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The Honor Forum Speaks Out

Graphic by Monica '16
Graphic by Monica ’16

By members of the Marlborough School 2014-2015 Honor Forum

Upon learning that I had been selected as a member of the Honor Forum, I felt – I’m sorry for this word choice – honored. I had always liked the concept of the Honor Forum and what it stood for, especially considering the high value we place here on honor and trust. I felt very much like I had a significant civil duty to perform on behalf of the school and my peers. I was proud that I would be able to contribute to that. I was also incredibly eager to learn more about the Honor Forum! I had an idea of what the forum was, but, like most people, I didn’t really know how it was run or what it did when there weren’t any second Honor Code violations happening. Most importantly, I was happy that I’d be able to take part in this unique group. I was super excited and wanted to tell my friends, but being on the Honor Forum stays within the Honor Forum.

Being on the Honor Forum has made me very aware of the way the Honor Code is laced into our curriculum and a deeper view on how the Honor Code affects Marlborough. Whenever I have an assessment, I am cautious and take my signature at the end of it even more seriously. Since I have become more aware of honor within the school, it makes me proud to see it enforced. On occasion, when the Honor Code or the Understanding comes up in conversation, I find that the knowledge I’ve gleaned from the Honor Forum can be very helpful. Before joining the Honor Forum, I never fully appreciated the differences between the Honor Code and the Understanding; I always sort of threw them together in a big honorable clump. Now, however, I know that The Honor Code, and the Honor Forum, deals solely with issues of academic integrity, namely cheating and plagiarism. The Understanding, on the other hand, covers all non-academic elements of Marlborough citizenship. I think understanding the differences between the two principles has made me more cognizant of their applications in my life, both in and out of Marlborough.

Before being on the Honor Forum, I often had questions about how Honor Code violations were received and what the ‘punishments’ were. I was sometimes concerned when I felt that these violations were not being taken seriously as I did not see any action being taken against a student who had had a reported honor code violation. After being on the Honor Forum for 2 years, I have truly begun to realize that Marlborough is a community tha fosters care and unity. The Honor Code is in place not only for the benefit for each of us (students, teachers, and staff), but also for our relationships with each other. As clichéd as it may sound, the Honor Code truly binds the school’s members together in a way that may not occur otherwise. Through this unifying aspect, we come together as a more cohesive group and not just a congregation of nameless students and teachers that happen to walk the same halls.

The members of the Honor Forum invite questions from readers of the UltraViolet and will be glad to answer them (anonymously, of course) in future issues.