Article III: Academic Conduct
Any member of the College community may report an alleged violation of the Honor Code. Such reports shall be prepared in writing and directed to the Honor Committee. Reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the alleged violation occurs.
The Academic Honor Program is designed to promote individual responsibility and integrity in academic affairs and to develop an atmosphere conducive to serious independent scholarship. Allegheny’s Honor Code is different than those of many other colleges because it is a student code, developed and upheld by the students themselves rather than imposed by the College administration. A voluntary honor system was established in 1960, and by 1962 over two-thirds of the student body participated in the program. The following year, the student body voted to make the honor program mandatory. This decision, also approved by the faculty and administration, first applied to the class that entered the College in 1964. Every three years since 1990, the Honor Committee conducts a student referendum to determine if the student body wishes to continue the honor system. The Honor Code has consistently been supported by an overwhelming majority of students.
The Honor Program operates under the following Honor Code:
Honor Code Article I
The Honor Program shall apply to all work submitted for academic credit or to meet non-credit requirements for graduation at Allegheny. This includes all work done in class (examinations, quizzes, and laboratory work), all papers, and any other material so designated by the instructor. All students who have enrolled in the College will work under the Honor Program. The College assumes that the integrity of each student and of the student body as a whole will be upheld. A primary responsibility of each student is the maintenance of honesty in one’s own academic work. In addition, it is the moral obligation of each student to help maintain the integrity of the entire College community.
Honor Code Article II
By virtue of matriculation in the College, each student acknowledges the following: I hereby recognize and pledge to fulfill my responsibilities, as defined in the Honor Code, and to maintain the integrity of both myself and the College community as a whole.
Honor Code Article III
If one student observes another committing what appears to be an act of dishonesty in academic work, it is the observer’s responsibility to take the appropriate action. Students are encouraged to inform either the instructor or a member of the Honor Committee. However, whatever action the observer takes must fulfill the obligation to uphold the integrity of the College community. Failure to do so is as injurious to the honor of the College community as is the observed act of dishonesty and constitutes an infraction of the Honor Code.
The following practices are considered to be violations of the Honor Code in examinations, tests, quizzes; in laboratory and computing exercises; and in any other assigned coursework: any attempt to receive or give unauthorized assistance from written, printed, or recorded aids, from any person, or from another’s work. Any attempt to receive or give unauthorized assistance by means of an electronic device (cell phones, PDAs, etc.) is also a violation of the Honor Code.
Plagiarism is defined as using the ideas or words of another without properly citing the sources from which the ideas or words are taken. In take-home examinations, papers, and reports, the following must be carefully observed:
- Any sequence of words taken verbatim from another source not original with the student must be enclosed in quotation marks and its source fully and accurately identified. Such material must be quoted accurately.
- Any sequence of words taken verbatim from any other work of the student must be enclosed in quotation marks and its source fully and accurately identified. (See Section 4)
- Where the ideas of another are paraphrased or interpreted, quotation marks cannot be used. In these cases, the student must fully and accurately cite the source. In addition, the language and sentence structure must be that of the student and not of the original source author. While each instructor who assigns a paper, report, or examination may direct students to a particular style for footnote and bibliographic documentation, the rules noted above must be followed.
Ignorance here or in any other part of the code is no excuse.
No work submitted for one course may be submitted also for another course except with the explicit approval of both instructors.
Instructors are expected to explain their policies regarding help received in any assigned work for their course to each class at the start of each term, preferably including the material in a printed syllabus for the course. However, it remains the student’s responsibility to know and to understand course policies.
Honor Code Article IV
Tests and examinations at Allegheny may or may not be proctored. Instructors may remain in the room or in a nearby room, but must remain in the building to be available to answer questions that may arise during the course of the examination.
Examinations are confined to the building in which they are given. Students shall have freedom of movement within that building, with the exception of taking exams into locked rooms and restrooms without explicit instructor permission. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the door to the room remains unlocked during the entire exam. Students may not leave the building unless explicitly permitted to do so by the instructor, or unless the instructor declares the test to be written at home or other parts of the campus.
Regardless of where the test or examination is taken, the student is responsible for obtaining any changes or corrections. Instructors are not under obligation to search out students to provide this information. Furthermore, the exam must be handed in at the time requested.
Section 4 - Honor Code Signature (Revised Spring 2015)
In recognition of the responsibilities of the Honor Program, a student, when submitting a test or paper, shall note “the work is mine unless otherwise cited” shall sign their full name in signature. If a student neglects to do this, the instructor must notify the student and allow an opportunity for signing the paper. Moreover, work is not to be considered as graded until the signature appears. The lack of a pledge does not exempt any work from the Honor Code. For electronically submitted assignments, each instructor may determine how their students will recognize the pledge.
Honor Code Article V
Section 1 Review Panel.
