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Ethics Center

Evolution of the Honor Code Effort

Below is a brief history of the evolution of the honor code effort, which ultimately resulted in the Forester Pledge

Honor Code (revised Fall 2009)

PREAMBLE

Members of the Lake Forest College community are expected to uphold the standards of honesty, mutual respect, self-discipline, and civility that represent the core values of the college in all aspects of social and academic interactions. Any students’ failure to follow these principles or any rules of behavior in the school handbook will be subject to proper disciplinary actions as recommended by the Judicial Counsel.

MEMBERS’ PLEDGE: As a Forester, I will act with honesty, valuing every member of the community, and holding myself and others accountable for our own actions. I accept responsibility to maintain this pledge at all times.

ARTICLE 1: COMMUNITY STANDARDS

Lake Forest College expects that members of the community will maintain the values of honesty, civility and respect as embodied by the school. These standards are to facilitate students’ ethical development, personal integrity and promote a positive living, learning, and physical environment. Each member of the community has the same basic rights and must take responsibility for respecting the rights of others.

ARTICLE 2: ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Academic dishonesty is any act in which a scholar fails to properly identify the sources of material used in his or her work. Students are expected to guarantee that all material submitted is the product of his or her honest intellectual effort and participation. As an affirmation of this pledge, all members of the community will be expected to resign the Members’ Pledge at the start of each new semester.

ARTICLE 3: ENCOURAGING RESPONSIBLE ACTION

All members of the Lake Forest College community are expected to encourage, in others as well as themselves, the personal responsibility of being accountable for one’s own actions. Members of the Lake Forest College community are encouraged to have conversations with those that would violate aspects of the honor code to offer support, advice and recommend alternative actions.

ARTICLE 4: THE HONOR COUNCIL

SECTION 1: A body known as the Honor Council will be established in order to present the honor system to all new members of the Lake Forest College community, organize efforts to enable members to live up to the Code, encourage broad campus dialogue about the Code and formulate proposals for changes in the Code. Members of the Honor Council are in charge of all judicial, legislative and educational processes. Members are required to act with discretion in reference to student violations, and keep all aspects of said cases confidential.

SECTION 2: In order to become a member of the Honor Council a student or faculty/ staff must present an application to the Dean of Students who will approve their name to go before a Student Government vote. No student may participate as a member of the Council if they are on probation. The Council shall consist of fifteen (15) students, which includes one (1) chair and one (1) secretary, six (6) faculty/ staff and the Dean of Judicial Affairs that will act as an advisor and administrator. Judicial meetings will be comprised of five (5) Council members, two (2) faculty/ staff and will be presided over by the Dean of Judicial Affairs. The Dean may participate in all proceedings, deliberations and act as an advisor to the Council but is unbiased and without a vote. No member of the Honor Council may hear a case when he or she has a conflict of interest as deemed by themselves or by a majority vote of the Council.

HONOR CODE as originally passed by student vote (Spring 2008)

Members’ Pledge:  As a Forester, I will act with integrity, valuing myself, every member of the community, and our shared environment, and holding myself and others responsible for our own actions.

The pledge reflects central values that apply in academic work as well as social interactions; it highlights values that unite us as a community; it is expected to encourage the sustained effort necessary to achieve excellence and to make a unique contribution.

A. Academic Integrity

The members’ pledge has special application to work submitted to gain course credit.  Students are expected to guarantee that all material submitted represents their honest effort, clearly indicating sources used, avoiding any unauthorized aid, and presenting the results of their work accurately.  As an expression of this guarantee, for major assignments (as determined by the faculty member,) students will be expected to sign written work, with a statement that reaffirms the Members’ Pledge:

This work is my own and represents my honest effort.

Failure to uphold the standards of academic integrity represents (1) a lost opportunity for students to achieve the intellectual understanding that is a central goal of the academic enterprise and (2) a personal failure that reflects on the student’s character, generating a reputation for dishonesty that is difficult to overcome.  Furthermore, dishonest work (1) is unfair to other students, who may find their work assessed against submissions that include inappropriate aid, (2) represents a betrayal of the student-faculty relationship, and (3) interferes with the legitimate course of academic conversations, which depend on knowing the source of ideas and arguments.  Standards of academic integrity reflect the core values of the institution, essential to maintaining an academic environment that encourages its members to explore conscientiously novel and even unpopular ideas.  For these reasons and more, it is essential that every member of the community uphold and promote the ideals of academic honesty and integrity. *

B. Valuing Oneself, Others, and Our Shared Environment

The values embodied in the Members’ Pledge require that all of us seek to sustain a creative and diverse academic community, one that provides a supportive home for its many residents and a welcoming living and learning environment for all who study, work, or visit here. Members must also value and nurture our physical environment and the institution.

