The Emory Wheel
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 | Editorials Editors: Brian Taggett (email@example.com), Pranati C. Kohli (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Editorial Board Anthony Chau Annie Cohen Duncan Cock Foster Zachary Issenberg Jennifer Katz
Josh Khalif Madeline Lutwyche Shemlah Naphish Boris Niyonzima Tarrek Shaban
Dooley Dollar Currency Manipulation Tyler Zelinger
Editorial On Dec. 5 and 6, the student body will vote on proposed amendments to the Honor Code. The changes, if ratified by a simple majority, will apply only to the College. After reviewing the proposed changes to the Honor Code, the Editorial Board has voted to support the amendments, but we have concerns with the implementation of the voting process as well as the enactment of some of the amendments. Firstly, the Editorial Board recommends that the Honor Council modify the current all-or-nothing voting system in which students must either accept or reject all of the the proposed amendments. The ballot should instead be presented on an amendment-by-amendment basis so that students might determine which individual proposals are in their best interest. One of the most significant and necessary additions to the Honor Code is a clause forbidding the use of electronic devices during testing. If a student is seen using a cellphone or other prohibited electronic device during a test or exam, the professor may tell the student to put the device away, and the Honor Council would then later investigate the event. However, the clause also states that the student must be allowed to finish their assessment, ensuring that he or she will not be penalized with an incomplete exam grade if found innocent. By providing a clearly stated policy on the use of technology, the Honor Council is removing all ambiguity and preventing students from committing an offense of which they were previously unaware. With the prevalence of smartphones, smartwatches and the like, a clear policy banning the use of devices during testing is a necessity. The proposed article three gives the Honor Council and dean the power to revoke a diploma after a student has graduated. While the Editorial Board recognizes the need to protect Emory’s academic reputation — and consequently, the credibility of an Emory degree — the finer details of the procedure warrant close inspection. The procedure lacks a statute of limitations, enabling the College to revoke a degree regardless of the time elapsed since a student’s graduation. This could potentially allow the College to stifle free speech by graduates who should no longer be under Emory’s punitive jurisdiction, as well as conceal the College’s past failures in upholding a standard of academic integrity. Though we believe the dean, upon the recommendation of the Honor Council, should have the power to revoke a student’s degree in highly publicized and extreme cases, the lack of specificity in the current provision does not protect students from being unfairly treated or targeted. The Honor Code should exist to protect students’ rights to a fair and timely disciplinary process and the integrity of their education while also holding the necessary power to protect the integrity of an Emory degree. For future amendments to the Honor Code, the Editorial Board suggests a double jeopardy clause that protects students from being tried more than once for the same infraction, and encourages the Honor Council to establish a minimum number of votes from the student body required to ratify an amendment. While merely voting “yes” or “no” on the collective amendments simplifies the voting process, the Editorial Board questions why students do not have the ability to vote on each individual clause. Just as the Editorial Board has different opinions concerning each amendment, so too, presumably, would students. With this amendment, since it requires a ratification in full, we believe that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and students should vote “yes”. Fostering a culture of academic integrity that benefits both the College and students requires participation from every member of the Emory community. To prevent students from unintentionally violating the new Code and facing consequences for seemingly minor actions, we urge students and those who advise them — professors, PACE instructors, the Office of Undergraduate Education, Orientation Leaders, Residential Life staff — to familiarize themselves with the current Honor Code and its proposed changes, and emphasize its severity and importance. Most importantly, we remind administrators that preserving the University’s reputation should never be prioritized over the best interests of students and alumni. Despite our criticisms, the Editorial Board believes the proposed changes to the Honor Code are overall necessary and practical. The amendments modernize the Honor Code, while increasing its efficiency and we urge students to vote in favor of the proposed changes. The above editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s Editorial Board.
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Volume 98 | Number 12
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The Emory Wheel welcomes letters and op-ed submissions from the Emory community. Letters should be limited to 300 words and op-eds should be at least 700. Those selected may be shortened to fit allotted space or edited for grammar, punctuation and libelous content. Submissions reflect the opinions of individual writers and not of the Wheel’s Editorial Board or Emory University. Send emails to email@example.com or postal mail to The Emory Wheel, Drawer W, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 30322.
