A student referred for a potential Graduate Honor Code have certain procedural guarantees to ensure fair hearing of evidence.
Rights of the referred:
- Students are considered innocent until found guilty.
- Students have the right to refrain from speaking for or against themselves.
- Students have the right to speak in their own behalf.
- Students may choose a member of the university community, such as a fellow student, faculty member, or staff member who is willing to assist them in preparing their defense. This person may attend a Facilitated Discussion, but may only participate in an advisory capacity to the student. During a Review Panel, the student's representative is only allowed to address the Review Panel; they may not question witnesses. Lawyers retained by accused students are not be permitted in Review Panel hearings or at Facilitated Discussions.
- Students may terminate a Facilitated Discussion at any time, without reason.
- Students have the right to review the report prepared by the Associate Chair, prior to the scheduling of a Preliminary Review.
- Students may suggest corrections and/or additions to the report prepared by the Associate Chair prior to the scheduling of a Preliminary Review. All suggestions will be considered at the discretion of the Chair and the Associate Chair for the case.
- Students may at any time privately seek counsel with their university community representative. Statements made at this time are confidential.
- Students may have any Graduate Honor System function that they are entitled to attend stopped at any time for a point of clarification.
- Students may leave any Graduate Honor System function at any time; however, it is in their best interest to remain until they are made aware of all the details.
- Students have the right to be informed of the charges, the "Order of Events for Review Panel Hearings," and any other pertinent information sufficiently in advance of the Review Panel hearing and in reasonable enough detail to allow them to prepare a case in their behalf. Likewise, students have the right to examine all information collected during the evidence gathering before the Review Panel is scheduled. Students and their representatives will have access to the evidence during the Review Panel hearing.
- Students have the right to be aware of all testimony.
- Students have the right to face the referrer, when such opportunity exists, at the Review Panel hearing and to present a defense against the charges, including presenting witnesses on their behalf. Consequently, students will be consulted in the scheduling of the Review Panel hearing. However, students may request only once the rescheduling of the hearing -- they must notify the Chair or the Graduate Honor System Advisor of any requested schedule change at least three (3) days before the scheduled hearing date.
- Failure of students to be present at Review Panel hearings, assuming reasonable effort has been made to ensure their presence, indicates that they are waiving their rights to face the referrer and to appear before the Review Panel.
- Students may ask that a panel member be excused from the Review Panel hearing if they can give reasonable cause why that panel member may be biased or have some other conflict of interest. The Chair and the Graduate Honor System Advisor makes a final ruling on any such request.
- Students have the right to an appeal as specified under Article VI, Section 2.
Obligations of the referred:
Students referred for a suspected Graduate Honor Code violations must cooperate with Graduate Honor System personnel. When a case involves other students, these students' rights to privacy should be observed. Students should be aware that the confidentiality of Honor System proceedings may be covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as outlined on the University Registrar’s website at http://www.registrar.vt.edu/privacy/index.html.