Add Sexual Offenses as an Honor Code Violation.
For a school that holds its precious Honor Code with such high esteem, I find it beyond baffling and quite enraging that sexual offences are not included on the list of honor offences. On a daily basis, countless individuals get away with life-damaging assaults and further increase the societal notion that such heinous crimes are not only tolerated but acceptable. I've witnessed schools like Yale, Princeton, and the University of Virginia treat sexual assault victims, the very students who have given so much of their lives to their educational institutions, be treated as nothing more than a statistic, or worse, as a mere incident that is quickly swept under the rug, erasing all traces of respect for the damaged human being who sought nothing more than an decent education. No individual should EVER feel unprotected at the University of Virginia, a place which I personally call home, and it is a extremely disappointing that our Honor system does not even care to acknowledge the subject. If an individual can get away a serious, life-damaging offense at UVA, we are only sending the message that it is acceptable not only here, but within the rest of society. If we can create this very simple yet unbelievably profound change at one of the most prestigious schools in the world, then we can create a spark of change within society. Without the involvement of serious offences such as sexual assault, quite frankly the Honor Code is not so honorable. It's time to Step up, UVA. Please take that step.
Although I respect and understand where these concerns come from, I think that there is a profound misunderstanding of the function of the Honor Council vs the University Judiciary Committee. The honor council exists from an academic side, and UJC exists to cover safety etc. Maybe this article will help clear things up. Students at UVa are held accountable for all of their actions, and there are separate entities that exist to deal with different cases to ensure thorough understanding and efficiency in investigation, trail, and punishment. http://www.student.virginia.edu/~judic/for_complainants.php
AdminStudent Concerns Committee Representatives (Student Council Representatives, Student Council) commented
Thank you for voicing your concern. I will bring this up in our rep meeting this week to see where the University and Honor Committee stands on this issue, and I will get back to you. You are always welcome to come speak to the General Body of Student Council at 6pm on Tuesday in Newcomb South Meeting Room if you would like to further explore this issue.
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
First Year Representative