I <3 Luke… and you can too!

by Charlotte Noble on May 12, 2017

Who is Luhc? And why isn’t his named spelled Luke? And why does all of Lawrence seem to love him so much?

Okay okay, the joke is over. No there is no Luke, or Luhc, but “I heart Luke” is a common phrase around here, and one of the best parts of being a Lawrentian–the honor code.

“IHRTLUHC” stands for “I hereby reaffirm the Lawrence University Honor Code” and when read out loud, it does sound very similar to stating your love for someone named after Darth Vader’s son. On every important work, test, paper etc., Lawrentians are expected to write (at least) this shortcut to show that the academic work follows the code’s guidelines.

But what does that mean? While the complete rules and expectations can be found on LU’s website (here on the Honor Council’s Charter: http://www.lawrence.edu/students/services/academic-life/honor_council/honor_system_charter) I will save you time and reading by explaining it as easily as I can: the honor code keeps Lawrentians from doing something they would regret later, cheating.

Plagiarism, improper (or lack of) source citing, collusion, having another do your work, misuse of resources (such as notes, calculators, etc.), misrepresentation, use of another’s ideas: the code outlaws these as well as other forms of academic dishonesty. By reaffirming the code on specific assignments, Lawrence students prove the integrity of each academic work.

Okay… that’s all great! But all schools have this expectation, so what makes LU any different? Here, the code isn’t just a long forgotten pledge signed freshman year and never revisited, but a pervasive part of the Lawrence culture. Professors trust their students, because they know they can. Want to take your exam outside in the grass? Go for it. No need to “spread out” in the classroom for test taking. Your professor might even leave, who knows. Needless to say, many of the stresses of academic work can be released through these simple acts of trust.

However, with great power come great responsibility (and not just for Spiderman). Breaking the code is a serious offense, one that is dealt with through a long judicial procedure that can result in major grade reductions, removal from a class, or even suspension or expulsion.

But if a student does not break the code, they have nothing to worry about. More often than not, the code allows Lawrentians to live with less worry, living in a world where everyone has the same expectation for each other, as well as respect for the learning and work they are all doing. So when you go to turn in your paper, go ahead: state your love for LUHC, and in the end, you’ll be happy you did.

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