Honor System

I. Preamble

This Instrument of Student Judicial Governance for the College of Columbia College (“Instrument”) is adopted in furtherance of the College community’s shared commitment to the pursuit of truth, and the dissemination of knowledge to succeeding generations of citizens devoted to the high ideals of personal honor and respect for the rights of others. These goals can only be achieved in a setting in which intellectual honesty and personal integrity are highly valued; other individuals are trusted, respected, and fairly treated; and the responsibility for articulating and maintaining high standards is widely shared.

A. Premises. This Instrument, including the Honor Code and the stated means for its enforcement, is adopted based on the following premises:

1. Students’ Commitment.Ideals of academic honesty, personal integrity, and responsible citizenship are essential to the performance of all academic work and all other activities of students while members of the College community. These ideals are embodied in the Honor Code set forth in this Instrument, with the support of students, faculty, and staff. Application by a student for admission and subsequent enrollment in the College presupposes a commitment to the principles embodied in the Honor Code.

Such action also represents consent to be bound by its terms at any time between a student’s application for enrollment and the granting of his degree or other termination of enrollment, including the period between academic semesters.

2. College Interests. In keeping with its nature and purpose, the College endeavors to instill in each student a love of learning, a commitment to fair and honorable conduct, and respect for the safety and welfare of others. It also strives to protect the community from those who, for whatever reason, do not embody these values in their conduct, and to protect the integrity of the College and its property for the benefit of all.

3. Educational and Other Activities. The activities of students, as well as other members of the College community outside the classroom, influence the educational process and learning environment, just as the intellectual atmosphere of the campus contributes to students’ growth and development. Many forms of nonacademic conduct, as well as all facets of the academic process, are therefore areas of proper concern and regulation by the College community.

4. Responsible Exercise of Freedom. The guiding principle of College regulation of conduct should be that of the responsible exercise of freedom. Members of the College community should be accorded the greatest possible degree of self-determination correlative with the acceptance of the full responsibility for their conduct and the consequences of their actions.

5. Chancellor’s Responsibilities. The Chancellor remains solely responsible for all matters of student discipline, in accordance with the expectations of the Board of Governors of Columbia College. Nevertheless, the Chancellor has traditionally shared the responsibility of setting basic policy concerning student conduct and applying overarching requirements in individual cases with students and the faculty in order to achieve the College’s underlying goals.

6. College and Broader Community. The College has a special interest in assuring that students refrain from academic misconduct, respect the safety and welfare of members of the College community, and protect its institutional integrity and resources. The standards for student conduct and the means of enforcement set forth in this Instrument are adopted in furtherance of College interests and serve to supplement, rather than substitute for the enforcement of the civil and criminal law applicable at large. Therefore it is not double jeopardy for the College to sanction conduct that is also sanctioned under local, state or federal law.

B. Allocation of Responsibility Between Faculty, Students, and Administrative Personnel.

1. Responsibilities of Students and Faculty. In order to ensure effective functioning of an honor system worthy of respect in this institution, specific responsibilities of students are set forth in this Instrument. Responsibilities of faculty members are articulated by the Faculty Council.These responsibilities are the

minimum expected of members of the student body and the faculty. They are not mutually exclusive, and the failure of a student or a faculty member to live up to the stated expectations does not lessen or excuse any failure of the other to comply with relevant requirements.

2. Location of Conduct and Reservation of Discretion. Conduct by students on College premises or the premises of groups affiliated with the College, as well as conduct that occurs elsewhere, may give rise to offenses prohibited by this Instrument if College interests are implicated. Determinations of whether such conduct should be addressed pursuant to this Instrument in instances in which College interests are implicated are reserved to the discretion of the Student Attorney General and campus authorities with associated responsibilities.

3. Action Outside of the Instrument. T his Instrument is intended to govern the means for imposing disciplinary sanctions on any student for conduct covered under its terms, except to the extent other forms of redress or action are recognized herein. Such forms of redress include civil and criminal law as previously referenced; authority reserved to the Chancellor pursuant to policies established by the Board of Governors or Board of Trustees; and authority assigned by the Chancellor to particular administrative units (such as the Department of Transportation and Parking Services, Department of Housing and Residential Education or the College Cashier) or other appropriate authorities responsible for addressing emergency situations involving danger to members of the College community or other extraordinary circumstances.

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II. Offenses Under the Honor Code

A. General Responsibilities.

It shall be the responsibility of every student at the College of Columbia College at Tysons to: 1. Obey and support the enforcement of the Honor Code; 2. Refrain from lying, cheating, or stealing; 3. Conduct themselves so as not to impair significantly the welfare or the educational opportunities of others in the College community; and 4. Refrain from conduct that impairs or may impair the capacity of the College and associated personnel to perform their duties, manage resources, protect the safety and welfare of members of the College community, and maintain the integrity of the College.

