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Q&A: Honor, culture, and compliance

Bill Coffin | February 27, 2018

Washington & Lee University is unique among higher education institutions for its honor system. A single-strike policy overseen by the student body rather than by the school administration, the W&L Honor system is as simple as it is strict: No lying, cheating, or stealing. All papers and tests are signed with the pledge: On my honor, I have neither given nor received any unacknowledged aid on this [test, paper, project, etc.]. Those who break this covenant face immediate expulsion. Those who contest it may seek an honor trial before their peers. There is at least one honor violation every year, usually by freshmen who don’t think the Honor System is as serious as it says it is. There is an honor trial on average once every four years or so. But the end result is a campus where computer labs are unlocked, students can schedule their own final exams, and where personal integrity takes on a deep meaning.

Compliance Week spoke with Bob Straughan, Crawford Family...

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