What is an honor code and why is it important to academic integrity?
An honor code, like the one above, is a promise that all work is the student’s own, a concrete commitment to academic integrity. Students resort to academic dishonesty for various reasons, and the solution is both complex and simple: we need to make academic integrity a core value in our classrooms and/or institutions, beginning with a promise. So how can we establish a formative space that nurtures awareness of academic integrity throughout the learning journey?
Honor codes reduce instances of academic misconduct. Research has shown that honor codes must be enacted in a supportive manner. When students have a sense of belonging, feel motivated, and have knowledge of academic integrity, they are less likely to engage in academic misconduct. Honor codes are part of this culture of integrity. So, how does this translate to online learning environments? What are some guiding principles to update honor codes and policies in online learning environments?
An honor code, like the one above, is a promise that all work is the student’s own, a concrete commitment to academic integrity. Students resort to academic dishonesty for various reasons, and the solution is both complex and simple: we need to make academic integrity a core value in our classrooms and/or institutions , beginning with a promise.
I’ve sometimes added an honor statement at the top of student assignments or exams as a visible reminder of the honor code. But what exactly does it mean, and how is this statement reflective of the adopted institutional values? A true honor code is more than a signature dashed off at the top of an assignment or a poster hanging in the classroom. Intended as an ever present reminder of academic integrity to students, does this statement, often present and often unexplored, really make an impact on students ?
Too often during my tenure as a teacher and literacy coach, I was approached with the question, What do I do when I catch someone cheating on an assignment? After the fact is essentially too late because then the solutions tend to be punitive, and the lesson learned isn’t what it could and should be.
It’s best to be proactive about establishing academic integrity within our classrooms. Without making an honor code a living, breathing part of the classroom--ideally within the whole institution--we educators and students find ourselves in a vicious cycle of policing and punishing after the fact. The honor code needs to exist in a formative space that nurtures awareness of academic integrity throughout the learning journey.
An honor code is a fundamental step to establishing a culture of academic integrity. Ideally this occurs on the institutional level, but it is a must for our individual classrooms. The complex part is making that honor code a continued collaborative effort between the students, us as educators, and the assignments themselves. The honor code allows all stakeholders to know, understand, and participate in commonly held standards of academic integrity.
How does this happen? Do your due diligence. Early and often. Purposefully. Collaboratively. Reflectively. It is only through the steady infusion of these collaborative conversations that students and educators develop a strong understanding of academic integrity that can be put into practice.
What are steps towards establishing a formative space that integrate honor statements to the learning journey within our classrooms?
- Establish a culture of integrity. Establishing a common understanding of academic integrity by drafting an honor code, and making it an integral part of the academic community, is a strong first step. Stakeholders such as students, parents, fellow educators, and administration can establish an honor code that is foundational to an educational community. It must then be implemented within individual classrooms with consistent, intentional steps such as explicit instruction and building an awareness of how and why academic integrity is important. This shared understanding between and among all levels of stakeholders helps us build a culture of academic integrity throughout the institution and/or within the classroom. What happens if your institution or other educators don’t institute an honor code? Can we still establish one in our own classrooms? Absolutely yes! When we begin with concrete steps such as creating a shared definition of academic integrity and what it looks like within our classroom, we establish clear understandings of how we can create a culture of academic integrity within our classrooms. The conversations and practices that we establish collaboratively with students are a key factor in the success of the honor code moving forward. While it is our responsibility to introduce these conversations, without student input the honor code will likely be reduced to that dusty old statement that only lives in the header of our assignment!
- Center students. Centering students is critical to centering academic integrity in classroom practice. Best practice dictates not delivering the honor code in a neat little package with all the “right” answers already filled in for students, but encouraging students to contribute their knowledge. When we seek input from students about what academic integrity is and what it does--and does not--look like, students are more likely to understand the intent and come to a common understanding of what practicing it in the classroom looks like. Using collaborative activities to establish what the classroom values are, what it looks like (and does not look like) in the classroom, and how violations will be handled will lead to better student engagement and practice. We build a commitment to academic integrity collaboratively by implementing carefully planned discussions and practices and using resources that will support our class’s commitment to maintaining that honor code.
- Model academic integrity. Modeling academic integrity must be an intrinsic part of classroom practice in ways both visible and subtle. Although many think academic integrity lives in the English classroom, academic dishonesty can manifest itself in every discipline, including examples such as code plagiarism, non-citation of sources, improper attribution, to name only a few ways that academic dishonesty typically appears in student work. Teachers should credit others in our classrooms and work to model the norm we expect in student work. More than simply an act of attribution, we can offer up fair and inclusive assessments that challenge students to demonstrate their knowledge in ways that are fair and invite students’ best efforts. By demonstrating explicitly how academic integrity lives in daily work and assignments, we model how academic integrity is not just one more requirement to be addressed for the “big” project, but simply some deliberate steps as a regular part of our classrooms.
- Commit to working together. Committing to working together within this intentional and formative space is what will determine the role of academic integrity within the classroom or institution. Commitment may look different from classroom to classroom, and that’s perfectly all right. Commitment may take the form of a signed contract, or it may simply be the continuation of discussions regarding what academic integrity does and does not look like. Regardless, renewing that commitment and keeping it in the forefront of students’ minds and work is the goal. And If it’s not working as originally drafted? Then we need to model how to revisit, reflect, and revise so that the honor code can reflect the growth and commitment to academic integrity that we share with our students.
Remember, do your due diligence. Early and often. Purposefully. Collaboratively. Reflectively.
Join us for our upcoming webinar on October 20, 2021, the International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating (IDoA) to learn more about implementing and maintaining honor codes and Turnitin’s newest tools and resources. Turnitin actively encourages positive conversations on academic integrity and is proud to support the International Day of Action. For further information on other activities taking place, visit the IDoA website and share the following hashtags on social media #IntegrityMatters #ExcelWithIntegrity #MyOwnWork
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The Honor Code
Students will be asked to affirm their awareness of the Honor Code at various points during the academic semester. The goal of this affirmation is to reinforce the centrality of scholarly integrity to students’ membership in our academic community, as well as to remind students that they have already agreed to adhere to the standards of academic integrity as outlined in the Student Handbook.
The Affirmation will take several forms, depending on the student’s status, and particular assignments.
