Judicial Policies and Procedures
The College places great value on freedom of expression, but it also recognizes the responsibility to protect the values and structures of an academic community. It is important, therefore, that students assume responsibility for helping to sustain an educational and social community where the rights of all are respected. This includes conforming their behavior to standards of conduct that are designed to protect the health, safety, dignity, and the rights of all. Community members also have a responsibility to protect the possessions, property, and integrity of the institution as well as of individuals. The aim of Swarthmore College’s Student Code of Conduct is to balance all these rights, responsibilities, and community values fairly.
The College expects all students involved in the College disciplinary process, including witnesses, to participate in the investigation and adjudication of Student Code of Conduct violations. Participation can include providing a written statement and attendance at an interview and/or College judicial proceeding. If a student feels that they cannot participate in the process, the College expects that the student will provide notice of one’s desire to not participate further in the process.
Note: This policy will be reviewed by the faculty in the fall of 2013.
Interim Temporary Suspension
Student Conduct Procedures
College Judiciary Committee (CJC)
Pre-College Judiciary Committee Hearing Procedures
College Judiciary Committee Hearing Procedures
Swarthmore College’s policies normally apply to the conduct of matriculated students and any other special or exchange students. These policies apply to conduct occurring on Swarthmore College property or at College-sanctioned events or programs that take place off campus. In situations in which both the complainant and respondent are members of the Swarthmore College community, College policies may apply regardless of the location of the incident.
In the event that a student organization violates a College regulation, the organization, as well as its individual members, may be held accountable for the violation and sanctioned by the College. Finally, students should also realize that they have the responsibility to ensure that their guests do not violate College policies, rules, and regulations while visiting and that student hosts may be subject to disciplinary action for misbehavior of their guests.
An allegation against a student may be made to the judicial affairs coordinator by another student, a public safety officer, a member of the College’s faculty or staff, or a College department. Allegations involving sexual harassment or sexual assault will be resolved by the Swarthmore College Interim Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy. Allegations involving an Equal Opportunity grievance will be resolved by the Swarthmore College student Equal Opportunity grievance procedure. Other grievances and disciplinary actions proceed under the College’s judicial policies.
After an allegation is received, the judicial affairs coordinator will conduct a preliminary review of the information received and determine if the information provided shall result in the initiation of formal disciplinary procedures. Upon review the judicial affairs coordinator will determine:
a. whether the allegations of misconduct, if the student were found responsible, would not result in suspension or expulsion from the College, in which case the matter will be handled through the minor misconduct process.
b. whether the allegations, if the student were found responsible, could result in the imposition of a suspension or expulsion from the College, in which case the matter will be referred to the College Judiciary Committee (CJC).
If the alleged incident represents a violation of federal, state, or local law, the complainant is encouraged to initiate proceedings in the criminal or civil court system regardless of whether a complaint is filed within the College system.
The dean of the senior class and judicial affairs coordinator oversee the College’s student conduct system. Consultation with this dean or any other dean in no way obligates a student to file a formal complaint. Mediation or any other informal method of resolution is not a required step before proceeding with formal adjudication.
In all cases of adjudication covered by this judicial policy, the Dean of Students Office will keep records of any violation(s) and of the sanction(s), if any, imposed on a student.
In order to verify compliance with the Campus Security Act, all student conduct records are retained for seven (7) years. These records are only released to the authorities to which information must be made available under federal and/or state law or as otherwise required or permitted by law.
Record reporting. Most graduate schools, some employers, and some governmental agencies may require disclosure by the College of a student’s judicial findings. Additionally, students who transfer to other colleges or participate in off-campus study programs may also be required to provide such information. With a student’s consent or as otherwise permitted by law, Swarthmore reports findings of probation, suspension, or expulsion. Further, with consent, if a student withdraws from the College with a pending allegation of misconduct, the College will report that information. If a student withholds consent, that withholding may be reported to the school or agency or may have implications for the level of support Swarthmore provides in the application process. Generally, warnings and findings of “not responsible” are not reported.
In determining appropriate sanctions when violations of the College’s Student Code of Conduct are addressed, the College’s student conduct system attempts to take an educational response. Taking into consideration the interests of the complainant, respondent, and the overall well-being of the College community, a respondent’s present and past disciplinary record is also taken into consideration. The College will also consider the nature and severity of the offense, injury or harm resulting from the prohibited behavior, and any other factors relevant to the matter in question. The following list of sanctions is illustrative rather than exhaustive, and the College reserves the right to impose other reasonable sanctions or to combine sanctions as it deems appropriate.
