11.11.2. Honor Council Procedures of a Fundamental Nature

The following procedures, unless overridden in subsequent portions of this code, are always in effect for every meeting of the honor council (meaning any meeting of an investigatory or judicial panel):

In rare circumstances, accused persons may claim to be unable to attend a meeting for reasons of demonstrable hardship, which include such things as bona fide emergencies, family tragedies, or being off-campus due to varsity athletic trips, but which would not including things such as leisure travel or work. In instances of demonstrable hardship, the accused person may appeal to the secretary for the relevant meeting to be rescheduled. The reason for the claimed hardship must be fully recounted and, in the opinion of the secretary, must be nontrivial and compelling. Further, except under extraordinary circumstances, the claim must be registered at least one full academic business day in advance of the scheduled meeting. The secretary will reschedule the meeting in such circumstances. If that occurs, the accused person will be required to waive all timelines demanded by the honor code which may be violated by any rescheduled investigation or hearing, and must also agree not to appeal any subsequent, adverse decision based on the secretary and/or the investigatory or judicial panel not following mandated timelines.

If, on any previous occasion, the accused person has appeared before an investigatory or judicial panel on a charge of cheating then:

If the previous appearance resulted in a liable plea or verdict, any and all documentary evidence from that previous appearance will be made available to the investigatory or judicial panel hearing the current case.

If the previous appearance resulted in a not liable decision, then a three-person review group, the composition of which is defined in 11.8.1., will be convened to review the documentary evidence associated with the previous case. The review panel will decide (by at least a two-thirds majority) whether or not the documentary evidence from the previous case is sufficiently pertinent to the current charge that it should be made available in spite of its potential prejudicial effects. If the review panel finds that the evidence is sufficiently relevant, then it will be supplied to members of the investigatory or judicial panel hearing the current case, as in Sec. If the review panel finds that the documentary evidence from the previous case is not sufficiently relevant to the current case, then all such evidence will be withheld from the investigatory or judicial panel adjudicating the current case. In that event, no mention of such a previous case may be made by members of the investigatory or judicial panel adjudicating the current case, and panel members are required to consider the current charge without being influenced whatsoever by the accused’s previous appearance before the honor council.

If an accused person has been duly notified of the time, date and place of an investigation or hearing, and if he/she/they has failed to appeal to the secretary to reschedule the meeting (or if that appeal was denied), and if the accused subsequently does not appear for the investigation or hearing, then the investigatory or judicial panel may elect to carry out the investigation or hearing In Absentia.

Every honor council matter is decided by a secret ballot vote where each member present votes either yes or no depending on whether he/she/they supports a particular motion or not.

The presiding officer is charged with collecting and counting ballots resulting from secret votes.

When a motion is made to find an accused person liable or not liable of the accusations against him/her/them, members of the honor council (including every investigatory panel and every judicial panel) are obligated to cast their votes according to the “preponderance of the evidence” burden of proof. That is, the motion will be supported if it is more likely than not that the proposed conclusion is true.

Motions pass if they receive a simple majority of votes in support, and fail otherwise, except in the case of a tie. In the event of a tie vote, members will engage in further deliberation and voting until the tie is broken or until the time allotted for the meeting expires. If the tie can never be broken, the default regulation is that the matter is re-adjudicated from the outset in front of the members of the other available full honor council.

It sometimes happens that an investigatory or judicial panel must adjourn before fully adjudicating the matter(s) before it. In such instances, the original members of the investigatory or judicial panel involved in the case at the time of adjournment will reschedule a subsequent meeting time. Such a meeting should be relatively soon after the original one, but is not mandated to be within a certain amount of time. At the subsequent meeting, only those members of the investigatory or judicial panel who were present when the original meeting adjourned are permitted to be present. If there is not a quorum present, the meeting is rescheduled. If a quorum is never achievable after the original meeting adjourns, then the case is re-adjudicated ab initio, using the other available working honor council. Persons who were at the original meeting and who cannot attend any subsequent sessions are not permitted to cast their votes remotely (by using mobile phones or e-mail, for example).

Results of investigations and hearings will be published by the secretary to all those within the bounds of confidentiality (except those admitted within the bounds of confidentiality by the accused; see 11.19.) as soon as possible after the investigation or hearing concludes, and certainly within the ensuing three academic business days.

The honor council reserves the right to investigate any additional potential violations that may come to light during any investigation or hearing. These would include, but not be limited to, evidence of continuing subversion and multiple infractions.

Any evidence that the accused or any party acting on his or her behalf has threatened, accosted or otherwise intimidated his/her accuser(s) or any adverse witness(es) or members of the honor council (including PIOs) prior to an investigation or hearing shall be admissible evidence and shall be construed as a most serious breach of conduct, punishable according to B.1., Sec. B.2., Sec. B.3. and/or Sec. B.14. of the Oglethorpe code of student conduct.

Faculty members are to abide by the decision of the honor council and are to implement sanctions and directives imposed by the honor council within five academic business days of notification.

If a case deriving from a particular course has not been fully resolved by the time final grades are due, the instructor should issue a grade of “I” (Incomplete), indicating on the grade roll that the case is pending before the honor council.

Under no circumstances should instructors impose any grading penalties prior to notification of the results of the adjudication process or at variance with the decision of the honor council.