Chapter 2: The Honor System
Honor Code /The Honor Code Applied to Preparation of Papers / Tests, Examinations, and Other Exercises / Responsibility of the Individual Student/ Undergraduate Honor Council / Undergraduate Honor Pledge" / Student Advisers of Undergraduate Honor Council / Faculty Advisers to Undergraduate Honor Council / Procedures of the Vanderbilt Honor Council / Withdrawal from the University Before Hearing / Discretion and Disqualification of Council Members / Undergraduate Honor Council Constitution and Bylaws
All students are required to acquaint themselves with the provisions of the Honor System through the information in this Handbook. Students may obtain further information from the dean of each school, from the Honor Council President at Vanderbilt University, VU #351601, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235-1601, telephone (615) 322-3056, from the Honor Council Web site,* or from the Honor Council adviser. Graduate and professional students may obtain information from the office of the dean of their school or college.
Undergraduate students are subject to the jurisdiction of the Undergraduate Honor Council. The policies and procedures of the undergraduate Honor System stated in this Student Handbook apply to all students enrolled in undergraduate courses of all the schools and the Division of Unclassified Studies, whether full-time or part-time, or whether regularly enrolled, transients, or cross-registered from a neighbor institution.
Graduate and professional students are subject to the jurisdiction of the student body that implements the Honor System in the graduate and professional schools-School of Graduate Studies Honor Council, Student Honor Council of the School of Medicine, Honor Council of the Law School, Divinity School Honor Council, Honor Council of the School of Nursing, Owen Graduate School of Management Honor Council, and Peabody Honor Council (for students in professional programs at Peabody College). Graduate and professional students must check with their individual schools or advisers for further regulations beyond procedures cited in this Handbook, which may affect their studies and observances of Honor Codes.
The Vanderbilt Honor System was instituted in 1875 with the first final examinations administered by the University. A student's personal integrity then, as now, was presumed to be sufficient assurance that in academic matters one did one's own work without unauthorized help from any other source. The Honor System is only one of the elements provided to Vanderbilt students with which each may develop creative thinking and intellectual maturity in a fair and balanced grading environment.
The Honor System presumes that all work submitted as part of academic requirements is the product of the student submitting it unless credit is given with proper footnoting and bibliographic techniques, or as prescribed by the course instructor.
When a student makes use of concepts or words from an outside source, whether in the form of a direct quotation or of paraphrase, credit must be given to the original source for each idea by footnote or other technique acceptable to the instructor. Failure to make such an acknowledgment constitutes plagiarism. (A comprehensive explanation of plagiarism is given under the heading "The Honor Code Applied to Preparation of Papers.")
Students are responsible for obtaining from their professors an explanation of the freedom they may exercise in collaboration with other students or in use of outside sources, including the student's own work prepared and submitted for another course, during group study sessions, and in take-home examinations. In the event that a student does not obtain a clear definition of the application of the Honor Code from a professor in any class, the student must assume that the Honor Council will follow the strictest interpretation of the Honor Code with respect to that class.
Cheating, plagiarizing, or otherwise falsifying results of study is prohibited. The System applies not only to examinations, but also to all work handed in, such as papers, reports, solutions to problems, tapes, films, and computer programs, unless excepted by the instructor.
Students often have trouble distinguishing between privileged information and common knowledge. An idea is often considered common knowledge if it is encountered at least three times in separate sources during one's research into a particular subject. (Reprints of one source do not constitute separate sources.)
Students should realize that an act of plagiarism may include some degree of premeditation or may be the result of carelessness or ignorance of acceptable forms for citation; the act is plagiarism in any case and is a violation of the Honor Code. Students, therefore, must be conscious of their responsibilities as scholars under the Honor System, to learn to discern what is included in plagiarism as well as in other breaches of the Honor Code, and must know and practice the specifications for citations in scholarly work. The following examples illustrate the kinds of problems that can arise.
