Student Policies

Student Policies > Academic Integrity and Conduct Systems > Honor System Charter > The Function and Administration of the Honor System

D. The Function and Administration of the Honor System

D. The Function and Administration of the Honor System

1The Student Honor Committee (SHC) shall supervise the Oberlin College Honor System. The student body of Oberlin College, with the approval of the General Faculty, originated and adopted the Honor System, which places full responsibility for academic integrity on students. The administration of the Honor System requires the collective and individual cooperation of the entire college community. Oberlin’s Honor System is designed to protect students’ academic freedom.

2. Students and faculty members shall be responsible for eliminating conditions conducive to violations of the code; such conditions shall either be discussed by the students and faculty members involved or be reported directly to the SHC.

3. Students, faculty members, and administrators have specific obligations under the Honor Code. These are outlined below:

a. Students should be prepared for all academic exercises. This will reduce the motivation to violate the Honor Code or to cheat. Students should take steps to ensure that other students cannot violate the Honor Code or cheat from them. Additionally all students must:

(1) Not condone cheating on the part of others.

(2) Refuse to assist others in fraudulent acts, efforts to violate the Honor Code, or cheating.

(3) Ask the professor for clarification if they do not understand how the Honor Code pertains to any given assignment. For example, ask for clarification about what if any electronic devices can be used during an exam. The answer is likely to be different in each class. The unauthorized use of personal data devices, laptop computers, cellular phones, or calculators has in the past created confusion. In the absence of explicit instructions from the professor, students should presume that all work must be their own and that they may only utilize help and resources that are routinely offered by the college to students such as reference librarians and tutors.

(4) Students must inform the SHC or the professor if they have knowledge of or have observed an infraction of the Honor Code. Failure to report a violation may constitute a violation of the Honor Code of its own accord.

(5) Students are expected to comply with the Honor System. (Failure to cooperate with the Honor System procedures may result in a failure to comply charge, filed through the judicial system.)

b. Instructors are expected to make explicit on their syllabi or by some other means of communication how the Honor System operates with respect to the particular work arrangements in their courses. In addition, all instructors must:

(1) Leave the room during examinations and quizzes after giving out the test and answering questions, except in cases when technical or specialized circumstances require the instructor’s presence. The instructor may exercise discretion in deciding to remain or return for a short period of time as a resource, but under no conditions shall the instructor proctor an exam or quiz.

(2) Contact the SHC regarding suspected infractions of the Honor Code.

c. Instructors are urged to review the Honor Code and pledge statements prior to any quiz or examination, and to regularly review how these statements apply to specific assignments.

4. At the end of each curricular exercise students who believe they have adhered to the Honor Code shall write in full and sign the Honor Pledge: “I have adhered to the Honor Code in this assignment.” If a student does not follow the appropriate procedure, faculty members have the option of withholding the grade until the student writes the Honor Pledge correctly. Once such an oversight has been corrected, within a reasonable time, the faculty members may not penalize the students for it. Students in certain situations may also be asked to write and sign the pledge in association with cocurricular exercises. (For example, completing a written sanction for an Honor Code or a code of conduct violation, completing applications for campus employment and other forms that relate college business and activities that are not necessarily academic in nature.)