office of citizenship education

Student Rights & Appeals

Student Rights in Regards to the Colby-Sawyer College Conduct System

1) Students have the right to seek resolution of conflicts in an atmosphere of mutual respect, privacy and civility.
2) Students have the right to timely disposition of allegations and complaints.
3) Students have the right to written notice of allegations and the opportunity to respond to those allegations.
4) Students have the right to be accompanied by a Colby-Sawyer College community member to serve as an advisor during a hearing.
5) Students have the right to present witnesses who have direct evidence pertaining to a hearing (see the Witness section located in the Guidelines/Procedure page for further information about witnesses).
6) Students have a right to know the outcome of their hearing.
7) Students have the right to submit written statements/documentation up to 48 hours before a scheduled hearing.
8) Students may initiate action within the conduct system by filling out a statement/Incident Report form with Campus Safety.
9) Students have the right to present information at the time of the hearing regarding extenuating circumstances directly related to an incident report.
10) Students have the right to be heard regarding concerns directly related to an Incident Report.
11) Students have the right to appeal the decision of the hearing officer or panel.

For more detailed information about the conduct system, please review the Conduct System Process and Procedures.

Statement of Student Expectations

1) Students are expected to attend hearings at the date of time stipulated.
2) Students are expected to submit written allegations before a hearing will be scheduled.
3) Students are expected to report alleged violations.
4) Students are expected to conduct themselves with civility and integrity.
5) Students are expected to read and respond to correspondence as well as make and keep appointments with personnel associated with the facilitation of the conduct system. The Office of Citizenship Education may use Colby-Sawyer College email, US postal service, on campus mail or telephones to communicate with students regarding conduct matters.

Statement of College Rights

1) The College reserves the right to pursue conduct action at any time.
2) The College reserves the right to pursue conduct action whenever alleged behavior may be detrimental to the College.
3) The College reserves the right to accept or decline jurisdiction over alleged violations and to pursue any civil remedies available to it, or to report any criminal activity to the appropriate authorities, in lieu of conduct action.
4) The College reserves the right to refrain from holding a hearing based on lack of information.
5) The College reserves the right to notify the College community regarding the outcome of conduct matters.
6) The College reserves the right to hear cases with the alleged violator in absentia when the alleged violator fails to make/meet appointments with conduct personnel, and/or fails to appear for any scheduled opportunity to be heard.
7) The College reserves the right to summarily remove any student or person whose behavior poses a threat to self or others, or is disruptive to the College community based on information available at the time of the perceived threat until a hearing can be scheduled and/or pending an investigation.
8) The College reserves the right to contact parents if a student is placed on Housing Contract Probation.
9) The College reserves the right to contact parents or legal guardians in the event the student faces housing contract withdrawal, suspension or dismissal from Colby-Sawyer College.

Statement of College Responsibilities

1) The College will enforce standards of student conduct and campus life in accordance with the policies and procedures described in this document.
2) The College will protect the primary right of students, faculty and staff to pursue and engage in curricular and co-curricular activities in accordance with the mission of Colby-Sawyer College.
3) The College will provide alleged student violator with written notice of alleged violations and the opportunity to be heard in response to those allegations.
4) The College will arrive at decisions based on the procedures described in this document and the information and/or documentation available at the time of the hearing.
5) The College's conduct policies and procedures are not a substitute for civil and/or criminal procedures.
6) The College reserves the right to modify, add, or delete sections of this document upon notice to the College community.

Appeals

The purpose of the appeal process is to ensure that all students are treated fairly in regards to the Conduct System throughout Colby-Sawyer College's conduct process. In cases involving physical assault, sexual misconduct, or bias realted incidents both the Respondent(s) and Complainant(s) may file an appeal.

A student who has participated in the conduct process may file an appeal based on a decision reached and/or a sanction imposed by a Community Council Board, an Administrative Hearing Panel or a Student Conduct Administrator.

