Yesterday, I had a small disagreement with my group mate regarding our report feedback. My take on the feedback form is to reflect my opinion on each member truthfully. His, however, is to falsely reflect that the project went smoothly and everyone put in equal contribution so that it shows that we have a good teamwork because if the tutor feels that there is no teamwork, he could deduct our score. So he’s saying that I should put a decent comment even on a member who refuse to participate, never listen, and produce rubbish work just to make others’ life more miserable. And he’s my group leader. This put me off completely. I felt like I should no longer need to put effort into the project anymore. Anyway, how high our grade goes is already limited by how much rubbish the person gave us. To him, it may be just a stupid feedback form for us to waste more time trying to show how good our group is but to me, it’s the only form of reflection that I have to show my view on this project and who is putting in effort and who’s not. Well, eventually, I stop caring so much about the whole project and just do my part and leave it be.
Through this small situation, I noticed something. This is actually one of the classic cases of ethical issue that happen in a project. Some people choose to hide the truth when they know the truth will hurt them. My question is: “is this ethical?” or “do you even care?” It also reminds me of something he mentioned back then on the death case of the NTU student. We were discussing about the many rumors that have been circulating around on whether he was attacker or a victim and whether the case is related to the suicide case of the NTU staff. He was blaming the school and the media for covering up the truth and exaggerating the facts. Then he said, “Why don’t they just tell us the truth? all I want to know is the truth.” And now he’s contradicting himself. If I were to re-quote his statement back to him, he’d probably just shrug and say that they are totally unrelated. Are they? Contextually, No, they are not related, but Ethically, Yes, they definitely are.