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honor council logoFrequently Asked Questions

What does the Honor Council do?

The Honor Council is a group of your peers who strive to uphold the CC honor code through educating the student body and carrying out the policies enforced by the Honor System.

How many cases does the Honor Council handle a year?

While the number of cases does fluctuate greatly from year to year, and even from semester to semester, on average, we get around 25 cases per year. About 15-18 are found guilty or plead guilty. 

What if I witnessed a violation?

If you wish to report an Honor Code violation you should promptly contact one of the Co-Chairs of the Honor Council by emailing them at their school email address. Currently, you should contact Isaac at Isaac.Green@ColoradoCollege.edu or Joey at Joseph.Patterson@ColoradoCollege.edu. They will help you out.

What if I didn’t know I had committed a violation?

Sometimes students unintentionally commit Honor Code violations. Intentional or not, every student is responsible for knowing the Honor Code and applying it to all submitted work. This is why it is so important to always ask your professor if you have questions about any assignment –rule of thumb is, if you are not sure, ask!

What is the Honor Council’s confidentiality policy?

We take confidentiality very seriously on the Honor Council. The only people on the Council that know any details about a case are the investigators and the co-chair assigned to the case. In no situation does the entire Honor Council know the details about any case. All Honor Council members –and therefore all investigators –have pledged to follow strict confidentiality guidelines concerning any details about a case.

What happens if a student is found guilty of an Honor Code violation?

Upon a guilty verdict, the Council will then make a recommendation to the student's professor that the student receive a No Credit in the class. If the student is found guilty of a flagrant violation, more severe repercussions may be recommended. It is important to note that the Council is a purely a recommending body, meaning that it is ultimately up to the professor to decide whether or not to apply the Council's recommendation.

What is the set-up of a trial?

A case is presented to a panel of Honor Council members who were not a part of the investigation phase.  Each side of the case is presented including the accused, the accuser, character witnesses, and in some special cases, additional witnesses.  After the presentation of a case, the members of the panel deliberate and come to a decision on whether or not a violation of the honor code occurred.  If a violation has occurred, a disciplinary recommendation, dependent on the severity of the violation, will be given to the professor of the accused.

What happens when it’s one person’s word against another?

Our constitution requires clear and convincing evidence to issue a letter of accusation.  A situation of one person’s simple word against another’s, without any other compelling evidence, would likely not meet the criteria to warrant a letter of accusation.

Is there a range of penalties?

All guilty verdicts come with a recommendation of No Credit for the course, with two exceptions: 1. If the violation is deemed flagrant, in which case the recommendation is for removal from the school or 2. If the violation is deemed inadvertent, in which case a meeting will be held between all relevant parties to determine an appropriate consequence.  Keep in mind that the Honor Council is only a recommending body, so ultimate authority lies with the professors, the deans, and the president.

How do I avoid committing an Honor Code violation?

Avoiding an Honor Code violation is, often times, as simple as maintaining good communication with your professor about expectations. In many instances, students are unclear about the citation guidelines adhered to by various departments or individual professors for papers. Similarly, it may be vague as to whether students are allowed to leave classrooms, work with partners, or use class books and notes on examinations. Thus, the best way to avoid finding yourself in a position of committing an Honor Code violation is to communicate about expectations with your professor.

What happens with physical evidence?

In an investigation setting, investigators will often request that the accused or accuser submit physical evidence that will help elucidate the details of a case. Once obtained by the investigators, the evidence will remain in their possession until the conclusion of the case. If a letter of accusation is not submitted, then the case is dropped, and all physical evidence pertaining to the investigation is destroyed. On the other hand, if a letter of accusation is issued and the case goes to trial, all physical evidence must be submitted to investigators 24 hours in advance for trial preparations. Any new evidence submitted by the accused or the accuser within 24 hours of the trial start will not be accepted. Physical evidence will be distributed to all trial panel members for use during the trial. At the conclusion of the trial, the presiding co-chair will assemble all materials and store them in case files that are locked in the Honor Council’s safe. They will be destroyed five years after the conclusion of the case.

How do I become a member of the Honor Council?

Honor Council applications are available at the Worner Desk. Just ask the person working behind the desk for an application. All applications are due by the end of Third Block and need only be returned to the Worner Desk. Once you have applied, you may be invited to interview with current members of the Honor Council where a final decision will be made. The Honor Council only accepts new members once a year so if it is after Third Block, you should apply the following year.

**We would love to chat with you about questions or concerns you may have, or anything else! Contact anyone of us with questions!