Earlham College’s Student Code of Conduct exists within the context of Earlham’s Principles and Practices. Further, this conduct policy, as well as Principles and Practices, exists within the mission of Earlham College as an educational community committed to pursuing truth wherever that pursuit leads, and to educating morally sensitive leaders. These policies and procedures are the methods of an educational community, not a state, nor a court of law. It is our community’s hope that disputes be confronted directly and honestly among the parties involved. Further, we hope that personal conduct can be influenced by the development of a student’s sense of responsibility to and for the community, and through the practices of self-examination and restraint by individuals and groups.
The Student Code of Conduct is designed to provide clear, fair, and consistent procedures and policies relevant to all student conduct. Earlham College’s Principles and Practices outline the Friends’ testimonies that help to shape and sustain the community we strive to become, and the practices that are necessary if our community is to thrive. Earlham’s principles of respect for persons, integrity, commitment to peace and justice, concern for human and global resources, and governance based on consensus decision-making, provide the ideological framework for the College and its Student Code of Conduct. Therefore, Earlham stresses peaceful resolution of conflict, equality of persons, and high moral standards of personal conduct.
A good Student Code of Conduct encourages compassionate and thoughtful student, staff, and faculty involvement in student life. It focuses on the maintenance and development of a community based upon thoughtful interpersonal education and early intervention.
II. Jurisdiction of the College
Members of the College community have responsibilities to federal, state, and local laws. The College will report any possible felony to the local authorities at the discretion of the College and whenever required by law. Further, Earlham holds students accountable for on and off-campus violations of College regulations and expectations. For the purpose of this Code, a "student" is defined as any person who is admitted, enrolled, or registered for study at Earlham College for any academic period and those who may attend other educational institutions but reside in an Earlham residence facility. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a specific term but who have a continuing student relationship with, or an educational interest in, Earlham College are considered "students". A person shall also be considered a student during any period in which the student is under suspension from the institution or when the person is attending or participating in any activity preparatory to the beginning of school including, but not limited to, orientation, placement testing, and residence hall check-in.
Earlham will also enforce students’ rights and freedoms in relation to College policies and will practice restraint in the exercise of its jurisdiction. Any member of the Earlham community wishing to bring a complaint against a faculty or staff member may do so by reporting them to the Grievance Officer. The College protects students’ civil rights, including the right to a degree of privacy as outlined by federal and state law, freedom from discriminatory harassment, access to a fundamentally fair conduct process, access to information, and participation in College governance.
III. Student Conduct
As noted above, Earlham’s Student Code of Conduct is inextricably related to the Friends’ testimonies cited in our Principles and Practices. Respect for persons, for example, requires that one act with respect, responsibility, and caring for all people. Any behavior that counteracts that imperative is subject to review under the Student Code of Conduct. At the same time, the procedures of the Student Code of Conduct review process require that persons under its purview be treated with respect.
This dual application of the testimonies to individual behavior and to institutional process applies to each principle. Integrity not only requires that individuals behave truthfully, honestly, and fairly with each other and the institution; it also requires the Student Code of Conduct to be careful and honest in its evaluations. Peace with justice works against violence whether physical, emotional or verbal, as manifest in our institutional process and personal associations. Simplicity not only requires clarity, calm, and focus in Earlham’s Student Code of Conduct, it also speaks to individual behavior that causes or results in distraction, stress, and excess. Community participation in the Student Code of Conduct is guided by the College’s commitment to consensus governance. The acceptance of the result of consensus decisions speaks to the responsibility of all persons who participate in the Student Code of Conduct.
The goals and process of Earlham’s Student Code of Conduct attempts to reflect our highest aspirations for living in community. Once engaged, the student conduct system seeks, as a primary goal, to address the most basic expectations of student conduct at the College through education and intervention.
Below is a list of actions that will be subject to disciplinary sanctions. The list is not all-encompassing. Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol will not serve as an excuse if found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Acts of dishonesty including, but not limited to, the following:
- Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty.
- Providing false information to any College official, faculty member, office, or hearing board acting in performance of their duties.
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College document, record, or instrument of identification.
