Initiated in 1842, the Honor System at the University of Virginia originated as an effort to ease tensions between the faculty and the student body. Today, however, the central purpose of the Honor System is to preserve and protect a Community of Trust in which students can enjoy the freedom to develop their intellectual and personal potential.
The 27-member Honor Committee is ultimately responsible for the maintenance and administration of the Honor System. The committee is composed of five elected representatives from the College of Arts & Sciences, two from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and two elected representatives from each of the other 10 University schools. Committee members oversee Honor investigations and hearings, disseminate information to new students, and establish special programs and policies for the Honor System from year to year.
To carry out these tasks, the Committee relies on more than 100 support officers drawn from the student body. Honor educators are trained to promote understanding of and investment in the Honor System among members of the University community. Honor advisers are trained to provide confidential emotional support and impartial information about the process to students under investigation. Honor investigators and counsel are trained to investigate alleged Honor offenses and to assist with the presentation of facts and arguments at hearings.
For what constitutes an Honor offense, see Policies of Note: The Honor System.