The College of Wooster seeks to create an environment that promotes the intellectual and personal development of its students. The conduct process is intended to instill and reinforce the values and the policies of the community and to further students’ knowledge about the expectations of the college and student development of behaviors that are appropriate in a learning community. The process should promote the development of respect for others, ethical judgment, and a sense of accountability for what occurs in the college community. Students are not only members of the college community, but also are members of the larger society.
The conduct system at The College of Wooster is designed to address infractions of The Scot’s Key, Academic Integrity, and other relevant policies, rules, and regulations of the college (hereinafter, “College policies”). The College’s conduct system should not be confused with the state and federal criminal justice systems.
The purpose of the conduct system is to review alleged violations of college policies by individual students, groups of students, or student organizations. The various components of the conduct system are designed to respond to such violations, to determine the facts based on a standard of the preponderance of the evidence, to ascertain responsibility or non-responsibility regarding the alleged violations, and to assign sanctions when appropriate.
Students should be aware that the staff of the college may be bound by law to report certain offenses to the criminal justice authorities. In cases where students have allegedly violated both campus regulations and statutory laws, proceedings may occur simultaneously in the college’s conduct system and in the criminal justice system.
The College reserves the right to investigate and resolve complaints of alleged misconduct which occurs on college property or at off-campus college-sponsored events; which affects the College’s relationship with the community; which involves off-campus conduct that is referred to the College; or which affects the College community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Such investigations may involve incidents occurring from the time of a student’s offer of admission through the actual awarding of a degree (even if the conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded).
The approach of the College’s conduct system is to be educational and restorative, if appropriate. While separation from the institution is a possible outcome in the most serious cases, a more typical result will involve some form of educational interventions, community service, educational projects, and/or professional assessments.
Limitations and Standard of Proof
Unlike civil and criminal court systems, which use the standards of “beyond a reasonable doubt” (at least 98-99% sure) or “clear and convincing” (at least 75% sure), the burden of proof that the College will utilize to determine outcomes for conduct cases is the preponderance of evidence (more likely than not, or 51% or more). It is important to note that the burden of proof in the criminal justice system is different than that in the College’s conduct system, and outcomes may be different if a student participates in both processes.
The limitations of the College’s conduct system should be recognized. When an individual believes there has been a violation of local, state, or federal law, charges may be filed in the criminal justice system since the College’s conduct system cannot assess penalties that are equivalent to those that can be obtained within the criminal justice system. Members of the Student Rights and Responsibilities staff and Campus Safety staff can assist students with contacting the appropriate state and federal criminal justice agencies and provide support throughout the process. The proceedings are independent of each other, and one need not necessarily await the outcome of the other.
Reports by Campus Community Members
Any member of the campus community may file a complaint against any student for a violation of college policy by providing a statement to the Office of Campus Safety or the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Refer to the Contact Information section of The Scot’s Key.
Unless otherwise noted, there is no time limit for filing complaints, but early reporting is encouraged so that violations can be handled efficiently and effectively.
- Complaints of sexual violence and/or sex or gender discrimination will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator but may be filed on-line or in person with the Office of Campus Safety or the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Mandated reporters must report any information about sexual violence to the Title IX Coordinator. Most employees of the college, including faculty, staff, administration, and some student employees, including Resident Assistant staff, are considered mandated reporters for reporting purposes
- The only staff that are not required to report information about sexual violence are those whose professions are recognized by law as requiring privileged (confidential) communications with clients, patients, etc., such as Licensed Counselors, Longbrake Student Wellness Center staff (except the Title IX Coordinator), and ordained Clergy. It is important to note that these staff are not required to report only when they are acting in their privileged role. If such staff members serve in a dual capacity, such as a faculty position or in another non-confidential role, they are required to report any information they receive in their non-confidential role
- All potential violations of the Anti-Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct Policy will be resolved solely through the procedures detailed within that Policy, unless the resolution of those complaints is referred in writing to the Student Conduct System from the Title IX Office.
