The Red Quinoa Harvest activity was held on the 23rd of February, 2022 in collaboration with the Student Association of International Programs and International Program Office. Last semester, students of the course IB520 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility planted red quinoa, a native Taiwanese species, neat the field of Sizihwan Art Gallery. As the crops matured, the students and professors harvested the crops. The event was organized with an aim to inculcate land ethics values in the students.
Profs. Chien-Yuan Sher, Yuh-Yuh Li, and Yi Lu, lecturers of the course Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, also attended. Prof. Sher, Director of the International Program, delivered the opening remarks. He noted that while the actions we take now may not provide immediate results, they will pay off in the long run. Planting is analogous to learning; with proper care and attention, it thrives; similarly, the effort and time we put in studies will be valuable and yield rewarding outcomes.
Prof. Li demonstrated how to harvest the plant and use the opportunity to encourage students to learn land ethics. Participants could gather all of the fruits they grew last semester with pairs of scissors. To collect red quinoa fruits, seventeen attendees were divided into three groups. Harvesting was completed in half an hour. The students were so happy to see that what they planted last semester had grown into full crops with beautiful leaves and whole fruits. The SA team had prepared healthy lunch boxes for all participants which was shared at the end of the event. The SA team’s goal is to enrich students’ lives while caring for each student’s health.
The planting process enables students to connect with the land and the environment. They learned how to sow the red quinoa at first and took turns to water the plant. Through the plantation, they could get closer to the land they lived in and appreciate the power of nature. The term “land ethic” refers to an approach to land use issues that emphasizes conservation and respect for our natural environment. A land ethic opposes the belief that all-natural resources should be available for unrestricted human exploitation and instead advocates for land use that does not disrupt the complex, delicately balanced ecological systems of which humans are apart.
“On the harvest day, it was astonishing to see how beautiful red quinoa is. Previously, I only ate red quinoa products, not knowing what they looked like. The power of nature is magnificent, and it inspires me that ‘As you sow, so shall you reap.’” (George Chang 張傑志, IBMBA 1st year student)
“This event inspired me a lot. As what Prof. Sher said, ‘planting is like studying; you will not see the results at first. With the endeavor devoted every day, we will see the fruitful results of our effort.’ I did not understand the purpose of planting red quinoa originally, yet I was willing to volunteer to water them. After three months, I saw the mature red quinoa fruit, and I realized that what I did paid off. Moreover, I also experience the superpower of nature. Once we respect and take good care of the land, it will reward us. Thanks to professors, the International Program office, and SA for organizing this event which moved me.”
(Angela Wu 吳含茵, IBMBA 1st year student)
Business ethics and social responsibility are critical for businesses. To succeed as a businessperson, we must learn to maximize earnings while also taking care of the environment and society. To accomplish corporate social responsibility (CSR), academic knowledge alone is insufficient; we must exercise autonomously and learn via experience. The International Program’s mandatory subject Business Ethics and Social Responsibility focuses on CSR and ethics.
In the CSR section, lecturers discuss concepts and case studies and allow students to develop a commercially viable global challenge that will also benefit stakeholders of students’ potential business. The fundamental concepts of ethics are discussed, but the emphasis is on land ethics or humans’ moral responsibility to the natural world. Work ethics and cases that students may encounter in the future in the workplace.
Written by Teresa Chan (詹鈞婷)