WHAT TO EXPECT

  

It is natural to feel nervous during your initial interaction with the Honor Code Office (HCO). To help alleviate some of that anxiety, this page explains what students will experience when they come to the HCO either in response to a report alleging violations of the Honor Code or when they come to self-report violations of the Honor Code.  Minor infractions of the Honor Code will not result in a separation from the university.   

The report of an alleged Honor Code violation does not mean that the allegation is true. This is why the investigation process exists. When an allegation is made, the student is contacted by the HCO and asked to meet with an administrator to discuss the allegation. This is not a legal process, but students will be afforded fair process as the investigation unfolds. This includes the following: 

 

  • Students will be presumed to NOT be in violation of an Honor Code policy unless they either accept responsibility or the investigation process makes such a determination. 

  • Students will be informed of the violations alleged in the report at the beginning of their initial meeting with an Honor Code administrator. 

  • Students will be told the name of the person who has reported the violation, except in situations where it is a matter of safety to others. 

  • Students will be given an explanation about what the investigation process entails and support resources that are available as they participate in the process. This includes an explanation of the steps the HCO will take to find information that corroborates or disputes the original report; the preponderance of information standard that universities use; and the possible outcomes if found responsible for a policy violation.  

  • The HCO will gather information from the student who has been reported, as well as any witnesses who have first-hand knowledge of the incident(s) in question. While this can be a lengthy process, the HCO will make every effort to complete the investigation and come to a resolution as soon as possible. 

  • Information gathered through the investigation will be weighed under a standard called the Preponderance of the Information. This means determining what is more probable than not to have occurred. If the information rises to this standard, the alleged student is found to be responsible for a violation. 

  • If the student is found responsible for a violation of the Honor Code, the process will move to the sanctioning phase. Typically, the sanctioning will be determined by the HCO Director and the administrator conducting the investigation. In cases where separation (suspension or expulsion) from BYU is being considered, a committee of HCO personnel and the Director of CAPS will review the information and make a recommendation to the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office makes all decisions in regard to a student being separated from the University for Honor Code violations.

 

  • If found responsible, these are the possible sanctions for Honor Code violations:

    • Notice (Counsel and Education): A student is given notice for a first-time minor infraction of the Honor Code when they have already demonstrated steps to resolve their behavior, or if they were reasonably unaware that their conduct was an infraction of the Honor Code. The student remains in good Honor Code standing and has no further interaction with the HCO.

    • Warning: A student is given a warning to refrain from further conduct which violates the Honor Code, and to avoid similar action in the future which could result in their falling out of good Honor Code standing. The student remains in good Honor Code standing and has no further interaction with the HCO.

    • Probation: A student is placed on probation for serious or patterned behavior. Probation allows a student to continue at BYU while providing time to reflect upon the significance of the Honor Code, and to demonstrate a commitment to it. As part of this probation and in order to be returned to good Honor Code standing, the student is required to complete a series of conditions.

    • Suspension: A student is suspended for egregious or patterned behavior. Suspension requires separation from BYU for a specified period of time. The student is ineligible to be enrolled in classes, hold an on-campus job, and live in BYU-contracted housing. During the time away, the student should be working to discontinue the behaviors associated with the Honor Code violation(s) and complete any assigned conditions in order to demonstrate that they are able to abide by the principles of the Honor Code.

    • Expulsion: This action permanently separates the student from all Church Education System (CES) institutions. This includes enrollment in any CES classes, employment in on-campus student positions and living in BYU-contracted housing. This action is taken when a student has exhibited behavior that is either egregious or patterned, and poses and academic, safety, or other risk to the institution.

 

When meeting with an Honor Code Administrator, if you have an experience that falls outside of the description of the Honor Code process, please contact the office's director at (801) 422-2848 or hco@byu.edu