The Honor Code and Conduct System for Undergraduate Students

The University conduct system for undergraduate students is primarily comprised of the Honor Code, the Code of Conduct, and the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.  As explained herein, the Honor Code is administered by the Office of the Dean of the College, the Code of Conduct is administered by the Office of the Dean of Students, and the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy is administered by the Title IX Office.

Other University policies, such as, but not limited to, the Policy on Ethical Use of Computing Resources and the Guide to Community Living, may set forth expectations regarding conduct of undergraduate students.  Concerns regarding possible violations of those policies may be referred to the Office of the Dean of the College, the Office of the Dean of Students, and/or the Title IX Office for processing under the Honor Code, Code of Conduct, and/or Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. The information provided in this Handbook will supersede any information regarding undergraduate student conduct and disciplinary matters that may be reflected in other publications to the extent that information is in conflict with the information provided herein.

Honor Code

The Wake Forest Undergraduate Honor Code (the “Honor Code”) is grounded in a fundamental commitment from each member of our community to honesty and integrity. Adherence to the Honor Code enables our community to live and to work together with a shared sense of trust and respect. Violations of the Honor Code are treated with the utmost seriousness because they undermine both personal integrity and community standards. Specific offenses under the Honor Code include cheating, plagiarism, stealing, and deception in both academic and social settings.

Alleged academic violations of the Honor Code will be heard by and in accordance with procedures set by the Honors and Ethics Council.

Alleged non-academic violations of the Honor Code will be heard by and in accordance with procedures set by the Office of the Dean of Students.

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Student Code of Conduct

In keeping with its historic concern for students, Wake Forest has a legitimate interest in student welfare in and out of class, on campus and off campus. The Wake Forest University Undergraduate Student Code of Conduct (the “Code of Conduct”) is grounded in concern for student actions that are inconsistent with their obligations as members of the educational community. The Code of Conduct establishes standards of behavior that support the values of the University and uphold the best interests of students. When it has been determined that a student has violated these standards of behavior, appropriate sanctions will be imposed.

Alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct will be heard by and in accordance with procedures set by the Office of the Dean of Students.

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Student Sexual Misconduct Policy

Wake Forest University expects all members of its community to act in respectful and responsible ways toward each other.  Wake Forest is committed to providing programs, activities, and an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.  For the University’s full non-discrimination policy, see

The Student Sexual Misconduct Policy describes prohibited conduct, establishes procedures for responding to reports of sexual misconduct as defined in this policy, and outlines resources available to students.

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General Jurisdiction

Wake Forest University’s Student Handbook shall apply to undergraduate student conduct on Wake Forest University campus, at University sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely impacts the University community and/or the pursuit of the University’s educational objectives. It applies without regard to whether the student’s residence is owned or leased by Wake Forest University.  It is an expectation that reason and responsibility characterize student conduct at all events. The Student Handbook also applies to any undergraduate student on a study abroad program, whether operated by the University or another entity.

The University is concerned with the behavior of students beyond the physical boundaries of the campus, and undergraduate students and student organizations may be held accountable for behavior that occurs off campus as explained above. The University does not seek or support special treatment for its students who may be apprehended for violation of civil or criminal law.

The Student Handbook shall also apply even if the student withdraws from Wake Forest while a disciplinary matter is pending.  The University does not lose jurisdiction over a pending matter due to a student’s withdrawal, and the University retains the right to withhold transcripts if a student attempts to transfer while a conduct matter is pending.  The University also has the right to withhold the degree of a student who has satisfactorily completed the academic requirements but has a conduct matter pending.

Frequently, students attend or participate in events sponsored by or hosted by student organizations at other colleges or universities. Sometimes WFU student organizations co-sponsor events with groups or organizations at other colleges or universities. Wake Forest undergraduate students and student organizations must adhere to Wake Forest University policies and rules on such occasions.

Where officials of another college or university notify Wake Forest of incidents giving rise to a possible violation of the Honor Code, Code of Conduct or Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, the case will be processed through the appropriate Wake Forest conduct processes defined below.

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Violations Under More Than One Policy

When a report alleges behavior that may violate more than one University policy, the offices responsible for administering the applicable policies will work together to determine how and when the processes under each applicable policy will proceed.

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Statement on Expression

Wake Forest University is committed to diversity, inclusion, and the spirit of Pro Humanitate, and it strives to provide an environment conducive to understanding, fostering, and nurturing the values of mutual respect, dignity, responsibility, and open communication. Free speech and peaceable assembly are basic requirements of a university as a center for free inquiry and the search for knowledge and insight.

The University is committed to providing all students the right to openly dissent and to speak, write, listen, challenge, protest, and learn. Though the vibrant exchange of ideas may become contentious, such interactions, as part of the University’s educational mission, can lead to changed perspectives, advanced knowledge, and informed action.

The rights afforded to students in this statement have limitations and involve a concurrent obligation on the part of students to maintain on the campus an atmosphere conducive to scholarly pursuits and to respect the rights of all individuals, including the right to be free of harassment or other behavior that diminishes a person’s or group’s dignity and which is prohibited under the Code of Conduct. Moreover, the exercise of these rights may not disrupt or obstruct the functions of the University or imminently threaten such disruption or obstruction.

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The term “University” means Wake Forest University.

The term “student” includes all persons taking undergraduate courses at the University, either full-time or part-time. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Code, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered “students” as are persons who are living in University residence halls, although not enrolled in this institution. This Student Code does apply at all locations of the University, including all study away and study abroad campuses.

The term “faculty” refers to persons who hold an academic appointment, whether tenured, tenure track or non-tenure track, or full or part-time.

The term “University official” refers to any person employed (e.g., Resident Advisers) or retained (e.g., food service staff) by the University, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.

The term “business day” describes any day of the week, Monday through Friday, excluding University holidays or other closures.

The “Judicial Council” refers to the body established to hear appeals of Honor and Ethics Council hearings and Administrative Hearings. The Judicial Council consists of six faculty members, two members of the administration, and two students.

The “Honor and Ethics Council” refers to the body established to hear alleged violations of academic misconduct. The Honor and Ethics council consists of ten appointed faculty members, ten appointed students, and one faculty chair. During a hearing, the chair will assign two students and two faculty to the panel.

The term “hearing officer” includes any person or persons authorized by the Dean of Students to manage conduct cases and to administer formal or informal resolution processes.

The term “hearing panel” includes the group of individuals who hear cases of alleged student misconduct within the administrative hearing process. The composition of the hearing panel is determined by the hearing officer, but will usually include one student, one faculty, and one staff member. A “Panel Member” refers to an individual on a Hearing Panel.

The term “investigator” includes any individual(s) authorized by the Dean of Students to conduct investigations of alleged violation(s) of standard(s) of behavior prior to a conduct process.

The term “organization” refers to the collective of any number of persons who have complied with the requirements for recognition by the University as a registered student organization. Additionally, “organization” also refers to the collective of any number of students who act as an organization. Student organizations referred to the conduct process will be represented by the president of that organization. The president may designate another active member to be the representative in their place.

The term “Preponderance of the evidence” indicates evidence as a whole that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that a fact is more likely than not.

The “Board of Investigators and Advisers” or “BIA” is a group of students who serve two purposes in the conduct process: (1) investigate academic cases and present the cases before the Honor and Ethics Council, and (2) advise responding students in all phases of an investigation, hearing, and appeal, in academic and nonacademic cases.

The “Office of the Dean of Students” refers to the named office and includes Student Conduct, Student Engagement and Campus Programs & Services.

The term “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the University including adjacent streets and sidewalks.

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