The College has a duty and the corollary authority to protect its educational mission through the setting of standards of scholarship and conduct for its students and through the regulation of the use of institutional facilities. Proper procedural safeguards are observed to promote justice and fairness to those who have allegedly violated the standards of the College. The conduct process encourages student development and growth by combining aspects of counseling, guidance, and admonition along with educational sanctions. In certain cases, separating a student or withdrawing an organization’s recognition serves to further these aims and protect members of the College community.
As members of the Lafayette community, students and student organizations are expected to uphold community standards. Actions, attitudes, and involvement in activities on and off campus will have both positive and negative impacts on a student’s future as he or she seeks knowledge abroad, employment, continued education, or embarks on a professional career. When students or student organizations decide to engage in behaviors that violate College policy, or choose to associate with those involved in violating College policy, they must be prepared to assume responsibility for any consequences associated with these behaviors.
Behaviors that lead to alleged violations of the code also may lead to alleged violations of federal, Commonwealth, or local laws and ordinances. The College will generally proceed with its conduct process, at its discretion, independent of any other process assuming the College possesses information that suggests a policy violation may have occurred. If a respondent would like to delay the College conduct process until criminal charges have been resolved, the respondent must take a voluntary leave of absence. Once the criminal charges have been resolved, the College may proceed with the conduct process immediately even if the student does not immediately re-enroll. The College reserves the right to proceed with its conduct process even if a student takes a leave of absence, resigns, or transfers, if the College believes it is in the best interest of the institution to do so.
Please note that the procedures that govern cases of sexual harassment (an umbrella term for sexual misconduct) can be found in the Lafayette College Interim Policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination.
The vice president for Campus Life is the individual designated to be responsible for the enforcement of College regulations and for making interpretive decisions regarding College regulations. The vice president for Campus Life is authorized to designate all or part of this responsibility to such other persons as she/he deems appropriate. The vice president or designee is empowered to receive information regarding alleged violations of College policy and public laws and to undertake investigations necessary to determine the extent of a respondent’s participation in those violations. The vice president or designee also may refer information regarding alleged violations to the Office of Public Safety or the Title IX coordinator and may refer any violation to the Faculty Committee on Student Conduct for adjudication. The vice president has assigned responsibility for the supervision and coordination of the student conduct program to the assistant dean of students and has designated certain College officials as student conduct case administrators for all allegations of code violations except those related to the Academic Integrity Policy.
The Faculty Committee on Student Conduct consists of eight elected members of the faculty, six student members selected annually by Student Government, and the vice president for Campus Life or representative. One of these faculty members will be elected by the committee to serve as chair.
The Faculty Committee on Student Conduct is responsible for hearing cases that are referred to it by the assistant dean of students or in which students have elected, in accordance with the procedures laid out in the code, to have their case heard by a panel comprised of committee members. At least two faculty members and two student members, as well as the vice president for Campus Life or representative, must be present for a hearing to take place. In the event that the proper number of current members are unable to serve in a particular case (due to a conflict of interest or scheduling issues), previously serving members of the committee may be called upon to serve. In the event that no previously serving members are able to serve, student members will be identified and appointed by Student Government and faculty members will be identified and appointed by the Faculty Governance Committee.
Hearing panels make their determinations by a majority vote.
The following procedures will be used to address alleged violations of all policies outlined in the Student Conduct Policies section of the code except for the Academic Integrity Policy. These procedures may be altered as necessary by the vice president for Campus Life or designee in order to maintain a fair and equitable process for all parties involved. Any alterations and a rationale for those alterations will be explained to all parties involved.
Information on Academic Conduct Procedures can be found under the Academic Conduct section of the Handbook.
Information on procedures related to the Lafayette College Interim Policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination can be found on the SASH website.
