Hello Stoneleigh-Burnham students, staff, faculty, and families. My name is Jax Morgan and as the Head of Student Body, I stand before you today as we prepare to sign our honor code and commence our new and exciting academic year.
Setting the foundation for the respect and integrity expected of all community members, the honor code is a pillar of the Stoneleigh-Burnham experience. While the four key components of it in many ways speak for themselves, I encourage each of us to think about what they signify to us and to further think about how we are going to be actively following each facet of the code as the year progresses.
These four components, which you will hear again when Katie reads the honor code aloud, are: respect for myself, respect for others, respect for academic honesty, and respect for property, bearing in mind that these principles “extend beyond the physical bounds of campus.”
Before addressing each component separately, I believe it is critical to recognize an overarching concept of the honor code. Though it is broken down into these four pieces, its message is holistic and all four of its factors are interconnected and reliant on one another. What I mean by this is that without respect for others, it is near impossible to have respect for property whilst respect for academic honesty is vastly dependent on the respect we have for ourselves.
I regard the first component, "respect for myself," as indeed signifying the personal conduct and responsibility spelled out in the code but my further perspective is simply being one’s best self. This, in my mind, comes in the form of self-advocacy and self-awareness that is necessary to being a positive member of our community.
To me, "respect for others" means embracing the Stoneleigh-Burnham community and all of its members. It means appreciating the abundance of diversity we are so fortunate to have here. This aspect of the honor code, at its core, is about thinking of a) welcoming and understanding the differences within our community and b) how we impact our community on a day to day level.
"Respect for academic honesty" to me means not sacrificing the opportunity we are given to have our education here. Any form of academic dishonesty on any level disregards this opportunity and in turn, is a great violation to ourselves as students.
Finally, I view "respect for property" in terms of again being self-aware. This means understanding the principle behind the property of fellow community members and also means an understanding of the property of our school. Just like the repercussions of academic dishonesty, not respecting our school physically is again being destructive to the opportunity we all have to be here.
What I want to go back to now is the notion of how we are going to be actively following our honor code. It is easy now, minutes away from signing this paper, to be able to say that we will undoubtedly abide by our signature and continue on our way. The danger in this, however, is forgetting that the honor code, in three months or six months or eight months, will be equally as relevant and important then as it is today.
What it comes down is that following the honor code through the year is not about perpetual concern over it or having it as your screensaver or printing out multiple copies to put on your dorm room wall. What it is about is knowing how you will be your best self as the year progresses and in turn, how the honor code will naturally be a part of your life both on campus and beyond.
Thank you and happy 2018-2019 school year.