Campus Honor Code

Norris Tolson described the honor code at NC State College in the early 1960s and how Student Government sought to uphold academic integrity.

Interview on 2011-05-12


00:00:00.000 Well we had a very, very--and still do at NC State--a very strict honor code that students were expected to adhere to
00:00:08.314 and violations were pretty severe.
00:00:11.743 That was in the day when you violated the rules you got kicked out.
00:00:16.582 You didn't get mollycoddled or you didn't get pampered, you were kicked out of school,
00:00:21.588 and that was a very serious offense for a young person at NC State
00:00:28.019 and so we were very, very concerned about all of the values of the honor code being upheld
00:00:34.797 but also at the same time being fair.
00:00:37.649 We wanted to be sure that students were treated fairly in the process,
00:00:41.594 and one of the great strengths of that program that it was student run. It was not run by the faculty or by the administration of the university.
00:00:49.770 It was run by the students and students tended to be much more pragmatic about the issues that students faced as students.
00:00:59.278 They were pragmatic about the issues but they were also much more pragmatic about the so-called punishment for violating the rules,
00:01:08.259 because most of the--. NC State was a small school. Everybody knew everybody. It wasn't like it is now when there are thirty-four thousand kids out there
00:01:17.670 so everybody kind of knew everybody else and if you violated the honor code it was a stigma on you on campus.
00:01:25.302 People knew who had violated the honor code. It was reported in the Technician,
00:01:30.071 it was in the gossip chain on the campus,
00:01:34.650 and so those of us in student leadership positions wanted to make sure that we maintained the integrity of the honor code
00:01:42.049 so that students understood how important it was
00:01:45.927 and how important the decisions they made to either violate the code or get convicted by the code about their futures.