Information related to possible policy violations is received by the assistant dean of students from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, Public Safety reports, Residence Life reports, faculty, staff, and students. The assistant dean of students will review all information forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct and determine if there is reasonable cause to allege a student or student organization has violated the Code of Conduct. The assistant dean of students also may initiate an investigation to collect more information before determining if allegations will be made. An investigation may include, but not be limited to, interviews, written statements, and searches and may be conducted by the Office of Public Safety, Office of Residence Life, other College officials, or qualified individuals hired by the College as appropriate. No form of harassment will be used by investigators in the process of investigating potential violations.
For information on reporting and investigation options for sexual misconduct, see the Lafayette College Interim Policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination.
Except under emergency circumstances, College-owned or College-operated premises occupied by students and the personal possessions of students will not be searched by College officials unless authorization is obtained from the Campus Life staff member on call, the dean of students, an assistant dean of students, or the vice president for campus life. Authorization shall be made before a search is conducted. The authorization shall specify the reasons for the search and the objects sought. The student should be present, if possible, during the search. Regardless of the purpose of the search, however, alleged violations of the Code of Conduct discovered during a search may result in allegations being brought. Additionally, alleged violations that are observed in plain view by College officials, including resident advisers, may be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.
A student may allege that another student or student organization violated the Code of Conduct. Those wishing to allege violations may make a report with the Office of Public Safety or with the assistant dean of students. Once the information has been forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct, the assistant dean will see that procedures outlined in this code are followed.
In certain circumstances, the dean of students, or designee, may impose interim restrictions on a respondent including, but not limited to, a College or residence hall suspension prior to the completion of the conduct process.
Interim restrictions may be imposed only to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the Lafayette community or preservation of College property; to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the College.
If a respondent feels an interim restriction has been put in place inappropriately, the respondent may appeal to the vice president for Campus Life.
The interim restriction process does not replace the regular conduct process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule, up to and including the appeals process, if applicable.
The following procedures will be in effect for conduct meetings with a case administrator:
The respondent shall be contacted to schedule an informal conduct meeting with a case administrator regarding the alleged violation(s) of the Code of Conduct. During the meeting, the respondent will be notified of the particular way(s) in which the student is alleged to have violated the code, and of their procedural rights, and will be asked to provide information about the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation.
The respondent may be accompanied by an adviser of their choice from the student body, faculty, or administrative officers of the College.
If the case administrator determines, after reviewing the information and talking with the respondent, that it is more likely than not that the respondent is not responsible for the allegation, the respondent will be found not responsible and the process will end.
If the respondent accepts responsibility for the allegation or if the case administrator determines, after reviewing the information and talking with the respondent, that it is more likely than not the respondent is responsible for the allegation, the case administrator will consider the appropriate sanction for the situation.
If the case administrator believes a sanction of Formal Warning or Warning Probation is appropriate, then the respondent will be found responsible for the allegation and the case administrator will assign the appropriate sanction. The case will not be eligible for appeal, and the process will end. If, however, the case administrator believes a sanction of Disciplinary Probation Level I, Disciplinary Probation Level II, suspension, or expulsion may be appropriate (or Social Probation or Removal of Recognition, in the case of an organization), the respondent may choose one of the following options:
The assistant dean of students reserves the right to refer any case to the Faculty Committee on Student Conduct regardless of the wishes of the respondent(s).
The following procedures will be in effect for conduct cases heard by panelists from the Faculty Committee on Student Conduct:
The provost’s representative, the dean of Advising and Co-curricular Programs, is designated by the faculty and the Board of Trustees to be responsible for the observance and the enforcement of the standards of academic honesty. In turn, the dean of Advising and Co-curricular Programs has assigned responsibility for the supervision and coordination of academic conduct cases to the associate dean of Advising and Co-curricular Programs. All class deans in the Office of Advising and Co-curricular Programs serve as case administrators for allegations related to the Academic Integrity Policy. Normally, class deans do not handle cases that include students from the class levels they advise (e.g., the sophomore class dean will not normally be assigned a case involving a sophomore).
Academic Progress Committee
The Academic Progress Committee consists of four tenured members of the faculty, one from each of the four academic divisions; two untenured members of the faculty, one from the natural sciences or engineering and one from social sciences or humanities; and two student members selected annually by Student Government.
