Message from the Chair
TO: The present and future members of The South Carolina Corps of Cadets:
A cadet does not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do. Our code. Thirteen words. A way of life.
It is my pleasure and a great privilege to address you all as the Chairman of the 2014 Honor Committee. I commend each and every man and woman who has made the decision to join The Citadel's Corp of Cadets. There are many challenges that make life at this institution drastically different and more difficult than the lives that your peers at other colleges and universities are living. After completing three years here, however, I can assure you that each change you are asked to make in the way that you live your life is designed for your own personal betterment. Nothing speaks to this fact more than does The Citadel's Honor Code.
What is Honor at The Citadel? Let us start with what it is not: it is not a set of rules laid down for you to follow while you are within the walls of this institution and to leave behind when you graduate. Indeed, you should not think of The Honor Code as a set of rules at all. To "follow rules" implies that one is acting in a certain way because he or she fears the repercussions of doing otherwise. The term "code" signifies something much greater - something that we do because we believe in it, something that we know is right, a bond that each of us share with fellow cadets and graduates alike. The words that make up this code are indicative of who a cadet is, not what is demanded of us. "A cadet DOES NOT lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do; the code does not state that "A cadet SHOULD NOT lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do" or "A cadet will be punished for lying, cheating, stealing, or tolerating those who do." To be a cadet is to BE an honorable person, not to act as one because you are forced to; it is part of what makes us cadets, and is in my opinion the single most important thing that you have the opportunity to take with you from these gates. That being said, you each must decide for yourself what the code means to you. I implore you each to treat it as a way of life, even beyond the gates of The Citadel.
Good luck in the coming year to the members of all four classes. I look forward to sharing the last of my time here with you all.
Donald Preston Hipps, Jr.
Chairman, Honor Committee
Papa Company, Class of 2014