Early this morning while walking to class, some girls were handing out hot chocolate. It was so cold today, so I really appreciated the hot chocolate. As I was balancing things in my hands, one of the girls said that it was Karl G. Maeser’s birthday today and then stuffed a giant honor code magnet into my back pack pocket.
What is it about the honor code (and honor code paraphernalia) that sends a shiver down my spine? Is it the feeling of being painted into a corner of hypocrisy? Is it the personal rights one must freely give up to attend the school his culture, religion, and family pressure him to attend? Is it the feeling of paranoia that at any time someone could use even this very blog to report me to the dreaded honor code office where an investigation would be launched into my personal “behavior?”
On this particular magnet it was the word “comply” that sent the shiver down my spine. “Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code.” Is it just me or does that word conjure up images of Nazi Germany or Stalin’s USSR? I can just see the that Nazi guy in Sound of Music at Captain Von Trapp’s door requesting that he “comply” with the Nazi’s request for naval service. *shudder*
In all honesty, I believe that the concept of the Honor Code is a good one, but I think it goes beyond not only practicality, but reasonability. According to the Honor Code, “advocating” a homosexual relationship is punishable. I’m not talking about having gay sex, I’m talking about “advocating” someone else holding hands with a member of the same gender. Something is wrong with that, in my opinion. That means that I can’t protest on behalf of, or assemble to support, or say anything in support of gay rights. This nation revolted against Britain over similar injustices.
Maybe I’m being overly dramatic here, but I wish that instead of celebrating Karl G. Maeser’s birthday we would just celebrate Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday like the rest of the country.