The Academic Progress Committee is responsible for hearing cases that are referred to it by the dean of Academic Advising and Co-curricular Programs or in which respondents have elected, in accordance with the procedures laid out in the code, to have their case heard by the committee. For a hearing to take place, at least five committee members (at least three with faculty status) must be present.
Student members deliberate and vote during the committee’s determination of responsibility, but student members do not participate in discussions regarding sanctioning of a respondent. The committee makes its determination by majority vote of those present at each stage of the process.
The following procedures will be used to address alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy outlined in this code. These procedures may be altered as necessary by the provost or designee in order to maintain a fair and equitable process for all parties involved. Any alterations and a rationale for those alterations will be explained to all parties involved.
When an instructor suspects a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, the instructor shall consult with another member of the department (normally the head of the department) to obtain a second opinion. If the instructor’s assessment is upheld by the second member of the department, the instructor shall submit to the dean of Advising and Co-Curricular programs a written statement explaining the allegations and include a packet containing all relevant information and course materials.
Case Administrator Meetings
The following procedures will be in effect for academic conduct meetings with the case administrator:
The respondent will be contacted to schedule the first of two informal academic conduct meetings with the case administrator. During the first meeting, the respondent’s procedural rights are reviewed, and the respondent is notified of the particular way in which the Academic Integrity Policy was alleged to have been violated. The respondent receives the instructor’s written statement with all supporting case documents. The respondent may be accompanied by an individual chosen as adviser by the respondent from the student body, faculty, or administrative officers of the College. The respondent has the option to discuss the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation(s) with the case administrator.
The respondent will schedule the second informal academic conduct meeting to elect one of three courses of action, retaining the right to appeal to the Faculty Committee on Student Conduct. (See grounds for appeal listed in the Appeal Procedures section.) In certain circumstances, the respondent may be permitted to elect their course of action as part of the first meeting with the case administrator, making the second meeting optional. Regardless of the choice made by the respondent, if the case administrator has determined that an allegation could lead to a sanction of suspension or expulsion, the respondent will be automatically referred to the Academic Progress Committee for a full conduct hearing. The three courses of action are:
If an alleged incident occurs prior to the deadline to withdraw from classes, a respondent’s option to withdraw from a course in which an academic integrity allegation is pending will be held in abeyance until the allegation is resolved through the conduct process. Regardless of when an incident occurred, if the academic sanction is a failing grade or a grade of “NF” in the course, the respondent’s transcript will reflect the failing grade.
Academic Progress Committee Hearing
Normally, the chair of the Academic Progress Committee chairs academic conduct hearings. However, if the committee chair is not available, another faculty member of the committee may be elected by the committee members to chair an academic conduct hearing. The following procedures will be in effect for academic conduct cases heard by the Academic Progress Committee:
For information on sanctions and sanctioning guidelines for academic conduct cases, see the Conduct Sanctions section.
Under certain circumstances, as outlined in these procedures, respondents may appeal the decision of the original case administrator or hearing panel to an appeal panel, which will be comprised of members of the Faculty Committee on Student Conduct who were not involved in the original decision.
Additionally, the College will release the final results of any student conduct proceeding to a reporting party of any crime of violence, or a non-forcible sex offense. All such disclosures will occur regardless of the outcome of the complaint and will be made only when requested, in writing, by the reporting party (or the reporting party’s next of kin if the reporting party is deceased).
For information on appeal procedures in cases of sexual misconduct, please see the Lafayette College Interim Policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination.
A respondent who wishes to appeal the decision of a case administrator or hearing panel must submit the appeal
to the Office of the Dean of Advising and Co-curricular Programs (for academic dishonesty cases) or the Office of Student Conduct by 5 p.m. on the third business day following the day the official outcome letter was sent to the respondent. Instructions for submitting an appeal are included in the original outcome letter.
