In 2000, members of the community revisited our shared notion of the Honor Principle. Following a campus-wide discussion, the student senate and the faculty approved the following resolution:
“The Preamble to the Community Constitution states that ‘We declare our commitment to responsible and honorable conduct in academic and community affairs, and we reaffirm one another’s rights to freedom of inquiry and expression in coursework, scholarship, and the day to day life of the Reed Community.’
“In keeping with this declaration, we understand that all members of the community endeavor to be honest in every aspect of academic and community life. In addition, the students, in order to take on primary responsibility for upholding academic honesty, make it a particular point of honor neither to cheat on examinations or other academic work, nor to tolerate such behavior in others.
“We also understand that a commitment to responsible and honorable conduct means that members of the community should behave in a way that does not cause unnecessary embarrassment, discomfort or injury to other individuals or to the community as a whole.
“Alleged honor violations, except for those pertaining to academic dishonesty, should be resolved by mediation or other judicial processes, whichever is appropriate; cases pertaining to academic dishonesty shall be adjudicated as per the Faculty code. When specific rules and policies have been duly enacted in the best interests of the community, community members are on their honor to respect those rules and policies, and to accept any mediated consequence or judicial sanction should the violation of a rule or policy result in unnecessary embarrassment, discomfort or injury to other individuals or to the community as a whole.
“This resolution suggests that a policy violation is an ‘honor violation’ if and only if the violation of a rule or policy results in unnecessary embarrassment, discomfort or injury to other individuals or to the community as a whole. We believe that this is both a practical and a principled solution to a persistent dilemma in the adjudication of policy violation” (Community Affairs Committee memo to the faculty, May 10, 2000).
In 2020, the Reed community will take another look at this resolution and draft a new one to encapsulate the essence of Honor at Reed during this time.