Student Conduct Procedures
Definitions | Judicial Authority | Initiation of Cases | Hearing Bodies | Interim Suspension | Involuntary Leave of Absence or Withdrawal | Hearing Process | Role of Accused Students and Support Options | Appeals | Sanctions | Special Provisions
The following procedures have been established to provide a process for determining if students have violated college policies and to provide appropriate response in the form of sanction(s).
Students are charged with the responsibility of reading and abiding by the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct and the authority of the student conduct process. Any question of interpretation of application of this code will be referred to the dean of students or designee for final determination. This code is reviewed annually under the direction of the dean of students, and is subject to change at the dean’s discretion.
Complaint: A report that a student may have violated values or standards as articulated in the Student Code of Conduct or other policies maintained by the college. Also referred to as allegation or charge.
Complainant: A member of the CC community who is reporting a complaint.
Respondent: A student who is accused of violating a community standard or policy and is given the opportunity to respond to the complaint.
Notification of Charges: The process of informing a student that a complaint has been brought forward against him/her and what standards or policies may be in question.
Hearing: The specified date and time when a student has the opportunity to respond to the complaint of alleged misconduct.
Finding of Responsibility: The decision that the hearing body makes of whether a student is responsible or not responsible for violating a policy.
Standard of Proof: The level of information needed to determine that a student is responsible for a violation. The standard of proof at CC is “more likely than not”, or 51 percent. This is the same burden of proof required in civil court.
Adjudication: The process of reviewing a complaint; listening to the respondent, complainant, and relevant witnesses; determining if a policy violation occurred; and making a recommendation for a sanction or issuing a sanction.
Witness: A person who is requested to provide information that the hearing body, complainant, or respondent believes may be needed to make a determination of responsibility.
Appeal: A request from a student to review the outcomes of a hearing based on at least one of these reasons.
Sanction: The response of the college to a finding of responsibility.
There is a core group of college staff members who are trained as conduct officers to receive complaints, hear cases, determine responsibility, and assign sanctions. These individuals include:
- Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students
- Associate Dean of Students
- Assistant Dean of Students
- Director/Assistant Director of Residential Life and Housing
- Residential Life and Housing Staff
The dean of students and associate deans of students also reserve the right to designate other individuals as needed.
Any member of the college community — students, faculty, and staff — may bring charges of misconduct against a student or group of students. To initiate a case, allegations must be presented in writing to one of the conduct authorities above, who will review the case and determine the most appropriate individual or group to hear the case. Conduct authorities, in consultation with the parties involved, may determine whether to pursue formal or informal processes to resolve conflicts and concerns. All charges should be submitted at the earliest opportunity after an incident occurs.
The Assistant Dean of Students oversees student conduct policies and processes and may investigate or adjudicate any student conduct matter. Allegations of sexual misconduct are referred to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and the sexual misconduct investigation process.
Administrative hearings: Because Colorado College is a residential campus, a majority of the conduct violations occur in residential communities. As a result, most allegations of misconduct by students are reviewed and adjudicated by Residential Life Coordinators (RLCs). Depending on the severity of the alleged violations, the behavioral history of the student(s), and the impact on the community, an RLC may request additional college staff to assist with the case or refer the case to the Associate Dean of Students, the Student Conduct Committee or an Administrative Panel. Administrative hearings may be held by any of the conduct authorities listed above.
The Student Conduct Committee (SCC) hears cases referred by a conduct authority. Rather than issuing a decision directly, they recommend a decision to a conduct authority who issues the finding and sanction to the student. A complete description of the SCC procedures is available upon request, and is provided to individuals involved in a hearing procedure.
A panel may be convened by any of the conduct authorities to hear cases as appropriate.
The Honor Council hears cases of alleged academic misconduct referred by faculty, students, or staff.
The Greek Judicial Review Board hears cases involving violations of Pan-Hellenic and Interfraternity policies.
In certain circumstances, a student may be required to leave the campus pending the outcome of the hearing. During this time, a student is subject to all of the terms of suspension and any additional provisions outlined in writing to the student. Suspensions prohibit students from being on college property unless permission has been granted and any conditions for escort have been met. Interim suspensions are non-appealable. Interim suspension may be imposed:
- To ensure the safety and well-being of the CC community or preservation of CC property
- To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being
- If the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interferences with, the normal operations of CC.
Students who engage in behavior that seriously violates institutional standards, as outlined here, or who pose a potential threat to their own welfare or that of others, may be involuntarily withdrawn or involuntarily placed on leave of absence by the vice president for student life/dean of students, or designee. These leaves are non-appealable.