The written appeal must:
Grounds for Appeal
The option to appeal is limited to respondents who participated in the original conduct hearing or meeting. For an appellant who accepted responsibility, the only ground of appeal is inappropriate sanction (see number three below). Appellants who did not accept responsibility are permitted to appeal on any or all of the following grounds:
Upon receiving the written appeal, the Office of Advising and Co-curricular Programs or the Office of Student Conduct will transmit it to the chair of the hearing panel or case administrator and to any other party that has been granted an equal opportunity for appeal, if applicable. Once the written appeal is received, the chair of the original hearing panel or case administrator will file a written response with the Office of Advising and Co-curricular Programs or the Office of Student Conduct, usually within three business days. The response will then be transmitted to the appellant, the chair of the appeal panel and, if applicable, to any other party who has been granted an equal opportunity for appeal. Chairs of appeal panels will be designated by the chair of the Faculty Committee on Student Conduct in consultation with the assistant dean of students or designee. Selection of the chair for each panel will depend on a variety of considerations, including, but not limited to, prior experience with the conduct process, the nature of the case, schedule conflicts, recusal due to conflict of interest, and distribution of workload among the committee members.
In cases where a witness or complainant has been granted an equal opportunity for appeal, the procedures listed in this section may be initiated by that student rather than the respondent. Additionally, when more than one student has the right to appeal in a case, each will have the opportunity to submit a response to the other’s initial letter of appeal, if applicable, and those responses will be transmitted to the chair of the hearing panel or case administrator, the chair of the appeal panel, and the other student(s), either complainant(s) or respondent, involved in the case. In the event that only one party submits an appeal, the other party will be given a copy of that appeal and three business days to submit a response.
Appeal Acceptance or Denial
Once all documentation has been submitted, the chair of the committee will select one student member of the committee and an administrative officer to review the documentation. These two individuals will be provided with all documentation that was used by the hearing panel or case administrator, including any previous academic and/or conduct violations on record, and will review this information solely to determine whether a case review should be granted. The decision to review a case will be based on whether the appellant has presented grounds for consideration as outlined above. This group should not make a determination on whether the information presented warrants a change in outcome for the case but will simply determine whether the grounds presented are reasonable. If the appeal panel determines grounds have not been met, the hearing panel’s outcome is final and there is no additional opportunity for appeal.
Case Review Meeting
If the appeal is accepted, a case review meeting will take place at least 24 hours after the appeal panel members have received all documents in the case and normally within two weeks of the date the appellant’s written appeal has been received.
The appeal panel will receive information about any past conduct matters in which the respondent was found responsible for violating the code. In cases where the respondent is an organization, conduct history will be provided for the previous four academic years. The appellant will be made aware of all information provided to the appeal panel and may review that information in order to prepare for the case review.
Case review meetings are closed meetings. The panel’s deliberations are not recorded. No one else will be present unless the panel determines a meeting with the appellant, another involved party, the hearing panel chair or case administrator, or any witnesses is/are necessary. In cases where others are invited to provide information or answer questions, the proceedings will be recorded so long as those individuals are in the room. The appellant, and any other party granted an equal opportunity to appeal, may be present any time the proceedings are being recorded. An appellant may request a meeting with the appeal panel, but the panel is not obligated to allow it if it is deemed unnecessary. Any time the appellant is present, the appellant may be accompanied by an adviser chosen by him or her from the student body, faculty, or administrative officers of the College. (It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the adviser.) The purpose of the adviser is to advise the student, and the adviser may not directly address the panel or witnesses. In cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking, both complainants and respondents may have an adviser of their choice and are not limited to advisers from within the Lafayette community.
The appeal panel shall limit itself to reviewing the case in light of the specific ground(s) raised by the appellant. The case review is not a new hearing, but the panel will have at its disposal a record of the case. The appeal panel has the authority to uphold, reverse, increase the sanction, or modify the decision of a case administrator or hearing panel, or to refer the matter back to the original case administrator or hearing panel for a rehearing. The appeal panel’s decision is final and there is no additional opportunity for appeal.
