Honor Code

Honor Code

Saint Augustine’s University Honor Code

Every member of Saint Augustine’s University has the right to live and learn in an atmosphere of trust and support. Responsibility for maintaining these values in our community rests with each individual member. Values that promote this atmosphere include:

HONESTY: Be truthful in your academic work and in your relationships INTEGRITY: Be trustworthy, fair, and ethical.

RESPONSIBILITY: Be accountable for your actions and your learning. RESPECT: Be civil. Value the dignity of each person. Honor the physical and intellectual property of others.


“On my honor, I pledge to pursue all endeavors and uphold the values of Saint Augustine’s University and its mission with honesty, integrity, responsibility, and respect.”

Honor Policies

Saint Augustine’s University’s honor code applies to both individual student and organizational behavior:

  • Occurring from the time of admission until the actual awarding of a degree. (It applies to behavior that occurs before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during periods between terms of enrollment unless a student has completed the process of withdrawal from the University.)
  • In the classroom and at all locations and events on Saint Augustine’s University owned or leased property.
  • In locations and at events not occurring on campus, including those involving non-campus individuals and organizations.
  • In locations abroad, including involvement with all individuals and organizations, and
  • In situations involving technology as a means of recording or communication (i.e. social media websites, etc.).

To clarify the types of violations, Saint Augustine’s University has grouped them into policies that cover student code of conduct/social situations and policies that cover academic situations. These two policies may overlap, with one or more types of violations being reported from a single incident.

Academic Policies

Academic Policies support honest exploration and thoughtful contemplation of all ideas in an environment of honesty and trust. As such, students are to refrain from lying, cheating, stealing or violating another’s property, plagiarizing the ideas of others, or facilitating another person’s academic violation. To be clear about what academic behavior is unacceptable, Saint Augustine’s University has listed areas of the policy that clarify components of academic responsibility (The Saint Augustine’s University Student Catalogue pgs. 52-53). Violations of academic policy may result in a lower course grade or a failing grade for the course. Academic censure (official statement of institutional disapproval) is the minimum institutional sanction and multiple or egregious violations of academic policies may result in Disciplinary Suspension or Permanent Separation from Saint Augustine’s University.

Student Code of Conduct/Social Policies

Social Policies support the shared values and communal expectations that promote the development of the individual and the community. To be clear about what social behavior is unacceptable, Saint Augustine’s University has listed areas of the policy that clarify components of social responsibility and adherence in The Student Code of Conduct, Student Code of Values, Residence Hall Conduct, and Administrative Procedures Guidelines in this handbook. Each area of potential violation is defined and typical sanctions are listed. In cases where more than one violation has occurred as a result of an incident, sanctions will likely increase in severity.

Violations of the Honor Code may be subject to civil or criminal prosecution under local, state and federal law guidelines.

General Information

All students are required to acquaint themselves with the provisions of the Academic Honor Code through the information in the Saint Augustine’s University Student Handbook. Undergraduate students may obtain further information from the Dean of each school, Office of Academic Affairs, and the Office of First- Year Experience.

All Saint Augustine’s University students are subject to the policies and procedures of the undergraduate Honor Code stated in the Student Handbook and apply to all students enrolled in undergraduate courses of all divisions and extended studies, whether full-time or part-time, or whether regularly enrolled, transient, or cross-registered from a neighboring Cooperating Raleigh Colleges (CRC) institution.

Students are responsible for obtaining from their professors an explanation of the freedom they may exercise in collaboration with other students or in use of outside sources, including:

  • the student’s own work prepared and submitted for another course
  • assignments that permit students to discuss the assignment or to collaborate, including during group study sessions
  • all limitations placed on take-home examinations, including use of class or outside materials or discussion with classmates
  • use of examinations or other materials from previous sections of the class and
  • use of internet resources, including proper attribution.

In the event that a student does not obtain a clear explanation of the application of the Honor Code from an instructor in any class, the student must assume that the Office of Academic Affairs will follow the strictest interpretation of the Honor Code with respect to that class.

Faculty members do not routinely monitor tests and examinations to apprehend violators. Instructors who remain in examination rooms are there primarily to give assistance.

