4 March 2012-6 March 2012

While most students went home or to vacations at the beach for spring break, a select group of ETSU ROTC cadets attended an ethics conference at Virginia Military Institute on lying, cheating, and honor in schools. The two-day long conference was envisioned by the VMI cadet honor court as a way to spotlight the important issues of lying and cheating in schools. Students, teachers, cadre members and cadets from various schools, colleges, and service academies across the U.S. were all in attendance for this event.

The first day of the conference introduced the subjects of lying, cheating, who does it, and why they do it. Day two focused primarily on cheating prevention and how honor courts and honor codes are used. The keynote speaker for the conference was Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, Recipient of the Medal of Honor, 2010. Staff Sergeant Giunta talked about his experiences in the Army and how honor and integrity were integral parts of his military career and life.

VMI Trip

Cadet Westman Milhorn

Issues such as lying and cheating in school are of the utmost importance, but what is actually being done to help control or discourage these dishonorable acts? Virginia Military Institute begins teaching its incoming freshmen in the first week of school about the honor code and how their actions affect everyone around them. An honor court composed of individuals elected by their peers is also used extensively at VMI to oversee punishments of students who decide to break the rules and behave dishonorably.

The honor court is completely maintained by the students, and cadre only offers guidance when there is an explicit need of it. By being maintained by students the honor court system allows students to hold their fellow students accountable. Allowing students to hold their friends accountable can be an effective way to help reduce cheating and lying in schools. Perhaps one day ETSU could have its own honor court system that could help promote honor and integrity among our rapidly growing student population and reduce cheating and lying campus wide.

Story written by: Cadet Westman Milhorn

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