Honor Committee members discuss Honor Code with ASG

Allegheny+Student+Government+welcomes+members+of+the+Honor+Committee+to+discuss+the+honor+code+at+general+assembly+at+6%3A30+p.m.+on+Tuesday%2C+March+3%2C+2020%2C+in+the+Henderson+Campus+Center.

Alana Sabol

Allegheny Student Government welcomes members of the Honor Committee to discuss the honor code at general assembly at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in the Henderson Campus Center.

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Education Chair of the Honor Committee Eli Smith, ’21, and Honor Committee member Skyler Roemele, ’22, spoke at the Allegheny Student Government General Assembly on Tuesday, March 3.  

ASG welcomed the speakers to Henderson Campus Center room 301/302 to discuss the honor code, which is up for referendum this year. 

The referendum is a vote that is made by two-thirds of the student population every three years to either keep the honor code or to remove it from the college.

Smith began the presentation by explaining that the honor code was created by students who wanted to create a system of academic integrity, and was officially enacted in 1962. Every three years since its creation the student body has voted to keep it. 

Following that, Smith went on to explain the function and purpose of the honor code. 

“We are a fact-finding body, so whenever there is a violation in somebody’s class and a professor comes to the Honor (Committee) with a violation, we are not there to make any judgments,” Smith said. “We just try to gather as much information as we can, (including the student’s and the professor’s perspective).” 

Smith then went on to discuss common violations they receive which include using a cellphone frequently during an exam, leaving the building or going to the restroom with an exam or talking to a classmate during an exam. 

“Semester to semester we always see at least one of these things,” Smith said. 

However, Roemele explained that the honor code isn’t just used as a preventative measure against cheating or plagiarism. It also gives students benefits, including trusting relationships with their professors and take-home exams.

“You really foster that relationship between you and your professor, you’re building trust and you’re building your own individual responsibility as well,” Roemele said.  

Regarding the process, Roemele stated the committee’s responsibility is to either vote the case up to the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee (CLCS), or, if the student takes responsibility for the violation, the case will be expedited. 

“(For the expedited track, the student) meets with an Honor Committee representative, the (Associate Dean of Students for Community and Belonging) justin adkins and the professor (who then) decide the sanctions,” Roemele said. 

After opening the floor for questions, Vice President of Class of 2020 Ashley Leonard asked Smith and Roemele how the committee makes sure to be fair and non judgemental when potential violations are brought to them. 

Roemele responded, stating that committee members go through multiple bias training sessions with adkins, and it is recommended that they don’t take the case of a student who they know. 

Additionally, Smith explained that, “(The committee looks at) things that are not dealing with personal character but rather the actual physical evidence that we do or don’t have.” 

To close the presentation, Roemele announced that the honor code has been revised, and if any student has any further recommendations for the future, to contact the Honor Committee. 

After the presentation, ASG moved to cabinet reports. 

Director of Communication and Press David Roach, ’21, began his report by announcing that the “How To: Budget Hearing” video will be published at the end of the week and encouraged all ASG members to share it with others. 

“(It is) actually imperative that you are sharing it and making sure that your friends in student organizations or clubs are seeing it,” Roach said. “We need people to submit their budgets.”

Following Roach, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Taylor Marzouca, ’20, reported that Reggae Fest will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 6, in Schultz Banquet Hall. 

After Marzouca, Director of Community Relations Owen Jacobsen, ’23, announced that the Community Relations Committee will put out a “Meadville Mondays” weekly video series that will highlight events happening in Meadville. 

During Attorney General Brandon Zabo’s, ’22, report, a revision was made to the College Democrats constitution.

Following Zabo, Chief of Staff Jared McHale, ’20, reported that the Curriculum Committee passed a special topics class for the following year and the Finance and Facilities Committee are looking at improving the student-to-faculty ratio. 

“Their current goal is 11-to-1,” McHale said. “That’s what they’re working towards.” 

Co-Director of Student Affairs Genesis Pena, ’22, announced that she went to a CLCS meeting where Chair of Academic Standards and Awards Jon Wiebel discussed medical expenses and the possibility of creating a form that students can send to professors when they are sick and aren’t able to come to class. This form would be based on the honor system. 

Co-Director of Student Affairs Kelsey Evans, ’20, completed her report by stating that she is working on creating a handbook for first-time senators. 

After cabinet reports, ASG moved to class reports. Class of 2021 announced they are planning a service event, and the Class of 2022 announced they are in the process of creating a transfer student forum within the next month.

Vice President Elyse Cinquino, ’20, announced in her report that President Jason Ferrante, ’20, and McHale are going on a night walk on Monday, March 9, to look at areas of campus that could be better lit. 

During his report, Ferrante reported that Dining General Manager Stephanie Lang is working with Financial Services to develop a meal swipe donation plan. 

“She assured me that that will be in place no matter (what) way it goes through,” Ferrante said, “So we will have a swipe donation plan in place at Allegheny which is a next step to remedying food insecurity.” 

After a few more announcements, the meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.