Cheating, plagiarizing, or otherwise falsifying results of study is prohibited. The Code applies not only to examinations, but also to all work handed in, such as papers, reports, solutions to problems, tapes, films, and computer programs, unless excepted by the instructor. The code also applies to any act that is fraudulent or intended to mislead the instructor, including falsifying records of attendance for class, for events for which attendance is required or for which class credit is given, or for internships or other work service.

Honor Code

Violations of the Honor Code are cause for disciplinary actions imposed by the appropriate office (Office of Academic or Judicial Affairs). Among the possible violations are the following:

  • Falsifying or cheating on a report, paper, exercise, problem, test or examination, tape, film, or computer program submitted by a student to meet course requirements. Cheating includes the use of unauthorized aids (such as crib sheets, answer keys, discarded computer programs, the aid of another person on a take-home exam, etc.); copying from another student’s work; unauthorized use of books, notes, or other outside materials during “closed book” exams; soliciting, giving, and/or receiving unauthorized aid orally or in writing; or similar action contrary to the principles of academic honesty.
  • Plagiarism on an assigned paper, theme, report, or other material submitted to meet course requirements. Plagiarism is defined as incorporating into one’s own work the work or ideas of another without properly indicating that source. A full discussion of plagiarism and proper citation is provided in the section below.
  • Failure to report a known or suspected violation of the Code in the manner prescribed.
  • Any action designed to deceive a member of the faculty, a staff member, or a fellow student regarding principles contained in the Honor Code, such as securing an answer to a problem for one course from a faculty member in another course when such assistance has not been authorized.
  • Any falsification of class records or other materials submitted to demonstrate compliance with course requirements or to obtain class credit, including falsifying records of class attendance, attendance at required events or events for which credit is given, or attendance or hours spent at internships or other work service.
  • Submission of work prepared for another course without specific prior authorization of the instructors in both courses.
  • Use of texts, papers, computer programs, or other class work prepared by commercial or noncommercial agents and submitted as a student’s own work.
  • Falsification of results of study and research.

The Honor Code Applied to Preparation of Papers

  • Papers are to express the original thoughts of the student. If a topic for a paper has been discussed fully among students prior to an assignment, then the students should consult the instructor about writing on that particular topic.
  • Failure to indicate any outside source of ideas, expressions, phrases, or sentences constitutes plagiarism.
  • A student may not submit papers substantially the same in content for credit in more than one course, without specific and prior permission of all instructors concerned.

Students often have trouble distinguishing between privileged information and common knowledge. An idea is often considered common knowledge if it is encountered at least three times in separate sources during one’s research into a particular subject. (Reprints of one source do not constitute separate sources.) Students should understand that sources of common knowledge can be plagiarized. Copying or close paraphrasing of the wording or presentation of a source of common knowledge constitutes plagiarism. Students should realize that an act of plagiarism may include some degree of premeditation or may be the result of carelessness or ignorance of acceptable forms for citation. Regardless of intent or premeditation, the act is plagiarism and is a violation of the Honor Code. Students, therefore, must be conscious of their responsibilities as scholars under the Honor System, to learn to discern what is included in plagiarism as well as in other breaches of the Honor Code, and must know and practice the specifications for citations in scholarly work. Any student uncertain about the application of the plagiarism and citation rules should consult the instructor. A student who plagiarizes out of ignorance is still guilty of an Honor Code violation.

Tests, Examinations, and Other Exercises

Students are on their honor not to ask for or give information pertaining to any portion of an examination before or after they have taken it, in such a way as to gain or give an advantage over other students. The written pledge (see also The Honor Pledge above) signifies that the work submitted is the student’s own and that it has been completed in accordance with the requirements of the course as specified by the instructor. In addition, each student and faculty member is expected to establish a clear understanding of the requirements in each course.

Any student uncertain about the application of the pledge to a particular course requirement should always consult the instructor. The Honor pledge, or an abbreviation thereof, should be included in all written work completed by the student and submitted for a grade. Any work handed in for credit, however, will be considered “pledged” unless otherwise stated by the instructor.

