Statement of Intent for Chief Justice

Hello Wellesley! 

My name is Hope D’Erasmo (Class of 2021; she/her/hers) I’m excited and humbled to be running to be your Chief Justice for the 2020-2021 year. The Honor Code has been in place for over 100 years and allows for many of the wonderful opportunities granted to us as students. I believe that I am in a unique position to make sure the Honor Code is being used on campus in such a way that is fair and clear to students. 

I have served on the Honor Code Council for two years. I was a general member during my sophomore year, serving as the student representative on numerous hearing panels. This year, I am one of two student advocates on council, meeting with students who have been charged with an Honor Code violation prior to their hearings. These positions have allowed me to gain a detailed understanding of students’ experiences with the Honor Code. 

My platform in this campaign is threefold. First, I want to ensure that those of us on Honor Code Council provide increased transparency about the Honor Code and hearing process to the student body at large. I know that for students, the prospect of being charged with an Honor Code violation is terrifying, and part of that fear comes from a lack of concrete knowledge about the Honor Code. Previous Chief Justices have conducted amazing outreach efforts involving house councils and orgs, and I’d like to take these efforts one step further by providing specific information about the Honor Code to incoming students at orientation. 

Another priority that I would like to address as your Chief Justice is working with students and faculty to ensure expectations regarding the Honor Code are clear. The fact that the Honor Code is comprised of three principles is part of what has made it so useful in allowing students to have things like self-scheduled final exams. However, there is a misconception that the Honor Code consists of a set of guidelines, and this can lead to a mismatch between professors’ and students’ ideas of what constitutes an Honor Code violation. In making the Wellesley community more aware of this fact, I hope to limit these miscommunications at Wellesley. 

Finally, one of my main priorities as Chief Justice would involve providing education to Honor Code Council members regarding restorative justice and work to expand its role in the Honor Code system. The Council already incorporates some aspects of restorative justice by administering educational sanctions alongside punitive ones to those found in violation of the Honor Code. As Chief Justice, I would work to expand the intentionality of those aspects of restorative justice through incorporating restorative justice theory and history in Council member training. I would also work with groups on campus to develop a plan for making restorative justice more central to the Honor Code hearing process. 

Thank you all so much for reading! Please reach out to me at hderasmo@wellesley.edu

Voting will take place via Presence on March 12. Email questions to ec20@wellesley.edu. 

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