Student Conduct 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 Student Conduct process is an administrative educational process informed by legal and compliance requirements that guide academic institutions together with the holistic mission of the College to help students realize their full potential. Students share responsibility for upholding community standards and are expected to participate in good faith with investigation and adjudication processes meant to resolve a code allegation. Decisions about whether a student or group is responsible for a conduct violation are based on a fair preponderance of the evidence standard meaning, the allegation is supported by evidence that sufficiently demonstrates that it is more likely than not that a violation occurred. Without sufficient evidence, a student or group will be found not responsible. The student conduct process strives to be both thorough and efficient and suggested process timelines may be shortened or extended if warranted by extenuating circumstances.
Student Conduct Procedures
College Judiciary Committee (CJC)
College Judiciary Committee Adjudication Determination Procedures
College Judiciary Committee Adjudication Meeting 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 sponsored or sanctioned events or programs that take place off campus, in the Borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania as well as other locations [i.e. Haverford, Bryn Mawr, or Philadelphia, PA, as examples]. College policies may apply in certain situations 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 Swarthmore’s campus and that student hosts may be subject to disciplinary action for misbehavior of their guests.
The Senior Associate Dean of Student Life oversees 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 or report. Mediation and other informal methods of support and resolution are often available before, during and after a report is made, but is not a required step before proceeding with formal adjudication.
An allegation against a student may be reported to the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life by any member of the College community including another student, a Public Safety officer, a member of the College’s faculty or staff, or a College department. Allegations involving sexual misconduct will be forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator or may be made directly to the Title IX Coordinator and will be resolved under the Swarthmore College’s Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct Policy. Other allegations proceed under the College’s student conduct policies.
The Senior Associate Dean of Student Life will oversee the review of information received to determine further action including:
- informal follow up to support a student of concern;
- formal follow up under the minor misconduct process for allegations that if proven, would likely not result in suspension or expulsion from the College; and/or
- formal follow up under the major misconduct process for allegations that if proven, could result in sanctions that include suspension or expulsion from the College.
If the alleged incident represents a violation of federal, state, or local law, the reporting complainant is encouraged to initiate proceedings in the criminal or civil court system regardless of whether a complaint is filed within the College.
In all cases of adjudication covered by this student conduct policy, the Student Conduct Office will keep records of proven allegations and of the sanction(s), if any, imposed. These records are private and sanctions are not disclosed on transcripts or shared without the student's consent outside the scope of College staff with a demonstrated need to know in order to support, carry out sanctions or help adjudicate future allegations.
In order to verify compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, all student conduct records are retained for no fewer than seven (7) years from the year in which the offense occurred, except in cases resulting in suspension or expulsion, in which case, disciplinary records are kept indefinitely. These anonymized 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.
Most graduate schools, some employers, and some governmental agencies may require a student to consent to disclosure by the College of a student’s disciplinary findings. Additionally, students who transfer to other colleges or participate in off-campus study programs may also be required to provide such consent for disclosure. In some circumstances, Swarthmore College may disclose disciplinary records or other information related to student conduct, when a student consents to such disclosure or when permitted or required by law. 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 is able to provide in the application process. Warnings and findings of “not responsible” are not considered part of a student’s permanent disciplinary report and therefore are not reported.
Contact Restrictions are directives to students by the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life, Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students, Director of Public Safety, or designees that restrict the contact and/or communication between or among designated parties. Contact Restrictions may be the result of a student conduct process, remedies-based resolution, or put in place temporarily. For emergency situations involving personal safety, the Director of Public Safety, or their designee, may issue a temporary Contact Restriction which will be confirmed, modified, or rescinded by the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life or designee within 72 hours of its issuance in most cases.
- When there are allegations, threats, or evidence of physical violence by one student against another;
- When there are allegations, threats, or evidence of harassment, as defined by College Policy, by one student of another;
- When continued contact between students may have a material impact on the student conduct process;
- When requested or agreed to in good faith by both students involved;
- When there are allegations of serious college policy violations.