Warning—A written notification that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct occurred and that any further responsible finding of misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action. Warnings are recorded for internal purposes only and are not considered part of a student’s permanent disciplinary record.
Probation—A written notification that indicates a serious and active response to a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe sanctions if found responsible for violations of the Student Code of Conduct, including suspension or expulsion from the College. Notification of probation is considered a change in status and will normally be sent to parents.
Loss of privileges—Denial of the use of certain College facilities or the right to participate in certain activities or to exercise certain privileges for a designated period of time.
Restitution—A student may be required to make payment to an individual or to the College related to the misconduct for damage, destruction, defacement, theft, or unauthorized use of property.
Fines—Swarthmore reserves the right to impose fines, as appropriate, in addition to requiring payment for costs resulting from or associated with the offenses.
Relocation or removal from (College-operated) housing—Relocation is the reassignment of a student from one living space to another. Removal from housing is the removal of a student from all College-operated housing. Relocation and removal from housing are typically accompanied by the loss of privileges regarding the visitation to specific residential areas for a specified period of time. The College may take such action for remedial, rather than disciplinary purposes.
Educational requirements/referrals—The College reserves the right to impose counseling or substance assessments or other required educational sanctions.
Suspension—The separation of a student from the College for a specified period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for re-enrollment may be required and will be included in the notification of suspension.
During the period of suspension, the student may not participate in College academic or extracurricular activities; may be barred from all property owned or operated by the College; and depending on the severity of the charge, the student might not be allowed to progress toward completion of their Swarthmore degree by taking courses at other institutions while suspended. Students who are suspended may not be on campus without specific, written permission of the Dean of Students or designee.
Suspension is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe sanctions, including expulsion, if found responsible for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Notification of suspension will normally be sent to parents, as it results in a change of status.
Expulsion—Expulsion is the permanent separation of the student from the College. Students who have been expelled may not be on campus without specific, written permission from the dean of students or designee. Notification of expulsion will normally be sent to parents, as it results in a change of status.
Minor Misconduct Process
Allegations in which possible sanctions do not include suspension or expulsion from the College if the student were found responsible are addressed through the minor misconduct process. A minor misconduct process is typically conducted by the senior class dean and judicial affairs coordinator or his designee (hereinafter, referred to as the “student conduct administrator), for investigation and formal resolution. Prior to a meeting with a student conduct administrator, the respondent is encouraged to meet with an adviser made available by and through the College to review the student conduct system, student rights, and potential sanctions.
The student conduct administrator will send the respondent written notification of the allegations of misconduct and the aspects of the Student Code of Conduct that allegedly have been violated and the name, telephone number, and office location of the student conduct administrator. In addition, the respondent will receive the date and time of the scheduled administrative review with the student conduct administrator to adjudicate the matter. Prior to formal resolution, the respondent will be given the opportunity to review all available information regarding the allegation(s) in question and an opportunity to respond to those allegations. If, during the course of the administrative review with the respondent, the student conduct administrator determines the incident being discussed is more serious than was originally believed, the administrative review will be stopped immediately, and the incident will be referred to the College Judiciary Committee.
After the administrative review and a review of the information available, including an opportunity for the respondent to respond, the student conduct administrator will make a determination if the alleged respondent violated the Student Code of Conduct and issue sanctions, as appropriate. Should the respondent fail to attend the administrative review with the student conduct administrator, the student conduct administrator will consider the information available and render a decision regarding the respondent’s responsibility and sanctions, if any.
The minor misconduct process is subject to appeal pursuant to the appeal procedures discussed below.
Major Misconduct Process
Allegation(s) subject to this policy in which possible sanctions could result in suspension or expulsion from the College if the student were found responsible, including all academic misconduct cases, are addressed through the major misconduct process.
Administrative hearing—A complaint under the major misconduct process will generally involve a hearing before the College Judiciary Committee. A complainant or respondent, however, may request resolution through an administrative hearing, in which the student conduct administrator will meet with the complainant and respondent to determine responsibility and render a decision as to what sanctions, if applicable, may be implemented. Both parties must agree to resolution by administrative hearing. Both parties must have notice, the opportunity to review the investigative report in advance, and the opportunity to present relevant information to the student conduct administrator. An administrative hearing is not applicable for cases involving academic misconduct.