- Complaints of discrimination based on any identity, category, or class protected in our Statement of Non-Discrimination may be filed on-line or with the Office of the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Office of Campus Safety, or the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities
- All other complaints that are non-academic in nature may be filed with the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or the Office of Campus Safety
- Complaints that are academic in nature should be filed within one (1) month of the incident occurring, barring extenuating circumstances. Reports may be filed with the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or Academic Affairs
Non-Campus Community Member
Any non-campus community member may submit a complaint concerning student misconduct to Campus Safety, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, and/or the Office of the Dean of Students within thirty (30) working days following the incident. Upon receipt of such complaint a determination will be made, within the sole discretion of the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, or in collaboration with the Title IX Coordinator when applicable, as to whether a policy violation will be filed against any student(s) by the college, on behalf of the complainant, in the college’s conduct system.
Please note that there is no time limitation to file a complaint that is associated with the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy.
Any time following the submission of an incident report, verbal or written, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee, may modify or suspend the right of a student to be present on campus or to attend classes for an interim period prior to resolution of the disciplinary proceeding, including any appeal. This decision will be based on whether the allegations are apparently reliable and whether the continued presence of the student on the campus reasonably poses a threat to the well-being of any individual, for reasons relating to the safety and welfare of any person, college property, or any college function.
The following are possible interim actions to take. Interim actions can be put in place at any time up until the resolution of the conduct case.
- Mutual No Contact Order
- Relocation/reassignment or removal from campus housing
- Classroom accommodations or schedule adjustments
- Restriction of privileges or access to areas of campus (restricted movement)
Interim actions, including suspension, are put into place when the continued presence of the student:
- Poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the college
- Poses a threat of causing physical harm to others or of placing others in fear of imminent danger
- Poses a threat of causing significant property damage
- Threatens the safety or well-being of the campus community
- Has been alleged to have violated campus drug policies
Modifications to Behavior and/or Activity
Individual(s) or a student organization may be required to modify or suspend behavior and/or activities prior to the initiation of a formal investigation when behaviors and/or activities are viewed as threatening to the well-being of members of the community, to property, or orderly functioning of the college.
In either case, in the absence of extenuating circumstances, an investigation will commence within two (2) business days of the notification of an interim suspension.
Interim Action Appeal
Students subject to interim action/suspension may appeal the suspension in writing to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students within five (5) business days. The decision by the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students is final. An appeal must address the following areas:
- The reliability of information concerning the student’s behavior
- Whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student on campus does not pose a threat to others
- Whether or not the student has completed recommendations as directed by the interim action
If further investigation is needed, the matter will be referred to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Campus Safety, or other offices as applicable.
- Investigations of sexual misconduct will be conducted only by authorized, trained staff and/or qualified, external investigators
- Campus Safety staff will be the primary investigator for other allegations of policy violations
- Student Rights and Responsibilities staff, Residence Life staff, and other designated staff are permitted to investigate allegations of policy violations
- Investigations of academic misconduct will be conducted by staff appointed by Academic Affairs
An investigation may take several weeks depending upon the number and availability of witnesses, the academic calendar, and other factors. Cases where violence and/or harassment has occurred will take priority. It is a goal to resolve complaints within 60 business days from notice of complaint. The timeframe will exclude the days classes are not in session. The college may extend an investigation process for reasonable circumstances and will provide this information to the complainant and respondent in writing. The 60-day window will not include appeals that may be filed.
For cases that are referred to formal investigation of an alleged violation of the Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct Policy: All parties will receive notice in writing that a formal investigation is commencing by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or designee, and/or the Title IX Coordinator or designee. Further detailed information specific to complaints under the Anti-Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy:
- The investigation will generally involve meeting with the complainant, respondent, and witnesses separately to conduct interviews, collect information, and clarify information shared with the investigator from all persons involved
- The complainant, respondent, and witnesses have the right to decline meeting with an investigator, but that will not stop the investigation from continuing
- The investigator may contact witnesses outside of the provided list or other persons that the investigator believes may have relevant information to the alleged violations. Witnesses may decline participation in the investigation
Following the completion of an investigation, or if further investigation was not needed, the complaint will be reviewed by a team consisting of the Director and/or Associate Director of Campus Safety and the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, or designee, to analyze policy and determine if there is enough information from the complainant to meet the criteria of a policy violation. The policy analysis will not include the weighing of evidence, assessment of credibility, determinations of finding, or a discussion of any sanctions. Any of the following may happen:
- No recommendations of policy violation(s) through the Conduct Hearing process. Notification will be sent to a respondent and a complainant, as applicable.