B. Academic Dishonesty.

It shall be the responsibility of every student enrolled at Columbia College to support the principles of academic integrity and to refrain from all forms of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, the following:

1. Plagiarism in the form of deliberate or reckless representation of another’s words, thoughts, or ideas as one’s own without attribution in connection with submission of academic work, whether graded or otherwise. 2. Falsification, fabrication, or misrepresentation of data, other information, or citations in connection with an academic assignment, whether graded or otherwise. 3. Unauthorized assistance or unauthorized collaboration in connection with academic work, whether graded or otherwise. 4. Cheating on examinations or other academic assignments, whether graded or otherwise, including but not limited to the following:

a. Using unauthorized materials and methods (notes, books, electronic information, telephonic or other forms of electronic communication, or other sources or methods), or b. Representing another’s work as one’s own. 5. Violating procedures pertaining to the academic process, including but not limited to the following:

a. Violating or subverting requirements governing administration of examinations or other academic assignments; b. Compromising the security of examinations or academic assignments; or c. Engaging in other actions that compromise the integrity of the grading or evaluation process.

6. Deliberately furnishing false information to members of the College community in connection with their efforts to prevent, investigate, or enforce College requirements regarding academic dishonesty.

7. Forging, falsifying, or misusing College documents, records, identification cards, computers, or other resources so as to violate requirements regarding academic dishonesty. 8. Violating other College policies that are designed to assure that academic work conforms to requirements relating to academic integrity. 9. Assisting or aiding another to engage in acts of academic dishonesty prohibited by Section II.B.

C. Student Conduct Adversely Affecting Members of College Community or the College.

It shall be the responsibility of every student enrolled at the Columbia College to refrain from conduct that impairs or may impair the right of all members of the College community to learn and thrive in a safe and respectful environment; or the capacity of College and associated personnel to perform their

duties, manage resources, protect the safety and welfare of members of the College community, and maintain the integrity of the College. To these ends, no student or student group shall engage in conduct, or assist another in conduct, that adversely affects or creates a substantial risk of adversely affecting College interests including but not limited to the following:

1. Conduct Affecting Persons.

a. Fighting or other conduct that unreasonably endangers or inflicts physical injury upon another.

b. Sexual misconduct that involves: …i. Deliberate touching of another’s sexual parts without consent; …ii. Deliberate sexual invasion of another without consent; …iii. Deliberate constraint or incapacitation of another, without that person’s knowledge or consent, so as to put another at substantially increased risk of sexual injury; or …iv. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that expressly or implicitly imposes conditions upon, threatens, interferes with, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for an individual’s (I) academic pursuits, (II) College employment, (III) participation in activities sponsored by the College or organizations or groups related to the College, or (IV) opportunities to benefit from other aspects of College life.

c. Harassment or intimidation that abuses, disparages, or otherwise interferes with another so as to adversely affect their academic pursuits, opportunities for College employment, participation in College-sponsored extracurricular activities, or opportunities to benefit from other aspects of College life.

d. Threats that involve violation of restraining orders or no-contact orders imposed by government or campus authorities, stalking, or other activities that create a reasonable apprehension of physical or emotional harm to an individual following a request or order to desist.

e. Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, or disability that impairs or may impair an individual’s College working conditions, privileges or opportunities for College employment, educational opportunities, participation in College-sponsored extracurricular activities, or opportunities to benefit from other aspects of College life.

f. Hazing that causes or permits an individual, with or without consent, to engage in activities that subject that individual or others to risks of physical injury, mental distress, or personal indignities of a highly offensive nature, in connection with recruitment, initiation, or continued membership in a society, fraternity or sorority, club, or similar organized group, whether or not recognized by the College.

g. Possessing or carrying any weapon or dangerous substance, whether openly or concealed, unless expressly authorized by College policies.

h. Operating a motor vehicle:

I. while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other substances, and/or

II. in a reckless manner so as to create a significant threat to members of the College community.

i. Engaging in recklessly dangerous, disorderly or obscene conduct affecting College interests, students or other personnel.

j. Illegally possessing, manufacturing, selling, or delivering a controlled substance as defined by state or federal law or applicable policies of the Board of Trustees or Board of Governors.

k. Engaging in violent, forceful, threatening, intimidating, or disruptive conduct, or inciting others to engage in such individual or collective conduct, that willfully disrupts any normal operation, function, or activity of the College or any of its organizations, personnel, or guests.

l. Engaging in conduct, or inciting others to engage in conduct that improperly restrains freedom of movement, speech, assembly, or access to premises or activities by any individual who is a member of the College community or guest of the College or of any of its organizations in connection with that individual’s performance of legitimate activities or duties within or at the College.

m. Engaging in conduct within a College classroom that substantially disrupts the academic environment.

n. Misrepresenting oneself as another or otherwise adversely interfering with their credit, academic standing, privacy or personal information.

o. Misusing, removing, tampering with, or otherwise making less effective, equipment (including but not limited to, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, smoke detectors, and emergency call boxes) intended for use in improving or protecting the safety of members of the College community, either on College premises or on the premises of a student organization officially recognized by the College.

p. Assisting or aiding another to engage in acts prohibited by Section II.C.1. of this Instrument.

