The Pros and Cons of The Belmont Honor Code

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The Pros and Cons of The Belmont Honor Code

To thine own self be true, as Shakespeare writes, is the fundamental principle that defines honesty. Although a variety of factors influence one's decision to be honest, the primary reason to choose integrity is to be true to oneself. Part of being true to oneself is recognizing the need for individualism. Individualism is the state in which a person is able to take in the events of the surrounding world and discern for himself which practices he or she will participate in. The importance of individualism is engraved in Belmont University's purpose statement, yet it is unclear whether or not individualism is valued because of the university's new honor code system. Is forcing Belmont students to comply to an honor code enabling them to make decisions for their own individual selves?

On the first page of Belmont's internet web site, one might assume that Belmont is a university that focuses solely on the individual. According to the statement on the web page introduction, "there is a strong distinction between capturing individual spirit and freezing it. It is the line that divides being squeezed into a mold and being cheered as you shape a life to fit yourself. There is no question on which side of the line you'll find Belmont University." Honor code or no honor code, establishing integrity is crucial to developing one's independent self. Often times, those who are dishonest depend on

other humans to meet their spiritual and emotional needs. By choosing honesty as a personal choice instead of a mere compliance with Belmont's honor code, one is making the decision for oneself and therefore promoting one's individualism.

In weighing the concep...

... middle of paper ... a decline in academic dishonesty and a multitude of students will be so afraid of failing a class that they will choose to be honest. But, at the same time, how does each individual student benefit from that? Other than that fact that they may take the time to study and actually learn something, the Belmont community that promotes the spirit of the individual will have nothing but simulated honesty and very few students who truly are honest "individuals" by choice and not by force.

Works Cited

Baylor University Website.

Belmont Undergraduate Bulletin. 1998-99. 13-56.

Belmont University Website.

Moore, Susan. "Honor Code Holds Cheaters Accountable." Belmont Vision. 11 Sept. 98. 6.

Vanderbilt University Website.

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