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Honor Committee Implements New Sanctions — Guillotine, Stocks Among Additions

U.Va.’s bold experiment in student self-governance draws new inspiration from Jefferson’s time

Editor’s Note: This article is a humor column

After the repeal of the University’s single sanction ahead of the 2023-24 academic year, the Honor Committee introduced additional sanctions to complement permanent removal — namely, temporary removal, education and amends. Not everyone has been satisfied with these sanctions, however, some claiming that they are too lenient and undermine the honor code’s swift deliverance of Jeffersonian justice in the first place. In an effort to reestablish the true intention of the honor system and further emphasize the importance of genuine personal virtue, the Committee has begun introducing even more new sanctions, this time with an emphasis on how honor plays out in public spaces. 

Since last week, the University’s South Lawn has been divided into five different sections for the Committee’s sanction proceedings. Built with help from the School of Architecture and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, a set of stocks, a “scarlet letter” station, a boiling water fixture, a University-branded guillotine and a dueling space are now available for the Committee panel to use for punishments. 

Mario Antoinetti, McIntire School of Commerce Committee Rep. and second-year Commerce student, said, “We think that the ‘humiliation’ element of the new sanctions will really help people stay true to honor,” while tightening the stocks around a first-year who used Chat GPT to summarize a class reading. 

Antoinetti also mentioned that volunteering at the new sanction stations has been a rewarding experience, a concept echoed by other Committee members. 

“I think that this is a step in the right direction. It’s just a really tangible way to see the work we’re doing benefit our community of trust, ” said an anonymous Committee representative, cloaked in a black hood, while sharpening the guillotine blade.

While the Committee seems satisfied with how the new sanctions have been proceeding, the rest of the University’s student body has mixed reviews. 

Some view the new sanctions, like the bright scarlet paint that marks all honor violators’ clothes with the text “I’ve been a very, very naughty wahoo,” as less severe. 

Darden student Connor Shipton said, “I would take the humiliation over removal any day. I can totally cover this up, which means Daddy won’t find out! Yippee!”

Second-year College student Samuel J. Jefferson, who is set to be boiled in a giant copper pot as “people soup” next Tuesday, shared the following, “Yeah, I knew when I paid this total narc to write my essay that I would probably end up in hot water, but I didn’t expect … hot soup.” 

Others are more than discontent with these new sanctions, particularly the implementation of the guillotine which was unveiled during a special ceremony last Tuesday dedicated to Thomas Jefferson himself by the “Daughters of the French Revolution” Historical Association. 

First-year Engineering student Bethany Bondhill said, “I was pissed because my friend Daniel cheated on an exam. Usually, he would be the only one punished, but since they took him out of the picture — literally — we’re down a person for our giant group final presentation. So, we’re all being punished for his mistake.” 

Dueling has caused similar discontentment — especially among professors who feel their doctoral educations have not equipped them to handle the unbridled bloodlust of U.Va. students. Economics professor Robin Banks, who is set to duel a student next Tuesday over an unresolvable cheating scandal in ECON 2010, expressed extreme worry.

“This duel has really taken a toll on my mental health. I thought I was prepared because I’ve seen Hamilton seven times, but at this point I’m so stressed that even reading Friedman isn’t making me feel better.” 

Despite the evident toll on all involved parties, the Committee has stood by this sanction — after all, the honor system began after a duel so what better to epitomize true Cavalier honor than standing ten feet apart and shooting at each other?

With all of the uproar surrounding the new sanctions, many have questioned whether or not the Committee will actually be able to maintain them for more than a single semester. However, the new sanctions do seem to be garnering lukewarm support from University President Rim Jyan. 

In a statement on Instagram, Jyan mentioned that “At the end of the day, it’s up to the fine students of our University to decide the fate of their peers. Our bold experiment in student self-governance is reliant on the innovation of the young people that make up our institution, and if they’re leaning towards the macabre, well then I say we all lean with them.” 

Few are sure what exactly the next steps are, but the Committee has promised students that they will reevaluate the new sanctions “as soon as possible,” with University affiliated groups such as the Jefferson Council eager to offer a helping hand in the process. Currently, that reevaluation is rumored to take place after the next public guillotining on Saturday — featuring a special performance from the Virginia Gentlemen. However, given the Committee’s definition of “as soon as possible,” reevaluation could take anywhere from three business days to 180 years. 


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