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'an experience between personal freedom...' Haverford Honor Code Essay


travisl 2 / 5 2  
Jan 12, 2014   #1
If anyone can give me some feedback on essay it'd be much appreciated! This is still a draft and any input would be great. Thanks!

Prompt: Write about an experience in which you encountered a tension between personal freedom and community standards. Discuss the experience and the underlying issues, how you dealt with the tension, and whether or not there was a satisfactory resolution.

Living at a school with only a hundred students, reliance on trust and understanding is essential to the wellbeing, comfort, and sense of community that exists at Orme. While this trust is normally present, social expectations should be made clear. The Orme Honor Code is very ambiguous. It has a straightforward don't "lie, cheat, or steal" policy, and though this may cover basic guidelines, a more thorough code, like Haverford's, would greatly benefit my school. Trust is quintessential to a healthy living environment and, when it is breached, change must occur.

Starting out this year, I decided to board at school five days a week. This was my first time living in an environment with only other students besides summer camps. I expected all my peers to be as respectful of my personal property as I am of theirs. Towards Thanksgiving break, I noticed some of my favorite makeup was missing. While I wasn't sure what had happened, I had a feeling that it had been taken at school, as it was not at either of my parents' houses. It felt wrong to accuse anyone of the theft without proof and so the incident went unnoticed for a few weeks.

One day, when I went to a friend's room to ask about homework, I found almost all of my missing items on her roommate's dresser. Instantly, I was more disappointed than relieved. My suspicions were confirmed and I felt that my entrusting nature had been violated. Over the course of a week, the Headmaster and Student Life Coordinate looked into the case of my, and another student's, allegations with this girl. In conclusion, the girl in violation received permanent "separation from the community1."

Though action was taken to correct the student's infractions, my school did not make it known or discussed the effects of stealing with the student body as a whole. I feel the lack of presence of the Honor Code could have been a partial cause the girl's wrong doings. With how explicit the Honor Code is at Haverford, the community knows exactly what's expected and the consequences for violation. It is an environment where I'll be able to trust my fellow students in a way that I have not been able to at Orme. The pledge every student takes and the depth of the Code is vital in retaining the strong sense of community Haverford is known for.

In high school, the reigning decisions are made by top administration without input from students. In this case I would uphold their decision, but there have been infractions in the past where punishments do not fit the crimes. An Honor Council might've made the same decision, but it would have arisen by input from diverse perspectives, instead of a couple of authoritative figures.

To me, Haverford's Honor Code invokes a sense of freedom and maturity knowing that everyone has pledged to follow it. Problems may arise, but there are specific procedures to resolve them. This type of code should be as important at the high school level as it is at Haverford. There isn't an age limit to start respecting others and ones morals. I'm ready to belong to a community that emphasizes living, learning, and socializing in respectful ways.

1. Section 3.04 Responsibilities, Haverford College Honor Code
PeteSkizzle 2 / 5 1  
Jan 12, 2014   #2
Honestly, I don't think there's anything wrong with what there is now; seems a reasonable length. It might be good to change don't "lie steal cheat" to "don't lie steal cheat" but that's really not that important. Would also change "community1" to "community[1]" but I'm sure you were going to do that :) Otherwise looks solid as it can be.

Now, think you can critique my essay? It's pretty long but I need it for tomorrow so help please :)
joannap_92 3 / 3  
Jan 12, 2014   #3
I also thought this was a good and well written essay! Didn't have trouble getting through it or wanting to revise any sentences. Could you also go and critique my essay? I would gladly appreciate it!
dumi 1 / 6,927 1592  
Jan 26, 2014   #4
Living atin a school with only a hundred students, reliance on trust and understanding is essential to the wellbeing, comfort, and sense of community that exists at Orme.

It has a straightforward don't "lie, cheat, or steal" policy, and though this may cover basic guidelines, a more thorough code, like Haverford's, would greatly benefit my school.

It has a more straightforward policy - "Don't lie, cheat or steal". Although this may cover basic guidelines, I feel it needs to be more detailed for it to benefit my school like the one at Haverford's.


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