ARTICLE I. Honor Code
Each student who enrolls in Centenary College undergraduate classes becomes a part of the Centenary Honor System and is responsible to the Honor Code in both day and night classes. The Honor Code of Centenary College is founded on the idea that honor is that intangible quality which, if it pervades all phases of campus life, will tend to foster a spirit of dignity and personal integrity.
Inherent in the system must be the premise that students will not tolerate a violation of the Honor Code. The Honor System is established with the realization that honor must be fostered and not forced, and with the awareness that it will be successful only through the combined and cooperative efforts of faculty, administration, and students.
ARTICLE II. The Pledge
Students are required to write the following pledge at the end of any examination or assignment: “I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this examination (paper), nor have I seen anyone else do so.” If the student has received aid or suspects others of violating the Honor Code, the following clause is to be added to the pledge “...except as I shall report immediately to the Honor Court.”
The complete pledge must be written and signed by the student, shall not be abbreviated, and should never be written until the test or paper has been completed for submission to the professor. Any violation shall be reported immediately to the Honor Court.
Students are bound by the Honor Code even if they fail to write the pledge on their assignment or examination.
ARTICLE III. Organization of the Court
Section One: Composition
The Honor Court shall consist of twelve student members nominated by the faculty and student body. Five members of the Court shall vote on each case. The Court shall be advised by three faculty members.
Section Two: Nominations of Student Members
During the Fall semester, the student body and the faculty will be asked to nominate students for the Honor Court. All students nominated will be invited to apply to fill the vacancies on the Honor Court. After conducting interviews of all qualified applicants, the Court shall then choose students to fill the vacancies on the Court by the end of the Fall semester. The new Court shall assume its duties at the end of the semester in which it is chosen. In the event that vacancies on the Court should develop, the remaining members of the Court will determine the appropriate method of filling said vacancies.
Section Three: Qualifications for Student Members
The student members of the Honor Court shall:
- Be of sophomore or junior classification at Centenary College by the end of the semester in which they are nominated.
- Be enrolled in at least their second semester at Centenary College.
- Not hold any elected office to the Student Government Association.
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above at the time of their election.
Section Four: Term of Office
Terms of members of the Honor Court shall be from the time of selection until graduation, impeachment, or voluntary withdrawal from the Honor Court or the College.
Section Five: Permanent Officers of the Honor Court and Duties
The Honor Court may elect the Chief Justice from its members before the end of the Fall semester of each year. The term of office of the Chief Justice shall be one year. The Chief Justice may serve more than one term.
The Chief Justice shall:
- Have overall supervision of the work of the Court.
- Call sessions of the Court as the need arises.
- Preside over the Court.
- Appoint an unbiased member of the Court as the Investigating Officer for each case.
- Appoint, or approve the selection by the accused, an unbiased member of the Honor Court to serve as the Representative for the accused.
- Determine from the remaining members who shall serve as the voting members for each case.
- The Chief Justice, if present, will always serve as a voting member unless they disqualify themself. If the Chief Justice does not fulfill their duties or if there is a vacancy in their position, the Court may, at its discretion, elect a new Chief Justice from the current members of the Court.
The Associate Justice shall at the same time be elected from the membership of the Court. The Associate Justice shall serve in the place of the Chief Justice in the event of absence or inability to serve. In case of a vacancy in the office of Chief Justice, the Court may, at its discretion, elect a new Chief Justice or elevate and replace the Associate Justice. The Associate Justice, if present, will always serve as a voting member unless they disqualify themself. If the Associate Justice does not fulfill their duties or if there is a vacancy in their position, the Court may, at its discretion, elect a new Associate Justice from the current members of the Court.
The Court shall at the same time select from its membership a Court Clerk who shall be responsible for maintaining the necessary records. In the absence of the duly elected Clerk, the Chief Justice shall appoint one of the Court members to serve in that capacity. If the Clerk does not fulfill their duties or if there is a vacancy in their position, the Court may, at its discretion, elect a new Clerk from the current members of the Court.
