Tag Archives: Honor System

Student Government

22 Mar

The polls opened this morning for the first round of our annual Student Government elections. Today we (Undergrads and Law students) voted for our new Executive Committee President, Vice President, and Secretary, as well as for our Student Judicial Council Chairman and Secretary. These two boards, called the EC and the SJC, are important aspects of our tradition of student self-governance at Washington and Lee, but we have multiple governing bodies on campus.

Executive Committee: Our Student Government, the EC oversees budget allocations for student organizations, student programming, and is responsible for upholding our Honor System.

Student Judicial Council: The SJC is responsible for investigating non-honor violations.

Student Faculty Hearing Board: The SFHB is made up of student and faculty representatives that are specially trained to investigate allegations of harassment or sexual misconduct.

Interfraternity Council: The IFC serves to oversee the male greek community, promote programming and leadership development, and to hear cases regarding misconduct within the Greek community.

Panhellenic Council: The Panhellenic Council promotes programming and leadership development within the female greek community and serves as the governing body and conduct board in the case of organizational misconduct.

Relaxed atmoshpere

26 Feb

We have just returned from February Break. Personally, I spent mine relaxing and visiting my friends. It was a great time and I am thankful to have had the break, but I am also excited to be back at school with everyone. The nice thing about being back on campus and even being in classes is that the atmosphere, though serious, is relaxed. Every student works hard along with all the teachers and thanks to the honor system there is a huge amount of trust and a great relationship between the two. I was immediately reminded of this yesterday when my teacher taught us about Combinatorics (Math) with the aid of her dog. Yes, she gave her lecture while letting her dog roam the room. The feeling in the classroom was very relaxed and it was a nice way to ease back into school and the rigor of classes, and the dog was very cute. But it is not all fun and games, in that same class I have a problem set due tomorrow, so better finish that up. At least I have that dog to motivate me!


14 Feb
Honor is everything at W&L

Honor is everything at W&L

From ‘The Honor System’ on the W&L website:

Honor is the moral cornerstone of Washington and Lee University. Commitment to honor is recognized by every student, faculty member, administrator, and staff member of the University. Honor provides the common thread woven through the many aspects of this institution and creates a community of trust and respect affecting fundamentally the relationships of all its members.

The centrality of honor at Washington and Lee is contained in its Honor System. The Board of Trustees has granted to students the privilege of overseeing the administration of the Honor System. The sole penalty for an Honor System violation is dismissal from the University. These responsibilities are administered by the Executive Committee of the Student Body, a group of students elected annually by their peers.

Academic life is essentially shaped by the commitment to honor. Assuming that students will behave honorably, the faculty grants flexibility in the scheduling of most final examinations, and all are taken without supervision. Take-home closed book examinations are a common occurrence. The pledge, “On my honor, I have neither given nor received any unacknowledged aid on this (exam, test, paper, etc.),” expresses the student’s promise that the work submitted is his or hers alone. Students’ dedication to honorable behavior creates a strong bond of trust among them and between them and the faculty. This student dedication and the bond that it engenders also provide the basis for the faculty’s commitment to accepting a student’s word without question.

The dedication to behave honorably is not confined to academic life. It is expected that students will respect each other’s word and intellectual and personal property in the residence halls and the Greek houses, on the playing field, in the city of Lexington, or wherever Washington and Lee students take themselves. This principled expectation provides the foundation for the community of trust which students seek to create not only in the academic sphere but in life outside it, as well.

The Honor System has been a unique feature of Washington and Lee University for well over a century. Thousands of students have lived under it while in residence, have been morally shaped by it, and as alumni and alumnae, continue to be guided by it in their professional lives. Current students are as committed to it as were those who lived and studied here before them, and they maintain with firm conviction this distinctive ideal of the University.


“On my honor, I have neither given nor received any unacknowledged aid on this blog post.” -Ali

In Praise of Honor

29 Jan

The subject line in the e-mail from my politics professor said “Stuck in Detroit.” Of course, everyone in my class was ecstatic; whenever a professor gets stuck in another city with no way to get back for class, it’s reason to celebrate (nothing against any professors or their classes). I had yet, however, to read the e-mail, which went on to say that although our awesome professor was unable to be in class, we were “honor-bound” to report to class as usual and do the assigned lesson. Naturally, my first reaction was “ughhhh, class?!” This was soon followed by a simple decision: I decided to go to class.

I showed up to class, and so did everyone else, and that is really powerful. It is not at many schools that students would show up to class despite the fact that their professor is absent. Everyone in my class showed up, and we all helped each other do the lesson, and thinking back on it, it truly is incredible that every person in our class was present. It is testament to the honor of our students and our school.

Take Home Midterm

16 Oct

I am so happy about the W&L Honor System for many reasons, but this week especially I am thankful for it because of my Solid Mechanics midterm.  It is a take-home exam, and I have 24 hours to complete it and then return it to my professor.  I can take it in my room, in the library, in a classroom, or even outside if I want.  I love the mutual trust and respect the Honor System creates between professors and students.


5 Dec

We are officially in the last week of the semester; it is unbelievable how fast this semester in particular has gone!  Exams begin Saturday.  The library has been extra crowded with everyone trying to get a head start on studying.  Exam time makes me realize how much I love our honor system.  I am able to leave all of my books in my chosen carrell and don’t have to lug them back and forth from my house.  I am also able to self-schedule my exams according to when I feel adequately prepared to take them.  This is super convenient since I’ll be driving home for break because I am able to make last limit travel plans.  After a wonderful Christmas Weekend, it’s time to really hit the books!

The Longest Three Weeks…

30 Nov

Now that I have had a taste of home via Thanksgiving, the three weeks standing in between me and Winter Break are going to be potentially the longest three weeks ever.  Its at times like these though, where I feel stressed out from classes, that I am glad that we can self schedule our exams and that the honor system allows for some advantages in exam week.  I have a take home exam, a paper, and a project that can all be done outside of an exam period.  It’s nice to be able to work on things like projects and papers before exam week even starts.  I love take home exams because they feel so much easier as its just nice to work on the exam on my schedule.