Assistant University Editor
The list of what Student Congress cannot pay for is short: no firearms, no T-shirts, no lobbying and no food.
But Finance Committee Chairman Joshua Aristy persuaded Student Congress to override, by a two-thirds vote, the last restriction on that list at its meeting Tuesday.
Congress allocated $1,250 for food at events run by Honor System Outreach, a division of the student government’s judicial branch.
Aristy acknowledged that food allocations are an exception to the rules laid out in the Student Code as he described his support of the proposal and repeatedly asked Congress to approve it.
“We can have a long, healthy debate about this, but I do really recommend it,” he said.
Aristy said food at Outreach events will encourage faculty to learn about the rewritten Honor Code, in which they play a more active role.
“It’s regrettable that we have to use food to get faculty involved, but that’s just a reality, and that’s something that we need if we want this Honor System to work so that it can be viable,” he said.
“Otherwise we’re going to have to change the whole system.”
Undergraduate Outreach Coordinator Josh Green said he believes food is an effective way to increase student and faculty engagement with Honor System events.
“Students are not interested in the Honor Code that much until they’re in it. But they still need to know about it,” Green said.
Green said Outreach receives $6,000 from Congress for non-food use. He emphasized that the Honor System is not a partisan student organization.
“We are a branch of student government. So we don’t — we really in a lot of ways don’t fit into the normal category of student organizations,” he said.
Honor System Treasurer Allie Crimmins said research from a professor at Duke University showed increased visibility of an honor system on campus drastically reduced honor violations.
“Having some flexibility in terms of finances is important this year because it’s unclear as we sort of experiment with ways to reach out to faculty and to reach out to students which ways are going to be most effective,” Green said.
Student Congress member Joseph Chaney voted no anyway.
“I don’t think it’s going to draw the crowd they think it is,” he said. “I’ve been in school here for four years, and I’ve not seen any fliers about this.”
Chaney said he thinks students do understand the basics of the Honor System.
“I think that the students here know that they can’t cheat. And if they do, they’re going to get in trouble.”
Aristy said the Honor System is different from most groups receiving money from Congress because it affects every student on campus.
“Sometimes you have to make these exceptions to make sure that one part of you can survive.”