Reporting a Violation of the Honor Tradition

In order to preserve the effectiveness of the Honor Tradition, reporting a violation of the system is of utmost importance. Faculty, instructors, staff and students must report probable violations, within a reasonable timeframe, to the appropriate individual(s).

  • If an instructor, student or staff member suspects an honor violation, they should document the concerns and confront the student as soon as possible. The accusing person must contact the accused student(s). The accusing person should request a private meeting with the accused student where the specific charge should be discussed. During the meeting, the accusing person should explain the charge and ask the accused student to make contact with the Honor Board Chair. When there are extenuating circumstances, such as a University break, the accusing person may send the accused student an email explaining the charge and ask the accused to make contact with the Honor Board Chair. The accusing person will then notify the Honor Board Chair of the meeting and the charge.
  • Documentation of the incident in question must be made by all parties (accuser and accused) on the Honor Violation Incident Report form available on the student conduct web page or through e-mail to Additional documents or evidence should be given directly to the Chair of the Honor Board.
  • The Honor Board Chair and/or Vice Chair, in collaboration with the Honor Board Advisor, will review submitted documents and conduct an initial investigation to determine if there is sufficient evidence to move forward with a case.

Hearing Process

The University Honor Board facilitates the resolution of reported honor violations. The Honor Board Chair and/or Vice Chair, with the guidance of the Honor Board Advisor, will conduct an initial investigation after reviewing each report and the evidence submitted.  If there is sufficient evidence to warrant a case, the Chair will make contact with the accuser and accused student.  

In this initial inquiry, the Honor Board Chair, Vice-Chair, or Advisor will provide an opportunity for the student to explain what happened and to document any interactions with the accuser.  Additionally, a student will be asked to determine if their case will be held as a sanction hearing (Option 1) or a full board hearing (Option 2).  These options are described below.


Option I: Sanction Hearing

Students who admit responsibility may choose a sanction hearing which will include a subset of the Honor Board. A sanction hearing will include a minimum of three individuals who include one Honor Board executive member (Chair, Vice Chair, or Secretary), one student representative, and one faculty representative (general faculty representative or the Associate Provost for Student Success). An elected representative to the Board, or an appropriate designee by the Honor Board advisor, may be used in place of an executive member when necessary to resolve the case in a timely manner. Sanction hearings may take place virtually or face-to-face.

Option II: Full Board Hearing

If it is requested by the student, or determined through initial review of the evidence, that a hearing is necessary, the Honor Board Chair will convene the Board in a timely fashion to hear the case. Neither the accused nor the accuser has a right to external representation or Legal Counsel. The following procedures will guide the process:

  • An Honor Board representative, will forward a complete listing of the charges, a copy of the student rights and procedure information, and the time and location of the hearing to the accused student at least 48 hours prior to the time of the hearing.
  • The accused student has a right to call material witnesses as long as they have been approved by the Honor Board Chair at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. A list of witnesses should be exchanged 24 hours prior to the hearing.
  • The hearing board should consist of five Honor Board Members:
    • One executive member (typically the Chair) or designee
    • Two Honor Board student representatives
    • One faculty representative
    • Associate Provost for Student Success or designee
  • If the accused student fails to appear and has not notified the Chair, the case may be heard in their absence.
  • All testimony given and evidence presented are bound by the Honor Tradition. The hearing proceedings, but not deliberation, will be recorded.
  • Appropriate witnesses (e.g. person making the accusation) are strongly encouraged to be present for the hearing. The accused student is strongly encouraged to be present during the entire proceeding. Witnesses may be called into the hearing at the appropriate time. Board members and the accused student will have the opportunity to ask relevant questions of each witness. The accused may provide witness written statements to the Honor Board chair 24 hours prior to the case for approved witnesses.
  • All evidence that will be considered for determining responsibility and/or sanctions must be presented during the hearing so that the accused student will have the opportunity to address all such evidence.
  • The procedure will conclude with the accused student being given the opportunity to make a final statement to the hearing board.
  • Two character witnesses may be called during the sanctioning aspect of the hearing.
  • The Honor Board will have 48 hours from the conclusion of the hearing to make a determination of responsible or not responsible and, if found responsible, determine the appropriate sanction to be imposed.
  • The Honor Board Chair or their designee will communicate the outcome of the hearing by letter and/ or in person to the accused.
  • The individual responsible for the accusation will be informed of the Honor Board’ s decision.
  • Students found responsible for violations of the honor code will have documentation placed in their student file. In addition, violations of an academic nature will also be recorded in the student’s electronic record, but not on the student’s transcript.
  • Notice of findings and/or sanctions will be provided on a need to know basis to appropriate faculty or staff members associated with the case or student.
  • All information related to the student, the evidence, the testimony and the outcomes are to be kept confidential by all involved in the case.


Students have one week (7 days) from the time of the initial Honor Board inquiry to respond to the Honor Board or to ask clarifying questions.  If a student does not respond within one week, then the case moves forward as a sanction hearing.

Prior to the hearing, the Honor Board Chair will offer to meet with the accused student to cover their rights and and will use their best efforts to clarify charges, exchange names of witnesses, and review evidence related to the case.  This meeting is not required but provides an opportunity to answer questions and prepare a student for the process.  It is the responsibility of the accused to request this meeting.