UVA Students to Vote on Honor System Changes

University of Virginia students can vote this week on some sweeping changes to the school's honor system. If the proposal gets enough votes, it would be the first major change to the code in years.

The university's honor committee is pitching a two-pronged proposal. They say the plan will finally give the school's honor system a chance to function as well as it should.

Honor committee chair Stephen Nash says the university is seeing two major problems with its honor code. He believes the system is punishing students who admit to their actions, while allowing others to exploit random, less-trained juries.

The proposal up for vote would give accused students the opportunity to admit guilt and face a one-year suspension instead of expulsion. It would also ensure students on jury panels are elected student representatives.

"We think it would make the honor system about this unwavering commitment to do what is right, keep the critical character of the system, including having one sanction for those found guilty at trial and at the same time ensure the most fairness and accuracy with a highly trained and experienced jury panel," Nash said.

These changes have seen their fair share of opposition. Nash says the main criticism is the proposed jury reform would give committee representatives too much power.

Students have until Thursday at 4 p.m. to vote. In order to pass, 10 percent of the student body needs to vote and the measure needs a 60 percent approval to pass.