In some instances, disputes between or among students or student organizations may be resolved through the use of conflict resolution methods such as mediation, restorative practices, counseling, and/or informal discussion. The use of conflict resolution services, when acceptable to the parties involved in a dispute, may be employed in lieu of or in addition to conduct procedures outlined in this document. However, the College reserves the right to proceed with the conduct process even if all parties prefer not to use the conduct process.
Students and organizations must recognize that violations of College and statutory rules and regulations can have serious repercussions. Students and organizations are encouraged to recognize their own responsibility for their actions and to realize that intoxication, ignorance of the rules of the College, or such similar evasions will serve as no excuse for violations.
When a respondent is found responsible for violating the community standards outlined in this code, the case administrator or appropriate committee or appellate body will impose sanctions that are intended to maintain an environment conducive to the achievement of the College’s educational mission as well as provide opportunities for the respondent to learn and grow as a result of the incident.
Sanctions imposed by a hearing panel or case administrator take effect immediately following notification of the outcome. A sanction involving a grade in a course does not take effect until the end of the semester.
Respondents who do not complete their assigned sanctions by the deadline provided to them may be subject to another conduct meeting or hearing for failing to comply. Repeated violations, including failing to comply with conduct sanctions, will result in increasingly severe sanctions up to and including expulsion.
In cases where a violation has been determined to have occurred, and it is deemed more likely than not that the respondent’s actions were based on the actual or perceived identity of another individual or group of individuals (including, but not limited to, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic identity, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, or pregnancy status), this information may be considered by the case administrator or hearing panel as an aggravating factor in determining an appropriate sanction.
The sanctions listed below are not exhaustive and may be added to or modified by the case administrator or hearing panel as deemed appropriate to achieve the goals mentioned above.
The following sanctions are intended to communicate to respondents the likelihood that repeated or escalated behavior could result in more severe sanctions including suspension or expulsion. Individual departments and programs, both internal and external to the College, may establish their own guidelines that rely in part on a student’s disciplinary status. It is important to note that even if the case administrator or hearing panel has assigned a sanction that does not have any restrictions, this does not preclude other programs and organizations from enacting their own sanctions or limitations based on these sanctions.
Formal Warning: Serves to remind a respondent that the incident will be recorded in the Office of Advising and Co-curricular Programs and will be considered in any future conduct cases.
Warning Probation: Given for a stated period of time as a warning that further misconduct may result in a more severe sanction. Warning Probation is not restrictive in nature.
Disciplinary Probation Level I: Given for a stated period of time. Level I may affect involvement in College programs and activities, such as full participation on sports teams and residing off campus. Specific departments and programs should be consulted for eligibility. While a student on Disciplinary Probation Level I may apply to study abroad, the probationary period must end before the official start date of the program. Please refer to the study abroad website for more detailed information. Any subsequent violations of college regulations may result in Level II Probation or suspension or expulsion from the College.
Disciplinary Probation Level II: Given for a stated period of time. A student on Level II is not eligible to hold office in any student organization or to represent Lafayette College in any official capacity (including study abroad, intercollegiate athletics, or club sports). The student is ineligible to become affiliated with a living group, and may not participate in extracurricular activities except those of an academic or religious nature or those approved specifically in the outcome determined by case administrator or hearing panel. Moreover, it is a warning that any further violations may result in suspension or expulsion from the College.
Social Probation: Social Probation is assigned to organizations that are found responsible for violating College policy. The specific restrictions placed on an organization that is on Social Probation are determined by the case administrator or hearing panel making the decision in each case. Although this is not an exhaustive list, Social Probation may include any or all of the following:
Suspension: The student is removed from the College community for a specified period of time. Suspension may be for the remainder of the semester and/or for the following semester(s). Suspension is noted on the transcript for the duration of the suspension. A student who is suspended from the College may not be present on any College property or participate in any College or student organization sponsored programs or services during the suspension.
