Regimental Manual - APPENDIX A

Reviewed 22 February 2018


The Code can best be summed up in the phrase: Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadets and students do not lie, cheat, or steal nor do they tolerate these acts from others.

Objective of the Honor Code

The Honor Code of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy is designed to instill in each cadet and student those personal and professional standards of honor and integrity, which are expected of all licensed merchant marine officers, marine safety officers, and plant managers.  The Honor Code belongs to our Regiment of Cadets and the Student Body.  Its maintenance shall be the responsibility of each individual cadet and student.

Precepts of the Honor Code

The Honor Code, as practiced by the Cadets and the Students at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, describes a spirit of fairness and trust, which prevails among the Cadets and Students.  Those who attend the Academy live in an environment in which the individual believes and practices complete and total honesty and integrity.  Honor, as practiced by the cadets and students, is a way of life.

The Honor Cod is a set of ethical precepts to which every cadet and student must adhere.  The cadets' and students' presence at the Academy automatically subjects them to the Honor Code and its high ethical standards.  In essence, men and women who practice the concept:
     1. Do not lie or give equivocal or evasive information to themselves or others.
     2. Will not cheat themselves or others.
     3. Will not deceive themselves or others.
     4. Will not steal.

Failure to report an observed or suspected honor violation would not, in and of itself, constitute an honor violation.  The decision to report a suspected violation is left to the individual cadet's conscience.  The reporting cadet may take individual action to investigate a suspected violation further, to counsel the suspected offender or report the violation to the Cadet Honor Committee.

All cadets and students are expected to adhere to the letter and spirit of the Honor Code at all times, whether on Academy grounds, while on liberty or on leave.

Honor System

The Honor System is the application of the Academy’s Honor Code by the regiment of cadets and the student body.  The method of administering and applying the precepts of the Honor Code falls to each individual cadet, student and the Honor Committee.  Under the Honor System, the fairness and truthfulness of a cadet/student is never in question.  A cadet’s or student’s signature or initials, like his/her word, is his/her bond and vouches for the accuracy of verbal and written statements.

The Honor System is exclusively administered by cadets and students.  Although honorable conduct cannot be codified, lying, cheating and stealing are clear examples of breeches of the Honor System.  Cadets and students who violate the Honor Code are placed before the Honor Committee. The Honor Committee will review the facts, interview individuals as it may deem appropriate and make a judgment. The case will then be forwarded to the President of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for disposition.

A cadet or student with knowledge of a possible honor violation should confront the person suspected and ask for an explanation of the incident.  If this violation convinces the inquiring student that no Honor Code issue exists, then the student may (1) counsel the student and the matter will be closed, or (2) bring the alleged offense to the attention of an Honor Committee member.  A person not wishing to confront a Cadet or Student they suspect of an honor violation should bring the matter to the immediate attention of an Honor Committee member.

On receiving information that an Honor violation may have occurred, the Honor Committee is obligated to investigate the charge.  The following are the procedures for a hearing:

Organization of the Honor Committee

          A. The Honor Committee will be co-chaired by the Regimental Executive Officer (RXO) and the Student Government Association (SGA) President.
          B. Each fall semester of the academic year, the student body will elect one individual from each respective class to sit as a voting member on the Honor Committee.
          C. Each fall, there will be elections within each of the seven companies to pick one member of each company to sit as a voting member on the Honor Committee.  The company representative may be from any class.
          D. Upon the removal of a member, the RXO and SGA President reserve the right to appoint a proper replacement.
          E. A quorum will be established when nine voting members are present at the hearing, including a co-chair.
               1. If an even number of members are present, the RXO will act as a non-voting contributor.
               2. If an even number of members are present, and the RXO is not in attendance, the SGA President will act as a non-voting contributor.
          F. No cadet or student convicted of an Honor Code offense is eligible for the Honor Committee.
          G. A simple majority of votes is needed to approve a motion.
          H. During the sea term and towards the end of the fall and spring terms, convening the Honor Committee may not be possible as most members are not present to convene a board in a timely manner. In this case, the President and/or the Master of the Training Ship (during Sea Term) may direct that any violation(s) of the Honor Code be adjudicated using the procedures outlined for a Class 1 Offense(s).
          I. During the Winter or Summer Terms, convening the Honor Committee may be impractical.  If a violation occurs during these terms, the Honor Committee shall convene once the Spring/Fall Term commences.