2. Conduct Affecting Property.

a. Stealing, destroying, damaging or misusing property belonging to the College or another individual or entity. b. Violating College policies regarding use or management of resources including but not limited to computers, electronic resources, library resources, equipment, or supplies. c. Forging, falsifying, or misusing documents, records, identification cards, computers, data, library

materials, or other resources created, maintained, or used by the College or members of the College community. d. Trespassing upon housing units, offices, classrooms, laboratories or other facilities or unauthorized intrusion into electronic records owned or managed by the College, an affiliated organization, or another member of the College community. e. Assisting or aiding another to engage in acts prohibited by Section II.C.2. of this Instrument.

3. Conduct Affecting the Integrity of the College.

a. Knowingly abusing a position of trust or responsibility within the College community. b. Disregarding the Honor Code or interfering with the judicial procedures established under this Instrument by refusing to identify oneself to a College official in pursuit of his or her duty, refusal to appear before College officials or disciplinary bodies when directed to do so, or lying to the Honor Court or judicial officials in the discharge of their duties. c. Violating the terms of disciplinary proceedings or of any sanction imposed pursuant to such proceedings.

d. Using the name of the College or the names of members or organizations in the College community without authorization. e. Knowingly misrepresenting academic standing, performance, or accomplishments to members of the College community or others in order to gain an undue advantage. f. Knowingly violating officially adopted College policies designed to protect the integrity and welfare of the College and members of the campus community. g. Deliberately furnishing false or misleading information to College personnel acting in the exercise of their official duties.

h. Assisting or aiding another to engage in acts prohibited by Section II.C.3. of this Instrument.

Societies, clubs, or similar organized groups in or recognized by the College are subject to the same standards as are individual members of the College community. The commission of any offense within this section by such a group or its members acting in concert, or the failure of such a group to exercise preventive measures relative to violations of the Honor Code by its members shall constitute a group offense that may be sanctioned in addition to sanctions imposed for offenses by individual students.

D. Application to Students Acting in Capacity of College Instructors or Employees. Where conduct prohibited by provisions of Section II involves a student acting in the capacity of College instructor or employee, such conduct may be addressed under pertinent College policies such as those relating to sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment, falsification of information, or misuse of College resources, rather than under this Instrument, if handling under such applicable College policies is deemed to be more appropriate by responsible College officials in their sole discretion.

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III. Sanctions

A. Guiding Principles.

In keeping with the College’s central mission, students who have violated the Honor Code should learn to take responsibility and learn from their mistakes. Student educational development should therefore play a central role in the development and imposition of sanctions pursuant to this Instrument. The imposition of sanctions should concern the shared interest of students, faculty, staff, and the greater College in academic integrity, maintenance of a safe and respectful environment conducive to learning, the protection of the College community, and protection of other College interests.

This Instrument establishes a range of sanctions that may be imposed alone or in combination in order to provide necessary flexibility to deal as appropriate with specific cases. In addition, the court may impose other sanctions it deems appropriate in a given case. 2. Relevant Factors. Sanctions imposed in particular cases should take into account the gravity of the offense in question, including its implications for other members of the campus community, and any relevant recurring patterns of misconduct; the value of learning through experience so as to develop a greater sense of responsibility for one’s actions and their consequences to others; the importance of equitable treatment for similar offenses; and other compelling circumstances, so as to reach a just and appropriate resolution in each case.

B. Available Sanctions: Individuals.

The following sanctions alone or in combination may be imposed in connection with offenses under this Instrument:

1. Academic Sanctions including but not limited to the following:

a. Failing Grade. Receipt of a failing grade in a course, component or aspect of a course, or on an assignment.

b. Educational Assignment. Satisfactory completion of an additional educational assignment, course, or program with or without credit. c. Other Requirements. Other requirements or conditions designed to assure that prior academic misconduct is remedied and does not recur in the future. d. Implications for Academic Retention of Graduate or Professional School Students. In the case of graduate or professional school students, the imposition of an academic sanction in the form of a failing grade in a course shall not in itself be grounds for terminating the affected student’s enrollment in the academic program in which he or she is enrolled, except when the pertinent academic authorities independently determine that such termination is warranted pursuant to pertinent academic rules and requirements.

