Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Honor Council do?
The Honor Council is a group of your peers who educate the Colorado College community about and enforce the CC Honor Code.
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 witness a violation?
If you have any questions, or if you wish to report a suspected Honor Code violation, please don’t hesitate to contact the Honor Council Co-Chairs at email@example.com.
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 – a rule of thumb is, if you are not sure, ask!
What is the Honor Council’s confidentiality policy?
We take confidentiality very seriously. 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 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 make a recommendation to the student's professor that the student receive a "No Credit" in the class or on the assignment. If the student is found guilty of a flagrant violation, more severe repercussions may be recommended to the Dean's Office. It is important to note that the Council is a purely a recommending body, it is ultimately up to the professor or administration to decide whether or not to apply the Council's recommendation.
How does a hearing work?
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 and thoroughly examined. Witnesses include the accused student, the professor of the course, the accuser, eye witnesses, and others. After hearing the evidence, the members of the panel deliberate and come to a decision on whether or not a violation of the Honor Code occurred.
Is there a range of sanctions?
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 at the beginning of 2nd block, just ask the person at the desk. All applications are due at the end of Third Block and need only be returned to the Worner Desk. Once you apply, you may be invited to interview with current members of the Honor Council where a final decision will be made. The Honor Council accepts new members once a year, so, if it is after Third Block, you may apply the following year.
If you have any questions, or if you wish to report a suspected Honor Code violation, please don't hesitate to contact either Honor Council Co-Chair.
Bryan Swanson '21
Megan Koch '22
George Butte, English
Dan Ellsworth, Mathematics & Computer Science