The goal of the Honor Council is simple: to hold students accountable for lying, cheating, or stealing while encouraging character development and an honest learning environment throughout the USJ campus. Any student who is found guilty of dishonest acts will go before the Council, which consists of a jury of his or her peers. After hearing the details of the case, which are kept highly confidential among members, the Council suggests a recommended course of action to the administration. They seldom see repeat offenders.
The formation of the Honor Council and Honor Code started in the 2008-09 school year as Honor Council members visited other schools with honor councils, performed online research, and participated in an all-day workshop where they wrote and designed the code, oaths, hearing procedures, constitution, and by-laws.
The Honor Council is made up of nine Upper School students who are elected, without campaign, by the student body each year. These officers consist of a speaker—who is always a senior—and two representatives from each grade. All must maintain a 3.5 grade point average.
“This type of conditioning helps prepare students for the real world,” says Carla Roach. “When they get to college, for example, they will be held accountable for plagiarism, so they have to adhere to the same standards here at USJ. The Honor Council helps make this a reality.”
During an assembly at the beginning of each school year, Upper School students recite the Honor Code oath, thereby accepting their responsibility for the Honor Code on campus and at all school functions. Students are charged with supporting the community of trust and integrity embodied in this code and are expected not to condone the violation of this code by others.