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Honor Committee passes new CHI policy, amendment regarding Committee attendance

A roll call will be taken at meetings moving forward and unexcused members will be marked absent in public minutes

<p>CHI is any health impairment including a mental disease, mental disorder or a medical condition that causes a student to commit the infraction they are being investigated for.</p>

CHI is any health impairment including a mental disease, mental disorder or a medical condition that causes a student to commit the infraction they are being investigated for.

The Honor Committee met Sunday to discuss new developments with Contributory Health Impairment policy and vote on new policies regarding Committee member attendance. 17 members were present, meaning quorum was met  and the Committee could vote on constitutional matters. 

Fourth-year College student Rep. Sullivan McDowell introduced a new policy that proposed Honor cover up to $500 in costs associated with the initial psychological assessment required for Contributor Health Impairments. 

CHI is any health impairment including a mental disease, mental disorder or a medical condition that causes a student to commit the infraction they are being investigated for. For CHIs to be recognized, a psychological assessment is required to affirm the validity of the mental disorder or disease. 

McDowell said psychological assessments can often be extremely expensive. Initial psychological assessments and testing can total between $100 and $600. McDowell’s proposed policy was approved by the Committee during the meeting and  will cover costs of up to $500 for an initial psychological assessment and will go into effect immediately. 

“I just think it's vitally important that we extend equity to every student that is in need of psychological help,” McDowell said. 

Gabrielle Bray, chair of the Committee and fourth-year College student, also outlined plans for the upcoming Constitutional Convention kick-off. A dinner for the Convention’s 30 delegates will be held at Alumni Hall Wednesday. The Convention will include eight meetings, but only the first will be open to the public. 

Bray also said that the Committee needed to address issues concerning Committee member attendance during its regularly-scheduled Sunday meetings. 

Recently, Committee member attendance at weekly meetings has been dwindling. Bray said that possible solutions include encouraging resignations from the Committee, creating penalties associated with each number of absences and holding a “roll call” at each meeting.

Committee members cannot formally be impeached or removed per constitutional by-laws, but respective school councils can hold recall elections and members who do not have consistent attendance can be asked to leave the Committee. These recall elections are open to the student body of the member’s respective school. 

In order for a recall election to be held, a recall petition must be signed by 10 percent of the member’s school student body. Then, a Committee member must be voted to be recalled by a majority of their student body in order to be removed. 

“The only authority I have on the matter is that I can ask for resignations,” Bray said. “But if it is to be anything else, it has to come from the school council and a recall.” 

Many Committee members posed ideas to help solve this problem, including second-year Law student Rep. Daniel Elliott, who recommended having the Committee member’s school of enrollment be informed of their non-attendance. 

“It's probably worth it at some point that we advanced to more extreme measures of calling attention to the fact [that members aren’t attending],” Elliott said. 

Elliott said that there could be penalties associated with certain numbers of absences which the 16 members were in agreement with. Slight revisions to the policy included that the definition of “excused absences” be left to the discretion of the Chair, and that members are made aware of the consequences associated with each absence. 

“At three unexcused absences, we contact the Student Council or student council equivalent of the school and inform them of the number of absences,” Elliott said. “At four absences, we contact the individual directly and allow them the opportunity to resign before further action is taken.” 

Hamza Aziz, vice-chair of investigations and third-year College student, suggested bringing back a “roll call” for weekly meetings, where the chair calls out each member’s name and the members respond if they are in attendance.

Roll call was something that had been done by previous Committees, but the process was discontinued several years ago as the Committee decided it was the responsibility of members to attend on their honor. 

“Starting roll call and tangentially start doing minutes again, I think both points should probably be considered,” Aziz said.

The Committee voted in favor of having a roll call at weekly meetings and 17 members of the Committee were marked present for Sunday’s meeting. 

The Committee then went into closed session at 7:42 p.m. to discuss case issues. 

Upon returning from closed session at 7:55 p.m., Elliot outlined his formal plan for attendance penalties for the Committee to vote on. 


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