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Williams is an amazing school. One of the many reasons why is Williams students take academics seriously. We study hard, do our best, and we’re honest about our work. Together with intelligence, honesty and integrity are crucial qualities in the process of self-enrichment, which we all have chosen to undergo when we accepted a seat at this college. We recognize this when we sign the Honor Code, thereby pledging to uphold the highest level of academic honesty. The vast majority of Williams students remain faithful to the Honor Code, indicating a high-degree of self-respect for ourselves. It’s a privilege to study with so many fellow classmates who genuinely seek to nourish their minds and explore the great depths of human knowledge—so many scholars and leaders in the making.
It is important that we preserve the environment of trust here at Williams. Trust between professors and students allows for more lively classroom discussion, engaging tutorial conversations, and latitude in choosing our testing conditions. Students are treated respectfully as free-thinking adults instead of double-crossing delinquents. Without this basic trust, Williams would endanger its core mission: providing the highest quality of education to its students through close interactions with professors. This is the reason why representatives from both the student body and faculty convene when anyone is accused of violating the Honor Code.
In running for the Honor and Discipline Committee, I commit myself to safeguarding the college’s valuable mission to cultivate leaders for tomorrow. The committee’s work may seem onerous to many, but we need to understand that its main purpose is not to vindictively chastise students. Rather, the committee exists to uncover the truth, understand the complete situation, and then based on the facts and any mitigating circumstances, recommend a fair and just course of action to the Dean. As a student representative on the committee, I hope that I will never have to engage in this difficult task in the first place. But if it does convene, I will always give the accused the benefit of the doubt unless there is sufficient evidence otherwise. To come to the truth, I will listen carefully to both parties’ arguments at all hearings. If the evidence brought forth does not adequately demonstrate that the accusations are true, then I would advocate on behalf of the student. If the facts do confirm the allegations, then in order to be just, I would avoid excessive penalties and support only fair and appropriate judgments.
It’s never easy to judge our own peers, nevertheless to help discipline them. But for the sake of fairness, I promise to look at the facts and see the whole situation; I will support remedial penalties only when absolutely necessary, and in all cases, presume innocence.