11.21. Recordkeeping

At every meeting of the honor council, the secretary is charged with keeping records of the proceedings.  For meetings (for training or to consider expelling an honor council member, for example) which are not for the purpose of carrying out either an investigation or hearing, the secretary (or his/her designee) will keep written minutes. The minutes are distributed to all members who were present and to the provost. The secretary keeps a copy of the minutes on file, as well.

For investigations and hearings, the secretary will not keep detailed, hand-written minutes of the complete proceedings. Instead, he/she will prepare a written summary of what transpired before the accused was permitted to enter the room. This would include the names of those present, a listing of documentary evidence which had been submitted (reports of suspected honor code violation, course syllabi, tests, quizzes, papers, and so forth), matters of fact about the charges being brought and the context of the case, any information (subject to requirements enumerated in Sec. regarding prior appearances of accused, accusers and other relevant parties before the honor council (including some contextual narrative, whether the student was found liable or not, what the sanction was if a liable plea or finding ensued, and other details derived either from the minutes, the audio recordings, and/or the personal recollections of honor council members who may have been involved in the previous case), other items that should be a matter of record, and a synopsis of the major themes that the members discussed in advance of beginning the meeting proper. Likewise, the secretary will prepare a summary of what occurred once the testimonial and interrogatory portions of the proceedings concluded and the deliberative portion of the meeting commenced. This summary will include at least the major arguments that proved persuasive regarding the outcome of the case, the rationale for all decisions, the relative weights of pieces of evidence, a detailed description of any sanctions that were levied, a description of all motions made, and a report of how those motions fared (including the vote tallies for and against).  The phase of the meeting in between these two bookends (that is, the portion during which the accused is permitted to be present) will be audio recorded. The audio record will constitute the entire record of the actual testimonial proceedings; no transcription will be prepared. Persons in attendance are free to make their own written notes if they so desire.

For investigations, the secretary will distribute the two written synopses mentioned above to all members who were present and to the provost. The secretary keeps a copy of the synopses on file, as well. The audio recordings are kept on file by the secretary; these are not distributed to other honor council members or to the provost, but are to be made available to any of those parties upon request.

The procedure is the same for hearings as it is for investigations, except as follows. Persons found liable (but not those who are found not liable) will receive copies of both summaries noted above. The liable individual is also given access to the audio recording of the hearing, but is not given a copy of the actual recording, itself. Persons wishing to listen to the audio portion of an investigation or hearing should file a request with the secretary.

The secretary and his/her successors will maintain for at least six years all minutes and all pre- and post-investigation and pre- and post-hearing synopses. At his/her discretion, the secretary can opt to delete or discard all other items a year and a day after a given student either graduates or fails to enroll in any class. Such items would include audio records, evidence artifacts, e-mails, and so on.