A modified review panel will be assigned in cases referred to Article III. When the Committee receives a charge, the Chair will appoint a Review Panel consisting of three committee members under the charge of a Panel Moderator.
- The Panel Moderator will appoint a Panel Secretary, who will take notes.
- If a member of the Honor Committee feels too great an involvement with any of the principals in a case, is a party to the case, or feels unable to render an impartial decision, that member may be excused by decision of the Chair.
Section 2. Preliminary Procedure
Before an Honor Committee Review Panel is called, the Panel Moderator will make initial contact with the accused student. The student will be informed of the following as it applies to the Review Panel:
- time, date, and place of Review Panel meeting;
- specific Honor Code sections that have been allegedly violated;
- that the student is permitted and encouraged to be accompanied by another member of the College community as a Community Support;
- that the student is permitted and encouraged to speak on his/her own behalf and to present a written statement that contains relevant information and facts;
- that the student is permitted and encouraged to bring relevant and necessary witnesses to the Review Panel meeting;
- that the student can decline to answer a question which may result in self-incrimination. (The student who chooses this action does so with the full knowledge that all aspects of the student conduct process will continue.);
- that the student is permitted and encouraged to read the Honor Committee Report that is developed by the Review Panel. The report is generated only when a possible violation is forwarded to the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee. The report is available in the Dean of Students office.
Section 3. Review Panel’s Responsibilities
- The Review Panel should interview the accuser(s) and the instructor of the course in question during the course of its investigation. Additionally, any prospective witnesses should be questioned.
- The Review Panel shall inform the accused student(s) of the time and place of the meeting.
- Review Panels should be recorded on tape. This tape will be kept by the Moderator until the process is concluded and all right of appeal exhausted, after which it will be erased or destroyed. The tape is the property of Allegheny College. Additionally, notes will be taken during the Review Panel meeting and during any interviews conducted. Each party will review and sign the notes attributed to him/her.
- Review Panels will be conducted in confidence, with only one person testifying at a time. When the Review Panel convenes, the Moderator will proceed as follows:
- Review the procedure as outlined in Section 2: Preliminary Procedure.
- Read the accusation.
- Inform the accused of the Honor Committee’s responsibilities and of the purpose of the Review Panel meeting.
- Ask the student whether they understands the purpose of the Review Panel, and for any opening remarks.
- Ask for the accused’s closing statement. Allow him/her to read, correct, and sign the Review Panel notes, thereby verifying the accuracy.
After the inquiry is completed, the Review Panel will discuss all substantial facts. The Review Panel will then make a recommendation to the full Honor Committee using the “more likely than not” standard. Technical rules of evidence, such as may apply in civil or criminal courts of law, do not apply to the Review Panel meeting.
Section 4. Concluding
- At its next meeting, the Honor Committee will make a decision regarding the recommendation of the Review Panel. A majority of the total membership of the Honor Committee will be required to forward a case to the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee. The Honor Committee will consider all substantial facts and base their decision by using the “more likely than not” standard. The accused will be notified in writing of the Honor Committee’s decision.
- If a member of the Honor Committee is involved in a case apart from their role as a Committee member, they should be excused during all discussion of the case.
- In the event the Honor Committee decides not to forward a case to the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee - all materials concerning the case will be removed from the student’s educational records.
- The Honor Committee will notify the course instructor and the accuser of its decision and report the results to the Dean of Students Office.
- If the case is forwarded to the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee, an Honor Committee Report will be submitted to the Dean of Students Office by the Panel Moderator, along with the written and typed statements of the accused, accuser(s), and instructor. Additionally, the Moderator or another member of the Review Panel will be required to attend the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee hearing to present the facts and information gathered by the Panel.
If the accused student voluntarily acknowledges to the modified review panel that they have violated the Honor Code prior to the full Honor Committee vote, the case will proceed as follows granted that it is a first offense. Before a final decision is reached, the student reserves the right to revert back to the formal process involving the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee. In the event that the case is not the student’s first offense, the case will revert back to the formal process that includes a hearing with the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee.
- If the student admits to violating the Honor Code either to the instructor or to the Honor Committee, an expedited review process may be followed. If the instructor, the student, and a representative from the Dean of Students Office agree to an expedited process, and if the student has not previously been found responsible of violating the Honor Code and does not have more than one Non-Academic Disciplinary Warning, then a meeting between those parties will be arranged to discuss and resolve the Honor Code violation. Non-Academic disciplinary history at Suspension, Probation, or multiple Warnings will automatically result in a hearing. If only one prior Non- Academic Warning exists, the student has the choice of a formal hearing or the expedited review process.
- The instructor will assign academic course work sanctions, and the representative of the Dean of Students Office, in consultation with the Chair of the Honor Committee, will assign College sanctions, including, but not limited to, developmental sanctions. The Faculty member, Honor Committee, and representative from the Deans of Students Office would have access to student history to help support their decision.