2. Conduct Sanctions including but not limited to:

a. Drug or Alcohol Suspension including completion of a drug or alcohol education and counseling program, participation in specified forms of community service, and acceptance of such other conditions and requirements as shall be approved by the Judicial Programs Officer. b. Drug or Alcohol Probation including completion of a drug or alcohol education and counseling program, participation in specified forms of community service, and acceptance of such other conditions and requirements as shall be approved by the Judicial Programs Officer. A refusal or failure to comply with the terms of a drug or alcohol program, as determined by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, will result in suspension for the unexpired term of the probation. c. Behavior management. Completion of projects, programs, or requirements designed to help the student manage behavior and understand why it was inappropriate. d. “No Contact” Orders. Compliance with orders of no contact that limit access to specific College areas or forms of contact with particular persons. e. Community Service. Completion of up to 60 hours of community service over a period not to exceed twelve weeks under guidelines established by the Judicial Programs Officer. f. Restitution. Where applicable, payment of restitution in an amount determined by the hearing board and paid under guidelines established by the Judicial Programs Officer.

g. Other Requirements. Where applicable, taking necessary steps to inform affected parties, correct misrepresentations, or otherwise remedy the effects of misconduct.

3. Loss of privileges including but not limited to those relating to the following:

a. Participation on or in: i. Athletic teams (including intramural teams) as a member, coach or manager; ii. Activities or organizations sponsored by or representing the College; iii. Recruitment of new members, induction in, or continuing membership in any student organization (including but not limited to sororities or fraternities). b. Attendance at campus events or sports activities. c. Use of College facilities or resources including but not limited to the following: …i. Parking an automobile or driving an automobile on campus; …ii. Residing in College residence units; …iii. Using privileges relating to information technology, computers, or telecommunications. d. Representation of the College or its affiliated organizations as a tour guide, intern, researcher, or otherwise. e. Receipt of special recognition or distinction including but not limited to the following: …i. Any award, prize or other recognition bestowed by the College; …ii. A fellowship or assistantship that permits the student to act on behalf of the College (including a teaching position or resident assistantship, but not forms of financial aid based on need or merit).

4. Penalties of Record that are reflected both on a student’s academic transcript (during the period they remain in effect) and in a student’s disciplinary record s provided under governing policies, including the following:

a. Probation for a definite or indefinite period, including probation with associated conditions or requirements. Probation is defined as a period of time during which a student may remain at the College but may be required to satisfy specified conditions or requirements, report regularly to the Judicial Programs Officer, and be barred from holding any office or participating in any activity in which the student represents the College or College-recognized student organizations either within or outside the College community. The sanction of probation prohibits graduation until the period of probation has ended and the student has complied with all requirements as established by the Honor Court and the Judicial Programs Officer. b. Suspension including the following forms of suspension with associated conditions or requirements:

…i. Suspension for a Definite or Indefinite Period means that the student is removed from good standing and must leave the College for a definite or indefinite period. Suspension anticipates that the student may eventually return if applicable conditions are satisfied. Academic work completed at another institution during a period in which a student is under suspension from the College may not be transferred toward the degree, but applicable health care or insurance benefits may be continued.

…ii. Permanent Suspension from the College of Columbia College at Tysons means that the student is removed from good standing and must leave the College permanently without an expectation that the student may eventually return to the Chapel Hill campus. A student permanently suspended from the

campus is not barred from seeking admission to another UNC system College, if that College wishes to permit such application following disclosure of the student’s disciplinary record at UNC-Chapel Hill. Permanent suspension may only be imposed with the concurrence of the Chancellor and will remain in effect until the Chancellor who imposed or approved the sanction or his or her successor concludes on the basis of the former student’s petition and any supportive documentation that the individual should be given a new opportunity to pursue higher education at UNC-Chapel Hill. c. Expulsion if approved by the Chancellor. Expulsion means that a student is removed from the College permanently and may not be admitted to any CCDC system College, unless and until the Chancellor who imposed or approved the sanction or his or her successor concludes on the basis of the former student’s petition and any supportive documentation that the individual should be given a new opportunity to pursue higher education within the CCDC system.

5. Written warning in the form of an official reprimand that is formally communicated by a letter giving the student notice that any subsequent Honor Code violation will carry more serious sanctions.

C. Additional Sanctions: Group Violations.

In addition to the imposition of sanctions on individual students, where appropriate, the following group sanctions may be imposed in connection with violations of this Instrument:

1. Written warning in the form of an official reprimand that is formally communicated by a letter to the group, its advisers and members, giving notice and warning that any subsequent Honor Code violation will carry more serious sanctions. 2. Conduct sanctions including but not limited to the following:

a. Educational activities such as presentations or completion of projects, programs or requirements designed to understand the nature and implications of the misconduct and prevent similar misconduct from arising in the future. b. Community service such as completion of specified service programs or projects on or off campus within a specified period. c. Payment of restitution, if applicable. d. Other requirements. Where applicable, taking necessary steps to inform affected parties, remedy the effects of misconduct, prevent similar conduct from arising in the future, or comply with other requirements or conditions.

