office of citizenship education

Conduct System Guidelines

The following policies apply to all conduct system activities unless otherwise specified.

Administrative Removal of Persons Endangering Self or Others or Disrupting the College Community

Colby-Sawyer College reserves the right to remove persons from the college or from college programs or activities when that person actually harms or threatens harm to self or others. Disruptive behavior, a significant disruption or pattern of disruptive behavior, may also warrant administrative removal.

Situations may arise which require an immediate response, but which fall outside the normal purview of the college's conduct system. Students whose behaviors endanger themselves or the health, safety, or rights of other members of the community or are disruptive to the educational process or mission of the college shall be reported to the vice president for student development and dean of students. These behaviors and situations may necessitate immediate removal from the college and residence halls by the vice president for student development and dean of students or his designee until such time as an appropriate intervention can be determined. In addition, parents and/or law enforcement authorities may be notified of the situation. Reinstatements to residence halls and/or the college shall be contingent upon appropriate conditions which may include but are not limited to evaluation and recommendations by medical and/or psychological professionals as well as a behavioral contract.

Appeals

Appeals are granted when there is a reasonable claim of new evidence that is now available but was unavailable at the time of the hearing and that is likely to have a significant effect on the outcome of the hearing, evidence of substantive procedural irregularity, and/or imposition of an inappropriate or excessive sanction. Disagreement with the finding and/or sanction of a hearing body, or failure to appear at an appropriately scheduled hearing, or failure to comply with a sanction is not a sufficient basis for appeal.

A petition for appeal of a finding and/or sanction of a hearing must be submitted in writing within five (5) business days of written delivery of the decision of the hearing body. Petitions for appeal should be submitted to the vice president for student development and dean of students via the appeals email address: studentconduct@colby-sawyer.edu. If the vice president for student development and dean of students has a conflict of interest or is a party to the decision being appealed, the petition will be referred to the associated dean of students and director of citizenship education or another competent/trained administrator within the student development division. The petition for appeal must be sufficiently detailed to allow for a reasonable judgment on whether to grant the petition. The associate dean of students and director of citizenship education shall prepare a summary of materials, including the procedural history of the case and any pertinent conduct system actions prior to the appeal to be considered by the person hearing the appeal.

The time allowed for insufficiencies to be addressed is determined by the vice president. Typically this time will not exceed five (5) business days from the date the student submitted his/her petition for appeal.

If the petition is denied, the student will receive notification from the vice president for student development and dean of students or his/her designee that the appeal has been denied and that the original sanction remains in effect; no further institutional recourse is available.

If the appeal has been granted, the student will receive notification from the vice president for student development and dean of students or his/her designee that the appeal has been granted. Action in response to an appeal is limited to (1) rehearing by a hearing body appointed by the dean of students, (2) confirmation of the original findings and penalty, or (3) confirmation of the original findings and alteration of the penalty. Action on the appeal and notice of the action to the petitioner should normally occur within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the petition of appeal.

The vice president for student development and dean of students or designee may postpone the implementation of a sanction pending the outcome of an appeal. To do so, or not, is at the discretion of the vice president for student development and dean of students or designee.

Burden of Proof

Formal rules of evidence do not apply; however, evidence must conform to basic standards of fairness. A respondent is presumed not responsible, and the complainant must present sufficient information to demonstrate a breach of the Code of Community Responsibility to a reasonable person – a preponderance of evidence standard, in other words the person deciding the case or, in the event of a hearing panel, a majority of the persons deciding the case must believe it is “more likely than not” that the student violated the Code.

Evidentiary Standards

The hearing body shall not consider written statements against a student unless the student has been advised of their content, the identity of those who made them, and has been given an opportunity to rebut unfavorable inferences which might be drawn from them. For Community Council or Administrative Hearing Panel, a simple majority is required for a valid finding and for sanctioning. Prior disciplinary activity may not be introduced as evidence with regard to the facts of a case, but may be used for considering an appropriate sanction once the facts have been determined.

Notice (timing and specificity)

The respondent in a disciplinary proceeding shall receive written notice via college email, campus mail, or United States Postal Service of the following at least 48 hours before the time of the proceeding:

  1. a description of the behavior alleged to constitute a violation of the Code of Community Responsibility that is sufficiently specific to allow for the preparation of a response;
  2. the time and place of the alleged behavior;
  3. the name(s) of the person(s) reporting the alleged behavior;
  4. the time and place of the hearing; and
  5. referral to the conduct system process description.

Hearings shall not be convened to conflict with scheduled classes of a complainant or respondent. Hearings take priority over all other college activities. Failure to attend a scheduled hearing is not basis for appeal.

