1. Statement of Philosophy and Definitions
2. Violations of the Honor Code and Sanctions
3. Reference to University of Florida Regulation 6C1-4.017
4. Honor Code Proceedings
5. Sanctioning Guidelines
6. Review and Imposition of Sanctions; Review of Adjudication
7. Final Appeal
(a) The University of Florida College of Law Honor System (hereinafter “Honor Code”), a part of the University of Florida Student Honor Code, represents a commitment by students to adhere to the highest degree of ethical integrity. Each student who joins the College of Law community is assumed to be trustworthy unless and until proven otherwise.
(b) Students at the College of Law benefit from the Honor Code because teaching and learning flourish best in an environment where mutual trust and respect form the bedrock of relationships within the community. The Honor Code helps create a community in which students can maximize their intellectual and academic potential.
(c) The Honor Code reminds all members of the law school community that success obtained through dishonest means is no success at all. Moreover, attendance at the College of Law is every student’s first step in becoming a member of the legal profession. Essential to the well being of the legal profession is the presence of a sense of honor and ethical integrity among its members. The Honor Code is therefore an integral part of proper and complete professional training.
(d) The Honor Code furthers the goal of the College of Law to serve the public and the profession by producing attorneys dedicated to promoting justice, excellence, and respect for the law. The success of the Honor Code depends upon the diligence with which members of the College of Law community ensure that they, as well as others, uphold the letter and spirit of the Honor Code.
(e) The Honor Code at the University of Florida College of Law addresses seven main issues: Violations of the Honor Code, the Honor Committee, Honor Code Proceedings, Sanctioning Guidelines, Review and Imposition of Sanctions; Review of the Hearing Process; and Final Appeal by Student to the University of Florida Office of the Vice-President for Student Affairs.
As used in the Honor Code, the following words have the following meanings:
1. “Academic Activity” shall mean: [i] any assigned work or project used to determine academic credit, including (but not limited to) an examination, writing project, take-home test, or other project; or [ii] any competition, activity, or project sponsored or sanctioned by the University in which the student participates for the purpose of gaining an academic advantage.
2. “Academic advantage” shall mean [i]any potential benefit to a student’s academic or professional standing or to the student’s prestige within the University community, including (but not limited to) academic credit or honors, or an award or other recognition of excellence in a particular academic or professional field or endeavor (including selection for membership in an organization related to the field or profession); or [ii] or a waiver, extension, release, or excuse from academic requirements, sanctions, or penalties.
3. “Accusation” shall mean a report of an alleged violation which has been determined to fall within the scope of the Honor Code and which merits further action by the Honor Committee.
4. “Appropriate Sanction” shall mean a sanction or combination of sanctions that is specifically designed to be appropriate to a specific violation of the Honor Code according to the guidelines of Section (5).
5. “Bad Faith” shall mean reckless or careless indifference to the truth or falsity of a statement.
6. “Chair” shall mean the Chairperson of the Honor Committee or, if the Chair is unable to act, the Vice-Chair and the Secretary in succession.
7. “Faculty Advisor” shall mean the faculty representative appointed by the Dean to serve on the Honor Committee.
8. “Faculty Member” shall mean a person engaged in teaching a course at the College of Law and includes an adjunct faculty member.
9. “Full Restitution” shall mean compensation to the University for the actual cost of repair or replacement of damaged property or for other monetary loss caused by the student’s violation of the Honor Code.
10. “Honor Code Proceeding” shall mean a proceeding governed by the Honor Code, and includes a review pursuant to Section (6).
11. “Honor Code Violation” shall mean prohibited conduct as defined in 6C1-4.017.
12. “Honor Committee” shall mean the committee of individuals who administer the Honor Code as defined in Section (3).
13. “Material” shall mean any material related to a specific academic or co-curricular activity (including, but not limited to, course notes, textbooks, treatises, course packets, briefs, annotated statutes, or articles in a review or journal) whether published or unpublished and whether authored by a student or another person and includes academic material available only in digital format or through the internet.
14. “Procedure Manual” shall mean the documents consisting of the administrative and procedural regulations promulgated by the Honor Committee.
