Welcome from the Chair

Dear Class of 2022,

Your incredible adventures at Sewanee are about to begin, and our community is eagerly awaiting your arrival. My name is Margaret Dupree and I am the Chair of the Honor Council for the coming academic year. While I am a rising senior and my days of new student orientation are far behind me, I do remember how exciting and new everything on the Mountain felt. The traditions on this campus are certainly unique, but they very quickly become a part of daily life. Small things like tapping the roof of the car on your way in and out of Sewanee, offering a "passing hello," or avoiding the seal in All Saints Chapel help make Sewanee the special place we all know and love.

Perhaps the most widespread and cherished tradition is the concept of honor, which is manifested in the Honor Code. Honor, as the Code states, “is an ideal and an obligation. It exists in the human spirit and it lives in the relations between human beings. One can know honor without defining it.” While honor can mean something different to each one of us, as a whole the belief in it creates a community of trust to which we all commit ourselves. Our century-old Honor Code is the system by which we guard our community of trust.

The Code holds that the signers principally do not lie, cheat or steal, not just in academic settings but in our everyday actions. However, the spirit of honor goes beyond not lying, cheating, and stealing. The Code expects signers to embody morality and decency. These are more than individual pledges; the Code requires that we expect others to uphold their commitment to Code. The obligation of honor is more than just a personal goal; it's a promise made to those around us.

The Honor Code, which each student signs upon beginning their Sewanee journey, is supported through the actions of the Honor Council. The Council is made up of four seniors, four juniors, three sophomores, and one first-year student, all elected by their respective classes. As representatives of their grade and of the larger community, the Honor Council members serve to educate the community about the role of Honor in our lives. While educating the general community is important, the Honor Council’s main role is responding to Honor Code violations. When presented with sufficient evidence, the Council serves as an investigative and deliberative body. The student in question of committing a violation appears in a hearing before the Council, where a decision about responsibility is made. If clear and convincing evidence of a violation is found, penalties can range from probationary conditions to a two-semester suspension, depending on the nature of the case at hand--although academic dishonesty will always result in failing the class and being suspended. The Honor Council takes this responsibility seriously. As students in the College, we all understand that time away from Sewanee is incredibly difficult, but we also understand that such decisions uphold our long enduring Honor Code.

As you get ready this summer to join us all here on the Mountain, think about your understanding of honor and integrity. There is an online copy of the Code that I encourage you to explore. Once you get to Sewanee, the promise of honor will be passed to you to hold.

Class of 2022, agreeing to Code is more than just promising not to lie, cheat, or steal: it is a pledge to act with integrity. Expect honor from yourself, and expect it from those around you. Sewanee, in turn, expects nothing less.

EQB, YSR, and see you soon!

Margaret Dupree C’19

Chair of the Honor Council