Last Friday, Honor Chair Matt West, a fourth-year College student, spoke to the Honor Audit Commission before its first meeting Saturday morning. The commission was established to better connect the student body to the Honor Committee.
West’s address focused on the commission’s directives for the next year and a half, during which it will conduct "a comprehensive examination of the Honor Committee’s policies and procedures.”
“We hope that the Audit Commission will serve as a mechanism for continuing the conversation with the student body, as well as with all stakeholders of the system,” West said.
The commission will be made up of 13 members: two at-large undergraduate students, an at-large graduate student, a Board of Visitors member, the student Board of Visitors member, representatives from the Vice President’s Office of Student Affairs and the Office of the Dean of Students, two faculty members, two alumni representatives, an Honor Committee representative and an Honor support officer.
Although the commission will not be the first to complete an audit of Honor, West said he hopes it will have a larger impact than previous audits. In contrast with the most recent audit in 2000, this commission has a “higher level of autonomy” and a wider scope, West said.
The commission will be tasked with producing a comprehensive report by March 2018, which will cover the commission’s thoughts on sanctioning policies, case procedures and engagement with the University community.
In addition to the 13 commission members, Evan Pivonka, new special assistant to the Honor Committee, was also at the first meeting.
Pivonka, who has taught several classes in the politics department and took over the role from Alex Carroll, said he is excited for the opportunity.
“When this opportunity came up I jumped all over it,” Pivonka said. “I thought it’d be a great way of building relationships with students, with administrators, while also working for what I take to be one of the coolest and most valuable institutions at the University.”
As special assistant, Pivonka is in charge of handling a variety of tasks, including meetings, correspondence with students and parents, faculty and outside community members.
“One of the biggest parts of my job is handling and fostering healthy relationships between honor and the external community,” Pivonka said. “That’s really at the nexus of what I do.”
He also carries out a variety of administrative tasks that facilitates the Honor process from start to finish.
“Because Honor is so important, the administration recognizes, I think rightly, that there should be somebody here all the time making sure that everything’s going where it’s supposed to go,” Pivonka said.