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Our endorsement for Honor

The managing board endorses Bogue, Ivener, Johnson, Muth and Treves for the College, and Lyons and White for the Commerce School

This year, 10 students in the College are running to serve as Honor representatives for five spots, and four students in the McIntire School of Commerce are doing so for two spots. Honor elections in the other University schools are uncontested.

Faced with an incredibly strong selection of candidates, the managing board has decided to endorse Russell Bogue, Allison Ivener, Martese Johnson, Grace Muth and Michael Treves to represent the College, and Faith Lyons and Michael White to represent the Commerce school. All are third-year students.

Bogue impressed us with his openness to researching the effects of a multiple-sanction system, his plans to make Honor less top-down and his several initiatives to improve outreach to underrepresented groups, including by making Honor more accessible in its language and literature. He presented his platform to us articulately and thoughtfully, with an obvious appreciation for the diversity of student thought about Honor, and we are confident he will be an invaluable addition to the Committee.

Ivener contributes a deep understanding of the case-processing elements of Honor, a drive to increase student engagement through education events and a focus on increasing engagement with Honor outside just the College since, as a non-humanities major, she is familiar with sides of our school that are not typically driving the system’s philosophical debates. She hopes to increase the number and effectiveness of Honor surveys and will be especially valuable in her data-driven analysis of the successes and failures of the current system.

Johnson is the only candidate running who has a year of experience not only on the Honor Committee but on the Executive Committee within Honor, serving as the vice chair for community relations. While we saw fewer tangible achievements from Johnson’s time on Committee than we would have hoped, he will provide continuity in the Committee as a bridge between this past term and the upcoming one. He intends to improve the internal selection process for Honor officers, democratize the system and continue the incredibly important work of recruiting a diverse body of students in background and thought. Additionally, Johnson promises to shift away from the tunnel vision he entered the Committee with, intending not just to offer the perspective of a minority student but to maintain that perspective as one of only several perspectives and plans he can bring to the table. We were persuaded that in a second Committee term Johnson will pursue more action over rhetoric.

Muth contributes many of the same ideas as Bogue, as the two developed their platforms together. She is also dedicated to researching a multiple-sanction system so that, should it prove more effective, it can be implemented when Honor is best prepared to deal with such an infrastructural change. She also seeks to make the internal structure less top-down, wishes to refocus the language of Honor so it is more accessible to students, and to recognize the other honorable ideals from people with different backgrounds.

Our last endorsement in the College goes to Michael Treves. Treves impressed us most with his deep knowledge and commitment to the system: he has attended Executive Committee meetings throughout his time as a senior support officer and is committed to making the system as a whole more accessible to lower-ranking members and to students otherwise unaffected by the case processing elements of Honor. His dedication to the system is obvious. He has taken initiative in his current position in Honor, which makes us confident he will do so on Committee as well.

Caroline Herre, Emily Snow and VJ Jenkins are all qualified candidates who are also running in the College. Herre’s background and approachability make her an excellent candidate among several excellent candidates. We were left uninspired by Snow’s platform, which focused more on ideals and less on concrete initiatives, and Jenkins’ platform, while persuasive, demonstrated the tunnel vision about solely representing minority students that Johnson has since learned from. Jaeyoon Park and Ian Robertson, who are also running, chose not to interview with us.

The managing board endorses Faith Lyons and Michael White as representatives for the Commerce school. Lyons is energetic about her candidacy and education-oriented, committed to eliminating student apathy and advocating for student feedback within the Commerce school — especially in areas where students are generally confused about what constitutes an honor offense. She hopes to address student apathy by increasing interactions between Honor and the student body, not necessarily through social events but more so through organized discussion. We were inspired by her energy and initiative, and think she will be a great addition to the Committee.

White impressed us with his knowledge of investigations and trials, focusing mostly on internal reforms. He plans to address the Committee’s current inability to drop cases in which exonerating evidence exists and to focus on procedural rights. He also hopes to move away from a top-down system within Honor, and was the only candidate to interview with us who is definitively in favor of a multiple-sanction system. We think Lyons and White will work very well together to represent their school.

Avery Rasmussen also interviewed with us. While she has extensive experience, we felt her platform lacked tangible initiatives and were disappointed by her belief that there is no way to make apathetic students care about the system. Christian Gigante is also running for Commerce school representative but did not interview with us.

In making these endorsements, the managing board focused on who would work well together to achieve important goals in the next term — namely, increasing engagement, making Honor more representative of the student body and reforming elements of the system that need it. While student candidates naturally have a quality of idealism, we sought those whose idealism would not overwhelm their pragmatism. The honor system’s ability to maintain relevancy to our student body can only stem from concrete reforms, and Committee members will only have a year to implement such reforms. We think these candidates have the drive and initiative to take on this challenge.

Editor’s note: Bogue is a former editor for The Cavalier Daily’s Opinion section and Muth is a former Life columnist.

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