The Honor Code

The Honor Pledge

Believing in the principles of Student Government, I pledge myself to uphold the ideals and regulations of the Mary Baldwin University community. I recognize the principles of honor and cooperation as the basis of our life together. I shall endeavor faithfully to order my life accordingly. I will not lie, cheat, steal, plagiarize, or violate my pledge of confidentiality. I will encourage others to fulfill the ideals of the Honor System and will meet my responsibility to the community by reporting incidents of Honor offenses.

The Honor Council

The Honor Council is a student board made up of one chairwoman and up to 7 representatives. Honor Council positions are peer elected and filled through the Student Government Association elections or through Chairwoman appointments. Members of the Honor Council are held to the same standards as all Mary Baldwin students. The Honor Council exists to educate students about the Honor Code, investigate alleged violations of the Code, and to determine student responsibility when necessary.

Exams Dos and Don'ts

Do not bring bookbags, purses, notebooks, cell phones, computers, or cell phone/calculator combinations, any auditory devices (i.e. iPods into exam rooms). SAVE YOURSELF THE TROUBLE: leave these items AT HOME AND in Residence Halls.

Do not take exams into the bathroom.

Do expect to see honor council representatives and proctors on duty. They will ask students to use CLASSROOMS as opposed to hallways FOR TAKING EXAMS.

DO BRING YOUR EXAM CARD — It is your ticket for taking exams.

DO take exams In the building where the exams are issued. The following areas are prohibited IN ALL BUILDINGS: faculty offices, computer labs, restrooms, elevators, and stairwells; IN ADDITION in Carpenter prohibited areas include: faculty lounge areas, hallways, and the sitting areas in the back of the halls in the faculty office area. Students must take their exam in the rooms with the appropriate color coded designations.

DO REMEMBER to respect the Mary Baldwin University honor code.

The Mary Baldwin Handbook States:

“Each student is expected to do her own work in all academic endeavors. Giving or receiving help on academic work unless allowed by the instructor is cheating and must be reported. It is the student’s responsibility not to discuss a test or exam with a student who has not taken it. To avoid the possible appearance of committing honor violations, students are advised not to possess or take any materials other than writing instruments and blank paper into any room where a closed book test or examination is being given or possess or take any materials not specifically permitted by the instructor into any room where an open book test or examination is being given. Books and study materials should be left in the Students room or outside the room where the test or examination is to take place.”

The Honor Council Board wishes you the best of luck on all your exams

Honor Codes/What is an Honor Offense

An honor offense is an infraction of the university’s stated rules of honor by a student enrolled in Mary Baldwin University. Honor offenses include plagiarism, lying, cheating, and breach of a pledge of confidentiality. An infraction may occur on or off campus.

a. Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s idea or work without acknowledging the source of the idea or work. Sources may include but are not limited to papers, written or spoken statements, and works of art. If a student discovers s/he has made some mistake in acknowledging sources in a paper already submitted, s/he must make this fact known to her instructor immediately. The Honor Council will not accept a plea of ignorance. Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Failure to use quotation marks when using the exact words of another.
  • Changing only a few words of a quotation and representing it as a paraphrase rather than a direct quote (even when the source is cited).
  • Failure to provide citation of the source material when paraphrasing ideas.

b. Lying is any misrepresentation of facts as a student knows them, including statements made verbally, statements made in writing or by a non-verbal indicator (such as, but not limited to, a head motion). Any lie that affects the Mary Baldwin University community will be dealt with by the Honor Council, whether or not the misrepresentation is made to a member of the University community, and whether or not the misrepresentation was made on or off campus. Examples of lying include:

  • Telling a faculty member that you submitted work that you did not, in fact, submit.
  • Telling a faculty member that you missed class or an exam because you were ill when you were not.
  • Giving false testimony in a Judicial Board or Honor Council investigation or trial.

c. Cheating is the unauthorized and / or improper use of assistance in preparing academic work. It includes the following behaviors:

i. Dishonesty in examinations. The work students submit in examinations must be solely their own. To avoid the possible appearance of committing honor violations, students are advised not to possess or take any materials other than writing instruments and blank paper into any room where a closed book test or examination is being given or possess or take any materials not specifically permitted by the instructor into any room where an open book test or examination is being given. Examples of dishonesty in examinations include:

