An Informed Retraction (an “IR”) allows a student who has been reported to the Honor Committee for an alleged Act of Lying, Cheating, or Stealing to take responsibility for the commission of the Honor Offense in question, and also to make amends for such Honor Offense, both by admitting such Offense to all affected parties and by taking a full two-semester Honor Leave of Absence from the University community.
Philosophically, the IR is an extension of the existing Conscientious Retraction (the “CR”), which allows students who have committed a potential Honor Offense to come forward before they have reason to believe that the Offense in question has come under suspicion by anyone. One of the ways in which an IR differs from a CR is that an IR is filed after a student has been informed about the report of an alleged Honor Offense.
A student electing to file a request for an IR agrees, among other things, to admit his or her wrongdoing to all affected third parties, and to make amends for this wrongdoing. He or she also agrees to take a full two-semester leave of absence from the University before returning and recommitting to the Community of Trust. Because a student who submits an IR agrees, implicitly, to recommit him- or herself to the Community of Trust and, accordingly, to not commit another Act of Lying, Cheating, or Stealing following submission of the request for IR, each student shall have the opportunity to have only one IR accepted during the entirety of his or her time at the University.
This important change to the Honor System was made in the form of an amendment to the Honor Constitution. The amendment, which students placed on the ballot by collecting petition signatures in a grass-roots display of student self-governance, was approved by 64% of the students who voted in the 2013 Spring elections.
The 2012-2013 Honor Committee immediately passed By-law changes to effectuate the Constitutional amendment, and these By-laws continue to evolve. The 2013-2014 Committee is currently discussing them and intends to enact some minor modifications before the end of this academic semester.. Please continue to refer to the By-laws of the Honor Committee for detailed, current information relating to the administration of the IR.
The conditions and procedures for the filing of a valid CR, and for the filing of a request for, and acceptance of, an IR, are set forth, in detail, in Article III of the By-laws of the Honor Committee, which can be viewed at www.virginia.edu/honor/governing-documents