Integrity Matters
Citing and Documenting
Surviving the Semester

So Maybe You Cheated...

So maybe you screwed up. Maybe you didn't hand in any citations, or you violated the Honor Code in some way. What happens next?

A case begins when a member of the community comes forward with evidence that a violation of the Honor Code has occurred. That person normally brings the suspected violation to the attention of the Student Chair or the Faculty Chair of the joint faculty-student Honor System-Discipline Committee. If the chairs decide that there is sufficient evidence to proceed, the Student Chair meets with the concerned student(s) as soon as possible.

When the case is ready to move forward, the Student Chair, Faculty Chair, and Dean decide on a time for the hearing. Other members of the committee are not informed of the nature of the case or the identity of the participants before the hearing convenes.

At the hearing, the accuser presents his or her evidence and explains why s/he suspects an Honor Code violation has taken place. Members of the committee may ask the accuser—or any party appearing before them—questions for clarification at any time. When the accuser has finished presenting his or her evidence, he or she is questioned by the committee. Then the accused student(s) question the accuser. If there are additional accusing witnesses, they are brought in serially and questioned first by the committee and then by the accused student(s).

After these parties are excused, the committee deliberates. They decide on three questions:
  1. Is the alleged behavior an infraction of the Honor Code?
  2. If it is, did the accused student commit the infraction?
  3. and
  4. What penalty is recommended to the Dean?

All members of the committee participate in the deliberations, but only the student members vote. A vote of two-thirds of those present and voting is required for conviction.

For information on rights and procedures, see Honor Committee Hearings and The Honor System.