- Tampering with the election of any College-recognized student organization.
- Disruptive activity that causes the obstruction of teaching, learning, research, administration, conduct, or infringement upon the rights of others. Such activity includes, but is not limited to, behavior in a classroom or instructional program that interferes with the faculty member or presenter's ability to conduct the class or program or the ability of others to profit from the class or program.
- Failure to comply with the directions of College officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties.
- Violation of published College policies, rules, or regulations including, but not limited to, smoking, traffic, and computer-related misconduct.
- Theft of any kind, including seizing, receiving, or concealing property with knowledge that it has been stolen is prohibited. Sale, possession, or misappropriation of any property or services without the owner's permission is also prohibited.
- Damage to, or destruction of, property or actions that have the potential for such damage or destruction is prohibited. Conduct which threatens to damage or creates hazardous conditions such as dropping, throwing, or causing objects or substances to fall from windows, doors, ledges, balconies, or roofs is also prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized application of graffiti, paint, etc. to property or removal of window restrictors, security screens, etc.
- The unauthorized creation of a fire within a building or on College grounds, safety or health hazards including tampering with fire safety equipment, failure to evacuate College buildings, or willfully disregarding an emergency or fire alarm system.
- Harm to Persons: Actions which result in physical harm, have the potential for physically harming another person, which create conditions that pose a risk of physical harm to another, or which cause reasonable apprehension of physical harm are prohibited.
- Harassment: Conduct that creates or attempts to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person is prohibited. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, action(s) or statement(s) that threaten harm, that intimidate a person, stalking, voyeurism (or peeping), or any other form of unwanted contact.
- Hazing and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the mental or physical health or safety of any person.
- Weapons, firearms, or explosives: illegal, unauthorized or possession of ammunition, firearms or other weapons (including, but not limited to, knives, slingshots, metal knuckles, paintball guns, BB guns, and air pistols). The use or display of any object or instrument in a dangerous or threatening manner is prohibited.
- Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that:
- Is sufficiently severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive.
- Unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational program and/or activities.
- Is based on power differentials (including quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
- Sexual Misconduct: non-consensual sexual contact (or attempts to commit same), non-consensual sexual intercourse (or attempts to commit same), and/or sexual exploitation.
- Students of legal age may possess and consume alcohol within permissible areas only. Alcohol is not permitted in the First Year residential areas. Public consumption of alcohol is prohibited, and alcohol may not be consumed in common areas, including but not limited to hallways, stairwells, lounges or kitchens. Consumption of alcohol in the College-owned houses is limited to persons of legal age and the interior of the house.
- Illegal possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited. The sale or purchase of alcohol on any College property, including living spaces is prohibited; no fee, charge or donation to any activity where alcohol is present is permitted.
- The possession, sale, use or consumption of illegal drugs (including illegal use of prescription medication) and/or drug paraphernalia is prohibited. Paraphernalia includes but is not limited to the following: bongs, pipes, blunts, grinders and/or similar objects.
- Violation of federal, state, or local law(s). The arrest or detention for an alleged violation of a federal, state, or local law(s) not covered by these policies may subject the student to adjudication under the standard of proof utilized by the Student Code of Conductfor that alleged violation.
IV. Conduct Policy: Academic Violations
The Conduct Policy for Academic Violations is based on Earlham’s academic expectations of its students as set forth in the College’s policies.
Please refer to the Academic Policy listing at the website and the explanation of Academic Integrity in the Academic Life section of the Student Handbook.
A. College Authorities for Academic Violations
- The Academic Dean or his/her designee is responsible for advising the faculty member and the student(s) about the conduct process, for oversight of the process, and reporting results of non-hearing cases.
- A past Associate Dean from Academic Affairs will convene a hearing when one is required. If necessary, the Academic Dean or the Sr. Assoc. VP for Academic Affairs can designate a convener other than a past Associate Academic Dean.
- The Conduct Council (CC) Faculty Pool is a minimum of three faculty approved by the Faculty Nominating Committee for three-year overlapping terms with the option of renewal after the term has ended. Nominations for this pool can come from Faculty Nominating Committee in consultation with Student Development. Members of this pool function as faculty representation on Academic and Social Conduct Councils as well as all Appeals Boards. The selection process should strive for gender, race, class, and national diversity.
