The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

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Annual Honor Week inspires students to reflect on Honor Code tenets

Frosh+Vivian+Wu+and+Zoe+Wang+draw+chalk+art+outside+of+Dobbins+Hall+for+Honor+Week+on+Nov.+15.+Students+were+prompted+to+draw+or+describe+an+emoji+that+describes+respect.
Margaret Cartee
Frosh Vivian Wu and Zoe Wang draw chalk art outside of Dobbins Hall for Honor Week on Nov. 15. Students were prompted to draw or describe an emoji that describes respect.

Honor Council hosted their annual Honor Week which featured activities based on the three tenets of the Honor Code, honesty, accountability and respect, during the week of Nov. 13.

Honor Council encouraged students to reflect on the tenet of honesty on Nov. 13. Members of the Honor Council wore large cardboard boxes in front of Manzanita Hall during lunch with thought-provoking questions like “When should teachers use generative AI?” and “When, if ever, should a student be dishonest to a friend or a family member?” After writing down their thoughts on post-it notes, students and teachers stuck their answers to the boxes. 

For Tuesday’s theme of accountability, upper school speech and debate teacher Scott Odekirk gave a speech during the school meeting about the importance of accountability in the real world, emphasizing its purpose as more than just a source of punishment for students.

To spark discussion about the Honor Code’s tenet of respect, Honor Council organized a chalk activity on Nov. 15. Students used chalk to record their thoughts and ideas on the ground near Dobbins Hall, the Rothschild Performing Arts Center and the art room board in response to various prompts like “If respect was an emoji, what would it be?” and “In one word, what does respect feel like?”

“As a member of the Honor Council, it’s made [Honor Week] a lot more impactful for me seeing the work that’s been done and put into making the activities,” Honor Council member Varun Fuloria (12) said. “It means more to me now, and I’ll definitely be sure to participate in a lot more Harker-related activities because I see a lot of people putting in work.”

Students participated in advisory activities on Nov. 16 to inspire more conscious care for the school’s environment. After students signed the Honor Code in their respective advisories, the Honor Council asked students to spend time outdoors and appreciate the campus. Advisories could also engage in a small scavenger hunt for different plants and flowers around campus.

Those kinds of activities just help us think about others a bit instead of always thinking about ourselves, and I think it just helps bring the community together

— Juliana Li (11)

“We believe that the activities themselves encourage students to analyze their behavior during this week to think about what they’re doing, and if they’re not being honorable then why that is,” Honor Council member Suhana Bhandare (10) said. “For example, the advisory activity for the environment let people notice what they’re not doing. I’ve walked by some of these plants a thousand times and never noticed how pretty they are.”

Honor Week ended with the “Leave a Card, Take a Card” activity during lunch on Nov. 17 where representatives carried a bag filled with encouraging messages written on index cards. Students then wrote positive messages on index cards and took a card that a previous student wrote from the bag. 

“The activities during honor week were really thoughtful, and I thought the one with the index cards in the box was really uplifting,” Juliana Li (11) said. “Those kinds of activities just help us think about others a bit instead of always thinking about ourselves, and I think it just helps bring the community together.”

Although Honor Week normally occurs on a four-day week in September, it was pushed to November this year due to conflicts in scheduling. Friday’s activity was an accommodation for the extra day in the week to have students reflect on gratitude and kindness. Honor Council Faculty Chair and Math department head Anthony Silk spoke about the motivation behind Honor Week.

“[The Honor Board] came up with this idea of doing an Honor Week where we could celebrate honor at the school,” Silk said. “It was a way of saying ‘Hey, we have this Honor Code, and people should know what the Honor Code is’ because we were afraid that people were seeing it at the beginning of the year and then never seeing it again.”

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About the Contributors
Lily Shi, Reporter
Lily Shi (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Lily hopes to get to know the members of the journalism team and write many meaningful articles. In her free time, she likes to dance, read, and spend time with her friends.
Margaret Cartee, Aquila Co-Managing Editor
Margaret Cartee 12) is a co-managing editor for Harker Aquila, and this is her fourth year on staff. This year, Margaret wants to do more illustrations and meet all the new journalists in the program. In her free time, she likes sketching on paper, playing volleyball and sitting in chairs.

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