- Recommended policy violations will be initiated through the Conduct Hearing process.
- Policy violations will be deferred with or without conditions. This is likely in cases where informal resolution is initiated.
The Resolution Process
Complaints will be received, investigated, and managed in a timely manner, but breaks and recesses may delay the completion of the process. Informing a college official constitutes making a complaint and may result in follow-up action.
Overview of the Process
- An incident report is submitted and reviewed by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
- Based upon the contents of the report, the alleged charges are determined, and the case assigned to an administrator. A decision-making meeting is scheduled with the student.
- The student participates in the decision-making meeting, reviews their rights and responsibilities, the incident report and alleged charges and discusses the incident. At the conclusion of the meeting, the student identifies charges for which the student is responsible.
- Students who indicate they are not responsible for violations, or those involved in cases that may result in probation, suspension, or expulsion, or those who request a hearing for the purposes of sanctioning are advised about the hearing process.
- After the decision-making meeting, the Director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities or designee will issue either a resolution letter (in cases where the student has accepted responsibility) or a hearing notification to the student.
- The hearing notification will provide notice of the time and date of the hearing and will be sent no less than two business days before the hearing. Notice will be in writing and normally communicated via email to the responding student’s Wooster-issued email address. Board members voicing a conflict of interest that precludes a fair and equitable process are removed from evaluating the case.
- Students/groups will be provided access to the hearing materials prior to their conduct hearing. It should be noted that in some cases both the complainant and a respondent will receive a copy of all final investigation and hearing materials prior to the hearing. Cases where records will be provided in this manner include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual Harassment and Misconduct
- Harassment and Bias-related
- Physical assault
Notification to Student about Alleged Violation
The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities routinely receives, and reviews reports to determine an appropriate method for resolution.
If it is determined that a student or organization may have violated College policies, the student or organization involved in a report will normally be invited to attend a meeting with a representative from Student Rights and Responsibilities to discuss the matter. The student will receive a written meeting notice of the policy violation(s). This notification will direct the student or the organiztion leader to meet with the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or a designee. It is the expectation of the College that students will be regularly monitoring their official college email account. A student’s failure to check their email does not constitute lack of notice by the College. Students and/or organizational leaders will receive the notice in any one of the following ways:
- An email to their official College of Wooster email address (primary method)
- In person
- Placement of notice in campus mailbox
- Mailed to the respondent’s permanent address on file
Administrative Decision-Making Meeting
During this initial meeting, the representative will review the following with the student or organization the procedural fairness standards including:
- the right to limited privacy within the process
- the right to review the incident report and the resulting charges
- the right to respond to the allegations
- the right to a hearing, and
- the right to an appeal
The representative will also review expectations of the student or organization including:
- the expectation that students read and understand the policies of the college
- to make decisions independently
- to be accountable for one’s actions
If the respondent fails to meet with the administrator or fails to admit or deny the alleged violation within five class days of meeting with the administrator, the administrator may take one of the following actions:
- Refer the case to the appropriate hearing body for a formal hearing.
- Render a decision on the complaint.
A respondent who admits the policy violation waives the right to a hearing on the matter of responsibility. In such a situation, the respondent may request that the administrator determine the sanction for the violation or request that the appropriate hearing body determine the sanction.
If the respondent denies the violation, the respondent shall choose to have the matter heard by an administrator or a hearing body. The hearing should follow in a timely manner.
Students who have a disability that necessitates assistance in the conflict resolution or appeals process may seek assistance and request accommodation through the Academic Resource Center.
At least three class days prior to a hearing, the respondent will receive written notification of the hearing from the appropriate hearing body. This notice of hearing shall include:
- A sufficiently detailed description of the alleged misconduct;
- The date, time, and location of the hearing;
- The name(s) of the individual(s) who will conduct the hearing;
- The names of witnesses (if known).
The responding student or organization is entitled to:
- Receive a timely hearing.
