Honor Committee discusses popular assembly, single-sanction debate

The Committee also decided to table a proposal to make bylaw language more gender-inclusive until next week

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Jeffrey Warren, vice-chair for hearings, suggested the mock hearing case involve an international student.

At its meeting Sunday evening, the Honor Committee continued to plan the single-sanction debate and popular assembly occurring later this fall.

The single-sanction debate, co-sponsored by the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, will take place Oct. 24 from 7-9 p.m. in Jefferson Hall. Two Honor Committee members and their Jefferson Society counterparts will debate the single-sanction system, which requires the expulsion of a student found guilty of an Honor offense at trial.

Owen Gallogly, a Law student and Honor Committee representative, will be arguing in favor of the single sanction, while Jeffrey Warren, a fourth-year College student and Honor Committee vice-chair for hearings, will be arguing against the single-sanction.

“I think it’s a debate that the student body is always interested in having,” Warren said. “I think that it’s rare for the Committee itself to open up the conversation. I’m just hoping that students can hear both sides of the issue and that it helps them form their own opinion.”

After the discussion of the debate, Ory Streeter, a Medical student and Honor Committee representative, proposed a vote to change the bylaws to use more gender-inclusive language.

“Gender is not binary, and nor should be our bylaws,” Streeter said.

After several Committee members expressed that they hadn’t had a chance to read the proposed language in the bylaws, the Committee decided to table the vote until next week.

The Committee lastly discussed its biennial popular assembly Nov. 13-15, which will consist of a speech from John Gates, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the Engineering School, a town hall and a mock hearing.

At their meeting, the Committee concentrated on planning the mock hearing, which will take place Nov. 15 from 4-6 p.m. in Jefferson Hall. Warren suggested the mock hearing case involve an international student.

Support officers will act as counsel, reported students and reporters. There will be about half an hour of deliberations on the case, and half an hour of debriefing.

“One of the things I actually campaigned on was having a mock hearing series, where we would give students who don’t happen to be randomly selected [to serve on a jury] the opportunity to see what our hearing process looks like and demystify it a little bit,” Warren said. “So it’s not just this scary concept that you’ll get reported for an Honor offense and won’t be given a chance to tell your side of the story and then get expelled.”

Warren also said he hoped faculty would attend the mock hearing in addition to students.

“Whatever conversation we’ll get from students, we’ll equally be able to get from faculty if they attend,” Warren said. “I think that students are having a dialogue about whether they think this is an Honor offense, I think it would also be important to have faculty there to say whether or not they think it’s an Honor offense.”

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