Honor, UJC to suspend all cases while in-person classes are canceled

The committees have also postponed elections for executive board positions

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The committees will be postponing executive board elections until further notice. 

Ariana Gueranmayeh | Cavalier Daily

The Honor Committee and University Judiciary Committee are suspending all case proceedings while in-person classes at the University are canceled. This means that all ongoing investigations and trials will be postponed until at least April 5, when the University plans to reevaluate its online instruction policy.

Honor will still be accepting reports and violations of the University’s Honor Code during this time. Similarly, UJC will still be accepting submitted violations of the University’s Standards of Conduct to be reviewed by its executive board. However, both committees will be unable to convene as the University urged students to vacate Grounds and begin remote learning March 19.

In the event that in-person classes do not resume after April 5, the committees are finding ways to complete trials online. UJC chair Shannon Cason, a fourth-year College student, said that virtual trial options may best apply to graduating fourth-year students facing trials, who must go through the proceedings in order to receive a diploma. 

UJC has also considered the option of passing cases to the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Office in the event that the committee is unable to complete cases in time for graduating students. However, Cason emphasized that UJC will strive to uphold its standing in student self-governance and rely on VPSA only when absolutely necessary.

Both committees will also be postponing executive board elections until further notice. Honor chair Lillie Lyon, a fourth-year College student, explained the committee’s reasoning behind this decision.

“We want the transition to be as smooth as possible and as close to the intended date as possible, but given the circumstances, we've decided it's best to wait in the hope that we gain clarity on the direction things are moving — or, at the very least, can put into place suitable alternative executive committee election and transition processes,” Lyon said.

Elections for UJC executive positions were previously scheduled for March 28, with official transitions set to occur April 5. Transitions for the Honor Committee were also set to occur April 5. In light of the University’s operational changes, the executive boards of both committees will extend their terms in order to ensure that newly elected students receive proper training and have ample time to adjust.

Four UJC representative positions remain unfilled, including Undergraduate and Graduate representatives for the Curry School of Education, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. UJC will encourage these schools to complete their internal election processes as soon as possible. Training for newly elected representatives has been postponed until the committee can reconvene under regular University operations. 

According to Cason, UJC has also canceled its bi-weekly general body meetings and external training sessions for representatives. The executive board will continue to meet as permitted and is prepared to convene virtually if necessary. Lyon said the Honor Committee will continue to meet virtually, and they are looking into ways for the community to participate remotely.

“Committee meetings will proceed as scheduled, but will be conducted virtually,” Lyon wrote. “If any community members are interested in observing a meeting, they should reach out to me at lal5kr@virginia.edu, and we can sort out the best way for them to do so.”

Lyon said Honor remains focused on enhancing communication with the University community.

“The Committee plans to keep the University community updated as we make further decisions about how we will proceed,” Lyon said.

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