Personal Behavior

Personal Behavior, in this context, refers to those socially responsible lifestyle choices made by individuals in order to enact their values, acting so as to “be the change you want to see in the world” (Gandhi).  In some cases, this may involve making sacrificial choices for "what is right" over "what is easy."


Personal behaviors can range from turning off lights when you leave a room to only buying sustainably-raised food to not buying sweatshop-produced clothing. They can also include the practice of dispositions that make the world a better place.  UCSC tries to help students develop a specific set of civic competencies through all our programming.  We believe that living these out -- as understandings, values, abilities, and behaviors -- will help UChicago graduates to build a more just Chicago and world, no matter what their field or specialization.

UCSC's 10 civic leadership competencies are as follows:

  • Social justice -- understanding that systemic inequities divide our world
  • Creating change -- recognizing that effecting change requires the cooperation of society's various sectors
  • Social responsibility -- the basic disposition that we are all responsible for one another, and for acting in ways that benefit society
  • Service -- a willingness to offer concrete assistance to those needing it
  • Empathy -- the ability to put oneself in another's place and recognize what they may be feeling
  • Diversity -- valuing the differences among us as a way to enrich everyone's experience of the world
  • Personal contributions -- valuing the unique gifts, talents, and social assets that each person is able to offer for the good of the whole
  • Others' perspectives -- recognizing that the opinions of others are vital for completing and correcting our own limited vision
  • Collaboration -- the ability to coordinate one's efforts with those of others to achieve a goal
  • Reflection/Application -- the willingness to think about and learn from one's previous experiences to guide future actions