Freshmen As part of the writing placement process, Freshmen will be asked to respond to the following prompt:
The Harvard College Honor code declares that we “hold honesty as the foundation of our community.” As you enter this academic community, please write a couple of paragraphs in which you reflect on a time when you had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty. What in that experience do you think will help you uphold the values of the Honor Code as you read, write, study, and learn at Harvard?
In addition, please write a few sentences in response to the following question (your answer may be helpful to your instructors and advisors when they talk with you during the semester): What might you find new or confusing or challenging about these academic expectations?
Responses will be reviewed by Advisors and Expos Preceptors as part of advising conversations. Students will be able to access their statements throughout their time at Harvard and will have the opportunity to update and revise periodically.
All Students 1. During the bi-annual electronic registration process, all students will be asked to read the Honor Code and to type their name as signature, indicating their awareness of the Code.
2. At seated final exams, all students will be asked to read and sign a statement affirming their awareness of the Honor Code. Faculty will be provided with attendance slips that include the affirmation in their exam packets ("I affirm my awareness of the standards of the Harvard College Honor Code."). Faculty will be asked to distribute these slips with the exams and will ask students to sign the affirmation before starting the exam. Students will turn in the slips before starting the exam. Faculty may also have the option of including the affirmation on the printed exam and asking students to sign the affirmation directly there. Faculty may also ask students to hand write the affirmation and sign it directly on their blue book. To see a sample attendance slip, please click here .
3. For final papers and projects, take-home and in-class final exams, and on senior theses, Faculty are asked to request that students include an affirmation statement at the time of submission. The following text is recommended: “I affirm my awareness of the standards of the Harvard College Honor Code.” Faculty are welcome to edit this statement or to develop their own affirmation.
For a PDF of this statement, please click here . For an example of how one department developed an affirmation statement for senior theses, please click here .
If faculty have questions about how to incorporate the affirmation into assignments, please contact Lisa Laskin in the Office of Undergraduate Education at [email protected] .
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How to Write the Haverford College Essays 2023-2024
Haverford College has two, short supplemental essays: one about your intellectual interests, and one about Haverford’s Honor Code. As a small, academically rigorous school just a short train ride from Philadelphia, Haverford attracts a competitive pool of applicants, so you want to make sure your essays stand out. In this post, we’ll break down both prompts, and explain how to write strong responses to each one.
Haverford College Honor Code
Before we dive into the essays, we want to provide some background on the Haverford Honor code. Here’s what you need to know.
Haverford College has one of the oldest and one of the very few student-run Honor Codes in the U.S. Our Honor Code is not a set of rules, but rather a statement of shared values centered on the concepts of trust, concern, and respect.
Our Honor Code serves as an educational tool in and of itself and provides a powerful framework for our community, emphasizing and supporting qualities we see as essential to a Haverford education. Among other things, the Honor Code at Haverford shapes:
Academic Freedom: The Honor Code fosters an atmosphere emphasizing academic integrity, collaboration over competition, and the cultivation of intellectual curiosity. Differences and disagreement are respected, valued, and embraced, and open discourse is seen as fundamental to the academic endeavor.
Student Agency: The Honor Code upholds a culture in which students are deeply trusted to take substantial ownership of their education and to profoundly shape and define the Haverford community. Student ownership is reflected in self-scheduled exams, in the fact that every student completes a Senior Thesis, in shared responsibility for the residential experience, and of course in oversight of the Honor Code itself.
Community: The Honor Code establishes a supportive environment for living and learning, where the community experience plays a central role in one’s education. The inherent value of every community member is recognized, and diversity in all respects — including diversity of background, experience, and perspective — is nurtured, celebrated, and embraced.
Leadership and Engagement: The Honor Code allows every student to find and develop their own voice, to practice ways of improving community and acting on issues of importance, to learn methods of problem solving and conflict resolution, and to examine the ways they can and will impact the world beyond Haverford.
Before delving into Haverford’s supplementary essays, it is extremely important to have a solid understanding of Haverford’s Honor Code and its role in Haverford’s community. At first glance, Haverford’s Honor Code may appear to be an explicit set of rules that are designed to govern the lives of students, forcing them to comply with specific guidelines and standards. However, the goal of the Honor Code is not to restrict students, but rather to allow for more freedom.
The Honor Code fosters a community grounded in honesty, fairness, and respect. These values create an environment where students feel not only comfortable, but confident sharing their own ideas, opinions, and beliefs. Diversity in thought, belief, culture, and perspective are not only recognized, but accepted and celebrated.
The values of the Honor Code afford students an unprecedented level of control over their education and community. Since it is expected that students adhere to a high degree of honesty and integrity, students are trusted by the administration as well as their professors and peers. For instance, Haverford students don’t have RAs in their dorms, are allowed to take tests without proctors, and are able to schedule their own final exams. These freedoms and privileges can exist because of the values of the Honor Code.
Haverford’s Honor Code also presents an opportunity for self-governance. At Plenary, an all-student “governing” session, students can debate and vote to revise the Honor Code. In this way, students have the autonomy to change and improve Haverford’s campus.
While Haverford’s Honor Code is taken seriously, consequences for infractions are not seen as punishments, rather as opportunities to instill lifelong lessons. Consequences are decided upon by the Honor Council, composed of students, not members of the school administration. It is the hope of the Haverford community that through this process, students will take ownership for their bad decisions, learn from them, grow as community members, and realize that they have the power to control their circumstances both inside and outside the classroom.
As you write your supplemental essays, keep Haverford’s values in mind. Incorporating their values into your essays not only shows that you did your research, but also creates connections between yourself and the Haverford community. For instance, Haverford’s collaborative environment could enable you to work with your peers to understand complicated mathematical theorems. Or, Haverford’s respectful and accepting community could empower you to debate the best policies to solve climate change. Regardless of the interests you choose to express in your essays, it is always a good idea to connect your thoughts to Haverford’s Honor Code and core values.
Haverford College Supplemental Essay Prompts
Prompt 1: Tell us about a topic or issue that sparks your curiosity and gets you intellectually excited. How do you hope to engage with this topic or issue at Haverford? (150-200 words)
Prompt 2: We have highlighted for you some of the values that shape the Haverford community. What are some of the values you seek in your next community? How do Haverford’s values, as demonstrated through our Honor Code, resonate with you?
