The Honor Code
We at Washington College strive to maintain an environment in which learning and growth flourish through individuals’ endeavors and honest intellectual exchanges both in and out of the classroom. To maintain such an environment, each member of the community pledges to respect the ideas, well-being, and property of others. Thus, each member of the Washington College community abides by its Honor Code.
The Washington College Honor Code was established by vote of the faculty and students in 1976 and reaffirmed in 1987. In 1994, the Honor Code was redrafted to reflect student and faculty sentiment that a single code should address both academic and social conduct.
The Washington College Honor Code sets standards for the entire College community. The intention of the Honor Code is to encourage honest academic achievement and the highest standard of social conduct in all members of the institution. Those who agree to this honor system promise to uphold it and abide by it. All students are required to sign the Honor Code upon enrollment at Washington College, signifying that they have read and understand the Honor Code, and that they are willing to abide by its principles, and that they understand the sanctions they may incur if they violate the Code.
The Honor Board is charged with hearing cases of alleged student violations of the Washington College Honor Code. There are two kinds of violations: academic and social. The Honor Board hears cases of both academic and social violations. The Provost’s Office determines which academic cases are referred to the Honor Board, and the Student Affairs Office determines which social cases are referred.
The Student Government Association Review Board appoints nine students to serve as members of the Honor Board. The faculty elects six faculty members to serve as members of the Honor Board. At any given hearing, students and faculty members comprise the hearing panel and determine whether a student is responsible for violating the honor code and, if so, assign sanctions. In cases of alleged sexual misconduct, a subset of the Honor Board will hear those cases (see section below on Hearing Bodies). Advisory members of the Board are the Assistant Dean for First Year Experience and Student Success, or designee, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee, and the Honor Board Chair.
Chair 2019 - 2020: Calisa Gayle, ’20
The Chair of the Honor Board is a student nominated by the Student Government Association Review Board. The Chair presides over all meetings of the Honor Board and reports activities of the Honor Board to the SGA. The Chair works with the Assistant Dean for First Year Experience and Student Success and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs to ensure that proper procedures are followed in the adjudication of all cases.
Vice Chair 2019 - 2020: Elizabeth O’Connor
The Vice-Chair of the Honor Board is a faculty member elected by the other faculty members of the Honor Board and serves as a liaison between the faculty and the Honor Board.
The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, as designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, has primary responsibility to coordinate all aspects of responding to social violations of the Honor Code and refers cases to appropriate bodies for adjudication.
The Assistant Dean for First Year Experience and Student Success, as designated by the Provost and Dean of the College, has primary responsibility to coordinate all aspects of responding to academic violations of the Honor Code and works with the Faculty Coordinator for Academic Integrity to refer cases to appropriate bodies for adjudication.
Normally, to proceed with a hearing, the Honor Board Chair, or their designee, three student members, two faculty members, and the Assistant Dean for First Year Experience and Student Success and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, or their designees must be present. However, in some instances (with the consent of the student being brought before the Board), an Administrative Hearing may proceed without a full board.
When classes are not in session, cases normally referred to the Honor Board may be handled by an administrative board as determined by the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs or the Assistant Dean for First Year Experience and Student Success in consultation with the Honor Board Chair and Vice-Chair, unless a student requests the case be heard by the Honor Board when classes resume.
Assistant Dean for First Year Experience and Student Success -The Assistant Dean for First Year Experience and Student Success or the Faculty Coordinator can hear cases of alleged academic violations and makes decisions regarding the referral of those violations of the Honor Code to the Honor Board.
Associate Vice President & Associate Dean of Students - These members of the Student Affairs Office can hear cases of alleged social violations of the Honor Code and make decisions regarding the referral of those violations to the Honor Board.
Other Administrators - Administrators who have been designated by either the Assistant Dean for First Year Experience and Student Success or the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residential Life may hear cases of alleged violations of the Honor Code either individually or as members of an Administrative Hearing Board.
Conduct Meeting Panel – A small group of Honor Board members or other administrators, faculty and students who have experience in adjudicating student conduct cases.
Administrative Panel - A group of administrators, faculty, and students who have been designated by either the Assistant Dean for First-Year Experience and Student Success or Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and who have experience in adjudicating student conduct cases.
Title IX Hearing Panel – Panelists for Title IX cases are normally current members of the Honor Board but may also include former Honor Board members or other faculty and staff who have specialized training and/or experience in adjudicating Title IX cases. The panel hears cases of alleged sexual misconduct and sex discrimination/harassment. At each hearing, the panel will comprise of three people with at least one faculty member of the Honor Board and at least one student member of the Honor Board. With the agreement of both the Reporting Party and Responding Party, the faculty/student composition of the panel may be altered. Members of Title IX panels are specially trained to hear these types of cases.
Definition of Terms
Administrative Hearing - Conduct hearing conducted by a trained administrator or faculty representative.
Business Days – Mondays through Fridays, excluding days when the College is officially closed for business.
Reporting Party - Individual or group who brings initial notice of violation to the attention of College authorities.
Hearing Body - Refers to either an administrator who serves as a conduct hearing officer or hearing board such as the Honor Board or an Administrative Board.
Honor Board - The hearing board composed of students and faculty that hears alleged violations of the Honor Code and other college policies.
More Likely Than Not - The standard used at Washington College to find the Responding Party responsible. This means that the student is found responsible if the hearing body believes that it was more likely than not that the alleged violation took place.
Responding Party- The student or organization charged with a violation of the Honor Code. The President and one other officer represent the Responding Party in cases involving an organization.
Students are responsible for observing applicable laws, regulations, and rules of the larger community as well as the Honor Code at all times. The College reserves the right to investigate reports of any student misconduct that occurs on or off campus, including during periods between semesters or breaks in enrollment. If the College becomes aware that a student has been arrested and/or charged with a crime or has engaged in other conduct that is detrimental to the interests of the College or the welfare of others, the College may choose to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the student.