All appeals must demonstrate one or more of the following criteria for an appeal and the student must explain in detail the support for each basis of appeal:

  1. New information that was not available and/or known at the time of the hearing. This information had it been available and known, would likely have had a significant effect on the outcome of the hearing. This new information will be considered only if it is clear that the evidence could not have been known by the student(s) appealing at the time of the original hearing;
  2. Procedural irregularity occurred meaning, the hearing was not conducted in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the Colby-Sawyer College Conduct System and/or the procedural irregularity must have impaired a student's right to a fair opportunity to be heard or a violation of the Students Rights; and/or
  3. The severity of the sanction is not appropriate for the violation(s) committed, and the past student conduct history of the student (if applicable).

Information that is not considered sufficient criteria for an appeal or a reasonable claim of an appeal is:

  1. Disagreement with the finding and/or sanction of a hearing body;
  2. Failure to appear at an appropriately scheduled hearing; and/or
  3. Failure to comply with a sanction.

Petitions for appeals will be reviewed by an Appellate Board that is comprised of at least two (2) Faculty/Staff members and one (1) student that were not original participants of the board or hearing. All members of the Appellate Board have been trained in the Conduct and Hearing Process and are actively involved in the hearing process as a Community Council Board Member, an Administrative Hearing Panel Member and/or Student Conduct Administrator.

The review of the petition for the appeals is limited to an analysis of the written appeal document, the written record of the incident in question, any other documentation that was present at the time of the hearing, and/or an interview with the original Student Conduct Administrator or the Advisor of the hearing board or panel.

If the petition for an appeal meets one or all of the appropriate criteria of an appeal, the petition for appeal will be accepted and the Appellate Board can take one of the following actions:

  1. If the appeal is based on the appropriateness of the sanction(s) issued and/or findings of the board, the Appellate Board will return the matter to the Community Council Board, the Administrative Hearing Panel or the Student Conduct Administrator who originally heard the case to allow reconsideration of the original determination and/or sanction(s). In these instances a complete review of the student(s) conduct history, including previous sanction(s), will take place.
  2. If the appeal is based on new information that was not available at the time of the hearing the Appellate Board will return the matter to the Community Council Board, the Administrative Hearing Panel or the Student Conduct Administrator that originally heard the case to allow for consideration of new information.
  3. If the appeal indicates procedural irregularity, the matter will be referred to a new Community Council Board, an Administrative Hearing Panel or a Student Conduct Administrator to allow for reconsideration of the original finding.

If the petition for an appeal meets one or all of the appropriate criteria of an appeal the student will receive written notification from the Advisor of the Board or the administrator that originally heard the case that the petition for an appeal was accepted and it will either be returned to the original Community Council Board, the Administrative Hearing Panel or the Student Conduct Administrator who heard the case or the petitioning student will have a new hearing with a new Board, Panel, or Administrator. The new hearing will be scheduled as soon as possible.

If the petition for an appeal does not meet one or all of the appropriate criteria of an appeal the petition for appeal will be denied. The Advisor of the Board or Panel or the Administrator that originally heard the case will be notified that the petition for an appeal has been denied. The Advisor of the Board or Panel or the Administrator that originally heard the case will write and inform the appellant (or student who appealed) of this decision and the original sanction remains in effect.

Any and all decisions resulting from this appeal process shall be final; no further institutional recourse is available.

Instructions for submitting a Petition for appeal:

  1. The appeal of a finding and/or sanction imposed by a Community Council Board, an Administrative Hearing Panel or a Student Conduct Administrator must be submitted in via electronic submission within five (5) business days of written delivery of the decision of the hearing body.

  2. If you wish to appeal a decision and/or a sanction, you may do so by e-mailing Maureen Connelly (mconnell@colby-sawyer.edu), the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Citizenship Education, informing her of your intentions to appeal. She will then e-mail you instructions on how to properly appeal (*this is not your appeal, this is only requesting instructions on how to properly appeal).

  3. Once you have received the instructions and you have reviewed the Appeal Process outlined in this document, your appeal must be submitted within five (5) business days of written delivery of the decision of the hearing body via e-mail to the appeals email address: studentconduct@colby-sawyer.edu where it will be forwarded and reviewed by an Appellate Board.

  4. Action on the appeal and notice of the action to the petitioner should normally occur within five (5) – ten (10) business days of the receipt of the petition of the appeal.