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  • K

    Kate RekrutDec 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Hi! I used to be a member of the honor committee and I can’t say that I follow your logic. It seems that you are saying, simultaneously, that students “should not rat” on people they see cheating and yet that in doing so, they are enabling cheating. I think you’re also indicting a lot of different and unrelated factors but rationalizing all of these problems as part of the honor code. What do you believe the problem or solution is?

    Also, for clarity, the honor committee does not determine punishments. The honor committee determines whether it is more likely than not that a violation occurred. If it seems likely that a violation occurred, the accused student will be sent before the Campus Life and Community Standards board (made up of students and professors) who then decides if there is enough evidence that the individual cheated to warrant a sanction. The final punishment is decided, in large part, by the professor. Yes, these sanctions are usually “lenient” such as failing the test or getting half credit on the paper in question; no one gets expelled because of the honor code, but you can lose Latin honors or have other more severe consequences. The CLCS/professor tries to make it more of a learning experience than a punishment. The benefit of the honor code is that the student goes through two completely objective fact-finding bodies before any punishments are considered; without this failsafe, professors could penalize students without much factual evidence. All of this is explained to freshman during their FS classes.

    I respect that the honor code is not perfect and requires a lot of participation, honesty and trust from both students and professors. It is also a time-consuming process because the committee is only able to meet once a week (we’re busy students too!) I would, however, like to hear your thoughts on how the code can be improved. I’m sure the current committee would be interested in hearing this as well, as this is a referendum year and students will be asked to vote whether or not to keep the code.

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