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 Architectural details of the sandstone arcades in the Main Quadrangle of Stanford University. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

BCA Guidance: Definitions and Clarifications

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Here you can explore pages reflecting Board on Conduct Affairs (BCA) guidance regarding various aspects of the Judicial Process.

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Definitions and Clarifications

Definition of a Student

For the purposes of the Student Judicial Charter of 1997 and the Stanford Judicial Affairs process, the term 'student' refers to any person who has accepted an offer of admission or for whom the University maintains educational records, as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and related regulations, and who, in the case of degree-seeking individuals, has not yet been awarded his or her current degree from the University. For some time we have been invoking a much narrower jurisdictional scope. The current scope is those students enrolled in Stanford degree-seeking programs or visiting/exchange students here under an agreement with their home institutions. Alleged Honor Code violations discovered after a degree has been conferred are subject to adjudication.

Driving on Campus Under the Influence

The following guidance supersedes past guidance of the Stanford Judicial Council and Board on Judicial Affairs concerning driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Intent and the "Reasonable Person" Standard

Students and faculty often ask about the issue of intent. In particular, they usually want to know if a careless act can be considered a violation of the Honor Code. The answer is "yes," depending on context and other circumstances.

Interpretations of the Honor Code

In the spring of 1977, the Student Conduct Legislative Council authored and adopted the following guidelines to assist students and faculty in understanding their rights and obligations under the University's Honor Code. The most recent revisions to the original text were adopted in the Winter of 2002 by the Board on Judicial Affairs.

What Is Plagiarism?

In order to clarify and reaffirm what is regarded as plagiarism, the Board on Judicial Affairs provided the following statement in its Guidance on the Standard Sanction adopted on May 24, 2011: "For purposes of the Stanford University Honor Code, plagiarism is defined as the use, without giving reasonable and appropriate credit to or acknowledging the author or source, of another person's original work, whether such work is made up of code, formulas, ideas, language, research, strategies, writing or other form(s). Moreover, verbatim text from another source must always be put in (or within) quotation marks.”

Statute of Limitations & Jurisdiction

To have a charge filed no more than six months after the alleged misconduct occurred or should reasonably have been discovered. In cases involving an alleged hate crime or physical assault, to have a charge filed no more than two years after the alleged misconduct occurred. If compelling new evidence becomes available after these stated times, a case may be charged since a Panel maintains the ultimate authority to dismiss or allow a case.

Generative AI Policy Guidance

To give sufficient space for instructors to explore uses of generative AI tools in their courses, and to set clear guidelines to students about what uses are and are not consistent with the Stanford Honor Code, the BCA has set forth policy guidance regarding generative AI in the context of coursework.

Meyer Green. Credit: Andrew Brodhead /