Honor Case Process

The Honor case process is divided into four principal stages: reporting, investigating, hearing, and sanctioning.

As a note, the newly implemented sanctioning stage was added to the Honor case process on July 1st, 2023, after the Spring 2023 referendum. Prior to this change, the Committee administered a "single-sanction" when students were found responsible for committing an Honor offense. 

The below stages are summarized from the Bylaws, which contain detailed requirements and timeframes regarding each and other components of the case process. 

1. Reporting

The Honor Committee does not exist to police the student body. Instead, it adjudicates allegations that members of the Community bring to its attention. Any person may report an Alleged Honor Offense that meets the below requirements, provided that such Report is made within two years of the date of the alleged Act. To make a Report, the reporting witness or “reporter” should contact either an Honor Advisor or a Committee member. The Vice Chair for Investigations, in their reasonable discretion, may request additional information to supplement the information provided in the original Report. Once a Report has been submitted, it cannot be retracted by the reporter.

After a student is notified of their Report, they may take accountability, meet with the Reporter to agree upon amends, and file an Informed Retraction

2. Investigating

If a student does not file an Informed Retraction, an investigation into the alleged Honor Offense will begin. Two Honor Investigators will collect testimony and evidence from the reporter, investigated student, and other relevant witnesses to determine whether the Offense has occurred. 

Following initial interviews and evidence collection, the Reporter and then investigated student, subsequently, will be provided with all documents that have been collected as of that time for written responses.

Finally, all the interviews, evidence, and responses, if any, will be collected into an “Investigative Log” (or "I-Log") for consideration by the Investigative Panel (or "I-Panel").

The I-Panel, comprised of three rotating Honor Committee members, will review the I-Log and decide whether to formally accuse the investigated student of committing an Honor Offense based on the “More Likely than Not” standard. If the I-Panel does not accuse the investigated student, the case is dismissed. 

3. Hearing

An accused student can either proceed with an Honor Hearing with a Panel for Guilt or admit guilt and proceed directly to sanctioning. The fundamental purpose of the hearing is to pursue the truth about the alleged Honor Offense. Panel for Guilt, consisting of twelve University students (seven randomly-selected students and five Honor Committee representatives) will hear arguments from the Reporter and the Student, with their assigned Honor Counsel, respectively. 

The question before the Panel is whether the evidence against the accused student demonstrates, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, that an Honor Offense was committed (i.e., all three criteria of Act, Knowledge, and Significance are met).

4. Sanctioning

Guilty students (or students who have filed an Informed Retraction) are subject to sanctions as administered by the Panel for Sanction to uphold and promote the Community of Trust. The primary purpose of sanctioning is to hold members of our community accountable for their actions while, whenever possible, ensuring an individual has the opportunity to make amends and restore their commitment to honor. A student and reporter may present arguments for reasonable sanctions to the Panel for Sanction, which is comprised of the five Honor Committee representatives from the hearing.

Sanctions can include, but are not limited to, permanent removal, temporary removal, education, and amends. 

All sanctioned students will receive a written Outcome Letter stipulating the associated requirement(s) and timeframe(s) of their sanction(s). 

Click here to access the Honor Case Process Flow Chart. 

Every reasonable effort is made to conduct the entire process in a timely manner. For that reason, certain timelines have been built into the System. In general, however, the Honor Committee suspends all hearing- and sanctioning-related proceedings during non-school days. School days are days when the College of Arts & Sciences is officially in session during the fall and spring semesters, but not during summer session. School days include weekends between class days but do not include any registration or examination periods, breaks, or holidays.

Except as otherwise noted, the entire process will be conducted in accordance with the most recent Bylaws as of the date a case Report is received.