  • The use of notes, books, cheat-sheets, or the Internet in a closed book exam.
  • Pre-writing exam answers or notes in a blue book and bringing this to an exam.
  • Giving exam answers to or receiving exam answers from other students.
  • Discussing the contents of or answers to an exam with a student who has not taken it yet.
  • Discussing the contents of or answers to a take home exam with students who are still taking it.
  • Searching for answers to exam questions using the Internet (unless specifically allowed by an instructor).

ii. Dishonesty in papers / assignments / reports: Work submitted for a course must be the student’s own. Students may never submit work that was obtained from another person on or off campus or via the Internet (i.e using term paper sites, downloading a lab report, asking another person to write a paper or assignment, etc.).

iii. Inappropriate collaboration: When an instructor allows class members to work together on an assignment, students must adhere to instructor guidelines on the submission of work. Students may not directly copy the work of other students in the course and then submit the work as their own.

iv. Fabrication of data: For assignments that require the collection of data for lab experiments, surveys, and other analyses, it is not acceptable to submit false data.

v. Work done for one course and submitted for another: Unless the instructors of both courses give permission, students may not submit materials created for one course in fulfillment of assignments in another course.

d. Failure to report is the conscious awareness of having witnessed a possible infraction of the honor system and then failing to report it. Reporting of honor offenses is necessary to maintain the integrity of the academic community.

e. Exam period misconduct is any breaking of the rules of conduct during the Mary Baldwin University fall or spring exam period. Students must follow exam procedures as outlined by faculty, staff and Honor Council Representatives and refrain from bringing prohibited items into the testing area. Examples of exam period misconduct include:

  • Leaving the assigned building before turning in one’s exam.
  • Having an exam in a prohibited location, such as another building, bathroom, elevator, faculty lounge, the ground floor of Carpenter Academic, etc.
  • Having an exam in the wrong “type” of room (i.e. no closed book exams in open book exam rooms).
  • Having banned items such as (but not limited to) cell phones, computers, bags of any kind (purses, pouches, pencil cases, etc.).
  • Refusal to cooperate with policies and procedures as put forth by the faculty, staff and Honor Council Representatives on duty.

f. Failure to maintain confidentiality: all individuals involved in an investigation, including members of the Honor Council, students reporting offenses, members of an investigating committee, witnesses at a hearing, advisors and members of the Board of Appeals are bound to maintain the confidence of proceedings.

i. Those involved in the case may acknowledge that a case is in progress, but they must keep all names and facts pertaining to the case in complete confidence.

ii. An accused student may discuss her case while an investigation is proceeding with the following individuals: her parents, her advisor(s) to the Honor process, the chairwoman to the Honor Council, the advisors to the Honor Council, and faculty, administration and staff of the University. An accused student may not discuss her case with any other individual, especially those involved with an investigation. If an accused student is found responsible and given a sanction, the student may tell others her sanction. S/he may not discuss any other aspect of the case with anyone except those persons listed above.

iii. Witnesses must observe complete confidentiality about a case, but if a witness believes s/he must discuss aspects of the case, s/he should contact the chairwoman.

iv. Faculty and staff should maintain professional standards of confidentiality, especially as it pertains to the identity of students, but they may discuss their involvement with any faculty advisor to the Honor Council.

v. Failure to maintain confidentiality will result in an action by the Honor Council.

vi. Members of the Honor Council or Student Advocates who are found in violation of breaches of confidentiality shall be dismissed from their respective organizations.

g. Other academic misconduct: There are other forms of academic misconduct not covered in this list of definitions. Any academic dishonesty is a threat to the integrity of our academic community.

Honor Council Procedures

1. Definition and purpose of the Honor Council

The Honor Council is a student board made up of one chairwoman and up to 7 representatives. Honor Council positions are peer elected and filled through the Student Government Association elections or through Chairwoman appointments. Members of the Honor Council are held to the same standards as all Mary Baldwin students. The Honor Council exists to educate students about the Honor Code, investigate alleged violations of the Code, and to determine student responsibility when necessary.

Honor Council Procedures

A. HOW TO REPORT AN HONOR OFFENSE

1. Self-referral: If a student realizes that s/he may have committed an honor offense, s/he must submit an Incident Report (or report herself directly to an Honor Council member or to the Chairwoman who will submit an Incident Report on her behalf). Incident Reports are submitted online at https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?MaryBaldwin&layout_id=0.

Submission of an Incident Report does not constitute an admission of guilt, but represents an honest attempt to clarify the matter. The existence of a self-referral will weigh favorably in subsequent considerations of the Chairwoman and the Council.