15. “Reported violation” shall mean an unproven allegation of misconduct received by the Honor Committee or the College of Law.
16. “Resource” shall mean any device or technology providing access to information, including (but not limited to) a device such as a computer, computer program, radio, video or audio recording device, calculator or communication device; or any document or publication providing information, including (but not limited to) a printed or electronic publication or website.
17. “Review Board” shall mean the group of individuals charged with reviewing certain actions of the Honor Committee as described in Section (6).
18. “Representation” shall mean any written or oral statement or any act by a student signifying a response in circumstances in which a response is expected or required.
19. “Student” or “Students” shall mean a student at the College of Law.
(a) Conduct Prohibited by the Honor Code. Students are prohibited from engaging in conduct that violates the Academic Honesty Guidelines (6C1-4.017). Actions identified in the Academic Honesty Guidelines are violations of the Honor Code.
(b) Consequences of Honor Code Violation. The following shall be consequences of an Honor Code violation:
1. Imposition of Sanctions. If a student is adjudicated responsible for a violation of the Honor Code or accepts responsibility for a violation, the student becomes subject to the sanctions authorized by 6C1-4.016(3).
2. Bar Notification. If a student is adjudicated responsible for an Honor Code violation or accepts responsibility for a violation, the College of Law shall provide this information to any state or federal bar to which the College of Law becomes aware that the student has applied.
3. Flagging of Student’s Records. If a student adjudicated responsible for an Honor Code violation or accepts responsibility for a violation, College of Law Student Affairs shall include this information and make a record of the proceedings against the student a permanent part of the student’s file.
(a) Rights of Students in an Honor Code Proceeding. Students accused of a violation of the Honor Code shall be accorded the rights as listed in 6C1-4.016(5)(b). If the student believes that a Committee member has a conflict of interest, the student has the right to request recusal of the Committee member.
(b) Report of Suspected Violation. A student or faculty member who in good faith believes that a student has violated the Honor Code shall report the violation to the Honor Committee. Any person who believes in good faith that a student may have violated the Honor Code may report the violation to the Honor Committee.
(c) Procedure for Resolution of Alleged Honor Code Violation.
1. Determination of the Committee’s Jurisdiction to Act on the Report. The Administrative Member and the Director of Student Judicial Affairs have the authority to determine if the alleged conduct (1) warrants an accusation against the person or persons identified in the report, and (2) falls within the scope of the Honor Code. If both conditions are met, the Honor Committee has jurisdiction. A reported violation constitutes an accusation only where the allegations contain sufficient merit to warrant further action. If it is determined that the alleged conduct does not fall within the scope of the Honor Code, but does warrant action under the University of Florida Conduct Code, the Committee shall refer the matter to Student Judicial Affairs in the Dean of Students’ Office. In all cases, the Administrative Member and Director of Student Judicial Affairs shall have the authority to conduct all investigations necessary for these determinations.
2. Determination of the Alleged Violation.
a. Following notice of the charges, the student shall select one of the following two methods of resolving the issue:
i. Accepting responsibility and proceeding directly to sanctioning, or;
ii. Denying responsibility and requesting a hearing before the Honor Committee.
b. If the student accepts responsibility for the alleged violation, the Chair shall appoint a committee to conduct a sanctioning hearing. At the sanctioning hearing, the committee shall pursuant to Section (5) determine an appropriate sanction to be recommended to the Review Board.
3. Adjudication by the Honor Committee.
a. The Honor Committee Chair shall appoint a committee of three disinterested committee members to conduct the hearing. At the Honor Committee hearing, the student has the rights set forth in 6C1-4.016(5)(b). The Honor Committee determination shall be made on the basis of whether based upon the evidence presented to the Honor Committee it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Honor Code.
b. If it determines that the student has violated the Honor Code, the committee shall, pursuant to Section (5), determine an appropriate sanction to be recommended to the Review Board.
(d) Failure of the Student to Participate in Resolving the Alleged Violation.
