Honor Code

The responsibility for maintaining standards of unimpeachable honesty in all academic work and in campus judicial proceedings falls upon every individual who is a part of Oxford College of Emory University. The Honor Code is based on the fundamental expectations that every person in Oxford College will conduct his or her life according to the dictates of the Honor Code and will refuse to tolerate actions in others, which would violate the Honor Code.

Article 1: Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is an offense generally defined as any action or failure to act, which is contrary to the integrity and honesty of members of the academic community.

A. Such offenses include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Seeking, acquiring, receiving, or giving information about the conduct of an examination, knowing that the release of such information has not been authorized
  2. Plagiarizing
  3. Seeking, using, giving, or obtaining unauthorized assistance in any academic assignment or examination
  4. Intentionally mis-shelving, damaging or removing library materials without authorization
  5. Intentionally giving false information to professors or instructors for the purpose of gaining academic advantage
  6. Intentionally giving false testimony in an Honor or Conduct Board hearing or refusing to give evidence when requested by the Honor Council
  7. Intentionally giving unauthorized information regarding hearings of the Oxford College Conduct Board or Honor Council
  8. Breach of any duties prescribed by this code

B. A duty of confidentiality is implicit in the Honor System. It is academic misconduct under this Code for any member of the Honor Council, a student witness, or any student (other than the accused) who has obtained knowledge of an Honor Council proceeding, past or present, to breach this confidentiality. Nothing in this paragraph shall restrict communications to officials of the university where knowledge is necessary to the performance of the officials’ duties nor shall it restrict disclosure required by law.

C. Harassment of witnesses or anyone involved in an Honor Council hearing, before, during or after the hearing constitutes academic misconduct.

Article 2: Honor Pledge and Obligation

A. A student’s submission of any work to be evaluated for course credit constitutes a declaration that he or she has neither given nor received unauthorized information on the work, nor has condoned the giving or receiving of unauthorized information by others.

B. Each student at Oxford College of Emory University agrees to abide by the honor pledge and takes upon himself or herself the responsibility of upholding the Honor Code. Each student is urged to inquire of the Honor Council about any doubtful case at any time throughout the year.

C. Each professor shall explain to his or her classes at the beginning of each semester any special aspects of the Honor Code as it pertains to that course.

D. “State of the Honor Code” meeting of the student body and the council shall be held periodically upon the call of the Council. The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss how the Honor Code is working, to strengthen understanding of the Code among members of the college community, and to promote improvements.

Article 3: Reporting Cases

It is the responsibility of every member of the faculty, administration and student body to cooperate in supporting the honor system. In pursuance of this duty, any individual, when he or she suspects that an offense of academic misconduct has occurred, shall report this suspected breach to the student chair of the Honor Council, the Faculty Coordinator of the Honor Council, or the dean of academic affairs.

Article 4: Rights of the Accused (Oxford College)

The accused shall have the following rights:

A. To receive a written statement of the charges at least five (5) days in advance of the hearing. This written statement shall contain a brief statement of the nature of the alleged offense. This statement shall be drawn by the chair and secretary in consultation with the faculty coordinator if, after a preliminary investigation by them, they determine that there is reasonable cause to believe that the Honor Code may have been violated. In the event that the accused does not accept the written statement of charges or does not sign acknowledging receipt, the hearing will nonetheless occur as scheduled.

B. To receive a copy of this Honor Code and have his or her rights explained.

C. To have an adviser from the faculty or administration of Oxford College to assist at the hearing. It is important that such an adviser be obtained. The adviser’s role is to explain the rights of the accused student during the hearing. Also, to ask questions of the witnesses, as posed by and on behalf of the accused student.

D. To request a postponement of a hearing for good cause. The request shall be in writing, addressed to the chair of the Honor Council, and must state the reason for making the request. The disposition of the request is at the discretion of the dean of academic affairs.

