The rules associated with academic misconduct are built around an academic process used at many peer universities. While it draws on some aspects of court of law in processes and terminology, such as requiring evidence to find a student in violation of the Honor Code, it does not have the weight of law or the same requirements on proof.
The test for a student to be found responsible for academic misconduct is "preponderance of the evidence." This translates to a 51% certainty that the violation occurred based on the evidence presented. This does not mean that the instructor or Honor Council must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the student committed academic misconduct or explain every detail of how it was executed and why. However, there must be concrete evidence in support of the violation, particularly if the student can offer a reasonable, alternative explanation of suspicious events.
An Honor Council Hearing panel is an academic hearing that allows both the instructor and the student to present their sides, along with any documentation or evidence supporting the allegation to a panel of neutral peers. It is important that students and instructors speak up with any information they can provide to help the Honor Council panel composed of students and faculty members better understand the events surrounding the case.