This week, the USG election ballot includes yet another referendum to amend the Honor Constitution. Unlike the referenda from the fall, however, this proposal does not touch on the committee’s penalties or procedures. Instead, it focuses on the leadership of the committee itself. The referendum, if adopted, would create a procedure for a member of the Honor Committee to challenge the incumbent chair or clerk for their position. Regardless of your views on the Honor Committee and the fall referenda, this proposal should concern every student.
When President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law in December, one of the most controversial changes to the tax code was the curtailment of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. Under the old system, federal taxpayers could deduct from their federal tax bill all property taxes and either income or sales taxes paid to state and local governments. The new law caps SALT at $10,000 per tax return, meaning that only the first $10,000 a taxpayer pays in state and local property, income, and sales taxes is deductible.
Since it is almost certain that the University will not reverse its decision on the three referenda, students should move on and focus on how they can play a role in the formal process taking place to review the Honor System.
Having a strong, student-run system for enforcing cheating on exams is a point of pride for me as a Princeton student, and I cannot support a proposal to reduce the severity of the penalty for violating our shared Honor Code in such a dramatic way.