"The characters in Othello are both allegorical and realistic at once. Characters like Iago and Desdemona are recognizable both as persons and at the same time devils, demigods and forces in nature. It is Shakespeare's achievement as an artist that he is capable of creating visions of life as people live it at the same time that he is able to understand life in terms of social and cosmic symbols. In this paper I will discuss the allegorical elements in the play, the skeleton of ideas and actions with which the characters give meaning to the play."
The instructor gave the paper to the Honor Council, citing this paragraph as evidence of plagiarism. The instructor presented the following paragraph from Introduction to "The Tragedy of Othello" by William Shakespeare, edited by Alvin Kernan. Copyright © 1963 by Alvin Kernan.
"Here is the essence of Shakespeare's art, an ability to create immediate, full and total life as men actually live and experience it; and yet at the same time to arrange this reality so that it gives substance to and derives shape from a formal vision of all life that comprehends and reaches back from man and nature through society and history to cosmic powers that operate through all time and space. His plays are both allegorical and realistic at once; his characters both recognizable men and at the same time devils, demigods and forces in nature. I have discussed only the more allegorical elements in Othello, the skeleton of ideas and formal patterns within which the characters must necessarily be understood. But it is equally true that the exact qualities of the abstract moral value and ideas, their full reality, exist only in the characters."
Plagiarism extends to preparation materials as well. For example, should the student forget to note on research cards the source of material and then fail to footnote the source when the paper or report is prepared, the student is still committing a plagiaristic act. Not knowing how or when to footnote is not considered a sufficient excuse.
Students are expected to follow the general rules of footnoting for each discipline. One footnote is not sufficient if additional material from the same source is included in a work. Footnotes should express the extent of ideas or expressions of others that are used. All direct quotes must be in quotation marks or in block quote format. Simply providing a footnote without using quotation marks or block quote format is a violation. For further information about footnoting, refer to A Manual for Writers by Kate L. Turabian or the MLA Style Sheet.
Students are on their honor not to ask for or give information pertaining to any portion of an examination before or after they have taken it, in such a way as to gain or give an advantage over other students.
The written pledge (see also Undergraduate Honor Pledge) signifies that the work submitted is the student's own and that it has been completed in accordance with the requirements of the course as specified by the instructor. In addition, each student and faculty member is expected to establish a clear understanding of the requirements in each course. Any student uncertain about the application of the pledge in a particular course requirement should always consult the instructor. The Honor System pledge, or an abbreviation, should be included in all written work completed by the student and submitted for a grade. Any work handed in for credit, however, will be considered pledged unless otherwise excepted by the professor.
Without the support and cooperation of the entire student body, the Honor System will not work. Students must insist on the absolute integrity of themselves and their fellow students. It is the obligation of every student who suspects an honor violation to take action in one of the following ways, determining the choice of action by the flagrancy and/or certainty of the violation.
The Honor Council is an organization of students that seeks to preserve the integrity of the Honor Code at Vanderbilt University. It aims to secure justice for any student under suspicion of dishonesty, to vindicate his or her name if innocent, and, if guilty, to protect the honor and standing of the remaining students by his or her punishment as set forth in the bylaws (from the constitution of the Undergraduate Honor Council).
The fifty-seven members of the Honor Council are selected from all the classes in all the undergraduate schools. Members are chosen by a joint system of a student-faculty committee and class elections. All Honor Council representatives must maintain at least a C average.
The Honor Council elects its own officers during the last general body meeting of the fall semester. The officers include a president, two vice-presidents, two recording secretaries, a corresponding secretary, and a public affairs officer. The president must have served for at least one full year as a member of the Honor Council.
Summer Council: Each spring the regularly selected Honor Council has the authority to transfer jurisdiction over all infractions of the Honor System during the summer session to the Summer Council, which has the same authority as the regular Honor Council. The Summer Honor Council's procedures are described in Article V of the Honor Council bylaws.
Any student taking a course or courses in the College of Arts and Science, Peabody College, the School of Engineering, or Blair School of Music, regardless of where registered, is to this extent under the jurisdiction of the Honor Council and subject to any penalties it may impose.
