For Students: Handling Honor Code Issues
What you should do when you suspect that an Honor Code violation might be happening?
All students should feel empowered to address honor code violations or potential honor code violations. If you feel comfortable doing so, talk to the student directly.
If the student is considering violating the honor code, remind the student that they have other options. In all cases, it is better for a student to do their own work … even if they get a lower grade on a test or assignment … than to experience the personal, academic and professional consequences associated with violating the Honor Code.
If the student has already violated the honor code, encourage the student to tell the professor or the designated administrator. The designated administrator for the Early Career/Career Change program is Judy O'Neill. The designated administrator for the MBA for Professionals program is Alex Subert.
If you do not feel comfortable talking with the student, you should talk to the professor or an administrator.
What are Honor Code violations?
Honor Code Violations of Academic Honesty: Honor Code violations of academic honesty pertain to seeking an unfair advantage over other students or representing yourself or your group in a manner that does not communicate a truthful representation of the facts. Violations of academic honesty include but are not limited to the following:
Plagiarism: "Plagiarism" is the improper use of another person's ideas or words without acknowledgment. Examples of plagiarism include: 1) failing to use quotation marks when quoting from a source; 2) failing to document the source of distinctive ideas, or 3) fabricating or inventing sources.
Cheating: “Cheating" is using unauthorized materials or giving or receiving unauthorized assistance during an examination or other academic exercise. Specific examples of cheating include: 1) collaborating with another student on a deliverable, test, or other academic work beyond the level designated for the assignment; 2) copying the work of another student or permitting another student to copy your work during an examination or other academic exercise; 3) taking an examination or completing an assignment for another student or allowing another student to take your examination or complete your assignment; and 4) possessing unauthorized notes, study sheets or other materials during an examination.
Unauthorized Possession or Disposition of Academic Materials: Includes: 1) taking, selling or purchasing examinations or other academic work; 2) taking another student's academic work without permission; 3) facilitating academic dishonesty; and 4) submitting the same paper for two different classes without specific authorization from the two faculty members
Misrepresentation: Includes but is not limited to: 1) lying to a faculty member in regard to a course; 2) falsifying information, records or document.
A discussion of expected academic behavior of Atkinson School students is available in the segment of the Student Handbook titled "Expectations of Academic and Professional Behavior.
Honor Code Violations of Professional Behavior: Professional behavior violations of the Honor Code include but are not limited to: actions related to seeking an unfair advantage over other members of a group or other groups; representing yourself or your group in a manner that does not communicate a truthful representation of the facts; disrespecting the personal rights or property rights of others, disrupting the educational process, and representing yourself in an unprofessional manner.
A discussion of expected professional behavior of Atkinson School students is available in the segment of the Student Handbook titled "Expectations of Academic and Professional Behavior.
What are possible consequences of a violation?
Consequences for a student found responsible for violating the honor code will vary based on the severity and type of violation, and may include (but are not limited to) one or more of the consequences listed below. Any violation of the honor code is documented, regardless of the severity of the violation.
- verbal or written warning
- verbal or written reprimand
- required written statement by the student found responsible, acknowledging the violation and reaffirming his/her commitment to follow the honor code
- required submission of additional course work
- assignment of the grade of “F” for a course deliverable or test
- assignment of the grade of “F” for a course
- withdrawal from the course
- loss of scholarship
- behavioral probation (exclusion from participating in leadership activities, career management programs, courses involving travel to another site, and other activities in which the student would be seen as a representative of the university)
- skill building or training
- recommendation for suspension for two semesters
- recommendation of permanent dismissal from the MBA program.
Recommendations for suspension or dismissal will be reviewed by the Senior Associate Dean before enforced.
What should you do if you are suspected of an Honor violation?
A faculty member will discuss the situation with you. If you accept responsibility for violating the honor code, the faculty member will assign consequences.
If you contest the responsibility for violating the Honor Code or the associated consequences assigned, your case will be referred to the Honor Council for a hearing. Either way, it is always necessary to present your case honestly. You can submit documents, witnesses and testimony to support your case. You can also bring an advocate to the hearing. However, the advocate may not speak for you. If you do not agree with the Honor Council’s decision, you can appeal the decision within five working days of the Honor Council’s decision.
When is the Honor Council involved in a violation of an Honor Code?
Honor Code cases will be forwarded to the Honor Council for hearing and decision if a student contests responsibility for violating the honor code and/or the consequences assigned by the faculty member.
What are the Rights of Students Involved in an Honor Code Process?
A student who is charged with violating the Honor Code has the right to:
- contest the allegation of the Honor Code violation and/or the consequences assigned by the faculty member. If a student contests the responsibility or the consequences, or both, the case will be referred to the Honor Council for a hearing and decision.
- present their case to the Honor Council in the hearing. This includes submitting documents, witnesses and testimony to support their case.
- bring one advocate to the Honor Council hearing. The advocate may talk to the student, but may not speak on behalf of the student or speak directly to the Honor Council.
- to appeal the Honor Council’s decision and recommendation within five working days of the decision of the Honor Council.
- to read the written transcript of their Honor Council hearing in the case of an appeal of the Honor Council's decision to the Senior Associate Dean.
What should you do if you do not agree with the Honor Council’s decision?
If the student charged with violating the Honor Code does not agree with the Honor Council’s decision, he/she may appeal the decision by emailing the designated administrator within five working days of the decision being released. The designated administrator will then organize the appeal process by informing the Senior Associate Dean. After reviewing the case, the Senior Associate Dean may uphold the Honor Council's decision or remand the decision back to the Honor Council. The Senior Associate Dean may include comments or issues to be considered further by the Honor Council. After further deliberation and consideration of the Dean's Office's concerns, the Honor Council shall reaffirm or alter its decision. At this point, the decision of the Honor Council is final.
Is It Ever Necessary to Violate the Honor Code?
It is never necessary to violate the Honor Code, regardless of the situation. Follow these guidelines:
- think before you act.
- be sure you understand the expectations of good academic and professional behavior, and the expectations of your professors.
- be sure you understand the accepted level of collaboration for each assignment. If you are in doubt regarding expectations for an assignment, talk to your professor.
- there is always a better alternative than violating the honor code. If you are overwhelmed, talk with your professor or a member of the staff for help.