Honor Council

pictures & information from your friendly neighborhood honor council

Honor Council 101: What We Do by Frankie Breedlove

by frankiebreedlove

In my time on Honor Council I’ve often encountered folks who have no idea what Honor Council is or what we do. This, to me, feels like a tragedy because Honor Council is a wonderful resource that I hope more students will utilize. That being said here it is, your guide to Honor Council!

The Subcommittees

Mediation SubcommitteeThe mediation subcommittee is responsible for providing formal mediation to the community. If you’ve had a problem with someone and you’ve tried talking to them and the problem has persisted or communication broke down, formal mediation might be a good option for you. Honor Council will provide a trained mediator who will act as an unbiased third party and facilitate communication between you and the other person. Something to keep in mind about mediation is that both parties must agree to come to mediation and either may choose to end the session at any time. Honor Council also provides mediation training to the community once per semester, so you too could become a mediator! Mediation request forms are available outside the Honor Council office (GCC-033A) or online at http://www.reed.edu/honor_principle/honor_council.html. If you want more information about how mediation works, how to request a mediation, or when mediation might be a good option stop by office hours or email hc-mediation@reed.edu

Community Rights Subcommittee: The community rights subcommittee (CRS) is a little-known gem. In a nutshell the community right subcommittee takes a case through the Honor Process on behalf of the community. What does that mean? It means that if a potential violation of the Honor Principle occurs but it affects a whole community as opposed to an individual it might be an appropriate case for CRS. CRS will take a case if it is a more appropriate body to move forward with the case than any individual in particular. The CRS can choose to attempt informal or formal mediation or even take the case to J-Board should it be appropriate. The CRS chair can even investigate a case by interviewing relevant witnesses. For more information about how CRS works or how to bring a case to CRS come to weekly office hours or email emagan@reed.edu to contact Emily Agan, the current CRS chair.

Education Subcommittee: The education subcommittee is responsible for engaging the Reed community in discussions about the Honor Principle and educating about the Honor Process.

Projects: The education subcommittee varies semester to semester in what kinds of projects to take on in our quest to raise awareness of the Honor Principle and the Honor Process. Projects have included writing Quest articles, updating and maintaining the website and blog, a scavenger hunt (TBA *wink* *wink*), making t-shirts, attempting to gather and record institutional memory, forums, planning Honor-related orientation events, hosting Paideia classes, giving Renn Fayre dorm talks, and much, much more.

Liaisonships: In addition to an individual member’s project Honor Council members also choose a liaisonship. Liaisonships are flexible and change depending on the needs of the community. Liaisonships often require members to keep in contact with folks in a bunch of different departments on campus. Current liaisonships include: Secretary, Community Safety, Senate, J-Board, Public Relations, Events, Student Activities, Staff and Faculty Outreach, and more.

Office Hours: One of the Honor Council mainstays is office hours. Office hours are currently held every Monday-Thursday 6-7pm (check SB info if you want to know a particular Honor Council member’s day). Office hours is great place to go if you’re looking for information about the Honor Process, need unbiased advice about a conflict or other problem, or want to wax philosophical about the Honor Principle. Office hours is a confidential space where Honor Council members can refer you to more specific resources or simply listen to you. Oftentimes office hours is pretty relaxed and so long as no one is in need of immediate attention it is also a fun place to hangout in the Honor Council office and get to know some Honor Council members!

Well, there you have it! There’s a basic overview of the things Honor Council members do. I love working with Honor Council because it’s flexible. Projects and liasionships can and do change depending on where we want to focus our energy. It also allows me to engage with the community and with students when they really need someone to listen. If you’d like to learn more about what Honor Council members do or if you’d like to get to know us better feel free to come by our office hours. Our office is located at GCC-033A.


Honor Council and J-Board Go to an Honor Conference! Or, Why I’m Glad I Go to Reed

by frankiebreedlove

HamiltonCollegeHC HCandJBoard JBoardHamilitonCollege

On a warm evening in late September Katie, Evvy, Elisa, and I packed our bags and made our way to the airport. Katie and Evvy, members of J-Board, and Elisa and I, members of Honor Council, excitedly chatted about the possibilities of the weekend ahead. The four of us were headed to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York for a conference to discuss the different Honor Codes (or Principle) that other small, liberal arts schools abide by. The other schools in attendance were Union, Haverford, Davidson and of course Hamilton as host.

After two long flights, the thrill of being legally allowed to rent a car, and a nap we made it to the Hamilton campus for an opening dinner. Each school gave a brief presentation about what their Honor Codes looked like and we tried our best to explain the nuances of our Honor Principle. It became immediately clear to me, and my companions, that the other systems were very different from ours at Reed. Some schools had Honor Codes that encompassed only academic life and thus their judicial bodies (called Honor Council confusingly) only dealt with cases pertaining to academic misconduct. These schools had other bodies and systems to deal with interpersonal or community level conflicts. Other schools like Reed, had a system that included the entirety of campus life from the social to the academic.

Clearly, there were many differences and nuances to learn from each other and our first dinner turned into: “Oh you do it like that? Here’s how we do it!” It was very interesting for me as an Honor Councillor to hear Evvy and Katie field questions about our judicial process at Reed. What caught my attention most of all though, was the fact that none of these schools had a body similar to Reed’s Honor Council: a body dedicated to educating, advising, mediating with regard to the Honor Principle. The other folks at the conference were representing their adjudicating bodies, similar to our J-Board. In this, and in many other ways that I learned that weekend, Reed is utterly unique.

