All Lawrence students, faculty, and staff rely on an element of trust and an expectation of respect in order to function as a successful, dynamic, and interconnected academic community. Whether it is leaving your backpack in the library for an hour while you hit up the grill for dinner or being allowed to take an unproctored exam, we have all at some point enjoyed the advantages that trust affords the students of this small campus.
We have no metal detectors, few locked doors, and trusting teachers who permit us to complete exams, assignments, and take home tests in the name of the Lawrence Honor Code. According to the Lawrence website, the Honor Code is explained as “a central part of Lawrence life. Strictly speaking, it is an academic agreement between all people on campus, including students, staff, and faculty. On a larger scale, the Honor Code helps to promote a friendlier and open environment for everyone at Lawrence by fostering honest behavior.”
It is this latter part that we must remember outside the classroom as well as inside the classroom. This is what fosters the genuine sense that our community is working to improve itself by paying deserved respect to each individual member. Respect allows for academic trust, not through the letters that we quickly scribble on our blue exam booklets at the end of class, but through the afforded confidence that we are moving ahead together, maybe not in the same academic direction, but with trust in our colleagues.
But recently, Lawrence has experienced a rash of vandalism and petty theft. A large part of our positive campus experience is being jeopardized by an apparently small group of individuals who put themselves above the rest. Chances are that the perpetrators are Lawrence students.
This isn’t an attempt to promote the idea of “one for all and all for one.” It is an effort to encourage respect of fellow students, faculty, and staff. If you can’t do that, please find yourself another school.