A simple misunderstanding

Opponents to the proposed honor reforms do, in fact, comprehend the reforms’ content

In an op-ed published Monday, second-year honor advisor Nick Hine writes that “anti-honor rhetoric has its roots in common misunderstandings … Kyle Schnoebelen’s denigration of the Honor Committee represents a larger problem in the overall honor debate” (“Reforming a perspective,” Feb. 25). Basically, he attributes the entirety of my argument in the Feb. 19 op-ed piece, “Restoring an ideal community of trust,” to my alleged belief that honor juries function the exact same way as criminal juries. Ah, me so stupid! Why didn’t I realize?! Repent, and ye shall be saved!

Just to be clear: myself, the Student Honor Caucus, law professors Josh Bowers and Kim Forde-Mazrui, and most of those writing in opposition were and are well aware that honor juries function differently from criminal juries. The fact remains, however, that the verdict remains in the hands of this jury. That its procedural function differs from criminal trials does nothing to alter our concerns about the “representative” nature of the Honor Committee, or the projection of the consensus of an insulated few on the rest of the University that will result from the replacement of a random jury with an elected tribunal. It does nothing to alter the dire implications for the community of trust.

It is not surprising, however, that an Honor Committee which regards the average University student as incapable of functioning as a full member of the community of trust would chalk up all opposition to a lack of understanding. Of course they do. It’s pretty simple, really. The only reason the ignorant masses could possibly disagree with this brilliant proposal is our regrettable susceptibility to “misconceptions.”

Kyle Schnoebelen is a master’s student in the Batten School.

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