Call to Honor program celebrates Elon virtues
The Class of 2016 heard from student leaders Thursday about the importance of honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect.
Freshmen gathered in the Academic Village on Thursday morning for the 7th annual Call to Honor program, a fall tradition in recent years that allows campus leaders to share with new students how the university community expects its members to live by the core principles of the Elon Honor Code.
As part of the Sept. 13 ceremony, the elected presidents of each currently enrolled class addressed the four pillars of the university’s Honor Code – integrity, responsibility, respect and honesty. Prior to the ceremony, they had signed their names in the Call to Honor Book, which includes signatures from alumni dating to 1936.
"Today we celebrate our commitment to academic citizenship and to the values that bind us together as members of the Elon University community," said Darien Flowers, executive president of the Student Government Association. "Elon’s academic and social honor codes have been joined into a unified code to remind us that once we become members of this community, Elon’s principles of honor apply to us both on and off the campus. So, whether we are in classrooms or residence halls, on a playing field or in the library, at an internship or at a party, studying abroad or using the internet, we are honor bound by these values."
Integrity: "By definition, integrity means 'adherence to moral and ethical principles, soundness of moral character, and honesty.' Here at Elon, it is our responsibility to apply this definition to our daily lives," said Molly Shoop, president of the Class of 2013. "By now you have all had the chance to experience the freedom that comes hand-in-hand with college life. The decisions you make here are purely your own, not your parents or your teachers. With this freedom comes a responsibility to make choices that are honest and ethical."
Responsibility: "Responsibility, in its most general term, is being accountable for your actions.," said Sean Patterson, president of the Class of 2014. "The value of responsibility comes from your past, affects your present and determines your future. ... You see someone being bullied—you step in. You see someone throw trash in the street—you pick it up. You see the community suffer—you speak out. In a world of variables we can only control ourselves and our actions. Therefore, we have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other always to consider the consequences of what we do."
Respect: "When you go out of your way to show someone that you are interested in your differences, you are creating an environment that is welcoming of all who walk on our bricks, sit next to our fountains, and get lost looking for stairs inside of Alamance," said Joe Incorvia, president of the Class of 2015. "Exhibiting an atmosphere where all feel safe and welcome is one of Elon’s main goals as an institution and without your help we cannot achieve that goal. We are truly fortunate that we have the privilege to attend this university and that is why we need to respect not only each other, but also the university as a whole."
Honesty: "Honesty means being truthful in our academic work, and in our relationships," said Alex Bohannon, president of the Class of 2016. "Being honest In our academic work means developing and using our own thoughts rather than presenting the ideas of others without giving them credit. It includes working independently when the assignment calls for it as well as saying 'no' to anyone who invites you to engage in academic behavior that you know is wrong. Being honest in relationships means keeping your word to others and meeting your obligations. When you make commitments, stick to them. When you practice honesty, others will come to see you as a person who can be trusted and relied upon."
The ceremony also featured remarks by Elon President Leo M. Lambert and from Aisha Mitchell '12, the youth trustee on the Elon University Board of Trustees who encouraged students to sign the honor pledge following the program at tables surrounding the commons.
"At my call to honor ceremony, I thought I knew it all. I didn’t understand the true significance of this ritual, and the importance of class officers to not only represent our class but lead by example. Looking back now, it is all so much clearer to me," Mitchell said. "As new students it is extremely easy to make negative choices and engage in potentially dangerous activities to fit in, but remember that you represent more than just yourself. You speak for all of your peers and all the future students who will join the Elon community. As an Elon alum I can say with confidence that when you tell them you went to Elon, they know who you are and what you stand for.
"Today I entrust to each of you the health of our community and the legacy of our university."
Lambert led the Class of 2016 in reciting the Honor Code:
“Today we are entrusted with the honorable legacy of Elon University, dedicated to the intellectual, personal and spiritual growth of all its members, to the advancement of knowledge for the good of all, and to the service of local, national and global communities. To that end, we affirm our commitment to the core values of our university:
· We commit ourselves to honesty, being truthful in our academic work and in our relationships with others.
· We commit ourselves to show integrity, being trustworthy, fair and ethical.
· We commit ourselves to responsibility, being accountable for our actions and for our learning.
· We commit ourselves to respect, being civil, valuing the dignity of each person, and respecting the physical and intellectual property of others.
"With these commitments we join generations of Elon students as bearers of its honor."