The Conscientious Retraction

What is the Conscientious Retraction?

The Honor System permits students to atone for their mistakes by filing a Conscientious Retraction (or “CR”). A valid and complete CR involves the admission of a possible Honor Offense before the student has reason to believe that such Offense has come under suspicion by anyone and can be used as a full, exonerating defense against Honor charges. The CR is an opportunity and not a right, and it must be valid and complete in order to constitute a defense in Honor proceedings.

How Does the Conscientious Retraction Work?

There are two required components of the CR: (1) Validity and (2) Completeness.

Validity. A CR must be valid, i.e., it must be delivered before a student has reason to believe that the relevant Act has come under suspicion by anyone. Determinations regarding CR validity are only made if a Report is received concerning the Act in question.

Completeness. A CR must be complete, i.e., it must satisfy all of the following conditions:

  1. The student must deliver the CR, in writing, to the Vice-Chair for Investigations;
  2. The student has completely acknowledged committing an Act that might be an Honor Offense by describing a) the Act in question and b) the circumstances surrounding the commission of such an Act;
  3. The student has agreed to correct and/or make amends for the Act in question; and
  4. The student has provided a signed statement from each affected instructor or other individual stating that the applicable corrections and/or amends have been made.

There is no official CR "form." Rather, the above four components are included in a document created by the student. You can find an example submission here and a flowchart regarding the CR process below:

CR Process Flowchart
Displayed is a flowchart of the CR process and information regarding its components: validity and completeness.


If you are interested in filing a CR, please email the Vice-Chair for Investigations or use the Contact Honor form. You may request to be assigned an Honor Advisor who can assist you in submitting a Complete CR; speaking with an Honor Advisor is confidential and in no way binds you to file a CR

For more information regarding the CR, please review the Bylaws of the Honor Committee here.