At annual Honor Chapel, student leaders reflect on the foundational importance of honor within the Trinity community
On the morning of September 11, 2023, students, staff and faculty participated in one of Trinity’s most hallowed traditions, the signing of the Honor Code at the annual Honor Chapel. By signing the pledge not to lie, cheat, steal or plagiarize, each Titan signifies their commitment to being honest, intentional and sincere in their work in the classroom and in the community. The signatures are placed on the wall in the Academic Building as a daily reminder of this promise.
Brian Griffen, school chaplain, began the program with an invocation that reaffirmed the foundational role that the Honor Code plays at Trinity. “Honor is the glue that holds our community together,” said Griffen. “Being a person of honor doesn’t hinge on your academic ability or your talent. It doesn’t matter what your faith or philosophy of existence may be… It doesn’t matter what level of athleticism or artistry you have achieved. Every one of us can be a person of honor.”
Preceding the signing, members of the student-elected Honor Committee shared personal reflections and examples of what maintaining honor looks and feels like in practice.
Caden Clark ’24 warned of the damaging impact that stealing others’ possessions — both physical and digital — can have on a community. “Stealing can take many forms,” said Clark. “Theft can get you into some of the most serious trouble here at Trinity and truly affect you and your friends’ relationships. Stealing is not only the act of taking someone else’s belongings, but it is an action that can tear apart teams and communities.”
Tucker Tetterton ’25 spoke about plagiarism and how tempting it was for students especially when classes were conducted remotely during the pandemic, with answers just a few mouse clicks away. “All I had to do was copy and paste it into my own assignment, and then I would be done,” he said. “However, at the end of the day, it is important to have academic integrity. Plagiarism removes the learning from the assignment, and more importantly, it steals from the creator.”
Britsia Hernandez ’26 reflected on how tempting it can be to cheat by sharing homework answers, an action that can feel like helping a friend in need. “You can always ask for help, but you will never learn if you just end up cheating and getting the grade the ‘easy way,’” she said. “By cheating you are denying the ability to learn and harming yourself in the process.”
Liam O’Neil ’25 tackled the increasingly prevalent dilemma of the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in student work. “What makes you your own person? It's your soul, your own consciousness, that makes you who you are,” O’Neil posited. “AI is helpful in gathering ideas, but the second you rely on it to speak for you, you are no longer using the thing that gives you your humanity. And this, even more than getting a bad grade on a paper, is a tragedy that is scary, but preventable, with just a little bit of effort. “