Is “Traditional Values” course necessary?

The "Traditional Values" course UD requires new students to take ultimately falls flat.

Before attending classes, the University of Dallas requires that new students complete a course entitled: “Think About It: Traditional Values.”

The class consists of controversial topics such as Title IX, alcohol and drug usage, as well as situational cases wherein one is supposed to learn acceptable conduct regarding these issues.

However, not once throughout the course is there a moral argument against the over indulgence of alcohol, usage of drugs, or involvement in sex, which is surprising given its “Traditional Values” title. As a Catholic university that dedicates itself to the pursuit of truth, wisdom and virtue, it is considerably troubling that our administration so heavily relies on this course to describe the negativities of involving oneself with these pursuits.

In one of the cases mentioned in the class, the predominant argument against “hooking up” was that doing so eventually becomes “awkward.” Can we really consider this a valid and worthwhile argument? Is this the main reason we should avoid “hooking up”?

I believe that it is in UD’s best interest to develop its own course wherein we perfectly describe our own alcohol, drug and sex policy in relation to the mission of the university.

The improved online course would not take the student nearly three hours to complete. Instead, creating a concise yet direct course that includes clear definitions of consent and the Good Samaritan Policy, as well as concluding with information regarding the UD counseling office, would be extraordinarily more beneficial for the student body. It would accurately describe acceptable behavior and point students toward a valuable resource on campus.

UD must make its policies regarding alcohol, drugs and sex abundantly clear so as to avoid unnecessary disputes and legal problems, as well as to make the campus as secure as possible.

The current course is not completely useless, since it technically provides the documents regarding the UD’s policies, but the specific rules should be the absolute focus of the test instead of some background information one can easily skim through.

I constantly found myself losing focus throughout the lengthy exam. Creating a succinct test that does not deviate from what is particularly worth knowing would positively benefit the student body without wasting our time.

Instead of bothering with useless “Trigger Warnings” as this test did, a new test could easily improve students’ understanding of acceptable and legal behavior by defining necessary terms and providing a general moral argument against the previously described issues.

Realizing that moral arguments are not the only valid reasons against overindulgence, clearly describing negative bodily effects would also contribute to a successful test. The test should avoid comedy and dumbed down cases, as well as provide worthwhile statistics regarding these issues. Rather than relying on isolated incidents, the test could provide evidence that overindulgence is a national issue worth addressing, instead of purely a social one.

Almost all of the information stated in the Traditional Values course was certainly common sense. Are we really so ignorant that we do not know that getting drunk and snorting cocaine is irresponsible and dangerous?

This test was condescending and insulting. They may as well have said something along the lines of, “Please, students, do not murder, steal or rape.”

I’m not advocating for a moral essay against the overindulgence of alcohol, use of drugs, or involvement with sex, but I do fully support the implementation of a new test — one that is concise and actually worthwhile to our UD community.


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