The White Book 2018-19

Introduction

The students of Washington and Lee reserve to themselves alone the authority to hold their fellow students accountable for failures of their duty of honor. Any breach of the community's trust is considered an Honor Violation, punishable by a single sanction: removal from the University.

The Honor System

In 1865, Robert E. Lee, the president of Washington College, took deliberate steps to relax faculty supervision of students' actions. In 1905, the student body assumed direct control of the Honor System by forming the Executive Committee of the Student Body, manifesting Lee's vision of student accountability. This uncommon assignment of trust is the hallmark of Washington and Lee's Honor System, and it calls each generation of students to vigilant custodianship.

Each new generation of students defines the Honor System by its actions and the behavior it deems dishonorable. At Washington and Lee, dishonorable conduct is not codified; rather, the Honor System is based upon the principle that any action deemed a breach of the community's trust will be considered an Honor Violation. Any action rising to the level of a breach of the community's trust weakens the bonds that unite the University community and jeopardizes the privileges the Honor System affords to students at Washington and Lee; no such breach is small enough to be ignored. For this reason, there is a single sanction for those who, in the eyes of the student body, commit an Honor Violation. The single sanction requires a student who is found guilty of an Honor Violation in an Executive Committee Hearing to withdraw from the University unless he or she chooses to appeal to a Student Body Hearing. If a student appeals and is found guilty in the Student Body Hearing, the student must leave the University and his or her transcript will indicate that he or she was "Dismissed."

Students at Washington and Lee recognize the great authority they possess and the communal presumption to behave honorably. This profound responsibility is not ordinarily placed upon college students. Students are expected to abide by the Honor System by representing themselves truthfully and seeking no unfair advantage over their peers. This understanding instills a profound sense of trust among all within the University community and enriches every aspect of student life.

While students define and oversee the Honor System, all members of the Washington and Lee community, including faculty, staff, and administration, play an important role. All members of the community are expected to understand and support the Honor System, and to refer appropriate cases to the Executive Committee. At the same time, the overarching presence of the Honor System in all aspects of life at Washington and Lee allows the community at large to place trust in students, and each generation of students ensures that this trust is not misplaced.

Membership in the Washington and Lee student body signifies an absolute commitment to the Honor System and the values it represents. Ignorance of the System is not an excuse. Students have an affirmative duty to live honorably and, through their knowledge and understanding, preserve the Honor System for future generations.

The Pledge

All work at Washington and Lee is considered pledged under the Honor System. The written Pledge is: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received any unacknowledged aid on this (exam, test, paper, etc.)."

During orientation every new student must sign the Honor Book. This is a student's first pledge as a member of the Washington and Lee community. It expresses that the student has been through an orientation program on the Honor System, has received a copy of the Honor System White Book, and will abide by the Honor System.

The Executive Committee

The Honor System is exclusively student-administered and is in no way responsible to the faculty or administration. The Executive Committee bears the primary responsibility of enforcing the Honor System. The Executive Committee may, at its discretion, refer violations of University policy, or of any other regulation, to the appropriate committees, but the Executive Committee retains exclusive jurisdiction over all questions of honor.

The Executive Committee is composed of a President, Vice President, and Secretary elected by the entire Student Body; two students elected to represent the senior, junior and sophomore undergraduate classes; one student elected to represent the freshman class; and, one student elected to represent each law class. All Washington and Lee students may seek these offices through student elections, except those students planning to study abroad during any academic term coinciding with the tenure of the position offered for election.

Summary of Procedures

The continued strength of the Honor System rests squarely on the shoulders of every student. The Student Body defines the parameters of the Honor System by choosing what to, and what not to, report. Anyone with knowledge of a possible Honor Violation should seek clarification from the student suspected of the Violation and ask for an explanation of the incident. If a concerned person seeks clarification, and the resulting explanation convinces the concerned person that no Honor Violation occurred, then the matter should be dropped. If, however, the concerned person still believes that a violation may have occurred after seeking clarification, then the concerned person should bring the matter to the immediate attention of a member of the Executive Committee.

A concerned person choosing not to seek clarification from a student suspected of an Honor Violation should bring the matter to the immediate attention of a member of the Executive Committee.

Upon receiving allegations that an Honor Violation may have occurred, the President of the Executive Committee (hereinafter "President") will appoint an investigative team to investigate. If, after hearing the investigative team's report and recommendations, the Executive Committee finds sufficient evidence that the accused student may have committed an Honor Violation, the Executive Committee may hold an Executive Committee Hearing.

During the Executive Committee Hearing, the accused srudent has the opportunity to appear, or to have another student appear, on his or her behalf. The Executive Committee shall resolve all reasonable doubt in favor of the accused student. If the Executive Committee finds that the accused student did not commit an Honor Violation, the Executive Committee will dismiss the matter. If the Executive Committee finds that the accused student committed an Honor Violation, the accused student may either withdraw from the University or appeal to a Student Body Hearing.

In the Student Body Hearing, a student jury makes the final determination on the guilt of the appealing student. If the jury returns a verdict of not guilty, the student may remain a member of the University. If the jury returns a verdict of guilty, the student is dismissed from the University. The decision of the jury at the Student Body Hearing is final and cannot be appealed.

Burden of Proof

A guilty verdict in either an Executive Committee Hearing or a Student Body Hearing requires a determination beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused student or appealing student violated the community's trust.

Procedures

Quorum for Honor Matters

Ten voting Executive Committee members shall constitute a quorum for all honor matters. If the Executive Committee cannot meet the quorum, the President may, at his or her discretion fill the necessary positions until a quorum is reached. For honor matters, at least two members of the quorum shall be members of the Student Body from the same school (undergraduate or law) as the accused student. Prior to any Executive Committee Hearing, the accused student's Hearing Advisors shall be notified of the names of any students who will fill quorum for the Executive Committee Hearing. For the remainder of the proceedings, appointees shall be considered members of the Executive Committee.

