Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014
70 ° Fair
As a liberal arts college, Virginia Wesleyan is committed to values of citizenship and social responsibility fundamental to a community of scholars. All students are expected to abide by the Virginia Wesleyan Creed and the Virginia Wesleyan Honor Code.
The purpose of the Honor Code at Virginia Wesleyan College is to foster an environment of learning based upon trustworthiness and willingness to assume personal responsibility for honorable behavior. First-year students sign a card acknowledging their commitment to the Honor Code during Honors Convocation.
The Honor Council and New Hearing and Appeals Committee are composed of faculty and students.
CHEATING is the deliberate submission of work for a grade or credit that is not one's own or that violates professors' implied or stated instructions concerning the type and amount of aid permitted. The student who gives prohibited aid shall be considered as responsible as the student who receives it.
PLAGIARISM is the oral and/or written presentation of words, facts, or ideas belonging to another source without proper acknowledgment.
LYING means making a statement that one knows is false with the intent to deceive a fellow member of the college community in relation to academic matters. Falsifying personal or college documents by mutilation, addition, or deletion is lying.
ACADEMIC THEFT is the removal, hiding, or mutilation of academic materials, including library resources, computer software, and laboratory equipment, thereby depriving others of opportunities to use such materials.
FALSIFYING DATA is the deliberate fabrication or misrepresentation of research data and results.
Every VWC student has the following responsibilities:
A student accused of violating the Honor Code has the following rights and is responsible for exercising those rights:
* The Dean of the College notes the following clarification: In the case of a first offense for which a faculty member has imposed a Level 1 penalty, the right of a student to take a matter to the Honor Council is limited to the question of whether a violation of the Honor Code has occurred. The faculty member retains the right to impose whatever grade she or he deems appropriate for the assignment and the course. See also p. 7, "Level 1" Penalty.
Every VWC faculty member has the following rights and responsibilities:
Procedures Leading Up to Hearing
1) The charging party must submit a written statement of the charge identifying specifically how the Honor Code has been violated.
2) After a formal written charge has been received by the Chairperson of the Honor Council, the Chairperson and two Council members (faculty and student appointed by the Chairperson) may hold a pre-hearing review. This review determines if there is sufficient cause and evidence for a hearing. Alternatively, they may immediately determine that a hearing shall be held.
3) If it is determined that the case shall be heard, the meeting of the Honor Council will take place as soon as possible and in no case later than one week.
4) All individuals involved will be notified in writing about the time and place of the Honor Council meeting. This notice will also instruct these individuals that the meeting will occur in their presence or absence.
5) The Chairperson of the Council will preside and three faculty members and three student members must be present.
6) In any Honor Council hearing, neither strict rules of evidence nor any right to legal counsel shall apply. The proceedings shall be conducted so as to achieve fundamental fairness and prompt resolution.
7) At the Honor Council hearing only those persons (other than the charged student's college community advocate and the Council itself) directly involved in the incident may be present. A written record will be kept of all meetings.
Conduct of the Hearing
The Chairperson conducts the hearing as follows:
1) Chairperson asks parties to enter, seats them, and then explains details of the charge and the evidence presented so far.
2) Chairperson asks charging party to respond and to say what she/he wishes to say.
3) Chairperson asks accused party to respond and to say what she/he wishes to say. Accused party may make statements and/or ask questions.
4) Chairperson invites Honor Council to ask questions. Chairperson makes sure questions are in the form of a question, non-argumentative, and relevant.
5) Once everyone has had a chance to testify, ask questions, and hear all the evidence, the Chairperson asks the charging party and accused party to leave while the Council deliberates. The three students and three faculty members determine guilt or innocence, and if guilty, impose penalty. Chairperson votes only to break a tie.
6) Chairperson asks parties to return and explains the Council's findings.
7) Chairperson gives an explanation of the reasons for the Council's decision and adjourns meeting.
Within twenty-four hours after the Honor Council meeting, the Chairperson shall give a written report of the Council's decision to the plaintiff(s), defendant(s), the Dean of the College, and the Dean of Students. This written report shall include an explanation of the reasons for the decision reached. If a Level 2 or Level 3 penalty is imposed, the Dean of Students will be called upon to assist in the process of withdrawal from the college. Ordinarily this will occur within forty-eight hours of the decision.
If an individual is found guilty and is dismissed from the college, the evidence and records of the proceedings should be maintained permanently in the office of the Dean of the College.
If an individual is found guilty, is suspended, and is then readmitted to the college, the evidence and records of the proceedings should be kept in the office of the Dean of the College and then destroyed after the graduation of the person.
If an individual is found not guilty, the evidence and records of the proceedings shall be held for two weeks and then destroyed.
The student's name, the charge, the date, and the decision in each case should be kept permanently in the office of the Dean of the College.
