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.

Honor Code Offenses

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.

Lying — Any misrepresentation of the facts, as the student knows them, including verbal, non-verbal, and written forms of communication.

Cheating — When students give or receive help on academic work unless the professor has stated that students may do so. Discussing what materials appear on a test or exam are also forms of cheating.

Stealing — When a student takes or uses another’s property without the permission of the owner. This includes the personal property of students or professors, the unauthorized use of copyrighted material, and the unauthorized use of school property.

Plagiarism — When a student uses someone else’s work without giving credit to the original person by citing the source of that information.

Breach of Confidentiality — When any members of the college disclose details about alleged offenses both Honor and Judicial. Any information discussed during Honor Council and Judicial Board meetings, and in emails is confidential, including the existence of said meetings. If you would like to discuss your case with somebody you may contact the Honor Council Representative involved in your case, the Honor Council Chairwoman, a Student Advocate, and a faculty advisor.

If you witness another student violating an Honor offense please fill out a contact report. Remember all information, including your name, will remain confidential.



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.