As you think about how to answer this question, you might draw from how you have been influenced by other communities you have been a part of, experiences you may have had within your communities, or opportunities you have had to shape or even change your communities. (150-200 words)
Tell us about a topic or issue that sparks your curiosity and gets you intellectually excited. how do you hope to engage with this topic or issue at haverford (150-200 words).
This prompt is an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your interest in a specific subject or topic. Although it is not a “Why Major?” prompt, as you have the freedom to write about any of your intellectual interests, not just your intended major, the overall structure of the essay will be similar: you want to select one of your interests, which could be as obscure as Victorian fashion or as common as math, and explain why and how your topic excites your intellectual curiosity, as well as how you’ll be able to continue learning about it at Haverford.
Starting your essay with an anecdote is a great way to show your interest in your topic to readers, rather than simply telling them about it. For example, you could begin by telling the story of how you became interested in art after your first visit to an art museum. Or, you could describe what thoughts and emotions you experience when creating art. Since you’re dealing with a low word count, your story should be pretty simple, as you don’t have the space to flesh out something complicated.
The next part of your essay should focus on the deeper reason why you are so interested in your topic or subject. In other words, what specifically about your topic makes you excited to learn more? Maybe you love science because it explains how everything in the world works, from plants growing to playing tennis. Or, maybe you’re passionate about music because it has the power to inspire and connect people.
While this essay is a short one, you ideally also want to explain, at least briefly, what you do to satisfy your curiosity about this topic. Do you read every available book on Egyptian pyramids? Do you debate the most successful political campaign strategies with your family at dinner? This extra detail will give your reader a clearer sense of how your interest in your topic manifests on a daily basis, which will make your interest feel more tangible and genuine.
Finally, you want to connect your interest in your topic to your potential future as a Haverford student. Hop onto Haverford’s website, and do some research on classes, clubs, or other opportunities at Haverford that will allow you to keep learning about it. Since you probably won’t have much room left by this point, you want to pick just one or two things, as otherwise the end of your essay will feel cramped and rushed.
For example, you could talk about how the College Year in Athens study abroad program would deepen your understanding of Greek mythology, by allowing you to see firsthand many of the sites that were most important to the Ancient Greeks.
Alternatively, you could write about how the clubs Charcuterie Union and Food for Thought would expand upon your interest in cooking, and help you develop a more comprehensive understanding of the role food can play in different people’s lives.
We have highlighted for you some of the values that shape the Haverford community. What are some of the values you seek in your next community? How do Haverford’s values, as demonstrated through our Honor Code, resonate with you?
Brainstorming Your Topic
This prompt tells you pretty much exactly what it wants to know: the values you’re looking for in a college community, and how those values align with Haverford’s. However, while the questions are clear, answering them thoughtfully may take some time, as you’ll need to reflect on what your values truly are.
With a question as open-ended as “What do you value in your communities?” sometimes asking yourself related, slightly more focused questions can help you brainstorm more efficiently. Here are some examples of those kinds of questions:
- What are some of your favorite communities you’re a part of? What makes you love them so much?
- When you think about your friends, what qualities do many of them share?
- Look at your complete college list—why are you applying to this particular set of schools, out of all the colleges in the United States and across the world?
The actual values you choose are much less important than those values being genuinely important to you. One applicant might write an excellent essay about trust, while someone else might write an equally strong one about open-mindedness. But if you try to force a connection to something that isn’t really one of your primary values, your reader will be able to tell you aren’t being fully authentic.
Finally, as you’re brainstorming you’ll likely come up with a list of several different values. But because this essay is so short, you’ll want to focus on just one, or two at the most, once you start writing. Otherwise, you won’t be able to give each value the attention it needs, and your essay will end up feeling all over the place.
Tips for Writing Your Essay
In your actual essay, the most important thing to do is connect the value or two you’re focusing on to Haverford’s values, specifically those laid out in the Honor Code. If you’re having a hard time doing that, you may want to go back to the drawing board. For example, valuing a good sense of humor is a wonderful thing, but doesn’t connect super well to anything in the Honor Code.
A better thing to focus on would be, say, speaking up about what’s important to you. You could easily connect that value to the following two lines of the Honor Code:
- “The Honor Code allows every student to find and develop their own voice, to practice ways of improving community and acting on issues of importance.”
- “The Honor Code upholds a culture in which students are deeply trusted to take substantial ownership of their education and to profoundly shape and define the Haverford community.”
Once you feel confident that you’ve linked your own values to Haverford’s, you want to think about how to clearly explain that link to admissions officers. Here, Haverford is once again being considerate, and telling you pretty much exactly how they want you to do that, in the second paragraph of the prompt.
To summarize, that paragraph is telling you to use concrete examples and anecdotes to explain how you came to have this particular value. In other words, show, don’t tell, because otherwise, your reader won’t really understand what you having this value says about your personality as a whole. Plenty of people value outspokenness, but the point of the college essay is to distinguish yourself from other applicants. So, you want to show what the value you have chosen means in the context of your life specifically, and why that value’s importance in your life has inspired you to apply to Haverford.
For example, you could talk about how you hated attention as a kid, and preferred to just spend time with your family’s pets. But during the pandemic, seeing people adopt pets for company without knowing how to take care of them frustrated you to the point that you started your own YouTube channel, to explain how to avoid making common first-time pet owner mistakes. To your surprise, the channel became extremely popular, and many people wrote comments thanking you for your help. Speaking up is still hard for you, though, and being on Haverford’s campus, where outspokenness is encouraged, will help you continue to get better at it.
Mistakes to Avoid
Because this prompt is so explicit about what it wants, it’s pretty hard to get totally off-track. The only thing you really want to be wary of is using your space in an inefficient way. 200 words will disappear quickly, so you want to make sure you’re being thoughtful about how long you spend addressing each part of the prompt.
Otherwise, you may end up accidentally using 160 words explaining how you came to have the value you’re focusing on, and then have to cram in the connection to Haverford at the very end. There’s no one correct breakdown of how long you should spend on each point of your essay, as ideally one thing flows naturally into the next. Just make sure the connection to Haverford gets enough room to breathe, as, since that part is likely going to come at the end, it’s at the most risk of getting cut short.