Students who have been involuntarily withdrawn or placed on leave of absence may request permission to return to the college. Materials that enable the dean of students to make an informed decision must accompany such a request. Exactly what materials the dean will need to make such a decision depend on the individual case. Contact the student life office for more information.
Students who are on suspension or involuntary leave of absence may not take classes at other institutions for credit. In rare cases, the dean of students or designee may make an exception.
Voluntary Leaves of Absence and Withdrawals may not be approved while allegations of misconduct remain unresolved.
The conduct process is intended to be a learning process for the student as well as an accountability measure for behavior. The following general procedures apply to all hearings, but due to the nature of the different hearing bodies, the timing between them and the format may vary.
- A student is given notice of a date/time of a hearing.
- The student is informed of the alleged policy violations.
- The hearing authority may conduct an investigation.
- The student has the opportunity to respond to the complaint of misconduct.
- The hearing body determines a finding of responsibility.
- The hearing body reviews the student’s prior conduct record to determine a sanction that they feel will best serve the needs of the student and the community.
- The conduct authority issues the finding of responsibility and the sanction to the student in writing.
If an accused student decides not to participate or attend a hearing procedure, available information will still be presented and discussed in the student’s absence, and the finding of responsibility and sanction still apply to that student. The accused student may have a support person present for hearing procedures. The support person must be a member of the CC community and may not be a parent/legal guardian of the student. If the potential policy violation(s) could also involve criminal charges and the student would like to have an attorney present during the hearing, the student must provide notice to the hearing body so that the college’s legal counsel may be consulted. In no circumstances may an attorney be a participating member of the student conduct process, he/she may only be present to observe and may request breaks to advise and discuss concerns with the student.
Note: Just as students with disabilities may be eligible for accommodations in their classes and living environments, and other aspects of their educational experience at Colorado College, accommodations may be available for Student Conduct procedures as well. Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services in the Learning Commons at Tutt Library, Room 152. You may also reach the office by calling (719)227-8285.
Appeals are not automatically granted and are limited to one appeal per case. Disagreeing with the sanction that was assigned is not an appropriate ground for appeal. Appeals must be requested in writing by the student to the student life office to the attention of the vice president for student life/dean of students within four business days from the date of the sanction letter. Appeal letters should indicate on what grounds the appeal is being sought, and provide the relevant information, supporting documentation and arguments relevant to support the appeal. The vice president for student life/dean of students will determine if there are grounds for an appeal and convene any appeal panel. Appeals may be granted for one of the following:
- New Evidence or Information: Report that there is new information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out or known at the time of the original hearing.
- Failure of Hearing Process: Allegation that the hearing process was not fair in that the hearing body deviated from the published procedures in a way that substantially altered the outcome of the hearing.
- Bias in the Decision Process: Evidence that a conduct authority or person involved in the hearing body adjudicating the case has relevant history of interaction or involvement sufficient to establish a bias or conflict of interest.
NOTE: Not agreeing with the sanction received is not grounds for appeal.
Appeal panels may review appeal documentation and, at their own discretion, request statements or testimony from relevant parties to the case. Appeal panels issue a finding in relation to the appeal and make a recommendation to the vice-president for student life/dean of students, who retains sole authority regarding appeal decisions. Appeal recommendations may include maintaining or overturning a prior finding of responsibility, a new finding of responsibility, lessening of sanctions, maintaining recommended sanctions, or increasing sanctions from those initially recommended. Students should be aware that one potential outcome of an appeal hearing could be additional findings of responsibility and an increased sanction.
Sanctions are the assigned consequences for a student or group of students who have been found responsible for violating college policy. Multiple sanctions may be assigned for one violation. Sanctions of hall probation, disciplinary probation, or suspension may affect a student's opportunities on campus including hosting, room selection, and study abroad/courses taught off-campus. A student's conduct history may be taken into consideration when sanctions are assigned by hearing officers.The following is a list of possible sanctions; however, college officials are not limited to the sanctions listed:
- Conversation: a documented conversation that you have had with a college official.
- Warning: a formal notice from the college that the behavior is unacceptable. A copy of the written notice is placed in the official student file maintained at the dean of students’ office.
- College Housing Restriction: Official notice from the college that if your behavior results in an additional finding of responsibility, you will be relocated to a different (usually more supervised) residential community. As students sharing a room/apartment are responsible for the activities in that space, they may be placed on hall probation as a group, regardless of who was present at the time of the incident.
- Room Change: Requirement that a student relocate to a different (usually more supervised) community with the intent that a new surrounding will not lead to the same behaviors.
- Disciplinary Probation: a formal notice from the college that any additional misconduct would likely result in suspension from the college. Probationary status may also limit involvement/activities on campus and ability to live in less supervised residential communities. Probation issued as a response to illegal use of drugs or underage alcohol use will generally result in parental notification.
