The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

In the right

As a faculty member who has tried consistently to support the honor system, I find the charges brought against The Cavalier Daily to be both mystifying and counterproductive. Consider the basic facts here: The editors of The Cavalier Daily discover incidents of plagiarism committed by a staff writer. The paper promptly discloses this to its readers and writes a strong editorial explaining its actions. Without disclosing the name of the writer or even the section in which the plagiarized articles appeared, the editorial mentions in a single sentence that it has referred the case to the Honor Committee - as it most certainly should. Surely the public part of this story should and could have ended right here. No confidentiality was compromised; the paper acted responsibly and transparently. The honor system is upheld.

Instead, bizarrely, the Honor Committee chair brings charges against the editorial board with another student disciplinary body - the University Judiciary Committee - whose constitution, on any plain reading of its text, lacks jurisdiction to hear the "case." How is honor served here? The charges redirect attention away from the original offence, and focus rather on the paper, which simply did the right thing.