Responsible student conduct is fostered by example, counseling, guidance, admonition, and when necessary, by disciplinary proceedings related to the College's standards of scholarship, student conduct, and the use of facilities. The College's judicial system offers
procedural fairness to an accused student. Practices in disciplinary cases vary in formality, taking into account the gravity of the offense and the sanctions that may be applied. Minor penalties may be assessed informally under prescribed procedures.
Role of the Residence Hall Association
All Residence Hall Association proceedings are closed, and decisions will be based solely on written reports and testimony. The Residence Hall Association may impose any fines or penalties other than suspension or expulsion. Technical aspects of the Residence Hall Association and its procedures are stated within its constitution and bylaws.
Role of the Director of Residence Life
The Director of Residence Life is responsible for facilitating the Conduct Review Committee and RHA hearings, as well as conducting Administrative Hearings when misconduct reports have been filed with the Office of Student Life. The Director may impose judicial fines or penalties. All appeals involving suspension or expulsion shall be heard by the Conduct Review Committee.
Role of the Conduct Review Committee
The duties of the Conduct Review Committee include considering and deciding upon all cases of misconduct referred by the Director of Residence Life. Allowable penalties include suspension and expulsion. The committee also decides upon appeals resulting from other non-academic disciplinary action. If a student questions the fairness of disciplinary action taken against him by a judicial officer or body, he or she should be granted, on request, the privilege of a hearing before this Committee. Technical aspects of the Conduct Review Committee and its procedures are stated in its guidelines. In the event a student is dissatisfied with a decision of the Committee, he or she may appeal the decision to the Dean of Student Life.
Role of the President of the College
The President is included in the due process procedure for students who have violated academic or behavioral policies of the College. He/she is available as the last source of appeal from a decision of the Dean of Student Life. Also inherent in the office of the President is the obligation to take whatever measures may be necessary to protect the well being and integrity of the College and its members. This obligation is reserved for emergency or extraordinary circumstances only. Nothing herein contained shall be regarded as detracting from the traditional plenary powers of the President of the College and, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the President of the College may on his/her own initiative and at his/her own discretion immediately and without and procedural requirements whatsoever suspend or expel a student, or otherwise suspend or terminate the studentís right to be present on the campus or to attend classes. Such action may be subject to review by the Conduct Review Committee at the Presidentís discretion, but the status of the student, pending final action, shall remain that in which the President has placed the student.
Conduct Review Committee
Purposes and Responsibilities
- A primary function of the committee is to consider and decide upon all cases involving non-academic misconduct referred to it.
- The committee also decides cases resulting from other disciplinary action. If a student questions the fairness of a disciplinary action taken against her/him by a student judicial body, excluding the Honor Court, he/she should be granted, on request, the privilege of a hearing before this committee.
- At the request of the Executive Council of SGA, the committee will rule upon the constitutionality of actions taken by the Student Government Association.
- Furthermore, the committee should stay informed about disciplinary problems and make recommendations to judicial bodies and members of the administration charged with disciplinary responsibilities.
Composition of the Committee
The committee shall be composed of four voting members (one faculty member, one staff member, and four student members). A faculty member shall serve as chair. Student members shall not hold any elected office on the Student Government Association or the Residence Hall Association and may not be members of the Centenary Honor Court.
The Director of Residence Life shall be an ex-officio member of the committee without vote, and shall function as its executive officer charged with the responsibility of enforcing the decision of the committee.
- The voting faculty member of the committee is recommended by the Faculty Coordinating Committee and appointed by the President for terms of one academic year. Whenever possible, for purposes of continuity, faculty members will serve more than one term.
- The four voting student members, one representing each class, are nominated by a majority vote of the Student Senate, subject to the approval of the President of the College.
- The President of the College shall appoint the staff members of the committee.
Faculty, staff, and student alternate members may also be selected in the manners listed above. Alternate members may take the place of any voting member in his/her absence. The committee, at its April meeting, will determine the composition of the committee during
the summer. The chairperson of the committee will call a meeting of the committee in the early part of April to determine who will be available for summer meetings, if needed.
- At least five members of the committee (including at least three students) must be present in order for the committee to make a decision.
