11.10. Recusals and Strikings

When a student is notified of any sort of honor council procedure (investigation or hearing), he/she will receive the names of all student and faculty members of whichever of the full honor councils is scheduled to be present at the meeting. The student then has two full academic business days to request that the secretary strike whichever of those persons the accused feels might be biased against him/her and who should be eliminated from the pool. If the accused does not file an official request with the secretary within the timeframe mandated, then he/she loses all right to later complain or charge bias. This type of striking cannot be wholesale. Each proposed strike must be accompanied by an explanation, and such explanations must be substantive. That is to say, it is anticipated that most members of the honor council know most accused persons, and vice versa. Simply knowing someone is not a reason to strike that person. Rather, there must be some substantive reason why the accused person reasonably expects an honor council member may be biased against him/her. The secretary will remove all such names the accused reasonably strikes from the roll of the relevant full honor council for purposes of that particular meeting. It may be necessary to augment the roll of the full honor council with “alumni” members in order to achieve a quorum for whatever type of meeting is scheduled. If that is the case, the names of any such “alumni” members will also be forwarded to the accused for his/her potential striking, according to the above protocol.

At the same time, every member of a full honor council will receive, in advance, the names of any and all accused students who will come before the members of that full honor council at its next meeting. If an honor council member believes he/she ought to recuse him/herself from the case, he/she does that in advance of the actual meeting, thus allowing the secretary time to augment the rolls of the honor council with “alumni” members, if needed, in order to guarantee a quorum.

Honor council members are required to recuse themselves not simply because they know an accused person, but because they feel that they will be unable to judge the person objectively. Bias can work unfairly in favor of the accused or unfairly against him/her. In either case, the honor council member is duty bound to recuse him/herself in such instances. No reason need be given.