Student Conduct

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 student conduct system offers procedural fairness to students involved in the process.  Practices in disciplinary cases vary in formality, taking into account the gravity of alleged offenses and the sanctions that may be applied. Minor penalties may be assessed informally under prescribed procedures.


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Honor, Allegations, and Misconduct


Although students are not asked to sign an honor statement with regards to non-academic behavior, as they are with regards to academic work, students are expected to behave honorably.  Students are required to report academic violations, and are also encouraged to report behavioral (non-academic) violations of campus policies or community standards.  Living honorably, including reporting all types of violations, strengthens the foundations for students’ personal lives, supports our community’s focus on ethical development, and supports the qualities of moral courage, responsibility, and fairness.

Alleged Misconduct

All members of the campus community are encouraged to report information regarding apparent rule-violating behavior. Reports of alleged behavioral (non-academic) misconduct may be filed with the Dean of Students, the Director of Student Conduct, a member of the Residence Life staff, the Title IX Officer, and/or the police officers of the Department of Public Safety.

Impact of Misconduct

Misbehavior has an impact on others in the campus community and can have deleterious results for the individual involved, even if not held accountable.  Students who are found in violation of policies are encouraged to reflect on their decisions and the impact their actions had on others as well as to make amends to individuals and the community.  In some cases, students are separated from the college either temporarily (suspension) or permanently (expulsion).  As a consequence of having engaged in rule violating behavior at a residential college, a student's standing with regards to their housing preferences for the next year are impacted.  In an effort to help support the student in making better decisions in the future, others in a need to know capacity are notified of violations, such as athletic coaches.  Additionally, numerous employers, graduate and professional schools, and government agencies including the military require an applicant to sign a release their college student conduct history before being considered for hire, admittance, or clearance.




How can someone report non-academic misconduct?

Absolutely anyone (student, faculty, staff, visitor, anyone) can report non-academic misconduct via the Student Conduct Communication Report.

I got an email about a hearing. Am I in trouble?

The notice you received reflects that a report was received and that you are charged with possibly violating one or more rules.  The hearing is to help determine the truth of the matter.  It also includes the default date, time, and location of your hearing, with the option to reschedule.

I can’t make the hearing day/time. Can I reschedule?

The notice you received includes the default date, time, and location of your hearing, with the option to reschedule.  To reschedule, contact the person who sent you notice and give them several days/times during regular college business hours that you are available.

What is a hearing and do I have to attend?

The hearing is when the hearing body (probably a Hearing Officer) will hear the case, including listening to what you have to say.  The hearing results in a finding (the determination of whether or not you violated a policy).  If you’re found in violation, then sanctions will be assigned.  The hearing is your opportunity to read the report and present your side of things, including any evidence or witnesses.  You don’t have to attend, but a decision will be made.

Who decides if I did something wrong and how do that make that decision?

The hearing body (probably a Hearing Officer) decides a case.  The first (and sometimes the only) decision is called the finding.  To reach the finding, like a great many colleges and universities, a preponderance of information is our standard.  That means that the decision of whether or not you violated a policy boils down to whether the hearing body determines that you “more likely than not” to have done so.  This means whether it’s determined to be more than 50% likely after all relevant things are considered, if the weight and validity of the information “tips the scales” in the direction of it being likely that you broke a rule.

What happens if it’s decided that I broke a rule?

If the hearing body determines that it’s more likely than not that you did violate a policy, then one or more sanctions is assigned.  The sanctions are listed in the Student Handbook.

If it’s determined that I did it, what sanctions will I get?

Sanctions reflect the circumstances and are cumulative, so two people who are found to have violated the same policy might get very different sanctions, depending on the two situations as well as their Student Conduct history.

Can I bring someone with me to my hearing?

In addition to witnesses, you can ask any one person you want who agrees to come with you as your Case Advisor.  This person can’t represent you or speak to others, but can advise you.

Can I appeal?

Appeals can be made both for the finding (whether or not you violated the rule, which would therefore include the sanctions) or just the sanctions.  You can appeal by emailing the Hearing Officer or the Director of Student Conduct.  Appeals to RHA are a paper process only.  Appeals to the Conduct Review Committee are in-person hearings.  The appellate body might issue a different finding and/or different sanctions.

What if I’m facing criminal charges?

The legal system is completely separate from the college student conduct system.  The college’s procedures will be followed and our matter will be resolved on its own, regardless of what might happen with any legal case.

This is really important to our college community! How can I get involved?

In addition to Hearing Officers, who are staff, there are two other hearing bodies which both include students.  One of them, the Conduct Review Committee, is solely focused on Student Conduct.  Five students are appointed by SGA (Student Government Association), who serve with a staff member, and a faculty chair.  The other way is to be on RHA (Residence Halls Association), which, as the dorm student government, hears appeals of cases which have to do with residential rules.  This is exclusively a student body.  They also do a lot of other things, like speak for the voice of the student body who live on campus, advocate for changes in policy, plan events for the students who live on campus, and work with the House Councils (each individual dorm student government), so Student Conduct cases are only a small part of what they do.

I have more questions. / My questions must not be frequently asked. Who can I contact?

If you have more questions or would like to chat about Student Conduct processes or issues, contact the Director of Student Conduct (see contact information somewhat near the bottom of the page).



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