The Honor Code that governs Davidson's social and academic life demands commitment to the highest personal and community values. The essence of the system is set forth in the Honor Code, with the Code of Responsibility broadening those tenets to encompass all aspects of life within the college.
Far from being mere pen-and-ink statements, the Codes are a declaration by the entire college community - students, faculty, staff, and alumni - that the honorable course is the most just, and therefore the best. By forming a basis for campus life, the Honor Code engenders an atmosphere of openness and mutual trust.
The Davidson College Honor Code
Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from cheating (including plagiarism). Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from stealing. Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from lying about college business. Every student shall be honor bound to report immediately all violations of the Honor Code of which the student has first-hand knowledge; failure to do so shall be a violation of the Honor Code. Every student found guilty of a violation shall ordinarily be dismissed from the College. Every member of the college community is expected to be familiar with the operation of the Honor Code.
The Honor Code brings a special freedom to campus life. Every student on campus has agreed in writing to abide by the Honor Code and the system of discipline it requires. Tests, often called "reviews" at Davidson, and examinations are not proctored, and professors readily assign take-home tests. Final examinations are self-scheduled, so that students may prepare for and take them in their preferred sequence.
The library operates with open stacks, allowing students to wander freely and use quiet nooks and crannies for study and research. In short, the system allows students, faculty, and staff to have mutual confidence in each other's words and actions. This atmosphere is self-perpetuating and enables students to live and learn together more easily.
From time to time violations of the Honor Code commitment do occur. These are taken seriously; each case is heard and judged promptly by students elected to the Honor Council by their peers.
We at Davidson place a high value on the Honor Code, for it ensures academic integrity on our campus and provides the open environment in which we live and study. We urge each prospective member of the college to give thoughtful consideration to the Honor Code as he or she applies for admission.