As a member of the student body of LaGrange College, I confirm my commitment to the ideals of civility, diversity, service, and excellence. Recognizing the significance of personal integrity in establishing these ideals within our community, I pledge that I will not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate these unethical behaviors in others.

The Honor Code is the responsibility of every student, faculty member, and staff member at LaGrange College. The cooperation of all members of the College community is needed to promote an environment of academic integrity, scholarship, and discipline. 

The Honor Code may be augmented for individual course needs, provided that any additions are listed in the course syllabus and do not detract from the letter or spirit of the Honor Code or jurisdiction of the

Honor Council.

 

Student Responsibilities

  • To be honest and truthful in all academic matters, abiding by the letter and spirit of the Honor Code
  • To consult with the appropriate persons to clarify issues regarding plagiarism, the correct attribution
  • of sources, the acceptable limits of proofreading, editing, or input of others, and the allowable materials for examinations, reports, or any academic work
  • To sign a pledge that no unauthorized aid has been given or received on any academic work
  • To report any incident which is believed to be a violation of the Honor Code to the president of the Honor Council
  • To cooperate when called upon by the Council to testify in a hearing 

Student Rights

  • To be presumed innocent
  • To be granted a fair, impartial, and timely hearing
  • To face and question any witnesses at a hearing
  • To provide and share information on one’s own behalf
  • To be granted a separate hearing upon request, when the incident involves more than one person
  • To be granted the right to subsequent appeal
  • To be accompanied by a silent observer in a hearing. The Council president must be made aware of this person’s name and relationship to the student no less than twenty-four hours before the hearing. The observer’s role is one of support, and this person will not be allowed to speak.

Examples of Offenses

  • Academic cheating, including but not limited to the unauthorized use of books or notes, copying, or collaboration on examinations or any graded coursework
  • Unauthorized use of electronic devices and/or programs for or during examinations or any graded coursework
  • Plagiarism—the misuse of another person's words or ideas, presenting them as one's own, regardless of intent
  • Lying or presenting false information related to any academic matter
  • Forgery or misuse of official college documents
  • Theft of college property related to academic work
  • Aiding another in any of the above
  • Failure to report a violation of the Honor Code
  • Failure to appear before the Honor Council as requested
  • Failure to maintain confidentiality regarding a case
  • Any dishonest conduct related to Cultural Enrichment requirements, including but not limited to, taking credit for attendance when one has not attended an event, either in whole or in part; or aiding another in attempting to take credit for attending an event one has not attended

Procedure Regarding a Suspected Violation of the Honor Code

  • Report the alleged violation to President of the Honor Council. If the President recuses his or herself due to conflict of interest, the Recording Secretary assumes the role of Honor Council President. In consultation with at least one of the Faculty Advisors to the Honor Council, the President of the Council will determine if the preponderance of evidence supports the accusation. If the insufficient evidence exists, the President so notifies the party reporting the alleged violation.

  • The Council President and at least one of the Faculty Advisors will meet with the accused student. The Faculty Advisor will present the learning outcomes and mission statement of the Honor Council to the accused. The Council President will then present the evidence. Both parties are allowed to ask questions regarding the evidence, accusation, and process. If asked, the President can recommend a course of action for the accused.

  • If the accused chooses to have a hearing, he or she will meet with the Faculty Advisor, Honor Council President, Recording Secretary, and the most senior member of the Honor Council to reflect on the discussion of the evidence at the preliminary meeting. The President then later informs the referrer and accused of the violation that a hearing will take place, stating the specifics of an accusation, the place, date, and time of the hearing, and request the names of any persons who should be called in as witnesses or who may have any pertinent information. The President will interview these persons to determine whether they have knowledge relevant to the suspected violation. Campus email and communication through campus post office will be considered means of official correspondence to students from the Honor Council. Students are responsible for responding to these official means of communication. If any communication attempts are not responded to within one week of initial contact from the Honor Council, the Council reserves the right to proceed with the case.

  • When a student accused of a violation does not appear for a preliminary interview when notified to do so, a hold will be placed on the student’s transcript. A hold will also be placed on the transcript when it has been determined that the case will proceed to a hearing. This hold will be removed when the case has been resolved.

  • The student may choose to self-report the violation in a letter to the Honor Council President. As a result, an outcomes hearing will be called to determine the sanction. It is mandatory for the accused student to attend the outcomes hearing. The referrer will be invited to attend the outcomes hearing. At the Council’s discretion, they may ask for a sanction recommendation from the referrer.

  • The President presides at the hearing, after which the Honor Council votes to determine whether or not a violation has occurred. In the event of a tie, the President will cast the deciding vote. If the accused is found not to have violated the Honor Code, the President will inform the Vice President for Academic Affairs and student in writing. If the student is found to have violated the Honor Code, further deliberation by the Council determines the sanction to be imposed, and the student is notified in writing. The sanction will be carried out by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. All hearings will be digitally recorded and kept confidentially on file for a minimum of seven (7) years.

