11.25.2008

TLS Code of Professionalism - Up for a Vote Today

Yes or No?

At this point, I'm leaning toward voting NO.  Admittedly, I have not had sufficient time to review the old and the new versions of the Honor Code (Code of Professionalism) side-by-side in the depth I would like.

I was asked to serve on the body that drafted the proposed code.  I agreed to serve on it.  Then I was never contacted.  So that's one knock against the new document.

Additionally, I have a number of questions:

1.  Why is there a need for a new Code?  Nobody has explained this to me.

2.  Who drafted this revised Code?

3.  Why has no one who supports the document summarized and disseminated the various ways in which the new document changes our Honor Code paradigm?

4.  What is the standard required for passage?  A majority of all current students?  A majority of all those voting?  Is there a minimum percentage of the student populace that must vote for passage to be legitimate?

5.  Why are we voting on this on the day before Thanksgiving Break, in effect, when many people are gone, leaving, or about to check out?

I did manage to scan the proposed Code last week for a bit, and I looked at is again this morning, briefly.  While most of it seemed rather innocuous, much of the language seemed quite vague and broad.   Here's one passage that stood out to me as troubling:

This is a violation of the proposed code - 

Utilizing or referring to any material in any location or at any time the use of which has 

been specifically forbidden by the professor, administrator, or student(s) in charge; 


What does that mean?  Is this not drastically overbroad?  In charge of what?  You can't "refer" to something "in any location or at any time"?  I think the intention is to stop students in LRW classes from talking about projects...but the provision's text is not narrowly tailored to fit such instances.

I get the general sense that the new Honor Code is being rammed through.  And that's yet another reason that has me leaning toward a vote to fail passage of the document.