The Graduated Penalty System
Virginia Wesleyan College operates under a graduated penalty system. In this system there is no set penalty for each violation of the Honor Code. Once it is determined a student has violated the Honor Code, it is first the responsibility of the individual faculty member and then the Honor Council to determine what penalty is justified in a case. The penalties consist of the following:
Level 1: Faculty are able to implement Level 1 penalties for purely academic violations without referring the matter to the Honor Council.
Any other appropriate sanction short of suspension may be recommended at Level 1, but must be approved by the Honor Council following a hearing.
Faculty are urged to check with the Dean of the College to determine if a student has a previous offense of the Honor Code before taking action. If the student has committed a previous offense, the Dean of the College may recommend that the faculty member refer the new violation directly to the Honor Council. All punitive actions taken by faculty must be reported to the Dean of the College, who will keep a record of the actions taken.
Level 2: The presumptive sentence for the commission of a second honor offense is suspension from the college for a minimum of one semester, which, in the judgment of the Honor Council, may be the semester in which the offense occurs or the semester following the occurrence of the offense. The maximum Level 2 sentence may not exceed suspension for four semesters. A student may overcome the presumption in favor of suspension by showing mitigating circumstances, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
In the event that the Honor Council chooses not to impose suspension for a Level 2 offense, it may impose an appropriate alternative penalty or penalties, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
A first Honor offense may constitute a Level 2 violation if, in the judgment of the Honor Council, there were aggravating circumstances, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Level 3: The commission of a third offense constitutes a Level 3 violation for which the mandatory sentence is separation from the college and loss of credit in all courses in which the student is enrolled at the time of the violation. A second Honor offense—or, in rare instances, a first Honor offense—may constitute a Level 3 violation if, in the judgment of the Honor Council, there were aggravating circumstances, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
The person requesting a new hearing or an appeal shall file a written notice with the Dean of the College within seven days following the original hearing (weekend and holidays excluded). In the case of new evidence, however, this time period may be extended by the Chairperson.
Requests shall be dated and contain a statement of the grounds for the new hearing or appeal and the signature of the person making the request. Requests shall specify whether an appeal or a new hearing is requested.
Grounds for a new hearing include the discovery of new facts that even in the exercise of due diligence were unavailable at the time of the hearing and which could alter the outcome.
Requests for a new hearing must include the following:
Duties of the New Hearing and Appeals Committee in response to Request for New Hearing. This committee will review the request and determine if the request has merit. If the committee finds the request has merit, it has the power to call for a new hearing. If a new hearing is indicated then the full Honor Council procedure will be repeated, this time to include the new evidence.
There are two grounds for appeal: excessive sanctions or material violation(s) of the hearing procedure.
Excessive Sanctions. If the appeal is based on excessive sanction, specific information must be cited indicating why the sanction is unreasonable in light of the charges.
Duties of the New Hearing and Appeals Committee in response to a request for an appeal based on excessive sanction. This committee will review the request for appeal and determine if the request has merit. If the New Hearing and Appeals Committee decides to consider the appeal, it has the power to:
Material Violation(s) of Procedure. If the appeal is based on a violation(s) of hearing procedure it must include:
Duties of the New Hearing and Appeals Committee in response to a request for an appeal based on a material violation(s) of hearing procedure. This committee will review the request to determine if the request has merit. If the New Hearing and Appeals Committee decides to consider the appeal, it has the power to:
A. Honor Council
Chairperson: The Honor Council Chairperson shall be a faculty member appointed for a two-year term by the Dean of the College in consultation with the divisional chairs and the student body president. The Chairperson shall convene and preside over all meetings of the Council. The Chairperson shall decide the outcome of all Council determinations which result in a tie.
Faculty: The faculty members of the Honor Council shall consist of three members and three alternates. One member and one alternate will be elected from each division of the college. Each member and each alternate shall serve a three-year term. Membership shall be staggered so that two or more faculty members do not rotate off the Council on the same year.
Students: The student members of the Honor Council shall consist of three members and three alternates, to be appointed by the student body president and the president of the college. Each member will serve a one- year term. The Dean of Students may appoint interim student members when necessary, if regular members and alternates are unavailable to serve.
In addition to conducting hearings, the Honor Council is responsible for educating faculty, staff, and students on a yearly basis on matters regarding the Honor Code.
Members of the 2014-2015 Honor Council
Dr. Benjamin Dobrin (2nd year of two-year term)
Dr. Carol Johnson (third year of three-year term)
Dr. Doug Kennedy (second year of three-year term)
Dr. Garry Noe (first year of three-year term)
Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm (third year of three-year term)
Dr. Cheul Kang (second year of three-year term)
Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne (first year of three-year term)
B. Members of the New Hearing and Appeals Committee
The New Hearing and Appeals Committee will consist of the Dean of the College, one faculty member to be elected in the spring semester, and the Student Government Association president.
Members of the 2014-2015 New Hearing and Appeals Committee
Dr. Timothy O'Rourke, Dean of the College
Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm, Faculty Representative
Ms. Imani West, SGA President
Honor Code Violations for Academic Year 2013-2014: 24 documented violations in the categories of
Plagiarism, Academic Theft, and Cheating.