Student advisers appointed by the Honor Council are not voting members of the Honor Council. They serve to explain to an accused student the procedures of the Honor Council, the hearing, and the penalties that may be assigned.
A list of advisers will be given to the accused student, and he or she may select one to serve as adviser during the investigation, hearing, and appeal. The accused may also select an individual not on the list from the University community: faculty, staff, or student. However, current Honor Council members or persons with formal legal training are not eligible to serve as advisers.
An adviser may also answer questions about the Honor Code or help students understand responsibilities under the Code. If a student is not sure what constitutes a violation or does not understand what actions to take after witnessing a violation, an adviser may help.
Thirty faculty members appointed by the Chancellor make up the Board of Faculty Advisers. Each year, they elect their own chair. The chair assigns one faculty adviser to attend every hearing. In a full panel hearing, the faculty adviser may ask questions and participate in the discussion but does not have a vote in the outcome. The faculty advisers do have a vote in the outcome of a small panel hearing. After the hearing, he or she submits a written report to the chair.
At year's end, the Honor Council officers and the Board of Faculty Advisers may meet to review and discuss the cases decided that year. The Board of Faculty Advisers shall submit a report of the year's events to the Faculty Senate.
2. The investigators shall interview, without delay, the accuser, and later, persons other than the accused who might have been a part of, or witness to, the alleged violation. They will collect all available physical evidence. Having assembled their findings, they will prepare a statement of the charge against the accused.
3. The statement includes, in addition to the specific charge, an explanation of the possible consequences if the accused student is found guilty of a breach of the Vanderbilt Honor Code. This statement must be prepared in duplicate, one for the accused and one for the Honor Council's files.
4. The investigators shall meet with the accused, explain that they are there on Honor Council business, present him or her with the written statement of charges, and give the accused a copy of the Honor System handbook. The accused is required to respond to the investigators' inquiries in reasonable time, and the Honor Council may send a notice to the Registrar's office to enter an Incomplete on the accused's transcript, along with the notation "Honor Council investigation pending," if the accused is not compliant. The accused will be informed at this time of all the available evidence in the case and of the procedures that will be followed.
5. The investigators then ask the accused to sign the Statement of Charges indicating that he or she understands the charge, possible penalties if found guilty, and the procedures to be followed. Signing the Statement of Charges does not imply or acknowledge guilt.
6. The investigators ask the accused to explain his or her own account of the events surrounding the alleged violation. The accused may choose not to make any statement at that time, but rather to defer making any statement until an agreeable time prior to the hearing.
7. The investigators inform the accused of his or her right to obtain material witnesses. The accused is required to notify the investigators of the witness(es) before the hearing has been scheduled so that the investigators may contact the witness(es) and prepare a statement for inclusion in the investigative report. No witness will be allowed to testify at the hearing unless he or she has previously given a statement to the investigators. The investigators will also inform the accused student of his or her right to obtain one character witness to testify at the hearing. In addition, the accused may have one faculty, student, or staff adviser, who may not have had legal training, present with him or her during the presentation of testimony, and who may speak with the accused, but who may not speak directly with Honor Council members. An accused may obtain professional legal representation, advice, and counsel. However, an attorney may not participate in or be present during an Honor Council hearing. The Honor Council is a student tribunal untrained in the law. An attorney representing an accused is encouraged to work directly with the Office of General Counsel.
8. The investigators should explain the procedures of the hearing in full detail to each witness and the accused. They should explain to the accused the importance of honesty in the proceedings and inform him or her that he or she will be called on to enter a plea of guilt or innocence. The investigators will also inform each as to the place and time of the hearing. The hearing should not be held earlier than seventy-two hours after the investigators initially have met with the accused unless an earlier time is agreed to by the accused.
10. The investigators assemble the evidence and testimony in a concise, logical report. At least twenty-four hours before the hearing, the accused student will be presented with a copy of the investigators' report in order to comment on any corrections or clarifications the accused student feels are necessary or appropriate.
3. Guilt. When the Honor Council is satisfied that all pertinent testimony has been received, it proceeds to discuss and decide the question of guilt or innocence. The proof that a person is guilty of a charge must be clear and convincing to the Honor Council. Ten of the twelve members must vote "guilty" to find the accused guilty. Investigators do not vote.
