Revisions to honor code passed by SGA, will be voted on by faculty

Alexis M. Johnson, Staff Writer

A modified version of the proposed Francis Marion University honor code passed with further revisions by the Student Government Association (SGA) senate on Thursday, Feb. 3. The honor code, first drafted during the fall semester, has undergone a series of revisions and will be sent to the faculty senate and general faculty for voting.

During the SGA meeting, senators reviewed the amended version to see if it contained any vague areas or awkward wording that needed to be revised.

Because the honor code will affect the entire university, one concern expressed was the repeated use of the word “student.”

The general consensus was that though the entire FMU community will benefit from the honor code, it is a document created principally for students to encourage their responsibility, civility and integrity.

The senate did make a minor correction in the document.

In the section titled “Hearing Guidelines for Alleged Academic and Behavioral Misconduct,” senators were concerned whether violators would receive their hearing notice in a timely manner.

Prior to the revision, one statement in guideline one of the section read, “The University will notify students of charges by delivery of notice to the last known or local campus address.”

Because students may not check their mailboxes, the revision will emphasize that the student will receive the notification by mail and/or by e-mail, phone or hand delivery, etc.

After clearing up any vagueness, a motion was made to either pass or table the code.

The code was passed with the stipulation that if and when the code passes the faculty senate and general faculty, it will return to the SGA senate for final approval.

The passage of the code by the senate has served as a link of a chain of events stemming from the original draft’s revisions.

One link was an honor code meeting held for students by the code’s ad-hoc committee on Monday, Jan. 31. Students who attended this meeting received general information about the projected code, had the chance to tell the committee their likes and dislikes and suggested new revisions for the code.

The ad-hoc committee, chaired by English professor Dr. Kenneth Autrey, consists of six faculty and five students. The faculty represents various disciplines and organizations. Two of the students are SGA officers, two are SGA senators and one is president of the University Programming Board.

Although the idea for an honor code was initially proposed by FMU President Dr. Fred Carter, the ad-hoc committee was responsible for drawing up the original document.

After the honor code meeting, the ad-hoc committee met on Wednesday, Feb. 2 to view the code for any final revisions before sending it to the SGA senate for voting.

The revised honor code differs from the code drafted in the fall because it consists of one complete document covering both academic affairs and student affairs.

Honor codes, according to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., date back to 1736 when the institution first created one.

Their primary function is to make sure students are conducting themselves in a civilized and responsible manner and are showcasing academic integrity while attending the university and even after they graduate.

According to the code’s revisions, students stand to benefit in many ways.

One benefit is that it will “create pride in belonging to a community with strong values and standards.”

An SGA senator agrees with this benefit.

“I feel as though the honor code is really something that is going to help the university,” senior Logan Trively senior, said. “It’s something that will bind the students together and give more of a sense of community to the university.”

Another SGA senator agrees that the code will help instill strong values.

“I feel like the honor code is going to make the school stronger,” senior Tony Gloster said.

Another benefit is that it will “promote[s] student ownership and responsibility in an atmosphere of mutual trust.”

“The new honor code will basically serve as a framework in order for us all to be on the same page,” junior Joel Ivey, senator, said.