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Article II—Honor Council Authority

SECTION 1. Membership

The Honor Council shall consist of four members each from the senior, junior, sophomore, and first-year classes; the President; the Vice President; and two Secretaries. 

SECTION 2. Elections

The President and Vice President shall be elected by a majority vote of the Honor Council members in the spring semester, prior to the election of class representatives. The meeting during which the election is held shall be presided over by the OCS Administrator of the Honor Council or designee.  To be eligible for the office of President or Vice President, a candidate must have at least one year of experience as a member of the Honor Council. The rising senior, junior, and sophomore representatives of the Honor Council shall be elected by the members of their class in the spring semester of each year. Four (4) first-year student representatives shall be elected by their class as soon as possible after the opening of the fall semester of each year. They shall be installed immediately and shall serve until the installation of a new Council in the spring. Representative positions of the Honor Council are open to any member of the student body in good academic and social standing.

SECTION 3. Officers

The officers of the Honor Council are the President, the Vice President, and two Secretaries.

SECTION 4. President

The President shall decide questions of procedure and interpretations arising under the Constitution, execute decisions of the Council, and represent the Council to the OCS Administrator for the Honor Council. The President’s role in all hearings and deliberations shall be one of impartial participation, and the President shall not vote.

SECTION 5. Vice President

The Vice President shall act in the capacity of President in the absence of the President. Unless acting as President, the Vice President shall be a voting member of the Council. In addition, the Vice President shall preside over business meetings and have authority over committees. The Vice President shall also serve as a liaison between the Council and the Rhodes community.  These duties shall include, but are not limited to, programming and community engagement.  The Vice President may serve as a voting member of the Pre-Hearing Committee in the absence of a Secretary.

SECTION 6. Secretaries

The two Secretaries, Recording and Corresponding, shall be appointed by the President from the general student body and shall be confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the incoming Council. The Secretaries shall serve on the pre-hearing committee in order to determine if an alleged violation should be taken to a hearing. In addition, the Recording Secretary shall keep records of hearings and meetings, and the Corresponding Secretary may (in the discretion of the President) handle the Council’s official communication to the Respondent, Complainant, Witness(es), and Rhodes College administration. The two Secretaries shall not participate in questioning or deliberation and shall not vote during the hearing.

SECTION 7. Transition

The outgoing members of the Council shall continue to exercise the full responsibilities of membership until the incoming Council is installed. In the case that a member of the senior class is brought before the Council after installation, outgoing senior members shall remain as voting members on the Council for that hearing only. Installation includes educational training and participation in a transition pre-hearing and hearing, both of which are mandatory. During the transition pre-hearing and hearing, new members may participate in questioning and deliberations but shall not vote.

SECTION 8. Vacancies

  1. Vacancies in the Honor Council shall be filled immediately in an election by the student body, and the new member(s) shall serve until the end of the scheduled term. In the case that a position cannot be filled through an election by the student body, the Honor Council has the authority to fill that vacancy. The procedure for filling a vacancy is as follows:
    1. The Council shall announce the vacancy and accept applications from those interested students who are eligible for the position.
    2. The Council shall review the applications.
    3. The Council shall choose a student to fill the vacancy by a majority vote of eligible voting members in a business meeting.
  2. In the event that an elected Honor Council representative is unable to fulfill their duties for one full semester or more, the position will be filled by an interim member. The procedure to fill an interim position is the same as for any vacancy. See Section 8.1 (i-iii). The interim position will serve for a period of time subjectively defined by the President and Vice President.

SECTION 9. Removal from the Council

Any member of the Honor Council may be removed from their position by a three-fourths vote of the eligible voting members of the Council. Conditions warranting removal may include, without limitation, any unexcused absence for a hearing or meeting, violation of the Honor Code or Standards of Conduct, violation of the Oath of Privacy, Standards of the Rhodes Community, or non-support of the procedural operations of the Council. An expressed lack of belief in the Honor System of Rhodes College, or nonsupport of the procedural operations of the Council. Removal may be sought by any member of the Honor Council or the OCS Administrator. A hearing will be held at which the person seeking removal will be heard as well as the Council Member whose removal is sought. The Council may hear other witnesses or consider other evidence as determined by the Honor Council President in consultation with the OCS Administrator. The Council member in question and, if applicable, the Council Member seeking removal, may not vote in this matter.

SECTION 10. Hearing Schedule

Ordinarily hearings will be conducted during the semester in which the alleged violation occurs. In the event that convening a hearing prior to the end of the semester is difficult or impossible, the President, after consulting the OCS Administrator for the Honor Council, may exercise one of the following options:

  1. The President may schedule a hearing prior to the start of the next academic session. This includes scheduling a hearing during the academic break when classes are not in session. 
  2. In the event it is difficult or impossible to convene an Honor Council comprised of no less than 4 of the eligible voting members of the Council, or upon occurrence of other extenuating circumstances, a case may be transferred to the OCS Administrator for the Honor Council (or their designee) for adjudication, upon consultation with the Honor Council President. 
  3. Cases may be scheduled for a hearing in the following semester at the discretion of the President in consultation with the OCS Administrator for the Honor Council.