Honor Code Violations

Reporting a Violation

Write down at once exactly what you saw / read / heard, for example:

  • What time was it?
  • What happen exactly?
  • Who else was present? Who might be a witness?
  • Where were you (during a test: where were you sitting)?

Contact your professor or contact the Honor Council, either via email at honorcouncil@luther.edu or campus mail (SPO “Honor Council”) or the Faculty Advisor to the Honor Council.

  • After you report the case, you should not talk about it with anyone outside the Honor Council. Keep in mind that a report to the Honor Council cannot be retracted.
  • The person you accused or his/her friends should not talk about the case with you before or after the case has been discussed by the Honor Council Review Board.

You might be asked to appear in front of the Honor Council Review Board. You do not have to face the person you accuse of breaking the Honor Code. Also, you can choose to stay anonymous to the person you reported.

  • All actions that interfere with the work of the Honor Council are also considered violations of the Honor Code, including, but not limited to the destruction of evidence, the intimidation of witnesses or complainants, or retaliatory actions against witnesses or complainants.

If You Have Been Reported

There are two procedures for dealing with possible violations of academic integrity: The Individual Review, conducted by faculty members, and the Honor Code Review, conducted by the members of the Honor Council. Both procedures are independent from one another and equal although there are minor differences:

  • The Honor Code Review board cannot change grades; it only can make recommendations about grades.
  • The Honor Code Review board has some sanctions that professors do not have (e.g. barring a student from participation in any campus-wide elections for a time).
  • Verdicts by the Honor Council can be appealed to the Campus Appeals Board; complaints about decisions made by instructors during the course of an Individual Review that lead to a change of a course grade must follow the process of the Final Grade Appeal (as described in the Luther College catalog).
  • The Honor Council has to follow the rules of the Honor Code. The procedure for an Individual Review is described in the Faculty Handbook but is less regulated. There is a recommendation for the process, but instructors can deviate from it.

If you are suspected of a violation of academic integrity, there are two situation you can find yourself in:

Situation 1: A professor can deal with a case “internally”.

  • If the professor does not report the case to the HC, she/he will meet with you, together with another professor who serves as a monitor to the meeting.
  • It is recommended that you are allowed to have an advisor with you and that you can request that the case is send to the Honor Council (but you cannot demand this).
  • After the meeting, the professor will make her/his decision.
  • The professor will send a report about the case to the Dean’s Office.
  • If the decision affects your final grade, you can appeal the final grade (i.e. at the end of the semester) within 30 days after it has been posted. This complaint has to be filed with the department head (if the professor is the department head, the complaint is filed with the Dean of the College).

Situation 2: Students and professors can report a case to the Honor Council.

  • If the case is sent to the HC, you will hear from them about a hearing. You do not have to appear before the Honor Council Review Board (HCRB), but it usually helps your case. You can also just send a written statement. The case will be discussed, with or without you being present at the hearing.
  • You can come with an advisor (friend, professor, family) to the HCRB hearing, however, the advisor is not allowed to talk to the HCRB.
  • You can suggest questions for the witnesses, but you cannot question witnesses yourself.
  • You can ask that witnesses be heard in your support.
  • If you know who filed the complaint (peer or professor), you should NOT contact them, nor should you ask anyone (friends, family) to speak to them. Remember that once a complaint has been filed, it cannot be retracted.
  • Once the HCRB has reached a decision, you can appeal the decision within 6 class days but at least after one full day has passed. You can send a mail to the “Campus Appeals Board” or you can deliver your written appeal to the Dean’s Office or the Student Life Office.
  • Remember, the HCRB can only issue recommendations concerning grades. It does not change grades. Grades are changed by the instructor.