Contact Restrictions prohibit all forms of communication between designated parties, direct or indirect, including in person, social media, text messaging, email, mail, and third-party communication. Third party communication includes friends, family, or acquaintances making requests on another student’s behalf. If a student chooses to discuss a Contact Restriction with others, they are encouraged to remind those individuals to not have any contact with the other party on their behalf. Directing third parties to communicate with the other party may be considered a violation of a Contact Restriction. Contact Restrictions are not legal protective orders, which are issued by a court of law. If a person is seeking a Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Order, they can get more information here. Depending on the circumstances, Contact Restrictions may or may not be reciprocal.
Contact Restrictions may include additional protective measures or terms specific to the safety, wellbeing, or other needs of either or both designated parties and may restrict a student from parts of the campus when their participation in academic activities is not required. Any additional terms will be expressly stated in a Contact Restriction directive letter.
Students who have interpersonal conflicts that do not raise concerns for safety or potential policy violations will not be granted Contact Restrictions. These individuals should pursue other forms of conflict resolution and may contact the Dean of Students Office for assistance.
Contact Restrictions do not guarantee that designated students will avoid sightings or passing interactions on campus or in the local community, and incidental contact will not be considered a violation of the Contact Restriction. The College expects that all parties will be intentional to avoid contact.
The College reviews Contact Restrictions at the beginning of each academic semester to determine whether the Contact Restriction should remain in place at the discretion of the College or request of the involved parties. Contact Restrictions may remain in effect until the graduation or withdrawal of at least one of the designated students, unless the Contact Restriction is modified or rescinded by the College in writing. A student seeking the modification or rescission of a Contact Restriction shall make such a request to the administrator who issued the original Contact Restriction. Students may request that Contact Restrictions be lifted after an appropriate sustained period of compliance. Such decisions will be made in consultation with the administrator who issued the Contact Restriction.
When Contact Restrictions are administered as an interim measure through the College’s Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct Policy, alleged violations will be resolved under that policy. If a party believes that a Contact Restriction has been violated, that party should immediately report the suspected violation to the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life, Public Safety, or to the Title IX Coordinator.
To request a Contact Restriction, contact the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life, Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students, Director of Public Safety, Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
If the President, the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee decides at any point that the safety of a student or of the College is at stake, interim temporary suspension may be imposed against a student who is suspected of violating the Student Code of Conduct or any other rules, regulations, or procedures of the College or otherwise poses a risk to the safety to the campus, until the time student conduct resolution, disciplinary action, or a hearing can be completed. This action assumes no determination of guilt, and the hearing will be held as soon as possible.
Under the College’s Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct Policy, if at any point following the receipt of a report of prohibited conduct, the College determines that the responding party poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of the reporting party or any other person(s), including the responding party, the College may immediately and temporarily remove the responding party from any or all of its programs or activities. The imposition of an emergency removal does not suggest a finding of responsibility for any prohibited conduct.
In determining appropriate sanctions when violations of the College’s Student Code of Conduct are found, the student conduct process attempts to balance student accountability with an educational response. Sanctions are determined by taking the interests of the complainant, respondent, and the overall wellbeing of the College community into consideration, as well as a respondent’s present and past disciplinary record if an allegation has been proven. The College will also consider the nature and severity of the offense, injury or harm resulting from the prohibited behavior, and any other relevant factors. The following list includes potential sanctions for violations of the College's Student Code of Conduct. The College reserves the right to impose any, all, or any combination of these sanctions depending on the nature and circumstances of the violation.
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 student conduct record, but would be taken into consideration by the College, if a student were to be found responsible for additional violations of the Student Code of Conduct. A student who receives a warning is still considered in good standing at the College.
Reprimand—A written notification that a repeated or more significant violation of the Student Code of Conduct occurred. Contrary to a Warning, a reprimand is considered part of a student’s permanent student conduct record. Though disclosed with a student’s signed consent, a student who receives a reprimand is still considered in good standing at the College.
Probation—A designated period of time during which a student may have restrictions on their activities, actions, and/or eligibility to hold certain student leadership positions, and may be subject to more severe sanctions if found responsible for additional violations of the Student Code of Conduct. A sanction of probation would be imposed when there has been a repeated or serious violation of the Student Code of Conduct. If a student on probation is found responsible for additional violations of the Student Code of Conduct, additional sanctions can include suspension or expulsion from the College. Notification of probation is considered a change in good standing status and notification of the change will normally be sent to parents or guardians. A student who is placed on probation, is not considered in good standing during their period of probation.
