The University’s Honor System continues to stand the test of time. A student-governed body for 99 years and an integral part of student life for 160 years, it endures as the heart of the UVA student experience. More than a pledge not to lie, cheat or steal, the Honor System sets the standard for living a life of honesty, integrity, civility and responsibility in the years students spend on Grounds and beyond.
- Under the leadership of David Truetzel (Com ’10), the committee marked several accomplishments this past year. A constitutional amendment sponsored by the committee to broaden communication by providing more detailed public summaries of Honor trials was approved by the student body. The committee also undertook the following:
- Published an extensive student guide on plagiarism.
- Delivered presentations to each of the University’s athletic teams.
- Developed an online introduction to Honor for new students.
- Continued to engage faculty through the Faculty Advisory Committee.
- Amended procedures for onboard administration of the Honor System during voyages within UVA’s Semester at Sea program.
As the University continues to grow, so does the challenge of managing the Honor System. In an effort to remain relevant and responsive to current students, the committee has set a goal for the coming year to address trends of student and faculty disengagement and to reconsider the more unwieldy elements of a once-simple system.
The committee continues to build and maintain good relationships with a variety of student constituencies. We are planning for open and constructive dialogue about the Honor System in the year ahead. From school-specific forums to a potential interschool conference, we envision a robust and engaging University-wide dialogue about Honor. We intend to be receptive to the reasoned criticism of students and faculty and, where appropriate, to consider change.
Through hard work, creativity, passion and some change, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the student-run Honor System remains strong for the generations of students who come after us.
Charles C. Harris (Col ’07, Law ’11)
Honor Committee Chair
Our community is a special place, and Student Council is working every day to protect and improve the quality of the student experience. Council undertakes projects such as safety, environmental sustainability and academics, among others.
A few projects run by Student Council in early 2010:
- We empowered students to contribute to the academic experience with “Cavalier Education: Student-Initiated Courses for Fall 2010” and “The Commission on the University’s Present.”
- We promoted UVA athletics with the “Virginia Football T-Shirt Design Contest” and “UVA Football TV Commercial Recruitment.”
- We got students to think about their own health and the health of others with “Wellness Week” and a blood drive.
- We made traveling easier for students with the UVAirBus, which is a shuttle to and from the Charlottesville and Richmond airports.
- Several events celebrated diversity on Grounds, including “The Slave Experience at UVA,” a historical talk and reception, as well as “Minds Wide Open: UVA Celebrates Women in the Arts.”
- To encourage sustainability, we held a green reception for Earth Week and last spring a referendum mandated the establishment of the Green Initiative For Tomorrow (GIFT), which will fund student, faculty or staff projects on Grounds that decrease the University’s impact on the environment.
To truly improve the student experience, Council must connect with our peers. Student Council is harnessing the power of applications such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Ustream to create a more easily accessible, responsive student government.
Our revamped website—UVAStudentCouncil.com—has many new features, including live streaming of Student Council meetings, YouTube videos explaining new initiatives and personal bios introducing the many faces that make up Student Council. The website is fully interactive and allows students to easily contact Council and keep up to date with its day-to-day operations.
Council also introduced a website to allow students to submit concerns. SpeakUpUVa.com is a hub for student ideas where any student is free to anonymously post. To supplement this, students can vote on proposals to assist the Council in gauging the interest and desire for proposed ideas.
Colin Hood (Col ’11)
Student Council President