The Central Student Government’s Student Honor Code Task Force held a forum Thursday night to gather student input for a new University-wide student honor code.

CSG President Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy senior, established the task force earlier this month to compose a code pertaining to academic integrity, individual behavior and student rights. The goal of creating a code is to complement the pre-existing Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, a University document that outlines appropriate responses to inappropriate student behavior.

The forum was open to students across campus. Aside from CSG members, 10 students attended the event.

CSG Vice President Emily Lustig, an LSA senior and the task force chair, led the forum.

According to Lustig, some student leaders opposed the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities when it was first approved and said the honor code would give students a space to provide input on a new policy.

“We really want this to be student-focused and based on student input,” Lustig said.

The code’s tentative language was presented at the forum and most attendees’ comments were centered around the possibility that the document’s language could infringe on students’ freedom of speech. Many were concerned that the honor code gave the University too much power.

“As a member of the University of Michigan community, I will honor the institution with honesty and integrity,” the proposed honor code states.

The code continues by asking students to pledge to promote inclusivity and respect, uphold the University’s reputation and refrain from cheating, stealing and plagiarism.

“I understand that if I fail to act in accordance with the aforementioned principles then I will face appropriate consequences to be determined by my peers and faculty members,” the code concludes.

Several attendees thought the overall language of the code was broad and vague.

Students also suggested the document define the code’s geographic parameters. Attendees asked if the code would apply to students while they were outside of Ann Arbor or Michigan.

The desire to create an honor code was propelled, in part, by incidents in Northern Michigan where six University Greek life chapters caused extensive damage at two ski resorts.

Some students wanted to know if a student would always be considered as representing the University, or if their actions were only considered a reflection of the University in specific situations.

Despite his concerns, LSA freshman Grant Strobl was pleased CSG hosted the forum.

“I’m happy to see that the student government wants to listen to the students,” Strobl said. “I think the honor code is great. I just want to make sure that it is respecting student rights to speak freely and engage in academic and controversial topics on campus because that is what the University of Michigan is all about.”

Law student Amanda Urban, associate chief justice of Central Student Judiciary, also found the forum helpful.

“I think this code gives us a really great opportunity to move forward in being able create something that is student-driven with students holding each other accountable instead of a closed process where administrators are making all the decisions without students,” Urban said. “That being said, we have to be very careful of the language of the code and making sure that it’s fair.”

The task force will host another forum on Feb. 25 on North Campus in the Pierpont Boulevard Room.

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