Where to Get Your Haverford Essays Edited
Do you want feedback on your Haverford essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.
If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!
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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other
Health & Well-Being
The Honor Code below applies to alleged incidents occurring on or after September 1, 2023. For cases filed before September 1, please see the previous Honor Code.
The Honor Code is an undertaking of the Stanford academic community, individually and collectively. Its purpose is to uphold a culture of academic honesty.
Students will support this culture of academic honesty by neither giving nor accepting unpermitted academic aid in any work that serves as a component of grading or evaluation, including assignments, examinations, and research.
Instructors will support this culture of academic honesty by providing clear guidance, both in their course syllabi and in response to student questions, on what constitutes permitted and unpermitted aid. Instructors will also not take unusual or unreasonable precautions to prevent academic dishonesty.
Students and instructors will also cultivate an environment conducive to academic integrity. While instructors alone set academic requirements, the Honor Code is a community undertaking that requires students and instructors to work together to ensure conditions that support academic integrity
- Promote a culture of personal integrity and academic honesty through your daily actions
- Speak up if you're unsure whether or not conduct would violate these principles
- Hold yourself and others accountable to these community values
Violations of the Honor Code
Examples of conduct that have been regarded as being in violation of the Honor Code include:
- Copying from another’s examination paper or allowing another to copy from one’s own paper
- Unpermitted collaboration
- Revising and resubmitting a quiz or exam for regrading, without the instructor’s knowledge and consent
- Giving or receiving unpermitted aid on a take-home examination
- Representing as one’s own work the work of another
- Giving or receiving aid on an academic assignment under circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known that such aid was not permitted
Honor Code and the Remote Environment
Please see the following resources for more information about how the Honor Code applies to the remote teaching and learning environment:
- Remote Teaching and the Honor Code: Tips for Faculty and Teaching Assistants
- Remote Learning and the Honor Code: Tips for Students
- BCA Guidance for the Remote Teaching and Learning Environment
If asked what constitutes a violation of the Honor Code, most students might say "copying," "cheating" or "plagiarism." As examples, they may think of someone purchasing a paper and submitting it for class, or looking over someone’s shoulder during an exam. However, some Honor Code concerns are more subtle. They may seem perfectly OK to the person committing violation. They may even be OK in non-academic settings. Unfortunately, merely having benign intentions is not enough.
Copying and Plagiarism
Example 1—computer science.
Most people know that you are not allowed to look over someone’s shoulder during an exam and use their answers as your own. Suppose, though, that you are writing code for a computer science project, and use code from a website for a minor function that is not crucial to the main goal of the assignment. This is still a violation of the Honor Code, because you are submitting the work as your own, rather than writing the code yourself. While it’s true that in the real world, reusing code, particularly if it is efficient, is desirable, while you are in class, you are being graded on what you can write yourself.
Example 2—The Humanities
You read a book and write your paper about the same concept that the book discussed. Do you need to cite the book? Yes, you do. Not citing concepts, premises and ideas is plagiarism just as much as failing to cite specific text. It is also a violation of the Honor Code.
Example 1—take-home exam.
Generally, the rules of take-home exams state that you can’t share your answers with others in the class. However, you are also not allowed to create outlines together or "prepare" your answers in some other way once the exam has been distributed.
Example 2—Lab Class
In laboratory experiment courses a student "submitting work (including work on protocols, problem sets, and lab reports) that is identical or very similar to his/her partner's work, either in organization or structure, is a violation of the Honor Code. Specifically, this means that sharing of any written material is a violation." (Introductory Experimental Biology: Stanford University)
You may have a lab partner in such classes, and work on the experiments together. Isn’t it natural in those cases to share information for the lab reports? Not if you are responsible for submitting lab reports individually.
Example 3—Computer Science
You have a bug in the program you are writing, and can’t find it. Your roommate offers to help you with debugging. She may suggest strategies for debugging the code, but she may not look at your code for you and tell you where the bug is—not even if you sit together and look for the bug. Again, you and you alone are responsible for the work you submit in class. While you may collaborate with others when you write code at an internship or elsewhere, doing so for coursework is a violation of the Honor Code.
Dual Submission of Work
You wrote a paper last year for a History class that would be perfect, with some minor changes, for the Feminist Studies class you are taking this quarter. You did all the work yourself, properly cited everything…it should be OK, right? No, submitting work more than once is a violation of the Honor Code—unless you have sought and been granted your professor’s approval.
Academic Integrity Working Group and multi-year proctoring study
There are currently many concerns about academic dishonesty at Stanford. In order to formulate policies that will effectively address these concerns, it is necessary to identify the root causes (e.g., academic pressures, student mental health, etc) and scope of the problem as it truly stands. To that end, the university is providing the institutional mandate and resources (including access to all data deemed necessary) for a multi-year Academic Integrity Working Group (“AIWG”) to fully investigate this matter beginning in Fall 2023.
The AIWG will also carry out a multi-year study beginning within the 2023-24 academic year (between two to four years in duration, to be determined by the AIWG) of equitable in-person proctoring* practices to answer student questions during exams and promote academic integrity by supervising the assessment process.
The only proctoring permitted during this time will be that done under the auspices of the study. Remote proctoring, whether by software or humans through a computer, is not under consideration. The adoption of any policy on proctoring proposed by the AIWG after the conclusion of the study must be as new university policy approved by the Board on Conduct Affairs, the Undergraduate Senate of the Associated Students of Stanford University, the Graduate Student Council of the Associated Students of Stanford University, the Senate of the Academic Council, and the Office of the President.
The study will address concerns about proctor presence and concerns about its absence in view of Stanford’s present academic culture. It will assess the viability of in-person proctoring of exams to reduce cheating and to determine the impact on students taking exams (such as stress). The resulting data will be the basis for future policy proposals by the AIWG to be voted upon by the same groups as at the present.
The study will be led jointly by the AIWG and a disinterested, unbiased external consulting group with extensive experience working with student conduct, campus climate, and DEI concerns. The use of the external consulting group ensures proper and timely data collection, professional management of the data, and continuity regardless of turnover in the AIWG. The precise parameters governing the creation and charge of this study will be determined by both the AIWG and the external consulting group.
