Saturday, October 9, 2010


The declaration that follows is my attempt to articulate a persuasive case for our prospective “social honor code.”

When you join the Rollins College community, you should know that you are entering a culture of honor and integrity, a culture that esteems and cultivates specific values and behaviors often absent in society at large, and often disparaged by the media of popular culture.

Rollins aims to be more than a mirror of the extramural world, but rather to develop citizens of honor and integrity, qualities often sadly lacking in business and the professions, as well as in social and personal dealings.

While it is ostensibly the charge of religious institutions to develop virtues and build the characters of their congregants, according to the values taught by their scriptures, religions should not be the sole inculcators of personal rectitude, especially in an increasingly secular society.

A civil society requires institutions that teach not only civility but also respect, generosity, caring and solicitude—doing good unto others and not harming them, respecting and protecting the essential dignity of all people. One word sums this up: kindness—the recognition that we human beings are all kin and thus deserve to be treated kindly.

Therefore, Rollins College, in league with like-minded institutions of higher learning, proclaims that part of its mission (a humanistic, not a religious mission) is to encourage and inculcate in all members of its community behaviors that demonstrate care for the rights and well-being of others and that do not demean others’ dignity. Rollins College claims thereby to practice a culture of honor and integrity.