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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. 




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? 


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. 


Welcome to Duke! Sign this

(09/19/18 4:00am)

In accepting admission to Duke University, students must agree to uphold the Duke Community Standard. On move-in day, students are given a freshly printed copy of “The Duke Community Standard in Practice.” First-years are asked to sign the Duke Community Standard banner at the welcoming ceremony of Orientation Week. The Duke Community Standard is displayed in classrooms across campus, it’s mentioned again on the syllabi distributed during the first week and students may be expected to agree to it again during exams. For some, it may seem like the Duke Community Standard is everywhere, and yet there are still hundreds of cases of misconduct each year.


Fighting the good fight

(04/19/18 4:07am)

This year is the 25th anniversary of Duke’s undergraduate honor code. Its establishment came only after a long, hard-fought battle encompassing generations of students and various administration changes. Even Duke Chronicle headlines from October 1957—over 60 years ago—detail student efforts to create an honor code. Needless to say, nothing stuck. It wasn’t until 1993, over 150 years after the beginnings of Duke University, that an undergraduate honor code was finally put into place.



Integrity Week: Celebrating 25 years of the Duke Honor Code

(03/22/18 4:00am)

Integrity Week (I-Week) is just around the corner, and on the 25th anniversary of Honor at Duke, what does living honorably mean for Duke students? 21st-century expectations of students seem simple: don’t cheat, don’t steal, live honorably. In my History of Ancient Philosophy class with Professor Michael Ferejohn, we learned that 2,500 years ago, the standards were a tad more complicated. During the time of Socrates, the Greeks’ conception of areté (αρετή), or what we now call “virtue,” was really a set of guidelines for how people should live. Though it is commonplace to use the English word “virtue” as a simple translation, areté can be more accurately thought of as excellence in general. In order to live excellently and be an excellent person, one had to possess each of the excellences: justice, piety, temperance, courage, and wisdom. No single excellence took precedence over the others, but in order to live well and be an expert in ethical matters, each of the five were integral.




Community and consent

(02/22/18 3:28pm)

At a panel discussion hosted by Honor Council on Thursday, students asked representatives from the Duke Men’s Project and the Women’s Center about the factors that cultivate an environment for sexual assault on campus. A common thread of the discussion centered around the notion that, if Duke students are among the brightest thinkers, then why is sexual misconduct so prevalent? “If people at Duke are so smart, why do we see a disconnect between what they learn in the classroom, and how they act outside of it?” asked one student.




Voting on values

(01/25/18 6:31am)

It’s election season at Duke. The spring marks a seemingly never-ending campaign cycle, beginning with the announcement of the Young Trustee finalists earlier this week, and concluding with waves of Duke Student Government races. Despite the exhaustion that accompanies aggressively business casual Facebook newsfeeds and multiple rounds of endorsement meetings, these elections are important, because they an opportunity for Duke students to articulate their views and values through representation. Elected representatives provide remarkable value during their time at the university, helping to incrementally move the needle to improve the broader community of which they are a part. Students might be transient, but their impact on campus structures can be long-lasting.