Honor Code Gets Bad Rap
Published: Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: Saturday, May 5, 2012 14:05
To the Editor:
In the article “Honor Codes Look Beyond Academics” (The Hoya, A5, April 24, 2012), the author implies that Georgetown fails to “protect against lying, stealing and other kinds of social misconduct” because the Honor Code “is restricted to academic conduct.” This is not true.
Georgetown has an Office of Student Conduct, a Residential Judiciary Committee and a Disciplinary Review Committee, all of which work to ensure that a robust Code of Conduct is in place and that students who violate this code are held accountable. Violations such as drug use, theft and disorderly conduct are all included in the code, and Georgetown does an equally good job of educating students about academic integrity.
As the 2009-2010 student co-chair for policy and procedure and a three-year member of the Honor Council, I was always proud to be part of a group that was recognized as a leader in this area by its peer institutions. I had the opportunity to attend the annual Conference on Academic Integrity and interact with students and faculty members from other schools who were working to emulate the programs and policies pioneered here at Georgetown.
While there is no question that schools like the University of Virginia and The College of William & Mary also have strong honor systems, Georgetown’s foundation as a Jesuit institution makes our situation unique. Whereas many institutions choose to implement a strong one-strike policy, meaning that any honor violation would warrant dismissal from the university, Georgetown has always valued second chances for lesser offenses and the opportunity to learn from mistakes. I am proud of the emphasis placed on education over punitive measures.
The Georgetown approach may be different from the approach taken by other schools, but that does not mean the system is not working.
Emily Lurie, COL ('10)