- The Conduct Council (CC) Student Pool is a minimum of four students approved by the Earlham Student Government Executive Council. Nominations for this pool can come from Earlham Student Government in consultation with Student Development. Students must have completed a minimum of two semesters at the College, be in and maintain good academic standing, and not subject to any conduct sanction(s) in the semester for which they are nominated or during their tenure. Students may serve up to three one-year terms. Members of this pool function as student representation on Academic and Social Conduct Councils as well as all Appeals Boards. The selection process should strive for gender, race, class, and national diversity.
- Academic Conduct Council (ACC) is coordinated by the Sr. Assoc. VP for Academic Affairs, past Associate Academic Deans, one faculty member, assigned in rotation from the CC Faculty Pool, and two students from the CC Student Pool and selected by the Sr. Assoc. VP for Academic Affairs or past Associate Academic Dean that will serve as Convener. ACC hears cases of alleged academic infractions assigned to them by the Academic Dean and all members participate in reaching consensus. In instances where there may be a conflict of interest, a Council Member may remove themselves, at which time the Convener will designate another member.
- The Faculty Member (or another designated member of the Faculty) bringing the charge is responsible for gathering the information to support the charge.
- Two Support People, one for the accused and one for the complainant, may be chosen to accompany each party to any meeting related to the conduct process and to the hearing. A Support Person may be any faculty or staff member of the College community, but may not be an attorney-at-law.
The role of the Support Person is to provide support, advice, or assistance to the person requesting his or her presence. The Support person is to advise the student or faculty member they are accompanying in preparing for the hearing, understanding the conduct processes and potential outcomes, and to offer consultation during the hearing itself. During a Conduct Council, the Support Person functions solely as an adviser to the student or faculty member requesting their presence and may not address the Council unless requested by the Council to do so. The Support Person is not permitted to serve as a witness, examine parties or witnesses or provide statements to the Council.
- The Academic Conduct Council Appeals Board (ACC-A), which considers the merit of an appeal and is convened if warranted, is composed of one faculty member and one student member, both of whom are assigned from their respective pools, and both of whom did not participate in the original ACC process, and an Associate Dean. All ACC-A members participate in consensus and all decisions of the ACC-A are final.
B. Conduct Procedures for Academic Violations
- Filing the Complaint: Any member of the College Teaching Faculty may bring a charge against a student(s). A student may report themselves for committing an academic infraction. Any student may also bring to the attention of the faculty member suspected acts of academic infraction.
- Disposition of Academic Infraction Charge: If a member of the teaching faculty suspects that an academic infraction has occurred, the faculty member will normally first notify the student and the Academic Dean.
- A First Violation: The Academic Dean will determine if this alleged infraction would be the first recorded infraction by the student. If this would be the First Infraction, the faculty member and student will meet.
- If the student and faculty member agree that no infraction occurred, the matter ends.
- If they agree that an infraction has occurred, the faculty member will assess an appropriate sanction and will decide whether this will be considered an Infraction or a Warning (see Sanctions for when a Warning is appropriate).
- If the student and faculty member agree on the sanction, the faculty member will report the infraction and sanction to the Academic Dean, who will see that the sanction is appropriately recorded in the student’s permanent College file as an Infraction, or the Dean’s Warning File. The Academic Dean will communicate to the student concerning the serious consequences of any subsequent academic infractions.
- If a student receives a Warning and has no further academic infractions, that student’s name will be removed from the Dean’s Warning File upon graduation or withdraws from the College.
- If the student and faculty member do not agree that an infraction has occurred or do not agree concerning the sanction, the faculty member will report this to the Associate Dean.
- If the student has no history of Infractions or Warnings, the student may choose either a Dean’s Hearing or an ACC Hearing.
- The Dean’s Hearing or the ACC Hearing will determine whether or not an infraction has occurred, what the appropriate sanction is, and whether it will be termed a Warning or a First Infraction.
