Student Assembly entertains Honor Council discussion

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February 24, 2011

10:54 PM

Honor Council Chief Justice John Pothen ’11 and Justice Eric Robinson ’11 attended the Student Assembly meeting Tuesday night to ask for senators’ suggestions regarding ways to improve the College of William and Mary’s Undergraduate Honor Council.

“What would a more transparent council look like?” Pothen asked his audience. “What’s the type of information you would like to know? What are things that we can do within the system that will lead to the transparency that you, the student representatives, would desire?”

Sen. Mike Young ’11 said the variation in rules pertaining to plagiarism within some departments, such as computer science and foreign languages, leads to an inconsistent definition of a violation. Young suggested that the lack of information about what defines plagiarism in these departments might be a cause for the higher number of plagiarism cases which arise from these segments.

“If the Honor Council could work with these departments and could give a joint presentation for students taking classes within those departments, I think that would be a good preventative measure,” he said.

Young also cited concerns about a relative lack of information about the students running for positions on the Honor Council. He said the ballot list should include the on-campus activities and majors of candidates.

Sen. Mike Douglass ’11 said the Council should hold extra information sessions for those students who tend to have higher rates of plagiarism violations — athletes, transfer students and international students.

Following the discussion of the Honor Council, the Senate unanimously appointed Doug Haynes ’12, Jessee Vassold ’11, Walex Kjmurets ’13, Ben Chalfin ’13 and Elizabeth Thomason ’14 to the election commission.

“While the executive may not have had any other candidates to choose from, it was my sense that these people were really willing to put in the time for this difficult job,” Sen. Ryan Ruzic J.D. ’11 said.

Sen. Dallen McNerney ’14 then brought the Proliferation of FOIAs act to the Senate. This would create a searchable database of information obtained by FOIA requests funded by the FOIAs for All Act on the SA website.

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