Each member enjoys the same basic rights and must take responsibility for respecting the rights of others, including (1) freedom from personal abuse and threats of violence, (2) access to all relevant College services and opportunities, (3) a supportive living environment that enables all to participate fully in the life of the College.  As members of a diverse academic community dedicated to open and free inquiry, we emphasize each individual’s right (1) to free expression, subject only to the dialogue that may result, (2) to organize his or her personal life, and (3) to act on his or her own vision, so long as it does not violate responsibilities to others or the College and its environment.

We are committed to the idea that the values underlying our community, if clarified, discussed, and ultimately accepted, provide an essential way to face directly and effectively the inevitable challenges that will arise in a diverse community.  Experience dealing civilly and conscientiously with personal and institutional challenges is an important part of the education provided here.  A fundamental respect for each member as someone who provides an important voice, whether in the classroom, the dorm, co-curricular activities, or social events, yields a foundation for functional democratic procedures and thus peaceful methods for resolving conflicts and extending our knowledge. **

C. Encouraging Responsible Action

All members of the community are expected to encourage, in others as well as themselves, the personal responsibility associated with the Members’ Pledge.  We must also be willing to challenge College decisions and policies we believe need improvement, which would include pursuing appropriate amendments to the Honor Code.

The provision to hold others accountable for their actions is not, however, an explicit requirement that students report all violations they witness.  Rather, students, as well as other members of the community, are expected to raise concerns with those who would violate provisions of the Honor Code, to emphasize the importance of fulfilling the Members’ Pledge, to offer advice and assistance, and to recommend alternative actions.  Such conversations are not easy, and members are encouraged to seek confidential advice, e.g., from advisors, Deans, the Director of the Ethics Center, and members of the Honor Council.

The Honor Council

An Honor Council will be established to:

  • educate new members concerning the Code,
  • organize efforts to enable members to live up to the provisions of the code,
  • encourage broad campus dialogue about the Code, and
  • formulate proposals for changes in the Code. 
  • Specific activities of Honor Council will include:
  • orientation presentations for all new students,
  • presentations in FIYS and other classes and at the request of faculty,
  • sponsorship of programs concerning our academic and social values,
  • coordination with faculty and academic departments on efforts to educate students concerning academic honesty expectations across disciplines,
  • coordination with administrators and student groups on efforts to promote the values essential for our residential community. ***

The Honor Council will be composed largely of students, though it is intended to bring together members from many elements of the community.  Thus there will be faculty and staff representation. (As long as the Council’s role remains solely educational, membership will be flexible.  More explicit provisions about size and eligibility will be necessary when the Council begins hearing cases.) 

Three faculty members will be selected by FPPC.  The Dean of Faculty and/or the Director of the Ethics Center will provide recommendations. 

One or two staff members will be selected by EAR, in consultation with the Dean of Faculty and/or the Director of the Ethics Center.

One or two administrators will be selected by the Dean of Faculty.

There will be no limit on the number of student members.  The Dean of Students will collect names of student nominees and volunteers and confirm that potential members have not been found responsible for violations by Conduct Board or the Academic Honesty Judicial Board.  The Dean of Students will then confirm that eligible students are interested in serving on Honor Council and will submit the names of interested students to Student Government, which will approve members for the Council.  It is expected that, once selected, student members will remain on the Council for the rest of their undergraduate career.

Recommendations for membership are welcome from all members of the campus community.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to make nominations or to volunteer by contacting the Director of the Ethics Center. Students are encouraged to make nominations or to volunteer by contacting the Dean of Students. All members will be expected to participate in some of the educational tasks of the Council.

A student will be elected by the members to serve as Chair; co-chairs will be possible.  There will be two advisors: the Ethics Center Director and a Dean from the Office of Student Affairs (selected by the Dean of Students).  At least one advisor should attend each meeting.  The Ethics Center will provide logistical support for the Council.  In the interest of encouraging dialogue, the Council may decide to open all or some meetings to the campus community.

Notes And Elaborations

* Enforceable Expectations Concerning Academic Work 
Violations of the basic expectations concerning academic integrity, such as plagiarism, cheating on tests, and falsifying data, are subject to disciplinary action.  For information concerning (1) these violations, (2) specific expectations of students, faculty and staff, and (3) the procedures for addressing violations, see the Student Handbook, Policies and Procedures—Academic, Academic Honesty.

** Enforceable Expectations Concerning Social Life on Campus 
Certain violations of the expectations concerning personal behavior, such as disorderly conduct and vandalism, are subject to disciplinary action.  For information concerning (1) these violations, (2) specific expectations of students, faculty, and staff, and (3) the procedures for addressing violations, see the Student Handbook, Community Standards and Student Conduct.