3. Loss of group privileges including but not limited to the following:

a. Activity restrictions prohibiting the group from sponsoring any organized social activity, party, or function for a specified period of not less than four weeks of a regular academic term, or otherwise

limiting group activities (other than seeking and adding members) for a specified period. b. Restrictions on participation in intramural competitions or other activities or events sponsored by the College or College affiliated organizations. c. Restrictions on use of College facilities for meetings or other activities. d. Loss of such other privileges as deemed appropriate to deter future misconduct..

4. Sanctions Affecting Group Status or Charter. The following sanctions may be imposed:

a. Group probation, which restricts group activities and privileges (other than seeking and adding members) for a specified period of time, upon pain of immediate restriction or revocation of the group’s charter or status as a College-affiliated or recognized organization in the event of repeated violations during the period of the sanction. b. Restricted status, which restricts a group’s charter, temporarily removes a group’s status as recognized or affiliated with the College, or imposes related restrictions on recruitment or addition of members, sponsoring or conducting events in the College community, or enjoyment of privileges other than the right to continue to occupy or hold property for a period of one semester in addition to the semester in which the offense occurred. c. Revocation of group charter or affiliation including permanent removal of College recognition for the group in question, if approved by the Chancellor.

D. Gravity of Offenses.

1. Usual and Minimum Sanctions. In determining the appropriate sanction to be imposed in individual cases, consideration shall be given to usual and minimum sanctions specified in this section as well. For purposes of this Instrument, “usual” sanctions are those that are to be applied in individual cases except to the extent that relevant factors listed in Section III.A. provide a compelling basis for imposition of a lesser or greater sanction in order to do justice in a particular case. “Minimum sanctions” are the least serious sanction possible in light of the gravity of the conduct in question, although a more substantial sanction may be imposed in order to do justice in a particular case. 2. Academic Dishonesty.

a. For an initial instance of academic dishonesty, …i. The usual sanction for grade-related misconduct shall be a failing grade in the course, an aspect or component of the course, or on the assignment as recommended by the instructor, and suspension for one full academic semester or until specified conditions are met …ii. The minimum sanction for grade-related misconduct shall be a failing grade in the course, component or aspect of the course, or on the assignment as recommended by the instructor; probation

for at least one full academic semester; an additional educational assignment or other requirements as appropriate; and a written warning that further academic misconduct will lead to more serious sanctions. b. For a second or subsequent instance of academic dishonesty, the minimum sanction shall be suspension for at least two full academic semesters.

3. Conduct Adversely Affecting Persons.

a. For deliberate sexual invasion of another, the minimum sanction shall be suspension for two full academic semesters. b. For illegally possessing, manufacturing, selling, or delivering a controlled substance as defined by state or federal law, sanctions established by relevant policies of the Board of Trustees, including as specified, drug probation, suspension, or expulsion, depending upon the gravity of the offense and prior history of misconduct.

c. For operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other substances,

i. The usual sanction shall be drug or alcohol suspension for at least one full academic semester.

ii. The minimum sanction shall be probation for at least one full academic semeste

4. Group Offenses.

In instances in which a group has committed a violation of the same type within a period of two years for which a written warning was issued, the minimum sanction shall be group probation. 5. Repeat Offenses.

For offenses of the same or similar type for which a student has previously received at least probation, the minimum sanction shall be suspension for at least one academic semester with appropriate conditions..

E. Administration of Sanctions.

1. Duration and Effective Date. The duration and effective date of sanctions shall be determined by the hearing panel. A sanction specified to extend over an academic semester means a semester within the academic year and does not include summer sessions. If a timely appeal is filed as provided in Appendix C, no sanction shall take effect until such time as the relevant appeal has been withdrawn or has been finally determined and a decision rendered by the College Hearings Board or, in applicable cases, by the Chancellor or his or her designee. When, because of an appeal, a sanction of suspension or expulsion becomes effective during the middle or at the end of a semester or term, the student shall receive no credit for any courses undertaken or completed in the semester or term in which the judgment of the hearing panel was initially rendered. Students who have been expelled or suspended from the College

are granted 96 hours from the time the sanction becomes effective to depart from the campus. Sanctions of record (expulsion, suspension, and probation) shall be entered on the student’s transcript by the Dean of Students following conclusion of any relevant appeals. 2. Review. A student who is placed on definite or indefinite probation or suspension may be required to meet periodically with the Judicial Programs Officer. 3. Removal of Sanctions. Upon completion of the requisite period, a student who has satisfied any pertinent conditions or requirements may submit a formal petition requesting removal of a probationary sanction or reinstatement following suspension. The petition shall be reviewed by the Judicial Programs Officer who shall prepare a recommendation, and submit the matter for determination by the appropriate court. The court shall consider the student’s petition as soon as practicable. 4. Records of Student Discipline. Only disciplinary cases pending and currently active sanctions of probation, suspension, or expulsion shall be noted as part of a student’s transcript. Records of all disciplinary actions and sanctions imposed pursuant to this Instrument shall be maintained by appropriate offices in the Division of Student Affairs as part of a student disciplinary record separate from the transcript and shall be retained for a period of 10 years from the date on which all appeal rights have expired or have been exhausted, and thereafter destroyed, unless destruction at the end of a lesser period shall be permitted in accordance with a disciplinary records retention policy adopted by the Chancellor upon recommendation by the Committee on Student Conduct as provided in Section V.E. Files on pending cases will be maintained indefinitely. Disciplinary files and records of cases that resulted in “not guilty” findings shall be destroyed immediately. Recordings or transcripts of judicial hearings in which an accused student is found guilty shall be retained for 12 months following the conclusion of any available appeal and then destroyed. Return to Table of Contents

