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Honor System

Honor System FAQs

I received a letter stating I may have violated the Honor Code. What do I do now?

First and foremost, if you received this letter, you have not been charged with a violation, rather the Student Attorney General is assessing information on whether there is a basis to charge you with a violation.

Your next step is to wait until a member of the Student Attorney General's staff reaches out to you to set up an initial meeting if needed. Until that time, please regularly check your email and respond promptly to any communication you receive. Please keep in mind that during school breaks, students are not on campus often, therefore you may have a delay in communication with the Student Attorney General’s staff.

What happens in the initial meeting?

During the initial meeting, a member of the Student Attorney General's staff will go over the alleged violation and information received by our office. Essentially, this meeting allows you to review the information and speak to your experience about the alleged incident.

Can someone come with me to the initial meeting?

Yes. Students can have anyone accompany them to the initial meeting. Just make sure you sign a FERPA waiver so, the Student Attorney General’s representative can share information regarding your educational records with that person.

How can I get support or get support for a student?

Students can get support in many ways and through different offices. The Heels Care Network hosts a comprehensive list of resources throughout the University. Additionally, you can contact our office for assistance during business hours at 919-962-0805 or jpa@unc.edu. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing an emergency, please call 911.

How long does the Honor System process take?

It depends. The Instrument outlines some deadlines for charges, hearings, and rationales. However, the entirety of the Honor System process can depend on a variety of factors such as caseload, student availability, and academic calendars. Every student's case is different and extenuating circumstances can expedite or elongate the process.

English is not my native language, do you have the Instrument or Honor System documents translated into different languages?

We currently have parts of the Instrument and frequently used documents translated into Mandarin. Please email our office at jpa@unc.edu for further information.

What are my rights as an accused student?

Per the Instrument, the accused student has the right to 1) information and informed choices, 2) presumption of innocence, 3) counsel, 4) fair hearing, 5) self-incrimination, 6) evidence and witnesses, 7) proof that is clear and convincing, and 8) appeals and rehearing.

For more information about your rights, please see the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, Section IV: Procedural Rights of Students and Complainants (pg. 17).

I have a transcript hold from Student Conduct on my account, but I need to obtain a copy. Can the hold be removed?

Yes, the hold on your transcript can be removed. However, please note that the notation will still appear on your official and unofficial transcripts until the completion of your Honor Court case or there has been a “no charge” decision on your case. If you would like your hold removed, please fill out the Transcript Hold Release Request in its entirety and return it to jpa@unc.edu.

Why do I have an enrollment hold from Student Conduct on my account?

Typically, enrollment holds are placed on students’ accounts when they are a degree candidate or when they do not complete all their sanctions by the stated deadline. If that’s you, please look at your final outcome letter from our office to determine how to move forward with completing those sanctions in a timely manner. You can submit your sanctions here.

In the case that you have already submitted your sanctions, please allow up to five (5) business days for our office to process your sanction documentation and update your records accordingly.

Can I receive a copy of my file?

Yes. Fill out the Electronic File Request Form and our office will email you a copy of your file. Please note, that all information in your file relating to other students will be redacted from the file given to you, per federal law (FERPA).

Do I have to participate in the Honor System process if I am accused of violating the Honor Code?

No, you have the right to not participate. However, it is in your best interest to partake in the Honor System process if you are accused or charged of an Honor Code violation.

I am already involved in a criminal court process for a conduct violation. Why am I also being held accountable to the Honor Code?

When joining the Carolina community, students pledge “not to lie, cheat, or steal” and to hold themselves to a high standard of academic and non-academic conduct while both on and off Carolina’s campus. This commitment to academic integrity, ethical behavior, personal responsibility, and civil discourse exemplifies the “Carolina Way”, and this commitment is codified in both the University's Honor Code and in the Alcohol Policy. In situations where the University's interest is impacted by the student’s behavior, the University may hold students accountable to these University policies in addition to the student’s experience in the criminal court proceedings.

How long does an Honor Code violation stay on my record?

A violation of the Instrument will remain a part of your disciplinary record for ten (10) years after the date your case's appeal options have expired or been exhausted and is maintained by Student Conduct.

What impacts could a violation have on my future at Carolina and beyond?

It is possible that your disciplinary record could affect many parts of your life such as job opportunities, financial aid & scholarships, or educational opportunities depending on a variety of factors. However, we will never disclose information to someone else about you without your explicit permission.

What impacts could a violation have on my current graduate or professional school eligibility?

Section III.B.1.d. of the Instrument states in part that "the imposition of an academic sanction in the form of a failing grade in a course shall not in itself be grounds for terminating the affected student’s enrollment in the academic program in which he or she is enrolled, except when the pertinent academic authorities independently determine that such termination is warranted pursuant to pertinent academic rules and requirements." 

As such, Graduate and Professional students should contact their respective programs with any questions regarding the effects of a potential Honor Code violation on their standing in their respective programs, as the Honor System and Student Conduct do not maintain or administer those policies.

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