- The committee will meet in regular session at least once each semester to discuss procedure and campus disciplinary problems.
- The committee chairperson, Director of Residence Life, or the President of the Centenary College can call a committee meeting at any time either by verbal or written notice.
- The agenda for the meeting will not be disclosed to the members in advance. Prior to each hearing, the chairperson shall ask committee members if representatives of either side (accused or accuser) have approached them prior to the hearing, and to what extent. Persistent or inappropriate contact prior to a hearing may result in an additional violation under Obstruction of Proceedings.
- The proceedings of the meeting are held in strict confidence.
- The chairperson of the committee will request that a faculty/staff representative prepare two sets of minutes. One set of minutes will be kept in the Office of Student Life and the other in the Office of the President.
- No member of the committee who is interested in a particular case in any way other than his or her official function as a member of the committee shall sit in judgement during the proceedings.
- Written notification of charges shall be mailed to the accused at least five days prior to the hearing. This notification must include all written reports that will be presented during his/her hearing, a description of any physical evidence that may be presented, and instructions on where they may read the rights of the accused and the regulations of the judicial body.
- The accused and the accuser may present any evidence that the committee deems pertinent and relevant to the case.
- The committee has the right to conduct the proceedings in absentia if:
- a student facing charges fails to appear for his/her hearing or otherwise refuses to cooperate in the judicial process
- a student withdraws from Centenary College between the time of the alleged misconduct and the scheduled hearing
In the latter case, the College may decide to wait until the student returns before conducting the hearing.
- Both the student who is accused and the student who makes the accusation have the right to be assisted in the case by a Centenary College faculty or administrative advisor of their choice. All consultations between the accused and his/her faculty advisor or other Centenary College faculty member or administrator acting in a counseling capacity, shall be considered privileged information; therefore, are inadmissible as evidence without the express written consent of the accused. All information from previous judicial hearings shall be admissible.
- The burden of proof rests upon the persons bringing the charge. The accuser must present a preponderance of evidence, but it is not necessary to prove charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The accused shall be given the opportunity to testify and present evidence and witnesses. In no case shall the committee consider statements against the accused unless he or she has been advised of their content and of the names of those who made them, and unless he or she has been given an opportunity to rebut unfavorable inferences, which might otherwise be drawn.
- All members of the committee have the right to question the accused, the accuser and the witnesses.
- The accused has the right, through the chairperson, to question the accuser and the witnesses. The accuser and witnesses called by the accuser shall have the right, through the chairperson, to question the accused.
- The accused, the accuser, and the witnesses have the right to remain in the room as long as the case is being heard and until the committee is ready to deliberate or until the committee considers another (separate) case.
- The decision of the committee shall be based solely upon information presented to the committee at the hearing.
- The committee may dismiss charges or assess penalties ranging from warnings through expulsion.
- The chairperson communicates the decision to the accused. The chairperson also informs the accused of the right to appeal. A letter of confirmation follows.
- The Office of Student Life will prepare four (4) letters of response that reflect the final decision of the committee. The letters are to be delivered to the following parties: one for the accused, one for the Office of the President, one for the
accusedís student file and one for the Office of Student Life.
- For the Conduct Review Committee to consider an appeal, the student must file the appeal in writing with the Conduct Review Committee chairperson or the Office of Student Life within one week after a lower body has notified the student of a decision.
- Decisions of the Conduct Review Committee are usually considered final; however, decisions are appealable to the Dean of Student Life, or ultimately to the President of the College.
- Only the judicial body or the person appealed to is needed consider the justifiability of the appeal. Permission of an administrator is not required.
- The judicial body appealed from must make available to the accused, in writing, a complete and accurate record of the proceedings of his/her hearing within seven (7) days after being notified of the appeal by the accused. This record must include: a statement of charges and allegations brought against the accused, evidence presented during the course of the hearing, a list of all witnesses presenting oral testimony during the course of the hearing, and a written statement of the decision.
- Nothing herein shall be regarded as detracting from the Presidentís powers as set forth in the Student Handbook and other College documents.
Failure on the part of any judicial body to observe any rights of the accused or procedural guidelines may be considered grounds for appeal.