When I was a freshman, I had a morning routine. I would get out of bed 15 minutes before my first class, brush my teeth and run out the door after throwing on the first sweatshirt I could find. After that, I would go to the DUC and purchase an iced coffee and hash browns. One of these mornings would cost me a grand total of four dollars, not accounting for the cost of the toothpaste. If you are currently a senior or alumnus/a of Emory University, nothing about such a morning routine likely seemed strange to you. My younger peers, however, were likely struck by the impossibility of the last line because a coffee and pastry will now run the average DUC-goer closer to nine bucks. I will remind them, however, that we live in a dynamic and everchanging world and that three years ago was a markedly different time — a time when our mornings were guided by the gentle pink and orange glow of Dunkin’ Donuts as opposed to the harsh white glare of the Kaldi’s goat. Why, I wonder, did this drastic change in caffeine dealers come to pass? An innocent change in student tastes, or the evolving, complex coffee palette of the average Emory student? While those reasons would be pleasant and flattering, I believe they are ultimately inappropriate, as I know no more about regional specialty chai today than I did three years ago. I’d like to discuss some possible economic reasons for this switch from the University’s perspective, and in doing so hopefully shed light on what I believe to be a larger trend toward the reduction in quality of student life at Emory. In my three years at Emory, the exchange rate between United States dollars and Dooley dollars has remained a constant 1:1. As the United States dollar has gotten stronger since 2013, however, the purchasing power of our Dooley dollars on campus has been intentionally and drastically depressed. A coffee the size of my head used to cost 2 Dooley dollars at Dunkin’ Donuts, and now the mere thimble I can purchase at Kaldi’s costs a whopping 4 Dooley dollars. Long past are the days of cheap and fast chicken fingers at Zaya’s, as the installation of a new Kaldi’s earlier this year has ushered in a terrifying new era in which we are expected to pay $9 and wait 20 minutes for a small box of nachos. You get the point: even though the price of my Dooley dollars has not changed throughout my time at Emory, I now get much less bang for my Dooley-buck, so to speak, as compared to my freshman year. By replacing traditional dining options with more expensive specialty bistros, Emory has essentially gentrified its food services and materially decreased the value
of its dining options. This seems to be, at best, a marketing ploy for the school, as tours through the DUC can point out the quaint coffeehouse ambiance created by groups of students sitting on burlap sacks and, at worst, simply a plan to squeeze more money out of students. The latter seems far more likely. When students purchase a 750 Dooley dollar meal plan, they are essentially guaranteeing the school’s dining services 750 in business. After this purchase is made, there are only two ways the University can increase its percapita value per student meal plan. The first is exceedingly unlikely, as it would require students not to spend all of their Dooley Dollars. If students have extra Dooley dollars at the end of any given year, they have paid for food and not consumed it, which translates to cost-free profit for the school, assuming that this food is purchased by another student and not simply thrown away. The second and far more likely option is that students burn through their entire stash of Dooley Dollars and begin to shell out cold hard cash to buy food and coffee around campus and thus continue to contribute to dining services’ profits. Even if Emory doesn’t receive a direct cut of each sale from Kaldi’s, students who spend all of their Dooley dollars there will end up paying real money for food at Emory-run eateries such as Cox Hall. Additionally, the higher prices are funneled to Emory indirectly, as Kaldi’s can only continue paying for its contracted spaces in the DUC and Zaya’s if they are producing profit, and their business model requires charging higher prices in order to do so. Dunkin’ managed to create such a profit while charging half the price, so clearly these price differences are the result of different business ideologies, not economic necessity. The counterargument would, of course, be that even though we pay more than we used to, we are now offered better quality food. While this is undoubtedly true, I’d argue that it’s irrelevant. Was the quality of the coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts ever really an issue? I have trouble believing that there has ever been a hungover student at any point throughout Emory’s history that would rather debate the finer, subtler differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans with a Kaldi’s barista and then pay five dollars for the experience as opposed to muttering “medium iced-coffee” at Dunkin’ and walking away a mere two dollars poorer. These changes represent a move toward quality nobody asked for at a price that many students can’t afford or don’t want to pay. While this shift undoubtedly results in more money in the University’s pocket or a nice photo for a campus brochure, it does so by intentionally reducing the quality of life for its students. When you consider the reality that these negative impacts will be felt most intensely by the University’s low-income students, these changes seem even more uncalled for and flagrantly apathetic in regards to the impact they have on student life. Tyler Zelinger is a College senior from Commack, New York.