2. Faculty reporting of Honor offenses:

a. Faculty may encourage students to self-report offenses.

b. Even when the student files a self-report, the faculty member may submit evidence for the case by filling out an Incident Report at https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?MaryBaldwin&layout_id=0.

i. A faculty member may not enter a final grade for a student until the case is closed (instead using the “NR” option for course grades).

ii. Faculty members should expect to be interviewed by a member of the Honor Council and should be prepared to provide copies of any evidence in the case.

iii. A faculty member who submits an Incident Report will be informed by the Honor Council Chair of whether or not the accused is found to be responsible for the offense.

c. For a minor and presumed unintentional offense (such as a student who omits the citation for a paraphrased paragraph in an otherwise properly cited paper), a faculty member may choose to discuss the offense with the student and offer her an opportunity to correct the problem (by revising the assignment or submitting an alternative assignment). The grade for the assignment will reflect the degree to which the student adhered to other course guidelines. Grade penalties for honor violations may only be assessed when the student is given rights of due process under the Honor system.

3. A member of the University community – student, faculty or staff – who has witnessed a suspected honor offense should submit an Incident Report at https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?MaryBaldwin&layout_id=0 AND/OR should tell the student to submit a self-referral. Anonymous incident reports are not allowed. An individual who submits an Incident Report will likely be interviewed by a member of the HC but will not be informed of the eventual outcome of the case.

B. ACTIONS TAKEN ON RECEIPT OF AN INCIDENT REPORT

1. The HC Chair will notify (via e-mailed letter) the accused student of the charge(s) and the options available to the accused (including the support of a Student Advocate).

a. When the initial report is a self-referral, the HC Chair will respond with an e-mail that verifies the charge(s) and lists the options available to the student.
b. The letter will list a specific member of the Honor Council who will take responsibility for the case and interview the accused student. (The HC Chair or the HC Advisor may instead choose to conduct the interview).
c. The accused student must respond to the charge within 72 hours by providing contact information and available times to enable an interview with the HC representative.

2. The interview

a. The purpose of the interview is to give the accused student an opportunity to present her explanation of the event described in the Incident Report and to ask questions about the process.
b. The accused student may choose to submit a written explanation of the events to the chair of the Honor Council in addition to her participation in the interview.
c. The accused student may request that her Student Advocate be present for the interview. Participation in the interview discussion is limited to the accused, the HC representative, and the Student Advocate.
d. If the accusation described in the initial Incident Report is unclear, the HC representative may interview the person who filed the Incident Report prior to the interview with the accused.
e. During the interview, the accused student will respond with a plea of “responsible” or “not responsible.”
f. The HC representative will provide a written summary of the interview to the HC Chairwoman and HC Advisor.
g. If the HC Chairwoman believes there is no probable cause for the accusation, she may, in consultation with the HC Advisor, dismiss the case.

3. When a student pleads “responsible” to an accusation:

a. If student pleads “responsible” AND the case is a first offense AND the appropriate penalty is minor, the Chairwoman may issue a sanction (in consultation with the HC Advisor).
b. If the case is not a first offense, if the appropriate penalty is unclear, or if the appropriate penalty may be major, the sanction will be decided by the Honor Council in consultation with the HC Chairwoman and HC Advisor or may be determined in consultation with an appropriate representative from administration.
c. To determine a proper sanction, the HC Chair or a member of the HC may need to discuss the case with the appropriate faculty member or other witnesses. This investigation will take place within a week of the interview with the accused student.

C. INVESTIGATION OF OFFENSES WHEN A STUDENT PLEADS “NOT RESPONSIBLE”

1. Case jurisdiction when a student pleads “not responsible:”

a. The student may choose whether the case will be investigated (and, if necessary, tried) by the Honor Council or investigated and decided by Administrative Review.
b. The Honor Council Chairwoman may also request that a case be investigated and decided by Administrative Review.