*** As the Pledge and Honor Council become rooted in the culture of the College, the Council may consider proposals concerning, e.g., the relaxation of proctoring requirements.  It is expected that, once the Honor Counsel is fully established, a subcommittee, composed entirely of students,  will take on the responsibility for hearings concerning violations of minimal College expectations, i.e., cases now handled through the Academic Honesty Judicial Board and Conduct Board.  A proposal to that effect will be presented to the relevant governing bodies when appropriate.

 

EARLY HONOR CODE PROPOSAL (Fall 2007)

THE COLLEGE HONOR CODE

 Members’ Pledge:  As a member of the Lake Forest College community I will not lie, cheat, steal, or treat others in a disrespectful way.  I will act with integrity, valuing myself, every member of the community, and our shared environment, and holding myself and others mutually accountable.

 The pledge reflects central values that apply in academic work as well as social interactions.  All members of the College community are expected to uphold these standards and ideals. At their matriculation ceremony, students will explicitly acknowledge this commitment.  The Honor Code will be publicized so that it is available to all prospective students and employees.

 The Member’s Pledge reflects the complexity of our moral lives, from the minimal requirements for cooperative existence to the ideals embodied in our efforts to lead a good life.  The Pledge is expected to encourage the sustained effort necessary to achieve excellence and to make a unique contribution.

 All members of the community are expected to encourage, in others as well as themselves, the personal responsibility associated with the Members’ Pledge.  The provision to hold others accountable for their actions is not, however, an explicit requirement that students report all violations they witness.  Rather, students, as well as other members of the community, are expected to raise concerns with those who would violate provisions of the Honor Code, to emphasize the importance of fulfilling the Members’ Pledge, to offer advice and assistance, and to recommend alternative actions.  Such conversations are not easy, and members are encouraged to seek confidential advice, e.g., from advisors, Deans, the Director of the Ethics Center, and members of the Honor Council.

 A. Academic Integrity

 The members’ pledge to avoid lying, stealing, and cheating has special application to work submitted to gain course credit.  Students are expected to guarantee that all material submitted represents their honest effort, clearly indicating sources used, avoiding any unauthorized aid, and presenting the results of their work accurately.

As an expression of this guarantee, students will sign all written course work, with a statement that reaffirms the Members’ Pledge:

 This work represents my own honest effort.

 Faculty ought not accept unsigned work.  In addition, faculty may require a specific statement, as befits a particular assignment or project.  Failure to sign work will in no way release students from the obligations associated with the Honor Code.  (On matriculation, students will receive an electronic version of their signature, for inclusion on work submitted digitally.)

 Failure to uphold the standards of academic integrity represents (1) a lost opportunity for students to achieve the intellectual understanding that is a central goal of the academic enterprise and (2) a personal failure that reflects on the student’s character, generating a reputation for dishonesty that is difficult to overcome.  Furthermore, dishonest work (1) is unfair to other students, who may find their work assessed against submissions that include inappropriate aid, (2) represents a betrayal of the student-faculty relationship, and (3) interferes with the legitimate course of academic conversations, which depend on knowing the source of ideas and arguments.  Standards of academic integrity reflect the core values of the institution, essential to maintaining an academic environment that encourages its members to explore conscientiously novel and even unpopular ideas.  For these reasons and more, it is essential that every member of the community uphold and promote the ideals of academic honesty and integrity.

 

ENFORCEABLE EXPECTATIONS CONCERNING ACADEMIC WORK

Violations of the basic expectations concerning academic integrity, such as plagiarism and falsifying data, are subject to disciplinary action.  For information concerning (1) these violations, (2) specific expectations of students, faculty and staff, and (3) the procedures for addressing violations, see the Student Handbook, Policies and Procedures—Academic, Academic Honesty.

 B. Valuing Oneself, Others, and Our Shared Environment

 The values embodied in the Members’ Pledge require that all of us seek to sustain a creative and diverse academic community, one that provides a supportive home for its many residents and a welcoming living and learning environment for all who study, work, or visit here.  Thus members must value and nurture our physical environment, the institution, and each member.  Members must consider the needs of others, in dorms, classrooms, dining hall, on campus and off.  We must also be willing to challenge College decisions and policies we believe need improvement.

 Each member enjoys the same basic rights and must take responsibility for respecting the rights of others, including (1) freedom from personal abuse and threats of violence, (2) access to all relevant College services and opportunities, (3) a supportive living environment that enables all to participate fully in the life of the College.  As members of a diverse academic community dedicated to open and free inquiry, we emphasize each individual’s right (1) to free expression, subject only to the dialogue that may result, (2) to organize his or her personal life, and (3) to act on his or her own vision, so long as it does not violate his or her responsibilities to others.

