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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

How To Guide

1. You must provide the student notice using a Honor Pledge Form alleging the violation(s) which are available in the Office of Community Accountability or online here. You can provide it in person or via an email to their Belmont-provided email account.

2. The student must meet with you within 2 full business days from the time the Honor Pledge Form is issued to provide a Response and during that time to accept or deny responsibility (a template for emailing the student appears below, which you may adapt to your own situation). Please direct the student select accept responsibility or deny responsibility and whether or not they are submitting supplemental information (which should be submitted within 2 business days of the Response) on the Honor Pledge Form and sign during that meeting. However, if he/she states they’d prefer to wait and consider whether to accept or deny responsibility, it will be at the discretion of the faculty member.

3. The student must have an opportunity for an inquiry; you can think of it as a time to give his or her side of the story. You may hold the inquiry yourself when you meet with the student or schedule it for a future date in order to allow the student to prepare information to present at the inquiry if he/she has denied responsibility. Alternatively, you can have the Honor Council conduct the inquiry. If you choose to do that, please get in touch with me.

4. If you conduct the inquiry, the standard for determining if a student is responsible (if the student says he or she is not responsible) is preponderance of the evidence. That means you only have to be 51% sure a violation occurred as opposed to, say, beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, ask yourself “Is it more likely than not the student is responsible for the violation based on all the information I have reviewed/been provided?”

5. Once you reach a decision, you may assign the following sanctions: a reduction of course/coursework grade, F on the course/coursework, a reflective essay or educational assignment, educational activity, not responsible, or a FX for the course (which fails the class and notes on the transcript the failure is due to an honor code violation). In all situations, the student goes on academic probation until graduation so that a future violation ratchets up the university’s response.

6. Finally, you must provide a second copy of the HP form to the student that includes a completed Outcome portion within a two business days.

7. Those 6 steps will complete your role in the process if you choose to adjudicate yourself. Afterwards, please just send all the paperwork (HP form and original materials to related to the decision) to me, and I will make a note of it in our database in case there is a future incident.

Template Email:

“Dear XXXX,
I have issued a Honor Pledge Form today alleging a violation of the honor pledge. For your convenience, I have attached a copy. I am happy to meet with you to discuss the information I received that led me to issue this form and walk you through how our process works to resolve this matter.

You should meet with me within 2 business days from today to accept or deny responsibility and schedule your hearing. Failure to do so will be treated as an admission of responsibility and the inquiry officer(s) will adjudicate the incident in your absence. As Belmont values student participation in the conduct process, I am hopeful you will take advantage of the opportunity to meet with me.”