The AIWG will advise Stanford administrators and governance bodies on any changes that need to be implemented in relation to Stanford’s proctoring policy within one year after the conclusion of the study. It will a) apprise faculty and students university-wide of the study’s results and its implications, and b) seek out stakeholder votes as needed for the timely implementation of the data-backed proposed changes.
*The Honor Code text is intentionally silent on the topic of proctoring, subject to the constraints described here. Here, proctoring is defined as the reasonable supervision of exams by an exam administrator, and "in-person" includes traveling athletes, SCPD students, and other enrolled students taking an exam off campus.
Composition and Operation
The AIWG will consist of four students (graduate and undergraduate, including first-gen/low-income representation) and four faculty/lecturers (especially from departments with the most frequent instances of cheating concerns), along with one person each from the Office of Community Standards (“OCS”) and Office of General Counsel (“OGC”). Membership in the AIWG is to be determined by the ASSU Nominations Commission, the Faculty Senate Committee on Committees, and the VPSA (for OCS and OGC). It will meet with stakeholders (student groups, departmental representatives, Academic Advising, etc.) to inform its proposals. The charge for the AIWG is to be set by the same university entities that set the charge for the Committee of Twelve.
The Honor Code
Though the College’s cherished Honor Code started its life in 1897 as a simple system for holding exams without proctors, it has become the purest expression of the College’s values and an intrinsic part of a Haverford education.
This year marks the 120th anniversary of Haverford’s Honor Code .
Haverford attracts intellectually curious, independent learners who value honesty, collaboration, and above all, new ways of seeing and improving the world.
As you perform real-world research and immerse yourself in hands-on learning, you'll work side-by-side with professors who are at the top of their fields.
Our mascot—the Black Squirrel—has a genetic adaptation that gives it a bold, black coat. Join our distinctive community and stand out from the pack with your fellow Haverfordians.
Part of Customs , Dorm Olympics is the beloved annual tradition in which the blue Barclay residents, red South campus dwellers from HCA and Tritton, and green Gummere inhabitants compete against one another in demonstrations of unusual abilities and dorm pride .
Doing splits for Team Barclay. Photo: Victoria Merino '20
Office Hour – Lou Charkoudian '03
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Lou Charkoudian '03 has lots of books in her office, but two have particular significance: the chemistry textbooks she used when she was a Haverford student in the organic chemistry classes of professors Karin Åkerfeldt and Fran Blase , who are now Charkoudian’s colleagues.
Read Office Hour in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Haverford Magazine .
Charkoudian kepps a box outside of her office so students can let her know what’s on their mind about class. Photo: Patrick Montero.
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The Importance of Honor Codes
Updated 22 March 2023
Subject Higher Education
Topic Honor Codes
A good honor code promotes ethical standards and academic integrity. A good honor code is an effective way to help students adhere to ethical standards and encourage academic integrity. A university or college may have an honor code that is agreed upon by students, teachers, and administrators.
A lot of schools use an honor code to teach their students about ethics and the importance of not cheating or lying. Some schools also give students rewards if they follow the code. It's important to remember that honor codes are only effective if students and faculty understand them properly. They aren't meant to be a rigid set of rules.
The best honor codes are based on respect and trust. They make students and teachers feel respected by each other and the school. When students know that their behavior won't be tolerated, they are less likely to cheat and more likely to take pride in their work.
The importance of student commitment
In some schools, students are required to sign off on the honor code before they can enroll in classes. This is called an oath or a pledge and is an important step in making sure that students follow the code. Some schools may also have an assembly where students discuss the honor code and make sure that they know what is expected of them. Some teachers will include honor code information in the classroom and talk about it often.
Another way to teach students about an honor code is to have them participate in a group discussion where they can think of their own ways to be honest and respectful. This can be done in small groups or as a whole class. These discussions can be fun, and they can also help students get to know one another better. They can also help them see that the honor code is not just a list of things to avoid, but it's about creating a healthy environment for learning and living.
Promoting the honor code
Besides having students sign off on the honor code, schools can also reinforce these values by having the honor code on their website and installing plaques that have the honor code written on them throughout campus. This is a great way to promote the honor code and show that it's important to everyone at the school.
A lot of students are very proud to be students at a school that has an honor code. This is because it shows that the school is committed to the values of honesty and responsibility. In addition, a lot of students like the idea that they are trustworthy when it comes to their assignments and exams. For example, students at honor code schools often take their exams in a library or off-campus, rather than having them proctored by a teacher. Many schools have an honor code that makes students feel more confident about their work and tests. It is also a way to prevent cheating and collaborate on assignments.
Encouraging responsibility and seeking support
While a lot of students are proud to be a student at an honor code school, it is important to remind them that they need to be responsible and honest in their work. They also need to learn that their actions can have consequences and that they should seek support if they are having problems with their studies or academic life.
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The Daily Texan
Decoding the honor code
Over the past year, the battle against academic dishonesty has become increasingly complex. With the introduction of open-source artificial intelligence, the internet is now more than just a learning tool, and universities are finding new ways to adapt. Rapid advancements in the field of AI have led to inconsistent student guidelines across areas of study.
Students using AI to gain an unfair advantage in classes should by no means be allowed to do so, but in a world so reliant on technology, neglecting the value of AI can limit the relevance of students’ education. A middle ground between completely banning AI and allowing students to use it freely is necessary to protect the integrity of a UT education going forward.
Art Markman, a psychology professor and the vice provost for academic affairs, explains how the honor code was intentionally worded so that professors can determine their own guidelines on AI.
“The honor code deliberately creates opportunities for faculty to be able to clarify what is and isn’t acceptable in their class because there isn’t going to be a policy that would say you could never use AI in your class,” Markman said.
The recent updates to the honor code foster a creative and explorational outlook on education that students can use as a guiding principle during their time at UT. Besides an outlook on education, the honor code purposefully leaves the majority of clarification on policies up to faculty.
Leaving room for individual interpretation allows professors to keep up with the rapid advances in AI. It also creates a variety of policies for students to keep track of and can be difficult for students to manage across the assortment of classes offered by the university.
“I think it needs to be more specific, especially since it just refers to someone else’s work,” undeclared freshman Ben Crowley said. “What classifies as someone else’s original work when we are talking about (AI)?”