- Call witnesses on their behalf. Witnesses must be members of the college community, unless the hearing body determines that the witness has direct knowledge of the facts pertaining to the matter at issue. Witnesses may be present in the hearing only when providing their directly relevant infomration. Witnesses may submit written statements to the hearing body in lieu of testifying only with the express permission of the hearing body. Expert or character witnesses are not allowed, except as deemed necessary by the hearing body. The hearing body may limit the number of witnesses.
- Submit information in support of their positions.
- Be accompanied to the hearing by an advisor or attorney.
- The advisor or attorney may be present throughout the hearing but has no voice in the hearing unless the chair of the hearing body grants the attorney or advisor permission to have a limited voice.
- Question any witness who appears at the hearing.
The hearing body shall determine whether each allegation has been supported by a preponderance of the evidence. If an allegation is not supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the respondent shall be found “not responsible” for that allegation. If the allegation is supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the hearing body may impose one or more sanctions .
9. The hearing body shall prepare and deliver a written decision within five class days of the hearing. The report shall include the rationale for the decision and notification of the right to appeal. A copy of the report shall be provided to the complainant and respondent, who will be required to maintain the confidentiality of the document to the extent permitted by law.
During a conduct hearing, the Conduct Hearing Officer or Board will discuss the incident report and any other supplemental information that may have been provided during an investigation with the parties involved in the case.
The hearing body shall prepare and deliver a written decision within five class days of the hearing. The report shall include the rationale for the decision and notification of the right to appeal.
The structure of the hearing is:
- The audio recording is started.
- The time, date, and incident number are announced.
- All parties participating introduce themselves their role at the college and their role in the hearing
- Each charge is individually read. The student responds accepting responsibility or denying responsibility for each.
- Parties are advised that they are expected to tell the truth and the role of the hearing process in the context of the college is explained.
- The student/group is asked if they would like to make an opening statement about the incident. At this time, the student or student group representative should detail what occurred and why the student/group thinks they are responsible or not for each alleged violation. If the purpose of the hearing is solely for the purpose of sanctioning, the student can provide an explanation of what occurred and their reflections about the incident including what he or she believes to be an appropriate outcome.
- The student or group representative can share additional information/evidence and call witness to participate. It is the responsibility of the student to direct the witness(es).
- After each person has spoken, Board members or the Administrative Hearing Officer will ask questions to seek clarification on the events related to the alleged violations.
- After all questions have been addressed, the respondent will have one final opportunity to make a brief closing statement.
- The hearing officer will draw the hearing to a close, advising the student or student group of next steps.
- The Administrative Hearing Officer or the Board determines the outcome and sanctions as appropriate.
Other Important Information
- Students and student groups may choose to have one advisor/support person present during the hearing. The role of the advisor/support person is outlined below.
- Except the advisor/support person, hearings are private and closed.
- Pertinent records and exhibits, including witnesses, may be accepted at the discretion of the administrative hearing officer or panel. Character witnesses who do not have direct information about the incident in question are not permitted in an administrative hearing.
- When there are multiple responding students in a connected matter, the hearing officer may hear from all students together or from each student separately. Separate determinations of responsibility will be made for each responding student.
- The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or a designee will notify the respondent of the outcome in a follow-up email communication.
- Failure to attend a scheduled hearing may result in a determination being made without the input of the respondent. It should be noted that if a respondent’s file has a record of similar violations, then a sanction may be issued based on the totality of the respondent’s history and circumstances presented.
- All college conduct proceedings are confidential, and, therefore, hearings are closed to anyone not directly involved in a case. Any account of the results of a conduct hearing must respect the privacy rights of those involved and must comply with the restrictions imposed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) with regard to information relating to individual students. Unless otherwise compelled by an applicable exception to FERPA, the college will not release specific information about conduct hearings involving possible violations against students.
- A respondent, complainant, advisor of choice, and/or witness may not bring electronic devices that capture or facilitate communication (e.g., computer, cell phone, audio/video recorder) into a hearing room. The Administrative Hearing Officer or the Board will make a recording of the hearing to be kept on file in a secure location in the Office of the Dean of Students and/or in a secure database management system for at least seven years. Reasonable care will be taken to create a quality audio recording and minimize technical problems; however, technical problems that result in no recording or an inaudible one will not be a valid argument for appeal.