Confidentiality and Harassment

All information about a possible Honor Violation or an Executive Committee Hearing is highly confidential. In addition to reviewing cases involving alleged Honor Violations, the Executive Committee may take disciplinary action against any student, including, but not limited to, the accused student, witnesses, Hearing Advisors, and Executive Committee members, found to have breached confidentiality. The Executive Committee has discretion to determine how breaches of confidentiality should be addressed. Breaches of confidentiality may, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, result in consequences including, but not limited to, Conduct Probation, Social Probation, or Suspension, and, depending on the nature of the breach, may also rise to the level of an independent Honor Violation. Additionally, any Hearing Advisor or Executive Committee member who breaks this confidentiality may, by a majority vote of the Executive Committee, also be suspended for one or more hearings, banned from participation in Executive Committee Hearings, or removed from office.

Exceptions to the rule of confidentiality may exist to allow the accused student, members of the Executive Committee, advisors, and student witnesses to discuss information regarding the proceedings with University Counseling, their Peer Counselor(s), family, or with those to whom they must disclose information in order to obtain necessary support until resolution. However, individuals providing support to an accused student, an Executive Committee member, advisors, or a student witness must maintain confidentiality. The Executive Committee has discretion in determining how matters of breached confidentiality among individuals providing support are addressed.

Further, harassment of anyone involved in an Honor Violation proceeding will not be tolerated. The Executive Committee may take the full range of disciplinary actions referenced in this section against anyone who harasses or attempts to influence any student involved in an investigation, any witness in a hearing, any advisor, any Executive Committee member, or the accused student.

Every witness, after his or her testimony in an investigation or an Executive Committee Hearing, will be asked to sign a statement acknowledging the confidentiality and harassment policy surrounding Honor proceedings.

Hearing Advisors

There shall be a Hearing Advisor Program. Hearing Advisors who show exceptional ability and a strong desire to uphold the Honor System shall be available to serve as members of investigative teams and as advisors to accused students. Students from both the law school and the undergraduate college are encouraged to participate in the Hearing Advisor Program. The Executive Committee shall select a student to serve as Head Hearing Advisor and a student to serve to serve as Assistant Head Hearing Advisor. The Head Hearing Advisor shall administer the Hearing Advisor Program.

Procedure for an Investigation

  1. Anyone with knowledge of a possible Honor Violation should seek clarification from the student suspected of committing the Honor Violation and ask for an explanation of the incident. If this explanation convinces the concerned person that no Honor Violation occurred, then the matter should be dropped. If, however, the concerned person still believes that an Honor Violation may have occurred after seeking clarification, then the concerned person should bring the matter to the immediate attention of a member of the Executive Committee. A person choosing not to seek clarification from a student suspected of an Honor Violation should bring the matter to the immediate attention of a member of the Executive Committee. Any Executive Committee member receiving allegations of a possible Honor Violation shall report the allegation to the President. The Executive Committee President, Vice President, and Secretary shall then hold a vote regarding whether the allegation merits a full investigation. If at least two out of the three votes in favor of beginning an investigation, the President shall choose three students to investigate the allegations. The President may not serve as a member of an investigative team but will oversee and ensure the fairness of the investigative process. One member of the investigative team shall be a member of the Executive Committee, another member shall be a Hearing Advisor, and a third member shall be a member of the Student Body from the same school (undergraduate or law) as the accused student. The Hearing Advisor shall be appointed with the recommendation of the Head Hearing Advisor. The President may appoint up to two additional members to the investigative team for the purpose of observation. These observers shall be selected from the Executive Committee, Executive Committee elect, or the pool of Hearing Advisors.
  2. The investigative team shall use its own discretion in gathering information pertaining to a possible Honor Violation. Investigators will not contact the accused student except at the President's discretion.
  3. If the President believes that the accused student has become aware of an ongoing investigation, the President may, at his or her discretion, provide the accused student with a Hearing Advisor.
  4. After investigating the charges, all three investigators shall present a report containing a summary of the relevant facts to the Executive Committee with the team's recommendations. The investigative team's report shall not contain the true names of any person or sufficient information from which the identity of the accused student could be readily determined. The Executive Committee shall use discretion in questioning the investigative team.
  5. After the investigative team presents its report and recommendations, the team, including the Executive Committee member, shall be excused from the deliberations. The investigating Executive Committee member shall not vote on the matter and shall not count toward the necessary quorum. After the investigative team presents its report, the Executive Committee shall deliberate and hold a vote. If a majority believes sufficient evidence exists that the accused student may have committed an Honor Violation, the Executive Committee may hold an Executive Committee Hearing. The Executive Committee shall then formulate the charging document. The charging document may contain more than one charge. The President shall notify the Head Hearing Advisor of the upcoming Executive Committee Hearing. The Head Hearing Advisor shall then assign two Hearing Advisors, and possibly an observer, to be available at the Charging.
  6. If a student withdraws while being investigated, in the face of an Executive Committee Hearing, or during an Executive Committee Hearing, the President shall notify the Vice-President for Student Affairs of the student's name. The Vice-President for Student Affairs makes the appropriate notation of the withdrawal form. This notation is only to be used in the event that the student reapplies to the University. The Executive Committee shall retain a copy of the investigation report until the end of the corresponding term five academic years later.
  7. If the Executive Committee decides not to take the matter to an Executive Committee Hearing, the report provided by the investigative team will be destroyed at the end of the corresponding term the following academic year.
  8. If the matter is taken to an Executive Committee Hearing, one full copy of the report provided by the investigative team will remain with the rest of that proceeding's material and retained for the length of time the proceeding's records are retained, depending on whether the accused is found guilty or not guilty as described in the White Book. The investigative report may not be used during the Executive Committee Hearing.

