the honor code was more the disgrace than the penalty. That was the power of the honor code, and in our culture today that's not the case," he said. Some recent surveys have placed the incidence of cheating at the high school evel at as high as 70 percent - among the same students who are on their way to college campuses. In recent years, the number of cases coming before the Honor Court has doubled, from 97 in 1997 to 200 in 2000. These numbers do not break down by academic and conduct violations, but those involved with the court say the ratio has remained constant at 60 percent academic vs. 40 percent conduct. Still, many faculty and administrators ay they do not think cheating is on the rise an10ng Carolina students. "To be very candid, some students always cheat," said Richard Solloway, asso- ciate dean in the College of Arts and Sci- ences and a history professor. "Whether
there has been any change is questionable."
"The honor code has produced a cul-
ture here where there is a sense ofsocial
censure on people who are known to be
dishonest," said Moeser, adding that this is
not the case at other universities where he
has worked that do not have honor codes,
including the University of Nebraska,
where he wa chancellor before coming
to UNC in August 2000. "My sense is
here that the expectation is, and the practice is, that people are honest."
Criticism of the Honor Court is not
universal - in many cases, unlike that of
the computer science students, the court
runs smoothly. "The Honor Court was
really professional with my dealings with
them," said Amy Weldon ' 99 (MA), a
teaching assistant in the English department. She turned in a student to the
Honor Court in fall 2000 for plagiarizing
a paper in her English 12 class.
Weldon said she had heard that the
court had a reputation for being too
lenient with students. " 1 was kind ofon
the lookout for that, but 1didn't have any
complaints. They essentially took over,"
she said, which she said strengthens the
system. "I think it is important to remove
an error of that magnitude from the relationship with the student. Having a serious body set up to deal with these
offenses is useful to remind students that
these are real standards and not a matter
of dealing with individual teachers."
Universities where students are
involved in the honor system tend to have
less reported cheating than those where
they are not involved - another strel100th
ofUNC's system."Students buy in because
they own it. So you can't take that away,"
said Don McCabe, the Rutgers researcher.
But in an article last year in the journal Change, McCabe and Gary Pavela, an
administrator at the University of Mary-
land, said that efforts to address cheating
and other code violations should be
directed to the entire campus community.
Honor systems need support from all sec-
tors to be successful, McCabe said.
And on this front, the honor system at
UNC is in trouble among both students
A TRADITION ALMOST AS
OLD AS THE UNIVERSITY
I 799. 1816 and 1840 - Disorder
among the students was common
in the University'S early years,
including riots in these three years.
In his History of the University of
North Carolina, Kemp P. Battle (class
of 1849 and UNC's president from
1876 until 1891 ) wrote that students were expelled or suspended
for "firing of pistols," assault, arson,
drunkenness, throwing rocks at
tutors, stealing their professor's
horses and evening dueling.
1830s - The Dialectic and Phi
lan-thropic societies begin to work
with the faculty to hold trials on
allegations of misconduct.
1875 - The faculty turns over its
responsibility for maintaining
"a high level of propriety" to the
two debating societies. Students
sign an honor pledge that covers
classroom behaviors; conduct
problems are not addressed.
1890 - Matters of academic cheating, along with traditional cases of
social misconduct, are turned over
to the student societies for trial
1904 - A new form of student self-rule, the University Council, is
born. Each class president meets
and forms a student commission
to deal with all honor system vio-
lations (lying, cheating and stealing)
and all violations of the campus
code (drinking, disorderly conduct,
damage to property and misbehav-
ior on public occaSions).
1921 - University Council changes
its name to Student Council.
1933 - The executive committee
recommends to the faculty that
"as an experiment during the
remainder of the year, 1933-34,
all cases arising under the honor
system be administered by the
Student Council:' This arrangement
continues the next year.
continued on page 37