members of the University community,
today, on the two hundred and seventy-ninth anniversary of Mr. Jefferson’s birth, THE SOCIETY OF THE PURPLE SHADOWS reaffirms our commitment to the defining pillars of our University community. THE SOCIETY was founded to protect the University’s beneficial traditions, including self-governance and the illimitable pursuit of knowledge. in safeguarding these traditions, THE SOCIETY’S goal is not to freeze the University in time. rather, THE SOCIETY supports the University’s mission to empower students to become informed, engaged and ethical citizens.
we affirm, unequivocally, the reform made to the single sanction of Honor. this referendum, reducing the sanction for a breach of trust from expulsion to two semesters of leave, reflects the necessity to curtail punitive power until our structures of accountability can appropriately address lapses in equity. the strength of the Honor system relies on our ability to judge fairly and without discrimination, ensuring that our maintenance of trust remains uncompromised by bias. the true spirit of Honor does not live in the fear of expulsion, nor in disciplinary practices reserved for the halls of judgment. rather, it resides in our collective commitment to the community of trust and the faith we place in one another. it flourishes in the endeavor for a more just University. by cultivating a system that fairly renders integrity, respect and accountability, we can realize a community of love, trust and equality.
we celebrate fidelity to Honor in all of its forms. this year proved that Honor is not an archaic, immutable institution, and this referendum does not mark the end of Honor. Honor is our commitment to trust — a manifestation that can and should change with time. it is grounded in the daily choices made by each and every one of us and exemplified by the ceaseless pursuit of justice and progress. as we move forward in the spirit of reflection and renewal, let us always
remember the true keepers of Honor — ourselves.
THE SOCIETY OF THE PURPLE SHADOWS