It’s Integrity Week at Central, but what does integrity really mean? We turned to three standout Central students to highlight the importance of character, honesty, trust and influence and to tell you what integrity is to them.
To me, integrity means lots of things. Academically, it means being the best student I can and letting my effort show in my work and not letting the temptations of peers or the “easy way out” get the better of me. In college, it is so easy to fall into different groups and often changing the way you speak, act and even dress according to what group is around. Integrity is maintaining a balance of being open-minded and listening to others and also to knowing what I believe and not compromising those beliefs when I am wanting to fit into a certain group. In all forms, integrity is a vital part of our everyday lives, it’s in our conversations, social media posts, and choices. Living a life of integrity starts now, not just when we get out of college or land a job down the line. Integrity can be established, cultivated and matured right here at UCO. The best place to start is by discovering the person you want to be and choosing every day to be that person.
Senior, Political Science major
Integrity, by definition, means to hold strong moral principles. Most everyone has grown up being told not to lie and to do the right thing. It’s easy to hear this and think, “I would never be dishonest or allow myself to be persuaded to do the wrong thing,” but the world isn’t so black and white. There will always be times when the wrong choice won’t seem so wrong. It will seem like the easy choice, the faster option, or something that you’ll only do once. Life can be hard, especially to someone going to college. We need to remember that holding ourselves to being honest and making the right choice—even when it isn’t an easy choice—is important. The right choices won’t always be the most popular. It may also mean having to work harder and longer, and sometimes you still won’t end up with the results you were hoping for—but don’t give up. Find success in trying your best, find honor in honesty and find out why those who have integrity will always prevail.
Senior, Forensic Science and English major
The most accepted definition of integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Simple enough, right? I thought so too. Integrity is more complicated than that simple definition. Little actions such as picking the paper towel off the floor when you miss the trash can or sweeping crumbs off the counter into the trash and not the floor is a part of being integrous. We all have our own definition of integrity and our own beliefs of how to live with it. However, integrity has a basic principle behind all its personalized definitions: doing what is right. Doing what is right is straight forward in most instances but it is the second part of the definition that is the hardest to follow through with. Integrity is our personal moral, however, we decide to define it. Of course, we shouldn’t let it get out of hand; there is still personal responsibility on our part. I think if we try to do the right thing when we can, we are living up to our personal definition.
Second-Year Graduate Student, Forensic Psychology