Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Diplomatic Camp

Over the summer one of my friends took to calling my program here 'diplomatic camp.' I really liked that. I am currently in the middle of my second multi-day orientation and parts of it are pretty campy.

Anyway, according to the student handbook for every piece of work we hand in we'll have to sign the 'Pledge of Honesty' (That just sounds so much more intimidating than 'honor code'). The pledge goes a little something like this:

On my honor as a student of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, I submit this work in good faith and pledge that I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance

Now I had an honor code in high school, it seemed a little silly, and I took a few classes at Barnard where they make you sign the honor code for every exam, that seemed a little out of place for a college. But an 'honor pledge' for a graduate institution people? Come on. I was debating various reasons not to sign it, including that as a would-be lawyer my honor is pretty shaky to begin with.

I just don't get honors codes. I don't think anyone who was going to cheat was deterred by an honor code. Its just like what there is doing is bad, breaking the honor code isn't really that much worse unless they are a klingon warrior.

I really just want world leaders to work on an honor code, so when you bring in the genocidal president to the Hague they can say, 'well you killed 300,000 people, which would have been okay, but you broke the honor code, tsk tsk, now that makes it serious."

Oh, color my cynical.

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