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Ad Lib
Defining "fairness"...
Periscope Volunteering in vein
Executive summary College-community connection
Letters Racial identity in balance or battle?


 

Ad Lib

Defining "fairness"...

As a lawyer who teaches ethics, I face no shortage of technical definitions for fairness or justice. But my best comes from a better source than a legal treatise: Mom. The Mom method of dividing that last piece of chocolate cake—one sibling gets to cut it in two, and the other sibling gets to choose the first piece—is the perfect example. It reduces the likelihood that the first sibling will act solely on the basis of self-interest and ensures that the end result will be deemed “fair” by all.
CHRIS KOPEC, assistant professor of management and business

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The concept of fairness allows society to exist and keeps people from rebelling against the established social order. Because people in a given society determine the standards of fairness, it provides a feeling of equality with other human beings. But when it is transgressed, it divides humans and causes instability. For instance, in America our current health-care system provides quality care for some but prevents others from having access. Most people find this fundamentally unfair.
ADRIAN TEXIDOR ’10, government major

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I encounter what is fair and what is not in different contexts: as I sip my fair-trade coffee, when I am asked why some students have to live in triples, when I have to wait in a long line for my over-the-counter allergy medicine that’s now regulated. We hear the government promote a “fair” bill, the judge hand down a “fair” sentence, and fair-allocation rules in game theory. I believe we need to be grateful for the “fairness” and “unfairness” in our lives. As our values and beliefs are tested, personal growth results.
ANN MARIE PRZYWARA ’96, associate director of residential life

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Fair play in athletics means respecting the game, your opponents and teammates, and the fact that all you can control is your own ability to give your best. In truth, athletics are not fair—calls will go against you and could change who wins or loses—but at the end of the day, how you handle “unfair” situations will be what defines you and your team, in a competition or in the game of life.
NEIL SINCLAIR, head hockey coach


PICK YOUR OWN. What concept would you like to ad lib about? If there’s a topic you’d like to see addressed in this column, send an e-mail to srosenbe@skidmore.edu or call 518-580-5747.