Loss of privileges—Denial of the use of certain College facilities or the right to participate in certain activities, events, programs, 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.
Revocation of Affiliation—Revocation of affiliation is the permanent removal of a student as a member of a specific organization and/or the permanent removal of an organization's recognized affiliation with the College.
Contact Restrictions—Contact Restrictions are directives to students by the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life, Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students, Director of Public Safety, or designees that restrict the contact and/or communication between or among designated parties. Contact Restrictions may be the result of a student conduct process, remedies-based resolution, or put in place temporarily. For emergency situations involving personal safety, the Director of Public Safety, or their designee, may issue a temporary Contact Restriction, which will be confirmed, modified, or rescinded by the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life or designee within 72 hours of its issuance.
Contact Restrictions prohibit all forms of communication between designated parties, direct or indirect, including in person, social media, text messaging, email, U.S. mail, and third-party communication. Third-party communication includes friends, family, or acquaintances making requests on your behalf. Contact Restrictions are not legal protective orders as those are issued by a court of law. Depending on the circumstances, Contact Restrictions may or may not be reciprocal.
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. A student who is placed on suspension, is not considered in good standing during their period 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 Vice President for Student Affairs 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 or guardians, as it results in a change in good standing 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 Vice President for Student Affairs or designee. Notification of expulsion will normally be sent to parents, as it results in a change in good standing status.
*Good Standing—A student is not in good standing when the student has been found responsible for a student conduct policy violation, a sanction has been imposed, and the student is under the restrictions of the sanctions [i.e. probation, suspension, or expulsion]. Residential Peer Leader roles (GAs, RAs, and SAMs) require that students must be in and remain in good standing throughout their employment as an RPL.
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 Associate Dean of Student Life or a professional staff member in the Office of Student Engagement (hereinafter, referred to as the “student conduct administrator) and includes investigation and formal resolution. Prior to a meeting with a student conduct administrator, the respondent is encouraged to meet with the Associate Dean and Director of Case Management 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. During the 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 (CJC).
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 adjudication —A complaint under the major misconduct process will generally involve an adjudication before the College Judiciary Committee (CJC). A complainant or respondent, however, may request resolution through an administrative adjudication, to be conducted by the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life (hereinafter referred to as the “student conduct administrator”). 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 adjudication. The investigative report will serve as the primary evidence in making a determination of responsibility. In cases of major misconduct, an investigative report will be compiled of any information report(s), interview summaries, written statements, and any other documentary information that will be considered by the student conduct administrator.
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. The option of an administrative adjudication is also applicable for cases involving academic misconduct, but must be requested by both the respondent and reporting faculty members (see the academic misconduct policy).
An administrative adjudication 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 review board composed of faculty, administrators, and students. The CJC pool consists of five (5) or more faculty members (selected by the Committee on Faculty Procedures), three (3) or more 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 annual training 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 adjudication.
Each CJC panel convened to adjudicate 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 (the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life or designee) who will be present to facilitate the process. They are not a voting member of the CJC.
The student conduct administrator will be available to meet with all involved parties prior to the adjudication, be present during the adjudication to serve as a resource for the CJC on issues of policy and procedure, and to see that policies and procedures are appropriately followed throughout the adjudication meeting.
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 as to whether the allegation will be resolved through the minor misconduct or the College Judiciary Committee (CJC) process. If a threshold determination is made to hold a CJC adjudication, a respondent who is alleged to have violated policy will be issued an allegation letter and provided an opportunity to respond in the course of the investigation, the pre-adjudication procedures, and the CJC adjudication.
2. Case Manager
Associate Dean and Director of Case Management oversees the College’s case management program. In any CJC/Administrative adjudication process a respondent will be assigned a, College-appointed case manager (typically the respondent's Student Dean) trained to help the respondent navigate the student conduct process. At the discretion of the respondent, the case manager may accompany the student to any meeting/adjudication process related to these procedures.
