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 policies and procedures that govern cases of sexual harassment (an umbrella term for sexual misconduct) can be found on the Educational Equity website.
The vice president for Student 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 Student 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 Student Conduct Board consists of faculty, students, and a Student Life representative.
The Student Conduct Board is responsible for hearing cases that are referred to it by the Assistant Dean of Students or designee. At least three board members 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), previous board members may be called upon to hear the case. 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 Student 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 in the Academic Conduct section of the Handbook.
Information on the policies and procedures that govern cases of sexual harassment (an umbrella term for sexual misconduct) can be found on the Educational Equity 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, Residence Life, faculty, staff, and students. The assistant dean of students or designee 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 Student Life staff member on call, the dean of students, the assistant dean of students, or the vice president for student 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 Student 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 respondent shall be contacted to schedule an informal meeting with a case administrator. 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. The student will be given an opportunity to provide information about the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation. This conversation may proceed into a case administrator hearing or be a precursor to a Student Conduct Board hearing.
The respondent may be accompanied by an adviser of their choice from the student body, faculty, or administrative officers of the College.
Case Administrator Hearings are meetings with an individual staff member who will determine responsibility and, if appropriate, sanctions.
Board Hearings are meetings with representatives from the Student Conduct Board. Those representatives will determine responsibility and, if appropriate, sanctions. Board hearings are more formal in nature and are typically used for charges that could result in more serious outcomes, including but not limited to suspension or expulsion from the College. The assistant dean of students or designee determines which cases are referred to the board.
The appeal process is the same regardless of type of hearing.
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 assign 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 is appropriate (or Social Probation or Removal of Recognition, in the case of an organization), the respondent may appeal the decision according to the procedures outlined below.
The following procedures will be in effect for conduct cases heard by members of the Student Conduct Board:
Under certain circumstances, as outlined in these procedures, respondents may appeal the decision of the original case administrator or panel to an appeal panel, which will be composed of members of the Student Conduct Board 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).
A respondent who wishes to appeal the decision of a case administrator or panel must submit the appeal to the Office of 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 assistant dean of students or designee will identify three appeal panel participants from the Student Conduct Board who were not involved in the original decision. Selection of panelists for each case 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 board members. Both panelists and appellant(s) will be given the opportunity to identify conflicts of interest.
Additionally, once the written appeal is received, the assistant dean of students or designee will share the appeal with the original panel and/or case administrator, who will file a written response with the Office of Student Conduct, usually within three business days.
The assistant dean of students or designee will share the appeal submission and all related materials, including the original panel and/or case administrator’s response, with the appeal panel, the appellant, and, if applicable, to any other party who has been granted an equal opportunity for appeal.
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 original panel or case administrator, the appeal panel, and the other student(s), either complainant(s) or respondent(s), 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.
An appeal 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 have access to all information provided to the appeal panel.
Appeal meetings are closed meetings. The panel’s deliberations are not recorded. The assistant dean of students or designee will attend as a non-voting participant to ensure procedural integrity. No one else will be present unless the panel determines a meeting with the appellant, another involved party, the 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 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 anyone else, including the panel or witnesses.
The appeal panel shall limit itself to reviewing the case in light of the specific ground(s) raised by the appellant. The appeal meeting is not a new hearing, but the panel will have a record of the case at its disposal. The appeal panel has the authority to uphold, reverse, increase the sanction, or modify the decision of a case administrator or board panel, or to refer the matter back to the original case administrator or original board 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 hearing 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 board panel or case administrator take effect immediately following notification of the outcome.
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 board 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 board 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 board 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 board 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 has been assigned Social Probation are determined by the case administrator or board 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 Sanction: 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 board panel as deemed appropriate to achieve the goals of sanctioning mentioned above.
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.