Procedure for an Executive Committee Hearing

I. Rights of the Accused Student

A. Advisors
  1. The accused student shall have the right to be represented by two advisors. At the discretion of the President and with the consent of the accused student, up to two additional advisors may be assigned for the purposes of observation.
  2. Advisors must be members of the student body and cannot serve as witnesses.
  3. An advisor may withdraw from representation of the accused student with the approval of the President. Should this occur, the Head Hearing Advisor or a designee will replace the withdrawn advisors.
  4. If the accused student so chooses, the Hearing Advisors provided at the Charging shall serve as representatives of the accused student at the Executive Committee Hearing. Otherwise, the accused student may choose up to two consenting members of the student body to serve as advisors.
  5. Advisors may question witnesses, including the accused student, if the accused student chooses to testify. The advisors may not, however, advise the accused student during his or her testimony.
  6. Only advisors of the accused student and members of the Executive Committee shall be permitted to contact witnesses or potential witnesses on matters related to the case. Under no circumstances shall the accused student ask individuals to appear as witnesses or discuss the case with existing witnesses.
B. Self-Representation
  1. The accused student shall also have the right to forgo advisors and to proceed pro se.
  2. Notwithstanding any other section in the White Book, if, and only if, an accused student proceeds pro se, the accused student shall also have all of the rights, and be subject to all of the limitations, of an advisor.
  3. If this section conferring the right of self-representation, conflicts with any other section of the White Book, this section shall prevail to the extent necessary to ensure that the accused student has all of the rights, powers, and abilities of an advisor. Provided, however, that if an accused student proceeding pro se wishes to contact witnesses, the accused student must notify the President, and the President shall have the right to require that a neutral third-party be present to observe any interaction between the accused student and any witness.
  4. The Head Hearing Advisor shall have the right to select the neutral third-party, provided that the neutral third-party is not a member of the Executive Committee. The neutral third-party shall keep any information disclosed by the witness in the strictest of confidences, unless the self-representing accused student attempts to in any way to influence, persuade, or harass the witness; in which case, the third-party shall immediately report any such activity to the President.
  5. Any attempt by a self-representing accused student, in the eyes of the neutral third-party observer, to influence, persuade, or harass a witness will forfeit the accused student's right to contact witnesses. If any such influence, persuasion, or harassment occurs, in the eyes of the neutral third-party observer, the accused student shall have the right to be represented by two advisors, or to continue to proceed pro se without the ability to contact any witnesses outside the confines of an Executive Committee or Student Body Hearing.
  6. Any attempt, by the self-representing accused student, to influence, persuade or harass a witness will also be subject to the Confidentiality and Harassment section found on page 5 of the White Book.
  7. Nothing in this Self-Representation section shall confer upon a self-representing accused student any right, power, or ability not available to an advisor.
C. The Right to Question all Witnesses
  1. The accused student has the right to have his or her advisors question all witnesses.
  2. The accused student shall provide the Executive Committee with a list of witnesses he or she intends to call and sufficient copies of all evidence he or she intends to introduce no later than one hour before the scheduled start of the Executive Committee Hearing.
  3. The accused student may introduce evidence not provided by this deadline with the President's permission.
D. Contact with Executive Committee Witnesses
  1. In special circumstances, and only with the consent of the President, advisors may have contact with Executive Committee witnesses prior to the Executive Committee Hearing.
  2. Except through his or her advisors, the accused student may not contact Executive Committee witnesses prior to the Executive Committee Hearing
E. Executive Committee Hearing for Joint Honor Violation

If the accused student is among two or more students suspected of a joint Honor Violation, the Executive Committee has the right to determine whether to hold joint or separate hearings and must inform the accused students of its decision at the time of the Charging. The accused students' Hearing Advisors have the right to challenge the creation of a joint hearing. If the Executive Committee's decision to create a joint hearing is challenged by one of the accused students, the Executive Committee shall notify the other accused student's Hearing Advisors and hold a hearing at which each accused students' Hearing Advisors may present arguments related to a joint hearing. After each accused students' Hearing Advisor has been given the opportunity to speak, the decision to create a joint hearing shall be submitted to a simple majority vote of the Executive Committee.

F. Right to Testify and Consequences of Refusal to Testify

The accused student has the right to testify. If the accused student testifies, refusal to answer questions will not create a presumption against the accused student. If the accused student chooses not to testify at all, then the decision not to testify will not create a presumption against the accused student.

G. Right to Appeal

The accused student shall have the right to appeal a guilty verdict to a Student Body Hearing by submitting to the President a written request for an appeal within seventy-two hours of the announcement of a guilty verdict in an Executive Committee Hearing. The President may, at his or her discretion, extend such time upon the accused student's written request.

H. Other Rights

The accused student shall also have:

  1. The right to be present at the Executive Committee Hearing, but if the accused student does not attend, the Executive Committee Hearing shall be held in the accused student's absence;
  2. The right to make, or to have his or her advisors make, a statement at the opening and closing of the Executive Committee Hearing; provided, however, that an accused student who refuses to testify cannot make an opening and/or closing statement, and must, instead, have his or her advisors make such statements on his or her behalf; noting, additionally, that an accused student who makes an opening and/or closing statement waives his or her right to refuse to testify without such refusal being held against the accused student; and,
  3. The right to an extended recess after an Executive Committee Hearing has been in session for four hours.

