Letter to the Editor

Erty Seidel

In your recent article, “Incidents of vandalism and theft provoke campus dismay,” the writer cites the Honor Code as a safeguard against vandalism and theft. From the fourth paragraph: “Lawrence students typically assume that, because of the Honor Code, acts such as this should not take place.” If Lawrence students are assuming that, Lawrence students haven’t read the Honor Code.

“No Lawrence student will unfairly advance his or her own academic performance or in any way limit or impede the academic pursuits of other students of the Lawrence community.”

I don’t see anything in there about smashing benches, stealing dishes or smashing light posts. Not that I’m less than disgusted that people would vandalize the Lawrence campus, but I feel that your article misappropriates the Lawrence University Honor Code. The Honor Code is about academic honesty, and mentions nothing about respecting property. That’s what real-world laws are for.

Yes, I feel that someone smashing a defenseless bench is dishonorable, but it’s definitely not against the Honor Code. One could argue that by vandalizing Lawrence, students feel unsafe and do worse academically, but I think that’s stretching it.

The Honor Code is a great way to keep Lawrence’s academics honest and noncompetitive. However, students need to read the laws, codes and ordinances that they agreed to abide by when coming to Lawrence. Misapplying the Honor Code only weakens it.

— Erty Seidel ‘13