I don't know how it will work now that they're changing it, but in the past some students didn't take any honors classes their freshman year. You could contact someone working in the honors department to ask. Up until now, being in the honors program was very loosely defined, and I suppose that yes, while the GPA was below 3.5 students were out of the program. Once again, I don't know how this will work this coming year. There might have been exceptions to not being allowed to take honors courses while the GPA was lower than 3.5, but not being allowed to take honors courses wasn't an issue. You would just get back into next semester when your GPA was better. I think students were able to stay in honors housing for the second semester even if they did not maintain a 3.5. Taking honors courses also depends on which classes you're taking. Honors Environmental Design, ENDS 101, is considered an easy A class easy A classes
. I didn't find the honors engineering 111 and 112 courses I took difficult, and the honors astronomy 109 course I took only differed from the regular fairly easy course by a five page research paper. I haven't taken any honors math or physics classes, but those might be the ones to worry about instead.