  • If a case cannot be heard by the end of the grading period, the instructor will submit the grade as “NR” until the Honor Council acts on the case.

  • The Honor Council reserves the right to conduct a hearing in absentia when the accused student fails to appear as notified and directed.

 

Appellate Procedure

Every person found to have violated the Honor Code has the right of subsequent appeal.

  • There are two types of appeals: verdict appeal and sanction appeal. Verdict appeal may be filed in cases of new evidence, errors in the hearing process, or errors of interpreting or perception of personal bias from an Honor Council member. In cases of personal bias from an Honor Council member, the member will submit a written statement attesting to his or her sense or bias, in what capacity they know the accused, and previous interactions they have had with the accused. Sanction appeals may be filed if the accused feels the sanction was disproportionate to the offense.

  • An appeal must be filed with the Vice President for Academic Affairs in writing within seven (7) days of notification of the sanction. If the sanction determined by the Honor Council is an F in the course, the student will be dropped from the course seven (7) days after the student has been notified of the sanction unless an appeal is filed.

  • The Appeals Board will consist of the Honor Council Appeals Representative, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the President of the SGA, the President of the Faculty Assembly, a member of the SGA Senate selected by the Honor Council President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Department Head of the program in which the violation was committed if they choose to attend. Such appeals are heard from the written hearing summary, the audio recording of the hearing, and the written statement of the student requesting the appeal. Materials submitted as part of the case and the recording of the hearing will not be made available to the accused. These materials include, but are not limited to, new evidence, perception of errors, or perception of bias. The Appeals Board has the authority to reduce the sanction in a case, if they see fit.

 

Sanctions

One of the following sanctions is imposed when it is determined that there has been a violation of the Honor Code. All Students will also complete a program of remediation outlined in the following section.

  • A maximum of half (½) credit on the related assignment at the discretion of the professor
  • A zero on the related assignment
  • The final grade in the course lowered by one letter grade
  • An F in the course
  • Suspension from the College for one term, excluding summer, in a grade-related offense
  • Suspension from the College for one term, excluding summer, and an F in the course in a grade-related offense
  • Dismissal from the College and an F in the course in a grade-related offense
  • Revocation of a degree 

Remediation

All students found to have violated the Honor Code must complete a Remediation Program before being allowed to enroll in classes for the following semester. In course-related violations, they would also receive a sanction from the Honor Council. In certain non-course related cases, the remediation program itself may be the sanction set by the Honor Council.

  1. A contract will be signed by the student which requires a Remediation Program to be completed within a month of the date of the initiation of the contract. If the sanction is imposed late in a semester, the president of the Honor Council will determine a reasonable time for its completion at the beginning of the next semester. If the student does not complete the program as agreed within one month, he or she will not be able to register for the following semester (not including summer), effectively accepting a suspension for a semester. It will be the student’s responsibility to make and keep all appointments named in the contract and to complete the program within the specified period.

  2. The student must make and keep appointments, while dressed appropriately (item 3), to meet with the following groups or members of the college community in person: the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or President of LaGrange College if Vice President for Academic Affairs is not available) and the member or members of the faculty involved. In each of these discussions the student should be prepared to explain his or her violation, discuss its impact both personally and on the college community, and hear what others’ thoughts and concerns may be about the violation. A minimum of thirty minutes is suggested for each meeting. The paper referred to below (item 4) must be presented to the Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to his or her meeting with the student.

  3. Attire: Students meeting with the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or the President) must be dressed in attire that would be appropriate for a job interview. If the student shows up wearing inappropriate clothing, he or she will be required to reschedule their meeting.

  4. The student must write a typed paper, at least 750 words in length, reflecting on the experience of the violation and what he or she learned in the process of the meetings as reflected in the Honor Council’s Learning Outcomes. These papers, rendered anonymous, will be made available for the Honor Council to use at its discretion in its efforts to educate the student body regarding academic integrity. When the paper has been submitted and read by the Honor Council, the final step in satisfying the Remediation Program will be a meeting with the Honor Council. This is an opportunity for members of the Council to ask questions of the student about the process and outcome.

 

The Role of the Faculty Advisors

The Faculty Co-Advisors serve to ensure due process and fairness for all parties, participate in training, and act as a liaison to the faculty and coaches. The Faculty Co-Advisors will be working with the student-lead Honor Council, the administration, and Registrar on the case. If there are any questions regarding the status of a case, the referrer should direct student or parental inquiries to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

  • The Co-Advisors may ask a question(s) of the parties in the case at his or her discretion.

  • Faculty Co-Advisor does not vote during deliberations but may participate in discussion prior to the vote.

 

Honor Council Principles

  1. To treat every member of the College community with impartiality and respect.

  2. To consider all facts and testimony before discussing or resolving any case.

  3. To preserve absolute confidentiality.

  4. To hold the College community to the highest standard of conduct, both to protect the community and to promote moral development.

  5. To support the mission of the College by conducting programs and enacting policies regarding the Honor Code that contribute to the ethical development of the College community.