- If a respondent chooses to withdraw from the College prior to the completion of the resolution process, a notation will be made in the student’s personnel record that a withdrawal occurred with pending investigation and/or with a pending disciplinary action
- An outcome letter will typically be sent to the respondent within five (5) business days of the Conduct Hearing Officer or Panel completing a hearing. Typically, sanctions issued will go into effect immediately, regardless of timing of appeal process. However, either party may request to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities that sanctions are not put into effect until the conclusion of the appeal process if there are compelling circumstances.
Participation in the Hearing
Hearing officers may proceed without the active participation of a responding party and may draw reasonable conclusions on the preponderance of evidence from reports and information available without the participation in the hearing process.
Students who do not participate in a conduct hearing will not be permitted to appeal a sanction.
Notification of Outcome
The outcome of a campus hearing is part of the education record of the responding student and is protected from release under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), except under certain conditions.
As allowed by FERPA, when a student is accused of a policy violation that would constitute a crime of violence or forcible or non-forcible sex offense, the college will inform the complainant in writing of the final results of a hearing regardless of whether the college concludes that a violation was committed. FERPA defines “crimes of violence” to include:
- Criminal Homicide-manslaughter by negligence
- Criminal Homicide-murder and non-negligent manslaughter
- Destruction/damage/vandalism of property
- Interpersonal conflict, when agreed upon by all parties
- Physical or other assault offenses (includes stalking)
- Sex offences (forcible and non-forcible)
Such release of information may only include:
- The alleged student’s/responding student’s name
- The violation committed
- The sanctions assigned (if applicable)
In cases of sexual misconduct and other offenses covered by Title IX (including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking) only, the rationale for the outcome will also be shared with all parties to the complaint in addition to the finding(s) and sanction(s).
In cases where a prompt hearing is essential (e.g., when graduation or the end of the academic year is imminent) an expedited process may be initiated by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities. In an expedited process, all time periods referenced in the student conduct process may be waived and altered to reflect the needs of the individual case.
Roles of Participants
Advisor or Support Person
Any complainant or respondent in a student conduct case may have a support person/advisor of choice. If a complainant or respondent in a case wishes to engage an attorney as advisor, they may do so at the party’s own expense. The college does not provide or pay for attorneys as advisors. All advisors are subject to the same campus rules, whether they are attorneys or not. When an advisor is chosen, they will be provided a copy of the rules to review and sign. The advisor’s role in any meeting or hearing is limited to privately conferring with or writing notes to the advisee as long as they do not disrupt the process. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their advisors should ask for a break in the proceedings. The advisor may not submit material or speak on behalf of the party and may not address any other participant or the hearing panel. A witness may not serve as an advisor. The college will however, make reasonable provisions to allow an advisor who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video, and/or virtual meeting as may be convenient and available.
Advisors will refrain from interferences with the investigation and resolution. If the advisor disrupts or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the advisor role, the advisor will be asked to leave the meeting. When an advisor is removed from a meeting or hearing, that meeting typically continues without the advisor present. Subsequently, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will determine whether the advisor may be reinstated or may be replaced by a different advisor.
The college does not guarantee equal advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not, or cannot afford an attorney, the college is not obligated to provide one.
A complainant or respondent may select one advisor of their choice to accompany them to meetings addressing the complaint. In order to protect the privacy of all parties involved, multiple advisors /support persons are not permitted.
As a component of hearing cases the sharing of documentation will be necessary. The college provides a consent form that authorizes such sharing. The parties must complete this form before the college is able to share records with an advisor, though parties may share the information directly with their advisor if they wish. Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them. These records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the college. The college may seek to restrict the role of any advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the college’s privacy expectations.
The College expects an advisor to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend College meetings when scheduled. The College does not typically change scheduled meetings to accommodate an advisor’s inability to attend.
Either party may present witnesses, if those witnesses can attest to new information not found during an investigation and are not being called to testify to the character of an involved party. The parties may submit to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities a list of witnesses they believe have relevant information to the outcome of the hearing. The investigator may meet with these witnesses to gather information and statements. Witnesses will only be called on during a hearing if there is a need for clarifying information. Witnesses will only be permitted inside the hearing location during their own statements.
