Here at Vanguard, we love to make jokes. And there is no bigger joke to students than the contract we are required to sign.
Though arguably made with good intentions and sound reasons, the Code of Conduct outlined in the student handbook is often left unread and disregarded.
Students always seem to have a good excuse for disobeying the contract or simply forget they have signed it as soon as they put their pen down.
Maybe behavior outlined for us is actually legal—such as marijuana or alcohol—or we simply consider it ridiculous—think of the forbidden social dancing. Then why, we must ask ourselves, should we be obligated to abide by these rules?
Because our name should mean something.
It may seem of small accord to scribble your name with a borrowed pen once a semester, but this action speaks to much more. You have just committed your name, your integrity, to upholding the rules summarized on that sheet of paper.
We want to be friends, employees, roommates that can be trusted and esteemed. We should want people to hear our names and be filled with comfort and respect. But how is this possible if we throw our name at anything without weighing consequence of its worth?
Your name represents your entire personhood. You have but one. What you commit it to, and how you uphold those commitments, demonstrates your character.
If you are someone who fails to respect your word, why should others?
Honor yourself, strive for integrity, and aim to be a person of your word. Seek to be a person others can esteem, trust, and turn to.
If you want to be someone a friend confides in, or a employer hires, or a professor believes, begin by having the self-respect to uphold your name.
For some, it may seem silly to start by holding true to your university’s contract, but it’s a place to start.