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Honor Committee passes four bylaw changes

Johnson casts sole vote for international student internship exception

The Honor Committee voted unanimously to change four of its bylaws Sunday night. Two bylaw changes, originally proposed by the last Honor Committee, did not pass.

The first change reduced the trial request period from 10 days to seven, in an effort to cut down case processing time, Honor Committee Chair Nicholas Hine said.

The second added a line of text stating, “Following the initial meeting of the [Appeal Review Committee], the Chair and Vice Chair for Trials shall consult with the Honor Legal Advisor on substantive issues raised in the appeal brief.” The Board of Visitors already requires the Honor Committee to perform this step, said Hine, a third-year College student.

The third bylaw revision, regarding nonconforming expedited appeals, was twofold. The Committee can return an expedited appeal which does not conform to its bylaws to the student. This revision puts into words “something we already do,” Hine said. The bylaw change then allows the student a seven-day revision period, after which point the student must re-submit his appeal to the committee, which can then accept or reject it accordingly.

The final bylaw change requires students to obtain the signature of their academic dean in order to take an informed retraction.

“Before, students would take IRs without their deans knowing,” Hine said.

The Committee rejected a proposal to offer an exception to informed retractions for international students with internships lined up for the summer.

Currently, an international student who admits to an honor offense and takes an informed retraction in the spring starts his or her year-long leave the subsequent summer term and cannot enroll in classes until the following summer.

Barred from enrolling in classes, international students would lose the vacation exception for their student Visa, which allows them to remain in the country during the summer. While domestic students taking an informed retraction would not encounter this problem, international students could potentially lose summer internships they had secured.

The proposal failed to pass, receiving one vote from second-year College student Martese Johnson, the vice-chair for community relations.

Hine acknowledged informed retractions have greater consequences for international students.

“Inherently any punishment that takes away a student’s status as a full-time student is going to disproportionately affect international students,” Hine said. “A lot of it is just unavoidable.”

Though the measure did not pass, Hine said the Committee was “always looking for ways to make the process as fair as possible.”


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