by Sean Newton ‘15
The practice of signing your name on the cover pages of midterms and finals is so entrenched in Booth culture that it has become a rote and meaningless exercise for many students. Administrators fear that students don’t have their hearts in it when they sign their exams. In order to preserve the integrity of the Booth Honor Code, the school has announced plans to change the manner in which students pledge their honor.
Starting this quarter, students will be required to stand up before all midterms and finals, place their right hand over their hearts, and recite the full Booth Honor Code from memory. Those who cannot recite the 375 word Honor Code will be dismissed from the classroom and will receive no credit for the exam. This announcement has incited fear among Boothies who have spent their entire careers avoiding the virtues of honesty and integrity. To double down on the effort to eliminate phoniness, the policy stipulates that those caught mouthing the words “watermelon” or “rutabaga” in a desperate attempt to conceal their unpreparedness will also be dismissed.
Booth administrators developed concerns over the existing Honor Code pledge after a disconcerting study revealed that no Booth student has ever read the nine-point Honor Code. One Dean explained why the current procedure is inadequate. “Under the existing system, students are asked to pledge their honor that they haven’t violated the Booth Honor Code. This is problematic for two reasons. First, Booth students have proven to be unfamiliar with the Honor Code. More importantly, Booth students have proven to have no honor.”
Most students believe that the simple declaration “I pledge my honor that I have not violated the Booth Honor Code” was the Honor Code. One second-year student who asked to remain anonymous responded, “Wait, that’s not the Honor Code? I thought it was stupidly tautological, but I just assumed that Dean Kumar thought that’s what made it clever.”
Students were also stunned to learn that the Booth Student Handbook claims that the Honor Code is “student-initiated.” An incredulous first-year expressed her outrage. “Who are these traitors? What kind of brown-nosing sycophants would offer to write such a long-winded pile of trash? How can we be expected to abide by principled academic and professional conduct?”
Another dismayed student speculated that the Honor Code was a consequence of admitting students who intended to enter the non-profit sector. “This is clearly the work of the social impact crowd,” he said, shaking his head.
At press time, students were relieved to learn that they will have the option to replace the memorization of the Booth Honor Code with the memorization of Milton Friedman’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
The author is Booth’s fastest Honor Code reciter.