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William and Mary Literary Magazine



No. 1


(To be sung slowly to the tune of Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms)


WILLIAM AND MARY, we kneel, at thy shrine,
To the home of our patriots true,

Whose ideals in thy soil loom aloft in thine elms,
As they lace with the clouds in the blue.

And the sunset's rayed mist flowing down to thy lawn

Is the glory of old to the young.
Like the buttercup stars on the campus in May.
We gather the gold where it sprung.

O William and Mary, thy rose-laden dreams,
All awake Lake Matoaka's view,
Where the shadows soft faded away to the shore,
And the sunlight e'er widened and grew.
In this sunrise aglow, thine aged halls stand

With thy wisdom ingrown like thy moss,
And our hearts are the vines wound around thine old walls

Which have shouldered the centuries' cross.

Marguerite Jenkins.


ONOR," the concept fundamental to the "honor system" originally meant "to esteem" or "to have high regard for." One of the earliest forms of social control was that of praise and blame. Men were praised, esteemed, honored who performed the actions essential to the group's welfare in the most excellent manner. On the other hand, men whose actions either contributed nothing to the group's welfare, or were inimical thereto, were blamed or ridiculed. Because man's desire for praise and aversion to blame or ridicule is one of the most deep seated and universal dispositions constituting his nature, honor and dishonor, as reflecting the attitudes of the group toward its members, were from the first powerful instruments of social control. Later, "honor" came to stand for those traits of character which were most honorable, i. e., most worthy of being honored or praised, as contributing the most to the common welfare; and dishonor came to denote those traits of a contrary nature.

Now, if the view set forth above is correct, it must be obvious that "honor" is a relative term. It always connotes those standards of actions which, from the point of view of the welfare of a given group, are most worth while, i. e., are most conducive to the ends or purpose for which that group exists; the particular traits of character denoted by it in any particular group at any particular time, however, will depend on the character of the group in question and on the character of the vital interests and activities of the group. For example, one of the precursors of our modern state was the military or warrior group. The traits most essential to the purposes for which this group existed were courage, loyalty, and chivalry. These traits, therefore, constituted the "honor" of the members of this group. Another forerunner of the state was the town, or trade group. Among the members of this group, "honor" came to designate such things as industriousness, sobriety, honesty, and fairness, because these were just the traits on whose presence and operation the welfare of craftsmen and traders depended. Incidentally, it is the imperfect assimulation of these two groups one to the other in

our national life of to-day that accounts for much of the conflict and confusion centering about current moral standards.

But what is the bearing of all this on the problem of the scope and operation of the "honor system"? Well, the most obvious implication would seem to be that the "honor" of those who live under this system has reference primarily, not to the abstract moral traits of certain individuals who just happen to be attending the same college and living on the same campus, but rather to those concrete standards of action which are most essential to the welfare of a college community of which such individuals are members. This being the case, it would seem arbitrary to single out some one trait of character as constituting “honor" under the honor system, however "honorable" the trait may be in non-academic groups, or even in academic groups, for that matter. To say that the "honor system" should operate only with reference to lying or cheating in relation to class-room activities is to presuppose a narrow and abstract conception of the vital interests and activities of a college group. These interests and activities are numerous and complex. They contemplate the welfare of the college community itself and the welfare of all those groups of which the college community is a fusion. Any standard of action, then, which implicates the welfare of the college community or the more remote forms of welfare represented thereby is, according to our analysis, a matter of honor. And the first problem which the leaders in student government must face is precisely this: What interests and activities are fundamental to our welfare as students and as members of a college community? For, having determined what it is that constitutes their welfare, they will then be in a position to consider a further problem, viz: what standards of action are calculated to best promote our welfare thus defined? The proper solution of this problem should define the theoretical scope of the honor system. Whether all the standards of action included within this scope can be treated as matters of honor and dealt with accordingly is a practical problem to be worked out in the light of practical considerations. But certainly, no particular standard or standards should be excluded, arbitrarily, as having nothing to do with honor. J. R. Geiger.

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