Expulsion: The student is permanently removed from the College community without an opportunity for readmission. Expulsion is noted on the transcript permanently. A student who is expelled from the College may never be present on any College property or participate in any College or student organization sponsored programs or services.
Educational Session: Individuals or organizations may be required to participate in an educational experience such as a program, workshop, online tutorial, or individual meeting.
Fines: Fines will be billed to a student’s College account or assessed to a student organization as appropriate.
Loss of Privileges: Individuals or organizations may be denied access to privileges afforded to them as a member of the community as appropriate. Privileges include, but are not limited to, internet access, parking privileges, cross-visitation, and involvement in College programs or activities.
Parent(s) and/or Guardian(s) Conference: The parent(s) and/or guardian(s) will be asked to have a conference (in person or over the phone) with the respondent and an appropriate College administrator to discuss the incident.
Parent(s) and/or Guardian(s) Notification: A copy of the outcome letter will be sent to the address on file for the respondent’s parent(s) and/or guardian(s).
Restitution: Restitution may be billed by the College for services employed or damages resulting from a student or organization’s behavior. The College will not facilitate restitution between individual students or private citizens. Such issues will need to be resolved by filing a criminal complaint with police.
Revocation of Admission/Degree: Admission to or a degree awarded from the College may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violations of institutional standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
Substance Use Assessment: Individuals may be required to complete a substance use assessment with an agency identified by the College or of the student’s choosing. A student also may be required to complete any recommendations for treatment resulting from the assessment. The student will be required to furnish proof of completion of any required assessment or treatment.
Other Sanctions: Case administrators and hearing panels may create and design sanctions as appropriate to achieve the goals of sanctioning mentioned above and to respect the individuality of each case and each respondent. These may include, but are not limited to, reflection papers, research papers, service projects, program attendance, meetings, and program creation.
The sanctioning guidelines listed below may be modified by the case administrator or hearing panel as deemed appropriate to achieve the goals of sanctioning mentioned above.
In addition to the above penalties, the following guidelines will be used to determine academic sanctions when a respondent has been found responsible for violating the Academic Integrity Policy. The case administrator or hearing panel may modify these guidelines:
A grade of “NF” will be noted permanently on a student’s transcript and indicates that the grade resulted from an academic conduct case.
In addition to any College-imposed sanctions, the leadership of any related external organization and/or appropriate representatives of the organization, if applicable, will be notified. Student organizations co-sponsoring events will be held equally accountable for violations of College policy. For the purpose of student organizations and the guidelines below, the second and third offense sanctions are applicable if the subsequent offenses occur within two years of the first offense.
Removal of Recognition of a Student Organization
The College will revoke recognition of an organization for a specified time period and the organization may be required to comply with specified requirements in order to restore recognition in the future. An organization whose recognition is removed is no longer eligible to receive benefits normally afforded to student organizations including, but not limited to, the ability to utilize College facilities or funds to support any student organization related activity.
OFFICE OF STUDENT CONDUCT RECORDS RETENTION POLICY
All records pertaining to student conduct meetings or hearings are maintained either on paper or electronically by the Office of Student Conduct and are considered part of a student’s education record as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Except where noted below, these records are destroyed seven (7) years after the end of the academic year in which the incident took place or was resolved.
The following types of records are destroyed 80 years after the end of the academic year in which the incident took place or was resolved:
Letters explaining the outcome of a conduct meeting or hearing that are delivered to a student or organization may be copied to other departments as appropriate. Copies of these letters that have been released in accordance with FERPA are subject to the records policies of other departments or college personnel, as appropriate. Copies of these letters that have been released in accordance with FERPA illustrate the College’s value of educating the whole student at every opportunity, both in and out of the classroom. These copies are subject to the records and confidentiality policies of those individuals and departments that received them and also may be released in accordance with FERPA for educational purposes.
All records pertaining to student academic conduct meetings or hearings are maintained either on paper or electronically by the Office of Advising and Co-curricular Programs and are considered part of a student’s education record as defined by FERPA. These records are maintained permanently.