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Upholding Integrity through Transparency: The Honor Council Hosts Mock Trial Event

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY IN QATAR (Oct. 23, 2022) The Honor Council (HC) hosted a Mock Trial to provide an opportunity for GU-Q students to learn more about HC processes and connect with the organization, with experienced faculty and student members composing the board.

The GU-Q HC is an organization composed of GU-Q decanal, faculty, and student members all tasked with maintaining the Honor System, which establishes the standard of academic integrity in the university. The HC hosts several outreach projects throughout the academic year in order to educate the student body in preventing academic violations as well as informing them of its role and the actions that it takes in order to uphold its responsibility. One such action takes place in the form of a Hearing Board, the trial that takes place when a student has been accused of violating the GU-Q Honor System. A Chairing Dean will assign an Investigating Officer to prepare the necessary information and documentation prior to the trial. A pair of student members as well as one or two faculty members make up the rest of the Hearing Board panel. In accordance with its duties, the HC held the Mock Trial event in order to show a simulation of an ordinary HC adjudication process.

The event detailed the entirety of the process beginning with an accusing professor’s report, the investigation of the case conducted by an Investigating Officer, the adjudication by trial through a hearing board, and the aftermath of the trial. The event was held in order to promote transparency between the GU-Q HC and the student body as well as to establish a connection between the HC and the freshmen class, who are in most need of resources in academic integrity. Among the panelists were Dean Brendan Hill (who served as the Hearing Board Chairperson), Prof. Gerd Nonneman (who served as the Investigating Officer), Prof. Karine Walther and Prof. Santiago Garcia-Couto (both serving as HC faculty adjudicators), Levan Baidashvili and Muhammad Carter (both serving as HC student adjudicators), Prof. Anne-Sophie Pratte (who served as the accusing professor), and Jaelene Iyman (who served as the accused student).

After the Mock Trial, the floor was open for any questions coming from the audience. Questions such as the kinds of sanctions and the gravity of each, the kinds of violations that violate the GU-Q Honor System that necessitate the involvement of the HC, and what HC student members learn by being a part of the HC, all contributed to a fruitful discussion at the end of the event. Members of the HC all welcomed the students in reaching out for further information on the Council, the Honor System, and the Hearing Board process.

Events such as these serve to symbolize the efforts that the university exerts in instilling Georgetown values into its students—values that are illustrative of both the personal growth and the academic excellence that characterizes the GU-Q community.

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