As we begin the second half of the term, it seems like a good opportunity to remind everyone of our honor code and its importance.
The Williams Honor Code was created and is administered by students. It is meant to embody our shared values about the importance of academic honesty, and our commitment to abiding by a set of rules meant to insure that integrity.
And yet, in the midst of the semester, when students are feeling so many kinds of pressure, the temptation to cut corners, borrow work, or get help of a kind prohibited in a given course, can be overwhelming. We urge you to resist that temptation, even when you think it won’t be noticed, won’t cause any lasting damage, or will save you from a terrible or even failing grade. First, no grade is worth violating the trust of the community. Second, though you may think the chances of getting caught are slim, we can assure you that if you are reported to the committee and it is decided that you did indeed violate the honor code, the consequences are far worse than whatever grade you would have gotten on your own.
So please, as you launch into these next weeks of hard work, keep the honor code in mind. If you have any questions about what is or is not permitted in a given course, ask your professors. They expect such questions and are happy to have the chance to clarify their own specific rules for papers, projects and exams. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed about a particular assignment or your workload in general, remember that there are many good avenues for getting help (your professor, the Dean’s Office, the MSRC, the Writing Workshop, and others). Please reach out to those resources rather than compromising your commitment to academic integrity.
Susan Engel, Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Honor Committee
Walford Campbell ‘17, Student Chair of the Honor Committee
Marlene Sandstrom, Dean of the College