4. Penalty. If the accused is found guilty, the Honor Council determines a fitting penalty based upon (a) the flagrancy of the violation, (b) premeditation involved in the offense, and (c) the truthfulness of the accused throughout the investigation and the hearing. The penalty must be determined by simple majority vote. If, at the discretion of the Honor Council president, mitigating circumstances exist with regard to the commission of the violation in question, then the president may introduce those circumstances to be considered in the discussion of penalty. Such circumstances may not relate to the possible ramifications of the panel's decision.
5. Decision. The accused is brought back for presentation of the Honor Council's decision. After stating the decision, the president (and others) may talk with the accused. They may explain that the accused's parents may be notified of any sanctions imposed. At this time it should also be explained to the accused that he or she has the right of appeal.
Small Panel Hearing
If an accused student informs the investigators that he or she would prefer a small panel hearing, the investigators will inform the Honor Council's first vice president, who will in turn inform the Honor Council president. A date, time, and location will be chosen for the hearing.
The Honor Council president will arrange for one other Honor Council member and a member of the Faculty Advisory Board to be present at the hearing. The Honor Council president should attempt to contact the chair of the Board within twenty-four hours of the tentative time scheduled for the hearing to arrange for a Board member to be present.
At least twenty-four hours before the hearing, the accused student will be presented with a copy of the investigators' report in order to comment on any corrections or clarifications the accused student feels are necessary or appropriate.
1. Investigators. The investigators will first present their report and any pertinent evidence; material witnesses may be called to testify if necessary. After the evidence has been presented, the investigators may answer any questions from the panel members.
3. Accused. At the conclusion of the investigators' report, the accused student will be given the opportunity to describe the events in question. Panel members will then have an opportunity to question the accused student about his or her testimony and the evidence before them.
4. Penalty. At the conclusion of all questioning, the panel will adjourn for a discussion of penalty. The appropriate penalty will be assigned on the basis of three criteria: (a) flagrancy of the violation, (b) premeditation involved in the offense, and (c) truthfulness of the student throughout the investigation and the hearing.
If, at the discretion of the Honor Council president, mitigating circumstances exist with regard to the commission of the violation in question, then the president may introduce those circumstances to be considered in the discussion of penalty. Such circumstances may not relate to the possible ramifications of the panel's decision.
At the conclusion of the discussion, a penalty will be assigned by the panel. A small panel can assign one of two penalties in a case: (a) failure in the course, or (b) failure in the course and suspension for one semester. In rare circumstances, the panel may suspend the minimum penalty of failure in the course. Each penalty requires a unanimous vote of the panel. In the event that the panel cannot reach a unanimous decision or the small panel concludes that the penalty should be more severe than prescribed above, the case is sent to a full panel hearing.
After the Hearing
2. If the accused is found guilty or pleads guilty, written notice of the decision is sent to the following parties: (a) the accused, (b) the dean of the school in which he or she is enrolled, (c) the registrar of the school in which he or she is enrolled, (d) the University registrar and assistant registrar, (e) the Vice Chancellor for Student Life, (f) the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Housing and Residential Education when suspension of University Privileges is involved, (g) the chair of the Appellate Review Board, (h) the instructor concerned, (i) the accused's parents, and (j) other material witnesses.
4. The accused student may file an appeal from a full or small panel decision with the Honor Council adviser or the adviser's designee, but must do so within ten class or exam days of the hearing date or within two calendar weeks if school is not in session for ten days after notification. The appeal petition will be sent to the chair of the Appellate Review Board who will determine if there are sufficient grounds for an appeal based on the criteria delimited in the appeal procedures. If the Chair affirms that there is sufficient reason for an appeal, the student's petition is sent to the Honor Council president who will draft a reply to the student's appeal upon receipt of the appeal from the Honor Council adviser's office. This reply will be sent to the accused student for review and additional written comment if he or she wishes. The appeal, the Honor Council reply, the student's comments, and copies of all appropriate evidence are then sent to the Appellate Review Board. (For information on procedures of the Appellate Review Board, see the See The Student Conduct System.)