Currently, the guidelines provided by UT leave the specifics surrounding AI up to professors. Placing responsibility on students to manage the different policies provided to them in order to make sure they are not misusing AI is potentially problematic as it leads to inconsistencies across fields of study, showing how even the current approach to AI still has its flaws. Although leaving guidelines up to professors creates conflicting policies across courses, the ambiguity of the honor code allows students to properly use the tool that is AI to enhance their education.
When considering something as serious as academic dishonesty, rules and regulations must have clear boundaries about what constitutes cheating. The updated honor code does little to provide students with a clear-cut definition of where AI does and does not belong. While the University’s efforts to encourage honesty are a step in the right direction, the honor code must include specific guidelines to mitigate this problem.
Henneke is an anthropology sophomore from Austin, Texas.
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Students honor veterans through Art and Essay contest
Published 11:17 am Thursday, November 16, 2023
By Staff Reports
Contributed Photo Aiden Feliciano passionately recited his winning essay, concluding a touching tribute to honor the brave veterans in the community.
The Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary (DAVA) Unit 17 recently spearheaded an inspiring initiative at Hunter Elementary on Stoney Creek, sponsoring an Art/Essay contest aimed at 5th and 6th-grade students. The theme, “My America; My Heroic Veterans,” encouraged students to craft essays or artwork centered around their family members who have served or are serving in the United States military.
Friday, November 10, marked a special ceremony at Hunter Elementary where winners of the contest were honored. Veterans who had children or grandchildren attending the school were invited to attend the ceremony, accompanied by their young relatives.
Aiden Feliciano claimed the first-place spot, earning a $75 gift card for his poignant essay highlighting his stepfather, Daniel McCloud, an honorable Coast Guard veteran. Selah Denton secured the second-place position, receiving a $50 gift card for her remarkable patriotic artwork. Evan Brooks, whose essay celebrated his mother’s service in the Coast Guard, earned the third-place distinction, rewarded with a $30 gift card. Adriana Tanner and Lola Guess received $15 gift cards each for their exceptional patriotic artwork, securing the fourth and fifth places, respectively. All winners received certificates, miniature flags, and patriotic bracelets.
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The event, coordinated by 5th/6th grade teacher Mrs. Amy Grubb, commenced with a warm welcome to attending parents and visitors. The ceremony included a Moment of Silence led by Ronan Quintana and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Kaine Taylor, both sixth-grade students. Gracie Hill, an eighth-grade student, delivered a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, followed by an inspired interpretive dance to “God Bless America” performed by Jayci Wilson, also an eighth-grader.
Becky Murray, Adjutant for Unit 17 DAVA, took the stage to present certificates to the winners, underscoring the importance of these patriotic contests. Murray highlighted the significance of young people understanding and appreciating their family members’ military service and the sacrifices made by the men and women in the military to safeguard the nation’s freedom.
The ceremony culminated with Murray inviting all veterans in attendance to stand and be acknowledged. The children on stage honored the veterans by presenting flags and bracelets while also handing out heartfelt cards drawn by second-graders at Hunter Elementary.
The program reached its emotional pinnacle as Aiden Feliciano passionately recited his winning essay, concluding a touching tribute to honor the brave veterans in the community.
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November 7, 2023
‘ChatGPT Detector’ Catches AI-Generated Papers with Unprecedented Accuracy
A new tool based on machine learning uses features of writing style to distinguish between human and AI authors
By McKenzie Prillaman & Nature magazine
A new AI detection tool can accurately identify chemistry papers written by ChatGPT.
Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images
A machine-learning tool can easily spot when chemistry papers are written using the chatbot ChatGPT, according to a study published on 6 November in Cell Reports Physical Science . The specialized classifier, which outperformed two existing artificial intelligence (AI) detectors, could help academic publishers to identify papers created by AI text generators.
“Most of the field of text analysis wants a really general detector that will work on anything,” says co-author Heather Desaire, a chemist at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. But by making a tool that focuses on a particular type of paper, “we were really going after accuracy.”
The findings suggest that efforts to develop AI detectors could be boosted by tailoring software to specific types of writing, Desaire says. “If you can build something quickly and easily, then it’s not that hard to build something for different domains.”
The elements of style
Desaire and her colleagues first described their ChatGPT detector in June, when they applied it to Perspective articles from the journal Science . Using machine learning, the detector examines 20 features of writing style, including variation in sentence lengths, and the frequency of certain words and punctuation marks, to determine whether an academic scientist or ChatGPT wrote a piece of text. The findings show that “you could use a small set of features to get a high level of accuracy,” Desaire says.
In the latest study, the detector was trained on the introductory sections of papers from ten chemistry journals published by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The team chose the introduction because this section of a paper is fairly easy for ChatGPT to write if it has access to background literature, Desaire says. The researchers trained their tool on 100 published introductions to serve as human-written text, and then asked ChatGPT-3.5 to write 200 introductions in ACS journal style. For 100 of these, the tool was provided with the papers’ titles, and for the other 100, it was given their abstracts.
When tested on introductions written by people and those generated by AI from the same journals, the tool identified ChatGPT-3.5-written sections based on titles with 100% accuracy. For the ChatGPT-generated introductions based on abstracts, the accuracy was slightly lower, at 98%. The tool worked just as well with text written by ChatGPT-4, the latest version of the chatbot. By contrast, the AI detector ZeroGPT identified AI-written introductions with an accuracy of only about 35–65%, depending on the version of ChatGPT used and whether the introduction had been generated from the title or the abstract of the paper. A text-classifier tool produced by OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, also performed poorly — it was able to spot AI-written introductions with an accuracy of around 10–55%.
The new ChatGPT catcher even performed well with introductions from journals it wasn’t trained on, and it caught AI text that was created from a variety of prompts, including one aimed to confuse AI detectors. However, the system is highly specialized for scientific journal articles. When presented with real articles from university newspapers, it failed to recognize them as being written by humans.
What the authors are doing is “something fascinating,” says Debora Weber-Wulff, a computer scientist who studies academic plagiarism at the HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences. Many existing tools try to determine authorship by searching for the predictive text patterns of AI-generated writing rather than by looking at features of writing style, she says. “I’d never thought of using stylometrics on ChatGPT.”