The case manager is present to provide process support directly to the respondent and ask for breaks as needed. They do not actively participate in the process, ask questions or speak for the respondent and may be cautioned or asked to leave if their participation acts to delay, disrupt or otherwise interfere with the integrity of the meeting or adjudication. The student conduct administrator has the right at all times to determine what constitutes appropriate behavior on the part of the case manager and whether the person may remain at the student conduct proceedings.
Though the College will assign a case manager, a respondent has the right to request any current member of the Swarthmore College community (student, faculty, or staff) to serve as their case manager. If not a College assigned case manager, this individual may be required to meet with the student conduct administrator prior to their participation in the CJC proceedings.
A case manager cannot act as a witness for the party in any adjudication proceeding and a party may not choose anyone who might be a witness in the matter, to be their case manager.
Absent extenuating circumstances, and outside of the Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct process, witnesses and others involved in an investigation or student conduct adjudication process are not entitled to have a case manager.
3. Attorney/Outside Agreements
The College prohibits outside attorneys from actively participating in the minor misconduct and CJC/Administrative adjudication 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 actively 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-Adjudication Meeting
When a CJC adjudication process is deemed necessary based on the review of the information available, the student conduct administrator will typically contact the complainant and respondent to schedule separate meetings with each party. At this pre-adjudication meeting, each party will receive an explanation of the CJC process and have the opportunity to ask any questions before the hearing occurs.
5. Notice of CJC Allegation and Adjudication
The student conduct administrator will send a notice of the CJC adjudication to the respondent. The notice of adjudication 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 allegation(s). Where appropriate, a notice will also be sent to a complainant. In addition, the notice provides the parties with the designated manner of adjudication (CJC or administrative adjudication), the date, time, and place of the CJC adjudication, as well as the names of the administrative adjudication administrator/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 adjudication will be scheduled within fifteen (15) business days of the notice of adjudication. Under extenuating circumstances, this time frame may be extended by the student conduct administrator.
6. Composition of the CJC Panel
The complainant or respondent may submit a written request to the student conduct administrator to contest 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 adjudication or are deemed waived. Failure to object prior to the adjudication 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 seek an alternative 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 five (5) business days prior to the adjudication, unless the student has requested an expedited adjudication, waiving this right. The investigative report will include any information report(s), interview summaries, written statements, and any other documentary information that will be presented to the CJC panel. Where appropriate, a complainant will also be provided these same rights. Typically, all information and/or materials the parties wish to include in the investigative report or have considered at the adjudication must be provided to the student conduct administrator at least five (5) business days prior to the adjudication.
During the investigation, the complainant and respondent will have been asked to identify witnesses. The College may also identify witnesses during the course of the investigation. Witnesses must have observed the act in question or have information relevant to the incident and cannot participate solely to speak about an individual’s character.
If either party wishes to identify witnesses, the following must be submitted no later than ten (10) business days before the adjudication meeting to the student conduct administrator by email or in hardcopy format:
- the names of any witnesses that either party wishes to identify;
- 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.
Witnesses will only be called to participate in the adjudication at the request of the CJC and/or student conduct adjudicator. The student conduct administrator will determine if the 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 adjudication no later than five (5) business days before the adjudication. All parties have the opportunity to pose questions of witnesses (through the CJC panel or student conduct administrator), regardless of who identified them to participate.
The student conduct administrator will review any investigative report, any witness statements, and any other documentary evidence to determine whether the included 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 Adjudication
A complainant or respondent can request to have an adjudication rescheduled. Absent extenuating circumstances, requests to reschedule must be submitted to the student conduct administrator at least three (3) business days prior to the adjudication. A request to reschedule an adjudication must be supported by a compelling reason for the delay. The student conduct administrator may also reschedule the adjudication, without a request by either the respondent and/or complainant, when there is reasonable cause, necessity, emergency, or unforeseen circumstances which require rescheduling of the proceeding. The student conduct administrator will notify the parties of any changes to the scheduled adjudication.
11. Consolidation of Adjudications
The student conduct administrator has the discretion to consolidate multiple reports against a respondent in one adjudication 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 simultaneously as individuals, as a group, or in sub-groups. All decisions of the student conduct administrator regarding consolidation shall be final.