  6. To understand the fundamental differences between the nature of student discipline regarding academic integrity and the nature of criminal law. The Honor Code, its policies, procedures, and sanctions are meant to be in accordance with the mission of the College. They are not intended to resemble any activities within the criminal judicial process.

 

Selection

Conducted as needed by the Selection Committee:

  • Current Honor Council President
  • Current SGA President
  • President of the Faculty Assembly
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Advisor to the Honor Council
  • Any student with a minimum of 30 credit hours and a minimum GPA of 2.85 is welcome to apply.
  • All members must attend a mandatory workshop. If the members fail to attend, they are not able to attend a hearing until the session is complete. If they have not completed the training session up to one month after classes begin, the Honor Council reserves the right to remove the member from the Council.
  • Current members of the Honor Council are not required to re-apply each year.
  • Two graduate students and two evening college students will be chosen by their respective programs for the Honor Council. 

HONOR COUNCIL 2020-2021

The Honor Council seeks to educate the College community on the principles of academic integrity and to enforce the Honor Code when violations occur. Any student who has been trained in prior years as a member of the Honor Council may be empaneled for hearings or sanction meetings when necessary. It may also be necessary for new members to be selected and trained during an academic year using standard, established procedure.

 

Academic Honor Pledge

“I pledge that I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this assignment (or examination), nor have I witnessed any violation of the Honor Code.”

 

Accommodations

ADA Statement: All students, regardless of disability, are held to the LaGrange College Honor Code.

 

Common Questions

Will I violate the Code if I don't turn in students I know are cheating or have otherwise violated the Code?

Yes. The purpose of the Honor Code is to create a community of integrity. Lying, cheating, and stealing related to academic matters are violations of the Code, and students at LaGrange College should refuse to tolerate violations of the trust among students and between students and faculty established by the code.

 

What if I don't agree to sign the Code?

The Honor Code is a policy of the College, and refusal to sign it will not alter a student's requirement to abide by it.

 

In classes where tests are unproctored, isn't there just a higher incidence of cheating?

faculty members make the decision about when and how to offer students unproctored exams, and this is being done more frequently than before the Honor Code was implemented. Trust between faculty and students is one of the goals of any honor system, and as faculty trust in students increases, as the faculty becomes more confident that there are many students who will not tolerate dishonesty, unproctored exams will be administered more often.

 

Why do we need an Honor Code?

Studies related to ethics and moral development in American colleges and universities consistently show students' failure to understand the value of intellectual property, and professional organizations also report concerns about the ethics of graduates entering fields such as engineering, business, and medicine.

 

Who decides cases of alleged violations of the Code?

The Honor Council is selected as needed each year for the following academic year. Students may self-nominate, as well receive nominations the faculty and coaches, then apply to be considered in the selection process. The Honor Council elects its own president who becomes the non-voting member to whom all cases are reported. The members will be students with 30 or more academic credit hours and will have a minimum GPA of 2.85.

 

Is it a violation of the Code to have someone else proofread my assignments and papers?

Always ask your professor for clarification of what is acceptable for every assignment. In general, someone else’s proofreading of your work would not be tolerated under the Code because it isn’t your own work and may put you at an unfair advantage over other students. This is the professor’s prerogative for each assignment, however, and is it your responsibility to ask about the limits of each assignment.

 

What about help from the Writing Center? Should I be worried about that?

No. Writing Center tutors understand the Code and the limitations it places on the type and scope of help they offer. They will not proofread, edit, or revise your papers. Their job is to provide peer tutoring and guide you in doing your own best work.

 

What is the process of an Honor Council Hearing?

All hearings are closed, and all matters before the Honor Council are confidential. The president prepares all parties for the hearing, presides, and assures fairness. The person accused of a violation is present throughout the hearing and may ask questions just as members do of all witnesses who come before the Honor Council. The person accused of the violation will have the opportunity to be the last to speak, after all other parties have been dismissed from the hearing room. The Council will excuse everyone except its members and advisor in order to deliberate, and the decision will be delivered in writing to the accused, the referring faculty member, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the College

 

What happens if a student is found in a hearing to have violated the Honor Code?

One of the sanctions will be immediately imposed. A sanction cannot be deferred. Summer term does not qualify for a suspension period.

 

What happens if a student who is confronted about a violation chooses to admit his or her violation of the Honor Code?

Upon self-reporting to the Honor Council, the student will participate in an Outcomes Hearing, during which the student will explain the incident to the Honor Council. Honor Council members are permitted to ask the accused student questions during the Outcomes Hearing.  After the discussion, the student is dismissed, and the Honor Council members deliberate to select a sanction for the violation.

 

What does the faculty or administration of the College have to do with the Honor Council?

The Honor Council is composed entirely of students and acts autonomously. An advisor from the faculty attends hearings to ensure due process and fairness for all parties, to plan training for the Council, and to act as liaison to the faculty, but he or she has no vote in Council proceedings. Each year, in keeping with the trust that the faculty has placed in the Council, the Council will present a report to the faculty and the President of the College.