William and Mary

Section I: Purpose

A.  The College’s Honor Code is based upon the premise that a person’s honor is his or her most cherished attribute. In a community devoted to learning, a foundation of honor among individuals must exist if that community is to thrive with respect and harmony among its members. An Honor System is an ideal mechanism to ensure such a state of affairs. With it, students and faculty are afforded a freedom that otherwise may not be available. With this freedom comes each individual’s responsibility to conduct himself or herself in such a way that the spirit of mutual trust which sustains the system is not compromised.

B.  While we endeavor to create a climate of honor that is self-sustaining, it is imperative that all members of the community work to uphold the Code. Reasonable precautions by instructors to deter violations are not incompatible with the letter or spirit of this Code provided that they respect students’ right to privacy and non-discrimination. Students, faculty, administrators and other members of the community are encouraged to take action when they believe that any person may have violated the Honor Code; although failure to take action is not, in itself, a violation of the Honor Code, it detracts from the community of trust.