Barff: Honor code to remain unchanged

by Leah Campbell | 11/20/95 6:00am

Despite criticism from some students and professors, the Committee of Organization and Policy decided the Honor Principle is an integral part of a student's experience and should remain mostly unchanged.

After a meeting earlier this month, COP Chair Richard Barff said the committee "found no need for deep structural change in the system."

The COP considers general policies that affect the faculty as a whole and make recommendations on then when appropriate. The decision was based on findings of a survey distributed among students and faculty last winter.

The survey included questions on the importance and effectiveness of the honor code and the Committee on Standards, the College's undergraduate judicial body.

Barff said the COP will await Dean of the College Lee Pelton's approval before releasing its official results and recommendations.

He also said that the COP wants the Committee of Chairs to review the findings before the final results are made public.

The Committee of Chairs consists of the chairs of all of the College's academic departments and programs.

Barff said the survey results were generally positive.

"The survey generally revealed that the Honor Principle is a valued and important aspect of the Dartmouth experience," Barff said.

"It is respected by the vast majority of both students and faculty," he said.

But Barff said the current system is also clearly far from perfect.

"We will be urging faculty to regularly clarify the way in which the principle relates to course assignments and students to accept their responsibilities," he said.

He said faculty and administrators must "take measures to reduce misunderstanding, and a certain amount of mistrust, of the procedure and outcome of the cases that go before the Committee on Standards."

"This would also significantly improve the understanding and commitment to the Honor Principle in the community," he said.

The survey sparked controversy when it was distributed last winter, since some students feared it would instigate major changes to the present system.