Reporting Someone for an Honor Code Violation
This webpage is for individuals filing a report about a student for behavior they believe violates one or more of the eight principles of the Church Educational System Honor Code. Please note that derogatory acts or slurs based upon race, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and other protected classes can be addressed through the Honor Code Office under the Respect Others principle.
Faculty members reporting a student for a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy should visit the Faculty Resources webpage.
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.
BYU exists to provide an education in an atmosphere consistent with the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During this period of intensive learning, each member of the BYU community personally commits to observe these Honor Code standards approved by the Board of Trustees “at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9).
Toggle ItemThings to consider before making a report to the Honor Code OfficeAdditionally, students may turn to resident assistants, hall advisors, or the Off-Campus Housing office for help working through roommate conflicts. Students who combine personal commitment with respect and compassion help create the environment that BYU strives to foster.
A Student Conduct Office
The Honor Code Office (HCO) addresses student conduct. Reports regarding faculty or staff behavior should be referred to Human Resources. The Honor Code Office addresses any behavior that occurs from the time a person is admitted to the university until they cease all enrollment at the university, which includes graduation.
Purpose of the Honor Code Office
The purpose of the Honor Code process is primarily educational. Our focus is on working with students to understand, reflect, and recommit to the standards of the university. 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 an educational Honor Code 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.
A student who has been reported for an Honor Code Violation has the right to know who reported them if the university is considering taking any action, and to review any information that is relevant to making a determination of responsibility. Therefore, the HCO does not investigate anonymous reports, except where the reported behavior could impact the physical safety of others. A report in which the person initially provides their name and contact information, but doesn’t communicate with the HCO to confirm information and identity will typically be treated like an anonymous report – meaning no action will be taken.
Reporting Person’s Role in the Investigation
The primary focus of the HCO is to work with students who have violated the Honor Code. The HCO will reach out to the reporting party as necessary to corroborate and clarify information. However, the HCO will not keep the reporting party apprised of how the report is being addressed or any investigation outcomes.
Students have the option to have an advisor, or person of support present during any meeting related to making the report or follow up meetings. The term “advisor” is defined as any person (including any student, faculty or staff) selected by a student to assist and accompany them through the reporting and investigation processes. 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’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 office during breaks. The advisor may not speak on behalf of the advisee. Delays in the process will not be allowed due to scheduling conflicts with advisors.
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.
Statement of Good Faith
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.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Investigations
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.
Encourage Others in Their Commitment to Comply with the Honor Code
Encourage is not synonymous with “turn someone in.” Encourage is an action that means to give support, confidence or hope to someone. We are all members of the BYU community—thousands of people coming together to develop faith, intellect and character.
The Honor Code Office is certainly a resource for addressing behavior that you are experiencing which violates the university’s principles and policies. BYU also offers many other resources to help you in addressing these behaviors in a healthy and proactive manner.
As a free service to students, BYU provides professionally-certified mediators in the Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution. Their staff can consult one-on-one with students to prepare them to work through a conflict on their own. They can also provide impartial and confidential mediation services that bring both sides together in the hope of finding a solution.
Learning how to resolve conflict effectively is a vital life skill as it can help a student improve relationships and experience more peace in their life. The Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution is eager to help empower students with a better understanding of conflict and with communication tools, which they can use during their time at BYU and throughout their lives.
Toggle ItemAre there set consequences for certain violations?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.
Toggle ItemHow does BYU address retaliation from a report being made?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.