An administrative hearing is particularly appropriate when the respondent has admitted to the misconduct and there is no discernible dispute in the relevant facts of the investigation report; however, at the discretion of the student conduct administrator, it may also be used when the facts are in dispute.
In reaching a determination as to whether the pertinent policy has been violated, the student conduct administrator will reach a determination by a preponderance of the evidence—that is, whether the conduct was more likely than not to have occurred as alleged. Depending upon the nature and severity of the allegations, the student conduct administrator may decline to handle the matter administratively and refer the case to the College Judiciary Committee at any time.
A complaint under the major misconduct process will be resolved by the College Judiciary Committee (CJC).
The CJC is a fact-finding board comprised of faculty, administrators, and students. The CJC consists of five (5) or more faculty members (selected by the Committee on Faculty Procedures), three (3) senior administrators (selected by the president), and five (5) or more students (selected by the Student Council appointments process). All CJC members must participate in appropriate training for their responsibilities, including training about non-discrimination, the factors relevant to a determination of credibility, the appropriate manner in which to receive and evaluate sensitive information, the manner of deliberation, the application of the preponderance of the evidence standard, sanctioning, and the College’s policies and procedures. CJC members who are no longer on the committee but have been trained may be called to service if current members are not available for a particular hearing.
Each CJC panel to hear a case is comprised of five (5) voting panelists: two (2) faculty members, one (1) administrator, and two (2) students. The CJC Panel is supported by the student conduct administrator (typically the judicial affairs coordinator) who will serve as convener/observer. In cases of academic misconduct, the student conduct administrator will typically be the dean of students or her/his designee.
The student conduct administrator will be present at the CJC meeting but will not be a voting member of the CJC. The student conduct administrator will be available to meet with all involved parties prior to the hearing, be present during the hearing to serve as a resource for the CJC on issues of policy and procedure, and to see that policy and procedure are appropriately followed throughout the hearing.
1. Initiation of Allegations
The College is responsible for investigating complaints of misconduct and determining if the information provided has reached the level of initiating formal student conduct proceedings. The student conduct administrator makes the threshold determination to resolve the allegation through the College Judiciary Committee (CJC) process. If a threshold to hold a CJC hearing is reached, the respondent will be issued a charge letter and provided an opportunity to respond in the course of the investigation, the pre-hearing procedures, and the CJC hearing.
2. Advisers and Support Persons
Adviser. In any CJC hearing, the complainant and respondent have the right to be assisted by a trained adviser, who will be a person made available by and through the College. The adviser may accompany the student to any meeting with a College employee and to the hearing. The adviser may not speak during the hearing.
Support person. A complainant and respondent have the right to request a support person to attend the CJC hearing. The support person must be a member of the current Swarthmore College community (current student, faculty member, or staff member). To serve as a support person, the individual will be required to meet with the student conduct administrator in advance of any participation in the CJC proceedings.
The support person cannot be a witness in the CJC proceedings. The support person is a silent and non-participating presence who is there solely to observe and provide moral support during the CJC hearing itself. This person is not to address the CJC panel, except to ask for a short recess if one of the parties requires some time to compose her/himself or collect her/his thoughts. The student conduct administrator has the right at all times to determine what constitutes appropriate behavior on the part of a support person and whether the person may remain at the CJC proceedings. While the support person may be present to hear testimony, no written materials are to be shared with support people.
Absent extenuating circumstances, witnesses and others involved in an investigation or hearing are not entitled to have a support person.
3. Attorney/Outside Agreements
The College prohibits outside attorneys from participating in the CJC proceedings. A complainant or respondent may choose to seek the advice and assistance of any attorney at their own expense, but the attorney may not participate in investigatory interviews or any CJC proceedings (formal or informal). Similarly, the College will not recognize or enforce agreements between parties made outside of the CJC procedures.
4. Pre-Hearing Meeting
When a CJC hearing is deemed necessary based on the review of the information available, the student conduct administrator will contact the complainant and respondent to schedule individual meetings with each party. At this pre-hearing meeting, each party will receive an explanation of the CJC process and have the opportunity to ask any questions before the hearing occurs. If the complainant and/or respondent have elected to have an adviser throughout this hearing process, the adviser must be present at this initial meeting.
5. Notice of CJC Hearing
A notice of the CJC hearing will be sent to the respondent. The notice of hearing provides the respondent with a statement of the policy violation(s) that are alleged to have taken place and a summary of the facts underlying the allegations. In addition, the notice provides the parties with the date, time, and place of the CJC hearing, as well as the names of the CJC panel members. If the notice does not include this information, a scheduling letter containing this information will follow the notice.
