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The Meredith Anti-Racism Effort, Part 3: The Honor Code

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Photo courtesy of Meredith College

The Honor Code Review Task Force was formed as Meredith continues to examine and review policies and procedures. Advised by Dean of Students Ann Gleason, Assistant Dean of Students Tomecca Sloane and Residence Director Kayla Quinn, the task force strives to discover any gaps in the Honor Code, what can be expanded and what can be enhanced in the Honor Code. In addition to the advisors, the task force includes a number of Meredith students, including Honor Council Chair Kate Tisdale, ‘21, who are all invested in the improvement of the Honor Code and making it clearer to students what is expected of them, as well as how violations are reported and addressed. This article will focus on the new revisions from the perspective of Dean Gleason. Follow these links to the previous articles in this series regarding BSU’s role in the anti-racism initiative and an exploration of faculty and staff work.

Each year, policies like Meredith’s Honor Code are reviewed. “As far as a deep dive, this will be proably the most in depth examination of discrimination and harassment [policies] in the Honor Code for some years,” Dean Gleason said. The Honor Code Review Task Force has been meeting weekly to examine and clarify the expectations of the Meredith community and other colleges’ policies. Some policies that are currently being examined are harassment, discrimination, non-retaliation, bias, hate speech and many others. They are also considering their vernacular in “how we define violations, how violations are reported, what happens after something is reported, and what are the possible consequences,” stated Dean Gleason. Kate Tisdale added, ”It is impossible to adjudicate behaviors when the expectations and consequences are not clearly stated. My hope for the task force is to make changes to the Meredith College Honor Code and Honor System that allow for acts of discimination, bias and harassment to be adjudicated by the college in a consistent and appropriate manner.”

Once approved by the task force, the recommended changes will be proposed to the Honor Council Chair and then be reviewed by the Student Government Association Executive Board. The proposal will then be submitted to Dr. Jean Jackson, Vice President for College Programs, who will present and discuss the proposal with President Jo Allen and members of the Executive Leadership Team. President Allen may decide if the proposed changes also need to be considered by the Board of Trustees. This extensive process is required to make effective change because “the Honor Code and the Honor System is an extension of the student system of self government,” stated Dean Gleason. Proposed changes are anticipated to happen next semester, Spring 2021. Until then, the Honor Code Review Task Force will continue researching and examining the Honor Code. “We hope we can improve the clarity and expectations of reporting and make it more transparent for the campus community,” Dean Gleason said.

The policies described in this article are currently for student-to-student harassment and discrimination. However, Dean Gleason hopes that their research can be used to inform additional policies at Meredith, such as the college’s comprehensive Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy. If a student is currently experiencing any form of harassment or discrimination on campus, Dean Gleason recomends that they reach out to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Dean Gleason wants to remind students that “this is their Honor System, this is their Honor Code. When we talk about what we expect from students, [it] is really what students expect from each other.”

By Jeanine Carryl, Staff Writer


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