1. Attendance at Adjudication
If a party misses an adjudication for any non-emergency or non-compelling reason, the adjudication 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 student conduct resolution under this policy, for non-medical or non-disability-related reasons, the student must go through the re-entry process coordinated by the Dean of Students Office and, except where the Vice President for Student Affairs in their sole discretion finds exceptional circumstances, the case must be heard prior to the student’s readmission to the College.
A complainant or respondent may 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 an adjudication room or using technology, such as video or teleconferencing from an alternative location, to facilitate participation. Any proposed alternative must be reviewed in advance to insure that it is consistent with the goals of a fair and equitable process.
2. Participants in CJC Procedures
The adjudication is closed, meaning it is not open to the public. Besides the CJC panel members and the student conduct administrator, other persons allowed to be present at the adjudication under this policy include, the complainant, the respondent, any individuals serving as case managers, and any individuals who are witnesses. Witnesses may only be present for their own testimony. Attorneys are not permitted.
3. Participant integrity
Parties and other individuals who offer information at an adjudication are expected to respond honestly and to the best of their knowledge. A complainant, respondent, or witness who intentionally provides false or misleading information may be subject to discipline under the Student Code of Conduct.
4. Safeguarding Privacy
All participants involved in the CJC process are required to keep private the investigative report and any information learned at the hearing. Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, the participants may not share any copies of documents presented at the adjudication. All documentation provided during the adjudication must be returned to the College at the conclusion of the adjudication and/or any appeals. Any breach of this duty is subject to disciplinary action by the College. Nothing in this paragraph precludes disclosure of the outcome of this adjudication.
5. CJC Procedures
A CJC adjudication is intended to provide a full and fair opportunity for the complainant and respondent to present their account of events and for the adjudicator to determine the facts of the case, and 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. Generally, the investigative report will be made available for CJC panel members to review (5) business days prior to the adjudication.
During the adjudication
i. An adjudication will be called to order by the student conduct administrator, who will explain the adjudication process, make introductions of adjudication attendees, and will provide an opportunity for all parties to ask procedural questions prior to initial statements and the presentation of information.
ii. If appropriate, the investigator will provide a summary of the investigation. The CJC, (when applicable the complainant) and/or respondent, through the student conduct administrator, may make brief inquiries of the investigator at the conclusion of the summary.
iii. When applicable, the complainant may present a brief opening statement. The CJC and the respondent, through the student conduct administrator, may pose questions to the complainant.
iv. The respondent may present a brief opening statement. The CJC and the complainant, through the student conduct administrator, may pose questions to the respondent.
v. The CJC and/or student conduct administrator will identify and call relevant witnesses. The CJC and/or student conduct administrator will question each witness and provide the complainant or respondent an opportunity to pose questions through the student conduct administrator.
vi. The student conduct administrator may call back any participant for additional questions or clarifications.
vii. The complainant may present a brief closing statement.
viii. The respondent may present a brief closing statement.
ix. At the conclusion of the adjudication, the complainant and respondent may submit a written impact statement to the student conduct administrator that will only be considered at the sanctioning phase, should the respondent be found in violation of the student code of conduct.
It is the responsibility of the CJC to assure that the information necessary to make an informed decision is presented. The student conduct administrator may play an active role in questioning all parties and witnesses involved in the case. At times, the CJC may need to ask difficult or sensitive questions in order to understand areas of factual dispute or gain a full understanding of the context. The CJC reserves the right to recall any party or witness for further questions and to seek additional information necessary to make a decision.
At no time will the complainant or the respondent be permitted to directly question one another. Any questions from the complainant or respondent to any participant must be submitted through the student conduct administrator.
After all of the information has been presented, the parties will be dismissed from the adjudication room so that the CJC panel may deliberate. The student conduct administrator will remain for deliberations but does not vote. The CJC panel will first try to reach a determination by consensus; but a simple majority vote as to responsibility will suffice.
The findings of the CJC panel will be reduced to 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. The vote itself shall not be shared with any parties.
8. 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 adjudication, that the respondent is responsible for the alleged violation(s).
If the CJC finds a student, group, or organization responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct the CJC will determine the appropriate sanctions. Any respondent who is determined to have engaged in any prohibited form of conduct may receive a sanction ranging from a warning to expulsion and appropriate educational requirement.The student conduct administrator may be consulted in determining an appropriate sanction.
