Will Almquist is a senior from Charlotte. He came to UNC as a Morehead-Cain Scholar and served on the undergraduate Honor Court for two years before being named chairperson in March. He spoke with Daily Tar Heel staff writer Anna Freeman to discuss his experiences and thoughts on the Honor Court after assuming a leadership role.
The Daily Tar Heel: What exactly does the Honor Court do, and how is it organized?
Will Almquist: Broadly speaking, the Honor Court is one of the three branches of the honor system. The two other branches are honor system outreach and the attorney general’s staff.
Honor system outreach is probably the easiest to explain: That’s the branch that’s really responsible for the honor system’s relationship with the campus. Obviously, the honor system is only as good as the community that it acts upon. So, the outreach program is really in charge of that.
The second big branch is the attorney general’s staff. They’re counsel, so basically, when a student is charged with (an) honor violation, there’s a defense counsel that will represent them in front of the Honor Court ... The way the Honor Court system is, we ultimately populate the hearings panel. The system is entirely student-run. When a case makes it to the jury, the student who is accused has the right to be heard by a panel of their peers, and the Honor Court essentially provides them that panel.
That can count anywhere from three to five members, and they’ll hear the case, evaluate it in terms of the incident. Whether they’re convinced evidence exists the student (is) responsible or not, they’ll proceed to issue an appropriate sanction that’s consistent with (the) University’s interests and the educational development of the student at the University.
DTH: What do you like about your job?
WA: I think the thing I like most about my job is working with other students in the system and even students that are coming through the system. Ultimately, everybody in the system has the interests of the University at heart, and they spend a lot of time to protect its interests.
So, I really get inspiration from the efforts of my colleagues and the hours they work in order to uphold the system, and I will say it encourages me to work that much harder, because we’re all here for the same thing, which is to protect and uphold a proud tradition of honor and integrity at Carolina. That’s pretty exciting to me.