The College of Wooster strongly values being a member of a community. Using a model that centers restorative practices, the conduct process is meant to help students develop new skills and perspective as individuals, and members of the college and City of Wooster communities. The goal of the sanctioning process is to provide students chances to learn about the impacts of decision-making and proactively restore and improve their environment, communities, and relationships.
When assigning any sanction(s), the resolution body may take into consideration the activities in which a student or student organization is currently participating or the activities that will best provide an appropriate educational opportunity. Appropriate programs or bodies will be notified of conduct outcomes as necessary.
If a sanction is violated, the individual may be subject to a rehearing by the same conduct body which previously heard the case. Violation of a sanction includes but is not limited to failure to complete an assignment, not following directives issued following a hearing, and violation of a no-contact order.
Student sanctions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Rescind Admission: The College reserves the right to rescind admission without an investigation prior to the first day of classes.
- Statement of Concern: May be issued to students who are found in the presence of a policy violation, but who are not held formally accountable for that violation. It is important to note that repeated presence and/or hosting of situations where policy violations occur may rise to a level where further conduct sanctions will be assigned.
For organizations and groups, sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
- Educational interventions: Includes, but is not limited to alcohol education, mandatory substance use assessment, mandatory counseling assessment, research project/paper, reflection paper, developing a program in collaboration with another office, trainings
- Loss of permission to hold future social events
- Loss of group housing privileges
- Revocation of privileges, including college recognition, for a specified time period. If recognition is to be revoked, then this will be referred to Scot Council for review
If action has been taken that affects the charter of a campus organization, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities shall notify Scot Council and Lowry Center & Student Activities of this action within ten (10) business days of the decision, including all appeals.
- Written Warning: A notification that a student has committed certain violations and that continuance of such conduct will result in more severe disciplinary action.
- Educational & Supportive Measures: These are sanctions designed to help a student achieve success by providing a helping hand or a guided opportunity to grow, as needed. Includes, but is not limited to alcohol or other drug education programs, mandatory substance use assessment, mandatory counseling assessment, research project/paper, reflection paper, developing a program in collaboration with another office, and/or trainings.
- Restorative Action: Restorative actions are powerful tools to help repair and improve communities by directly addressing any harm that has been caused. These are actions designed to restore relationships and feelings of trust within a community by not only repairing but improving aspects of the community that have been harmed. Some examples of restorative actions include but are not limited to written and verbal statements, community service, and restitution.
- Housing Restriction: Residential re-assignment, removal from college housing, loss of lottery number associated with room selection order, and restrictions on type of housing student may select.
- Parental Notification: The college reserves the right to notify parents and/or guardians of a student’s conduct in cases where there are violations of the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy, if there is a severe and/or concerning incident, the student’s status at the college is at risk (separation warning), placed on an interim suspension, or in cases where a student has been separated from the college due to conduct hearing proceedings.
- Disciplinary Probation: Student is not in good standing with the college. Information regarding conduct probation will be released to individuals when determining student eligibility to participate in college sponsored programs including, but not limited to: study abroad, break service trips, Resident Assistant applications, program house applications (students on probation may not live in houses or college apartments), participating in senior week activities, and/or commencement exercises. Further policy violations while on conduct probation will result in higher sanctions.
- After a period of three academic months, if a student has completed all of the active sanctions and has not been involved in further violations, the student may request that the probationary status may be re-evaluated.
- Students who wish to have their probationary status re-evaluated should make a formal request in writing to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
- Loss of Campus Privileges: Students may be given the privilege to maintain their academic schedule, but are not permitted to participate in meetings, social activities, and/or events that do not contribute to their academic endeavors. This could include any or a combination of the following:
- Participation in student publications
- Participation in intercollegiate athletics
- Participation in intramural athletics
- Participation in study abroad
- Participation in Senior week activities and/or Commencement exercises
- Participation in public performances, events, or ceremonies in college-sponsored activities (public appearances that must be required for course work are the only exception)
- Holding an office in any student organization
- Registration of a motor vehicle
- Exercising the privilege of choosing housing options
- If a student is found responsible of a second violation of the Code while under recorded disciplinary probation, the student may be suspended
- Removal from the campus, except for classes, for a stated period of time
- Dismissal/Separation Warning: A dismissal/separation warning is notice that any further conduct action may result in immediate separation through suspension or expulsion. Parents or guardians are notified when this sanction is issued.
