HigherEd Prompt: The Honor Council Dilemma
Nancy was proud to be participating on her college Honor Council. She was expected to behave with the utmost integrity and she had added responsibilities. She enjoyed the opportunity to serve her college.
Nancy had many friends and her birthday was fast approaching. Julie headed up the effort to get Nancy a special present – tickets to her favorite group’s upcoming concert. Everyone really wanted the present to be a surprise for Nancy. Julie decided the best approach was to put the concert tickets on Nancy’s desk in her dorm room. As a senior on campus, Nancy had her own room in one of the best dormitories. When her birthday finally arrived, everyone pretended they’d overlooked it, and Julie devised a plan for the surprise.
While Nancy was in class, Julie lied to a campus security guard, telling him that she’d locked herself out of her room. She convinced the guard to let her into Nancy’s room, and she left the present sitting on Nancy’s desk.
When Nancy first discovered the tickets, she was elated about the opportunity to go to the concert, and touched by how many friends had pitched in to make this happen. As she began thinking about the situation however, she wondered how the tickets and card could have landed on her desk. She inquired gently, and learned that Julie had lied her way in.
Now Nancy feels she’s faced with a dilemma. She is a member of the Honor Council and feels she has certain standards to uphold and respect. While leaving a present in her room was harmless, lying to get in might not be. Julie did a nice thing for her, but what if other Honor Council members found out? If she overlooks the incident is she showing favoritism to Julie and undermining the purpose of the Honor Council? Yet if she knows that Julie’s intention was completely well meaning and an act of freindship wouldn’t it be heartless and unfriendly to raise the issue?