In the hearing, witnesses provide information about the possible violation that has been observed and are questioned by the committee. Next, the student in question is given the opportunity to respond to the allegation of a possible violation. The student in question is urged to choose a peer representative who will be present throughout the hearing. Only a current undergraduate member of the University community who is not a member of the Honor Committee may serve as the peer representative. The peer representative may ask questions of all witnesses. Investigators do not participate in deliberations or hearings, but only serve to corroborate information pertaining to the investigation following each witness' testimony. Before the committee begins deliberations on guilt or innocence, the peer representative and the student in question will have the opportunity to make any final remarks. The identities of the student in question, student reporting witnesses and any other student witnesses are kept completely confidential. This helps to ensure that honor code-related cases will not lead to prejudice outside the hearing room.
Evidence for the hearing usually includes the examination(s) in question and any other relevant material which are duplicated, if necessary, for use by the individual members of the committee during the hearing. If a faculty member reports the alleged violation, or if consultation with the professor administering the examination or the preceptor or section leader of the student in question seems helpful, the committee may call that person or persons to the actual hearing to discuss the facts as then known. The committee may also have present, during the hearing, a student or faculty member who is knowledgeable in the field of the examination in question.
After a report of a suspected violation is received, the chair consults with the dean of undergraduate students or the dean’s designee concerning the general character of the suspected violation, the nature of the investigation in progress, and any questions that may arise during the course of the investigation. The chair may also, if the chair deems it necessary, consult with the dean during the course of the hearing. The chair also informs an associate dean of undergraduate students of the name of the person under investigation. The associate dean of undergraduate students provides the chair and the investigators, prior to any scheduled hearing, whatever information that the chair deems is appropriate concerning the student in question for consideration by the committee. This might include any special or extraordinary circumstances affecting the student. While an investigation or hearing is underway, an administrative hold may, in situations where necessary, be placed on the transcript of the student in question.
The only adequate defense for a student accused of an honor code violation is that their actions did not, in fact, constitute a violation. In determining whether an honor code violation has occurred or the severity of such a violation, the committee will take into account whether the student should have reasonably understood that his or her actions were in violation of University policy and/or exam room procedures. Neither the defense that the student was ignorant of the regulations concerning the exam nor the defense that the student was under pressure at the time the violation was committed is considered an adequate defense.