Haverford isn’t the only school with a student-managed Honor Code, but it is the the only school that publishes abstracts for every academic and social case. We also aren’t the only school with a ‘social code’ built into the Honor Code, but we are one of the only schools that offers a chance to change the Honor Code in an accessible way every year. These values are rooted in the ideal that the Honor Code is a living and evolving document, changing as the makeup of the student body changes. They are rooted in the idea that informing the community and community discussion about instances where the Code was broken and trust was restored allow us a chance to reflect upon and educate ourselves about what the Honor Code means to us. In that sense, the release of abstracts and abstract discussions are a constant reminder of the values the Code represents to us as a community and allows us a chance to have discussion about that throughout the time we are here.
When Honor Council sent a delegation to the Hamilton Honor Code Conference this past September, we participated in multiple panels and discussions with other school’s Honor Councils. Reed, Union, Hamilton and Davidson joined us there. They all expressed surprise that we released abstracts to the community, much more so, the detailed ones we do today. They brought up a law that prohibited schools from publishing summaries of disciplinary proceedings, to which our delegation replied, “Honor Council trials are not disciplinary proceedings”.
This week, three new abstracts were released to the community – The Office, The Newsroom, & Dexter’s Laboratory – abstract discussions will be happening on Wednesday, October 29th at 7:30 PM in Ryan Gym. There will be some fall snacks – pumpkin pie, apple cider, and halloween candy. Often, past freshman year HCO sessions, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to discuss the Code, that is where the importance of attending at least a few abstract discussions comes in. Honor Council is also hosting a community forum on The Perceptions of Honor Council on Thursday, October 30th at 7:30 PM in Ryan Gym with the same fall themed delicious snacks!
So attend an abstract discussion at least a couple times a year, go to a community forum, certainly attend Plenary and consider what the Code means to you! It isn’t a perfect document and there are a lot of issues surrounding it that need to be addressed this year and beyond, but it is special. Hope to see you at a discussion this fall!