Upholding the Lawrence difference: a profile on honor council and JBoard

Nancy Corona

The Honor Council and LUCC’s Judicial Board, commonly referred to as “J-Board,” strive to maintain and promote an honest, trusting and responsible student body. Although both groups handle different situations, they both share a mutual goals.

The Honor Council’s mission is to uphold the Honor Code. Established in 1962, the Honor Code was created to promote academic integrity. Plagiarism, cheating and copying off other students’ work are just some of the violations of the Honor Code that the Honor Council reviews.

Although often run by faculty at other college campuses, Lawrence’s honor system is unique because it is run entirely by students. Honor Council members are responsible for reviewing violations of the honor code, communicating with students about their violations, and voting on sanctions or punishments that they feel are right, depending on the violation.

According to the Honor Council Selections Chair, sophomore Anna Buchholz, “It’s a very difficult process when there is a gray area and you don’t know exactly happened. You’re just going by what the student or professor says, and you have to just use the evidence they give you to figure out what happened.”

Not only are Honor Council members entrusted with the responsibility to resolve difficult situations, but Lawrence’s small student body adds another layer to the challenges Honor Council members face when making decisions. Said Buchholz, “On a small campus like this, it’s really easy to know other students and know their backgrounds and be friends with them and hang out with them. So it’s difficult, but you have to learn to keep those two things separate if you want to do your job and maintain the integrity of Lawrence.”

Much like Honor Council, J-Board’s mission is also to encourage students to be responsible of their actions. J-Board is a committee of LUCC that deals with violations of Lawrence’s Social Code. Like the Honor Council, decisions in J-Board are made entirely by students. Rather than focusing on punishing violations of the Social Code, J-Board strives to educate the student body to be socially responsible.

Senior Alex Ajayi, chair of J-Board, said, “The paramount mission is to be [educational], rather than punitive. It’s not here to be harsh, but [to look] at students who have violated the code and look for ways to learn from their mistakes and look forward.”

Ajayi also explained that J-board members try to act as leaders on campus and influence other students to shape Lawrence into a community that is safe and trusting. “As a Lawrence community of students, [we] shape our experiences here and shape what we want and what we expect from each other so there is a level of mutual responsibly for students, and that is awesome. We decide as students what community we want.”

Both the Honor Council and J-Board add to the uniqueness of Lawrence’s community. However, their missions go beyond focusing just on student’s behavior at Lawrence. Both groups hope that their work helps students make responsible decisions throughout their future.

Buchholz shared, “Obviously I don’t enjoy making life harder for someone if they made a violation; [however], I believe that this is a way we’re helping them for life, and they’re learning to do their own work and be honest and be trusting. So even through this maybe a bump in the road for them, I believe that we’re doing is right and we’re helping them in the future when bigger situations come along.”

Currently, the Honor Council and J-Board are looking for new members to join next year. Every year both groups go through a selective process to choose their members. If interested in being part of J-Board contact Ajayi; for the Honor Council, contact Buchholz. Info sessions will be held throughout the next few days, and nominations for the Honor Council are open until April 20.