Chief Justice's Speech

Hope D’Erasmo on the screen of a laptop

Remarks by Chief Justice Hope D’Erasmo ’21

Good afternoon. My name is Hope D’Erasmo and I am your chief justice of the Honor Code for the 2020–2021 academic year. I want to start off by thanking you all for the opportunity to be here and speak to you all, especially at the start of such a strange academic year. 

The word “unprecedented” has been used to the point of cliché over the past six months, and while it may be sigh-inducing to hear it again now, I do want to acknowledge that this is not the start to the academic year that we were looking for. First-years and fellow seniors especially, I know that this is not how any of you wanted to begin or end your time at Wellesley.

The Honor Code here is composed of three values—honesty, integrity, and respect. In a normal academic year, we like to say that the Honor Code is at the heart of all academic and social life at Wellesley. While this has been true in the past, it has certainly never been more literally true than it is this year. We have an obligation to each other not just to show integrity by being academically honest in classes, but also through following public health and safety guidelines to ensure that we can live safely. Respect for one another looks like not just being able to leave your bag for five minutes in Sci, but working to make sure that Wellesley is as accessible as it can be, both in the short term by wearing masks in public spaces, and in the long term by working to dismantle structural inequalities.

Thank you for your time. Please join me, wherever you are, in the ceremonial recitation of the Honor Code. “As a Wellesley College student, I will act with honesty, integrity, and respect. In making this commitment, I am accountable to the community and dedicate myself to a life of honor.”