E. To testify and present evidence in his or her behalf, subject to limitations on the number of witnesses imposed by the Honor Council and to be present during the presentation of all evidence. If, however, the accused student does not appear at the hearing as scheduled, the hearing will nonetheless proceed in the absence of the accused.

F.  To appeal, unless the accused elects to proceed using the Expedited Hearing Option (See Article 6).

G. To request that the case proceed using the Expedited Hearing Option (See Article 6).

Article 5: Procedure for Full Hearings before the Honor Council

A. Hearings shall be fair and impartial. All evidence, regardless of whether it meets the test of admissibility of the rules of evidence, shall be elicited by the Honor Council. Witnesses will testify without oath, and signed statements may be submitted from unavailable witnesses. While any witness (including the accused) is giving testimony, only members of the Honor Council, the accused, and the adviser to the accused may be present. A faculty secretary may be present to record hearings.

B. The Honor Council shall be allowed all possible latitude in determining whether a violation has occurred and shall itself determine the weight and pertinence of the evidence. The dean of academic affairs shall have access to all meetings, discussions, minutes, and deliberations.

C. Refusal of a witness to testify shall constitute academic misconduct under this code.

D. Harassment of witnesses will constitute misconduct under this code.

E. At the conclusion of the presentation of evidence, the Honor Council shall retire to deliberate in secret. No one involved in the investigation of the charges shall be present during deliberations and only the six (6) voting members may deliberate. A unanimous vote of the six (6) voting members shall be required for a finding of an Honor Code violation. Upon finding an Honor Code violation, the Honor Council shall recommend the sanctions by majority vote.

F. The following sanctions may be imposed:

  1. Honor Council probation for one (1) year: The penalty is automatic on conviction, and the student shall be given formal notice in writing that any further violation shall be sufficient cause for further disciplinary action;
  2. F in the work involved, with prior consent of the professor;
  3. F in the course on the student’s permanent transcript, with the prior consent of the professor: In the absence of extraordinary circumstances, this shall be the normal penalty for a first Honor Code offense.
  4. Honor Council Suspension;
  5. Honor Council Dismissal: All courses in process shall receive a grade of “W,” except any course for which an “F” is recorded under (3) above;
  6. Honor Council Expulsion; or
  7. Such combination of sanctions or other sanction as may be deemed appropriate.

G. A student who drops or withdraws from a course, thereby receiving a “W”, and is later found to have violated the Honor Code while enrolled in the course, may receive a “WF” at the discretion of the council and the dean of academic affairs.

H. The findings and recommendations of the Honor Council shall be transmitted to the dean of academic affairs promptly in a concise written report. After receipt of the report, the student shall be promptly notified in writing of the dean’s decision and any sanctions imposed. The dean of academic affairs may reject the finding of an Honor Code violation, but not one of non-violation of the Honor Code, may modify the severity of the recommended sanctions or may require the Honor Council to hold a new hearing.

Article 6: Procedure for Expedited Hearings

A. An accused student may, in an appropriate case, request an Expedited Hearing in writing to the chair and the faculty coordinator of the Honor Council.

B. Use of the Expedited Hearing Procedure is appropriate in cases where there is evidence that the accused, who has not previously been found to have violated the Honor Code, has committed some violation of the Honor Code, and the accused student acknowledges that violation of the Honor Code and formally requests an Expedited Hearing before a special three-person panel rather than a full hearing before the Honor Council. The accused must also waive the right to appeal before an Expedited Hearing is scheduled (see Article 4, F) and acknowledge that use of the Expedited Hearing Procedure does not in any way imply a recommendation for a lesser penalty.