The next day we attended panels discussing topics about educating our community on the Honor Principle, how students do or do not “enforce and participate in the code”, the pros and cons of academic-only vs academic and social honor codes, and what types of sanctions are applied when necessary. In each of these discussions I came away with an appreciation for the other students at the conference as they described their systems with eloquence and passion. I heard many amazing ideas of how to increase student involvement and I got a sense for what we are doing right, and wrong, at Reed. However, I was disappointed that inevitably each conversation dwelled on academic misconduct and, in my opinion, procedural minutia. My hope for the conference was to be able to talk about what Honor means to people at each of these institutions but my questions were often rebuffed with talk about “the code states x.” I think my companions felt equally frustrated as they attempted to start discussions about student autonomy and the importance of complying with federal regulations.

Ultimately, my experience at this conference renewed my love for Reed’s Honor Principle. We have problems but I feel hopeful that we can tackle them honorably and as a community. I’m so grateful that Reed affords us, as students, insane amounts of autonomy and that our opinions as students are taken seriously. I’m grateful that Reedies feel equally passionate about this and fight for it each year. I’m grateful that I can define honor for myself. I’m grateful that I’m required to constantly be checking myself and owning up to my dishonorable actions. I’m grateful for Reed. All this being said, I’m grateful for the opportunity to attend this conference and I believe that the Honor Codes at the other institutions work amazingly well. It’s my hope we can collaborate with other schools in the future and continue a dialogue about honor beyond Reed.

Title IX, Nudity, & Reed Traditions: An Honor Council Forum

by emilyeggin

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
4:00pm, Vollum Lounge
Honor Council present, Emily facilitated
Around 90 students, faculty, and staff in attendance.
Bullet points signify an opinion expressed by a person, subpoints made by the same person.
The comments at the end tend more toward recommendations for future directions, and is separated.
Opening Statements
Roman Garcia (Honor Council)
• Introduce subject
• Neutral facilitation
• Ground Rules
• Be compassionate
Mike Brody
• Consistent with Honor Principle to provide venues to seek comfort, repair, and healing when not able to confront person who caused them harm
• Importance of Title IX: If there is a hostile environment, Reed must investigate
• An investigation is an inquiry
• Disappointed with Pantheon
• Steps are being taken to make sure this doesn’t happen again—HumPlay handout
o Give people a heads up
o Improve communication of what this is for
Opened up the Floor
• Student expresses importance of nudity to them
o Supports continued tradition of portrayal of Gods & Goddesses
o Nudity is part of her identity
o We need to communicate if people are uncomfortable
o If there are restrictions placed, it will affect nudists in community
• Director of HumPlay in 2008
o Made artistic choice to be naked
o This is a way men can oppress women
o Rules of conduct: we should think more holistically
o Does not believe anything that makes anyone uncomfortable is a Reed tradition
• Concern: focusing on nudity versus the behavior that was aggressive/threatening
o Should be aware of how we appear to those outside Reed College
• HumPlay director this year: taking measures to address issues
• Difficult balance between providing Trigger warnings and banning something outright
• Blurring line between appearance & behavior: creating restrictions against nudity risks saying something about bodies is inherently bad
• Must address issue of access: people need to be able to get to class
o Assumption of knowledge restricts access
o There is only 1 wheelchair accessible entrance to Vollum
o Avoid gendered violence
• Definition of sex: does the nakedness really constitute discrimination if done to both genders?
o Censorship is the wrong direction
o It is not fair to limit everyone based on a few individuals
• Aggressive behavior and access is a problem
o Reed traditions often hinge on surprise
o We should provide alternatives, make sure there is forewarning
• Question: is nudity in itself a problem, or was it the aggressive behavior
• There are groups of people on campus who find nudity uncomfortable, such as international students
• A HumPlay participant: Future plans to make the Pantheon clothed, contained, and less aggressive, and provide forewarning
o Distinction between offensive v. uncomfortable v. Triggering (trauma response)
• Former HumPlay director: need more communication between leaders
o Older directors should advise new directors
• What decides communal discomfort?
• Intent is important
o Assume good intent
o Be aware of issues of malice
o Surprise makes it beautiful
• How does Honor inform informal confrontations?
• Fairness: Honor Principle asks us to go beyond what is fair. We should be compassionate
• The fact that the event is welcoming makes it especially important that we not risk peoples’ comfort
• Issue affects faculty and staff as well as students
• Nudity is not necessarily sexual
o Should inform people that nudity will be occurring, but it should be peoples’ job to avoid nudity if it offends them
• Some appreciate the discomfort of the Pantheon
o It’s a growing experience
o We need to evaluate the benefits and potential harm
• Concerned with callousness of Reed’s response
o If something is less than honorable to someone, people should pay attention
• Two conversations happening
o Pantheon
o Bigger context: Honor, SA, triggers
o Where will it go?
• Where do we draw the line of cultural difference versus triggers?
o We need to look at our values and principles and ask what would we sacrifice
• When something makes someone uncomfortable, and this is the objective of the tradition, should this still be a Reed tradition?
• We should also let people know in advance what makes Reed ‘spicy’
• Reed should institutionalize education about trauma
• We need to make sure the community addresses concerns
• We should all try to understand triggers
• Encourage being up front about Reed traditions in admissions office
• Reed should not be a place where if you aren’t comfortable you have to get out
• The goal should be to expose people to a non-threatening nude person

Graffiti about Graffiti

by honorcouncil

22 posters (with pens) were put up in the GCC bathrooms, library, SU, and academic buildings, asking the simple question of what do you think about graffiti on campus?

The posters were put up as a response to student outcry after the lower GCC bathrooms were painted white. These posters, along with a lunchtime discussion and afternoon forum, were meant to provide community members with the opportunity to share their varying & conflicting opinions.

Questions/Comments/Concerns? Email us at hc-students@lists.edu.

note: poster 13 has been edited due to someone’s full name being used derogatorily