Procedure for an Honor Committee Hearing

I. Procedure to be used in the preliminary investigation by the Honor Committee:
          A. Any Honor Committee member reveiwing information indicating that an Honor violation may have been committed shall report that fact ot the co-chairs of the Honor Committee.  The co-chairs will assign a Company Commander to investigate the allegations.  The accused cadet's Company Commander is not eligible to conduct the investigation.  After investigating the charges, the investigator will present a summary of the relevant facts to the co-chairs with his/her recommendation.  The co-chairs shall use discretion in their questioning of the investigator.
          B. If the co-chairs believe that sufficient evidence of an Honor System violation justifies a further proceeding, the matter will be brought before the full board of the Honor Committee for hearing.
          C. The accused will be notified 72 hours in advance of the convening of the Honor Committee and will be furnished a copy of the preliminary investigation and recommendations.  The accused will sign a statement attesting to receipt of said notice and shall, in writing, state if he/she wishes to make a statement that time.  The accused will also be furnished a copy of his/her rights.

II. Rights of the Accused:
          A. Charges against the accused will be served orally and in writing at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of the hearing.  In exceptional circumstances, an appeal for a reduction or an extension of this period may be granted at the discretion of the co-chairs.  If the Co-Chairs reach a split decision, the vote will be placed before the entire assembly of the Honor Committee.
          B. The accused has the right to remain silent.  He/she need not make a statement during the proceeding.
          C. The accused has the right to counsel by any cadet or student.
               1. The counsel shall function as an advisor.  Counsel is to furnish the accused with the guidance so as to enable the accused to present his/her position truthfully, with clarity and with accuracy.  Counsel shall appear with the accused before the Honor Committee convenes to hear the charges and counsel shall be granted permission to address such remarks as he/she desires to the Honor Committee on behalf of the cadet student.
               2. All information, remarks and advice passing between the cadet/student and his/her counsel shall be deemed privileged and confidential.  A cadet/student accused of an honor violation which subjects him/her to criminal liability should be aware that his/her communications with a counsel as outlined above are not protected by the attorney/client privilege in a court of law.
          D. The accused may summon witnesses bearing pertinent information and testifying in his/her own behalf.  It is the accused's responsibility to summon such witnesses and to have them available at the beginning of the hearing.
          E. The accused may be present in the room with no more than one counsel during the proceedings except during deliberations.  At the discretion of the Honor Committee co-chairs and with the consent of the accused, a second advocate may be present for the purpose of observation.  The advocates shall be allowed to make a statement on behalf of the accused. The advocate does not have a right to question witnesses brought in to testify.  All questioning shall be restricted to matters deemed relevant by the co-chair, who shall regulate the nature of the questioning.  The advocates may not assist the accused during testimony by the accused.  If a closing statement is to be made, it must be made by the accused.
          F. A copy of all written evidence will be available to the Honor Committee to be used against the accused during the hearing.  Copies of this evidence must be presented to the accused when the charges are initially served.  New exhibits may be introduced during the hearing with the permission of the accused.
          G. The accused may ask for a recess to confer with counsel.
          H. The accused may challenge the presence of any member of the Honor Committee due to personal conflicts that are pertinent to the hearing in question if:
               1. The Honor Committee member challenged was a participant in the events out of which the incident arose.
               2. The Honor Committee member challenged is related to or has past association with the cadet/student charged or with the events giving rise to the incident, which association is of a kind that would prejudice his/her judgement to the degree that a fair hearing would be jeopardized.
               3. Any challenges of Honor Committee members shall be brought to the attention of the co-chair in writing within 48 hours of the hearing.  The co-chair will dismiss Honor Committee members if deemed necessary.

III. The Honor Board will make an Executable Decision to determine the outcome of the hearing.  A copy of the Honor Board's findings and recommendations shall be sent to the accused and to the President of the Academy.  These recommendations will be one of the following:
A. Exoneration          B. Suspension          C. Dismissal

IV. To appeal a recommendation of by the Honor Committee.  The appeal must be forwarded to the President of the Academy and also to co-chairs of the Honor Committee within 48 hours.

