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Honor Code Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I report a violation?

The power of the Honor Code is derived from the academic community and its determination to apply the Code. All members of the academic community share a responsibility to uphold the Honor Code.

What does reporting demonstrate to students?
  • The Code is effective. Students desire a "level academic playing field," and reporting possible violations provides the protections students deserve so that those who conduct their work with integrity do not suffer a relative disadvantage to those who "cut corners."
  • The Code provides for peer review. The Honor Council is an organization comprised of students that is student-run with advising from the Community Values & Restorative Practices staff. Students administer and maintain the Code, and students responding to violations can prove to be more persuasive to fellow students than can responses from other "authority figures."
  • The Code provides consistency in judgments and, if necessary, sanctions. The Honor Council process provides the only venue where violations are reviewed consistently. For instance, if faculty members were to operate outside of the official process, one student may receive a completely different outcome from another for substantially similar conduct. 
  • The Code guarantees fairness and Due Process.  Because the honor process is codified, students are assured that they will receive the process provided for them through the Student Handbook, our contract with students. In addition, as a public university, we are required to provide Due Process for students before finding them in violation.
  • The process creates an official record.  Because CVRP maintains records of all findings of violations, the system is also the only place where we can discover and address repeated patterns of behavior. If each faculty member acts on their own, there is no way to know whether a student's act is an isolated, one-time event or the product of a pattern of behavior.
How should I speak with the student?

If you suspect cheating, the Code requires you first contact CVRP (221-2509) to inquire as to whether the student has had a prior violation and to determine if the matter is eligible for an Early Resolution (please consult Honor Code Section VIII. or this pdf diagram for more information)

If the matter is eligible for early resolution, arrange for a time to speak with/meet with the student.  During the meeting, ask the student for an explanation and evaluate the explanation. If you remain concerned that a violation may have occurred, inform the student that it is your duty to refer the matter to the Honor Council for review and resolution. 

  1. If the student acknowledges the violation, you may be able to resolve the matter via Early Resolution (contact CVRP first at 221-2509 to ensure the matter is eligible for early resolution--this option only is available for first-time, lower-level violations for undergraduate students). 
    1. In an early resolution, you impose a grade consequence and report officially to CVRP via our online report form. CVRP then sends the student a letter, copying you, informing the student of the proposed resolution. The student gets one business day to decide if the student wishes to accept the resolution or ask the Honor Council to conduct an investigation of the matter. 
    2. You also should encourage the student to contact a Conduct and Honor Advisor ( to receive advice.
  2. If the matter is not eligible for early resolution, or if you do not wish to pursue the early resolution option, arrange for a time to speak with/meet with the student, before the referring the matter to the Honor Council, as the Code requires that the student be provided the opportunity to explain the conduct prior to official reporting. During the meeting, ask the student for an explanation and evaluate the explanation. If you remain concerned that a violation may have occurred, inform the student that it is your duty to report the matter for review by the Honor Council.
How do I report an allegation?
Report allegations via our online report form. Email the supporting documentation to, bring it to CVRP (383 Sadler Center), or we will be happy to pick the materials up at your office upon request. You also can share the information securely via Box by sharing with the Director [[w|dmgil2]].
What if we are at the end of a semester?

If you uncover a possible honor code violation at the end of a semester, we recommend that you contact the student. If you contact the student via email, indicate that you would like to speak with the student regarding an assignment. We discourage faculty to confront students via email, as many indicators of believability present in face-to-face conversations are not present in email conversations. To that end, you should instead work with the student to set up a time that is available for you both as soon as feasible. In the event an in-person meeting is not available (student or faculty is traveling), we recommend scheduling a Zoom session instead.

If a senior has allegedly committed a violation, we suggest that you reach out to the student as soon as possible to schedule a meeting where you can seek an explanation for the possible violation. We can withhold the issuance of a degree until the matter is resolved fully, but time is of the essence in such circumstances.

If you struggle with contacting a student, please contact us at 221-2509 or at

After I submit a report, what happens next?

For matters not resolved via early resolution or informal resolution, the Chair of the Honor Council will contact you shortly after submission. The Chair will assign a member to begin an investigation, and the investigator will contact you to arrange a time to speak with you. 

If the case proceeds to a Panel proceeding, it is likely that you will be called as a witness unless the student agrees in advance not to challenge the matter. The Council will work to identify a Panel date and time convenient for all parties, although Panels typically occur on weekday evenings around 6:00 PM. We can arrange your participation via Zoom if you cannot appear in person.

During the Panel, you will be asked to present your reasons for submitting the report, the situation surrounding the alleged violation, and any other relevant information. The panel and student will have the opportunity to ask you questions. This is not a cross-examination and our members are trained to ask relevant and appropriate questions in a respectful manner. The round of questioning is an attempt to clarify any information that the panel needs to make an informed decision.

After questioning is over, you have the option to make a final statement. If you choose, you can remain through the presentation of all available information. We recommend remaining if possible, as often additional information comes to light, and it is helpful to receive your perspective as to any new information.

Generally, within two business days of the Panel, CVRP will notify you of the outcome and sanctions, if the panel found the student responsible. As for the student's grade, the Honor Council will make recommendations (either a failing grade on the assignment or in the course overall), but the ultimate decision regarding any grade penalty is yours.

What are the possible outcomes?

If the panel finds the student in violation, the student will receive sanctions ranging from from a warning to permanent dismissal and appropriate secondary sanctions and educational measures. For a detailed look at all of our sanctions, see our Sanctions section (and consult the "Levels of Violations" Appendix in the Code) and our published Honor Code results.