- The Dean’s Hearing would involve only the designated Associate Dean, the student, the faculty member, any appropriate witnesses, and if requested, a support person on behalf of the faculty member and/or student.
- In all other cases, the Associate Dean will arrange for an ACC Hearing.
- A Second or Third Infraction or an Infraction following a Warning: If the student’s or the Dean’s Warning File contains a record of one or more prior academic Infraction(s) or Warning(s), the faculty member will be notified to determine if he/she is ready to proceed with the charge of an Infraction. If so, an ACC Hearing will be arranged.
- If the student and faculty member agree that no infraction occurred, the matter ends.
- If proceeding with a charge of an infraction, the faculty member will report to the Academic Dean in writing the formal charge of an academic Infraction and the result of the conversation with the student.
- The Academic Dean will advise the student about procedures and options and present written notification of the charges to the student.
- The ACC Hearing Procedure for Academic Violations
- In response to receiving a charge and in advance of the hearing, the Associate Dean (or designee) will contact the parties involved concerning the time of the hearing and process to be followed.
- The Associate Dean (or designee) will schedule an ACC Hearing, which will normally occur no sooner than 24 hours but no longer than 10 business days after the student is sent written notification of the charges.
- Persons who must be available at the time of an ACC Hearing include: the members of the Council; two students and one faculty member; the Associate Dean; the accused; and the faculty member(s) unless the right to be present is waived in writing prior to the scheduled hearing. An optional Support Person for either party to the case may also be present. All members of the ACC Hearing will participate in the consensus in responding to the charges. The hearing will not be open to the community.
- An ACC Hearing is not a court of law and does not adhere to rules of procedure or evidence followed in a state or federal courtroom. An ACC Hearing determination shall be made on the basis of a “preponderance of evidence”: whether it is “more likely than not” that the accused student violated the academic policy.
- The Associate Dean convenes and conducts the hearing and has the authority to decide on procedural issues and questions and to dismiss disruptive persons from the proceedings.
- After introductions of persons present, the hearing begins with the Associate Dean reading the charges. The Associate Dean, the faculty member and the accused may make brief opening statements. The accused may choose not to speak at any point during the hearing.
- Witnesses and evidence may be presented, first by the faculty member and then by the accused. If the faculty member has waived his/her right to attend, another Associate Dean will present the evidence. Any member of the Council may ask questions, as may the faculty member or accused. All relevant evidence will be admissible. The Associate Dean determines relevancy and will identify in the hearing any evidence that will be inadmissible.
- The faculty member or designated Associate Dean and accused may make final personal statements.
- The ACC will then deliberate privately to consider, first, whether the accused is accountable. If the accused is found to be accountable, the ACC then engages in deliberations to determine what sanction(s) is appropriate.
- To encourage the application of similar sanctions for similar infractions, the Associate Dean will explain what sanctions are usually applied to an infraction.
- A student’s academic conduct history will be taken into consideration during the sanction phase of a hearing.
- ACC may choose one of, or several among, all available sanctions and may also design a specific sanction for a specific infraction.
- Immediately after ACC reaches a decision, the Associate Dean will notify the student and faculty member of the results in the presence of the ACC. Parties to the case will receive a written and/or electronic statement of the decision, including information about the appeals process, within three business days of the decision. Students will be directed to pick up the final letter and sign for it at the Office of the Academic Dean.
C. Appeals Process for Academic Violations
- The only acceptable grounds for appeal are: a lapse of process that might have made a difference in the outcome, persuasive new evidence, or an inappropriate sanction. The petition for an appeal must address one or more of these three grounds in detail.
- A petition for an appeal, from either the complainant or the accused, must be given to the Academic Dean within five business days from the day the ACC decision was sent or within a calendar week should the decision occur at the end of a semester or before an academic break period. The Dean will determine if there are acceptable grounds for an appeal to go forward to an Appeals Council. Should the Dean determine there are not acceptable grounds, the matter ends with the decision of the Dean.
- Should the Academic Dean determine that an appeal is warranted, an Appeals Board will be convened to review the petition.
- The Hearing Officer for Appeals is an alternate member of the Academic Conduct Council who did not participate in the original ACC Hearing process.
