Matt West elected Honor chair

West plans to make Honor more open to input

The Honor Committee convened in Syria, Va., Sunday to elect its new committee chairs.

Matt West, a third-year College student, was elected chair.

Outgoing chair Faith Lyons, a fourth-year Commerce student, facilitated the questioning of the candidates and the deliberations, which helped the committee determine the best candidate.

Law student Austin Sim was elected vice chair for hearings. He will be responsible for overseeing the hearing and appeal process and will oversee the jury selection process.

Third-year College student Sarah Wyckoff was elected vice chair of investigations and will oversee the entire investigation process.

Ariana Zetlin, a third-year Curry student, was elected vice chair of education.

Zetlin will oversee and coordinate the Honor Committee’s education efforts to better reach out to the community to provide information about how the committee operates and the philosophy behind its system.

Third-year Architecture student Katharine Graham filled the final position, as vice chair of community relations, who will be working with a variety of student organizations and groups to enhance interdisciplinary relationships with the Honor Committee.

Coming into his term as Honor Committee chair, West said he wants to focus on case processing and improving support officer accountability.

“We have an important responsibility to ensure that the process is fair for all parties involved,“ West said.

He also said he seeks to lead the committee in making the informed retraction policy of case processing more fair. The policy allows students who have committed an Honor offense to admit to the offense and allows a student to come back to finish his or her degree after two semesters of “Honor Leave.”

Though elections took place this weekend, the organization’s body still convened a regular meeting ahead of transitioning its new board.

At the regular meeting, committee members who went to the International Center for Academic Integrity conference in New Mexico presented what they learned from other educational institutions.

Outgoing Vice Chair for Education Caroline Herre, a graduate Architecture student, explained what the University representatives’ presentations at the conference entailed.

“We talked a lot about different methods of welcoming first-years into a community of trust,” Herre said. These methods include summer orientation speeches and fall convocation where committee members speak to first-year students during their hall meetings and lawn chats.

Members also discussed community outreach to international students, especially those under suspension.

“One of the specific instances where that would kind of change how the informed retraction affects international students … William and Mary enrolls them in, or helps enroll them in, community college,” Herre said. “So they’re not necessarily getting credit for their school … but they can keep their visa and can keep staying in the United States.”

The new committee chairs will begin their term in April.

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