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Honor Council reports near doubling of cases received during fall 2020 semester

The St. Olaf Honor Council has released statistics covering its caseload and findings from the Fall semester of the 2020-21 academic year, which show a near doubling of cases reviewed during Fall 2020 when compared to semesters before the pandemic shifted the College to virtual course instruction.

The Honor Council reviewed 58 cases in the Fall semester, roughly twice the case volume received in a traditional, on-campus semester. The proportion of cases brought to the Honor Council by faculty increased significantly; 51 of the 58 cases were implicated by professors, whereas the Council normally receives about half of its reports from students.

The Honor Council’s median time taken between the report and the finding on a case was 18 days; the Council sets a goal of a two-week turnaround between the time they receive a report and submit a finding on that report.

“Despite our increased caseload last semester, I’m proud of the speed and diligence with which the Honor Council has handled its work,” Honor Council President Logan Drieslein ’21 said. “This is thanks to the hard work of each member, and particularly the structural reform of our secretary, Logan Flom.”

Honor Council Secretary Logan Flom ’23 created a “new and more efficient system” to collect and organize reports received by the Council, Drieslein wrote in an email to the Messenger.

Councilmembers were unable to comment further on the impact of distance learning or new developments in cases due to the strict privacy guidelines of the body.

Honor Council statistics from Fall 2020-21. Numbers courtesy of the St. Olaf Honor Council. Graphic created by John Emmons ’23/Olaf Messenger.