By Tyler Steelman, senior political science major and SGA president
I once heard someone say, “You can learn a lot about a group of people by what they decide to show you first.” The Honor Code Signing Ceremony is the first thing you do as a member of High Point University’s family.
I still remember the night that I participated in this ceremony. As I walked in to the Millis Convocation Center, there was a 6 x 8 foot version of the Honor Code waiting to be signed, and the student justices, faculty and deans eagerly waited to greet new students. That’s when I realized how important that moment was as I signed my name to that document and pledged to maintain academic and personal integrity in all that I do.
We began to recite the code as a class, and I distinctly remember thinking to myself that this was a promise I was not only making to High Point University, but to myself. And I was not alone. Each member of my class read the code aloud with me.
Three years later, I saw the Honor Code from a completely different perspective. As the president of the Student Government Association, it was my privilege to lead the ceremony this year for the class of 2017 in reciting the Honor Code.
Throughout it, I realized how this is also a time for us to come together and reflect on our values as a university. It reveals to freshmen the high standards of character and honesty that they will be held to throughout their academic career. It sets the bar high on day one.
High Point University certainly offers an extraordinary education. But it does not stop there. HPU goes beyond that to provide a network of support for its students. That is what I believe the Honor Code shows. It shows that we, as students, are expected to achieve nothing less than academic excellence during our time here. At the same time, it shows us that there are people to guide and mentor us as we figure out who we’re going to be.
The Honor Code Signing Ceremony is certainly one of my most fond memories at High Point. It is a promise that I still carry today and will continue to throughout the rest of my life.