If a student who has been reported for a suspected violation of the Honor Code withdraws from the University before a hearing has been conducted, the fact will be recorded by the Honor Council. A letter will be sent to the accused stating that he or she is suspected of an Honor Code violation, that an investigation has been or will be conducted, and that a hearing may be held.
The accused may respond in one of three ways: return to the campus for a hearing, waive the right to give testimony personally, thereby acknowledging that the hearing may proceed in his or her absence, or waive the right to appear and send a written, signed statement to be presented on his or her behalf at the hearing. Failure by the accused to respond will be considered a waiver of the right to appear.
During the time prior to the hearing, a statement will be placed on the transcript of the accused stating that an Honor Council case is pending. A letter will also be sent to the University registrar and to the registrar of the school in which the accused was enrolled indicating that an Honor Council case is pending. If the accused attempts to register before the case is heard, the registrar will notify the president of the Honor Council. The case must be resolved before the accused may register.
1. During the investigation and throughout the entire course of the Honor Council's proceedings, Honor Council members must express no opinion concerning the offense to witnesses, the accused, or members of the community at large.
2. Council members and investigators are not qualified to participate in cases where they may be subject to prejudice because of kinship, fraternity or sorority affiliation, or evidence of past prejudice.
(Adopted by the Student Body, May 23, 1945; amended April 27, 1949; May 15, 1957; February 11, 1959; March 14, 1962; April 26, 1967; January 28, 1971; March 3, 1971; March 8, 1972; October, 1974; April, 1975; February 28, 1978; September 25, 1979; February 24, 1981; January 8, 1986; January 14, 1988; January 8, 1990; February 25, 1997; December 13, 2000; and February 16, 2001.)
All academic work at Vanderbilt University is conducted under the Honor Code. For the successful operation of the honor system, the cooperation of the whole student body is essential. It is the duty of each member of the student body to show his or her appreciation of the trust placed in him or her under this system, not alone by his or her own conduct, but by his or her insistence on the absolute honesty of others in his or her class. It should be a point of honor among the various classes to hold their members to the standard of the University, and all students should be ready to report to the Honor Council anyone who may violate this trust, immediately and without discrimination. For the purpose of encouraging honesty and investigating cases of alleged dishonesty on the part of the students, an Honor Council is established with the following Constitution.
Section 2. Any student taking a course or courses in the College of Arts and Science, Peabody College, the School of Engineering, or Blair School of Music, regardless of where registered, is, to this extent, under the jurisdiction of the Honor Council and subject to any penalties it may impose.
Membership and Elections
In addition to the fifty representatives provided for above, membership of the Honor Council shall also include those representatives who have completed their two-year terms on the Honor Council in good standing and who have chosen to serve one final year on the Honor Council.
(i) In the spring of each year the public affairs officer shall announce that applications for the Honor Council may be submitted by any member of the undergraduate student body qualified to hold office.
(ii) A committee consisting of the newly elected president, the immediate past president, the Honor Council adviser (or the adviser's designee), and two faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate shall evaluate those members of the undergraduate student body who have applied for membership on the Honor Council. The committee shall present to the Honor Council's public affairs officer a list of not more than 22 sophomores, i.e., rising juniors (12 Arts and Science, 3 Peabody, 2 Blair, and 5 Engineering), and 18 freshmen, i.e., rising sophomores (11 Arts and Science, 2 Peabody, 2 Blair, and 3 Engineering). The public affairs officer shall immediately schedule an election publicizing the names of the candidates recommended by the committee for the purpose of electing representatives.
(iii) An election shall be held to select 14 representatives (8 Arts and Science, 2 Peabody, 1 Blair, and 3 Engineering) from the sophomore class and 12 representatives (7 Arts and Science, 1 Peabody, 2 Blair, and 2 Engineering) from the freshman class.
