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.

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