Honor Council plays to SMC moral code

The mention of "honor codes" may conjure up images of gangsters, shoguns or soldiers. However, SMC's Honor Council is hoping that similarly theatric connotations will prove that codes are just as important to another equally heroic, yet less romanticized group: students. On May 4 and 6 during SMC's activity hour, the Honor Council will present a program of four comedy plays entitled, "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Honor Forum" on the studio stage of the Theater Arts Building.

The four plays each present a conflict of morality in various settings. In "The Call-Back," a snobby diva auditions for a role against a less talented yet mild-mannered competitor. Two stoners reunite in "A Visit to the Doctor" and compare their lives after ten years apart. A student working as a waiter serves revenge cold to his unhelpful professor in "A Glass of Karma." To round out the show, "What Happened in 2010" takes a look into the moral catalyst of our utopian future.

The production was written by SMC Public Information Officer, G. Bruce Smith with collaborative efforts by members of the Honor Council, including chair Valerie Narey and vice chair Tamorah Thomas.

"Creativity is an interesting thing. I had ideas at the gym and while driving, but meeting with the Honor Council was especially stimulating," said Smith.

Smith has written a few education-focused plays specifically for SMC faculty in the past, but he is no stranger to full-feature productions. He has authored and produced several plays in the Los Angeles area since he started playwriting over 18 years ago. He also cofounded Playwrights 6, a group of playwright-managed theater companies.

"The subject made it a little bit of a challenge not to sound preachy," said Smith. "But it's an important message to make entertaining."

"Comedy makes things much more interesting," said Narey. "The plays are done in a tongue-in-cheek style and exaggerated ways. It's entertaining."

Founded by council member Esau Tovar, counseling faculty member, the Honor Council began in 2007. SMC is the only community college in California to have a defined organization dedicated to the moral standing of its students.

The Honor Council acts as a think-tank, brainstorming ways to encourage the student body to pursue good moral standing. The board also serves as an enforcer of due process, overseeing allegations of plagiarism and infractions against the college's Honor Code.

The Corsair has previously reported a perceptible and rising trend of cheating on campus. The charges against Eamonn Daniel Higgins, as well as the recent influx of technologically savvy methods to mislead, have caught the attention of the Honor Council.

"Impersonation seems to definitely be on the rise, and we hope to implement a change in how students register their classes," said Narey.

In the near future, Narey stated that the Council plans to conduct a new analysis as to how their methods have improved the rate of plagiarism and honesty on campus. As for now, the members are dedicated to promote awareness of not only the problems, but solutions as well.

"The Honor Council is a grassroots sort of program and we want to make a difference," said Narey.