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How to report a violation

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It is the obligation of all members of the academic community to report alleged violations of the Graduate Honor Code (Article I, Section 1) to the Graduate Honor System within ten (10) University business days after the date of discovery. Exceptions to this deadline may be granted under special circumstances at the discretion of the Chair and the Graduate Honor System Advisor. The Graduate Honor System does not take anonymous referrals.

Reporting suspected violations:
  • Ensures that students within and across all departments and programs are held to similar standards
  • Protects both the faculty and the student from any potentially unjust action by allowing the Graduate Honor System, as a neutral entity, to review allegations and take appropriate action
  • Helps connect data points should a referred student have multiple instances of potential honor violations, whether intentional or due to lack of understanding expectations, that individual faculty members each observing a single instance of potential wrong-doing may not be aware of.

Report suspected violations using the report form, and submit it with relevant supporting documents to the Graduate Honor System, c/o Graduate School (0325), 117 Graduate Life Center,; fax: 540-231-3714.

The receipt of an Honor System referral is acknowledged in writing by a letter to the referred student(s) and the referrer.

The rights and responsibilities of the referrer

A person referring charges of a Graduate Honor Code violation against a graduate student is accorded the following rights and bear the following responsibilities:

Rights of the Referrer

  • The referrer and referred may discuss the charges prior to the Review Panel hearing, although the referrer may decline such discussions with the student(s). The referrer has the right, with the permission of the referred, to have one witness present when talking with the student(s) about the alleged violation.
  • The referrer may choose one person (any member of the university community, such as a faculty or staff member, or department head) to assist them in preparation of the case. This person is not allowed to be present at the Review Panel hearing or during a Facilitated Discussion.
  • The referrer has the right to terminate a Facilitated Discussion at any time, without reason.
  • The referrer has the right to review the report prepared by the Associate Chair, prior to the scheduling of a Preliminary Review Panel.
  • The referrer has the right to suggest corrections and/or additions to the report prepared by the Associate Chair, prior to the scheduling of an Review Panel. The referrer will have access to the evidence collected during the evidence gathering, the "Order of Events for Review Panel Hearings," and any other pertinent information, if the Preliminary Review Panel sends the case to the Review Panel.
  • The referrer has the right to receive written notification of the final disposition of the case.
  • The referrer has the right to be secure in person and property.
  • Instructors referring charges of violations may opt to grade or refrain from grading any assignment under review by the Graduate Honor System. Instructors may:
    • grade the assignment with the assumption that the student is innocent of the charge; or
    • assign an incomplete grade pending the decision of the Graduate Honor System. The incomplete grade will be removed when the case is resolved.

Obligations of the Referrer

  • The referrer must cooperate with the Chair, the Graduate Honor System Advisor, the Associate Chair, and any other personnel of the Graduate Honor System.
  • The referrer is expected to appear at the Review Panel hearing.
  • The referrer has the responsibility of maintaining confidentiality in all matters pertaining to the case. However, referrers may discuss the case with their counsel (see Article IX, Section 1, item 2). The referrer 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.