C. In each Expedited Hearing the special three-person hearing panel shall consist of:

1. The dean of academic affairs

2. The vice chair (or another voting student member of the council), and

3. A faculty representative of the council, who is neither the faculty coordinator nor a co-coordinator.

D. The panel will hear an admission of violating the Honor Code directly from the accused, receive all evidence previously gathered by the investigating team, and may receive any additional statements from the accused and question the accused as the panel deems useful. After the accused student and the student’s adviser leave the hearing room, the members of the panel shall review the evidence and the accused student’s admission of violating the Honor Code to decide if a finding of the alleged Honor Code violation is warranted. If the panel unanimously determines that the admission of violating the Honor Code is acceptable in light of all the evidence, then the panel members upon reviewing all relevant factors shall recommend by majority vote an appropriate punishment to the dean of academic affairs. The dean of academic affairs may accept or modify the severity of the recommended sanctions, before promptly notifying the student of the outcome of the hearing.

Article 7: Appeals

A. A student may appeal a finding of Honor Code violation, the punishment, or both, to the Appeals Committee, unless the findings resulted from the Expedited Hearing Procedure, in which case the right to appeal has been waived by the student. The appeal must be written and submitted to the chair of the Honor Appeals Committee within seven (7) days of the receipt of the dean’s decision.

B. The Honor Appeals Committee shall be composed of three (3) faculty members appointed by the dean of academic affairs. The committee shall recommend to the dean of academic affairs that a previous decision be affirmed, that the penalty be reconsidered, or that a new hearing be held.

C. The Honor Appeals Committee shall review the report and physical evidence in the case, may take additional evidence and in its discretion, permit the accused to submit additional evidence. The Appeals Committee may consult with whomever they consider appropriate in reviewing the case. Upon completion of the review, the Appeals Committee shall advise the dean of academic affairs of its recommendations.

D. The dean of academic affairs shall promptly notify the accused in writing of the recommendation and of any action he or she is taking based thereon.

Article 8: Honor Council

There shall be a body known as the Honor Council which shall be charged with two duties:

A. To sponsor an effective educational campaign among students for highest academic and judicial integrity at Oxford College and to promote a clear understanding throughout the college community of the issues involved in the Honor Code.

B. To hear all cases, referred to it alleging honor violations by students. The duty of the council shall be to determine whether the accused has violated the Honor Code and to make recommendations to the dean of academic affairs.

Article 9: Membership

The Honor Council shall consist of twenty-two (22) persons—a chair, a secretary (both non-deliberating members), ten (10) student members, and ten (10) faculty members

A. The chair is elected according to Article 9; student members are appointed according to Article 10. Faculty members are appointed according to Article 9, Section C.

B. The chair of the Honor Council shall be appointed according to Article 10 of the Honor Code. The chair shall serve one year beginning at the end of the spring semester. The chair of the Honor Council shall be the student member receiving appointment from the current Honor Council, both faculty and student members, in consultation with the dean of academic affairs. From the student members, the Honor Council shall choose one member to serve as the secretary, another member to serve as vice chair, and two others to serve as investigators. If the chair for any reason cannot fulfill his or her term of office, the vice chair will become chair for that term; the vice chair shall share in the planning and facilitation of non-investigatory duties assigned to the chair and secretary under this code. Four of the eligible student members will serve as voting members in each Honor Council hearing. An Investigator is eligible to serve as a voting member in any case in which he or she has had no prior involvement, unless otherwise disqualified under Article 9, Section E. New members will be appointed when and only when a sufficient number of voting student members is not available.

C. Ten faculty representatives shall be appointed by the dean of academic affairs, upon approval of the faculty, to serve as members of the Honor Council. In each Honor Council hearing two faculty representatives will serve as voting members. If particular expertise is needed in a given case, an additional faculty member may be assigned by the dean of academic affairs for that case.

D. The dean of academic affairs shall designate one faculty representative to serve as the faculty coordinator for the Honor Council. The faculty coordinator shall be the principal adviser to the chair and the other officers of the Honor Council with regard to all matters arising under the Honor Code. The dean shall designate two faculty representatives to serve as the co-coordinators for the Honor Council. Each co-coordinator shall assist the coordinator in the execution of the duties described above by performing such portions of those duties assigned to them by the coordinator. A co-coordinator is eligible to serve as a voting faculty member in any case in which he or she has had no prior involvement unless otherwise disqualified under Article 8, Section E.

