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. Such reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the alleged violation occurs using the online Honor Code form.
Academic Honor Program
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 code 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 voluntary honor code. The Honor Code has consistently been supported by an overwhelming majority of students.
The Honor Program operates under the following Honor Code:
Honor Code (Articles I-IV)
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 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. 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. A faculty syllabus cannot contradict any part 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, computers, 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.
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
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. 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 Person;
- that the student is permitted and encouraged to speak on their 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 Center for Student Success.
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. This recording 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 recording 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 them.
- 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 the student 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 Center for Student Success.
- If the case is forwarded to the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee, an Honor Committee Report will be submitted to the Center for Student Success 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.
Section 5 Expedited Process
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 the 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 Center for Student Success 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 Center for Student Success, 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 a representative from the Center for Student Success 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 Center for Student Success to discuss and resolve the Honor Code violation.
Honor Code Article VI
Honor Code Hearing Process
- The Honor Committee will inform the Dean of Student Success 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 Center for Student Success representative will inform the accused student of the following information regarding the hearing process:
- time, date and place of the hearing;
- specific Honor Code policies that have allegedly been violated;
- that student complainants and respondents are permitted and encouraged to have a Community Support Person accompany them to the hearing. A Community Support Person is a current Allegheny College student or current employee chosen by a student to serve in an advisory capacity during a student’s involvement in the student conduct system. The primary role of the Community Support Person is to assist the student in preparing for meetings/hearings and to attend meetings/hearings as support for the student. The Community Support Person is not an advocate for the participant, does not represent the participant, speak on behalf of the participant, or examine/cross-examine other parties or witnesses, except as required by law in Title IX cases. The participant is responsible for presenting their own information; and, therefore, Community Support Persons are not permitted to speak or participate directly in any meetings/hearings without approval.
- that the participant is permitted and encouraged to meet with a College staff member to discuss the hearing process and to be accorded reasonable access to the Honor Committee Report, which will be reviewed and retained in the Center for Student Success office. File contents cannot be copied, photographed or otherwise duplicated
- that the participant is permitted and encouraged to speak on their own behalf, to present relevant information, and to present a written statement and any additional information to the Community Standards Board no later than 24 hours prior to the hearing;
- 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.
- A recording is made of the hearing and retained by the Student Success representative pending an appeal. No other recordings of the proceedings are permitted.
- Only the Office of the Provost and the Center for Student Success will have access to the recording. No recording devices other than the official recording may be used during the proceedings. A file containing all records pertinent to the alleged violation is maintained by the Center for Student Success representative. The recording 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 Student Success representative. The Community Standards Board will be chaired by a non-voting representative of the Dean for Student Success 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. The board chair has the authority to make procedural decisions regarding the hearing.
- When the board has heard and received the relevant information and documents offered by the parties during the hearing, the board will adjourn the hearing and move to executive session when only board members and the board Chair may be present. In the executive session, the board will deliberate and decide whether they believe the accused student is responsible for violating the Honor Code and, if so, 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 Center for Student Success representative, 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 their 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 the student of the decision of the committee. Such appeals shall be in writing and delivered to the Provost, with a copy to the Dean for Student Success.
- In the written appeal, it is the responsibility of the person presenting the appeal to demonstrate grounds for the appeal. The appeal must specify the reason(s) for the appeal. The student appealing may appeal on any or all of the following grounds:
- New facts not available at the hearing. If the facts were known but withheld during the original hearing by the person presenting the appeal, those facts may not be brought forward as a ground for appeal.
- A violation of the process as described in the student handbook is one that significantly and materially affected the student’s ability to present complete information to the board.
- The board’s decision was unsupported by any substantial evidence at the hearing.
- The Provost may uphold or overturn the decision of the committee, return a case to the committee for further processing, or adjust or affirm any sanctions.
- 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 Center for Student Success.
Since 1990, the Honor Committee holds a referendum of the student body to determine whether the Honor Code shall remain a part of the Allegheny community every three years. This referendum shall be held in the second semester of every third year. A majority of degree-seeking students in the first-year, sophomore and junior class standings, on campus and abroad, as of spring count in the year of the referendum, must vote to affirm the Code in order to keep the Code.