2. Honor Council investigation of offenses when a student pleads “not responsible:”

a. If the HC Chairwoman believes there is probable cause she will request that the HC representative assigned to the case conduct a full investigation. (For cases involving more than one accused student or a large degree of complexity, the HC Chair may appoint an additional investigator. The second investigator may be a member of the Judicial Board or the Honor Council).
b. The investigator(s) will interview the appropriate witnesses (including faculty) and provide a written report of the investigation results to the Chairwoman. The report will include

i. The accusation(s)
ii. A list of witnesses interviewed
iii. A summary of statements made by witnesses
iv. Copies of relevant evidence.

c. Upon receiving the investigation report, the chairwoman of the Honor Council will determine whether probable cause exists that an offense has been committed. If she determines that probable cause does not exist, the charge will be dismissed without a hearing.
d. If the chairwoman determines that probable cause does exist, she will schedule a hearing.
e. When potential offenses arise during the final exam period, it may be difficult to schedule interviews before students leave campus for break. However, it is important to gather as much information as possible before key witnesses forget important facts. Therefore, when a potential offense is reported during final exam week:

i. The HC Chairwoman will notify the accused student that an Incident Report has been filed.
ii. The accused student will be asked to provide a written explanation of the event and submit a plea of “responsible” or “not responsible.”
iii. The accused may submit the names of witnesses to the event and may request that witnesses be asked to provide written testimony.
iv. An in-person interview or the investigation process may be postponed to January (following Fall semester exams) or May term (following Spring semester exams, provided the accused student is on campus during May term).
v.If the Incident Report is filed at the end of May term (or if the Incident Report is filed at the end of the Spring semester and the accused is off campus during May term):

1. When the accused pleads “responsible,” the case can be handled through submission of written explanations.
2. When the accused pleads “not responsible,” the case will be handled through the administrative review process.

3. Administrative review process

a. The administrative review process may be requested by either the accused student or by the HC Chair.
b. When this process is selected, the HC Chair will submit the names of the accused, witnesses, and any evidence gathered in the case to the Associate Vice President of Residence Life, who will select a staff member to serve as investigator for the case.
c. The investigator will determine whether probable cause exists for the case by reviewing submitted evidence and talking to witnesses and the accused.
d. If the investigation does not establish probable cause, the administrator may find the student “not responsible” and close the case.
e. If the investigation provides clear and convincing evidence that a violation did occur AND the likely penalty is minor, the investigator may issue a finding of “responsible” and recommend a penalty to the Honor Council Chairwoman.
f. If the investigation provides evidence that a violation did occur and either (a) the likely penalty is major or (b) the case requires further investigation and discussion, then the administrative investigator will convene a hearing panel.
g. The administrative hearing panel will consist of two administrative representatives (from the Office of Student Life or the Dean of the College).
h. Hearings follow the same structure as those for the Honor Council.
i. If the student is found to be “responsible,” the administrative hearing panel will determine the sanction(s) for the student.
j. The administrative hearing panel will report its finding of “responsible” or “not responsible” and any sanction to the HC Chair and HC Advisor.

E. RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED STUDENT

A Mary Baldwin University student accused of an honor offense has the following rights:

1. The right to be notified by the Honor Council chairwoman that a report of an offense by her has been made to the Honor Council.

2. The right to know the nature of the accusation against her.

3. The right to have a Student Advocate serve as her advisor as soon as s/he is notified that s/he has been accused of an offense.

a. The Lead Advocate will assign a Student Advocate (SA) to each accused student.
b. An accused student may request a specific SA to serve as her advisor. An accused student may also request a member of the faculty or administration to be her advisor instead of a student advocate. These special requests may be granted at the discretion of the Lead Advocate.
c. The Student Advocate may counsel the accused, question witnesses and the case investigator(s), and be present during the presentation of all evidence in the case. The student advocate may not present argument to the Honor Council.
d. Unavailability of the chosen Student Advocate or advisor may be used as grounds for requesting a reasonable delay of an Honor Council hearing for a few days. However, the Lead Advocate will first attempt to provide a substitute SA.

4. The right to request that the Honor Council chairwoman and any other relevant Student Standards Board chair(s) grant the use of a student confidant with which to discuss the case.

a. The student confidant must be approved by the Lead Advocate and, in cases involving a related Judicial Board case, the Judicial Board chairwoman.
b. The accused student may send a written request to the Honor Council with the proposed confidant’s name, student leadership positions (if any), and, if possible, student ID number. The request should explain why the accused requires a confidant and the confidant’s relationship to the accused and any other parties involved in the case.

i. Prior to sending the written request, the accused may acknowledge an investigation is ongoing in order to confirm the potential student confidant is willing to serve in that capacity. Sharing unnecessary detail, ii. including all other names and facts pertaining to the case, prior to the student being appointed as an official confidant is not permitted and will be considered a breach of confidentiality.
Should the Honor Council chairwoman and other Student Standards Board chair(s) agree to the request, the accused student and her chosen student confidant must meet with the Honor Council chairwoman (and Lead Advocate, if possible) to discuss responsibilities and recite an oath of confidentiality. The oath of confidentiality for the student confidant is as follows: I understand my responsibilities as student confidant. I promise to keep my knowledge of this Honor Council case confidential.