- The Appeals Board includes one alternate faculty member and one alternate student who did not participate in the original ACC process.
- All decisions of the Appeals Board are final. The Appeals Board will issue its results at the close of the meeting and forward copy of minutes to those involved.
D. Sanctions for Academic Violations
Sanctions resulting from an Academic Violation include, but are not limited to:
- A First Infraction or a Warning will usually result in a 0 or F on a specific work or for the course.
- The first time a student is accused of a breach of academic integrity, the student and faculty member, or the ACC, may decide that this was an educational experience for the student.
- Some infractions are clearly intentional and egregious, such as buying a paper from an on-line source, stealing a paper from a classmate, or using a cell phone to cheat on a test. Infractions the faculty member, the Associate Dean or ACC deems egregious and intentional will be called a First Infraction.
- Some infractions are clearly opposed to academic integrity as stated in our policy but are less clearly the result of dishonesty on the student’s part; the student may not fully understand the rules of citation or what constitutes producing independent work.
- Since plagiarism does not rely solely on intention, students may need to learn how to actively avoid plagiarism. In these cases, the student will receive a Warning rather than a First Infraction.
- Because the student is expected to learn from this experience, if a student commits additional infractions, that Warning will be treated as if it were a First Infraction.
- For a Second Infraction or an Infraction following a Warning, a student will normally be suspended for the remainder of the semester and for the following semester.
- Students who are suspended as a consequence of academic dishonesty will not be able to transfer College credits toward an Earlham degree from courses taken elsewhere while on suspension.
- A student may return to Earlham after a period of suspension on the condition that he/she provides a written statement affirming commitment to Earlham’s standard of academic integrity.
- The statement should be sent to the Academic Dean who will include it in Academic Conduct Council files.
- The statement will be placed in the student’s permanent academic file.
- For a Third Infraction, including a Second Infraction following a Warning, a student will usually be expelled from the College.
V. Conduct Policy: Social Violations
A. Conduct Authorities for Social Violations
- The Vice President and Dean of Student Development (VPDS) or his/her designee is responsible for investigating and coordinating a response to violations of social conduct. He/She may also bring a complaint on behalf of the College and function as the “College’s voice” in hearings where a charge is being brought against an individual or group by the College. Further, he/she may require a student to leave campus and be denied access to all College programs, facilities and services before consideration of formal allegations. This will happen when the allegations are viewed as threatening or injurious to the well-being of members of the community or the orderly functioning of the College.
- The Conduct Adviser is an Associate Dean or his/her designee, who is responsible for initiating an investigation of possible College social policy violations, bringing charges against alleged offending students and coordinating a response. He/She may offer student alternatives for resolving an issue without resorting to a Social Conduct Council (SCC) Hearing but may not require a student to accept the alternatives. The Conduct Adviser determines whether a case is heard by a SCC. The Conduct Adviser may in the course of investigation or during a SCC call additional witnesses on behalf of the College who may not have appeared at the request of the complainant or accused.
- The Conduct Council (CC) Faculty Pool is a minimum of three faculty approved by the Faculty Nominating Committee for three-year, overlapping terms with the option of renewal after the term has ended. Nominations for this pool can come from Faculty Nominating Committee in consultation with Student Development. Members of this pool function as faculty representation on Academic and Social Conduct Councils as well as all Appeals Boards. The selection process should strive for gender, race, class and national diversity.
- The Conduct Council (CC) Student Pool is a minimum of four students approved by the Earlham Student Government Executive Council. Nominations for this pool can come from Student Government in consultation with Student Development. Students must have completed a minimum of two semesters at the College, be in and maintain good academic standing and not subject to any conduct sanction in the semester for which they are nominated or during their tenure. Students may serve up to three one-year terms. Members of this pool function as student representation on Academic and Social Conduct Councils as well as all Appeals Boards. The selection process should strive for gender, race, class and national diversity.
- Social Conduct Council (SCC) is made up of two faculty members, selected from the CC Faculty Pool, and two students selected by the CC Student Pool. In instances where there may be a conflict of interest, a Council Member may remove themselves at which time the Conduct Adviser will designate another member. A non-consensing Hearing Officer is also part of the group. A SCC hears cases of alleged social violations assigned to them by the Conduct Adviser. It determines responsibility for such violations and assigns sanctions appropriate to the circumstances.
