Honor at Reed

Resources for Honor Council, Judicial Board, Sexual Misconduct Board, AOD Review Panel

Other Quotes on the Honor Principle

Those individuals (and societies) that seek to find and follow absolute laws with closed minds cut off awareness of themselves, others, and their world generally. They cannot grow. Those who seek to openly follow principles that require awareness, thought, and feelings are in a position to grow most fully into themselves. As Socrates truly said, the unexamined life is not worth living.

—Charles Svitavsky Emeritus professor of English and humanities


The Honor Principle urges us all to reflect carefully on our words and deeds rather than flinging them in a haphazard and potentially damaging way. At this juncture we are faced by two possibilities. The community as a whole can act to pressure guilty parties into ending their destruction, or we can remain coolly impassive and force the administration to lumber forth and clean up our mess . Social responsibility is the necessary companion of social freedom; it’s time for the student body to demonstrate that the college’s faith in the Honor Principle has not been misplaced.”

—Derek Lyons ’00 and Sylvia Thompson ’00 (printed in a spring 1996 issue of the Quest)


Part of what makes adapting to living with the Honor Principle difficult for incoming students is that it defies everything modern culture teaches us. In America, individualism is often mistaken for uninformed defiance of community. Individuals can exist within a community, and that is what Reed needs. Reed is indeed a community of scholars and individuals with academic goals. If 1400 of the world’s supposedly brightest people can’t learn to live with each other maturely and respectfully, what hope can there be for the rest of the world? I challenge every student, professor, administrator, and staff member to embrace the quest for community and humanity.

—Patrick Stockstill ’03