Last week, the entire Upper School gathered in Price Auditorium for the annual Honor Code Assembly. After moving remarks from Upper School Head Mr. Steve Soden and College Counseling Co-Director Mr. David Brunk, all new Upper School students and faculty signed the Honor Book, a symbol of their commitment to honesty and integrity within our community.
The Honor Code Philosophy
Severn’s Honor Code is written for our students by our students. The code maintains and strengthens our trust in each other and our school. It represents our students' unified understanding that a strong community is built on respect for work, property and one another. As we live our mission of character, conduct, scholarship, leadership, and service, the Honor Code reminds us that character steadies our course toward excellence in all areas of our lives.
The Honor Code: We the members of the Severn community vow to uphold the integrity of the Honor Code which states that we will not lie, cheat or steal nor neglect the actions of our peers who choose to do so. We will treat ourselves, our peers and our community with the utmost respect.
At Our School and out in the World
In their opening remarks and address to the Severn community, both Upper School Head Mr. Steve Soden and College Counseling Co-Director Mr. David Brunk emphasized our responsibility as Severn Admirals and citizens of a changing world to uphold our shared values of good character and integrity.
“While our new community members will sign the Honor Book this morning, today’s assembly is not just for them. Instead, it is an opportunity for the whole Upper School to reaffirm our commitment to living in a community of trust. It is a recognition that we all, through our actions and choices, have the ability to create and sustain the culture in which we wish to live. Culture can be fragile, and so it is incumbent upon all of us to understand the power we have in the choices we make.” — Mr. Soden
“Think of the problems that exist in our world: climate change, political and economic instability, human rights abuses, volence. Every one of you will be tasked to address these challenges. While knowledge and expertise have their roles to play, these problems will be solved through more than knowledge alone; our society needs more people, especially those with power and influence, to act honorably." — Mr. Brunk
Every new member of the Upper School then stood to sign the Honor Book. As each person completed their signature, they passed the pen as a symbol of our connection from one community member to another.
More Than Words on the Page
In the days leading up to and following the assembly, Upper School students meet with their advisory groups to discuss both the code itself and the larger concept of honesty in the Upper School. They talk about real-life scenarios, both academic and social, where their commitment to the Honor Code could be tested. Through these discussions, our students develop strategies to face these situations with integrity and confidence in their choices. The Honor Code is more than words on a page, it’s alive our halls, in every classroom and within every member of our community.