- Suspension: Exclusion from the college with the opportunity to rejoin the CC community after a designated time period. During a time of suspension, the student may not participate in any college business or activities such as academic coursework, student employment, student activities, or campus events. The student may not be on college property for the duration of the suspension and will receive no financial refunds. Return to campus may be contingent upon completing specified requirements.
- Expulsion: permanent exclusion from the college and all of its activities with no opportunity for readmission.
A variety of sanctions are intended to provide learning opportunities so a student will likely change future behaviors. Educational sanctions may be issued at the discretion of the hearing body. Some common educational sanctions include, but are not limited to:
- Restitution: A monetary or service sanction required to pay for the cost of physical damage or replacement.
- Fine: A monetary sanction issued in the form of a charge to a student account or a deduction from the Residential Life and Housing damage deposit. Fines are most commonly issued for violations of life safety policies or failure to follow college procedures.
- Persona Non Gratis: A student is prohibited from entering a specific building on campus for a specific amount of time due to interference with the community.
- Assessment: Required assessment with a counselor to assess if further action by the college is warranted due to behaviors impacting the student or the surrounding community. Students will be responsible for the cost of the assessment. If assessment results indicate a need for further action or follow-up by the student, that may also be required by the student. Students will be responsible for any costs incurred.
NOTE: Students who are not facing conduct sanctioning may also be required to participate in an assessment if there are concerns for student well-being.
- Reflection/Research Papers: Document requiring critical analysis and articulation of a specified topic.
- Roommate Agreement: A mutually agreed upon written contract that students sharing a living space create and determine how to uphold.
- Program Attendance/Interview: A student is required to attend an event or interview that is relevant to a specific topic. This is often accompanied by a reflection paper.
Reprieve from Sanctions
The college encourages bystander intervention and proactive action such as seeking medical assistance when a student's health and safety may be in jeopardy, including when the danger arises due to the abuse of alcohol. The college desires to acknowledge behaviors that demonstrate care and concern for the members of our community. Accordingly, the college reserves the right to provide a reprieve from discipline to a student or group of students who exhibit responsible, proactive behavior in an effort to ensure their own or another student's health and safety during an incident or situation that involves a violation of the college's policies relating to consumption of alcohol. Students involved in such circumstances should still expect to meet with college professionals to discuss the situation and any concerning behaviors. A reprieve from sanctions will only be granted by the college when the circumstances so warrant. Generally, the college will not grant reprieve if the conduct and behavior in question include acts of violence, vandalism, or result in harm to others.
- Parental Notification: At the discretion of the vice president for student life/dean of students or his or her designee, and in accordance with either or both FERPA or HIPPA, if applicable, the college will make contact with a student’s parent/legal guardian to inform them of the finding of responsibility and any sanction(s) in cases that so warrant, including cases involving alcohol or drugs or where the student’s well-being was significantly endangered. (Note: Judicial authorities may provide parents who claim a Colorado College student as a financial dependent—according to I.R.S. guidelines—with information pertaining to the student’s education at Colorado College.) For more information, see the Parental Notification statement in the Philosophy section of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Educational Sanctions: Groups or organizations may be required to complete relevant educational programs or trainings, including responsibility to pay the cost of such programs.
- Community Service: Groups or organizations may be required to fulfill community service assignments at the discretion of the vice president for student life/dean of students or his/her designee.
- Social Probation: Limitation of social activities of any student group including living units, Greek chapters, and student organizations.
- Disciplinary Probation: A formal written notice to the organization that any additional conduct violations could result in suspension of its status.
- Suspension of Status: Recognition, registration, or chartering of student organizations may be suspended at any time by the college president or vice president for student life/dean of students. Some form of community service or educational program may also be required.
Note: Students facing allegations of misconduct may not be approved for leave of absence or withdrawal; study abroad or courses taught off-campus until conduct processes are concluded.
In most circumstances, Colorado College treats attempts to commit any of the violations of the student conduct policies as if those attempts had been completed.
As necessary, Colorado College reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the victim of misconduct.
Although student behavior is usually addressed through processes outlined in the Student Conduct Procedures, the college reserves the right to handle student conduct concerns administratively, including assigning sanctions. Such administrative actions will be initiated according to the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students or his or her designee. Among other things, the need for confidentiality, for immediate action, or for protection of others may prompt such action. The college also reserves the right to grant a reprieve from sanctioning when circumstances dictate. Please see information found within the Philosophy section of the Pathfinder for more information about reprieves from sanctioning.
Colorado College reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any student whose conduct is regarded as being in conflict with the best interests of the college or in violation of its Student Code of Conduct.