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Frequently Asked Questions

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Honor Council FAQs

 

What is the Honor Code? 

The Honor Code defines academic integrity by three interrelated criteria – honesty, integrity, and fairness. As members of the Colorado College community, all students pledge to never: misrepresent their work and never to mislead instructors or fellow students about their work; submit work that does not result from their own effort or that omits or improperly acknowledges the work of others relied upon in the submission; and gain an impermissible advantage over their fellow students, including harming other students’ academic work. 

What does the Honor Council do? 

The Honor Council is a group of your peers who educate the campus community about the Colorado College Honor Code and investigate potential cases of academic dishonesty brought to our attention. The Council serves as a mediating body between faculty and students attempting to ensure mutual trust and respect between these two groups in all academic environments, as is outlined in the Honor Code. 

How does the Honor Code apply to courses offered in distance learning formats? 

The Honor Code applies to all assignments submitted for academic credit at Colorado College. Coursework for any class format (online, hybrid, flex, and in-person) is held to the same standard for academic integrity and honesty. Honor Code violations that occur during distance learning delivered courses will be investigated through the traditional Honor Council investigation process outlined in the Investigation Handbook found on the Honor Council website. The sanction recommendation range applicable for violations which occurred during in-person classes is also applied to remote courses.  

What should I do if I witness a violation? 

If you witness or believe you may have witnessed an Honor Code violation, reach out to the Honor Council Co-Chairs to see if the potential violation constitutes the opening of an Honor Council investigation. Despite common misconceptions, students who report Honor Code violations are not identified to the accused student during Honor Council investigations. 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 honorcouncil@coloradocollege.edu.  

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

There have been instances where students unintentionally committed Honor Code violations. Regardless of if a violation was intentionalas members of the CC campus community, every student is responsible for knowing the Honor Code and applying it to all work submitted for academic creditTherefore, it is important to read and understand the entirety of the Honor Code and to ask your professor(s) 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? 

Confidentiality is one of the highest priorities of the Honor Council. Before Honor Council members are assigned as investigators, the co-chair confirms that investigators do not have a COI (conflict of interest) with the student under investigation. Moving forward, only the investigators assigned to the case and the supervising co-chair know any specific details about a case. Under no circumstances does the entire Honor Council discuss the information of specific cases as a group. All Council members – and therefore all investigators – have pledged to follow strict confidentiality guidelines concerning any details about a suspected and/or confirmed Honor Code violationIn the event that a case proceeds to either type of panel, the Honor Council members serving on the panel are committed to upholding the same standard of confidentiality ensured at all points of an Honor Council investigation. Confidentiality is maintained after cases conclude. 

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

Upon a finding that an Honor Code violation occurred, the Council will make a recommendation to the student's professor that the student receives a sanction ranging between "No Credit" on the assignment to “No Credit” in the course. The specific recommendation is determined based on the severity of the violation and details of the case. If the student is found guilty of a flagrant violation, more severe repercussions are recommended to the President’s Office.  

If a student is confirmed to have violated the Honor Code for a second time, the President’s office is informed and an automatic recommendation for dismissal from the College with or without the ability to reapply is submitted.  

It is important to note that the Council is a purely a recommending body, the professor or administration decide whether to apply the Council's recommendation or an alternative sanction. 

How does a panel work? 

A case is presented to a panel of Honor Council members who were not involved in the investigation phase.  Witnesses include, but are not limited to, the accused student, the professor of the course, the accuser, and eyewitnesses. After the presentation of evidence and the testimony of involved parties, members of the panel deliberate and decide whether there is clear and convincing evidence that a violation of the Honor Code occurred. More information on the details of an Honor Council panel can be found in the Investigation Handbook on the Honor Council website. 

Is there a range of sanctions? 

All non-flagrant Honor Code violations result in a sanction recommendation ranging from no credit or an adjusted final grade on an assignment to no credit in the course. If the violation is deemed flagrant, an additional recommendation is made to the President of the college. This sanction ranges from a one block suspension to expulsion without the right to reapply. 

The Honor Council acts as only a recommending body, so ultimate authority lies with the professor(s), the deans, and potentially the President. 

How do I avoid committing an Honor Code violation? 

Avoiding an Honor Code violation is often as simple as maintaining excellent communication with your professor about expectations and following these guidelines. 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 can 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.  

Additionally, reading and understanding the Honor Code itself is very important. After educating yourself on the language in the Code, if you have any questions, reach out to the Honor Council at honorcouncil@coloradocollege.edu 

Finally, utilizing resources such as your Professors, paraprofessionals, learning assistants, and the staff at the library, the Quantitative Reasoning Center, and the Writing Center can contribute to greater academic success and decreased temptation to violate the Honor Code.  

How do I become a member of the Honor Council? 

The Honor Council application cycle begins during 3rd block and all applications are due at the end of 4th Block. The application timeline may be slightly adjusted year to year, and all-campus communications from the Council will be sent out with most accurate information. Once you apply, you may be invited to interview with current members of the Honor Council, and then a final decision will be made. The Honor Council accepts new members once a year; if it is after the conclusion of the fall semester, you may apply the following year. 

Report an issue - Last updated: 02/07/2021

Contact Us

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.

Student Co-Chairs:

Kat Gruschow '22
Megan Koch '22

honorcouncil@coloradocollege.edu


Faculty Advisors:

George Butte, English

gbutte@coloradocollege.edu

Dan Ellsworth, Mathematics & Computer Science

dellsworth@coloradocollege.edu