Parental Notification: Colby-Sawyer College reserves the right to contact parents when the incident involves:

  1. underage students who are involved in alcohol or drug violations;
  2. dependent students whose conduct may result in temporary or permanent removal from the residence halls or separation from the institution;
  3. legal proceedings separate from the college.

Police Notification

As per the Memorandum of Understanding between Colby-Sawyer College and the New London Police Department, there are times when the college must notify NLPD of alleged conduct violations. Please contact Campus Safety for more specific information.

Publicity

In accordance with Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, commonly known as the Clery Act and Public Law 101-542, The Campus Security Act of 1990, as amended, Colby-Sawyer College reserves the right to publish, or otherwise communicate information about alleged violations of the Code of Community Responsibility, as well as alleged violations of public laws, including investigations in progress as specified by, but not limited to the provisions of the aforementioned law. All conduct system hearings are closed; however, conduct system activity may be made public so that students, faculty, and staff are aware of how the Code of Community Responsibility is being upheld. Victims of violent crimes will be notified of the outcome of their hearings.

Records

For all disciplinary proceedings, there shall be a record containing, in writing, a statement of facts and actions taken. In some cases, a recording of the hearing, excluding deliberations, may be made when a written summary is not feasible and kept until the appeal process is complete. Students may request a copy of their conduct records, but copying costs are the student's responsibility.

Generally, access to these records is limited to directly concerned persons and offices, however, disciplinary information may be sent to the student's faculty advisor, organization/activity advisor, coach, or parents (if the student's parents are financially responsible for the student's financial obligations to the college or if the student is under 21 years of age and the offense is a violation of alcohol and other drug laws) at the discretion of the vice president for student development and dean of students or his/her designee. Student disciplinary records shall not be released to parties outside the college unless there is written consent from the student, except as specified in Section 438 (b) of the 1975 Federal Provision Act, the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (see the “FERPA” section of the Code for information about accessing student conduct records). If required to release records in compliance with a judicial order or subpoena, the college will show due diligence in attempting to notify the student prior to complying as permitted by said order.

The Office of Citizenship Education retains disciplinary records in accordance with the following.

  1. Records of minor disciplinary action (e.g., warning letter, fines $50 and under) are kept on file until the student withdraws or graduates.
  2. Records of general disciplinary action (e.g., behavioral agreement, disciplinary probation, housing contract probation, and removal from housing) are kept on file for seven years.
  3. Records of major disciplinary action (i.e., suspension, dismissal) are maintained permanently in the Office of Citizenship Education and the Office of the Registrar.

To comply with the Campus Security Act, we must keep alcohol, drug, violence, and harassment, etc. records for seven years. Fire safety violations can be destroyed after the student leaves the institution.

Refund policy for disciplinary cases

No refunds for tuition, fees, or housing are given for disciplinary action that results in the loss of housing, suspension, or dismissal of a student.

Retaliation

Students are prohibited from retaliating against anyone who files a complaint, serves as a witness for or serves on a hearing panel.

Summons to appear/sanction compliance

Failure on the part of anyone associated with a case to cooperate with an investigation, or to be present in response to a timely hearing notice, or to comply with all or part of a sanction will result in disposition of the case, including sanctioning, and may also result in additional administrative sanctioning for failure to appear and/or to comply. Failure to appear or comply shall not constitute reasonable grounds for an appeal.

Suspension Pending Hearing/Investigation

If a student's presence on campus or in particular locations on campus affects the ability of others to continue their education or of the college to provide education, the academic vice president, the vice president & dean of students, or associate dean of students may administratively suspend the student from class and/or ban the student from all or any part(s) of campus. Administrative action will be based on information available at the time. A hearing, if appropriate, shall be held as soon as one can be arranged.

Academic work that is missed due to a suspension pending a hearing or investigation may be made up at the discretion of the professor. If a student under such a suspension must return to campus for any reason—for example meeting with an administrator regarding the hearing process, that student must have the permission of the person who originally delivered the Suspension Pending a Hearing.

Withholding Grades

The college reserves the right to withhold grades, diplomas or transcripts until restitution or fines have been made.

Witnesses

Witnesses may be asked to testify to a dispute, or summoned by the Hearing Coordinator. The chair of an Administrative Hearing Panel, in consultation with the Hearing Coordinator, has the authority to determine the appropriateness and number of witnesses who may be called. Witnesses must submit their testimony 24 hours in advance of the hearing and be present at the hearing to answer any questions from the board. Witnesses summoned are required to appear, and refusal or failure to appear may result in being formally charged with “failure to comply” and could result in conduct system sanctioning. Witnesses who withhold information or intentionally mislead the board are subject to disciplinary action. As a student's character is not in question rather that student's behavior, so called character references are not necessary.