- The SCC Hearing Officer for social violations is a Student Development administrative faculty member or a former CC Faculty Pool member designated by the Conduct Adviser. In instances where there may be a conflict of interest, the Hearing Officer may remove themselves at which time the Conduct Adviser will designate another Hearing Officer.
The Hearing Officer, with administrative support from Student Development staff, oversees all matters germane to the SCC hearing portion of the conduct process. He/She meets with and serves as a procedural resource for the complainant and the accused but is not a member of a SCC consensus decision.
- The Conduct Investigative Team is made up of the Conduct Adviser, the Director of Campus Safety and Security. Investigations typically include but are not limited to: meetings with the accused and the complainant separately, possible witnesses and consulting with relevant reporting offices. In all cases involving sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator and a professional investigator contracted by the Office of Student Development will also be a part of the Investigative Team.
- The Social Conduct Council Appeals Board (SCC-A), which considers the merit of an appeal is convened if warranted, and is composed of one faculty member, one student member and a Hearing Officer, all of whom are assigned from their respective pools, and did not participate in the original SCC process. With the exception of the Hearing Officer, all SCC-A members participate in consensus and all decisions of the SCC-A are final.
- The SCC for Appealsis convened when the SCC-A Board has granted an appeal and is made up of the SCC-A Hearing Officer, two alternate CC Faculty Pool members and two alternate CC Student Pool members who have no prior involvement with the case. This group will follow the same procedures of a SCC.
- Two Support People, one for the accused and one for the complainant, may be chosen to accompany each party to any meeting related to the conduct process and to the hearing. A Support Person is a member of the college community: faculty, staff member or student who has successfully completed training through the Office of Student Development. Members of Earlham Counseling Services, Safety and Security, and Residence Life staff may not be used as a Support Person.
The role of the Support Person is to provide support, advice, or assistance to the person requesting his or her presence. The Support person is to advise the student in preparing for the hearing, understanding the conduct processes and potential outcomes, and to offer consultation during the hearing itself. During a Conduct Council, the Support Person functions solely as an adviser to the student requesting their presence and may not address the Council unless requested by the Council to do so. The Support Person is not permitted to serve as a witness, examine parties or witnesses or provide statements to the Council.
- In SCC cases of Sexual Misconduct, in addition to the Support Person (see V:A:10), the complainant and/or accused may bring a second support person who is a college community member trained in issues regarding sexual misconduct to any meeting related to the conduct process and hearing.
B. Conduct Procedures for Social Violations
- Filing a Complaint: Any member of the College community may bring a complaint against a student or student group within the community. A student may also report themselves for committing a social violation. The initial complaint is made to the Conduct Adviser. A consultation is then scheduled between the Conduct Adviser and the complainant. This meeting may result in a written statement of complaint and/or referral to Campus Safety and Security for a formal incident report.
- Disposition of Social Violation Complaints
- Once a complaint has been made and/or a report has been filed, the Conduct Investigative Team oversees an investigation. In extraordinary circumstances a student may be immediately removed from campus before the investigation is completed.
- If a complaint is deemed to have merit, and depending upon the seriousness of the offense, the Conduct Adviser may officially charge the accused student and/or may offer the parties more than one conduct option.
- If a complainant withdraws a complaint during the course of an investigation and/or a disciplinary proceeding, the College reserves the right to continue the conduct process on the basis of evidence other than the testimony of the complainant.
- An offer to pursue a conduct matter outside of the SCC process is entirely up to the Conduct Adviser and is not a matter of due process for all students or offenses.
- An offer to pursue a conduct matter outside of the SCC process is entirely up to the Conduct Adviser and is not a matter of due process for all students or offenses. Mediation between the complainant and the accused, except in cases of Sexual Misconduct or Assault, may be offered with the understanding that it is entirely voluntary on both their parts and ends in a mutually acceptable agreement that may not be appealed and will be enforced. If an agreement cannot be reached, the matter will be referred to the SCC. Any breach of the agreement is also a violation subject to conduct response.