In general, the CJC hearing will be scheduled approximately fifteen (15) business days after the notice of hearing is sent. Under extenuating circumstances, this time frame may be extended by the student conduct administrator.
6. Composition of the CJC Panel
Either the complainant or respondent may submit a written request to the student conduct administrator to remove a member of the CJC if there are reasonable articulated grounds to suspect bias, conflict of interest, or an inability to be fair and impartial. This challenge must be raised within four (4) business days of receipt of notification of the CJC panel members. All objections must be raised prior to the commencement of the hearing. Failure to object prior to the hearing will forfeit one’s ability to appeal the outcome based on perceived or actual bias. The student conduct administrator will make the determination whether to remove a CJC panel member.
7. Review of Documents
The respondent will have the opportunity to review all investigative documents, subject to the privacy limitations imposed by state and federal law, at least ten (10) business days prior to the hearing. The investigative documents will include the information report, any witness statements, and any other documentary information that will be presented to the CJC panel.
The complainant, respondent, and CJC panel all have the right to call witnesses. Witnesses must have observed the acts in question or have information relevant to the incident and cannot be participating solely to speak about an individual’s character.
If either party wishes to call witnesses, the following must be submitted no later than ten (10) business days before the hearing to the student conduct administrator by email or in hardcopy format:
- the names of any witnesses that either party intends to call;
- a written statement and/or description of what each witness observed, if not already provided during investigation;
- a summary of why the witness’ presence is relevant to making a decision about responsibility at the hearing; and
- the reason why the witness was not interviewed, if applicable.
The student conduct administrator will determine if the proffered witness(es) have relevant information.
If witnesses are approved to be present, the respondent and complainant are provided with a list of witnesses and any relevant documents related to their appearance at the hearing no later than five (5) business days before the hearing. All parties have the opportunity to pose questions of witnesses (through the CJC panel), regardless of who called them to the hearing.
The student conduct administrator will review the information report, any witness statements, and any other documentary evidence to determine whether the proffered information is relevant and material to the determination of responsibility given the nature of the allegation. In general, the student conduct administrator may redact information that is irrelevant, more prejudicial than probative, or immaterial. The student conduct administrator may also redact statements of personal opinion, rather than direct observations or reasonable inferences from the facts, and statements as to general reputation for any character trait, including honesty.
10. Request to Reschedule Hearing
A complainant or respondent can request to have a hearing rescheduled. Absent extenuating circumstances, requests to reschedule must be submitted to the student conduct administrator at least three (3) business days prior to the hearing.
11. Consolidation of Hearings
The student conduct administrator, in his/her discretion, may consolidate multiple reports against a respondent in one hearing, if the evidence related to each incident would be relevant and probative in reaching a determination on the other incident.Additionally, in cases where two or more respondents are allegedly responsible for the same or related incidents, the student conduct administrator shall have the authority to direct that the respondents be heard individually, as a group, or in sub-groups. All decisions of the student conduct administrator regarding consolidation shall be final.
1. Attendance at Hearing
If a party misses a hearing for any non-emergency or compelling reason, the hearing may be held in the individual’s absence at the discretion of the student conduct administrator.
If a respondent chooses to withdraw from the College prior to the conclusion of an investigation or judicial resolution under this judicial policy, for non-medical- or disability-related reasons, the student must go through the re-entry process coordinated by the Dean’s Office and, except where the dean in her/his sole discretion finds exceptional circumstances, the case must be heard prior to the student’s readmission to the College.
In an appropriate case, a complainant or respondent may also request participation by other suitable means that would not require physical proximity to the other party. This can include, but is not limited to, partitioning a hearing room or using technology, such as Skype, to facilitate participation. Any proposed alternative must be reviewed in advance by the student conduct administrator to ensure that it is consistent with the goals of a fair and equitable process.
2. Participants in CJC Procedures
The CJC process is closed, meaning it is not open to the public. The complainant, the respondent, any individuals serving as advisers, identified support persons, and any individuals who are witnesses may appear during the CJC process. Attorneys are not permitted.
3. Safeguarding Privacy
All parties involved in the CJC process are required to keep the information learned in preparation for the hearing and at the hearing private. The parties and panel members may not share any copies of documents provided to them with any third parties. All copies provided must be returned to the College at the conclusion of the hearing and any appeals. Any breach of this duty is subject to disciplinary action by the College.