But Weber-Wulff points out that there are other issues driving the use of ChatGPT in academia. Many researchers are under pressure to quickly churn out papers, she notes, or they might not see the process of writing a paper as an important part of science. AI-detection tools will not address these issues, and should not be seen as “a magic software solution to a social problem.”
This article is reproduced with permission and was first published on January 27 2023.
Opinion The Supreme Court’s new ethics rules, decoded
The Supreme Court’s new ethics code has that distinctive tone that rules have when they are In Response To A Particular Incident. (“Flush ONLY toilet paper!” “NOT a waste receptacle!” “If Harlan Crow offers to make a photorealistic portrait of you smoking a cigar with him, PLEASE DECLINE!”) They belong to the genre of things that spark dread, like stumbling upon a fossil or the ruins of an ancient city. “Something happened in this place,” you say to yourself, tasting the soil. (Is this what archaeologists do? I suspect it isn’t. Archaeologists reading this, if you want to invite me on a dig so that I don’t write sentences like this in the future, I will go! Unless it’s not ethical to use your column to try to get yourself invited on archaeological digs! If I get invited on an archaeological dig and then my subsequent columns are things like, “I Wish We Went Longer Between Possible Government Shutdowns, And I Also Wish The Season During Which Excavations Happen Were Longer! We Should Give People Time To Excavate More Deeply! Let Us Get At The Herms,” then you will know that I am in the pocket of Big Archaeology now. What was I saying? Oh, ethics!)
Here is a quick rundown of what the new ethics code says, roughly!
Hi, Supreme Court Watchers and Fans! We hear there’s been some confusion lately about ethics! Not within the court, obviously, just outside it! We’re not confused. We are crystal clear. People are asking things like, “Do they have ethics?” and “If they do, why is Clarence Thomas doing all those things ?” To them we say: “It’s fine!” We definitely were thinking of having an ethics code anyway and have tacitly had one all along and really it’s just a weird oversight that nobody else knew we had it. We’re so excited to clear up the confusion so you will never ask us these questions again!
Whenever you write a code people get mad about it. Code of Hammurabi? Too stringent. This Supreme Court Code of Ethics? Not stringent enough ! Make up your mind, we say! It seems fine to us.
Ethics: We are in favor of ethics. People say, “We don’t think you have enough ethics,” but we think, actually, we do.
Ruth Marcus: The Supreme Court's ethics code amounts to 'You're not the boss of me'
Before you accept any free vacation , school tuition or ride on a vehicle , or attend a speaking engagement or fundraiser , please consult the following guidance to make sure it’s Good to Do (approved by this ethics code) and not an Egregious Betrayal Of The Public’s Expectations (or, what this code calls an Oopsie).
Activities Starting With Extra: Extrajudicial Activities: Good. Extralegal Activities: Bad! (Check in with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. first!)
Alexandra Petri: The Supreme Court justice lifestyle is for me!
Vehicles It Is Okay to Accept Rides On: If it flies in the sky and the price is high, don’t say “Aye!” That’s a mnemonic we came up with to remind justices what modes of transportation are ethical by air! If it floats on the spot and it rhymes with ‘bought,’ you should not ! (That’s the mnemonic for travel by sea.) A good litmus test, if you’re not sure, is to picture the response of a member of the general public to the news that you have just traveled on the offered craft. “Ugh” is good. “Ooh” is bad. “I just rode to a conference on Frontier!” (Ugh.) “I got to sit in a billionaire’s helicopter!” (Ooh.) In general, if the vehicle in question has a person name, a name a normal human being would give a child (“ Michaela Rose ”), instead of a name Elon Musk would give to a child (Embraer E195 E2), it is too expensive to ride on.
Alexandra Petri: Supreme Court, consider justice sponsorship!
Maximum Degree of Closeness of Relative Corresponding to Dwelling That Can Be Paid For By Harlan Crow:
Please examine the following table on acceptable financing of accommodation:
As you can see, Mother’s House is out!
Events You Can Attend: Gala for Federalist Society if you promise you didn’t enjoy it; any Leonard Leo gathering at which you spend the whole time wishing you were in a Walmart parking lot ; surprise birthday celebration for billionaire if you can get there on foot or disclosing it would ruin the surprise.
Opinion: How I 'bribed' a justice to take a no-expenses-paid trip to Mississippi
Tuitions Harlan Crow Is Welcome to Pay: Any degrees whose practical impact seems unclear (MFAs, PhDs); please ask the chief justice about other degrees and payment sources.
Clubs It Is Okay to Join: Clubs that talk about the law! Anyone can see that talking about the law with friends is your job and makes you seem human. It is good to seem human to the people on whose behalf you hand down all these rulings!
Alexandra Petri: Every second on the yacht I wished I were in a Walmart parking lot
Clubs It Is Not Okay to Join: Any club that talks about something other than the law. Try to join only clubs that reasonable observers think are fun talking-about-the-law clubs. “What is a reasonable observer?” you may ask. Somebody saying, “That’s not a fun club to talk about the law! That’s the Federalist Society, an arm of the Republican Party!” sounds hysterical (not reasonable) and should be discounted.
Talking to a Bookstore Full of Children Who May or May Not Have Bought Your Book: We have eyes on you, Justice Sonia Sotomayor!
Enforcement Mechanism: None. We have every confidence that you will police yourselves, just as you’ve policed yourselves in the past.
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We Waited 200 Years for This Supreme Court Ethics Code?
By Jesse Wegman
Mr. Wegman, a member of the editorial board, writes about legal affairs.
On first impulse, I was tempted to say something nice about the Supreme Court’s first-ever ethics code, which the justices released on Monday after years of pleas from the American public and lawmakers of both parties. But the most striking thing about the code was its resentful tone: call it the condescension of the unelected.
In responding to the widespread outrage that has followed detailed news reports of repeated and egregious ethical violations — most notably by two of its most senior justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — the court chose to gaslight the American people, upon whom it depends for its legitimacy.
“The absence of a code,” the court wrote in a sniffy, one-paragraph opening statement, “has led in recent years to the misunderstanding that the justices of this court, unlike all other jurists in this country, regard themselves as unrestricted by any ethics rules.”
