Honor Council Frequently Asked Questions - Students

What is the Wittenberg Honor Statement?

According to the Code of Academic Integrity, all academic work at Wittenberg should carry the Honor Statement: "I affirm that my work upholds the highest standards of honesty and academic integrity at Wittenberg, and that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized assistance."

This is the best way to show that you care about academic honesty in your classes. Some of your professors will have you write the Honor Statement on your work, while others will simply have you sign your work, indicating that you affirm the Honor Statement and that your work is your own.

What can I do to uphold academic integrity at Wittenberg?

Refuse to tolerate cheating. Uphold the highest standards and model academic integrity for fellow students. Be consistent in your challenges to academic dishonesty.

If I see someone cheating or plagiarizing, do I have to turn them in? Can I get into trouble if I don't turn them in?

No, you cannot get into trouble for not turning someone in. The Code of Academic Integrity does not punish students for not turning each other in for cheating. However, it does encourage students to take some kind of action when they witness cheating. If you see cheating or plagiarism, talk to that person and offer to help, or speak with your professor and either let them know that people in their class are cheating or that a specific person is cheating.

What other options do I have when I witness cheating on campus?

You can report cheating directly to the Honor Council. You can report cheating anonymously and the Honor Council will do everything it can to protect your anonymity, but it can't promise your name won't be used.

A Student Academic Integrity Report is available. Click here to fill out the online form.

What will happen if I am accused of academic dishonesty?

The first step will be for your professor to contact you to set up a meeting to discuss the incident giving rise to the allegation of academic dishonesty. If you agree that you have violated the policies, and you agree that the sanction is appropriate to the violation, then the matter is resolved. The professor will write a report to the Honor Council detailing the incident and describing your meeting. This is an informal or student/faculty resolution.

What if my professor and I resolve the case informally?

Your professor will send in a report. If you and the professor have resolved the case, then nothing else will happen (unless you are a past offender). The sanction will go into effect. The report is checked against your record to make certain that you have not been found responsible for academic dishonesty in the past. If not, then the matter is closed.

If my professor and I resolve the case, then do they have to report it?

It is important to report every incident of academic dishonesty. First, we need accurate records of academic dishonesty on campus. Second, it might be that you have violated the code before, in which case a pattern of dishonest behavior can be uncovered. Third, reports help to protect you from sanctions that might be unreasonable or out of step with the Wittenberg's standards. Finally, what looks like one isolated incident might help us to identify new methods or patterns of cheating on campus.

What if my professor and I cannot resolve the case?

If you feel that you have been wrongfully accused, you should ask for a hearing board review of your case. Or, you might also request a hearing if you believe that the sanction for your violation is too severe. Either you or your professor may report the case so that it will go in front of the Honor Council. Your case will be reviewed and the hearing board will try to ensure that the punishment is fair.

Does it take long to resolve cases reviewed by the Honor Council?

While timing is different per case, most violations are resolved within four weeks after the reporting date (this excludes breaks and holidays). Every effort will be made to speed the process.

What happens at a hearing by the Honor Council?

After submitting a report to the Honor Council you will receive a notice of the time, location, and date of the hearing. Both you and the professor will be asked to appear before the hearing board to describe the incident and present evidence. The professor can recommend a sanction; however, the hearing board is in no way obligated to impose the faculty member's recommended sanction. Hearing boards can impose sanctions different from the sanction recommended by the faculty member.

Hearings are not trials, and no attorneys can take part or be present.

The Honor Council's Faculty Advisor will meet with you to walk you through the procedures for hearings.

Will a record of the incident appear on my transcript?

If you are found responsible for having violated the Code of Academic Integrity, then a record of the case is included in your file, but no notation will be made your transcript, unless you have been assigned an XF for the course, that is, failed the course due to academic dishonesty. Also, your transcript will indicate if you have been suspended or expelled from the university for academic dishonesty.

If you are exonerated, no record will appear in your file or on your transcript.

Can I appeal the decision of the Honor Council hearing board?

Yes. You should appeal if significant new evidence becomes available. Also, you should appeal if you feel that the sanction you have received is not appropriate for the violation. Finally, if you feel that you were not given a fair and impartial hearing, then you should consider an appeal. In some instances, a new hearing board will be assigned to review your case.

What happens if I am accused of a second incident of academic dishonesty?

If you are accused of academic dishonesty and have already been found responsible for violating the Code of Academic Integrity, then the case will automatically be referred to the Honor Council which will designate a hearing board. If you are found responsible for a second violation, you are subject to suspension up to one year and/or permanent expulsion from the University. Other sanctions are available to the hearing board.

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