4. CJC Procedures
A CJC hearing is intended to provide a full and fair opportunity for each side to present her/his version of events and for the CJC panel to determine the facts of the case, make a determination regarding the alleged violation(s) of College regulations, and to recommend appropriate educational outcomes and sanctions, if necessary.
The CJC panel is expected to review all information pertinent to the incident in question. Typically, the information to be used at the hearing will be made available for CJC panel members to review at least (5) business days prior to the hearing. Other relevant information supporting the alleged violation(s) may be offered in the form of the academic work in question, public safety incident reports, written statements, documents, items, or verbal statements from the complainant, the respondent(s), and witnesses.
A hearing will be called to order by the student conduct administrator, who will explain the CJC process and will provide an opportunity for all parties to ask procedural questions prior to initial statements and the presentation of information.
If applicable, an investigator will provide a brief opening statement summarizing the investigation. The opening statement should focus on the areas of agreement and disagreement in order to assist the panelists in prioritizing areas of inquiry. The panelists, complainant, or respondent may make brief inquiries of the investigator at this juncture, as there will be additional opportunity to ask questions of the investigator after the CJC panel has heard from the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses.
The complainant may present a brief narrative statement. The CJC panel may pose questions to the complainant. The respondent is encouraged to compile a written list of questions that she/he would like to pose to the complainant. The list will be provided to the CJC panel, which will determine the relevance of the questions and ask the complainant those questions deemed relevant and appropriate.
After the complainant is finished, the respondent may present a brief narrative statement. The CJC panel may pose questions to the respondent. The complainant is encouraged to compile a written list of questions that she/he would like to pose to the respondent. The list will be provided to the CJC panel, which will determine the relevance of the questions and ask the respondent those questions deemed relevant and appropriate.
Witnesses on behalf of the complainant and the respondent may then be proffered. Each witness will be permitted to give a brief narrative statement, but need not do so. Each witness will then be questioned by the CJC panel, the complainant, and the respondent. Under some circumstances, the complainant or respondent may be asked to present a list of written questions to the CJC panel, which will determine the relevance of the questions and pose any questions deemed relevant.
The hearing panel, complainant, and respondent may then question the investigator, if applicable.
At the conclusion of the presentation of all witnesses, the complainant and respondent will each be given the opportunity to give a brief closing statement.
5. Questioning of Witnesses
It is the responsibility of the CJC panel to assure that the information necessary to make an informed decision is presented. CJC panel members may play an active role in questioning both parties and witnesses involved in the case.
Parties and other individuals who offer information at a hearing are expected to respond honestly and to the best of their knowledge. The CJC reserves the right to recall any party or witness for further questions and to seek additional information necessary to make a decision. A complainant, respondent, or witness who intentionally provides false or misleading information may be subject to discipline under this policy.
After all of the information has been presented, all parties will be dismissed from the hearing room so that the CJC panel may deliberate in private. The student conduct administrator will remain for deliberations but may not participate in the deliberations and may not vote. The CJC panel will first try to reach a determination by consensus, but a simple majority vote as to responsibility will suffice. Only the decision on responsibility will be shared with the respondent. The vote itself shall not be shared with the parties.
The findings of the CJC panel will be distributed in writing by the student conduct administrator. The findings will detail the findings of fact and determination of responsibility, making reference to the evidence that led to the finding and will serve as the record of the proceeding.
7. Preponderance of the Evidence
The CJC panel will determine a respondent’s responsibility by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that the CJC panel will decide whether it is “more likely than not,” based upon the information provided at the hearing, that the respondent is responsible for the alleged violation(s).
Impact statement. In appropriate cases, the complainant and respondent will each have the opportunity to present a written statement about the impact of the alleged misconduct and/or requested sanctions. The CJC panel will review these statements only if the CJC found the respondent responsible for one or more violations.
Decision. A CJC panel that finds a student, group, or organization responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct will decide on appropriate educational outcomes and sanctions. The educational outcomes and sanctions may include, but are not limited to, those set forth in the Student Handbook. The student conduct administrator may be consulted in determining an appropriate sanction.
Any respondent who is determined to have engaged in any prohibited form of conduct may receive an educational or sanction ranging from a conduct warning to expulsion.
Previous record(s). Records of the respondent’s previous adjudications at the College are made available to the CJC panel only in the case when a responsible finding is achieved and shall be taken into consideration when the CJC panel is determining appropriate sanctions.