c. The student confidant may discuss the case with the accused on a personal level. The student confidant may not counsel the accused, question witnesses and case investigator(s), be present during the interview or hearing, or present arguments to the Honor Council.
d. The student confidant may not otherwise be involved in the case. This includes any involvement in the incident of alleged code violation, any participation in a hearing (e.g. serving as a character witness, providing testimony or any kind) and any other involvement the Honor Council chairwoman judges inappropriate.
e. The Honor Council chairwoman may deny or revoke the use of a student confidant if s/he presents the possibility of interfering with the case in any way.
f. Typically, use of a student confidant is reserved for cases that may result in a major penalty, such as suspension or dismissal.

5. The right to request that the chairwoman grant an Administrative Review.

6. The right to request a delay in her hearing for cause. Delays will not be granted in the absence of cause. The presence or absence of cause shall be determined by the HC Chairwoman. Delays may be granted for the following reasons:

a. A witness with information relevant to the case cannot attend and his / her information cannot be adequately conveyed solely through the investigation report.
b. The student advocate assigned to the accused cannot attend the hearing and an acceptable substitute advisor is not available.
c. However, given the difficulty of coordinating schedules of HC members, witnesses, the SA and the accused immediately prior to, during, or following final examination periods, delays in hearing dates may not always be possible. In these cases, either the accused or the H.C. Chairwoman may request that the case be heard through Administrative Review.

7. The right to call any witnesses who are members of the faculty, administration, or student body of Mary Baldwin University who can provide evidence relevant to her case.

8. The right to cross-examine all witnesses who are called to testify at the hearing.

9. The right to be present during the presentation of all evidence on the case.

10. The right to refuse to testify. However, if the accused does choose to testify on her own behalf, s/he is required to answer all questions relevant to the case which are asked of her.

11. The right to leave the Mary Baldwin University community to avoid a hearing; provided, however, that in the event of such withdrawal the student’s permanent record shall contain a notation that s/he withdrew without official permission while facing charges of possible honor violation and that the student shall not be readmitted as a student at Mary Baldwin University without appearing before the Honor Council to face the original charges.

12. The right to appeal a decision of the Honor Council resulting in suspension or dismissal to the Board of Appeals and ultimately to the president of the university. A student who is found in violation by the Honor Council or the Judicial Board and who is assigned a sanction of suspension or dismissal may appeal the Board’s decision on either or both of the following grounds: (1) the Board failed to follow stated procedures AND the failure affected the sanction given, or (2) a sanction that appears on the student’s transcript is not supported by evidence heard by the Board.

F. HEARING PROCEDURES

1. A panel of at least three student members of the Honor Council or Judicial Board who were not involved in the investigation of the case will hear evidence, determine whether the accused is “responsible” or “not responsible” and determine the sanction(s) if the student is found to be “responsible.” At least one panel member must be a member of the Honor Council. The Honor Council member who investigated the case is present for clarification of information but does not vote at a hearing.

2. If the accused plans to call witnesses on her own behalf, s/he should submit their names to the HC Chairwoman before the start of the hearing. Witnesses called into the hearing must have direct knowledge of the evidence in the case. Character witnesses may be called during the sanctioning portion of a hearing but not during the hearing itself.

3. The Honor Council Chairwoman (or her designee) will maintain a recording and, if necessary, type a summary of the procedures (except the deliberations of the council). These materials will be used in the event of appeal.

4. The Chairwoman will ask the members of the hearing panel if there are members who have knowledge of the offense charged which will prohibit them from deliberating in an unbiased manner. Any members who have such knowledge are disqualified. The accused may submit written questions to the Chairwoman bearing on ability of any member of the council to participate in the case. In the event upon disagreement, decisions on whether a member of the hearing panel can participate shall be made by the Chairwoman and recorded by the secretary.