- If the accused agrees to an administrative alternative and admits to violation(s) of the Student Conduct policies/procedures, disciplinary sanctions may be invoked or applied as outlined in Section F: Conduct Sanctions for Social Violations. Agreements reached through administrative alternatives are final and may not be appealed.
- If the conduct matter is referred to a SCC, a statement identifying the allegation, the date of its occurrence, and date of the SCC hearing will be sent to the accused.
- A SCC hearing will usually be scheduled not less than three but no more than ten business days after the student is sent an allegation statement and when all parties are free from class obligations.
- Co-curricular involvement is not a barrier to scheduling a hearing.
- Both parties, on one occasion, may request the Hearing Officer to reschedule a hearing.
- The request must be made in writing at least one business day prior to the scheduled hearing.
- The SCC Hearing Procedure for Social Violations
- The hearing process and initial meetings with the Hearing Officer begin with the presumption that the accused is innocent unless found to be accountable to the charges.
- The Hearing Officer, in advance of the SCC, will meet with all parties to assure the conduct process is understood by everyone and that procedures have been followed.
- He/She determines what witnesses and Support Persons will be present at the hearing.
- He/She provides written information regarding the formalities of the hearing and participant rights.
- He/She determines the case information to be presented at the hearing. All witnesses’ names and pieces of evidence must be given by the parties to the Hearing Officer (or his/her administrative support) no later than two business days before a scheduled hearing. Only evidence that is found to be directly relevant to the hearing will be admitted.
- A SCC Hearing is not a court-of-law and does not adhere to rules of procedure or evidence followed in a state or federal courtroom. A SCC determination shall be made on the basis of a “preponderance of evidence”: whether it is “more likely than not” that the accused student violated the conduct policy.
- A digital recording will be made of the hearing, but not of the SCC deliberations. In the event of an appeal, this recording will be available to the accused, the complainant, the SCC-A Board and to the President of the College. The recording will remain in the possession of the College at all times and will be retained with other records of the proceedings for one semester after the accused student graduates or leaves the College.
- The Hearing Officer convenes and conducts the hearing. He/She has the authority to exclude/remove disruptive persons from the proceedings. He/She is present as the facilitator of deliberations assigning responsibility and, if necessary, sanctions as stated in Section V:A:1.
- After introductions of the persons present, the hearing begins with the Hearing Officer reading the allegations statement. If the accused cannot be compelled to be present, the hearing will proceed, and decisions will be reached in his/her absence.
- The Conduct Adviser, the complainant, and the accused may make brief opening statements. The Investigative Team’s report will also be presented at this time.
- Witnesses may be presented, first by the complainant and then by the accused. The complainant, the accused, Hearing Officer, Conduct Adviser, and all members of the SCC may question the witnesses. Witnesses will be present only at times when they offer evidence.
- The complainant, the accused, and all members of SCC may question the complainant and the accused. The Hearing Officer and the Conduct Adviser may ask clarifying questions of the complainant and the accused.
- Allegations of past social violations and/or behaviors are not admissible within a SCC Hearing. Relevant social violations, in which the accused was found accountable, may be admissible.
- The complainant and the accused may make final statements. Following final statements, the complainant, the accused, and support persons are dismissed to their assigned waiting areas during deliberations.
- During deliberations the SCC members will consider, first, whether the accused is accountable. The Hearing Officer and/or Conduct Adviser are present during deliberations. Deliberations will not proceed later than 9 pm. Incomplete deliberations will be reconvened as soon as possible. These decisions should be rendered as soon as reasonably possible, but in no more than five business days after the hearing has been completed. If the accused is found accountable, the SCC then engages in deliberations to determine the appropriate sanction(s).
- The Hearing Officer will explain what sanction(s) have been applied to similar offenses in the past to encourage comparable sanctions. The Conduct Adviser may also be consulted.
- A student’s conduct history will be taken into consideration when determining a sanction(s).
- The SCC may choose one or more sanctions from the suggestions contained within this policy. The SCC may also design a specific sanction for a specific social violation in consultation with the Hearing Officer and/or Conduct Adviser.
