History of the Honor Code

A Student Initiative

The College of Idaho Honor Code was established in fall 2006 after decades of student effort and initiative.  Below is a basic chronology:

2003 and 2004:  Under the leadership of ASACI Presidents Akshay Kulkarni and Jordan Komoto, ASACI committees were formed to develop an Honor Code.  In each of these cases, mostly seniors were involved, and they graduated before their efforts could be completed.

2004:  Board Chair Ken Howell addressed ASACI Senate, informing them that their efforts to create an Honor Code would be respected and supported by the Trustees.

Spring, 2005:  Under the leadership of Sara Weller, ASACI President Elect, a student committee was formed for the same purpose, but this time, she included on it students from each class, in order to maintain continuity.

Spring, 2005:  The Board created the Vision and Strategy Task Force (VSTF) II.  Sara Weller and John Reuter, two of the students on the ASACI Honor Code committee, were the student representatives on VSTF II.  Upon their recommendation, the VSTF unanimously came to agree that a comprehensive Honor Code System is an important part of our vision and strategy for the College.  Their statements appear in the Vision and Student Life sections of VSTF II.

October, 2005:  VSTF II completed its work and submitted it to the Board.

October, 2005:  When the Board approved VSTF II, it created several task forces for study and implementation, including the Honor Code Task Force [HCTF](which had also been recommended in the text of VSTF II by the student representatives). The HCTF consisted primarily of students, and was Chaired by Sara Weller and Mark Smith, but also included faculty and staff.  This task force was officially created by the Board, and was charged to bring back its recommendation to the Board.  Since this task force was created by the Board, it was not under the auspices of ASACI, which caused some confusion, but HCTF believed that ASACI should be important players in the outcome since, from the very beginning, the Board created HCTF to help implement a student initiative.

Fall, 2005:  Several members of HCTF visited Davidson College (widely regarded as representing best practices among Honor Code colleges).

Winter and Spring, 2006:  HCTF presented many of its drafts to students, faculty, and staff. Student leaders held many informational meetings in McCain, in Simplot at meal times, in each Residence Hall, and with Faculty in Divisions.

Winter and Spring, 2006:  ASACI Senate was consulted at various times throughout the process, and ultimately voted to approve the Honor Code draft, with the knowledge that HCTF requested a student referendum as well.

15 May, 2006:  A student referendum approved the Honor Code.   Voter turnout was 53%, and the results were 52.25% to 46.75%.

May, 2006:  After the student referendum, ASACI President Sara Weller addressed the Faculty Assembly, asking for faculty support.  The Faculty voted, in an advisory vote for HCTF to bring to the Board, in favor of the motion that "we endorse the Honor Code in principle, but we are uncomfortable with the fact that procedural details have not been specified." In deference to the Faculty concerns about implementation, the HCTF presented a streamlined recommendation to the Board.

2 June, 2006:  Official Board approval of the Honor Code. Sara Weller, in her capacity as ASACI President and Co-Chair of HCTF, brought the official motion to the Board at its June meeting.  The Board slightly modified and approved the motion. The final approval was presented to the Campus Community in the June, 12 letter from President Hoover. The Board decision called on the College to begin initial implementation by “signing and pledging” in fall, 2006, and by creating an Honor Code Implementation Committee to work out the additional issues related to education and implementation, with the realization that it would take a long time to implement the Honor Code in all of its potential.  That committee would continue to have the ASACI President as Co-Chair, and students from every class as members.

Summer and Fall, 2006:  During Summer Orientation and McCall Orientation, incoming students were informed about the code, what it means, and why it was implemented.  They were also invited to become part of the process of implementation.

19 September, 2006:  The first Honor Code signing ceremony made life under the Honor Code a practical reality.