E. In case of emergency or when members of the Honor Council are not available for service, the chair, with approval of the dean of academic affairs, may appoint students to serve for that case only. Any member  of the council who is a witness in a case is automatically disqualified for that case. A member may also disqualify himself or herself for reasons of interest, bias, close relationship to the accused, or any other appropriate reason. In the event that the faculty coordinator is disqualified,   or otherwise unable to participate in any case or portion of a case, one of the co-coordinators or other faculty representatives may serve as an ad hoc faculty coordinator.

Article 10: Student Election and Appointment to the Honor Council

A. In order to qualify for nomination for a position on the Honor Council, a student must have an overall “C” average in academic work, must not be under penalty of conduct probation or honor probation, and must be nominated by a petition bearing the signature of twenty five students.

B. The chair of the Honor Council shall be appointed in the spring semester by the current Honor Council, both faculty and student members, in consultation with the dean of academic affairs. Any Honor Council member wishing to be considered for chair must have obtained membership in the manner described in Article 10, Section C and be approved by the current members of the Honor Council.

C. The eleven student members of the Honor Council shall be appointed by the current Honor Council, both faculty and student members, in consultation with the dean of academic affairs. Eight of the student members will be appointed from the rising sophomore class, and must have completed at least two resident semesters on campus and have two semesters of normal residence work remaining on the campus. Three of the student members will be appointed from the current first-year class at the end of fall semester and will serve two full semesters on the council. Students may apply for membership on the Honor Council by providing the following materials: a petition, signed by twenty five students; a statement indicating reasons for wanting to be a member of the Honor Council; two letters of recommendation from current members of the faculty. These materials will be submitted to the faculty coordinator of the Honor Council.

D. During the summer term, the Honor Council will consist of any elected members enrolled for that term, with the chair designated from this group. Any remaining vacancies shall be filled by appointment made by the dean of academic affairs in consultation with the remaining members of the Honor Council. If no Honor Council members are present in the summer, a council will be selected by a method of the academic dean’s choosing.

E. Any member of the Honor Council holding office under the provisions of this Honor Code may be impeached if he or she is found to have engaged in gross neglect of duty or misconduct in office. Impeachment procedure shall be the same as that provided by the Honor Code for violation. An impeachment charge must be brought by a member of the Honor Council. Any student member of the Honor Council shall resign his or her office if he or she is placed on honor or conduct probation.

Article 11: Jurisdiction and Authority of the Honor Council

Jurisdiction of the Honor Council shall extend to cases involving academic misconduct and deliberate falsification in campus judicial proceedings. Faculty members may not impose honor penalties contrary to the decision of the dean of academic affairs based on findings and recommendations of the Honor Council. The dean of academic affairs shall not impose a grade penalty without permission of the appropriate faculty member.

Article 12: Miscellaneous

Wherever the title “dean of academic affairs” is used herein, it shall include the dean of academic affairs or his or her designee.

Article 13: Amendments

This Honor Code shall be subject to amendment and revision with the consent of the dean of academic affairs and a majority of the faculty.

Emory University Policy Statement on Discriminatory Harassment

It is the policy of Emory University that all employees and students should be able to enjoy and work in an educational environment free from discriminatory harassment. Harassment of any person or group of persons on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran’s status is a form of discrimination specifically prohibited in the Emory University community. Any employee, student, student organization, or person privileged to work or study in the Emory University community who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including permanent exclusion from the university.

Discriminatory harassment includes conduct (oral, written, graphic, or physical) directed against any person or group of persons because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran’s status that has the purpose or reasonably foreseeable effect of creating an offensive, demeaning, intimidating, or hostile environment for that person or group of persons. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, objectionable epithets, demeaning depictions or treatment, and threatened or actual abuse or harm.