When considering sanctions, it is appropriate for the CJC panel to consider precedents from earlier relevant cases decided by a CJC panel, using confidential records provided by the Dean’s Office. Repercussions for violating the terms of the sanction may also be noted in the sanction
9. Notice of Outcome
The student conduct administrator will communicate the finding of the CJC panel to the respondent and the complainant (if applicable) in writing. Generally, the outcome of the hearing will be final and communicated to the parties within five (5) business days from the date the hearing is concluded.
The respondent will be informed of any educational outcomes or sanctions, the date by which the requirements must be satisfied (if applicable and permissible by law), and the consequences of failure to satisfy the educational outcomes. The complainant will be informed of any educational outcomes or sanctions that directly relate to the complainant.The imposition of educational outcomes or sanctions will take effect immediately and will not be stayed pending the resolution of the appeal.
10. Recording of Proceedings
The College will not audio record the CJC proceedings or deliberations, nor is any other individual permitted to record the proceedings.
Respondents or complainants may appeal the determination of responsibility or sanction(s) in writing to the dean of students or her/his designee. The appeal must be filed within five (5) business days of receiving the written notice of outcome. In cases of academic misconduct, appeals will typically be decided by the president or her/his designee, though appeals should still be issued to the dean of students.
The complainant and/or respondent may appeal only the parts of the determination of responsibility or sanctions directly relating to him/her. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the hearing is not grounds for appeal. The limited grounds for appeal are as follows:
- new evidence that could affect the finding of the hearing and that was unavailable at the time of the hearing;
- procedural error(s) that had a material impact on the fairness of the hearing; and
- the imposed sanctions were grossly disproportionate to the violation committed.
The appeal shall consist of a plain, concise, and complete written statement outlining the grounds for the appeal. Upon receipt of an appeal, the dean of students will notify both parties. Each party has an opportunity to respond in writing to the appeal. Responses to the appeal by either the complainant and/or respondent must be submitted to the dean within five (5) business days from receipt of the appeal.
The appeal will be conducted in an impartial manner by an impartial decision-maker. In any request for an appeal, the burden of proof lies with the party requesting the appeal, as the original determination and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. The appeal is not a de novo review.
The dean or president, as applicable, shall consider the merits of an appeal only on the basis of the three (3) grounds for appeal and supporting information provided in the written request for appeal and the record of the original hearing. The dean or president can affirm the original findings, alter the findings, and/or alter the sanctions, depending on the basis of the requested appeal. If the appeal is based on procedures not having been followed in a material manner, the dean or president can ask that a new hearing occur before a newly constituted CJC panel. In the case of new and relevant information, the dean or president can recommend that the case be returned to the original CJC panel to assess the weight and effect of the new information and render a determination after considering the new facts.
Typically, the dean or president will communicate the result of the appeal to the student requesting the appeal within ten (10) business days from the date of the submission of all appeal documents by both parties, but the time may be longer or shorter depending on the nature of the case. Appeal decisions are final.
The Dean’s Office will retain records of all reports, allegations, and complaints of student misconduct regardless of whether the matter is resolved through informal resolution or formal resolution.
Affirmative findings of responsibility in matters resolved through judicial resolution are part of a student’s conduct record. Such records shall be used in reviewing any further conduct or in developing sanctions and shall remain a part of a student’s conduct record.
The conduct files of students who have been suspended or expelled from the College are maintained in the Dean of Students Office for no fewer than seven (7) years after their departure from the College. Further questions about record retention should be directed to the dean of students.
Medical and law schools and some governmental agencies may require disclosure by the College of any judicial findings. Students who transfer to other schools or participate in off-campus study programs may also be required to provide such information.
At the end of the academic year, the judicial affairs coordinator will produce a summary of case dispositions reviewing the outcome of all cases that were heard that year, without revealing the identity of any of the participants in the proceedings
Sharmaine Bradham LaMar, Assistant Vice President for Risk Management & Legal Affairs and Director of Equal Opportunity Parrish Hall, 277 North│610-328-5675 │firstname.lastname@example.org
Swarthmore College’s commitment to equal opportunity for all members of the community is expressed in the following statement adopted by the Board of Managers:
It is the policy of Swarthmore College to provide an academic and employment environment free from any form of sexual or discriminatory harassment including harassment by speech or other expression, by action, or by combination thereof. This policy applies to all College employees and support personnel and to all College students.
