Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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We pledge allegiance to Queen Frag and her mighty state of hysteria

Let’s get just one thing straight: This isn’t the Red Scare, and we aren’t 5 years old. Despite this, the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism have determined that entering members of the class of 2006 should be required to sign a condensed version of the school’s honor code as a condition of enrollment.

This decision was rendered after the school could not confirm information in two stories written by a student for the school’s in-house news service. Horrified that someone from (gasp) Medill could be accused of impropriety and a lack of ethics, faculty members and administrators scurried to demonstrate that the school as a whole is still very ethical. Their solution? An honor pledge.

This pledge restores honor and dignity to Medill in the same way that George W. Bush’s presidency restored honor and dignity to the White House: not at all. In fact, the need for a pledge might give future employers reason to wonder. Columbia University has no such pledge. The University of Missouri has no such pledge. Why? Because they realize people with no consciences can falsify sources and plagiarize stories — pledge or no pledge.

The percentage of ethical infractions prevented by the pledge should be roughly the same as the percentage of teenagers who keep their vows of celibacy. (True love, it seems, rarely waits).

The fact remains that it is still possible for a student to fabricate stories in whole or part and, a few months later, receive a degree in journalism. So in the future, having students sign the pledge will mean what? That liars and cheats will get their degrees — along with a stern talking-to by school officials?

Meanwhile, more than 100 freshmen sign pieces of paper before setting foot on campus, never to think about them again. The rebuilding of Medill’s image is complete. Crisis averted. At least until someone violates the pledge, which is bound to happen. We swear. nyou

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
We pledge allegiance to Queen Frag and her mighty state of hysteria