By: Taylore Hanna

Waleska, Ga. — Success is a word similarly defined as victory or triumph. Does cheating in order to get an A or B on a test count as success? As a student of Reinhardt, we all have known, heard or learned of the Honor Pledge when being inducted into Reinhardt’s successful culture. This year we had the pleasure of having Rev. Thomas Alonzo “Lonnie” Lacy, II, writer of Reinhardt’s 20-year-old Honor Pledge, come to speak on its behalf. After being raised to his potential with Reinhardt behind him, Lonnie has become a successful preacher as a proud eagle. Lonnie urges students to go forward in their new chapter of life with honor and integrity, not just because students signed aboard saying they would, but to enable ourselves to grow and mature into the honest adults Reinhardt works to cultivate. As freshmen, we enter a new world of freedom. The choices and consequences we deal with are endless.

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The honor pledge acts as a parent in our new world, helping to guide us along our way, reminding us of honorable ways to persevere through this thing called college. Dr. Mark Roberts, the Provost, stated, “Most students do not intend to break the honesty pledge.  We all want to believe that we will always do the right thing in any given circumstance.  But the truth is that human beings often, but not always, act in response to a given environment.  So, if a student is feeling pressure to perform and yet has not prepared himself or herself for that performance, the temptation is to plagiarize or take the answers from someone who knows them better than you.” In his humble remark, after admitting to finding it difficult to choose the right path at times, he gives us two pieces of advice. Manage time wisely; it helps manage and reduce the stress that is bound to fall upon every college student. “With the reduction of extreme pressure stress, through good time management, the student’s brain will be able to think more reasonably and strategically about how to deal with and navigate multiple assignments and, therefore, have a better likelihood of pleasing multiple masters– professors and coaches and friends and parents.” He also encourages us to develop a teaching and learning relationship with your professors to provide accountability. As well as for your benefit, if a student has a good working relationship with the professor, they are more likely to give grace when grace is necessary.

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With the help and encouragement of two extraordinary members of Reinhardt University, I leave you with the last two paragraphs from Dr. Roberts speech from the 2023 Induction.

“The Honor Pledge that we commit to today sets up for our community the opportunity for recognition– by highlighting honorable achievements in teaching and learning; it sets up an opportunity for us to express our dignity by ascending to a high ideal of respecting all people regardless of their difference.  The Honor Pledge sets up an opportunity for us to discipline ourselves, to limit our freedom, like Odysseus, by tying ourselves to the mast of our ship, especially when temptation becomes too great. It sets up an opportunity for us to act with integrity so that our collective spiritedness recognizes who we are, dignifies who we are and judges who we are as worthy of this noble pursuit we call higher learning.”

“So, friends here is our charge: Let us acknowledge our freedom but choose to limit it so that we educate our whole person and rid ourselves of ignorance and live in the light of the Truth.”

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