5. Hearing process

a. On determining that the hearing panel, all requested witnesses, the accused, and the accused’s Student Advocate are present, the HC Chairwoman will remind the accused and the witness that statements given in their testimony are subject to the provisions of the Honor System.

b. Before providing testimony, the accused and each witness will be asked to state their names and repeat the following oath:
I promise that I will tell the truth in this hearing. I promise to treat everyone in this hearing with respect. I promise to keep the content of this hearing confidential.

c. The Chairwoman will read to the accused the charge or charges against the accused, and determine that the accused: understands the charges; has had an opportunity to prepare for the hearing; and has received a statement of her rights.

d. The student investigator(s) will present the written report. Members of the hearing panel may ask questions of the investigator(s). At the conclusions of such questions, the faculty advisor to the Honor Council, the accused, and the accused’s Student Advocate may ask questions. The Chairwoman determines whether the questions are appropriate.

e. Witnesses requested by the student investigator(s) will then be called to testify. They are questioned in the same manner as the student investigator.

f. After the investigation report and all witnesses requested by it have presented their evidence, the accused and/or witnesses for the accused may testify in an order to be determined by the accused and the accused’s student advocate. The testimony is conducted in the manner set forth for previous witnesses.

g. At any time during the hearing, the Chairwoman may direct that the Honor Council withdraw for deliberation and/or discussion, out of the presence of the accused and the accused’s student advocate. The accused and the accused’s student advocate may request of the Chairwoman a brief recess for deliberation and/or discussion.

h. Witnesses are allowed to testify to any matter considered by the Chairwoman to be relevant to the issue of the guilt or innocence of the accused. Questions of relevance shall be within the discretion of the chairwoman. No questions shall be allowed concerning previous misconduct, or honor or judicial offenses.

6. Determination of responsibility:

a. At the conclusion of the evidence the council will retire to deliberate. A student shall be found in violation of the codes only if the committee finds that the offense has been proven by clear and convincing evidence. This standard requires that the evidence presented in the hearing is highly more probable to be true than not true.

b. If more than one member of the Honor Council present casts a vote of “not in violation” at the conclusion of the deliberations, the charges are dismissed and the accused is notified.

c. If a student is found in violation of the codes, the Honor Council recalls the accused and the accused’s student advocate to inform them.

7. Penalty deliberation:

a. When a student is found responsible for an offense, the hearing panel begins consideration of an appropriate penalty.

b. During this portion of the hearing, the accused may testify on her own behalf concerning the penalty and may call witnesses on her behalf (including character witnesses) who may provide any information relevant to the determination of the penalty. S/he may not present evidence weighing on her guilt or innocence.

c. The Honor Council may consider past honor convictions, but may not consider any past honor accusations.

d. After hearing the evidence concerning the penalty, the Honor Council returns to its deliberations and determines the penalty by a majority vote.

e. The Honor Council notifies the accused of the penalty imposed. This may be done in person (at the conclusion of the hearing) or in writing (from the Honor Council Chairwoman).

8. Hearing conclusion: If the outcome of the hearing has a bearing on a course, the faculty member in charge of the course will be informed of the hearing’s findings.

G. PENALTIES

Minor
Note: Minor penalties do not appear on a student’s Mary Baldwin University transcript. However, penalties are logged on the university’s system for managing Honor and Judicial offences. Minor penalties are most likely to be assigned for first offense cases. Students found “responsible” of an Honor code infraction may be assigned multiple penalties.

  1. Grade penalties: If the offense stems from work within an academic course, the Honor Council may recommend penalties ranging from failure of the problematic assignment to failure of the entire course. Faculty receive these recommendations but are not required to abide by them.
  2. Alternative penalties: Council may require such penalties as it deems advisable. These may include, but are not limited to, community service, letters of apology and/or educational tasks (such as papers or tutoring by the writing center).
  3. Probation: Probation is a testing period and acts as a warning that further offenses will warrant severe action. The Honor Council also may assign alternative penalties and/or place conditions on the probation as it deems appropriate. If a student is found in violation of their probation a major penalty will then follow.

 

Major
Note: Major penalties do appear on a student’s transcript. They are most likely to be assigned for second (or later) offenses, offenses committed while on probation, or when the student’s action is considered particularly egregious.

  1. Suspension is an immediate temporary termination for a stated period of the student’s enrollment in the University. Suspension always includes the remainder of the term in which the student was enrolled at the time s/he was suspended. Suspension usually is for a period of no less than two terms. The student who is suspended must leave the University within 48 hours. No credit is given for courses in which the student was enrolled at the time s/he was suspended. The Honor Council also may place the suspended student on probation after her return to the University and may place other conditions on the suspension, as it deems appropriate.
  2. Dismissal is immediate termination of the student’s admission and enrollment in the University. The dismissed student may apply for re-admission after one year. Her application must include evidence of good conduct in the interim. The application will be considered on its merit.

