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Resolution No. 09-08
2008-2009 MUSC SGA
Committee: Academic Affairs

Date Submitted:  02/18/09
Date Approved:  03/18/09
Committee: Tyler Pierce


A Constitutional Amendment

Revision to the preamble of the university honor code

Purpose: To amend the current Bylaws to allow for the revision of the preamble.

Whereas: Currently the preamble verges on discouraging people to read past the first few sentences and is thought to be unfriendly to readers.

Be it enacted by the Medical University of South Carolina College of  Honor Council assembled in session the following:
That the Medical University of South Carolina Honor council Bylaws be altered to read as follows.

Preamble reads:
Professional education is in part the acquisition of knowledge from textbooks, laboratories, research, and clinical experience through the combined efforts of students, administration, and faculty. This education is not the only kind, nor is it necessarily the most important. Total development of the student into a professional must include the display of high moral character expected of this status. In governing their actions, students must look to their own judgement. Individuals of professionally acceptable moral character are those who have established high ethical standards for themselves and who consistently abide by them.

When entering the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), students become part of a much larger professional community, extending far beyond the boundaries of this campus. It is a community whose foundation is healing but whose bricks and mortar are compassion, honesty, trust and integrity. Even though sources of ethical principles may differ, students must aspire to reach certain standards of behavior.

The student Honor Code at MUSC provides the framework in which each student may practice exacting principles of character in order to achieve the highest standards of self-development. Accordingly, college honor councils are entrusted primarily with demonstrating to the students who have lapses of integrity the precise nature of their mistakes and only secondarily to mete punishment. In their deliberations, honor councils will adjudicate cases based on the premise that students can and should develop a character befitting their roles as professionals.

Students at MUSC are expected to achieve and display high standards of character. Thus, students are responsible for monitoring activities that support the goal of self-development. This responsibility assumes the student body can deal with violations of honor and misconduct as justly as the administration. This privilege of the honor councils to judge their own cases is at the same time their greatest obligation. The close relationship students enjoy with the faculty enables the honor councils to meet the needs of individual students and MUSC equitably. Faculty and students are in the process of education and share a common objective. All have a fundamental investment in the enterprise of academic work, and all must share the responsibility for ensuring its integrity.

The health care professions require men and women of impeccable character who can live private and professional lives that exemplify high standards of moral conduct. An atmosphere in which the individual can adequately develop professional skills and moral standards can be achieved with an Honor Code. For this reason, students and faculty regard a breach of the Honor Code as a serious offense. A violation of the Honor Code is an affront to each of us independently as well as collectively.

The central purpose of the Honor Code is to sustain and protect an environment of mutual respect and trust in which students can enjoy the freedom to develop their intellectual and personal potential. Essential to the community of trust is the acceptance of individual responsibility. The foundation of the Honor Code depends entirely upon the willingness of every individual to live up to the standards set by the student body, the individual colleges, MUSC, and each of the professions the students are entering. If the students are to enjoy the benefits of the community of trust and integrity, which the Honor Code fosters, they must hold themselves to the basic principles of honesty and agree never to lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. Accordingly, students or faculty who believe that a breach of the Honor Code has occurred are obligated to report the suspected breach to their college honor council.

A positive commitment to promote an atmosphere of trust is established when an Honor Code is adopted. Under it students are expected to tell the truth, to live honestly, to advance on individual merit, and to demonstrate deep respect for others in the academic, clinical, and research communities. The Honor Code does not intend merely to prevent students from lying, cheating, and stealing or simply to punish those who violate this Honor Code, nor to place restrictions that might conflict with personal values on students. Rather, the acceptance of the Honor Code assures that the integrity of students is unquestioned and accepted by all in the academic, clinical, and research communities.

Acceptance of the Honor Code bestows upon students the responsibility to respect and protect the integrity of MUSC and also assures that the integrity of students is unquestioned and accepted by all in the academic, clinical, and research communities. The Honor Code presumes the absolute honesty of each individual and as a result, students live with the freedom of knowing that: 1) their integrity, intentions, work, and word are unquestioned; 2) their personal property and academic work is respected and free from theft; and 3) classroom, clinical, and research environments for learning and evaluation are honorable. Trust in these beliefs is established, maintained, and protected by students rather than by faculty.

The honor councils subscribe to the following concepts to attempt to adjudicate cases fairly for the accused, MUSC, and all others concerned:

  1. Presumption of innocence -- The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty based upon a preponderance of the evidence.
  2. Expediency -- All charges will be investigated and resolved as quickly as possible within the guidelines of a thorough investigation and ample opportunity for the accused to prepare a defense.
  3. Confidentiality -- Information pertaining to honor council hearings or any matters under investigation are confidential. Only those persons involved in a particular case or with a legitimate need to know will be informed.

Let the section be amended to read:
The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) strives for the total development of the student into a professional. When entering MUSC, students become part of a much larger professional community and therefore are expected to uphold the moral integrity and ethical standards of their profession.
This transition includes consistently abiding by moral character and honorable principles.

The University Honor Code provides the framework in which each student may further develop principles of character and integrity. Each college’s Honor Council’s primary goal is to educate students on the precise nature of their mistakes and only secondarily to discipline them for those mistakes. In their deliberations, Honor Councils will adjudicate cases based on the principle that students should be accountable for their actions and decisions.

Students are responsible for holding themselves and their peers accountable to the University Honor Code. The close relationship students enjoy with the faculty enables the Honor Councils to meet the needs of individual students and MUSC equitably. All have a fundamental investment in the enterprise of academic work, and all must share the responsibility for ensuring its integrity.

The central purpose of the Honor Code is to sustain and protect an environment of mutual respect and trust in which students can enjoy the freedom to develop their intellectual and personal potential. The foundation of the Honor Code depends entirely upon the willingness of every individual to adhere to the basic principles of honesty and agree never to lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. Students or faculty who believe that a breach of the Honor Code has occurred are obligated to report the suspected breach to their college’s Honor Council. A breach of the Honor Code is a serious offense. Such a violation is an affront to each of us independently as well as collectively.

The adoption of the Honor Code leads to an atmosphere of trust where students are expected to tell the truth, live honestly, advance on individual merit, and demonstrate deep respect for others in the academic, clinical, and research communities. The acceptance of the Honor Code assures that the integrity of students is unquestioned and accepted by all in the academic, clinical, and research communities.

The Honor Code presumes the absolute honesty of each individual. As a result, students live with the freedom of knowing that: 1) their integrity, intentions, work, and word are unquestioned; 2) their personal property and academic work is respected and free from theft; and 3) classroom, clinical, and research environments for learning and evaluation are honorable. Trust in these beliefs is established, maintained, and protected by students rather than by faculty.

The Honor Councils subscribe to the following concepts in attempt to adjudicate cases fairly for the accused, MUSC, and all others concerned:

  1. Presumption of innocence -- The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty based upon a preponderance of the evidence.
  2. Expediency -- All charges will be investigated and resolved as quickly as possible within the guidelines of a thorough investigation and ample opportunity for the accused to prepare a defense.
  3. Confidentiality -- Information pertaining to Honor Council hearings or any matters under investigation are confidential. Only those persons involved in a particular case or with a legitimate need to know will be informed.

_______________________________________
Sheldon Bates
Student Government President


         
         

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