II. Charging

  1. The President, or any officer chosen at the President's discretion, shall inform the accused student, orally and in writing, of the charge at least seventy-two hours prior to the scheduled Executive Committee Hearing. The written and oral description of the charge shall include the specific nature of the charge. Under reasonable circumstances, the President may postpone the Executive Committee Hearing beyond seventy-two hours from the initial charging.
  2. The President shall then inform the accused student of all the Rights of the accused student, as defined above.
  3. The President shall provide the accused student with copies of the charging document, the investigative team's report, a list of witnesses the Executive Committee intends to call at the Executive Committee Hearing, and any other evidence the President believes will assist the accused student. The President must provide any evidence that could be deemed exculpatory to the accused student at charging.
  4. The President shall ask the accused student to sign a statement indicating that the accused student understands the charge, the rights of the accused student, and the hearing process. If the accused student refuses to sign this statement, the President shall note the refusal in writing.
  5. The accused student shall be provided two Hearing Advisors immediately after the Charging to be available to serve as advisors.
  6. If the accused student decides to withdraw from the University prior to the Executive Committee Hearing or during an Executive Committee Hearing, the student shall provide written notice of the decision to the Dean of Students and the Executive Committee. After this notice is given, the student has seventy-two hours to remove himself or herself and all belongings from the University. The notation "Withdrew" shall be placed on his or her official University transcript. In addition, in the event the accused student withdraws from the University in the face of an Executive Committee Hearing or during an Executive Committee Hearing, an announcement shall be posted to the following effect: A member of the Student Body has decided to withdraw in the face of an Executive Committee Hearing after having been charged with (here will follow a brief description of the charge).

III. Executive Committee Hearing

  1. The President shall preside over the Executive Committee Hearing to ensure accuracy and fairness. The President shall regulate the order and nature of the questioning.
  2. Except for members and members-elect of the Executive Committee, the accused student, the advisors of the accused student, the observing advisors, and the witnesses, no other person shall be present at an Executive Committee Hearing. If an Executive Committee member believes he or she cannot maintain impartiality, the member may recuse himself or herself with the approval of the President. If, in the President's opinion, a member of the Executive Committee has a conflict of interest, the President may ask that member to recuse himself or herself from both the Executive Committee Hearing and the potential Student Body Hearing. If the member challenges this decision, the Executive Committee will decide on the validity of the ruling by majority vote. The Vice President may initiate the same procedure against the President.
  3. At the President's discretion, the Executive Committee may go into Executive Session at any time. Only current members of the Executive Committee and members of the Executive Committee-elect may be present at the Executive Session. Any discussions during the Executive Session will not be included in the transcript of the Executive Committee Hearing.
  4. The member of the Executive Committee who participated in the investigation may not vote during, be present at, or participate in the Executive Sessions. The member shall not count toward the necessary quorum.
  5. Except during Executive Sessions, the accused student and advisors of the accused student shall be permitted to remain present during all proceedings of the Executive Committee Hearing.
  6. With the exception of an Executive Session to determine whether to terminate the Executive Committee Hearing, the Executive Committee members may not deliberate on a finding of guilt until the Executive Committee hears all testimony and the closing statement, if one is given.
  7. The Executive Committee may, by vote of one-half of the members present, terminate the hearing at any time for any reason. Should the Executive Committee terminate the Executive Committee Hearing, this decision shall be recorded as a not guilty verdict, and the accused student shall remain an active member of the University.
  8. The Secretary of the Executive Committee shall make efforts to record all testimony for possible use during the Executive Committee's deliberations. If the Executive Committee finds the accused student guilty and the accused student requests a Student Body Hearing, then the accused student, the advisors of the accused student, the Executive Committee, and the Chair of the Student Body Hearing may have this recording transcribed solely for use at the Student Body Hearing. All transcripts derived from this recording shall be returned to the Executive Committee immediately following the Student Body Hearing.
  9. Neither the Executive Committee, nor the advisors of the accused student, shall call any new witnesses after 12:00 a.m. If a hearing has surpassed 16 hours in length, the Executive Committee shall hold a vote to determine whether to continue the hearing or to go into recess. A unanimous vote of the Executive Committee is required to continue the hearing.
  10. The accused student, or the advisors of the accused student, may, at any time, request a private conference with the President to clarify procedures or to discuss the conduct or content of the hearing. The President may, at any time, request a private conference to clarify procedures or to discuss the conduct or content of the hearing.
  11. Restatement of the Charge
    1. At the beginning of the Executive Committee Hearing, the President shall inform the accused student that the Executive Committee has information of an alleged Honor Violation and shall describe the nature of this alleged violation.
    2. The President shall also remind the accused student of the right to question Executive Committee witnesses, the right to call and question all witnesses, the right to testify, and the right to give an opening statement at the beginning of the Executive Committee Hearing and a closing statement at its end.
  12. Optional Opening Statement of the Accused student
    1. After the restatement of the charge, the accused student has the option of making an opening statement. The accused student may also choose to allow one of his or her Hearing Advisors to make the opening statement on his or her behalf.
    2. The accused student shall not be questioned during this statement.
  13. Witnesses and Evidence Introduction
    1. The Executive Committee shall call witnesses from the list provided to the accused student at the Charging.
    2. The Executive Committee may also introduce any evidence, so long as notice of this evidence was given at the Charging. The Executive Committee may use evidence not disclosed to the accused student at the Charging with the permission of the accused student. If the accused student does not consent, the Executive Committee shall decide whether to proceed without the evidence, or to go into recess and grant the accused student a minimum of forty-eight hours (excluding University holidays) between notice of the evidence and the resumption of the Executive Committee Hearing.
    3. At the beginning of the Executive Committee Hearing, the accused student shall provide the Executive Committee with a list of witnesses he or she intends to call and copies of all evidence he or she intends to introduce. The accused student may introduce evidence not provided at the beginning of the Executive Committee Hearing with the President's permission.
    4. The Executive Committee shall keep the witnesses separate from each other and from the accused student, unless the Executive Committee, for good cause, decides otherwise.
    5. After a witness enters the Executive Committee Hearing, the President shall inform the witness of the purpose of the proceeding and that all testimony is being recorded.
    6. The Executive Committee, the accused student, and the advisors of the accused student may present evidence. The Executive Committee and the advisors of the accused student may question all witnesses.
  14. Optional Closing Statement of the Accused Student
    1. At the conclusion of the Executive Committee Hearing, the accused student has the option of issuing a closing statement or of having one of his or her Hearing Advisors issue a closing statement on his or her behalf.
    2. The accused student may have a brief recess before presenting the closing statement.
    3. The accused student shall not be questioned during or after this statement.
  15. Deliberating and Reaching a Verdict
    1. After the evidence is presented, the witness(es) have testified, and the accused student has had the opportunity to present a closing statement, the Executive Committee shall go into Executive Session to deliberate and determine the guilt or innocence of the accused student.
    2. The President shall instruct the Executive Committee members to resolve any reasonable doubt in favor of the accused student. For purposes of clarification, "reasonable doubt" does not mean beyond all possible doubt, or beyond any imaginable doubt, but only that doubt is reasonable under the circumstances of the case.
    3. The Executive Committee shall vote by secret ballot on each charge after, and only after, the conclusion of all deliberations. The President and the Vice President shall count the ballots and seal them in an envelope. This envelope shall be kept on file with the other material from the case. If two-thirds or more of the Executive Committee members present vote guilty on any single charge, the accused student is found guilty. Otherwise, the accused student is found not guilty.
  16. Announcement of the Verdict
    1. The President and the voting Executive Committee members involved in the Executive Committee Hearing shall inform the accused student of the verdict.
    2. If the verdict is not guilty, the proceedings are retained for five years after the end of the corresponding term and the student may remain a member of the University.
    3. If the verdict is guilty, the accused student shall decide whether to withdraw from the University or to appeal the verdict to a Student Body Hearing.
    4. The accused student may attend classes and University functions while deciding whether to appeal and while awaiting the Student Body Hearing.
    5. If there is more than one accused student, the verdicts will be read separately.

