Cavalier Daily Editorial: Rape Should Violate Honor Code
Students on UVA's campus
An article in the Cavalier Daily Thursday morning is drawing a lot of attention. The editorial recommends making rape a violation under the University of Virginia honor code.
At UVA, sexual offenses may not get you kicked out of the university, but honor code violations will. Right now, UVA honor code violations are lying, cheating and stealing. But the article has sparked a conversation about change.
"The University of Virginia was expelling cheaters but we weren't expelling rapists," said Charlie Tyson, executive director of the Cavalier Daily.
That issue sparked Tyson to write an article urging that rape become an honor offense. Tyson says he didn't write the article to change the code, but rather to spark conversation. And it turns out a lot of people think changes should be made
"Sexual misconduct is definitely a breach of - serious violation that should constitute an honor offense," said second-year student Nico Narel.
"Though it might not be cheating on a test or cheating on a paper, it's violating the sense of security and the sense safety you want to have at a university," third-year student Camille Darling said.
Tyson says the law that governs sexual misconduct, or Title IX, requires a different burden of proof and different punishment levels than honor code violations. So, according to Tyson, the university is doing what it can right now given the legal restraints.
Now, he says, it is up to the university community.
"What we are really insisting on is not to make it an honor code violation; what we are insisting is a community founded on empathy," Tyson said.
He says empathy takes three steps: greater reporting of incidents, showing students how to help each other in times of need, and changing sex-based assumptions. But that might not be enough to end the conversation.
Until the law changes, Tyson says it may be up to the community to hold itself to higher standards.
Cavalier Daily Editorial: Rape Should Violate Honor CodeMore>>