The Honor Council may impose additional sanctions and conditions, as it deems appropriate. The Honor Council may suggest to a faculty member that a grade of F (or NC in the case of a course taken P/NC) be given to a student who has been found in violation of cheating or plagiarism. The Honor Council chairwoman will notify the professor of its determinations regarding students’ work in cases of plagiarism or cheating and of its recommendations regarding the course grade.

Uncompleted Penalties

If a student found in violation does not complete the penalty it is then at the discretion of the Honor Council Chairwoman to look at the nature of the original violation and the student’s efforts towards completing the sanction. It will then be up to the Honor Council to impose additional sanctions, and conditions, as it deems appropriate.

Notation on Transcript

All penalties of dismissal or suspension will be noted on the student’s transcript. Probation will be noted only when the Honor Council specifically makes such notation a condition of the probation.

Notification

The Honor Council may at its discretion notify members of the University community that it has disposed of a matter brought to its attention. The notification will not include information as to the disposition of the case nor the verdict nor penalties imposed, unless council determines that it requires the assistance of a member of the University community in carrying out the penalty or sanctions.

The Honor Council Chairwoman will notify the Office of Student Life and the Registrar’s Office when a student has been placed on probation, suspended, or dismissed.

When the Registrar receives notice that a student has been suspended or dismissed, or that probation will be noted on the student’s transcript, he/she will note: “Disciplinary [Suspension/Dismissal/Probation] Imposed by Honor Council on [date] for offense of [lying, cheating, stealing] [for a period of … ].”

I. CONFIDENTIALITY

All individuals involved in an Honor Council case, including members of the Honor Council/Judicial Board, students reporting offenses, members of an investigating committee, witnesses at a hearing and/or investigating committee, advisors and members of the Board of Appeals shall strictly maintain the confidentiality of proceedings. An accused student may discuss her case while an investigation is proceeding with the following individuals: her parents or legal guardians, her student advocate, her student confidant, the chairwoman of the Honor Council/Judicial Board, the advisors to the Honor Council/Judicial Board, and relevant faculty, administration and staff of the University.

An accused student may not discuss her case with any other individual, especially those involved with an investigation as witnesses or as co-accused. If an accused student is found responsible and given a sanction, the student may tell others her sanction. S/he may not discuss any other aspect of the case with anyone except those persons listed above. Failure to maintain confidentiality will result in an action by the Honor Council.

The Honor Council may post the results of cases in which a student has been found in violation, without names, once each semester; however, if there is a breach of confidentiality, the Honor Council reserves the right to post a statement without names, of the facts of the case for one and a half to two days, at four places on campus.

J. HONOR COUNCIL POLICY

All persons testifying in an Honor Council proceeding are subject to the Honor System. In the event that a student is suspected of lying during a hearing, the hearing will proceed to a conclusion. The separate suspected offense of lying will be investigated following the procedures applicable to other honor offenses.

If a student is accused of an act constituting both a judicial and an honor offense, the honor offense takes precedence. However, Judicial proceedings can begin. In the event of findings of in violation on both offenses, the Judicial Board may consider the penalty imposed by the Honor Council in imposing its sanctions.

H. PROCEDURE FOR APPEAL

An appeal is not a new Hearing. An appeal is a review of a decision made in an Honor Council hearing or Administrative Review to determine whether sufficient cause exists to invalidate the decision and/or sanction.

1. Membership
The Board of Appeals for Honor Council cases consists of the Dean of the appropriate College, chair; the Chairwoman of the Judicial Board; the Lead Advocate; one full-time member of the faculty; one member of the staff.

2. Conditions for Appeal
A student who is found in violation by the Honor Council and who is assigned a sanction of suspension or dismissal (or a probation sanction that appears on the student’s transcript) may appeal the decision on either or both of the following grounds:

(1) the Honor Council failed to follow stated procedures AND the failure affected the sanction given, or (2) a sanction that appears on the student’s transcript is not supported by evidence heard by the Honor Council.

The student may remain on campus until the appeal process is complete, unless subject to a summary suspension. The student may attend class during the appeal process. The student will receive credit for work submitted prior to the effective date of a suspension or dismissal. Class attendance policies are the course instructor’s prerogative.

The effective date of a suspension or dismissal is the date on which the Honor Council decision is handed down, or the date stated in that decision. Work submitted after the effective date is automatically invalid, although it may have been submitted during an appeal process.