IV. Following the Executive Committee Hearing

  1. Retention of Records
    1. If the Executive Committee finds the accused student not guilty, the Executive Committee shall destroy all records of the Executive Committee Hearing at the end of the corresponding term five academic years later.
    2. If the Executive Committee finds the accused student guilty, the Secretary of the Executive Committee shall make a permanent, written summary of the case. In addition, if the accused student withdraws at any time after having been found guilty, the Executive Committee shall retain all evidence permanently.
  2. Withdrawal
    1. If an accused student, found guilty at an Executive Committee Hearing, decides to withdraw from the University, the student shall provide written notice to the Dean of Students. The student has seventy-two hours from expiration of the Decision Period to remove himself or herself and all belongings from the University. The notation "Withdrew" shall be placed on his or her official University transcript.
    2. If a student withdraws after requesting a Student Body Hearing, but before the Student Body Hearing begins, the student shall provide written notice of this decision to the Dean of Students and the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee's guilty verdict shall be reinstated, and "Withdrew" shall be noted on the student's official University transcript. Withdrawal shall be retroactive to the date of the Executive Committee Hearing.
    3. If an accused student, found guilty at an Executive Committee Hearing, fails to provide written notice of his or her decision to withdraw or to appeal to the Student Body Hearing, this failure shall be construed as a decision to withdraw. "Withdrew" shall be noted on the student's official University transcript, and the administration shall be responsible for promptly removing the student from the University.
    4. If, an accused withdraws at any time prior to the start of the Student Body Hearing, an announcement shall be posted to the following effect: A member of the Student Body has decided to withdraw after being found guilty of committing an Honor Violation in an Executive Committee Hearing (here will follow a brief description of the violation and a summary of the relevant facts). This description shall retain the anonymity of all parties involved in the Executive Committee Hearing. The announcement must be approved by two-thirds of the Executive Committee before it can be posted and shall be written by the Secretary in conjunction with the President and the Vice President.
  3. Reopening a Completed Executive Committee Hearing
    1. Anyone coming forward with new evidence shall contact a member of the Executive Committee. If a majority of the Executive Committee determines that the new evidence bears on the guilt or innocence of the accused student, the Executive Committee shall then, within a reasonable amount of time, go into Executive Session.
    2. The President shall inform the Executive Committee to resolve all reasonable doubt in favor of the accused student.
    3. The Executive Committee shall vote by secret ballot on whether to nullify the verdict and reopen the Executive Committee Hearing. If a majority of Executive Committee members vote in favor of nullification, the prior verdict shall be set aside, and the Executive Committee shall rehear the case in accordance with normal investigation and Executive Committee Hearing procedure. Provided that, if, after voting to reopen the case, the Executive Committee subsequently votes to go to an Executive Committee Hearing, the President shall determine, at his or her discretion, whether to have the Executive Committee rehear the entire case, or whether to limit the Executive Committee Hearing to the scope of the new evidence presented.
    4. The President, at his or her discretion, may also reopen an Executive Committee Hearing if he or she believes that reopening the hearing is necessary to prevent injustice.

Procedure for a Student Body Hearing

If the student appeals the guilty verdict to a Student Body Hearing, the Student Body Hearing is open to all members of the Washington and Lee community and is conducted before a jury of twelve students selected at random from the student body.

