The Honor Committee met Sunday to discuss a newly proposed bylaw concerning case jurisdiction and approve a co-sponsorship for the Jefferson Society’s Restoration Ball — proceeds from the Jefferson Society's ball go to the Trevor Project.
The bylaw under consideration would require each report of an Honor offense to be reviewed by the entire executive Committee for questions over jurisdiction before hearing the case, rather than just the Vice Chair for Investigations, as currently dictated in Honor’s legislation.
Proposed by third-year Commerce student Rep. Brianna Kamdoum, the bylaw formalizes a vote to dismiss the case in the event that the contents do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Committee. The Committee currently has jurisdiction over any cases that relate to the act of lying, cheating or stealing.
There was slight pushback against this from members of the Committee who cited the importance of hearing all cases. Shunkai Ding, vice chair for hearings and graduate College student, said that the bylaw blurs the goals of the Honor system by not pursuing cases completely.
“I don't think it should be our decision to drop the case just based on whether the student will be found guilty or not,” Ding said. “In a case, our goal is to pursue the truth in hearing.”
Fourth-year College student rep. Sullivan McDowell also pushed back against Kamdoum’s proposal, citing concerns of inefficiency within the system if the bylaw were to pass.
“This bylaw is creating an unnecessary boundary,” McDowell said. “It's making the system less efficient, which has been a goal of ours for the last year.”
Increase efficiency in case processing has long been a goal for the Committee, especially leading up to the student referendum. The Committee has discussed case efficiency before, particularly in relation to standards of evidence.
The Committee held off on a formal vote on the bylaw until the next meeting, as a Committee member had left during the meeting and quorum was no longer met.
The Committee also approved a co-sponsorship with the Jefferson Society for roughly $4,000 for the Jefferson Society’s Restoration Ball — a long-standing tradition of the Jefferson Society with an original goal of raising funds to restore the Rotunda.
Now that these restorations have long been completed, fund’s from this year’s ball will go towards The Trevor Project, a group offering a toll-free telephone number where LGBTQ+ youth can be offered confidential assistance with counselors.
The Committee provides funding to co-sponsor various events and initiatives hosted by CIOs across Grounds. The current limit for co-sponsorship funding is $500, and any amount above that has to be approved through a vote by the Committee.
An amended version of the co-sponsorship was put forth by McDowell who proposed to not only approve the co-sponsorship amount, but to donate an additional $500 to the Trevor Project.
The amended version was then brought to a vote. All 18 out of 26 Committee members present at the meeting unanimously approved the co-sponsorship as well as the donation.
The Committee also shared executive and school updates. The generative Artificial Intelligence task force has set formal dates for upcoming town halls with the University community. The town halls will act as a way to engage both students and faculty as well as respond to concerns and questions about generative AI in regards to academic integrity.
Following the student referendum passed earlier this month, the executive Committee is planning to rewrite both internal and external documents in order to reflect the new changes. These new changes include a wider variety of sanctions, including amends, education, suspension and expulsion. These documents include training materials, the handbook for support officers and external training materials.
For hearings and investigations, there are currently two upcoming hearings scheduled for March 24 and 26. An investigation panel met Sunday, and there will likely be another panel in the coming week.
Additionally, the Law school is currently working on selecting one new representative to fill a vacant position for the upcoming Committee. Law Rep. Daniel Elliott was reelected and will meet with the Student Bar Association in order to discuss who will enter the open spot.
The Committee adjourned the meeting early at 7:30 p.m. The next Honor Committee meeting will be held Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Trial Room of Newcomb Hall.