College elects new Honor Committee representatives

Hine, Johnson, Lee, Gould, and Hopkinson to start in April

The University Board of Elections released the results of the recent Honor Committee elections on Friday evening. Columns above display the school, winning candidate, number of votes they received and percentage of votes cast they received. See for the complete results.

“It’s certainly frustrating to be at a school where we claim to really care about student self-governance, but only a quarter of students turn out to vote,” Hine said.

The newly-elected members of the Honor Committee were announced Friday evening in Jefferson Hall — third-year College students Nick Lee, Nick Hine, Meg Gould and Henley Hopkinson joined second-year Martese Johnson as the College’s five representatives.

Elected members of the Committee said they aim to increase education to students and faculty about the honor system and to study problems like disproportionate reporting. Lee said the Committee needs to do more than in the past.

“Honor passively interacts,” Lee said. “But we need to really go out to the student body.”

Johnson, the sole newcomer to the Committee, agreed it is time for the Committee to act to create positive change.

“Lots of times, we set these goals and nothing really happens,” he said. Johnson said he wants to make the Committee more welcoming, especially for minority students.

During his campaign, Johnson spoke to more than 500 African-American students on Grounds.

“A majority had never voted,” Johnson said. “They don’t buy in [to Honor].”

Hine said new faculty members and international students are other segments of the University community who may need encouragement to embrace the honor system. Disproportionately high reporting rates of international students, minorities and student athletes may make students feel like the system is against them, he said.

Hine suggested commissioning a study with professors to address disproportionate reporting of honor offenses.

“We just don’t know enough about disproportionate reporting for me to say what we need to change about it,” Hine said.

Less than 25 percent of College students cast votes for Committee representatives throughout the four-day long voting process. During the site crash Monday morning, the elections board used Facebook and email to distribute an alternative voting link.

Hine attributed this year’s comparatively low participation to an unusually high turnout rate last year, with the Restore the Ideal Act campaign in full swing — a proposal which stirred large student debate as the Committee proposed a two-part reform that would have included eliminating mixed and random student juries as well as adding informed retraction into the Committee bylaws.

“It’s certainly frustrating to be at a school where we claim to really care about student self-governance, but only a quarter of students turn out to vote,” Hine said.

Lee said part of student self-governance is spending time to decide how to vote. He thought uncontested elections might have contributed to student apathy.

“It might be worthwhile to talk to students about why they don’t vote and to have a conversation about it,” Lee said.

Hopkinson said he wants to restore student ownership of the Honor System.

“I want to make sure the student body knows it has the power to effect the change which is afforded it by legislative measures any student can propose,” Hopkinson said in an email. “I want [Honor] to be collaboration, not competition.”

Gould, who was also recently appointed the student representative to the Board of Visitors, said her goals have remained the same since the beginning of the campaigning process.

“A top priority is making the Honor System as representative of and responsive to the student body as possible,” Gould said in an email. Gould is currently studying abroad in France.

Published March 2, 2014 in FP test, News

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