IV. Procedural Rights of Students and Complainants

A. Rights of the Accused Student.

A student accused of a violation of the Honor Code under Section II of this Instrument shall have the following rights:

1. Information and Informed Choices. The right to examine this Instrument; to be advised of the charge, the character of the evidence against him or her, the alternatives for responding, the possible sanctions, their rights, and their responsibilities to appear for relevant proceedings; and to make choices of the student’s own free will, including the choice to waive any rights provided by this Instrument after receiving an explanation of the possible consequences so long as any such waiver is made in writing. 2. Presumption of Innocence. The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and to plead not

guilty without fear that the plea itself (as distinct from any related lies or misrepresentations) may give rise to a charge of lying should the student be found guilty of violating the Honor Code. 3. Counsel. The right to an assigned student counsel or a student counsel of his or her own choosing, provided that neither a licensed attorney nor a person who has passed a state bar examination may serve as the investigator or defense counsel or be present during proceedings. Only currently enrolled undergraduate students at Columbia College- Tysons may serve as investigator or defense counsel in cases involving undergraduate students and only currently enrolled students, preferably from within the pertinent academic program, may serve as investigator or counsel to the accused student in cases involving graduate or professional students. However, in the event the offense charged is also the subject of criminal charges, the accused student may be accompanied to the hearing by a licensed attorney who may confer with the student during the hearing so long as the attorney does not address the hearing panel, those hearing the appeal, or other parties or witnesses, and so long as the attorney does not delay or disrupt the proceeding. 4. Fair Hearing. The right to a fair, impartial, and speedy hearing, including a separate hearing upon request. 5. Self-Incrimination. The right to refuse to respond to questions that would tend to be self-incriminating. 6. Evidence and Witnesses. The right prior to the hearing to review written evidence and obtain a list of anticipated witnesses; to hear or face witnesses testifying against him or her and question any material witnesses; to challenge and rebut any evidence or written testimony; to present material and character witnesses; and to testify and present evidence in his or her own behalf provided that such evidence is relevant to the charge or other evidence presented and does not otherwise infringe the rights of other students. 7. Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.The right to have an alleged offense proven beyond a reasonable doubt, where “beyond a reasonable doubt” means a doubt that is based upon reason and common sense after careful and impartial consideration of all evidence, and does not mean a mere “shadow of a doubt” or any conceivable doubt. 8. Appeals and Rehearing.The right to pursue a subsequent appeal to the extent specified in this Instrument and to be free from rehearing under this Instrument for the same offense after being found not guilty, except to the extent that a new hearing may be required on an original charge pursuant.

B. Rights of the Complainant.

A complainant who asserts that an accused student has violated the Honor Code shall have the following rights:

1. Notification. In accordance with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), in cases of alleged academic misconduct, the complainant has the right to be notified of the outcome of the case if the complainant has a legitimate educational interest in the outcome. A complainant who is an alleged victim of an offense that involves the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or is a felony that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force may be used against the person or property of another in the course of committing the offense, has the right to be notified of the following matters, pursuant to FERPA and policies of the College Board of Governors: the name of the student assailant, the violation charged or committed, the essential findings supporting the conclusion that the violation was committed, the sanction if any imposed, the duration of the sanction, and the date the sanction was imposed. 2. Privacy. The right to have his or her name or other personally identifiable information withheld from release to the public, the press, or others who are not directly involved in the case, by members of the Student Attorney General’s staff, any student court or College Hearings Board, or the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. 3. Comments and Recommendations. The right to challenge or to request the Student Attorney General’s office to challenge the qualifications of any member of a student court or College Hearings Board to hear the case; the right to recommend the; the right to make a written or oral statement during the sanctioning phase of a hearing; and the right to notice and an opportunity to make an oral or written statement in any proceeding for the removal of a sanction of indefinite suspension or indefinite probation in a case involving a student against whom the complainant filed a complaint. 4. Additional Rights in Certain Cases. In certain types of cases, the complainant shall have additional rights as stated below.