I. Selection of the Chair and Other Officials

  1. The President of the Student Bar Association, or a student agreed to in consultation between the advisors of the appealing student and a majority of the Executive Committee, shall act as Chair of the Student Body Hearing. In the event that the President of the Student Bar Association is unable or unwilling to serve, and the advisors of the appealing student and of the Executive Committee cannot agree on a student to preside over the Student Body Hearing, the Student Bar Association's Third-Year Class President or Chair of the Student Judicial Council shall preside over the Student Body Hearing.
  2. Both the Student Bar Association President, the Student Bar Association's Third-Year Class President, and the Chair of the Student Judicial Council shall receive an introduction to the Chair's role in a Student Body Hearing from the Executive Committee at the beginning of the Fall term of each academic year.
  3. The Chair shall appoint a Recorder from the student body. The Recorder may appoint assistants as necessary.
  4. The Chair shall appoint a Sergeant-at-Arms from the student body. The Sergeant-at-Arms may appoint assistants as necessary.
  5. The appealing student may have up to three advisors, who must be members of the Student Body. The appealing student has the right to continue to utilize his or her advisors from the Executive Committee Hearing, to have the Head Hearing Advisor provide new Hearing Advisors, or to select up to three other consenting members of the Student Body. These advisors may be present at the Student Body Hearing, call witnesses, and ask questions of any witnesses and of the appealing student, if the appealing student chooses to testify.
  6. The Executive Committee shall select no more than three of its members to act as its advocates in the Student Body Hearing. The Executive Committee advocates may ask questions of the witnesses and of the appealing student, if the appealing student chooses to testify. The role of the Executive Committee advocates in the Student Body Hearing differs from the Executive Committee role in the Executive Committee Hearing. Rather than acting as a fact-finder, the Executive Committee advocates defend the Executive Committee verdict in the Student Body Hearing.

II. Administrative Matters

  1. The Chair shall decide and announce a date for the Student Body Hearing within seven days after the appealing student appeals a verdict. The date of the Student Body Hearing shall be within seven days of its announcement. The Chair may extend this second seven-day period within his or her discretion.
  2. The Student Body Hearing shall be open only to members of the Washington and Lee community. The appealing student may have family members present at the Student Body Hearing, provided the family members do not sit near the jury. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall enforce this restriction.
  3. No information about the Student Body Hearing is allowed outside the Washington and Lee community. Disseminating information about the Student Body Hearing outside the Washington and Lee community may be considered a breach of confidentiality.
  4. The Student Body Hearing shall be held in Lee Chapel, or at the discretion of the Chair, in consultation with the advisors of the appealing student and the Executive Committee advocates, in the Lewis Hall Moot Court Room.
  5. The Chair shall make appropriate announcements and orders.
  6. At the Chair's discretion, the Executive Committee advocates and the advisors of the appealing student may consult consenting faculty, staff, and administration in preparation for the Student Body Hearing. The Chair must approve the consultation and has the right to question the nature of the consultation.
  7. Exceptions to the rules in this section shall be made at the discretion of the Chair in consultation with the Executive Committee advocates and the advisors of the appealing student.

III. Selection of the Jury

  1. The Registrar or the Registrar's proxy shall choose, at random, one hundred students. First-Year Undergraduate and First-Year Law Students are not eligible for jury participation until their respective Executive Committee representatives have been elected.
  2. The Registrar or the Registrar's proxy shall provide a list containing the name, class, local address, telephone number, and, if applicable, major and Greek affiliation of the students chosen. The names on the list shall appear in the order that they were selected by the Registrar. The Registrar or the Registrar's proxy shall sign and give the list to the Student Body Hearing Recorder.
  3. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall make an effort to contact prospective jurors in the order that their names appear on the Registrar's list.
  4. The prospective jurors shall be interviewed individually in the order that their names appear on the list. The Chair shall determine the time and manner of the interviews. The Chair, the appealing student, the advisors of the appealing student, and the Executive Committee advocates shall be allowed to ask questions during the selection of the jury. The Chair shall rule on the propriety of the questions. The Chair shall also explain the confidential nature of the jury selection process, read the name of the appealing student, the advisors of the appealing student, the Executive Committee advocates, the Chair, the Recorder, and the Sergeant-at-Arms, and the list of all possible witnesses, and ask the following questions (and any other questions he or she deems relevant) of each potential juror:
    1. Do you know any of the facts of this case?
    2. Do you know the appealing student personally?
    3. Is your relationship with the appealing student, the Executive Committee advocates, the advisors of the appealing student, any witness, or the Chair such that it may affect your ability to be impartial?
    4. What are your opinions about the Executive Committee? Do you have any opinions about the Executive Committee that would inhibit your ability to render a decision based solely on the facts?
    5. Do you have any opinions about the Honor System that would inhibit your ability to render a decision based solely on the facts?
    6. Do you support the single sanction? Would you be able to carry out the single sanction?
  5. The Chair shall strike for cause any prospective juror whose knowledge of the case or the appealing student may prejudice the juror's decision. The Chair shall strike for cause any prospective juror whose opinions about the Honor System would interfere with a decision based on the facts alone. The Chair shall strike for cause any prospective juror opposed to the single sanction. The Chair shall have discretion as to strikes for cause.
  6. After fifteen prospective jurors have been interviewed and not struck for cause, the Chair shall allow both the appealing student and the Executive Committee to exercise two peremptory strikes.
  7. Thereafter, the interviewing of prospective jurors shall continue until sixteen prospective jurors are selected. At that time, both the appealing student and the Executive Committee shall exercise one peremptory strike.
  8. Of these fourteen names, no more than four may be from any one class. The Chair, in consultation with the advisors of the appealing student and the Executive Committee advocates, has the authority to make the strikes and additions necessary to maintain this balance.
  9. At least seven jurors shall be members of the Student Body from the same school (undergraduate or law) as the appealing student. The Chair, in consultation with the advisors of the appealing student and the Executive Committee advocates, has the authority to make the strikes and additions necessary to maintain this balance.
  10. The list of selected students shall be arranged in the order that they appeared on the list provided by the Registrar.
  11. The first twelve students on the list shall be jurors. The last two students on the list shall be the alternates. All jurors and alternates shall be present for the entirety of the Student Body Hearing. The Chair shall dismiss the alternates immediately preceding deliberations.
  12. In the event that an alternate becomes unable to serve before the day of the Student Body Hearing, or in the event that the Chair selects an alternate to serve as replacement juror, the Chair shall question additional potential jurors from the Registrar's List. The Chair shall then appoint a replacement alternate to ensure that at least two alternates are available at the start of the Student Body Hearing. In the event that a juror becomes unable to serve before the jury enters deliberations, the Chair shall select as a replacement the first available alternate in the order in which he or she appeared on the list provided by the Registrar.
  13. Each juror and each alternate shall receive a copy of the White Book upon selection.
  14. The jury shall select a foreperson at the beginning of deliberations. The foreperson shall communicate with the Chair on behalf of the other jurors, facilitate the jury's deliberations, and collect and deliver the ballots to the Chair at the conclusion of the jury's deliberations.

