Jacob Queller, ’20, is an integral part of the University of Richmond Honor Council. After serving on Honor Council leadership for two years, he helped guide the Council to implement a new system and statutes to ensure University of Richmond students are held to the highest standards of integrity. 

“We put together new codes and wordings for violations, to make it fairer, handle cases more expeditiously, and cut out some of the things we found redundant,” Queller said.

He has worked closely with the University Faculty Senate to find new ways to ensure fair consequences for honor council violations.

“We took the sanctioning part of our job and handed it to the professors, so anytime a case comes to Honor Council, we decide whether or not a student is responsible for a violation, and let the professor decide consequences at their own discretion,” Queller said.

He believes being part of the University Honor Council has helped him make connections with professors and students across campus disciplines, which has helped his overall education.

“I received a lot of access to building deep relationships with professors across campus, and got to meet professors that I would have never crossed paths with originally,” Queller said.

He believes the university environment is important for students, particularly in their ability to make mistakes and learn from them.

“I think it’s really important for students to learn from their mistakes while they’re here, because once you get into the working world, it takes years to build your integrity and trust. It takes only one second to lose all of it because of one bad decision,” Queller said.

In additional efforts to make the Honor Council system fairer, he and his fellow council members recruited student investigators to look into violations and report back to the council. He says this shares the accountability among multiple students. They also loosened the restrictions on confidentiality, so if a student is being investigated for a violation, they can share it with friends and loved ones, rather than having to go through it alone.

“These changes make the system more impartial,” Queller said. “Having an Honor Council held to these standards protects the reputation of the University, and the reputation of the students.”

Laura Thompson, assistant dean of the Robins School of Business, says she is thrilled to have a Robins student leading the University Honor Council to a new era.

“The role of a student leader on the Honor Council is to be an exemplar and a leader upholding and maintaining the reputation of trust and respect,” Thompson said. “The University Honor Council works to encourage the integrity of our community. The University’s reputation as a quality institution where all learn and study in an environmental of trust and respect is essential to this honor and integrity.”