(Ethics; writing) One of the main rationales for using a job order costing system is to achieve profitability by charging a price for each job that is proportionate to the related costs. The fundamental underlying concept is that the buyer of the product should be charged a price that exceeds all costs related to the job contract; thus, the price reflects the cost. However, there are settings in which the price charged to the consumer does not reflect the costs incurred by the vendor to serve that customer. This is the situation in a recent case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The case involves the University of Wisconsin, which charges all students a user fee and then redistributes these fees to student organizations.
The purpose of collecting the fee is to ensure that money is available to support diversity of thought and speech in student organizations. The user fee supports even unpopular causes so that the students hear a variety of voices. In total, the fee subsidized about 125 student groups. However, a group of students filed suit, claiming that students should not be required to fund causes that are inconsistent with their personal beliefs.
a. In your opinion, how would diversity of thought be affected if a student were allowed to select the organizations that would receive the student’s user fee (e.g., as with dues)?
b. Is the University of Wisconsin treating its students ethically by charging them to support student organizations for causes that conflict with their personal beliefs?