IV. Student Body Hearing

A. Procedure
  1. The Chair shall decide any questions of procedure. All questioning shall be under the direction of the Chair.
  2. The appealing student, the advisors of the appealing student, the Executive Committee Advocates, or the student jury may, at any time, request a private conference with the Chair to clarify procedures or to discuss the conduct or content of the Student Body Hearing. The Chair may, at any time, request a private conference to clarify procedures or to discuss the conduct or content of the Student Body Hearing.
B. Rules of Evidence

Rules of evidence include the following:

  1. All testimony and evidence admitted in the Executive Committee Hearing are admissible in the Student Body Hearing.
  2. The parties may call any witnesses and present any evidence subject to the following provisions:
    1. At least forty-eight hours prior to the Student Body Hearing, the parties shall provide to the Chair and the opposing party a list of every witness they intend to call and all evidence they intend to present. If possible, copies of listed documentary evidence shall be provided.
    2. The Chair shall allow the introduction of witnesses and evidence not previously listed upon a showing of good cause, and provided that the opposing party is allowed reasonable time to prepare for its introduction.
  3. The Chair shall have the discretion to exclude any irrelevant evidence.
C. Witnesses
  1. Any student shall be obligated to appear as a witness upon being summoned by the Executive Committee, the jury, or the appealing student.
  2. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be responsible for summoning witnesses.
  3. Each witness shall answer all relevant questions asked by any party. The Chair shall determine the relevancy of any question and shall have the power to exclude irrelevant questions.
  4. When witnesses are not testifying, the Chair shall exclude them from the Student Body Hearing. At the discretion of the Chair, a witness may be allowed to remain at the Student Body Hearing following his or her testimony.
  5. The jury may recall any student witness to clarify the witness's prior testimony. The jury, the Executive Committee advocates, the appealing student, and the advisors of the appealing student may question any witness recalled by the jury. Non-student witnesses may be subject to recall if they agree to be recalled. With the exception of the witnesses recalled by the jury, the Chair may disallow further testimony from a witness who has remained at the Student Body Hearing.
  6. Any member of the jury shall be permitted to ask for a recess after a witness's testimony so that the juror may write down notes without interruption of testimony.
  7. The appealing student does not have to testify in the Student Body Hearing. Failure of the appealing student to testify shall create no presumption against the appealing student, and the jury shall be so instructed by the Chair. Should the appealing student decide to not testify, he or she cannot make an opening and/or closing statement, and must, instead, have his or her advisors make such statement on his or her behalf. Should the appealing student decide to testify, he or she is subject to questioning by any party and shall answer all relevant questions. The Chair shall resolve any disputes about the relevancy of a question.
D. Convening the Student Body Hearing
  1. The Chair shall convene the Student Body Hearing by reading the charge against the appealing student. The Chair must also state the jury's burden of proof before further proceedings may begin. The Chair must instruct the jury that a guilty verdict in a Student Body Hearing requires a determination beyond a reasonable doubt that the appealing student violated the community's trust. For purposes of clarification, "reasonable doubt" does not mean beyond all possible doubt, or beyond any imaginable doubt, but only that doubt that is reasonable under the circumstances of the case.
  2. Witnesses shall not be called or recalled after 12:00 a.m. The jury will not enter deliberations after 1:00 a.m. In the event that either one of these limits is reached, the Chair shall postpone the remainder of the Student Body Hearing to the soonest appropriate time. The Executive Committee advocates, the appealing student, the Hearing Advisors, and the jury shall be sequestered until the Student Body Hearing resumes.
E. Opening Statements
  1. An Executive Committee advocate shall present a brief opening statement.
  2. The appealing student or an advisor of the appealing student may then present a brief opening statement. If the appealing student presents the opening statement, then the appealing student waives his or her right to refuse to testify.
F. Witnesses and Evidence Introduction
  1. The Executive Committee advocates may call witnesses and present evidence. The Executive Committee advocates, the appealing student, the advisors of the appealing student, and the members of the jury may question those witnesses. The jury may provide questions for witnesses to the Chair through the foreperson.
  2. The advisors of the appealing student may then call witnesses and present evidence. The appealing student, the advisors of the appealing student, the Executive Committee advocates, and the members of the jury may question those witnesses.
G. Closing Statements
  1. An Executive Committee advocate shall present a closing statement.
  2. The appealing student or an advisor of the appealing student may present a closing statement.
H. Jury Instructions

Before the jury retires for deliberations, the Chair shall instruct the jury, both orally and in writing, to resolve any reasonable doubt in favor of the appealing student, to vote by secret ballot only once at the conclusion of deliberations, and to accept that decision as final. If the appealing student chooses not to testify, the jury instructions shall also state that the fact the appealing student did not testify should create no presumption against the appealing student.

I. Jury Deliberations
  1. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall deliver to the Chair any questions from the jury regarding the instructions or procedure during the deliberation process. The Chair shall answer the questions, and the Sergeant-at-Arms shall convey the answers to the jury.
  2. During deliberation the jury shall have access to all evidence and testimony admitted during the Student Body Hearing.
J. Counting the Ballots

The foreperson of the jury shall collect the ballots and place them in an envelope. The foreperson shall not count the ballots but shall deliver them to the Chair. The Chair and the Sergeant-at-Arms shall count the ballots. Eight or more "guilty" ballots shall constitute a guilty verdict. Fewer than eight "guilty" ballots shall constitute a "not guilty" verdict.

