SGA voted on March 14 to change the wording of Mercer’s Honor Code.
The motion to update the Honor Code was brought to the SGA floor by Vice President Shannon Giddens, who is also a member of Honor Council.
The Honor Council debated this decision carefully because the change also requires an alteration to The Lair, Mercer’s undergraduate student handbook.
Giddens abstained from the vote because she deemed it unethical to vote on the same piece twice.
Sophomores Khoi Le and Branden Ryan also abstained from the vote and freshman Nick Reynolds voted against the piece.
SGA and Honor Council agreed that the change is more beneficial because now it is a pledge about holding oneself to the highest level of academic integrity instead of simply saying “I won’t cheat.”
Branden Ryan decided to abstain from the vote as he felt there was some ambiguity that was not found in the previous version.
“I abstained because the updated text omits a certain degree of specificity that was found in the former version on what constitutes a violation of academic integrity at Mercer,” Ryan said.
The original honor code reads:
“I pledge myself to neither give nor receive aid during tests or for any individual assignments or papers, nor to use any information other than that allowed by the instructor. I further pledge that I will not allow to go unreported to the proper persons any violation of the Honor System and that I will give true and complete information to the Honor Council.”
The new official version reads:
“I pledge to hold myself to the highest standards of academic integrity while at Mercer University. I further pledge that I will hold my peers to these standards by reporting any violations I observe and that I will foster a spirit of honesty in the University’s academic environment.”
The Honor Code will be updated in the next edition of The Lair.
SGA President Trent White stressed the importance of students staying updated to changes in university policy.
“Hopefully this print story will reach a great number of students and they can be aware of the change,” he said.