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Honor Committee discusses convention, plans to celebrate 180 years of Honor system

The Committee’s chair also expressed concern with the recent failure to meet quorum

<p>In the Oct. 9 meeting, Committee members expressed concerns that the convention was being rushed, and that there wasn’t enough representation from graduate students within the convention.&nbsp;</p>

In the Oct. 9 meeting, Committee members expressed concerns that the convention was being rushed, and that there wasn’t enough representation from graduate students within the convention. 


The Honor Committee met briefly Sunday evening to discuss new developments within the Honor Constitutional Convention as well as plans for a celebration of the 180th anniversary of Honor. 12 out of 23 members were present, meaning the Committee did not meet quorum and could not vote on constitutional matters. 

Committee members discussed the Honor Constitutional Convention, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 17, but was delayed due to timing and representation concerns. Last week, Committee members expressed concerns that the convention was being rushed and that there was not enough representation from graduate students.

Gabrielle Bray, chair of the Committee and fourth-year College student, proposed Nov. 1 or 2 as possible new dates to officially kick-off the convention. While the Committee did not make a final decision between the two dates, all 12 Committee members present agreed by a show of hands that one of the two dates would work. 

“It now has more graduate representation and has some representation from the Law school,” Bray said. 

In addition to graduate representation, the convention will see delegates from CIOs of every school across the University. All 30 delegate seats have been filled. 

Bray then asked the Committee for input on ideas on how to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the Honor system. The Honor system began 180 years ago in 1842, when professor John A.G. Davis was shot by a student while he was attempting to quiet a disturbance on the Lawn. In order to increase trust between students and professors, Professor Henry George St. Tucker suggested that students pledge their exams. Though this stipulation was meant to extend to the classroom only, it eventually extended to encompass all student life at the University. 

“It’s not only 180 years of Honor, but also 180 years of student self-governance at U.Va., and it might be an opportunity for us to collaborate with other student orgs like Student Council and UJC,” Bray said. 

Ideas suggested by Committee members included a procession to Davis’ grave, as well joint events like parties with other student organizations dedicated to student self-governance. 

Bray also expressed concern with the recent lack of attendance within the Committee. The Committee also failed to meet quorum at its Oct. 9 meeting and just barely met quorum last week. 15 members must be present in order to meet quorum. 

“We’re seeing dwindling participation,” Bray said. “It's getting increasingly concerning that we're barely scraping quorum, or don’t have quorum.” 

The Committee discussed ways to improve this participation, such as changing the time of the meeting. Meetings are currently held weekly at 7 p.m. on Sundays. 

“It’s easier to move later than to move earlier, or we can look at doing mid-afternoon meetings,” Bray said. “I can send out a When2Meet and we can reevaluate what time we meet as well.” 

Individual school updates were also shared with the Committee. Fourth-year Architecture Rep. Kelly O’Meara shared that he and Rep. Tim Dodson, third-year graduate Architecture student, attended a recent meeting for the Budget and Acquisitions Committee in the School of Architecture. 

Connor Eads, vice-chair for the graduate community and Graduate student, also discussed the revisions of the current co-sponsorship guidelines for the Committee including an increase in the amount of funding and allowing the committee to vote as a whole to approve the co-sponship, rather than just Eads. 

Co-sponsorships are agreements with other student organizations that provide funds for event programming and educated event attendees of over $500 of funding. Previously, the maximum amount of funding that could be given to co-sponsors was $500.

“It gets submitted to the Committee and [the co-sponsors] present it and then the Committee will vote as a whole to approve it,” Eads said. “So it's more equitable in ensuring that it's just not my position approving [the co-sponsor].” 

The Committee moved into a closed session at 7:22 p.m. to discuss case updates. The Committee did not return to open session before the scheduled end of the meeting at 8 p.m. The Honor Committee meeting will be held on Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Trial Room of Newcomb Hall. 


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