This new anonymous ethics reporting hotline is long overdue. For far too long people have been scared to speak up, scared to “blow the whistle”, against unethical techniques and practices. This year, all of that changes: Boston College is changing the game.
It is morally right to report fraud and file complaints on corruption. Yet it was too “risky” before this overhaul on our ethics reporting format to report on a questionable ethical practice. For the most part, those who whistle blow are the ones who end up punished, receiving the short end of the stick. People know this. They avoid being morally responsible because of the possible casualty of not having a job or getting shafted one way or another. Now, thanks to Ann Harte and many others who work behind the scenes, the system is revamped. Now BC faculty, staff, administrators, and even students can report any problems they see without facing any backlash or consequences.
One might argue with Harte and say that this new system can’t resolve all issues and can’t even do it in a timely matter, saying 14 days is too long. Yet, it is not suppose to be timely and resolve all issues. The whole point of this new system is to report a problem anonymously so that there is no backlash toward the whistleblower. Then the problem can get addressed after being investigated and assessed in a timely matter so that there isn’t any confusion and that even the littlest detail isn’t passed over. Then the appropriate punishment can be handed out. Like Connor Farley stated, there are other ways to deal with a situation before resorting to BC’s anonymous ethics hotline if it must be dealt with right away.
Overall, BC is going in the right direction; there may be some bumps in the road for the new hotline, but at least it is an improvement. This is just a stepping stone in creating an easier way to deal with difficult situations. BC has taken the initiative and now its easier than ever before to report unethical practices, and BC staff, faculty, administrators, and students should take advantage of remaining anonymous when all other means of reporting a problem fails.