Section Six: Other Members and their Duties
The Investigating Officer, appointed by the Chief Justice on a case-by-case basis, shall:
Investigate the suspected violations, the accuser, and the professor of the class.
- Present to the Court all information and evidence at the preliminary review.
- Clarify initial reports and question witnesses at the hearing.
The Investigating Officer will not vote on cases for which they are serving in this capacity.
The Student Representative, as appointed by the Chief Justice or selected by the accused and approved by the Chief Justice, shall:
- Meet with the accused prior to the preliminary review to discuss the case and explain procedures.
- Be present at the preliminary review as an observer.
- Listen to all testimony in the Honor Court proceedings and question witnesses.
The Student Representative will not vote on cases for which they are serving in this capacity.
The Chief Justice shall appoint the appropriate number of voting members. Justice for each case. The voting members shall fully participate in the proceedings. This participation will include hearing all testimony, examining all evidence, deliberating, and voting.
Any remaining members may participate in the case proceedings. This participation may include hearing all testimony, examining all evidence, and deliberating. The non-voting members will not vote on the decision or penalty. In the event of an appeal, a non-voting member from the case in question shall be appointed to serve on the Appeals Committee.
Section Seven: Faculty Advisors
The Honor Court shall select three members of the full-time faculty, one from each of the three academic divisions of the College, to serve as faculty advisors. The three faculty members will serve staggered three-year terms so that typically there is only one new faculty advisor each year. Selection of the next year’s new faculty member will be made by the end of the Spring semester by the Court. Faculty members cannot serve more than one term consecutively. At least one advisor must be present at all proceedings. The advisors may hear all testimony, participate in questioning, and participate in deliberations.
Faculty advisors are not voting members of the Court.
Section Eight: Impeachment Proceedings
Any member of the Honor Court may be removed from office by a 2/3 vote of the other student members of the Honor Court for:
- Consistent failure to discharge duties
- Conviction of an Honor Code offense
- Breach of confidentiality
- Giving inappropriate advice to the accuser or accused.
The member under consideration for removal may not vote in the removal proceedings.
ARTICLE IV. Orientation Procedures of the Honor System
Section One: Responsibility for the Honor System
Responsibility for conducting the Honor System orientation shall rest upon the Honor Court.
Section Two: Presentation to the Faculty
At the beginning of each school year, the Faculty shall be briefed on the Honor System by the current Chief Justice of the Honor Court, or a representative of that body and made aware of their responsibilities. The responsibilities of the faculty as outlined in this Constitution, Article V, shall be stressed as being an integral part of the Honor System.
Section Three: Presentation to New Students
The current Honor Court shall be responsible for explaining the purposes and operations of the Honor System to all new students at Orientation. However, it is the students’ responsibility to familiarize themselves with the Honor System.
Section Four: Presentation to the Student Body
Each semester an effort shall be made by the Honor Court to inform the student body of the purposes and procedures of the Honor System.
ARTICLE V. Faculty Responsibilities
As a member of the Centenary Community, each faculty member should report cases when they suspect cheating on tests, plagiarism, and other violations of the Honor Code to the Court, rather than handling the investigation and penalty personally. Faculty may use their judgment in determining when a suspicion is significant enough to report. They should not, however, punish a student for cheating except through the Honor Court.
Faculty shall treat any suspected violation of the Honor Code confidentially except in communication with the Honor Court. Information can be shared with those who have an educational interest in the subject. These could include the Provost office staff and the Director of Integrated Advising.
Faculty members shall abide by the decision of the Court in assigning a grade to any student found guilty of a violation of the Honor Code.
In their classes, faculty members shall:
- Inform students verbally and in writing on the course syllabus of regulations that apply to academic integrity in their courses and make clear to what extent collaborative work or exchange of aid and information (studying together, tutoring, proof-reading of papers) is acceptable.
- Constructively admonish students who they feel are drifting into questionable practices.
- Explain directions on examinations (preferably in writing), especially any limitations on students’ whereabouts while taking the exam and any restrictions on use or possession of cell phones or other electronic devices and inform students of their whereabouts during an examination should questions arise.
