Honor Committee consolidates support officer pools
Unanimous vote follows several contentious debates
The Honor Committee voted unanimously Sunday evening to consolidate its three officer pools of counselors, advisors and educators into one pool of support officers, who would be recruited and trained together.
After a brief recapitulation of the proposed changes to the bylaw, the Committee voted unanimously in favor of the proposed merger of the support officer pools. The Committee had a thorough discussion of the proposed changes at its meeting last week.
Committee Chair Evan Behrle, a fourth-year College student, and other current support officers support the merger as a way to encourage cohesion. Support officers claimed the current system separates members from each other.
But other support officers and Committee members who opposed combining the pools said the restructuring would make recruitment more difficult.
“I’m concerned that looking for 40 of these superhumans … could leave us with a pool of 40 people who are okay at everything,” said Avery Rasmussen, a current support officer and second-year College student.
But fourth-year College student Josh Myers, a Committee member, did not see the issue of looking for “40 superhumans” as a potential danger.
“I don’t think that that’s a fair concern,” Myers said. “I just don’t see the harm in attempting to train so that everyone can be that best person.”
Third-year College student Meg Gould, a senior counsel, said the Committee would be able to find well-rounded candidates if it sought them out.
“We’ll get people who are interested in the holistic system,” Gould said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to allow people to gain expertise in all facets of the system.”
Third-year College student Sydney Sampson, an advisor, said she was concerned current support officers could not handle a wide variety of roles, since current support officers will not have to redo training.
“My hesitation with the merge is centered around what we do with the current support officers,” Sampson said. “They were recruited to do the position they are now.”
Once a new support officer completes training, they will be able to perform all three of the main roles within the Committee. Supporters argued that those educating the community on honor would now have practical experience dealing with the technical aspects of honor cases.
Third-year College student Rebecca Walker, an educator, said she was concerned the importance of education events would be diminished.
“[I worry] I wouldn’t have joined honor if I had been expected to do the hands-on case-processing stuff,” Walker said.
Fourth-year Commerce student Will Dantzler, a committee member, said the new recruiting class could be recruited and trained together, but still decide to specialize later.
“It seems to me to be equally as valid to recruit people as counselor and support officer, train them together [and have them choose a pool],” Dantzler said.
Despite the debate surrounding the proposed merger, Behrle said its passage would not drastically alter the functioning support officer system. New support officers would be able to indicate a non-binding preference as to which function they would like to primarily serve, and none of the prior functions of the support pools would go neglected, Behrle said.
“There will still be an expectation to take on case processing work and the work of the educators,” he said.