As a residential campus, attracting members from across the country and around the world, Lake Forest College faces opportunities and challenges similar to the larger community.  The College is committed to the idea that the values underlying our community, if clarified, discussed, and ultimately accepted, provide an essential way to face directly and effectively  the inevitable challenges that will arise in a diverse community.  Experience dealing civilly and conscientiously with personal and institutional challenges is an important part of the education provided here.  A fundamental respect for each member as someone who provides an important voice, whether in the classroom, the dorm, co-curricular activities, or social events, yields a foundation for functional democratic procedures and thus peaceful methods for resolving conflicts and extending our knowledge.

 

ENFORCEABLE EXPECTATIONS CONCERNING SOCIAL LIFE ON CAMPUS

Certain violations of the expectations concerning personal behavior, such as disorderly conduct and vandalism, are subject to disciplinary action.  For information concerning (1) these violations, (2) specific expectations of students, faculty, and staff, and (3) the procedures for addressing violations, see the Student Handbook, Community Standards and Student Conduct.

 

THE HONOR COUNCIL

 An Honor Council will be established to:

1) educate new members concerning the Code,

2) organize efforts to enable members to live up to the provisions of the code,

3) encourage broad campus dialogue about the Code, and

4. formulate proposals for changes in the Code. 

(As the Pledge and Honor Council become rooted in the culture of the College, the Council may consider proposals concerning, e.g., the relaxation of proctoring requirements.  It is expected that, once fully established, the Honor Council will also take on the responsibility for hearings concerning violations of minimal College expectations, i.e., cases now handled through the Academic Honesty Judicial Board and Conduct Board.  A proposal to that effect will be presented to the relevant governing bodies when appropriate.)

 Specific activities of Honor Council will include:

1) orientation presentations for all new students,

2) presentations in FIYS and other classes and at the request of faculty,

3) sponsorship of programs concerning our academic and social values,

4) coordination with faculty and academic departments on efforts to educate students concerning academic honesty expectations across disciplines,

5) coordination with administrators and student groups on efforts to promote the values essential for our residential community.

The Honor Council will be composed largely of students, though it is intended to bring together members from many elements of the community.  Thus there will be faculty and staff representation. (As long as the Council’s role remains solely educational, membership will be flexible.  More explicit provisions about size and eligibility will be necessary when the Council begins hearing cases.) 

1. Three faculty members will be selected by FPPC.  The Dean of Faculty and/or the Director of the Ethics Center will provide recommendations. 

2. One or two staff members will be selected by EAR, in consultation with the Dean of Faculty and/or the Director of the Ethics Center.

3. One or two administrators will be selected by the Dean of Faculty.

4. There will be no limit on the number of student members.  Student members will initially be selected by the Dean of Students and the Director of the Ethics Center, in consultation with Student Government. Once established, the existing Honor Council will select new student members, in consultation with the Dean of Students, the Director of the Ethics Center, and Student Government.  It is expected that, once selected, student members would remain on the Council for the rest of their undergraduate career.

Recommendations for membership are welcome from all members of the campus community.  Students and faculty are encouraged to volunteer, by contacting the Director of the Ethics Center.  All members will be expected to participate in some of the educational tasks of the Council.

A student will be elected by the members to serve as Chair; co-chairs will be possible.  There will be two advisors: the Ethics Center Director and a Dean from the Office of Student Affairs (selected by the Dean of Students).  At least one advisor should attend each meeting.  The Ethics Center will provide logistical support for the Council.  In the interest of encouraging dialogue, the Council may decide to open all or some meetings to the campus community.

 

An earlier effort at promoting our central values was coordinated in the mid-1990s by then Dean of Students Elizabeth Fischer.  Developed by students, the Statement of Respect and Responsibility was not about punishment; rather, it was intended as a philosophical vision of how to treat one another.  

 

STATEMENT OF RESPECT AND RESPONSIBILITY

We, at Lake Forest College, seek to sustain a creative, diverse, supportive academic community—one that provides a safe living and learning environment for growth and development and a home for many. We take responsibility for respecting the rights of others at all times, contributing positively to the community, and communicating effectively. To achieve these goals and to maintain a tradition of excellence, we
commit ourselves to the following ideals:

Each member of the Lake Forest College Community shows Respect and Responsibility for

■ individuality and diversity

■ her or his own role in this community and the role of others

■ the right to personal privacy

■ the aspirations of all

■ his or her own well-being, and the welfare of others

■ public and private property

■ guests and visitors

 

Each member of the Lake Forest College Community is responsible for

■ honoring her or his commitments

■ acting with personal integrity

■ striving to develop intellectually

■ upholding the highest standards of academic honesty

■ maintaining confidentiality when appropriate

■ ensuring that guests and visitors abide by community standards

■ conducting open and civil debate

 

By thinking about and following the spirit of this statement, we create a stronger, more unified academic community of learning at Lake Forest College.

This statement was written by the students, faculty, staff, and alumni; and it is endorsed by the College Life Committee and College Council.

 https://www.lakeforest.edu/live/files/39