- A meeting will be set up between the accused, the instructor of the course, a member of the Honor Committee and a representative from the Dean of Students Office to discuss and resolve the Honor Code violation.
Honor Code Article VI
Honor Code Hearing Process
- The Honor Committee will inform the Dean of Students representative of its intention to refer the alleged violation of the Honor Code to the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee. Within 5 business days, the Dean of Students representative will inform the accused student of the following information regarding the hearing process:
- the time, date and place of the hearing;
- the specific section(s) of the Honor Code that has allegedly been violated;
- that the student is permitted and encouraged to choose a Community Support Person who will accompany him/her to the hearing. A Community Support Person is a person chosen by a student to serve in an advisory capacity during the student’s involvement in the student conduct system. The primary role of the Community Support Person is to assist the student in preparing for hearings and to attend hearings as support for the student. The student is responsible for presenting his/her own information and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or participate directly in any meetings/hearings without approval. A Community Support Person for cases involving alleged violations of the Honor Code must be a current student or employee of the College.
- that the student is permitted and encouraged to meet with a College staff member to discuss the hearing. During this meeting, the student will be provided the opportunity to review the Honor Committee Report which is developed by the Honor Committee Review Panel after the Panel meets with the student. The Report is provided for review only, and is retained in the Dean of Students office;
- that the student is permitted and encouraged to speak on his/her own behalf, to present relevant information, and to present a written statement to the committee;
- that the student is permitted and encouraged to bring relevant and necessary witnesses to the hearing.
- The committee will conduct a hearing to receive and consider relevant facts about the alleged violation, to discuss the alleged violation, to determine whether the Honor Code has been violated, and to determine sanctions, if appropriate.
- An audio tape recording is made of the hearing and retained by the Dean of Students representative pending an appeal.
- Only the Office of the Provost and the Dean of Students Office will have access to the tape and it will be used only for the College appeal process. No recording devices, other than the official tape, may be used during the proceedings. A file containing all records pertinent to the alleged violation is maintained by the Dean of Students representative. The tape and file are the property of Allegheny College. No other materials or notes related to the hearing should leave the room at the conclusion of the proceedings.
- During the hearing, members of the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee, the Honor Committee representative, the accused student and Community Support Person will be present, along with the Dean of Students representative. The Community Standards Board will have access to a Board Advisor who is trained in current policy and process to answer procedural questions and advise regarding the adjudication process.
- The committee will listen to all relevant information and facts from:
- the accused student;
- the Honor Committee representative;
- any witnesses, including the course instructor or teaching assistants, if appropriate.
- Any member of the College community may be called as a witness by any of the parties involved with the alleged violation. Witnesses are permitted in the hearing only while presenting their testimony and responding to questions. The committee may determine the relevance of information and reasonably limit the participation of the witness accordingly.
- Technical rules of evidence, such as those that apply in civil or criminal courts of law, do not apply to the hearing. Participants in the hearing may address comments and questions only to the committee.
- When the committee has heard and/or received all relevant information and documents, the committee will enter executive session where only committee members may be present. After reviewing the information presented during the hearing, the committee will decide whether the Honor Code has been violated and will assign sanctions, if appropriate. The committee’s decision shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Honor Code. All decisions of the committee are by simple majority vote. In the case of a tie vote, the matter will be considered to be concluded with no finding of a violation of the Honor Code.
- After a decision has been reached, the committee will reconvene the hearing to inform the accused student of the decision. Additionally, the committee will report the outcome to the Assistant Dean of Students who will notify the accused student of the decision in writing within 5 calendar days from the date of the hearing.
- Any student failing to attend a scheduled hearing does so with the understanding that the hearing may be held in his/her absence.
Appeal to the Provost
- The decision of the committee may be appealed to the Provost of the College by the accused student within 5 calendar days from the date of the letter notifying him/her of the decision of the committee. Such appeals shall be in writing and delivered to the Provost, with a copy to the Assistant Dean of Students.
- In the written appeal, it is the responsibility of the person presenting the appeal to demonstrate grounds for the appeal. Appeals may be made on the following grounds:
New facts not available at the hearing. If the facts were withheld at the original hearing by the person presenting the appeal, those facts may not be brought forward as grounds for appeal;
A violation of the process as described in this Student Conduct System that significantly and materially affected the student’s ability to present complete information to the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee.
- The Provost may uphold or overturn the decision of the committee, return a case to the committee for further processing, or reduce or affirm any sanction.
- The decision of the Provost is final.
Honor Code Amendments
The Honor Code may be amended by a three-fourths vote of the full membership of the Honor Committee in consultation with Faculty Council and the Dean of Students Office.