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Reported Student Information

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.

While BYU is required to accept reports from anyone for any reason, the university has discretion in how these reports are addressed. The Honor Code Investigation and Administrative Review Process guides the manner in which the Honor Code Office addresses reports.

The report of an alleged Honor Code violation does not mean that the allegation is true. This is why an investigation process exists. The HCO will normally investigate a reported Honor Code violation if there is sufficient, reasonable and relevant information. It will proceed with a review, interviewing the student and any witnesses or other people, if needed. The HCO will notify the alleged student in writing of the alleged violation of the Honor Code if it appears that a violation has occurred. The alleged student has the opportunity to respond to the allegations and relevant information. At that point, the HCO will assess the credibility of the witnesses and strength of the information received, and prepare a recommended course of action. This is not a legal process, but students will be afforded fair process as the investigation unfolds.

    • 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 policy they are alleged to have violated prior to 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 physical 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 process can take time, the HCO will make every effort to complete the investigation and come to a resolution as soon as possible most often within two weeks.
    • 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 sanction 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 (BYU Counseling and Psychological Services) 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.

    The purpose of the Honor Code process is primarily educational. Our focus is on working with students to understand, reflect, and recommit. We want all BYU students to succeed and thrive. While a separation from the university may occasionally be necessary, we believe that as students engage in our process, we can address almost all behaviors without any need for separation from the university. In fact, over 95% of our cases are resolved with the student remaining fully enrolled at BYU.
  • There are not set consequences for specific behaviors because context matters. Prior violations, the motivation, intent and openness of the student, as well as the impact and relative severity of the behavior must be considered when determining the appropriate path forward for each student.
  • 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 an academic, safety, or other risk to the institution.
  • Students have the option to have an advisor, or person of support present during any meeting related to this process. The term “advisor” is defined as any person (including any student, faculty or staff) selected by a student to assist and accompany him/her through the University conduct resolution procedures (including investigation interviews, sanction reviews, and appeals). Students may choose to proceed with or without an advisor. A student may not select an advisor who is otherwise involved in any other part of the investigation, disrupts the proceedings, causes emotional distress to other participants, or otherwise attempts to interfere with the process.

    The advisor, upon request of the student, may (1) accompany the student in any conduct proceeding, (2) advise the student in the preparation and presentation of information, and (3) advise the student in the preparation of an appeal or sanction review. The advisor’s role is only to support the student; they may not be an active participant in the meetings. Any support person may be immediately excluded from the proceedings if they attempt to intervene or participate in any way. Students are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf. The advisor may consult with their advisee quietly or in writing, or outside the meeting room during breaks. The advisor may not speak on behalf of the student. Delays in the process will not be allowed due to scheduling conflicts with advisors.
  • If a student wishes to involve the bishop/ecclesiastical leader in any part of the process, the student must ask for and sign a privacy waiver. Otherwise, ecclesiastical leaders are NOT permitted to reveal confessional conversations. A bishop does not share any information with the HCO, and the HCO does not share any information with a bishop or other ecclesiastical leader without a student’s prior written consent.
  • Cases are assigned to HCO Administrators based upon current caseload and the discretion of the director. If you have a preference on the gender of the administrator, please inform the HCO front desk staff when scheduling an appointment.
  • When investigating an alleged violation, the HCO encourages students, reporting and responding, to provide the names of witnesses that have first-hand knowledge of the behavior in question. The HCO will follow up with these witnesses as part of the investigation process. These witnesses should not be solely character witnesses, rather, they should be witnesses that can corroborate or refute allegations that have been made as a result of their first-hand knowledge of the incident.
  • HCO Administrators are not therapists, but rather student conduct professionals. If students are in need of counseling or therapy, they should contact BYU’s Counseling and Psychological Services Office (CAPS).
  • Students have a right to appeal their decision if they feel that one or more of the following apply:

    • The decision was not reasonably supported by the facts
    • The action is too harsh for the behavior
    • The investigation or decision exhibited prejudice or bias that affected the outcome
    • New information is available that may change the findings in the case

    All appeals will proceed according to the Administrative Review Process, found here. Students may submit a request to the Dean of Students Office for a review of their Honor Code decision within 5 days of the receipt of an outcome letter.

  • During the course of an HCO process, if the parties in any way suggest an activity or behavior may involve nonconsensual sexual acts or relationship violence, the Honor Code investigation process immediately stops and the information is referred to the Title IX Office. This is one of many important changes the university made in 2016 to better address sexual assault.

    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
  • Retaliation against an individual who has made a report or provided information in connection with an investigation is strictly prohibited. Retaliation is any adverse action taken against an individual because he or she participated in any manner in an Honor Code investigation and administrative review process. Retaliation can include intimidation, which is any adverse action or threat of action reasonably likely to prevent or dissuade an individual from making a report or providing information in connection with an Honor Code investigation. Individuals who participate in an Honor Code investigation should be advised that university policy prohibits retaliation against them and should be assured that the university will take steps to prevent retaliation and will address any act of retaliation of which it becomes aware. An individual who feels that he or she has been subjected to retaliation for reporting an Honor Code violation or participating in an Honor Code investigation and administrative review process should report the incident to the HCO, which will address the report in accordance with the investigation and administrative review process set forth.