The CJC may broaden or lessen any sanctions based on significant mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior. The CJC may issue a single sanction or a combination of sanctions.
In considering the appropriate sanction, the CJC will consider the following factors:
(1) the respondent’s prior discipline history;
(2) how the College has sanctioned similar incidents in the past;
(3) the nature and circumstances of the conduct at issue;
(4) whether any violence was involved in the conduct at issue;
(5) the impact of the conduct on the complainant, and their desired sanctions, if known;
(6) the impact of the conduct on the College community, its members, or its property;
(7) whether the respondent has accepted responsibility;
(8) whether the respondent is reasonably likely to engage in the conduct in the future;
(9) the need to deter similar conduct by others; and
(10) any other mitigating or aggravating circumstances, including the College’s values.
10. Notice of Outcome
The student conduct administrator will communicate the findings of the CJC panel to the respondent and the complainant (if applicable and legally permissible). The notice will be in writing and will include notification of appeal options. Generally, the outcome of the adjudication will be final and communicated to the parties within five (5) business days from the date the adjudication is concluded.
The respondent will be informed of any sanctions, the date by which the requirements must be satisfied (if applicable), and the consequences of failure to satisfy the requirements. The complainant will only be informed of the sanction and any appropriate outcomes that directly relate to the complainant (if applicable).
Typically, the imposition of sanctions will take effect immediately and will not be stayed pending the resolution of the appeal.
11. Recording of Proceedings
The College will not audio or video record the CJC proceedings or deliberations, nor is any other individual permitted to record the proceedings.
Within the Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct student conduct procedures, the College will create an audio recording of the adjuducation meeting and make it available to the parties for their reasonable inspection and review.
Respondents may appeal the determination of responsibility or sanction(s) in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee. The appeal must be filed within five (5) business days of receiving the written notice of outcome.
Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the hearing is not grounds for appeal. The limited grounds for appeal are as follows:
- new evidence that would affect the finding of the adjudication and that was unavailable at the time of the investigation;
- procedural error(s) that had a material impact on the outcome; and
- the sanctions imposed 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.
The appeal consideration will be conducted in an impartial manner by the Vice President for Student Affairs. 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 new review of the underlying matter.
The Vice President for Student Affairs 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 Vice President for Student Affairs can affirm the original findings, amend the findings, and/or revise the sanctions, depending on the basis of the requested appeal.
If the appeal is granted based on procedural error(s) that materially affected the outcome of the hearing, the Vice President for Student Affairs will return the case to the CJC for additional review or forward the case for a new hearing, which may (at the Vice President for Student Affairs' discretion) be heard by an alternate CJC panel.
In the case of new and relevant information, the Vice President for Student Affairs can recommend that the case be returned to the original CJC for them to assess the weight and effect of the new information and render a determination after considering the new facts.
Typically, the Vice President for Student Affairs will communicate the result of the appeal to the student requesting the appeal within three (3) business days from the date of the submission of all appeal documents, but the time may be longer or shorter depending on the nature of the case. Appeal decisions are final.
The Dean of Students 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.
For students/student organizations found responsible for a violation of College policy through an administrative or panel hearing, the outcome will be recorded on a student’s/student group’s disciplinary 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.
Individual student conduct records are kept on file for no fewer than seven (7) years from the year in which the offense occurred, except in cases resulting in suspension or expulsion, in which disciplinary records are kept indefinitely. Students have an official College transcript maintained by the Registrar and a disciplinary student conduct record maintained by the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life. Generally, all formal disciplinary violations (excluding Warnings and AOD Amnesty) addressed through the student conduct process are noted on a student’s disciplinary record. Disciplinary violations are externally reported for no fewer than seven (7) years from the year in which the offense occurred, except in cases resulting in suspension or expulsion, in which disciplinary records are kept and reported on indefinitely. (A student’s disciplinary records is not released externally without a student’s written permission or absent that, under narrowly defined circumstances).
At the beginning of the academic year, a summary report of case dispositions reviewing the outcome of all cases that were heard the previous academic year, without revealing the identity of any of the participants in the proceedings, is prepared and published to the College community on the College's website.