Offices & Services

Student Handbook

Honor Board Procedures and Guidelines

Honor Board Procedures and Guidelines

All students who are called before the Honor Board will be treated with respect and dignity. Students called before the Honor Board will be provided with information about the hearing process prior to the hearing.

Once a student conduct case has been referred for a hearing, the Honor Board will work to schedule the hearing as soon as possible. At least five business days prior to the hearing, the respondent will be notified in writing of the charges against him or her, as well as the date, time, and location of the hearing. In certain circumstances, with the agreement of the respondent in the case, the five-day notification policy may be waived. In cases where the student respondent is facing external charges filed by a law enforcement agency, the Honor Board may decide to hold a hearing prior to a court hearing. The respondent may request a postponement of the hearing. That request must be in writing to the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residential Life.  The Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residential Life, in consultation with the Honor Board chair and/or Vice Chair, will determine whether to grant the request.

For matters involving sexual misconduct or sex discrimination/harassment, both the student filing the complaint (complainant) and the student who is the subject of the complaint (respondent) are equally entitled to participate in the hearing, receive written notification of the hearing date, time, and location and copies of materials, present witnesses and question witnesses through the Honor Board chair, and appeal the outcome of the hearing. 

Cases involving more than one respondent are typically heard in one hearing. Either/any respondent has the right to request a separate hearing. The administrator referring the case will decide whether or not to grant the request.

A student respondent may request that specific witnesses appear at his or her hearing.  The request must be received by either the Honor Board chair or the administrator of the hearing at least four business days prior to the hearing. Prior to the hearing, witnesses will receive written notification that they are required to attend and will be expected to participate in the hearing.

If a student chooses to have an advisor present at the hearing, the advisor’s name must be submitted prior to the hearing.  With the exception of cases involving sexual misconduct or sex discrimination/harassment, the advisor must be a member of the College community (faculty, staff or student).  In sexual misconduct or sex discrimination/harassment cases only, both the complainant and respondent may have one advisor of their choice attend the hearing with them and the advisor does not have to be a member of the College community.

The Honor Board’s decision regarding responsibility for Honor Code violations will be based solely on the information submitted during the hearing and on the preponderance of the evidence.

A student respondent’s prior Honor Board or conduct record will be made available to the Board only if the student has been found responsible and only for the purpose of informing the sanction phase.

The Honor Board is committed to the principles of consensus when making decisions about a student respondent’s responsibility as well as any sanctions. On the rare occasion when a vote becomes necessary, four out of five votes will be required to find responsibility and to impose sanctions. For Title IX hearings, 2 of 3 are required.  Abstentions are not permitted.

Further information about the Honor Board hearing process as well as guidelines for student respondents, witnesses and advisors can be found online at:  http://www.washcoll.edu/wc/offices/student-affairs/honor-board-and-student-conduct.php