V. Upon consideration of the Honor Board's recommendation, the President shall have discretion either to impose the recommendation or to impose a sanction either greater or lesser than the recommended sanction.  If the President fails to accept the recommendation of the Honor Board, the President shall do so subject to the following:
          A. In a case where exoneration has been recommended, the President may reinstate the original charge or may institute some lesser charge.  In either case, the charge shall be dealt with again in accordance with the applicable provisions.
          B. In a case where suspension has been recommended, the President may impose some lesser sanction (including exoneration) or may impose the sanction of dismissal.
          C. In a case where dismissal has been recommended, the President may impose some lesser sanction (including exoneration). 

VI. Whenever, upon the President's review of the Honor Board's recommendation, the President shall deem it advisable to impose a sanction greater than that recommended by the Board, the cadet in question first shall be given the opportunity to be heard by the President prior to the President making any final decision.

VII. Whenever the Honor Board shall have recommended suspension or dismissal, the President shall first give the cadet in question an opportunity to be heard prior to the President’s making any final decision in that regard.

XI. The decision of the President shall be final but subject to any statutory right of appeal and, subject to any state or federal statute which might prove a right of appeal.  This right of appeal shall be described in the decision of the President.

Lying, Falsehood and Attempting to Deceive

Any statement which is presented as a true representation of the facts, knowing it to be false

Cadets and Students will be found guilty of violating the Honor Code by lying if they deliberately deceive another by making any false statement, "including any deliberately misleading or evasive statement or the concealment of any pertinent information, any deceit of or any attempt to deceive another person. This definition shall cover any direct form of communication oral and written, including the telling of partial truths and the vague or ambiguous use of information or language with the intent to deceive or mislead another.

Oral and Written Statements

A cadet's word is accepted as the truth, without challenge within the structure of the Regiment of Cadets.  Because of this basic precept of trust, a cadet's verbal and/or written statements are considered to be "a true representation of the facts”.  False spoken and/or written statements made with an intent to deceive or mislead another person are violations of our Honor Code.

Log Entries and Reports

Whether verbal or written, log entries and reports are official statements and must be given in the most complete and accurate form.  Cadets and students are personally responsible to ensure the accuracy of a report log entry, before and/or after it is given.  Reports shall include any entry in any log or official document, as well as musters.  If a report is found to be false, or if there is any question as to its accuracy, the reporting cadet is obligated by her/his Honor to correct the discrepancy as soon as humanly possible. A failure to correct a false statement shall be a violation of the Academy's Honor Code.

Sign-Out Log Book

A cadet's signature in the Commandant’s/Cadet information Center's (CIC) Sign-Out Log Book indicates that the cadet is both authorized the privilege and taking the privilege of liberty.  The "time out" and "time in" are, by definition, the exact times the absence actually begins or ends (i.e., the time at which the cadet is writing in the sign-out log book) rather than the time the absence is authorized to begin or end.

Pop-Off Answers

Cadet candidates and fourth class cadets are often asked a series of questions in rapid succession that require immediate responses.  The answer to these questions are called “pop-offs," and unfortunately, are sometimes made without any thought as to their accuracy.  Cadet candidates and fourth class cadets should correct the inaccurate statement given as a "pop-off" answer at the earliest opportunity, as to avoid any misconceptions as to the integrity and truthfulness of the cadet.  Any failure to correct a “pop-off" answer, which the cadet knows is false, shall be considered an Honor violation of lying and attempting to deceive. Any honest mistake should be corrected immediately.


Cadets and students violate the Honor Code by cheating if they fraudulently act out of self-interest, or assist another to do so, with the intent to gain or to give an unfair advantage.  Cheating includes plagiarism, misrepresentation and unauthorized notes.

The basic principles governing a cadet’s preparation and submission of academic work are that it represents the cadet’s personal effort and that any assistance or material received from others has been fully documented.  A cadet’s/student’s submission or presentation of an academic assignment, WHETHER GRADED OR NOT, indicates that the student has met the obligation to identify clearly and unambiguously all sources and all assistance used, as well as the extent of that usage.  Regardless of documentation, the act of submitting or presenting academic work necessarily means the student has adhered to any working restrictions imposed on that assignment.

Discussion of Assignments

Cadets and students are authorized and encouraged to discuss course material both in preparation for and following class.  This unrestricted discussion and use of reference materials is subject to the requirement that cadets and students document any references and discussion used and indicate the degree of such usage.