- The Hearing Officer and/or the Conduct Adviser, in consultation with Counseling Services, may require both the complainant and the accused to participate in counseling following completion of a SCC Hearing.
- The Hearing Officer will bring together the parties to the case (and their Support Persons) to hear the decision.
- Parties to the case will receive a written and/or electronic statement of the decision, including information about the appeals process, within three business days of the decision. Students will also be notified by e-mail and/or telephone that the letter has been sent.
C. Appeals Process for SCC Hearings of Social Violations
- The only acceptable grounds for appeal are: a lapse of process that might have made a difference in the outcome, persuasive new evidence, or an inappropriate sanction.
- A petition for an appeal, from either the complainant or the accused, must be given to the Conduct Adviser within five business days from the day the SCC decision was sent or within a calendar week should the decision occur at the end of a semester or before an academic break period.
- The Social Conduct Council Appeal Board (SCC-A) must be convened within five business days of receipt of the petition.
- The Hearing Officer of the Social Conduct Council Appeal Board (SCC-A) receives the petition, and with the SCC-A members, considers its merit. This may require a review of the file and the recording of the hearing.
- SCC-A makes the determination if an appeal is granted or denied and all decisions are final.
- The SCC-A’s decision is rendered in writing to the Conduct Adviser and he/she sends it to both the complainant and accused within five business days.
- If the SCC-A agrees that a petition has merit, it is then referred to SCC for Appeals. This group follows the procedure of SCC as outlined in this document in Section V:B:3.
D. Conduct Sanctions for Social Violations
- Recommended Responses for Social Violations
- Disciplinary Probation or Suspension:
- Acts of emotional or physical harm.
- Serious disorderly conduct.
- Possession and/or consumption of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.
- Serious acts of emotional or physical harm.
- Providing, sharing and/or selling illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.
- Recommended MINIMUM Responses for Specific Social Violations
- Acts of emotional or physical harm: For a first offense, the response is disciplinary probation or suspension from the College; for the second offense, suspension from the College; for a third offense, expulsion from the College.
- Disorderly behavior or violation of other College rules while possessing or consuming alcohol and other drugs: For a first offense, the response is disciplinary probation; for a second offense, assessment and treatment and/or one semester’s suspension from the College; for a third offense, one year’s suspension from the College (which may also include assessment and treatment).
- Possession and/or consumption of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia: For a first offense, the response is disciplinary probation; for a second offense, counseling and/or one semester’s suspension from the College; for a third offense, one year’s suspension from the College (which may also include assessment and treatment).
- Providing, sharing and/or selling illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia: Penalties up to and including expulsion from the College.
- Arson: Expulsion from the College.
- Repeat Violations: In the case of repeated violations or violation in deliberate disregard of a specific warning, a student will be subject to more serious sanctions than would otherwise be the case.
VI. Review and Revision of this Document
A review of these Conduct Policies and Procedures shall occur following the periodic review of Earlham’s Principles and Practices. Any community member or group may propose amendments by contacting the student and faculty leadership of the Committee on Campus Life. Generally, amendments need to be approved by the Faculty and in some cases by the Board of Trustees.
VII. Administrative Authority
The College defines administrative authority in the following manner:
- In the event of unforeseen difficulties with this policy and process as it pertains to academic violations, the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, in consultation with the enumerated Conduct Process Authorities, may institute changes as appropriate.
- In the event of unforeseen difficulties with this policy and process as it pertains to social violations, the Vice President and Dean of Student Development, in consultation with the enumerated Conduct Process Authorities, may institute changes as appropriate.
As a general rule the President of Earlham College is not involved in issues of Student Conduct. However, he/she is empowered to determine the status of any student at any time and may review any College process he/she chooses. However, she/he has an obligation to try to assure the safety of individuals, and to preserve the property, legal status and educational process of the College. Therefore, the President may, at any time, use executive authority to remove, suspend, withdraw or expel any student from the College. The President may concern themselves with a case that is deemed particularly complicated or troubling. No student may be expelled from the College without the President’s consent.