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Our candidate picks for Honor

We endorse Deal, Hogan, Jenkins, West, Wyckoff, Yeaton, Groves, Kesting and Rainey

The editorial board endorses third-year students Katie Deal, Chad Hogan, VJ Jenkins, Matt West and Sarah Wyckoff as College representatives to the Honor Committee. Hogan, Jenkins, West and Wyckoff each expressed support for Option 1 of the upcoming amendment to the Honor Committee constitution, which would essentially preserve the single sanction. Deal was unique in her support of Option 2, which would allow for the possibility of a multi-sanction system by granting the committee the power to “impose lesser sanctions.” The endorsed candidates were able to defend their stances on the amendments that will appear on the ballot.

Each candidate discussed reforming the Informed Retraction, or IR, to address its disproportionate impact on particular student groups. Deal discussed her desire to make the Honor Committee less insular from its members. Hogan focused on the need for enhanced education about the honor system for orientees ahead of the fall semester. Jenkins, who is currently the Honor Committee’s vice chair for community relations, impressed us with his interest in making the honor system more approachable by introducing the recent Diversity Initiative Award and the Honorable Mention. West said he supports the creation of an independent review commission to further investigate multiple sanctions regardless of which option passes; he also aims to focus his term on engaging the University community with Honor through regular discussions of relevant issues. Wyckoff noted that while Honor has diversified its support officer pool, such diversification has not extended to its leadership, which she plans to address.

We were impressed by the extensive experience the candidates offered, and pleased that, while they share similar goals, they each presented different mechanisms for achieving those goals.

We also endorse third-year Batten student Jen Yeaton as a committee representative. Yeaton intends to cultivate greater empathy toward the accused among members of the honor system. Externally, she suggested co-sponsoring events with other University organizations during support officer recruitment in order to capture a wider portion of the student population. Yeaton stated she does not see the upcoming amendments as an issue of single versus multiple sanctions and would want the student body to vote on a tangible multiple sanction system instead of what is currently on the ballot — a view Wyckoff shared.

We also endorse third-year Commerce student Kasey Groves as a committee representative. Internally, she aims to improve communications between the support officer pool and the committee. She demonstrated that she would represent her fellow students well by highlighting the unique effects of the IR on Commerce students due to the structure of their curriculum.

We also interviewed third-year Commerce student Corinne Thomas. Thomas does not have experience as a support officer and was unable to offer an opinion on the upcoming constitutional amendments and the single sanction since she did not know what they were.

We also endorse second-year Engineering students Samuel Kesting and Will Rainey as representatives to the committee. Kesting proposed Honor outreach initiatives specifically for the Engineering school, which he viewed as underrepresented in the support officer pool. He also stressed the importance of Honor education for Engineering students, who collaborate more for group assignments than College students.

Rainey, though without experience as a support officer, demonstrated a strong understanding of the honor system and the upcoming ballot. He identified a need to reform the IR by making it more fair to students disproportionately affected by missing a year of study, such as international students whose legal statuses in the United States are contingent on University enrollment. Both candidates defended their support for Option 1 and the single sanction.

Several other candidates are running in the above schools but chose not to interview with us.

This spring, students will face a difficult choice regarding the possibility of a multi-sanction system, which will have significant implications for University students. As we have previously stated, we support Option 2, which would not mandate such a system but would make it possible. All the candidates we are endorsing expressed that if the student population were to support a multi-sanction system, regardless of their personal stances they would represent their constituents and work to determine which type of multi-sanction system students would support. We are confident these candidates will be able to represent students on the issues they will face heading into the next term of committee leadership.

Update: A note about Matt West’s platform was added after the editorial’s publication.