This semester’s Honor Assembly was truly different than anything else the school has done. The Student Council coordinated with some of Canterbury’s young alumni to have them talk about what the honor code means to them and how it is relevant in their college life. Our students had the opportunity to watch their thoughts over a pre-made video, courtesy of the Honor Council.
President of the Student Council, Jay C. ’21, reminded everyone at the start of the assembly about the aspects of the honor code and why we host an honor assembly each semester. “We often forget a key portion of the honor code: to be kind. We are such a tight-knit, small community that we cannot afford to have enemies. This trust and love and goodwill extend to our teachers, our coaches, and our peers. It cannot be forgotten.”
The video featured statements from Jordan Hummel ’19, Oliver Goss ’17, Danica Schwartz ’19, Chloe Thomas ’20, Lauren Bailey ’18, Josh Benzon ’20, Christian Miller ’20, Cade Kirschner ’20, Bailey White ’20, Robert Bao ’20, Justin Botyos ’20, Zander Goss ’19, Camilo Lilleslatten ’19, and Michael Morell ’18.
Many of the alumni touched on how important an understanding of an honor code is during college. Students frequently have to write their alma mater’s honor code and sign it before major tests or papers. If a college were to discover any dishonorable act, particularly with cheating and plagiarism, the consequences are severe and immediate; there are no second chances. Michael told the audience, “Canterbury is the ideal environment to learn about honor and put it into practice before you step into the real world.”
Canterbury’s own honor code prepares our students for university expectations. Danica shared that while her college, Duke, hosts students from a wide variety of high school programs, very few had any experience with an honor code before college. Bailey added that she was not surprised when Princeton asked her to sign the honor code because Canterbury had taught her this standard, sentiments echoed by all the alumni speakers.
Jordan Hummel reminded students that it is a good thing that Canterbury’s teachers are strict with the honor code. “It is a sign they care enough to try to help you become a better person,” Jordan said. “As Sophocles once said, ‘It is better to fail with honor than succeed with fraud’.” The honor code is vital to the Naval Academy where Jordan and Michael go; it is ingrained in their culture and education. Their future jobs in the military rely upon being able to trust coworkers and fellow service folk alike.
Head of the Upper School, Carl Melamet, declared that this was the best Honor Assembly he had seen yet. “It’s so impactful to see how the alumni have taken this message on and how it applies to the bigger picture. This is your chance to grow as citizens and students.” We are incredibly thankful for all of the alumni who took the time to record their experiences and thoughts on the honor code. We are so lucky to have you as a shining example to lead the way!