The College expressly prohibits any form of discrimination and harassment on the basis of any College-recognized protected classification including sex, race, color, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital status, medical condition, veteran status, or disability in any decision regarding admissions, employment, and subsequent treatment of students and employees in accordance with the letter and spirit of federal, state, and local non-discrimination and equal opportunity laws, such as Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendments Act, The Equal Pay Act, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and the Borough of Swarthmore Ordinance on Non- Discrimination.
The College seeks to create an environment in which the maximum academic potential of students and professional potential of employees can be realized. In keeping with its efforts to create such an environment, the College recognizes that all who work and learn at the College are responsible for ensuring that the work and academic environment is free from discriminatory practices, including sexual harassment. Therefore, unreasonably offensive conduct that is brought forward may be considered grounds for discipline if found to be severe and pervasive. The unreasonably offensive behavior does not need to be expressly prohibited in this policy, nor does it need to qualify as unlawful harassment for action to be taken. Because some prohibited behavior within this policy may also be a violation of law, any individual who feels that she or he has been subjected to illegal harassment has the right to initiate legal proceedings in criminal or civil court in addition to or in lieu of a complaint pursuant to this policy.
—The above policy has been and shall be further implemented by the president and members of the faculty and administration designated by the president for that purpose. (Adopted by the Board of Mangers 1 March 1975, with amendments 24 April 1976, 3 December 1977, 7 December 1985, and 5 March 2007.)
The spirit of this declaration envisions a community in which diversity is not only tolerated but sought, welcomed, and viewed as a positive opportunity for learning and growth. In such a community, coercion and harassment are not tolerated, whether against the differences protected in the formal statement or against any difference of interests or lifestyle where individual rights should be preserved.
Concerns about equal opportunity issues may be expressed in several ways. Informal consultations with the deans, the equal opportunity officer, or a College counselor may either lead to a resolution of issues in educational or student life areas, or suggest further steps to be followed. Specific complaints of harassment, intimidation, or other violations, whether verbal or physical, will be treated as serious matters.
A. Swarthmore College student equal opportunity grievance procedure
A student equal opportunity grievance is a complaint related to education or student life at the College, in which the student claims discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or any other legally protected status. Students should feel free to consult the College’s equal opportunity officer at any time, informally and confidentially, about an equal opportunity grievance or about the equal opportunity grievance procedure. If the complaint involves discrimination on the basis of sex, then the Interim Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy will apply and will supersede this procedure. In cases of sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other sex- based discrimination, the student should consult with the interim Title IX coordinator or a deputy Title IX coordinator for guidance.
This grievance procedure applies to all students of Swarthmore College. A student who wishes to have an equal opportunity complaint resolved by the College is required to follow this procedure. The objective of the procedure is to resolve any claim of discrimination as quickly as possible.
All members of the college community have a right to free academic inquiry and expression as articulated in the section on academic freedom and responsibility in this handbook. Neither acts of discrimination nor claims of alleged discrimination shall be used to abridge that right.
For an equal opportunity grievance involving a claim of discrimination with respect to traditional areas of academic freedom—academic standards, course requirements and content, teaching procedures, or grades—the procedure described in the Handbook for Instructional Staff (page II-A-3) under Conventions of the College Community: The Classroom, which has as its stated purpose―“to foster the academic freedom of all members of its [the College’s] community, shall apply.” A question as to which procedure applies— the Handbook for Instructional Staff procedure or the general student equal opportunity grievance procedure (see below)—shall be resolved by the provost after consultation with the equal opportunity officer. The Handbook for Instructional Staff procedure is as follows:
Students are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for meeting the standards of any course of study in which they may be enrolled. Members of the faculty are solely responsible for establishing and maintaining the academic standards of the courses they teach. Students who strongly believe they have been evaluated capriciously or with prejudice are free to bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate department chair, or if necessary, the provost. Final judgment, however, must remain with the instructor.
If, in such a case, discrimination is claimed, any of the participants should feel free to consult the Equal Opportunity officer, who may attempt to resolve the grievance informally by means of individual or group discussion with the participants. If the case reaches the provost, the provost will consult the Equal Opportunity officer as well as the participants. For any student equal opportunity grievance, the general student equal opportunity grievance procedure below shall apply.
B. The Procedure
Step 1. The student must discuss the grievance with the Equal Opportunity (EO) officer, a dean, the provost, or human resources personnel as soon as possible and no later than thirty (30) days after the grievance arises or becomes known. The EO officer may then identify others whom the student should consult, such as a dean or a department chair. The student may request a reasonable extension of any time limit in steps 1 through 5. The request must be made to the EO officer before the time limit expires. The EO officer will grant or deny the extension in writing.
