At the US assembly on Feb. 23, members of the Honor Council spoke to their fellow students about how they plan to help the Harker community combat academic dishonesty. Arjun Mody, Gr. 11, shared what he and other Council students learned during a trip to New Orleans, where they attended a conference on school honor councils and codes. Mody said Harker was one of “about 20” schools in attendance. “We soon realized that many schools are dealing with the same problems that we face here,” he said. “It was interesting to see the different perspectives that the faculty and students have on this issue and how these differences can be reconciled.”
Based on student feedback and lessons learned from the New Orleans conference, the Honor Council members came up with a number of changes they decided to implement.
One such change will involve more openness with the Harker community about honor code violations, including publically disclosing the types of transgressions to the community, but not student names.
Speaking to the assembly, Olivia Zhu, Gr. 10, said the Honor Council will try to be more transparent about its activities. “Basically, we’re trying to show more about how we work and why honor should be important in the community,” she said.
The Honor Council will also add another member from the junior class. “This means that that additional member will be more grounded when he or she is a senior,” Zhu said.
Zhu also announced an outreach to the rest of the Harker community on the issue of academic dishonesty. Honor Council members will meet with faculty during their weekly meetings to discuss their concerns and how they can be addressed. Additionally, members will discuss the topic with LS and MS students.
Anthony Silk, US math teacher and Honor Council faculty advisor, said at the assembly that openness to share news of honor code infractions would initially be “painful,” but ultimately beneficial. “The more we know,” he said, “the better we’ll do.”
Silk later added: “We, all of us, need to take this seriously if we are serious in our desire to be our best, not just academically, but as an honor-bound community as well.”