Code Crisis 2018

Over 1000 students gathered in the gymnasium for the first Special Plenary in half a decade. They stayed there for nine hours.


This page contains records and chronicles relating to the 2018 Code Crisis.  This crisis was precipitated by a failure of the Honor Code necessitating a Special Plenary, a gathering designed to create a passable Code at which 75% of Haverford’s student body must be present.  This Code Crisis was handled differently than the last one (2013) by student government leadership in that this year they appointed a Special Plenary Committee of 10 students charged with figuring out why the Code failed and packaging the changes necessary to pass a new Code for presentation at Special Plenary.  The President of the college at the time failed to accept the Honor Code passed by the student body at the Special Plenary, so the Special Plenary Committee and student government leadership took matters into their own hands and unconstitutionally made changes to the Code outside of Plenary.  The student body voted in support of these changes and the President accepted this altered version of the Code.

This crisis raised questions about our dedication to our constitution, the role of the Honor Code in promoting equality and social progress on campus, the interaction of political speech and the Honor Code, campus support for trans/non-binary students, and how to promote engagement with the community by the student body among many other vitally important questions.

This page contains a Timeline of events, which should help clarify the confusing and highly compressed series of events.  It also contains a table laying out each Honor Code and the reaction to that Code.  The three Honor Codes can be summarized as 1. the one that existed before the failed Spring Plenary, 2. the one passed by Special Plenary, and 3. the one crafted by SPC in concert with faculty and admin.

This Timeline walks through all the major events of this semester-long crisis.

Code at Issue Ratification Comments and Vote Totals Passed? Approved by President?
2017 Honor Code (pre-Special Plenary) Summary – First Round of Honor Code Ratification 2018 No n/a
2018 Honor Code (passed at Special Plenary) Second Round of Ratification (Vote Totals and Comments) Yes No
2018 Honor Code (approved by President) Third Round of Ratification (Vote Totals and Comments) Yes Yes