Honor Committee discusses commission to gauge student opinion on sanction system

Neither sanctioning proposal passed vote in U.Va. election

Neither of the Honor Committee sanctioning options up for vote Friday — option one preserving the single sanction system and option two potentially allowing for the implementation of a multiple sanction system — received enough votes to pass in the University elections.

The Honor Committee’s constitution mandates that, for a proposal to pass, it must garner at least 60 percent of the total vote. The first option garnered 41.12 percent of the vote, while the second option received 58.88 percent of the vote.

At Sunday’s meeting, the Honor Committee discussed the measures it will take in order to best determine the student body’s opinion of the current single sanction system, whether the system should be replaced with a multiple sanction system and what any proposed system will look like.

The main initiative discussed was the creation of an independent commission which will evaluate the current system using surveys of students, student focus groups and outside faculty advisement.

Honor Committee Chair Faith Lyons, a fourth-year Commerce student, said the commission’s focus would be to find out exactly what is desired from students rather than simply make them choose between options the committee created themselves.

Batten Representative Matt Comey, a graduate student, said getting as many different types of people on the commission is important, but the committee should still have a role in gathering this information, since ultimately it would be the committee drafting the proposals.

“Any member of the committee that wants to be in the commission should be able to, and we should work hard to get a really diverse body,” Comey said.

Another reason for the importance of diversity is the homogeneity of those who ran for honor committee positions during the election.

Of the 15 candidates for the Honor Committee polled by the Cavalier Daily, three said they supported option two, and 12 said they supported option one. On the question of supporting the single sanction, 13 candidates said they supported the single sanction, and two said they were undecided on the issue.

These results were not reflective of the nearly 60 percent of students who voted for option two.

"The Committee is going forward with the IRC in an effort to be proactive in understanding student opinion beyond the results of the vote instead of reactive like we were this year,” Lyons said.

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