1. Voluntary Withdrawal of the Student from the University Following Report of an Alleged Violation. If the student withdraws from the University of Florida following the report of the student’s alleged violation of the Honor Code, the Chair shall proceed as provided in subsection (4)(c)1. If charges are issued, the Honor Code proceeding is stayed and the records are filed with College of Law Student Affairs and the Director of Student Judicial Affairs. The transcript and registration of the student are flagged in accordance with 6C1-4.026. The University of Florida shall retain a copy of the flagged transcript.
2. Failure of the Student to Appear at a Hearing. A student who fails to notify the Chair of his or her choice either to accept responsibility or to deny responsibility within the period of time outlined in the letter of charges will be deemed to have chosen the option of denying responsibility and requesting an Honor Committee hearing. The Chair shall, pursuant to subsection (4)(c)3, appoint a committee to adjudicate the matter. If the student is duly notified of the hearing and fails to appear, the committee may proceed in the absence of the student.
(a) Rights of Student or Involved Faculty Member at a Sanctioning Hearing.
1. A student who has accepted responsibility for an Honor Code violation or who has been adjudicated responsible for an Honor Code violation has the right to be present at the sanctioning hearing. At the sanctioning hearing, the student has the right to present to the committee any mitigating circumstances that the student wishes the committee to consider.
2. An involved faculty member has the right to be present at the sanctioning hearing and to present to the committee any mitigating or aggravating circumstances of which the faculty member is aware. Alternatively, an involved faculty member may provide to the committee a written statement concerning any mitigating or aggravating circumstances of which the faculty member is aware.
3. In addition, an involved faculty member has the right to recommend an appropriate sanction.
(a) Determination of Appropriate Sanction.
In determining the appropriate sanction to be recommended to the Review Board, the committee shall consider mitigating and aggravating circumstances which are presented by the student or by an involved faculty member, or which are clearly reflected in the record.
1. Mitigating circumstances include (but are not limited to):
a. A student’s voluntary report of the student’s own violation of the Honor Code.
b. A student’s acceptance of responsibility prior to adjudication of the Honor Code violation.
c. Any other circumstance which in the judgment of any member of the committee may constitute a mitigating circumstance.
2. Aggravating circumstances include:
a. Any injury that the student’s Honor Code violation has caused to any person affected by the Honor Code violation, including (but not limited to) a faculty member or other student.
b. A prior adjudication for violation of the Honor Code.
c. Any other circumstance that in the judgment of any member of the committee may constitute an aggravating circumstance.
(b) Notice to Student of the Committee’s Determination.
Following a determination of the appropriate sanction to be recommended to the Review Board, the committee shall notify the student of the sanction or sanctions to be recommended. An appropriate sanction is any sanction or combination of sanctions authorized in 6C1-4.016(3).
(c) Notice to the Faculty of Record.
Following a determination of the appropriate sanction to be recommended to the Review Board, the committee shall notify the faculty member of record in the course in which the violation occurred of any sanction or combination of sanctions to be recommended.
(a) The Review Board consists of the Dean of the College of Law; the University of Florida Dean of Students or his or her designee; and the Chair.
(b) The Review Board shall review the record and all sanctions recommended by the committee. If the Review Board is satisfied that the sanctions are appropriate, the Review Board shall impose the appropriate sanctions.
(c) If a student petitions the Review Board for review of the student’s adjudication of an Honor Code violation, the Review Board shall review the record to determine whether the record supports the adjudication. To petition, the student must submit written notice to the Dean of the College of Law no later than the 5th business day after the sanction has been imposed.
(d) If at any time subsequent to a student’s adjudication of an Honor Code violation the student discovers substantial new evidence tending to refute the judgment, the student may petition the Review Board to determine whether further proceedings are warranted. “Substantial new evidence” means evidence that was not available to the student during the original Honor Code proceedings through the exercise of reasonable diligence.
(a) If the Review Board affirms the adjudication or approves the sanctions imposed by the committee, the student may appeal the adjudication or the sanctions to the University of Florida Vice President for Student Affairs. To present an appeal, the student must submit a written notice to the University of Florida Office of Student Affairs no later than the 10th business day following the day on which the student receives notice of the Review Board’s final determination.
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