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Honor Code


The honor code at Richard Bland College is a democratic system of government that is upheld by students, whose efforts are actively supported by the administrative and teaching faculty. The voices retained in the governance of the honor system regard this method of protecting those who teach and/or learn as more than a pragmatic political consideration. The letter and the spirit of the College’s honor code promote the virtues, which sustain a democratic society—such as integrity, social responsibility, and moral courage.

As a branch of The College of William & Mary, which introduced the honor system into American higher education, Richard Bland College commits itself to the perpetuation of high standards and expectations of its collegiate community. With an aim of educating individuals, the Judicial Committee shall not discriminate in its membership or in its dealings with the accused on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, and/or disability.

Student’s Pledge

All applicants to Richard Bland College must sign the following pledge: I have read the Honor Code of Richard Bland College. I understand completely what is expected of me under this code. I know that any act of lying, cheating, plagiarism, or stealing of an academic nature is a violation of the Honor Code. I hereby pledge, without reservation my full support of the Honor Code.

Honor Code Violations

  • Cheating

    • Cheating is the act of wrongfully using or taking the ideas or work of another in order to gain an unfair advantage. It includes, but is not limited to:

      • The act of plagiarism*;
      • The acts of giving unauthorized aid to another student or receiving unauthorized aid from another person on tests, quizzes, assignments* or examinations;
      • The acts of using or consulting unauthorized materials or using unauthorized equipment or devices on tests, quizzes, assignments or examinations;
      • The acts of using any material portion of a paper or project to fulfill the requirements of more than one course unless the student has received prior permission to do so; or
      • The acts of intentionally commencing work or failing to terminate work on any examination, test, quiz or assignment according to the time constraints imposed.

      *The term “assignment” includes any work, required or volunteered, and submitted to a faculty member for review and/or academic credit, or any work, required or volunteered, submitted for publication in a College-sponsored or other publication, or any work, required or volunteered, submitted for use in conjunction with a College-sponsored event or activity. All academic work undertaken by a student must be completed independently unless the faculty member or other responsible authority expressly authorizes collaboration with another.

      *”Plagiarism” occurs when a student, with intent to deceive or with reckless disregard for proper scholarly procedures, presents any information, ideas, or phrasing of another as if they were his or her own and does not give appropriate credit to the original source. Proper scholarly procedures require that all quoted material be identified by quotation marks, or indentation on the page, and the source of information and ideas, if from another, must be identified and be attributed to that source. Students are responsible for learning proper scholarly procedure. While any amount of improperly unattributed material may be sufficient to find plagiarism, a student may be presumed to have acted with intent to deceive or with reckless disregard for proper scholarly procedures when a significant amount of improperly attributed material is presented as if it were the student’s own work. In the absence of proof of the accused’s intent, the hearing panel shall determine whether the amount of improperly attributed material is so significant that intent may be presumed.

  • Stealing

    • “Stealing” is the intentional taking or appropriating of the property of another without consent or permission and with the intent to keep or use the property without the owner’s or the rightful possessor’s permission. Although the prohibition against stealing includes property of whatever nature, it also covers theft of the academic work product of another.

  • Lying

    • “Lying” is the expression of a material untruth made with the intent to mislead another or with reckless disregard for the truth of the matter asserted. Lying is a violation of the Honor Code when the material untruth is uttered or presented, verbally, electronically, or in writing, to another member of the College community (student, faculty or staff), to any person while on College property or at activities sponsored by the College or College-affiliated groups, or to any person when the student actively represents himself/herself as a student at the College. An untruth is material when it relates to or affects in a significant way, academic as well as non-academic activities of legitimate concern to the College community. Lying includes, but is not limited to, forgery or the use of false identifications, under the above-described circumstances.

All Honor Code violations will be referred to the Student Conduct Board and if needed, a hearing will be conducted by the Student Conduct Board and follow the Student Conduct Board Process and Procedures.

Read Full Honor Code

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