Honor Committee plans single-sanction debate, town hall discussion

The single-sanction debate to take place Oct. 24, followed by town hall Nov. 14

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Honor Committee Chair Devin Rossin 

Kate Bellows | Cavalier Daily

The Honor Committee discussed several upcoming events at their meeting Sunday night, including a single-sanction debate and town hall discussion.

The single-sanction debate will be Oct. 24 and will be co-sponsored by the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society. The location has not yet been determined.

Two Committee members, one in favor of the single-sanction system and one opposed to the system, will participate in a debate. The single-sanction is the Honor system’s policy that if a student is found guilty of an Honor offense at trial, he or she will be expelled.

Devin Rossin, a fourth-year College student and Honor Committee chair, said members of the Committee will be functioning in mostly participatory roles at the debate. Brandt Welch, a fourth-year Engineering student and Honor Committee vice-chair for community relations, echoed this statement.

“We’re co-planning in terms of we came to them with the idea because we thought it would be an interesting thing that would get a lot of student attention and just be a good conversation to have,” Welch said. “We’re not advocating for one side.”

The Committee also continued to plan a town hall discussion for Nov. 14, as part of the Honor system’s biennial popular assembly Nov. 13-15. The town hall will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Nau Hall Room 101.

“It’s the same goal as the popular assembly overall,” Rossin said. “The idea behind the referenda that resulted in the popular assembly was to make Honor engage with the student body at a higher level [and] ascertain what the student body’s opinions about Honor were.”

The town hall will start with an introduction from Rossin, followed by an overview about the Honor Committee’s accomplishments and outlook as well as a question-and-answer discussion with the audience. Topics that will be discussed include informed retraction policy, recruitment, contributory mental disorder reform and general term goals.

The first day of the popular assembly is a speech from John Gates, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the Engineering School, followed by the town hall Tuesday and a mock hearing Wednesday.

“In terms of the three events that we have in the popular assembly, I think [the town hall is] the most important event in terms of holding us accountable and ensuring that we are indeed … responding to their needs,” Welch said. “This also gives us a good chance to address the questions that we get a lot, that we’ve had to answer to a bunch of different people … hopefully now reaching out to people all at once will maybe dispel some misconceptions.”

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