The Honor Code

The Honor System
Believing in the principles of student government, I pledge myself to uphold the ideals and regulations of the Mary Baldwin College community. I recognize the principles of honor and cooperation as the basis of our life together. I shall endeavor faithfully to order my life accordingly. I will not lie, cheat, steal, plagiarize, or violate my pledge of confidentiality. I will encourage others to fulfill the ideals of the honor system and will meet my responsibility to the community by reporting incidents of honor offenses.

In becoming a member of the Mary Baldwin Student Government Association and in taking the honor pledge, each student enters into an agreement based on freedom and recognition of responsibility to this community, promising to uphold the ideals of the honor system. Personal integrity is one of the principles upon which the Honor System is founded. The ideals of the honor system include a mutual trust among all members of the community. Upon entering this trust a student assumes full responsibility for her own acts. Whenever a student signs her name to anything, she has acknowledged the ideals of the honor system, and her signature is her promise to uphold its pledge. A student’s responsibility to the Honor System does not end when she leaves the campus.

The welfare of the individual and the community depends upon all sharing equally the responsibility of enforcement, including the encouragement of others to uphold their share. It is important that each student report any violation of the honor system. It is imperative that everyone recognizes her duty of protecting the honor system and the student body. Only through the cooperation of each student will the Mary Baldwin Honor System continue to be effective.

An honor offense is an infraction of the college’s stated rules of honor by a student enrolled in Mary Baldwin College. Honor offenses include plagiarism, lying, cheating, stealing, and breach of a pledge of confidentiality. An infraction may occur on or off campus.

Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s idea or work without acknowledging the source of the idea or work. All quotations, paraphrases, copying, and adaptation from published or unpublished sources must be acknowledged as explained below. Sources may include but are not limited to papers, written or spoken statements, and works of art. If a student discovers she has made some mistake in acknowledging sources in a paper already submitted, she must make this fact known to her instructor immediately. The Honor Council will not accept a plea of ignorance. Two general principles apply to documentation of sources in written work. They are presented here, quoted from Watkins, Hoyd C.; Dillingham, William B.; and Martin, Edwin T., Practical English Handbook, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1971, pp. 244–345.

All direct quotations must be placed in quotation marks and acknowledged in your text. Even when you take only a phrase or a single unusual word from a passage, you should enclose it in quotation marks.

All paraphrases and citations must be acknowledged. Credit a source when you cite ideas or information from it, even when you do not quote directly. Altering the wording does not make the substance yours.

A lie is any misrepresentation of facts as a student knows them, whether made vocally, in writing, or by a non verbal indicator (such as, but not limited to, a head motion). Any lie that affects the Mary Baldwin College community will be dealt with by the Honor Council, whether or not the misrepresentation is made to a member of the college community, and whether or not the misrepresentation was made on or off campus. The Council hears cases including, but not limited to, those involving lying to a member of the faculty or of the administration or staff, to a student, or to a committee or organization. Examples include, but are not limited to, possession or use of a false I.D., stating a false name or age, and altering documents or official papers.

Although any lie is a serious offense, the Honor Council views particularly serious any lie to an investigation committee or to the Council. If an investigating committee or the Honor Council suspects that an accused student may be lying, the committee or Council will ask the student to clarify her statements. If the committee or Council continues to believe that the student may be lying, it will notify the student that she is also accused of the offense of lying. The investigation or hearing will proceed, and it will include the additional charge of lying. If an investigating committee or the Honor Council suspects that a witness may be lying, the interview or hearing will proceed to a conclusion. The separate suspected offense of lying shall be investigated following the procedures applicable to other honor offenses.

Each student is expected to do her own work in all academic endeavors. Giving or receiving help on academic work unless allowed by the instructor is cheating and must be reported. It is the student’s responsibility not to discuss a test or exam with a student who has not taken it. To avoid the possible appearance of committing honor violations, students are advised not to possess or take any materials other than writing instruments and blank paper into any room where a closed book test or examination is being given or possess or take any materials not specifically permitted by the instructor into any room where an open book test or examination is being given. Books and study materials should be left in the students room or outside the room where the test or examination is to take place.

Respect for the personal property of every individual is an essential principle upon which the Mary Baldwin Community is based. Taking or use of others’ belongings without permission and unauthorized use of school property (includes, but is not limited to, library books and magazines, laboratory equipment, dining room utensils, and refrigerators) and copyrighted property (RIAA and MPAA copyrighted property) are breaches of the honor system and will be dealt with by the Honor Council. A student’s responsibility to the honor system does not end when she leaves the campus. Whenever a student signs her name to anything, she has acknowledged the ideals of the Honor System and her promise is to uphold its pledge.

The Honor Council takes the position that anyone who has had the proper explanation about the mechanical and legal aspects of maintaining a checkbook, and then continues to write bad checks is stealing and therefore, committing an honor offense.

For your information, the Virginia State Law 18.2fil 81. Issuing bad checks, etc., larceny, (states) “Any person who, within intent to defraud, shall make or draw or utter or deliver any check, draft, or order for the payment of money, upon any bank, banking institution, trust company, or other depository, knowing, at the time of such making, drawing, uttering or delivery, that the maker or drawer has not sufficient funds in or credit with such bank, banking institution, trust company, or other depository, for the payment of such check, draft or order, although no express representation is made in reference there too, shall be found in violation of the codes related to larceny; and, if this check, draft, or order has a represented value of $200 dollars or more, such person shall be in violation of the codes related to a Class I misdemeanor.”

All members of the Honor Council, students reporting offenses, members of an investigating committee, witnesses at a hearing and/or investigating committee, advisors and members of the Board of Appeals shall strictly maintain the confidence of proceedings. Those involved in the case may acknowledge that a case is in progress, but they must keep all names and facts pertaining to the case in complete confidence. An accused student may discuss her case while an investigation is proceeding with the following individuals: her parents, her advisor to the Honor process, the chairwoman to the Honor Council, the advisors to the Honor Council, and faculty, administration and staff of the college. An accused student may not discuss her case with any other individual, especially those involved with an investigation. If an accused student is found responsible and given a sanction, the student may tell others her sanction. She may not discuss any other aspect of the case with anyone except those persons listed above. Failure to maintain confidentiality will result in an action by the Honor Council.

Witnesses must observe complete confidentiality about a case, but if a witness believes she must discuss aspects of the case, she should contact the chairwoman. Faculty and staff should maintain professional standards of confidentiality, especially as it pertains to the identity of students, but they may discuss their involvement with any faculty advisor to the Honor Council.

Members of the Honor Council, Student Advocates, or Student Investigators who are found in violation of breaches of confidentiality shall be dismissed from their respective organizations.

The Honor Council shall post the results of cases in which a student has been found in violation, without names, once each semester. At the same time, the same information will be sent to faculty and staff in the form of e-mail attachments. If there is a breach of confidentiality, the Honor Council reserves the right to post a statement without names of the facts of the case for one and a half to two days at four places on campus.

The Honor Council strives to promote the spirit of honor throughout all aspects of campus life. The Council assumes responsibility for the orientation of all students to the honor system. The Honor Council deals with infractions of the honor system, which include lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, violation of a pledge of confidentiality.