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Honor Committee reports five not guilty verdicts for last semester

The Committee is currently working on bylaw changes that will support the newly passed multi-sanction system

Aziz also invited students to fill out a survey indicating their perception of Honor and opinions on the new constitution.
Aziz also invited students to fill out a survey indicating their perception of Honor and opinions on the new constitution.

Five students were found not guilty in Honor cases between Dec. 14 and May 12, per a report from Hamza Aziz, chair of the Committee and third-year College student. In addition to case reports, Aziz also provided updates on upcoming bylaw changes that will govern the landmark multi-sanction system to be formally ratified July 1. 

Within the report’s timeline, 12 reports total were filed with the Committee. Four are currently under investigation. Two students will submit or have submitted an Informed Retraction. Another two students will submit or had submitted a Conscientious Retraction. 

An Informed Retraction allows a student who has been reported to the Committee for an Honor offense to take responsibility for the offense and make amends. A Conscientious Retraction allows a student who has committed an Honor offense to come forward before they are reported. 

Of the four not guilty reports, two cases were a result of cheating on academic assignments and exams, while one was a result of lying on documents and another was a result of stealing login information.  

Two cases were dropped by the Committee, and one student left admitting guilt. Four hearings were held during this period, in which zero students were found guilty and five students were found not guilty.

Prior to Dec. 14, one case was reported that is still in the Contributory Health Impairment process — any health impairment including a mental disease, mental disorder or a medical condition that causes a student to commit the infraction they are being investigated for. These cases involve an assessment by a therapist or psychiatrist in order to verify the impairment. 

Two other cases have been returned from the CHI process to the Honor process, meaning they did not qualify for CHI standards and will be heard under standard Honor procedure. 

Over the summer, the Committee is also working on revising their bylaws to better match the newly-passed multi-sanction system formally passed by the student body in the historic student referendum this spring. 

The referendum transformed the single sanction of suspension to a multi-sanction system including but not limited to expulsion, suspension, education and amends. Following this historic change, bylaws needed to be updated in order to better align Honor policies with their new constitution. 

In his email to the student body, Aziz gave insight to the benefits that these changes will bring to the Honor system, citing improved efficiency and accessibility to case-processing procedures like increased standardization as well as increased support for students undergoing the CHI process.

Aziz also invited students to fill out a survey indicating their perception of Honor and opinions on the new constitution.

The Honor Committee will be holding virtual meetings — which are open for public comment — until the multi-sanction system’s July 1 ratification date. After July 1, the Committee will resume normal meetings in the fall semester. The links for these virtual meetings will be available on its website. 

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