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'more than just a five-letter word' - Davidson honor code essay

bhangra369 8 / 11  
Nov 8, 2008   #1
I would appreciate any suggestions as to how to condense my response to the prompt.

The Davidson community abides by the Honor Code that governs academic and personal life. As a prospective member of our community, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the Honor Code and your role in it.

Honor Code

My response:

What is honor? Honor is more than just a five-letter word, something to learn in Bible classes, or something to just hear your parents admonish you about upholding. It is a way of life.

Davidson's honor code embodies the two values I cherish most------integrity and loyalty. I understand that the college has full faith in its students to uphold these guidelines in their entirety---this is evidenced in its policies of untimed exams, take-home assignments, and the like. This is also obvious in the fact that most students feel confident that they can leave their belongings and return to find them untouched----which is unheard of at most schools.

The application of the honor code has many advantages. First and foremost, it contributes to a safe environment---one in which crime of any kind is not just written off. In September, my mother had her wallet and checkbook stolen; I cannot describe how worrisome that was for all of us. Though others offered us sympathy, and the police tried to track down the culprit, the theft was ultimately written off. Knowing that everyone in the college is honor-bound to report such incidents (and most likely end up helping the victims) is a relief. It is nice to know that there are still people who care what happens to you if something should go badly wrong.

Second, I am sure that having the honor code enforced instills a better student-faculty relationship. Elsewhere, the honor code would just serve as something to hold over one's head should a student break the rules; it is just a set of rules. At Davidson, the code will enable students having issues with something---such as a class---to talk to the professor rather than resort to cheating. The code makes the professors more accessible and trustworthy.

Third, the sense of trust between students and faculty should spill over to the student body's interactions with each other. Because the students know they can trust each other, they are more likely to work together in harmony to overcome the same obstacles---no one feels like they have to "go it alone". This, in turn, creates a better sense of community.

There are not many drawbacks to the honor code itself, but there may be to what stems from it. These may include helping someone that one does not like, or reporting something that a close friend did wrong. Yet, one cannot truly consider them "drawbacks", for helping anyone does that person good---provided the favor is within reason---and reporting a friend, in a way, tells them you care about them. The main gripes of students are most likely not about the code itself---but other rules the administration may make to protect students from potential harm. These, in my opinion, do not have as much to with the code as with personal preference.

If admitted to Davidson, I will uphold the code in its entirety and help others do the same. Such basic principles should not be questionable----they should be integrated into our daily lives in and out of the classroom. After all, one cannot treat a way of life---so based on morals----as just words. If everyone applied the code---Davidson student or not----to their normal tasks, the world would be a much better, safer, and more connected place.

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