K. Announcement of the Verdict

The Student Body Hearing concludes with the reading of the verdict. The Chair shall announce only the verdict.

V. Following the Student Body Hearing

  1. If the jury finds the appealing student not guilty, the student remains an active member of the University.
  2. If the jury finds the appealing student guilty, the student is dismissed from the University and the Registrar will lift the hold on his or her transcript and add the notation "Dismissed.". The verdict of the Student Body Hearing is final and cannot be appealed or overturned. If the appealing student is found guilty in a Student Body Hearing, the Executive Committee shall notify the appropriate University officials that the student is to be dropped from the rolls of the University. An announcement shall be posted to the effect that: A member of the Student Body has been dismissed from the University after having been found guilty of an Honor Violation (here will follow a brief description of the violation).
  3. Immediately following the Student Body Hearing, the appealing student, his or her advisors, the Executive Committee advocates, and the Chair shall turn over to the Executive Committee all evidence, including transcripts from the Executive Committee Hearing. If the appealing student is found not guilty, all records from both the Executive Committee Hearing and the Student Body Hearing shall be destroyed following five academic years. If the appealing student is found guilty, the Secretary shall make a permanent written summary. The Executive Committee shall retain all other records of from both the Executive Committee Hearing and the Student Body Hearing permanently.

VI. Academic Accommodations

The Executive Committee may request that the appropriate University officials allow any student involved in Honor System proceedings a reasonable amount of time to make up, without loss of credit, all work that the student missed because of the proceedings.

Student Body Announcements

On the first and/or fifteenth days of each month when class is in session, the Executive Committee Secretary shall post an announcement listing:

  1. The number of investigations;
  2. The number of withdrawals while being investigated;
  3. The number of withdrawals in the face of an Executive Committee Hearing;
  4. Executive Committee Hearings and their verdicts;
  5. Student Body Hearings and their verdicts to date in the current academic year;
  6. The names of any students listed to fill quorum; and
  7. When necessary, all Honor System announcements indicating that a student has withdrawn from the University.

If relevant, the accompanying case summaries shall be posted on the same day.

Process for Amending the White Book

  1. Procedure for Amendment
    1. The Executive Committee shall give consideration to any proposal for amendment to the White Book that is submitted on proper motion by any member of the Executive Committee, any student with an accompanying petition signed by at least fifty current students, or the White Book Review Committee. The Executive Committee may adopt such an amendment to the White Book by a two-thirds vote of the quorum present in two consecutive votes, provided that such votes are at least one week apart.
    2. Amendments may also be adopted by a vote of the Student Body as described below. Such amendments must first be presented to the Executive Committee by a petition signed by one hundred members of the Student Body.
      1. Any proposed amendment shall be public information for at least one week prior to being voted on, as provided for in the Student Body Constitution.
      2. The Student Body shall vote on any proposed amendment by secret ballot.
      3. For adoption, a proposed amendment must receive two-thirds of the ballots cast; provided, however, that at least one-half of the Student Body casts ballots. Balloting on the proposed amendment may extend no longer than three consecutive days.
  2. White Book Review Committee
    1. The Executive Committee shall appoint a White Book Review Committee to thoroughly examine all aspects of the Honor System in the 2020-2021 academic year, and every third year thereafter.
    2. The Executive Committee shall appoint members of the White Book Review Committee by October 1 of the year in which the Review Committee is to be called.
    3. There shall be nine members, one of whom shall be the Chair. No current member of the Executive Committee shall be allowed to sit on the White Book Review Committee.
    4. The Review Committee shall ascertain the opinions of those in the Washington and Lee community regarding all aspects of the Honor System. The White Book Review Committee shall report periodically to the Executive Committee.
    5. The White Book Review Committee shall submit to the Executive Committee a comprehensive report on the state of the Honor System as well as proposals for any changes to the White Book and all other recommendations that the White Book Review Committee deems appropriate by March 1st, or at a date agreed upon by the White Book Review Committee and the Executive Committee.
    6. The Secretary of the Executive Committee shall provide an editing copy of the White Book to the White Book Review Committee.

Glossary of Terms

Community
The Washington and Lee community, for the purposes of this White Book, is comprised of current Washington and Lee students, faculty, and staff.
Deliberations
Deliberations are closed sessions which occur after the investigation team's report, the Executive Committee Hearing, and the Student Body Hearing. During these closed sessions, the adjudicative body will have access to all evidence and testimony. The purpose of these deliberations is to arrive at a decision according to the applicable burden of proof.
Executive Committee Hearing
The Executive Committee Hearing is also historically referred to as a "closed hearing" among students because only members and members-elect of the Executive Committee, the accused student, the advisors of the accused student, the observing advisors, and the witnesses shall be present. The Executive Committee is the adjudicative body in the Executive Committee Hearing.
Executive Committee Member
The Executive Committee Members are the elected undergraduate and law student representatives who hold positions on the Executive committee. Student selected to fill quorum also serve as Executive Committee Members for the purpose of honor proceedings.
Executive Session
During an Executive Committee Hearing, the President of the Executive Committee can call for an Executive Session in which only members, or members elect, of the Executive Committee may be present.
Honor Violation
An Honor Violation or "HV" is any conduct that violates the trust of the current Washington and Lee community.
Member-elect
Incoming members of the Executive Committee who have been elected by the student body but not yet sworn in by the Executive Committee.
Observation
For learning purposes, Hearing Advisors may sit in on Executive Committee Hearings to observe.
Single Sanction
The single sanction refers to the fact that the single disciplinary penalty for violating the community's trust is removal from the University.
Student Body Hearing
The Student Body Hearing is also known as an "open hearing." In a Student Body Hearing, a student jury makes the final determination regarding the guilt of the appealing student. The decision of the jury at the Student Body Hearing is final and cannot be appealed.