In addition, sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or a student’s status in a course, program, or activity.
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an employee or student is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting that employee or student.
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or a student’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, educational, or living environment.

All university vice presidents, deans, and division and department chairs should take appropriate steps to disseminate this policy statement and to inform employees and students of procedures for lodging complaints. All members of the student body, faculty, and staff are expected to assist in implementing this policy.

The scholarly, educational, or artistic content of any written, oral, or other presentation or inquiry shall not be limited by this policy. It is the intent of this paragraph that academic freedom be allowed to all members of the academic community. Accordingly, this provision shall be liberally construed but shall not be used as a pretext for violation of this policy.

Any student or employee with a complaint of discriminatory harassment should contact the associate vice president for Equal Opportunity Programs to obtain information on the procedure for handling such complaints. Any questions regarding either this policy statement or a specific fact situation should be addressed to the Emory University Office of Equity and Inclusion.

University-Student Relationships

The Board of Trustees of Emory University has adopted a statement of policy dealing with university-student relationships. A digest of that policy follows:

  1. Emory University was founded on Christian principles by the Methodist church and proudly continues its church relationship as an agency dedicated to seeking and imparting truth.
  2. Emory University admits qualified students of any sex, sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, or veteran’s status to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Emory University; it does not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, age, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, or veteran’s status in administering its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic programs, and other programs administered by Emory University.
  3. Attendance at Emory University is a privilege and not a right; however, no student will be dismissed except in accordance with prescribed procedures; students applying for admission do so voluntarily and are free to withdraw, subject to compliance with the regulations of their schools or colleges governing withdrawal and to the fulfillment of their financial obligations to the university.
  4. Upon matriculation at Emory, each student agrees to be bound by the rules, policies, procedures, and administrative regulations as they exist at the time of admission and as they may be changed by duly constituted authority.
  5. By enrolling as a student at Emory University, a person acquires the right to pursue the course of study to which he or she is admitted and to be treated with the dignity appropriate to an adult person in all matters relating to the university; in the same spirit, the student shall comply with the rules and regulations of Emory University
  6. Students are provided the opportunity to participate in the development of rules and procedures pertaining to university affairs to the extent that such participation and the results thereof, as determined by the Board of Trustees or its designated agent, are consistent with orderly processes and with the policies and administrative responsibilities of the Board of Trustees and the administration.
  7. The university expects students to conduct themselves with dignity, courtesy, responsibility, and integrity, and with due respect for the rights of others, realizing that sobriety and morality are not only characteristics of a mature and responsible person but are also essential to the maintenance of a free and orderly society.
  8. Membership in and rules governing admission to student organizations shall be determined by the organizations themselves, and such rules shall not be required to be uniform as long as these rules do not contravene any policy established by the Board of Trustees.

Emory University is an educational institution, not a vehicle for political or social action. It endorses the right of dissent and protects and encourages reasonable exercise of this right by individuals within the university. Because the right of dissent is subject to abuse, the Board of Trustees and the president have published a statement to clarify policy concerning such abuse. A digest of that statement follows:

  1. Individuals associated with Emory represent a variety of viewpoints; the university fosters the free expression and interchange of differing views through oral and written discourse and logical persuasion.
  2. Dissent, to be acceptable, must be orderly and peaceful and must represent constructive alternatives reasonably presented.
  3. Coercion, threats, demands, obscenity, vulgarity, obstructionism, and violence are not acceptable.
  4. Demonstrations, marches, sit-ins, or noisy protests that are designed to or that do disrupt normal institutional pursuits are not permitted
  5. Classes and routine operations will not be suspended except for reasonable cause as determined by the president.
  6. Administrators, faculty, staff, and students are expected to abide by these standards of conduct in promoting their views, particularly dissent.
  7. Persons who oppose these policies should not become associated with Emory nor continue to be associated with Emory.
  8. Academic and administrative procedures protect individuals in the right of free expression and provide for prompt and appropriate action against those who abuse such right.