3. Rights of a Student In An Appeal:

  • To receive 48 hours’ notice of a hearing, not including Saturdays, Sundays, and days when the University is not in session.
  • To present to the chair of the Board of Appeals a written statement of reasons for objecting to the participation of any member of the Board of Appeals. The student must present her statement at least 24 hours in advance of a hearing (not including Saturdays, Sundays, and days when the University is not in session). The chair may appoint an alternate to the hearing panel in his/her own sole discretion. The signed statement becomes a part of the hearing record.
  • To receive a delay for cause, granted at the sole discretion of the chair.
  • To choose an advisor who is a member of the Mary Baldwin University community, or to choose or to be assigned a Student Advocate, for support and advice during the appeal process.
  • To question witnesses who testify in the appeal hearing.
  • To discuss the case and to receive support from all persons with whom the student is permitted to discuss a pending honor case.
  • Students may waive their rights by signing an explicit written statement of the right being waived.  The signed statement becomes part of the hearing record.

4. Appeal Process

To appeal a decision of the Honor Council the student must hand deliver a written appeal directly into the hands of a staff member in the office of the Dean of the College or his/her administrative assistant (not a student assistant), within 48 hours of the close of the hearing, not including Saturday, Sunday, and official University holidays. The schedule of official University holidays is posted on the University’s web site.

The student’s written appeal of a procedural violation that affected the sanction must address one or both of the conditions of appeal stated above: that failure to follow official procedures affected the sanction or that the sanction is not supported by evidence. The letter should also include any information that was not considered by the Honor Council (if any).

Note: penalties imposed by the University’s disciplinary Boards are individual to the student found in violation and to the specific circumstances of the offense committed. Sanctions may not appropriately be compared, and such a comparison may not form the basis of an appeal of a sanction.

5. Hearing Process

Prior to a Board of Appeals hearing the chairwoman of the Honor Council will forward to the chair of the Board of Appeals a written summary of the hearing, signed by the appellant to indicate that s/he also has received it. The written summary includes items of evidence and/or questions excluded from the hearing, the summons, the signed statement of rights, and the Board’s written statement of offense, verdict, and penalty. At his/her sole discretion, the chair of the Board of Appeals may request the tape recording of the hearing.

The chair of the Board sets a time for the hearing and notifies the appellant of the time, place, and composition of the Board (see Rights of a Student in an Appeal).

The Board of Appeals may meet in advance of the hearing to review procedures and the written materials, including the student’s statement of appeal. During the hearing, the Board of Appeals will question the appellant and the chairwoman and advisor of the Board whose decision is in question. The Board will not call other witnesses. However, the chair may seek information from any source in his/her own sole discretion.

The following also may ask questions in an order determined by the chair: the chair, the members of the Board of Appeals, the appellant and her advisor, and the chairwoman and advisor of the Board whose decision is under appeal. The Board may recess at the discretion of the chair.

Following questioning, the Board of Appeals will retire to deliberate. The Board will determine whether the sanction imposed was affected by a failure of the Honor Council to follow stated procedures, and/or whether the sanction imposed is supported by evidence heard by the Board. The Board of Appeals may affirm the sanction or remand the case to the Honor Council for a new hearing. The Board will state briefly the reasons for its finding.

At the conclusion of the hearing the chair of the Board will state its determination orally to the appellant and may include a statement of the reasons for the finding.

On the next day the University is open, the chair will make available to the student a written statement of the Board of Appeals’ determination, including a written statement of the reasons for the finding, with a copy to the president of the University, the associate vice president for student affairs, and the chairwomen of the Honor Council and the Judicial Board.

If the Board of Appeals affirms the sanction, the student may within 48 hours appeal to the president of the University, by giving a written statement directly into the hands of a member of the president’s staff (not a student assistant). The president or a staff member will notify the chair of the Board of Appeals, who will forward to the president the materials the student presented to the Board, a summary of the student’s involvement in the case, a copy of the student’s letter of appeal, the hearing record, and a copy of the chair’s letter to the student, including the statement of the reasons for the Board of Appeals’ finding.

The president shall make a final decision and notify the student in writing. The president may affirm the sanction assigned by the Honor Council or return the case for a re-hearing. The president will communicate her/his decision to the student in writing, with a copy to the dean of the University, the associate vice president for student affairs, and the chairwomen of the Honor Council and the Judicial Board.

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