(iv) Candidates must receive votes from a minimum of 20 percent of the voting student body in order to be elected to the Honor Council. If there is not a sufficient number of candidates elected to fill the available positions on the Honor Council, the committee shall fill such vacant positions based upon the committee's previous evaluation process.
Duties of Officers
Section 3. The second vice president shall administer to all witnesses and accused the following pledge: "I, ____, will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in relation to the inquiry about which I am to give evidence."
Section 6. The public affairs officer shall be responsible for publishing at least twice a semester in the campus newspapers a report of recent Honor Council decisions, coordinating the selection of new members, and carrying out all related duties.
Board of Faculty Advisors
Section 1. No one shall be competent to sit on the Honor Council if he or she is related by blood or marriage to an accused, or is a member of the same fraternity or sorority as the accused. The Honor Council may, by a majority vote, declare any member incompetent for other grounds.
Section 3. All hearings shall require the presence of a member of the board of advisers to proceed. This faculty member shall file a written report with the secretary and chair of the board of advisers after each hearing.
Section 4. In case of a hearing, the verdict shall be "guilty" or "not guilty," and ten votes out of the twelve shall be necessary to convict the accused. The presiding officer must vote in all decisions. Written notice of the decision will be sent to the accused, the registrar of the school in which he or she is enrolled, the University registrar, the instructor concerned, and, with the permission of the accused, the parents, and the accuser not later than two days after the hearing has been held. Also, a copy must be kept in the permanent files of the Honor Council. Announcement of the facts and results of the case shall be made in the Hustler, but any facts which might tend to identify the student or students involved shall be withheld.
Section 6. All business conducted on investigations, hearings, business meetings, retreats, and other official Honor Council functions shall be held in strictest confidence among the members of the Honor Council. In addition, all information concerning investigations and hearings shall be so held by the individual members of the Honor Council then present; they may not discuss this information with other persons, including other Council members who are not on that particular case. However, information of a nonconfidential nature may be made available by the Honor Council president to the student body through the campus newspaper, radio station, et cetera.
Small Panel Hearing
Section 4. If the panel decides that the penalty for the accused student should be more severe than suspension for one semester or that consideration by the regular panel is desirable, the case should be referred to a full hearing.
Each new student entering the University will be informed by the Honor Council as to the functions of the honor system and his or her obligations to the Honor Code and will be provided with a copy of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Honor Council on request and will be bound by the honor system upon registration.
Section 1. In case a student withdraws from the University after a charge has been made against him or her by another student or by the Honor Council and before the hearing, the facts shall be recorded by the Honor Council just as if the accused had been present. The president will place a notation on the transcript of the accused, who will not be allowed to reenter the University until he or she has had a hearing before the Honor Council. Notice of such hearings will be sent to the student at his or her home or other known address.
The first vice-president shall appoint a committee of two or three members to investigate each case and report its findings to the Honor Council. In case of a hearing, this committee shall present evidence to the Honor Council and shall be ineligible to serve as members of the Honor Council in this case. The president shall decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence to hold a hearing on the case in question. In all cases, the reporting party shall be notified fully of he Honor Council's action.
(Updated Sept. 2, 2003)
1. For the first offense and any succeeding offenses of any undergraduate student, the penalty may include Honor Council Reprimand, a recommendation to the instructor that the student fail the assignment or examination at issue, failure in the course, suspension, or expulsion. The presumptive sanction for a first offense shall be failure in the course.
Reprimand or Reprimand plus recommendation of failure on the assignment must be approved by a vote of at least nine of the twelve panel members. Expulsion must be approved by a vote of at least ten of the twelve panel members. Other penalties require only a majority vote of the twelve members. The guidelines that should be considered in deciding the penalty are the following: the flagrancy of the violation, the degree of premeditation, intent to gain an unfair advantage, and the truthfulness of the accused throughout the investigation and the hearing.
When asserting that a lesser penalty is appropriate due to lack of intent to gain an unfair advantage, the student will bear the burden of demonstrating that the violation of the Code was not intentional. When the absence of intent is based upon a lack of understanding of plagiarism or citation rules or the student's failure to obtain a clear definition of the application of the Honor Code from the professor, the panel should also consider the degree of negligence on the part of the student when determining the appropriate sanction.
