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Committee Refines Honor Board Language as Proposal Moves Forward

By Madeline R. Conway and Steven S. Lee, Crimson Staff Writers

Members of the Academic Integrity Committee are in the process of refining the language of a draft proposal for a student-faculty judiciary board that would hear academic dishonesty cases included as a part of what would be the College’s first honor code.

Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will likely discuss the honor code again at their next meeting in April, with a potential vote on the proposed policy in May, according to Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris. The full Faculty most recently discussed the proposed honor code, outlined in a mid-January draft, at its meeting in February.

If the honor code were implemented as described in the mid-January draft, undergraduates would be required to sign a statement of integrity on major assignments and exams. Honor code violations—which involve academic integrity cases—would be heard by the proposed honor board, composed of half students and half faculty members and administrators.

A student-faculty judicial board was established by FAS in 1987 to hear cases “for which there is no clear precedent or consensus in the community about the impermissibility of the actions or the appropriate response,” according to the website of the Administrative Board, the College's primary disciplinary body. It has heard only one known case since it was established.

The authority to hear academic integrity cases would be largely transferred from the existing Ad Board to the proposed honor board, as described in the draft. As written, the dean of the College would have the authority to decide which body would hear cases that do not clearly fall under either’s jurisdiction.

At the beginning of the semester, members of the Academic Integrity Committee hosted a series of student feedback sessions in the Houses and the Yard regarding the draft. At those meetings, some undergraduates raised concerns about the proposed honor board, questioning how students would be selected for membership and whether or not students should be able to choose which administrative body would hear their case.

Sietse K. Goffard '15, who sits on the larger Academic Integrity Committee but is not part of the smaller group of members refining the honor board language, said in a phone interview Monday that he “truly believe[s]” that the honor board is a “necessary component” of the proposed honor code.

“The honor board is really the community enforcement mechanism” of the honor code, said Goffard, who is also vice president of the Undergraduate Council.

—Staff writer Madeline R. Conway can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @MadelineRConway.

—Staff writer Steven S. Lee can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @StevenSJLee.

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