As Justice Alito might say , not true. The only misunderstanding here (a willful one, it seems) is on the part of the court. Regular Americans understand perfectly well what’s going on. If they question the justices’ commitment to ethical virtue, it’s because of the justices’ own behavior. The lack of a written code — the actual way in which they are unlike all other judges, who have been subject to such a code for the past 50 years — is merely emblematic of the deeper problem, which is that the Supreme Court considers itself answerable to no one.
Even if it were a popular misunderstanding, why wait until the public is clamoring for action? Any politician will tell you to get ahead of the scandal for precisely this reason; after the fact, it just looks like a sloppy cleanup in Aisle 5. That’s an insult to the hundreds of millions of us who live under the court’s edicts, many of which implicate the most personal aspects of our lives. A tribunal so powerful, one that genuinely cared about protecting and nurturing its fragile authority, would voluntarily and pre-emptively subject itself to the highest ethical standards imaginable.
Not this court. “One of the themes we’ve heard from Chief Justice Roberts and others is essentially this message of: Just trust us. We don’t need to be constrained like everybody else,” Alicia Bannon, the director of the judiciary program at the Brennan Center for Justice , told me. “And I don’t think their behavior has earned that trust.”
The sustained public uproar over that behavior — measured most clearly in the court’s record-low approval ratings — appears finally to have pierced the bubble at One First Street. In recent months, Justices Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett have publicly supported the adoption of an ethics code. This rare bout of self-awareness makes the feebleness of the court’s response that much more frustrating. There’s an understandable desire to praise the justices for doing what so many, including the Times editorial board , have called for, but my primary reaction on seeing the result is: We waited 200 years for this?
The most glaring defect of the new code is its complete lack of any enforcement power. Its 15 pages are littered with weak verbs like “should,” “should not” and “endeavor to,” which, as any college student on a pre-exam bender will tell you, is a reliable way to sound serious without actually doing the work. And yet the absence of any discipline or enforcement was the central flaw that led to calls for an ethics code in the first place. Whatever the justices do, they must know there will be no professional repercussions. Appointed for life and removable only by impeachment, they are effectively untouchable. It doesn’t matter how virtuous you think you are; in the long term, this brew of power and unaccountability can be corrupting.
What’s included in the code is as troubling as what’s missing. On the matter of outside influences on the justices — the main reason for the current public pressure on the court — the language is almost laughably vague and permissive. “A justice should not allow family, social, political, financial or other relationships to influence official conduct or judgment.” Well, sure. But what in this sentence would have stopped Justice Thomas and Justice Alito from developing their relationships with those uber-wealthy Republican donors who seem so often to come into their orbit and who, by the way, happen to be connected to cases before the court?
You can still hang out with all the people trying to influence you, this sentence seems to suggest, just as long as you claim you’re not influenced by them (as the justices have often done ). Without any enforcement mechanism or even an impartial body to determine when a relationship (financial or otherwise) has gone too far, it becomes meaningless.
Then there’s the related issue of recusal, which goes to the heart of judicial integrity and has come up repeatedly in matters involving Justices Thomas and Alito. (In addition to the substantial and unreported gifts they received, Justice Thomas refused until very recently to disqualify himself from cases involving the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, even though his wife, Virginia, was deeply involved in the legal efforts to keep Donald Trump in office despite his electoral defeat.)
The code purports to lay out a clear recusal standard, but it only muddies the waters. “A justice should disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the justice’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, that is, where an unbiased and reasonable person who is aware of all relevant circumstances would doubt that the justice could fairly discharge his or her duties.”
There’s a lot going on here, so let’s be good textualists and unpack it.
“A justice should”: There’s that squirrelly word “should” again. In fact, we already have a federal recusal law ; it applies to the justices, and it uses the word “shall.” Unlike “should,” “shall” is not optional. The justices may enjoy the power to strike down federal laws, but they can’t rewrite them.
“An unbiased and reasonable person”: The “reasonable person” standard is a real thing in the law, but how did “unbiased” get in there? It’s not in the law or the federal judicial ethics code. What does it even mean?
“Aware of all relevant circumstances”: This phrase appears to be adapted from the lower-court ethics code, but that code includes an important qualifier : “knowledge of all the relevant circumstances disclosed by a reasonable inquiry .” The Supreme Court’s new code omits that last part, putting an impossible burden on anyone who might challenge a justice’s impartiality.
Remember a few months ago, when ProPublica reported that Justice Alito had failed to disclose a free private-plane trip he took in 2008, courtesy of a billionaire who owned a company that later won a multibillion-dollar judgment from the court, with Justice Alito voting in the majority? The justice’s defense, which he offered in an extraordinary opinion essay in The Wall Street Journal, relied on substantially the same language as the court’s new recusal rule. But, as I wondered at the time , how could anyone be “aware of all relevant circumstances” if the justice never disclosed the trip to begin with? What would a “reasonable inquiry” in that case have looked like?
Finally, if there’s a close call in a recusal case, the code offers another ethical offramp for the justices: the “duty to sit.” There are only nine of them, the reasoning goes, and they are the highest court in the land. Lower federal judges are replaceable, but Supreme Court justices are not, even if a reasonable person would have a legitimate concern about a justice’s ability to be fair in a given case.
Taken together, Ms. Bannon said, these provisions could have the perverse effect of reducing the ethical obligations not only of the justices but also of the entire federal judiciary. “They’ve essentially taken the position that they’ve already been abiding by these provisions,” she said. Adopting the code in that light “sends the message to the entire judiciary that the Supreme Court’s shoddy ethical record is the floor for everyone.”
The bottom line is the same as it has always been: The Supreme Court cannot police itself. Real policing would require something like an internal ethics office at the court or perhaps an inspector general for the judicial branch, as Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa has long proposed . Either way, a meaningful enforcement mechanism is the only path forward.
“If you’re going to create a code that is clearly responding to current events, you have to have consequences or new structures that will prevent those events from happening again,” said Gabe Roth of the advocacy group Fix the Court.
I really want to be positive about this new code. At the very least, it serves as an acknowledgment that the court is aware of its delicate place within the larger society and must be responsive to widespread concerns about its integrity. Its publication creates a basic standard against which the justices’ future behavior can be measured. But if the court wants to regain its standing with the American people, it’s going to have to try harder than this.
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Jesse Wegman is a member of the editorial board , where he has written about the Supreme Court and national legal affairs since 2013. He is the author of “Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College.”