The Honor Code Application to Group Work

  • Students are responsible for any work submitted in their name for the fulfillment of a course, program, or assignment
  • Students should ask their instructors before collaborating on any assignment with a classmate
  • Students should ask their instructors if a tutor or other individual may help you with any assignment
  • All group members are responsible for the data and the content of labs, reports, assignments and projects.
  • The guidelines for appropriate collaboration and task division pertaining to group work vary among classes and instructors. It is therefore the student’s responsibility to obtain a clear understanding of appropriate collaboration from the instructor. Tips for Success:
  • Students should read the course syllabus, and follow all policies, guidelines, or instructions outlined therein.
  • Students should make sure that they are aware of any guidelines or restrictions on specific class assignments or examinations. Students should get any instructions from the instructor if they miss a class.
  • Students should ask their instructors before collaborating on any assignment with a classmate.
  • Students should ask their instructors if a tutor or other individual may help with any assignment.
  • When unsure whether or not to cite a phrase or fact, students should cite.
  • Students should ask their instructors or consult a citation manual to learn how to cite online sources.
  • If an instructor tells students not to use outside sources, students should not (nor should they take the instruction as an excuse not to cite sources if they are used).
  • Students should ask their instructors before sharing lab reports, results, or other data with classmates or a lab partner.
  • Students should ask their instructors before reviewing tests administered for the same course in a previous semester.
  • Students should not turn in an assignment from a previous course without the permission of both instructors involved.
  • Students should not assume that whatever they are doing is okay. If they cannot say with complete certainty that any particular conduct is permissible, they need to consult the course instructor.
  • If permitted by the instructor, students should check over group members’ work before it is submitted; this includes labs, data, and other reports.
  • Students should keep copies of original data used for group projects and assignments.
  • When in doubt, ask the instructor.

Responsibility of the Individual Student

Without the support and cooperation of the entire student body, the Honor System will not work. Students must insist on the absolute integrity of themselves and their fellow students. It is the obligation of every student who suspects an honor violation to take action in one of the following ways, determining the choice of action by the flagrancy and/or certainty of the violation.

If a student has reason to suspect that a breach of the Honor Code has been committed, he or she must:

1. Issue a personal warning to the suspected student, or

2. Report the incident to the Office of Academic Affairs for action by the Provost /Designee of the President, or

3. Inform the instructor in the course of the suspicions and identify, if possible, the person(s) suspected.

Academic Dishonesty Appeal Process

The procedure for resolving disputes of academic dishonesty or for resolving any dispute concerning a student’s academic standing at Saint Augustine’s University is the Academic Dishonesty Appeal Process. The Academic Dishonesty Appeal Process requires that a student first discuss the academic dispute with the faculty member who accused the student, or assigned the grade, or initiated the penalty, or with whom the dispute first surfaced. If the dispute is not resolved in conversation(s) with the faculty member, the student shall next address the matter with the head of the department in which the course is taught. The Chair shall: investigate the matter thoroughly; make a record of the relevant evidence; make a determination about the nature of the dispute or appropriateness of the accusation, the grade, or the penalty imposed on the student. If the matter is still in dispute following the investigation and determination by the Chair, the student has a right to appeal to the Division Dean in which the dispute arose. In cases where the recommended penalty is that the student be suspended or expelled, or where the student’s degree or certification is revoked, students may appeal in writing to the Provost.

Specifically in cases involving allegations of academic dishonesty students shall be provided with: (1) adequate notice of any offense with which they are charged; and, (2) an opportunity to be heard by the Division Dean in which the offense is alleged to have occurred. The penalty imposed by (or approved by) the Division Dean shall be based on evidence collected and recorded by the faculty member, the Chair, and/or the Division Dean. The Division Dean in which the student’s major is located shall also be notified of the academic dishonesty and of the penalty imposed by the Division Dean in which the academic dishonesty occurred.

Inquiries Outside SAU


Requests for “directory information” frequently come to the University from a variety of sources, including friends, parents, alumni, relatives, employers, other Universitys and universities, government agencies, news media, and so on. The University will not release directory information that the student has requested be withheld, and any requests from non-University persons will be refused unless the student provides his or her written consent for the release. Students are advised to consider carefully the consequences of a decision to request that directory information be withheld.