- Instruct students to write and sign the Honor Code on each test and each piece of work that is to be done independently. In the case of electronically submitted assignments, the instructor shall establish a policy for students to attest to their adherence to the Honor Code.
- Impress upon students their responsibility to report all suspected instances of cheating, plagiarism, or other violations of both the Honor Code and the class requirements.
- Explain all requirements for take-home tests.
ARTICLE VI. Student Responsibilities
Students should make every effort to place themselves in the classroom seating arrangement to minimize the suspicion of a violation.
Students should remove all notebooks, textbooks, electronics, and other material from their desks. Only exam material should be within view. Students should remove smartwatches and place cell phones where they cannot access them.
Students should check with professors concerning any questions about papers.
Students should realize that permission for combined work on projects and assignments does not necessarily imply authorized collaboration on resulting papers and reports.
ARTICLE VII. Grounds for Conviction for a Violation of the Honor Code
Section One: Violations on Tests and Examinations
The following constitute violations on tests and examinations:
- Using notes, textbooks, cell phones, smartwatches or other reference material during a test or examination unless specifically authorized by the instructor of the class.
- Looking at the test paper of another student in the class.
- Giving or receiving unauthorized aid verbally or in writing.
- Failure to adhere to the specific requirements of the professor.
Section Two: Violations on Papers
The following constitute violations on papers:
- Plagiarism, which is defined as borrowing phrases, ideas, or other material (e.g., maps and charts) from any source without giving adequate credit.
- Submitting any work which has been submitted for credit in another course without permission. For courses during the same semester, permission from both instructors is required.
- Failure to adhere to the specific requirements of the professor.
Section Three: Violations on All Other Assignments
Falsifying data or representing other people’s work as your own are considered violations of the Honor Code. Individual faculty members may have additional requirements for written homework, lab reports, tutoring, and other work. It is the student’s responsibility to know how the Honor Code governs these requirements. Failure to adhere to these requirements is a violation of the Honor Code.
Clarifications and Exceptions
On papers professors may:
- Prohibit proofreading by parties other than the author.
- Prescribe limitations on the sources to be used.
- Make special stipulations concerning the crediting of sources.
- Grant permission to any student to submit any work which they have submitted for credit in any other course.
- Prohibit other aid as they see fit.
On homework and laboratory reports:
- Students may work together provided that each member of the group understands the work being done, and the instructor has authorized this procedure.
- Students may report their individual data as observed in their experiment.
- Professors may require that all or part of the assignment be done by each student individually.
- Professors may require that secondary sources consulted be credited.
Students may receive aid on assignments from the Academic Research Center or other college-sanctioned tutoring services unless explicitly prohibited by the professor. The professor must approve other aid from tutors on graded work.
Section Four: Failure to Appear
If the accused fails to appear, they may receive an Honor Court conviction. If the accuser or called witness(es)fail to appear, they may be fined for obstruction of proceedings. If a student is unable to attend a scheduled meeting, they should contact the Chief Justice as soon as possible to try to reschedule.
ARTICLE VIII. Reporting a Suspected Violation
Anyone suspecting that a violation of the Honor Code has occurred shall report this suspicion to either the Chief Justice or one of the Faculty Advisors as soon as they can. All communication shall be confidential and known only to the members of the Honor Court, including the names of the accused and the accuser. The Honor Court members are required to keep all information received confidential.
Any student neglecting to report a witnessed violation of the Honor Code in a timely manner may be summoned to appear before the Honor Court and may be convicted for an Honor Code violation.
ARTICLE IX. Procedures
Section One: Preliminary Actions
After receiving notice of a suspected Honor Code violation, the Honor Court shall have three regular class days to send written notice of the violation to the accused. A regular class day shall be defined as any day during the Fall or Spring semesters that classes are in session.
From the date the notice is sent, the accused shall have at least three regular class days, but under normal circumstances no more than seven, to prepare for the preliminary review. The accused has the right to waive the preparation period.
During the preparation period, a Student Representative for the accused will be appointed by the Chief Justice or chosen by the accused and approved by the Chief Justice.
