On my honor as a Davidson student, I have neither given nor received help on this assignment.
This phrase was required to be written and signed by every student at the bottom of every major assignment at Davidson College. On the hand, I am very appreciative of the freedom the Honor Code provided at Davidson–we could leave doors unlocked, backpacks in the quad, and all exams were self-scheduled. On the other hand, I am realizing the impact this sentence can have on alumni…we don’t ask for help.
When I went to Princeton Seminary, I never felt comfortable in study groups. I was reflecting on this with a fellow Davidson, Princeton grad and associate here at First Presbyterian and she agreed. There was something unsettling about sharing ideas.
So I decided to do an informal survey of two davidson alum at this church and a close friend from Davidson, we all agree. The Honor Code has built a strong sense of integrity and honor. It has instilled a strong work ethic and drive. But, perhaps, rather than seeking to build commradarie and community, it has reinforced a lone-ranger individualism that leaves many of us as exhausted, Type-A, overachievers who are never satisfied nor feel it is appropriate to stop and ask for help.
And this produces the tension in ministry as we are called to a life of honor and integrity but also community and support.
–oh by the way, did you see how Davidson has the longest win streak in the nation? Go Cats!