Step 2. The student must attempt to resolve the grievance informally. The EO officer will consult with the student to determine appropriate methods of resolution. This may include counseling, training, mediation, or any other method appropriate to aid in resolving the complaint.
Step 3. The EO officer will note whether agreement on a resolution of the grievance is reached during step 2’s required meeting and will notify the participants in writing. If the student wishes to pursue the grievance, she/he shall, within thirty (30) days of receiving the EO officer’s notification, give the EO officer a written statement. The statement should indicate the nature of the grievance, the evidence on which it is based, the solution sought, and the handling of the grievance to date.
Step 4. The EO officer will consult the Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee to determine whether the grievance is a policy issue or an individual grievance. From this point the process diverges, based upon this finding.
Continuation of procedure for policy issues
Step 5. If the EO officer and Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee (EOAC) conclude that, although the grievance involves a policy issue, it is not an equal opportunity grievance or is lacking in merit, the EO officer will not pursue it and will notify the student in writing. The procedure will then continue with step 8.
If the EO officer and EOAC conclude that the grievance involves a policy issue, is an equal opportunity grievance, and is not lacking in merit, the EO officer will consult appropriate administrators concerning the current College policy. The EO officer will then notify the president in writing of the policy issue raised by the grievance and, in consultation with EOAC, may recommend to the president make changes in policy. The procedure will then continue with step 6 (of this policy issue grievance procedure).
Step 6. The president will promptly initiate procedures to provide for an appropriate review of the policy in light of the EO officer’s recommendation to the president, which may include a remedy for the student. The procedure will then continue with step 7.
Continuation of procedure for individual grievances
Step 5. If the EO officer concludes that an individual grievance is not an equal opportunity grievance or is lacking in merit, the EO officer will not pursue it and will notify the student in writing. If the EO officer concludes that the individual grievance is an equal opportunity grievance and is not lacking in merit, the EO officer may attempt to resolve it, consulting with anyone, except the president. If the grievance is not resolved, the EO officer will notify the participants in writing.
In either case, the student may pursue an individual grievance by initiating step 6 (of this individual grievance procedure) within fifteen (15) days of receiving the EO officer’s notification.
Step 6. To pursue an individual grievance, the student must submit the grievance in writing (with the EO officer’s assistance, if requested) to the chair of the Expanded College Judiciary Committee (ECJC).
The ECJC shall consist of the six (6) members of the College Judiciary Committee and the two (2) student members and the two (2) faculty members of the Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee (EOAC), with the chair of College Judiciary Committee (CJC) serving as ECJC chair. In a case in which the grievance involves staff only, two (2) of the three (3) staff members of EOAC (chosen by the chair of ECJC) will replace the faculty members. Members of the ECJC are expected to decline to participate in a case in which they deem themselves disqualified for bias or interest, and the chair of ECJC will appoint substitutes for that case. A quorum of ECJC must be present for a formal ECJC meeting or hearing to take place. A quorum shall consist of at least eight (8) members, of whom at least four (4) must be members of CJC and at least two (2) must be members of EOAC.
ECJC will hear a grievance only if either its chair or at least three (3) of its members are persuaded
that it is an equal opportunity grievance and is not lacking in merit. ECJC will conduct its hearing and formulate a recommendation under the rules that govern the procedures of CJC. ECJC will submit its recommendation to the president and to the student in writing. The letter to the student will state that the recommendation is not final, but is subject to review and modification, as described in step 7.
Step 7. The president may order a legal review of a recommendation resulting from step 6. The president will either accept the recommendation, return it to the recommender(s) for modification, or modify it after consultation with the recommender(s). The president will inform the student, the EO officer, and, in the case of a policy issue, EOAC, of the president’s final decision, in writing.
Step 8. If the student is not satisfied with the final decision regarding the grievance and wishes to pursue the matter further, she/he may request information from the EO officer about any appropriate state or federal agencies.
This grievance procedure is undergoing review during the 2013–2014 academic year. This procedure will remain in place until the review is complete and modifications have been approved.
Concerns about sexual misconduct are addressed exclusively by the Interim Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy and should be addressed with the interim Title IX coordinator or a deputy Title IX coordinator.
All members of the Swarthmore College community are responsible for ensuring that the work and academic environment is free from discriminatory practices, including sexual and other discriminatory harassment. Living harmoniously in a residential college of Swarthmore’s size, intensity, and diversity requires that each of us maintain the highest standards of respect for the individuality of all members of the community.