Assistance from Others

Cadets and students are also encouraged to obtain assistance from others (proofreading, editing, etc.) in the preparation of academic assignments.  Cadets and students should remember that they should not lean too heavily on the contributions from others because the assignment must reflect a degree of original thought from the student submitting the work.  This unrestricted assistance must be properly documented in accordance with department standards (i.e. endnotes).  The burden lies on the cadet/student to ensure the instructor clearly understands the degree of assistance from others.

Documentation of Sources

Cadets/students must clearly indicate any proportions of their work which are not solely their own.  Specifically, they must clearly and completely document all sources of information.  To do this, one uses footnotes, endnotes and parenthetical documentation.  Particular attention and care must be given to properly documenting any paraphrases that express the idea or concept of the original source in a cadet’s/student’s own words.  Failure to properly give credit for another’s idea when paraphrasing or extracting quotations without indicating that they are another’s words are both plagiarism. 

Individual Submissions

Any material submitted as an academic assignment must be prepared by the student’s own hand; that is, cadets and students must do their own writing, typing, keyboarding, word processing, sketching and their own corrections after proofreading.  Departments may grant exceptions on certain assignments or because of individual situations (e.g., a broken hand resulting in an inability to write legibly).

Multiple Submissions

The policy on multiple submissions is that no paper submitted to satisfy a requirement in one course may be submitted to satisfy a requirement in another course.  This prohibition includes papers written prior to the student’s entrance into the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  Any cadet or student who incorporates portions of a paper written for one course into a paper for another course must give a footnote and bibliographical credit for the material taken from the first.

Submission of Academic Work

The act of submission or presentation of academic work by a student necessarily means that a student has adhered to any working restrictions imposed on that assignment.  The cadet/student who violates these academic restrictions may be deceiving the instructor as well as gaining unfair advantage.  Questions concerning the proper academic procedures for an assignment should be directed to the instructor.  The instructor will assume that anything the student submits is his/her work, unless otherwise stated through documentation.

Time Limitation

On many occasions, a time limit is placed upon the completion of graded work.  Cadets and students may not exceed the designed time limits, since to do so would give a false impression of the amount of work that can be done within a given time and could result in the offending student gaining an unfair advantage.  If a cadet or student inadvertently takes more time than prescribed, he/she should bring this to the attention of the instructor before he/she submits the assignment.  Cadets and students must immediately stop work and put their pencils down at the command “cease work.”  If work must be done after cease work (name on paper, numbering pages) ask your instructor.  Do not chance misinterpretation of your actions.

Individual Behavior

A cadet or student is frequently required to complete graded requirements under conditions in which it is possible to observe another student’s work.  Cadets and students must be aware that observing another student’s work, even only to confirm that their work is correct, is improper and may constitute an honor violation.  Unintentional observation of another cadet’s work, in a graded situation, must be brought to the immediate attention of the instructor.

The Information Commons

The Information Commons is available for use by both cadets and students, but one should not abuse the materials in this facility.  The wrongful removal of pages from journals or solutions books, or the deliberate misfiling of references within the library, even if there is an intent to return them at some future date, are unethical acts.  Furthermore, to the extent that these acts deprive other students of the opportunity to gain access to needed material for research or study, these acts provide an unfair advantage and could be construed as cheating and/or stealing.


Cadets/students violate the Honor Code if they unlawfully possess items which belong to another without authorization from or permission of the owner.  This deprivation of property may be either temporary or permanent.


An unalterable aspect of cadet life is the close living conditions in a dormitory environment.  A foundation of trust and friendliness within the Regiment and the student body, fostered by the Honor Code and Committee, supports the basis by which cadets and students can live without fear of theft.  Unfortunately, irresponsibility and the lack of respect for property results in abuses of trust.  Abuses occur when a cadet or student takes another’s property without permission and fails to return it in a manner and condition satisfactory to the owner.  Such abuses are not in keeping with the standards of the Regiment and student body.  A cadet or student will have the owner’s explicit permission prior to borrowing an item.  Abuses of borrowing will be resolved in the Honor Committee and can be investigated, in cases of failure to return the item, as an allegation of stealing.

Though not necessarily an honor violation, improper borrowing is a serious breach of consideration and respect - an unethical act.  The presence of trust in the dormitories and classroom brings freedom but not a license to appropriate.  Borrowing carries with it the responsibility of ensuring that the item is returned quickly and in the same condition as when it was borrowed.  Commonly, notes indicating who borrowed the item at what time are left to the owner as a courtesy.  However, notes are never a substitute for receiving prior permission.