a. Academic Dishonesty. The right of an instructor to recommend a failing grade (as to a particular assignment, course component or aspect, or the course as a whole), and to have the recommended penalty imposed in the event that the accused student is found guilty as charged. b. Sexual Misconduct. In offenses involving sexual misconduct (Section II.C.1.b.): …i. With the approval of the Student Attorney General and the Judicial Programs Officer, the right to request a student investigator of his or her own choosing from within those available in the Student Attorney General’s office after charges have been filed; …ii. The right to be present during court proceedings except court deliberations, and to have a support person present during the original hearing, any evidentiary proceeding or any appeal; …iii. In cases involving sexual invasion (Section II.C.1.b.ii.), the right to a closed hearing when requested in writing (notwithstanding any request to the contrary by the accused student) and to refuse to testify without being charged with a violation based on that refusal upon a determination by the Student Attorney General after consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs that compelling circumstances prevent the complainant from participating in the case; …iv. The right for evidence of other sexual behavior to be deemed inadmissible in a hearing

c. Other Conduct Involving Injuries to Persons. In offenses involving other forms of conduct resulting in injuries to persons under Section II.C.1., the right to be present, except for any court deliberations (during an original hearing, evidentiary proceeding, or appellate proceeding), to the extent permissible under pertinent state and federal law.

C. Additional Student Rights.

From time to time, additional student rights may be created or recognized by the College, including rights to privacy and free expression.

V. Honor System Officers, Responsibilities, and Structures

Faculty Honor System Advisory Committee

1. Appointment. The Chair of the Faculty shall appoint a five-member Faculty Honor System Advisory Committee, drawn from faculty members with interest and experience concerning the campus Honor System. In making the requisite appointments, the Chair of the Faculty shall take into account recommendations by the Undergraduate Student Attorney General, the Chair of the Undergraduate Honor Court, and the Graduate Student Attorney General. In making appointments, the Chair of the Faculty should strive to maintain a committee that is broadly representative (in terms of academic units and faculty rank) and possesses relevant expertise (such as experience with legal systems, knowledge of undergraduate and graduate-level issues, experience with instructional development, and awareness concerning the operation of the Honor System). Members of the advisory committee shall serve for overlapping three-year terms or until their successors have been appointed.

2. Duties. The Faculty Honor System Advisory Committee shall have the following duties: providing advice when appropriate to the Undergraduate and Graduate School Attorneys General regarding difficult academic charge decisions; communicating to student judicial officers information regarding faculty concerns or suggestions for improvement of the Honor System; assisting the student judicial officers with outreach and educational activities to involve academic departments and the greater campus community in discussion of issues of honor and integrity; assisting in the development of training materials for use in the Honor System; serving as a source of expertise and advice on educational sanctions; and such other duties as may be appropriate to bolster the effectiveness and smooth operation of the Honor System.


Grievance Policy

Obtain the student grievance form from the student service director. Fill it out completely, stating your case in full detail, and return it to the student service director.

The student has the right to make his/her case to the College Council. All evidence of unfair treatment must be presented, as well as whether the student has suffered any damage or injury as a result of such treatment. If satisfaction is not obtained, you may escalate your case all the way to the President of the College.

If it is determined that the student has a valid grievance, the College Council will be convened. Seated at the head will be a member of the college’s administrative staff. The council will also consist of one faculty member and one student selected at the begining of the academic year for this task. If this grievance concerns a grade, then the faculty member must be an actual instructor at the college.

The College Council will notify the student in writing within 10 calendar days of the time and place of the hearing. The hearing will be held within 14 days of the designation of the College Council. The College Council will reach its decision by a simple majority vote and pass its recommendation to the College within 10 calendar days of the hearing.

The student will be notified in writing within 10 calendar days of the College Council’s recommendation, based on the post-marked date of the envelope in which it was submitted. Either party can appeal the decision by a written appeal to the President of the College within 10 days of the post-marked date of the envelope in which it was submitted, to reach his or her decision.

The student may address his/her concerns in writing to the following:


State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)

James Monroe Building, 9th Floor

101 N. 14th Street

Richmond, VA 23219

Attn: Institutional Approval Coordinator

Tel (804) 225-2600 Fax (804) 225-2604


Council on Occupational Education (COE)

41 Perimeter Center, East NE Suite 640

Atlanta, GA 30346

Tel (770) 396-3898 Fax (770) 396-3790



Federal Requirements

U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) 600.9(c) State Authorization:

“If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State’s approval upon request.”

Institutions must provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with the appropriate state agency identified for handling complaints in the student’s state.

Student residing outside of the State of Virginia while attending Columbia College who desire to resolve a grievance should follow the above grievance procedure. However, if an issue cannot be resolved internally, you may file a complaint with State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and Council on Occupational Education (COE) or with your state as found in the following list.



