Honor Committee elects Chair, Executive Committee

Hine defeats Investigations Vice-Chair Hopkinson, Trial Vice-Chair Lee

honor

The incoming Honor Committee elected third-year College student Nicholas Hine (center) as its chair Saturday. The Committee also elected second-year College student Martese Johnson (bottom right), third-year Commerce student Joe Martin (top left) and third-year College students Nick Lee (bottom left) and Henley Hopkinson (top right) as vice-chairs.



“I am not the Honor Committee,” Hine said. “I can only hope to represent the Committee itself, and then the Committee is definitely charged with representing the student body as a whole … and we definitely don’t do a good job with that.”

The incoming Honor Committee elected third-year College student Nicholas Hine as its chair Saturday. The Committee also elected second-year College student Martese Johnson, third-year Commerce student Joe Martin and third-year College students Nick Lee and Henley Hopkinson as vice-chairs. All but Hopkinson ran in contested elections.

Hine, who defeated Lee and Hopkinson in the race for chair, said he hoped the Committee would focus on disproportionate reporting of minority students, faculty resistance to honor system participation and student ambivalence with the system.

“My goal of the year is to make significant headway in tackling these three problems,” Hine said. “But I think that the last committee has set us up really well. … The internal structure of the Committee is very strong.”

Hine is the third consecutive Honor Committee chair who is a white, male third-year College student and member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Hine said he plans to lean heavily on the rest of the Committee and the more diverse support officer pool to represent views across the University.

“I am not the Honor Committee,” Hine said. “I can only hope to represent the Committee itself, and then the Committee is definitely charged with representing the student body as a whole … and we definitely don’t do a good job with that.”

Lee, incoming vice-chair for trials, said he shares the concerns of his predecessor Conor O’Boyle, a fourth-year College student, about inconsistent jury verdicts. Lee worked with O’Boyle to create a new jury training curriculum during the Committee’s past term and said he wants to see jury deliberations in practice before he recommends any further changes.

Both Lee and Hine said the Committee could not make any changes to its bylaws and constitution without substantial support from the student body. Hine said the outgoing Committee is hosting an “Honor Congress,” where groups of students will discuss issues within the honor system and potential solutions for these more fundamental concerns.

“This event grew out of this idea that we need to work with students to fix the problems with Honor,” Hine said. “If something is going to require student-wide referenda … we believe that it has to come from the student body.”

Hopkinson said the entire Committee must confront the issue of disaffected faculty, especially since the University is experiencing a period of high faculty turnover. The Committee’s Faculty Advisory Committee is a largely self-selected, long-tenured group.

“The way we can actually make this system no longer the perception of a stuffy tradition … is by codifying new ways for the next generation of faculty to come in,” Hopkinson said.

Hopkinson, the incoming vice-chair for investigations, said he plans to alter the investigations process. Currently, the VCI delegates work on an uneven basis to support investigation coordinators. Hopkinson wants to better-define and the investigation coordinator role.

“Oftentimes we’ll get no reports for a long period time [and then get a lot of reports],” Hopkinson said. “That’s when the investigation coordinators come in and distill it into a manageable set of things.”

Martin, the incoming vice-chair for education, said the Committee wants to promote education efforts, but wants to ensure information the Committee absorbs outside feedback and information in addition to educating the larger student body.

“[We want to] provide information, but also turn it into more of a discussion,” Martin said.

Both Martin and incoming vice-chair for community relations Johnson said the Committee needed to broaden the reach of its events.

“When you have an Honor week, you are specifically reaching students in the College, the Comm School, maybe a few other schools,” Martin said. “There are several student groups that are just not really connected to the honor system.”

Johnson said his current leadership positions with groups in the University’s minority communities will help him reach out to this broader audience. Johnson said the outgoing Committee’s support officer recruitment efforts showed the potential effects of sustained outreach.

“Before the average number of interviewers was 150 and just from that one outreach, it doubled to 300,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he also wants to encourage conversations between faculty members, who report most honor offenses, and students who must confront the honor system.

“We’ll have [faculty members] not lecture the students, but actually hold a valuable conversation,” Johnson said. “That really portrays the seriousness of honor.”


Published March 23, 2014 in FP test, News





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