Nash, students talk honor
Committee's roundtable series seeks student input
The Honor Committee held the first in a series of seven roundtable discussions Wednesday evening in an attempt to bring students into a dialogue about honor at the University.
Honor Committee Chair Stephen Nash described the discussions as an opportunity for students to “share their experiences about honor and what it has meant to them during their time [at the University] and ways they think the Honor Committee and honor system can improve.”
The Committee invited all of the more than 600 students who signed up for last Tuesday’s honor roundtable event, which featured University President Teresa Sullivan and other University leaders. Of the 30 students who responded online, 16 showed up for Wednesday evening’s discussion.
The Committee plans to draw a diverse group of students to its roundtable series. “Our goal is to reach as many individuals from as many different parts of the University as we can,” Nash said.
The student feedback gathered at the discussions will be used to improve the Committee’s operations, Nash said.
Before the summer the Committee’s top priority was to engage students, Nash said. But the controversy surrounding the University administration this summer changed things.
“The summer really put into the spotlight of what it means, in a broad sense, to live within a community of trust,” Nash said.
In trying to create this community students said the honor system’s varying standards are a source of confusion. Students related cases of professors enforcing the honor code with differing degrees of severity and suggested the Committee attempt to remove such ambiguities.
Another issue raised at Wednesday’s discussion was the Committee’s single-sanction policy. Students described the difficulties of reconciling a community of trust and forgiveness with a procedure that leaves no room for second chances.
Nash said he wanted the community to understand the Committee was for students, not against them.
“It’s rewarding to keep honor in the forefront and [know] that it is not just punitive,” first-year Architecture student Alexa Hazel said after the event. “It is very much a part of University life and a lot of people don’t recognize that.”