Honor Principle

Case summaries for examples of judicial action


The Board was informed of a problem regarding the maintenance of confidentiality in connection to a previous case. The Board contacted the person who was in breach of confidentiality and reiterated the requirements of the confidentiality agreement that the student had originally signed, as well as the importance of maintaining confidentiality.

We saw a student who offended a staff member and due to this had entered into a verbal contract with that staff member regarding appropriate reparations. The student failed to make these reparations, despite repeated promises on his/her part. We found the student guilty of an honor violation. The student was given community service as a source for further reparation.

A professor in the sciences filed an Academic Dishonesty Report against two students. The students had collaborated on an assignment, though unevenly, with one of them drawing more information from the other than vice versa, and the professor felt that the similarities between their work revealed a case of academic dishonesty. The students acknowledged the similarities and the collaboration but denied having had dishonest intentions. The Board found both students in violation of the Honor Principle (and the Academic Honesty Policy) and recommended to President Diver that they be placed on disciplinary probation for the rest of their time at Reed (serving as formal notice that any further violation may result in far more serious sanctions) and that they each complete 60 hours of community service before registering for classes in Fall ’03. The President accepted our recommendation. The student who had contributed more information to the collaborative effort appealed the President’s decision, and Appeals Board recommended to the President that the sanctions be overturned as the student did not know that his/her work was being copied. The President accepted their recommendation.

A student was accused of disturbing fellow residents of a dormitory through excessive loudness of the stereo and smoking in a non-smoking dorm.  The student was placed on disciplinary probation and was required to move into another residence hall.  

A professor and a student filed an Academic Dishonesty Report regarding the student’s submission of a short paper, the major part of which was plagiarized from an essay off the internet. The student had first avoided the professor and then lied to him/her when first confronted with his/her own dishonesty. The Board found the student in violation of the Honor Principle (and the Academic Honesty Policy) for plagiarizing and lying about it when confronted, and recommended to the President that s/s/he be suspended from Reed for Spring 2003 and that s/s/he be placed on disciplinary probation for the remainder of his/her time at Reed. The President accepted our recommendation.

A professor filed a report with a student for his/her having submitted as his/her own original work a final paper that s/he had submitted one year earlier for another class. Additionally, the paper had initially been the result of a group project. Thus the professor found that the student had handed in one paper twice, and had misrepresented others’ work as his/her own. The J-Board recommended to the President that the student be found in violation of the HP and the AH Policy, that s/he be placed on disciplinary probation for the remainder of his/her time at Reed, that s/he complete 30 hours of community restitution before Fall ’02 (subject to the J-Board’s approval) and that s/he seek counseling for his/her academic progress. The President accepted our recommendation.

A student was alleged to have violated the Honor Principle and the Drug and Alcohol policy by distributing drugs while in a position of respect and responsibility on campus.  The Board found the student to be in violation of the Honor Principle and the Drug and Alcohol policy for exchanging drugs for money.  The board recommended that the student be forbidden from holding the position of respect and responsibility which the student had previously held and that the student be forbidden from living on campus for the remainder of the student’s time at Reed. The Board further recommended that the student serve 15 hours of community service during and after Renn Fayre, as well as  serving an additional 4 hours per week of community service, either on or off campus, for the remainder of the student’s time at Reed. Finally, the Board recommended that the student undergo a drug and alcohol assessment and follow any recommendations made by the assessor and that the student be placed on disciplinary probation.

A student was alleged to have violated the Honor Principle by drawing graffiti in an inappropriate location, thereby causing some members of the community unnecessary harm and discomfort, and by placing an unnecessary financial burden on the student body.  The student was found in violation of the Honor Principle for causing unnecessary harm to members of the community, placing an unnecessary financial burden upon the student body, and for ignoring community norms of acceptable locations for graffiti.  The Board recommended that the student serve ten hours of community service on the Reed College campus and that the student be placed on disciplinary probation.

A student was alleged to have violated the Honor Principle and the Drug and Alcohol policy by growing marijuana in a dorm room with intent to sell.  The student was found in violation of the Honor Principle and the Drug and Alcohol Policy for the growing operation.  The J-Board recommended that the student be suspended for a semester, and be placed on disciplinary probation.  In order for the student to return it was recommended that the student be required to submit a counselor’s assessment and write an essay, to be reviewed by the Judicial board, on the topic of the interaction of individual and community expectations under the honor principle.  In addition it was recommended that the student be forbidden to live on campus for the remainder of the student’s Reed career.

A student alleged that another student violated the Honor Principle by knowingly bringing a banned, off-campus person onto campus. The complainant alleged that the respondent had knowledge that this off-campus person had been banned from campus and that this person posed a threat to the complainant and the rest of the Reed community. The J-Board found the respondent in violation of the Honor Principle for knowingly violating the trespass of this off-campus person and for failing to alert college officials of the presence of this person on campus. The respondent was placed on disciplinary probation for the remainder of this student’s stay at Reed. Additionally, the respondent was forbidden from having any contact with the complainant, as well as one other student, with the exception of necessary academic interactions. The respondent was also asked to demonstrate a higher level of consideration for the potential impact his/her actions could have on others.

A student was alleged to have violated the Honor Principle and the sexual harassment policy by sexually assaulting a member of the Reed community.  The Judicial board found the student to have committed a violation by acting in an unwanted and sexually explicit manner. The J-Board recommended that the student be denied registration until such time as the student had had an alcohol abuse assessment, providing proof that the student had complied with the treatment recommended by the counselor and until the student had written an essay on the seriousness and types of sexual harassment on college campuses.  Additionally it was recommended that the student be placed on disciplinary probation.

A student was alleged to have violated the parking policy and behaved in an insulting manner towards members of the Community Safety staff.  The board found the student in violation of the honor principle and recommended that the Student be placed on disciplinary probation and do community service.  Additionally, it was suggested that the student would lose on-campus parking privileges if the student continued to violate the parking policy.

A student and a friend filed a complaint against another student, accusing him/her of making them feel uncomfortable and threatened in the dorm that they shared, and also of maliciously spreading false information about him/her. In the hearing, additional conflicts in their common workplace came to light. The Board found the respondent in violation of the Honor Principle for causing undue discomfort and harm to another student both in their dorm and workplace. The Board also found the student in violation of the college’s Sexual Harassment Policy for behaviors of a sexual nature that caused the complainant severe discomfort, which s/he knew or should have known to be unwelcome, offensive and dishonorable. The Board recommended to the President that the student be placed on disciplinary probation, that s/he be prohibited from further contact with the other student. The Board further recommended that the student be moved from his/her dorm to another, that s/he attend counseling and follow the recommendations of the counselor, and that s/he be in regular and continued contact with Residence Life regarding his/her adjustment to his/her new living situation. Finally, the Board recommended that that, the student be prohibited from consuming alcohol on campus until Fall ’03, and that his/her failure to comply with any of these sanctions result in permanent removal from on-campus housing. The President accepted our recommendation. The respondent appealed the decision, arguing that the sanctions were excessive. The Appeals Board agreed with the J-Board findings, but it recommended removing the prohibition against the respondent’s alcohol use on campus. The President accepted Appeals Board’s recommendation. The respondent made a final appeal directly to the President. The President did not entertain the appeal.