Honor Committee debates next steps after constitutional proposal missed by five votes – The Cavalier Daily


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Following last week’s vote on a proposal to reduce the expulsion penalty to two semesters’ leave and extend the deadline for Informed retraction Until the trial, the honor committee met on Sunday to discuss next steps. During the meeting, the committee heard from community members concerned about the proposal and debated the viability of holding a new vote on changes from Zoom in an effort to facilitate greater representative participation.

Last week, the constitutional proposal did not receive enough votes to be prepared for a student body vote in the spring – only 14 representatives voted in favor of the proposal.

During Sunday’s meeting, two students expressed concern over the proposal.

Hannah Shapiro, the college’s senior support officer and third-year student, feared the proposal would not address current issues with the honor system – improving relations between faculty and the honor committee.

“There are cases where I think U.Va. must take a stand – where the actions are egregious enough that allowing students the opportunity to return to this university is a complete disrespect to other students who participate in the community of trust, ”Shapiro said.

Kelly O’Meara, a former Honorary Representative and graduate student, also raised concerns about reducing the expulsion penalty to be the same as the IR – a two-semester leave.

“I find that a two semester leave of absence – alongside the IR – is a dilution of the single sanction to the point where I would almost favor a multiple sanction system or the complete elimination of the single sanction,” O said. ‘Meara.

Following the discussion, Representative Christopher Benos, a third-year law student and proponent, suggested that the honor committee only vote on whether to extend the period during which a student can file a claim. IR from the current seven day period to all until trial.

Fourteen members of the committee voted in favor of the amended proposal, while five voted against, meaning that the proposal was not adopted because 19 votes in favor were needed.

“Again, 70 percent of the committee members at the meeting voted in favor of expanding the scope of the IR at any time before the hearing,” Benos said in an emailed statement to the IR. Cavalier Daily. “This is a victory and confirms the broad support for allowing students to have full access to evidence when making decisions about their academic future.”

During the meeting, members of the honorary committee debated whether to include the votes of representatives who were not physically present – eight members in total were unable to attend Sunday evening’s meeting. . Benos said he received votes from several members via email, but according to Chambers this method conflicts with Rules of the Order of Robert because members would need to be physically present at the meeting for their votes to be counted.

Fourth-year engineering student representative AJ Cuddeback proposed that the committee hold a Zoom meeting for voting so that all members can participate.

“If we have a meeting that is going to include a really important vote that is going to dictate the future of the honor system, we should have it on Zoom to make sure all possible committee members can attend,” Cuddeback said.

Chambers, however, feared that a vote on Zoom might not be accepted by the University administration. He noted that the honor committee would need to change the organization’s statutes in order to virtually vote according to Robert’s rules.

“I’m trying to make sure that… the University Council doesn’t overrule this,” Chambers said.

In an emailed statement to the Cavalier Daily, Chambers later clarified that a rule review requiring the committee to virtually hold constitutional amendment votes may not be allowed and the matter is out of order. of the day of the next meeting for consideration.

“I have no intention of forcing the committee to meet in an inferior meeting format to solicit votes for a proposal that has clearly lost the support it had months ago,” Chambers said. . “The rules on this subject are clear and their objective is to allow egalitarian debate and representation. I will not break the rules of the committee to allow certain members to have more than one vote.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee has moved to an online meeting and trial format. In March, the committee elected its executive officers by a vote on Zoom, which Chambers said will be ratified at an upcoming in-person meeting.

Benos, the promoter of the constitutional proposal, believes that the emphasis on the logistics of the vote poses an unnecessary delay.

“Rather than allowing students to examine the merits of the proposal, our leaders oppose it and try to undermine it for superficial procedural reasons,” Benos said.

The Honorary Committee meets on Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Newcomb test room.

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