Alabama Commission on Higher Education


(334)242-1998 (334) 242-0268



Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education


(907)465-2962 (907) 465-5316



Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education

(602) 542-5709 (602) 542-1253



Arkansas Department of Higher Education

(501) 371-2000

Bureau for Private Post Secondary Education


(916)431-6959 (888)370-7589



Colorado Department of Higher Education

(303) 866-2723 (303) 866-4266



Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education





Delaware Department of Education


(302)735-4000 (302) 739-4654



Florida Department of Education

(850) 245-0505 (850) 245-9667



Idaho Board of Education

(208) 334-2270 (208) 334-2632



Illinois Board of Higher Education

(217) 782-2551 (217) 782-8548



Iowa College Student Aid Commission


(515) 725-3400 (515) 725-3401



Board of Regents

(785) 296-4917 (785) 296-7052



Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

(502) 573-1555 (502) 573-1535



Louisiana Board of Regents

(225)342-4253 (225) 342-9318



Maine Department of Education


(207) 624-6600 (207) 624-6700



Maryland Higher Education Commission

(410) 260-4500 (800) 974-0203



Massachusetts Board of Higher Education

(617) 994-6950 (617) 727-0955

Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth

(517) 373-1820 (517) 373-2129

Minnesota Office of Higher Education

(651) 642-0567 (651) 642-0675

Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation


(601) 432-6198 (601) 432-6225



Missouri Department of Higher Education

(573) 751-2361 (573) 751-6635



Montana University System, Montana Board of Regents


(406) 444-6570



Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education


(402)471-2847 (402) 471-2886



Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education

(702) 486-7330 (702) 486-7340


New Hampshire

New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission

(603) 271-3494
New Jersey

New Jersey Commission of Higher Education

(609) 588-3226


New Mexico

New Mexico Higher Education Department

(505) 476-8400 (505) 476-8453
North Carolina

North Carolina Community College System, Office of Proprietary School Services

(919) 807-7146 (919) 807-7164
North Dakota

North Dakota State Board for Career and Technical Education


(701) 328-3180 (701) 328-1255

Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools

(614) 466-2752 (614) 466-2219



Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education


(405) 225-9100


Oklahoma Department of Education – Private and Career Schools Office

(503) 947-5600 (503) 378-5156



Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Program Services

(717) 783-6137 (717) 783-6139


Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education


(787) 641-7100 (787) 641-2573
South Carolina

South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

(803) 737-2260 (803) 737-2297


South Dakota

South Dakota Board of Regents

(803) 737-2260 (803) 737-2297



Tennessee Higher Education Commission


(615) 741-3605 (615) 741-62307

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

(512) 427-6101



Utah Division of Consumer Protection

(801) 530-6601 (801) 530-6001

Vermont State Board of Education


(802) 828-3135



Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board


(360) 753-7869


Washington DC

Washington DC – Education Licensure Commission

(202) 442-4343 (202) 442-4465


West Virginia

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

(304) 558-4016

Wisconsin Educational Approval Board

(608) 266-1996 (608) 264-8477



Wyoming Department of Education


(307) 777-5712



Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism Policy

The Columbia College Academic Integrity Policy (AIP) covers all academic misconduct, but three common violations are cheating, plagaiarism, and facilitating violations of academic dishonesty.

Click here to see Columbia College AIP

CHEATING: “Misrepresenting or providing false information in any matter of academic achievement or work is cheating.

Examples of cheating include:

  • Unauthorized possession, copying or any sharing of exam questions or answers
  • Having another person take an exam
  • Using notes, books and the like in closed-book examinations
  • Presenting work done by others as one’s own
  • Fabrication of text, sources, or citations
  • Unauthorized altering of graded work after it has been returned, then submitting it for regrading
  • Signing another person’s name on an academic exercise or attendance sheet
  • Unauthorized collaboration on any assignments such as homework, take-home exams, or projects in which the instructor does not allow collaboration is cheating (It is the student’s responsibility to ascertain whether collaboration is permitted.)

PLAGARISM: Plagiarism is intellectual theft: the plagiarist presents work done by others as his or her own, in writing or orally. Plagiarism is the failure to properly and appropriately reference and acknowledge the ideas and words of others. This includes website material used in written, oral, or multi-media presentations.


Examples of plagiarism include:

Using direct quotation without the quotation marks or citation

  • Paraphrasing or making minor changes to an author’s words or style without proper citation
  • Insufficient acknowledgment of sources (partial citation)
  • Using the pattern, structure or organization of an author’s argument or ideas without proper citation
  • Failing to cite sources for uncommon facts or knowledge
  • Using text from work that was handed in for another course without the required permissions
  • Working with another student on a project but failing to put both names on the final product
  • Having someone else re-write or heavily edit a paper

FACILITATING VIOLATIONS OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Any act which facilitates or encourages violations of academic integrity by another person is itself a violation of academic integrity.

Examples of facilitating violations of academic integrity include:

  • providing material, information, or other assistance to another person with knowledge that such aid could be used in any of the violations stated above
  • providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic integrity