Section Two: Preliminary Review
The accused shall be called before the Honor Court. Those present must include the Chief Justice, the Clerk, the Investigating Officer, one Faculty Advisor, the Accused, and the Student Representative. The other members of the Court may be present as well. Other than the accused, no one that is not a member of the Honor Court will be allowed into the preliminary review.
At this review, the Investigating Officer shall present the case to everyone in attendance. After the case is presented, the Chief Justice shall ask the accused to enter a plea of either NOT GUILTY or GUILTY. In the case of a guilty plea, which is binding, the Chief Justice shall advise the accused of his/her their right to make a statement to the Court.
If the accused wishes to make a statement at that time, the statement shall be recorded by the Clerk. Alternatively, the accused may submit a statement in writing for the Honor Court to consider during the penalty deliberation.
In the case of a not guilty plea, the Chief Justice shall set a date for a full hearing to be held.
Section Three: Honor Court Proceedings
The Honor Court shall meet at a time and place specified by the Chief Justice. A complete list of witnesses shall be provided to the Chief Justice by the Investigating Officer and the Student Representative at least twenty-four hours prior to the hearing. Those participating in the hearing, in any capacity, have the responsibility to maintain confidentiality. Other than the accused, the accuser, and the called witnesses, no one that is not a member of the Honor Court will be allowed into the proceeding.
All students and faculty members shall appear before the Court when requested to do so. The Chief Justice shall determine in what order witnesses shall be called from the witness list.
Procedures for the Hearing
Those present for the entire hearing shall include the Student Representative, the Investigating Officer, and the voting members of the Honor Court.
Prior to any testimony, the Chief Justice will appoint the five voting members from the Honor Court members present. The Chief Justice may select up to two alternate voters to serve in case one of the original five is unable to be present for all testimony.
The Investigating Officer shall present any new information pertaining to the case, and the Chief Justice will then ask if the accused wishes to change the original plea of not guilty.
If the accused changes their plea to guilty, the Chief Justice shall advise the accused of his/her right to make a statement to the Court. If the accused does not change their plea, the hearing will continue.
Witnesses are called by the Chief Justice one at a time.
Questioning shall begin with the Investigating Officer then the members of the court and the faculty advisors. The Student Representative may speak up at any time to clarify a point on behalf of the accused or ask any questions necessary to their defense.
Conviction of any student shall always require the vote of four of the five voting members present finding clear and convincing evidence that the accused violated the Honor Code.
If the accused is convicted of a violation, the Court will determine the penalty. The penalty will be decided by a majority vote of the five voting members.
As soon as a decision is reached, the accused shall receive written notice of the decision by email within three regular class days except under very exceptional circumstances.
ARTICLE X. Penalties
The Honor Court distinguishes between violations as either major or minor when assigning a penalty. The decision will be at the discretion of the court based on the trial proceedings.
A minor violation is one that resulted from a non-negligent error on the student’s part. For example, a minor violation may include but is not limited to a case where the student’s error genuinely resulted from a lack of citation knowledge. A major violation could be one where the student was intentionally academically dishonest.
The penalty for a minor violation could but is not limited to dismissal of the case entirely or a recommendation to receive instruction on how to avoid future violations.
For students convicted of a major violation, the Honor Court has the option of the following penalties for the first offense:
- No further penalty.
- The option to redo the work with no grade assessed to the original work. The new work shall be submitted to the professor for a grade. Should the student fail to submit the new work within a time limit agreed upon by the student and the professor, the work shall receive a grade of zero. The professor may place additional requirements to be completed along with redoing the work.
- The option to redo the work with a set maximum grade (which is determined by the Court) that may be earned on the redone work. The new work shall be submitted to the professor for a grade. Should the student fail to submit the new work within a time limit agreed upon by the student and the professor, the work shall receive a grade of zero.
- “F” on the work. The numerical value of the “F” is to be determined by the teacher of the course with the stipulation that the “F” be less than any honestly obtained “F” on the work by any member of the class or sections of the class.
