James Madison University Honor Code
V. Investigations and Charges By Honor Council
- The Honor Council shall not take action with respect to a violation reported to it more than 90 days after its occurrence. Upon receipt of a written complaint of an alleged Honor Code violation, the coordinator or an investigator will notify the student by letter that he or she is the subject of an Honor Code investigation, and an investigator will be assigned to investigate the alleged violation.
- All official correspondence from the Honor Council will take place via the university e-mail system, and will be addressed to current university electronic identification on record. It is the responsibility of the accused student, reporting faculty, and witnesses to read and promptly respond to all electronic communication from the Honor Council.
- It will be the responsibility of the assigned investigator to gather the information needed to permit a fair determination of whether there is reason to believe that an Honor Code violation has taken place. The Honor Council coordinator and investigators should complete the initial investigation of the alleged violation and decide whether to charge the student with a violation of the Honor Code or to terminate the matter within 20 class days from the date of the notification letter. The student will be promptly notified of that decision.
- A student accused of an Honor Code violation under this Section V, Investigations and Charges by Honor Council, will be promptly notified of the alleged violation and instructed to make an appointment with the investigator. At this meeting, the investigator will explain the basis for the violation and investigation, inform the student of his or her rights, and describe the Honor System procedures. Neither the student's failure to contact the investigator, the student's withdrawal from the course, nor the student's withdrawal from the university while an honor investigation or charge is pending will halt the investigation or any subsequent honor proceeding (including the hearing and, if applicable, the appeal) affecting the student. A student's withdraw from a course during the formal process will result in the minimum penalty of an "F" in the course. Exceptions are possible in cases of separation from the university during the term in which the violation occurred.
- A student charged with an Honor Code violation under this Section V may request the assistance of an investigator in gathering relevant evidence. Although the accused is responsible for preparing and presenting his or her own defense, the accused may submit to the investigator a list of questions the accused would like asked of witnesses during the investigation and at the hearing. This procedure will not affect the right of the accused to question any witness at the hearing.
- Formal reports received by the Honor Council during the last three weeks of spring semester and during all summer sessions will likely receive no action until the following fall semester. Available council member will make attempts to begin the investigation process, but it is rare that the council will be able to conduct hearings and resolve cases during the late spring and summer sessions.
- It should be remembered that Honor Council investigators are students. They are assigned to gather evidence in an impartial manner and to help those involved in Honor Council proceedings understand the operation of the Honor System.