- Suspension: Separation from the college for a pre-determined time period, with the right to apply for readmission at the end of the period of suspension. While suspended, a student is not allowed to be on campus or to attend any official college event, including off-campus events. The intent is for the student to have time away from the college to consider the implications of their behavior and to return to campus with a better understanding of their responsibility within the community. In the event that additional sanctions are imposed in conjunction with the suspension, these sanctions will most likely be expected to be completed prior to an application for readmission to be considered. Parents/guardians will be notified by the college in cases of suspension. Suspensions will be noted in the student personnel file in the Office of the Dean of Students.
- Expulsion: Separation from the college with no provision to return. A student that has been expelled is not allowed to be on campus or to attend any official college event. Parents/guardians will be notified by the college in cases of expulsion. Expulsions will be noted in the student personnel file in the Office of the Dean of Students.
- Revocation of Degree: A student’s degree may be revoked in cases where a complaint was filed prior to Commencement exercises, but the process, including appeals, was not completed until after Commencement.
Respondents have the right to appeal the outcome of a student conduct hearing. In cases involving sexual harassment and misconduct violations, and as defined by applicable policy, the complainant may also appeal the outcome of the hearing. The appeal is not meant to rehear or reargue the same case and is limited to the grounds below. The appeal must state the specific grounds for the appeal and include all supporting documentation. The appeal must be sent via email or online form, by the deadline provided in the decision letter, which is typically five (5) business days after the date on which notice of the decision is sent to the student. Each party or organization shall be limited to one appeal. The decision of the appeal officer is final.
Appeals may be filed under the following circumstances:
- Procedural error that resulted in material harm or prejudice to the student (e.g., by preventing a fair or impartial hearing). Deviations from the designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless material harm or prejudice resulted
- Substantial new evidence that was unavailable at the time of the hearing and which reasonably could have affected the decision of the conduct hearing body
- Sanctions imposed are substantially outside the parameters or guidelines set by the college for this policy violation or the cumulative conduct record of the responding student
Students may not appeal under the following circumstances:
- Non-attendance by the responding student may not be the sole grounds for an appeal
- Dissatisfaction with a decision
Submitting an Appeal
Typically, a respondent has five (5) business days from the receipt of the Outcome Letter to submit an appeal unless a different date has been identified by the conduct hearing officer(s) or panel. The identified deadline may not be less than five (5) business days.
Either party may appeal an outcome when the complaint involves:
- Assault offenses (includes stalking)
- Criminal Homicide-manslaughter by negligence
- Criminal Homicide-murder and non-negligent manslaughter
- Destruction/damage/vandalism of property
- Forcible sex offences
- Non-forcible sex offences
- Physical or other assault offenses (includes stalking)
- Sex offences (forcible and non-forcible)
To file the appeal, students should complete the Appeal Request Form, found online. If applicable, supporting documentation should be attached. The submitted form is sent to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Students neither meet with nor make oral presentations to the appeal officer, except at the request of the appeal officer in order to obtain relevant information.
Students who do not submit their appeals by the date/time specified in their outcome letter waive their opportunity to appeal unless prior approval for an extension has been granted.
Students who do not provide information concerning the basis of their appeal waive their opportunity to an appeal.
All appeals, when the sanction has been imposed by Conduct Hearing Officers, shall be reviewed and determined by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or designee.
All appeals, when the sanction has been imposed by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, shall be reviewed and determined by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee.
All appeals, when the sanction has been imposed by a hearing panel, shall be reviewed and determined by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee.
All appeals related to academic misconduct shall be reviewed and determined by the Provost or designee.
The appeal officer will decide the appeal based upon a review of the conduct record and supporting documents.
The appeal officer may consider additional relevant information from any party to the proceeding and then decide the appeal based upon the enhanced record.
The appeal officer may:
- Uphold the original decision and/or sanction(s)
- Dismiss the case or individual violation(s) against the student and lift any or all sanction(s)
- Modify, enhance, or reduce the sanction(s)
- Refer the case to the original hearing body or refer the case to a new hearing body for a rehearing. If possible, a new hearing body should be different from the one that originally decided the case