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When the unexamined becomes the unlived

(11/26/19 5:00am)

My junior year literature teacher wore colorful scarves and sang the Rolling Stones. His recounts from his life along with the works of Shakespeare and Jane Austen and others made his class a collection of stories. As the leaves turned from green to orange outside the classroom window, he had our class read “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” for a homework assignment one day. The story is about a speaker trapped in his own mind. He goes through cycles of questioning the surrounding world, which leaves him feeling paralyzed and unable to take action.

Analyzing integrity in group dynamics: sports and group projects

(11/12/19 5:00am)

I opened my phone and go through Instagram on the bus to my 8:30 Chemistry lecture in Gross Hall. I catch up with some friends before finally stumbling upon the Duke Men’s Basketball Instagram. Upon viewing their story, I find that they have been working through drills since early in the morning. Returning to their page later in the day confirms that they have been practicing, performing strength training, and much more. Even though I am only a first-semester freshman, I find it hard to imagine an entire schedule of courses combined with the load of an athletic team. Upon a deeper investigation into the culture of sports teams, I find that integrity is the backbone that holds them together.

Civic engagement: Intent vs. impact

(10/15/19 4:00am)

Civic Engagement is defined as making a difference in the civic life of our communities. The first form of civic engagement we usually participate in and the one most associated with college students is community service. Many high schools and scholarship programs require some number of community service hours and on a resume or job application, community service hours are usually a good addition. For most, these are the motivations for becoming involved in the community. 

Change in integrity over time

(10/01/19 4:00am)

Integrity is often thought of as an innate characteristic, featured in sayings like “He has a strong moral compass” or “It just didn’t feel like the right thing to do.” Yet, this sense of honor must come from somewhere, and in many cases, it is parents or guardians that instill children with a sense of moral duty. This sentiment might be derived from a rich cultural heritage, handed down through generations, or fabricated from a guardian’s personal experiences. Regardless of origin, this first definition of honor can have an immeasurable impact on a child’s beliefs and actions. 

The longitudinal limits of leadership

(09/17/19 4:00am)

We are now a few weeks into the new academic year, which means many of us are inevitably transitioning into our latest campus leadership roles. I remember being surprised when I got to Duke that so many of these positions were held by sophomores or juniors. In high school, at least in my experience, seniors essentially had a monopoly on most of those positions. But in college, when the tenure of a position formally ends, the student holding it oftentimes won’t yet be graduating. On the contrary, they may have one or two years left at Duke, which poses a question: should those students continue to serve in their positions or pass them on to others?

Don’t wait: The expansive impact of leading an ethical life

(05/03/19 4:00am)

Another year is coming to a close, providing a time for individuals and groups on campus to reflect on the time that has passed and plan for the year ahead. Many of us will soon depart campus for internships or summer employment where the traditional realm of academic integrity might not be quite as relevant. Rather than being faced with the decision to copy a problem set or plagiarize a paper, we step out of the Duke bubble and are confronted with the tangible byproducts of leading an ethical life in very different environments—the ones we all hope to enter following graduation—the ‘real world,’ as they say.

What do middle schoolers have to teach us about honor?

(03/05/19 5:00am)

Imagine this: Coach K sets his rules for the upcoming game—everyone must be at practice. Every day, on time, no exceptions. One afternoon, all of the team’s starters decided to show up an hour late to practice. The rule says they should be suspended for one full week, which means they will not play against UNC... But the whole team, not to mention K-Ville, is depending on them. What should Coach do?

Case study of integrity outside of the classroom: White tenting

(02/25/19 5:00am)

Tenting has been a phenomenon on Duke’s campus for over 30 years. Beginning in 1986 with a group of friends who just wanted one of the best spots for the Duke vs. UNC game, the practice of tenting exploded into the intricate and complex system of checks and balances that we know today. The tenting groups are heavily regulated and monitored by the line monitors to ensure that everyone is following the tenting rules accordingly. As many know, there are varying levels of tenting: the black level, the blue level, and the white level. A couple of weeks ago, the line monitors rolled out a new approach to determining who was eligible to white tent and—in replacement of the walk-up line—flex tent. As for any other complex methodology, it is important to analyze the procedure put into place to evaluate its systematic integrity. Essentially, we must ask, “Did the methodology put forth by the line monitor committee demonstrate both honor and integrity?” 

Duke University Honor Council endorses Luke Farrell for Young Trustee

(02/04/19 3:58pm)

Duke University Honor Council is pleased to formally endorse Luke Farrell as Young Trustee. After hearing from all four outstanding candidates on January 31, Honor Council believes Luke best embodies the values of honor, integrity and moral courage that create the foundation of our community. 

Embracing candor, diversity and inclusiveness

(11/28/18 5:00am)

With students from 64 countries and 47 U.S. states, representing many races, ethnicities, genders and socioeconomic statuses, Duke is home to a unique assortment of people and cultures that foster a diversity of opinions and ideas. Duke’s desire to create a multicultural community is evident from the way it shapes its classes with people from all walks of life. However, are we as Duke students taking full advantage of that diversity by recognizing and appreciating each other’s perspectives and cultures? And is creating a more inclusive community a question of honor?  

How to behave honorably in a global world

(11/14/18 5:00am)

Whether through everyday conversations or discussions in the classroom, you’ve probably heard discussions on globalization: people today interact with others from many different cultures and backgrounds much more frequently than in decades past. From volunteering through DukeEngage, to studying abroad, to even spending time with friends from different cultural backgrounds, Duke students are certainly becoming more aware of their world and are becoming globalized. This presents a unique challenge in regards to values of integrity and honor. Different communities and cultures are governed by different moral codes. So how do we reconcile our own moral standards with those held by others? 

Is there an 'I' in 'we'?

(10/31/18 4:00am)

One of the best things Duke has to offer is the sense of community. Whether it is your freshman house GroupMe or the people cheering around in Cameron, we all seem to unite together under our pride of being Blue Devils. From this sense of community comes responsibility: not just over ourselves but for others. We, as a Duke community, try to look out for each other in times of need. From this sense of both union and responsibility, the Duke Community Standard was forged. 

An ethical appeal to voting

(10/17/18 4:00am)

Virtually every student knows about the first line of the Community Standard. When students are asked about the Standard, even the vaguest answers will often come close to the first line saying something along the lines of, “It has something to do with not lying or stealing, right?” Though the Community Standard does apply to academic honesty and integrity, it also applies to so much more. The second and third lines say, “I will conduct myself honorably in all my endeavors and I will act if the Standard is compromised.” “Acting” can take many forms, but one of the most tangible forms it can take is voting. Many people say that it is your ‘moral and civic duty’ to vote, but nobody ever really explains why. In honor of Honor Council’s theme of civic engagement this month, here are my top five reasons you should vote:

Sleep isn't like golf

(10/03/18 4:00am)

How often do you see an acquaintance walking by on the quad and instinctively answer their obligatory “how are you?” with “I’m soooo tired.” I’ve said it so many times I can’t even count. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that Duke students get far fewer hours of sleep than they should be getting; Duke has a way of creating such a stressful environment that students should have the right to complain about the loads of work they have. However, when I think back to the countless times I replied with a dramatic sigh and lamented that I only got three hours of sleep the night before, I was almost always embellishing.