students could also drill each other on the Aggie Code of Honor after they learned from Aggie football players and Corps of Cadets members how to apply ethical behavior to their daily lives.
The 31 members of the Mays Business School student-founded A&M chapter of SIFE, one of the largest student organizations in the world, started the project as part of their mission to educate different age groups in the community about business ethics. The Aggie team also works with fourth-graders at Bryan’s Bonham Elementary to develop business plans for a school-supply store they helped the young students create, and teaches the principles of global economics through “Penci-Cola,” an interactive program for second-graders sponsored by Coca Cola.
The mostly business undergraduates who compose SIFE outline how they seek to make an impact on their community before a panel of local, then national, CEO and entrepreneur judges in annual SIFE competitions. As part of the process, Mays adviser Cindy Billington said, students have the chance to breathe life into what they’ve learned at Mays, defining a need and finding a way to help fill it.
“We are watching them practice what we teach,” said Billington, an assistant director of Graduate Business Career Services. “We’re instilling principles at a very young age to where they don’t know any different, they’ll just do it automatically in the business world.”