The Honor Principle
Many colleges and universities have honor codes or statements clarifying the expected behavior of their community members. Reed is not one of those places. The Honor Principle has no official definition; you won’t find it in the community constitution. However, the Honor Council attempts to encapsulate what the Honor Principle means to the community at large every 20 years. A record of these encapsulations can be found here. Living with an individualized and nonprescriptive idea of community norms can be challenging, but it also allows each Reedie to come to their own understandings of what it means to become a part of the Reed community. But what is the Honor Principle?
The most common interpretation of the Honor Principle mentions that any action that causes unnecessary pain or discomfort to any member of the Reed community, group within the community, or to the community as a whole, is a violation of the Honor Principle. This is just one interpretation of the Honor Principle.
Instead, each member of the Reed community cultivates their own understanding of Honor, both as an individual and as a part of Reed. The honor principle allows Reed to develop our values as a community. Coming to find what you think honorable behavior is and what the Honor Principle means is a morally and intellectually challenging part of your Reed education.
The Reed community is committed to the notion that the best way to run its internal affairs is to ask each individual to investigate and question their own expectations surrounding honorable conduct. It is up to each person to engage with the trust, as well as responsibility placed on them by the Honor Principle in order for the community to support everyone.