A student who is suspended by the Honor Council will have a note attached to his or her transcript indicating this action. At the end of the period of suspension, the note will be removed from the transcript, and letters to the University registrar and the registrar of the school in which the student was enrolled at the time of the violation will be removed from the student's files in those offices and placed in the permanent Honor Council files in the office of the Honor Council adviser.
The presumptive sanction for a student previously found guilty of an Honor Code violation is expulsion. The minimum penalty for a student found guilty a second time is suspension for at least one major semester.
2. If the presiding officer questions whether a penalty for a violation of the Honor Code is warranted under the particular circumstances of the case, he or she may open discussion among members concerning suspension of the penalty. The Honor Council may, by a vote of ten out of twelve members, elect to suspend the penalty. However, suspension of the sentence shall in no way serve to alter the finding of guilty under the Code.
3. Failure to cooperate with the Honor Council in providing information about an alleged offense shall constitute a conduct violation. If a personal warning is not issued, failure to report a known or suspected violation of the Honor Code shall also constitute a conduct violation.
Any undergraduate student may bring a charge to impeach, suspend, or otherwise discipline members of the Honor Council for negligent or incompetent performance of their responsibilities as Honor Council members by contacting an Honor Council officer. Officers of the Honor Council may make similar charges on their own or on behalf of a member of the faculty, student body, or Honor Council. The president or acting presiding officer shall appoint two investigators to investigate the charge, and a seven-member committee to hear the case. A majority of the hearing committee is required to find the member guilty and to impose discipline, including impeachment.
Summer Honor Council
Section 1. Transfer of Power: The regularly elected Honor Council shall have the authority to transfer jurisdiction over all infractions of the Honor Code during the summer sessions to the Summer Honor Council. This Summer Council shall have the same authority as set forth in the constitution except that it may not vote on proposed amendments to the constitution.
Section 4. Hearings: Hearings shall be constituted according to Article XI of the constitution, except that summer hearings shall consist of four members and one member of the Board of Faculty Advisers. Each member of this panel has one vote; conviction requires four or five members to vote guilty.
Section 5. Penalties: Penalties shall be determined pursuant to Article I of these Bylaws except that penalties must be approved by a vote of at least three of the five members. If the panel decides that the regular panel is desirable, the case will be referred to a full panel for decision at the beginning of the fall semester.
Appointment of Committee Chairs
Each spring and fall semester, the president shall appoint, from members of The Honor Council, chairs of the following standing committees: Elections Committee, Faculty Relations Committee, and Orientation Committee. These chairs shall be eligible for reappointment for succeeding semesters.
Section 1. The Honor Council shall support a group of students called Honor Educators. Their purpose shall be to inform the Vanderbilt community about the Honor System and to foster positive relationships between the Honor Council and the rest of the Vanderbilt campus. The Honor Educators shall be a part of the Honor System and shall work under the supervision of the Honor Council President.
Section 2. At the meeting where the Honor Council elects new officers, the Honor Educators Chair shall also be elected. To be eligible to become the Honor Educators Chair, a student must have at least one year of experience as an Honor Council member or advisor. Both Honor Council members and advisors shall be allowed to vote for Honor Educators Chair. The responsibilities of the Honor Educators Chair shall include setting a campus education agenda, facilitating its progress, and attending meetings of the Honor Council officers.
Section 3. The Honor Educator selections process shall take place during the regular Honor Council member and advisor selections process. The newly-elected Honor Council President, Honor Educators Chair, and Advisor to the Undergraduate Honor Council shall meet and appoint undergraduate students to become Honor Educators. The Honor Council officers shall train new Honor Educators at an orientation event in the Spring.
Section 4. Honor Educators each shall serve a two-year term, with the option of serving a third year. They shall have no responsibilities regarding individual cases of alleged academic dishonesty, nor shall they be allowed to know any confidential information relating to the business of the Honor Council.
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