- Zero on the work.
- “F” in the course.
- “F” in the course with a recommendation to the Provost of the College for suspension for a semester.
- “F” in the course with a recommendation to the Provost of the College for dismissal from the College.
Any piece of work on which the Honor Court makes a ruling may not be dropped by a professor.
Conviction on subsequent major offenses may result in an automatic penalty of “F” in the course and referral to the Provost with a recommendation of dismissal from the College. If the accused wishes to appeal the recommendation of dismissal, they must submit an appeal in writing to the Provost within seven regular class days of written notification of conviction by outlining the reason(s) for appeal. The Provost must hold any recommendation of dismissal for seven days to allow time for a proper appeal before making a final decision. Instructions on the appeals process can be found in Article XI.
ARTICLE XI. Appeals
The Chief Justice or the Student Representative must advise defendants of their right to appeal and to whom the appeal should be addressed. Only the faculty advisor(s)to the Honor Court may provide guidelines to defendants on the appeal process, the writing of an appeal, or possible outcomes of an appeal.
Appeals of any penalty or a recommendation for expulsion shall be addressed to the Provost, in written form, within seven regular class days of written notification of conviction or recommendation of expulsion by outlining the reason(s) for appeal. The Provost will forward the appeal to the Appeals Committee, made up of a representative from the Provost’s Office, the non-voting Justice for the case, , and a former or current faculty advisor to the Honor Court. The Provost will appoint the members of the Appeals Committee from the categories previously specified. The accused will be given the opportunity to present their case for appeal to this Appeals Committee. In addition, the Chief Justice and any other members of the Honor Court as are necessary will be given an opportunity to present the Court’s rationale for the decision to the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee will decide whether the preponderance of the evidence supports that the Honor Court’s decision was unreasonable or that the Court made a material procedural error. The Appeals Committee’s decision shall be considered final except in extraordinary circumstances.
Students may appeal to the President as the last resort in extraordinary circumstances. The President determines whether they will hear an appeal.
ARTICLE XII. Finals Week, Module, and Summer Sessions
Section One: Finals Week
The Honor Court will take all reasonable steps to handle cases in a timely manner without compromising the process or deliberations. Reports of violations during final exam week shall be handled on a condensed timeline as follows:
The student will receive an “Incomplete (I)” for the course if a verdict cannot be reached and implemented before grades are due. The Chief Justice of the Court will notify the faculty member of the course to turn in an “I” for this student.
Within two working days after being notified of a suspected violation, the Chief Justice or a faculty advisor to the Honor Court shall inform the student.
The preliminary review will be held as soon as possible, but no later than within fifteen regular class days after the start of the next regular (Fall or Spring) semester and the student will be notified of the hearing date, time, and place no later than the seventh regular class day.
Oral or written statements shall be considered official testimony from individuals involved when necessary.
Section Two: Module and Summer Sessions
Reports of violations during Module and Summer Sessions shall be processed as follows:
Ø The student will receive an “I” for the course if a verdict cannot be reached and implemented before grades are due. The Chief Justice of the Court will notify the faculty member of the course to turn in an “I” for this student.
Ø Within two working days after being notified of a suspected violation, the Chief Justice or a faculty advisor to the Honor Court shall inform the student.
Ø The preliminary review will be held as soon as possible, but no later than within fifteen regular class days after the start of the next regular (Fall or Spring) semester and the student will be notified of the hearing date, time, and place no later than the seventh regular class day.
Ø Oral or written statements shall be considered official testimony from individuals involved when necessary.
ARTICLE XIII. Amendments/Revisions
Section One: Proposal
Amendments to or revisions of this constitution may originate with either the Honor Court or the Student Government Association. Suggestions for amendments may be submitted to either body.
Section Two: Ratification
Proposed changes to the Honor Court Constitution originating in the Student Government Association shall be approved by the Honor Court with a 4/5 majority vote. Changes originating in the Honor Court must be approved by the Student Government Association with a 2/3 majority vote.
Changes must be approved by the faculty.
The changes shall take effect immediately upon ratification.