Student Conduct Procedures
Definitions | Initiation of Cases | Hearing Bodies | Interim Suspension | Hearing Process | Role of Accused Students and Support Options | Sanctions | Appeals | Parental Notification | Policy on Disciplinary Conduct Records | Special Provisions
The following procedures have been established to provide a process for determining if students have violated Colorado College (“CC”) policies or standards and to provide appropriate response in the form of sanctions.
Students are responsible for reading, understanding and abiding by the provisions of the CC Student Code of Conduct and Student Conduct Procedures. Any question of interpretation or application of the Student Code of Conduct or Student Conduct Procedures will be referred to the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students, or their designee, for final determination. The Student Code of Conduct and Student Conduct Procedures are reviewed annually under the direction of the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students, and are subject to change at their discretion.
Administrative Panel: Three or more Conduct Authorities convened to hear a student conduct case.
Complaint: A report that a student may have violated CC policies or standards as articulated in the Student Code of Conduct or other policies of CC. Also referred to as an allegation or a charge.
Conduct Authority: College staff members who are trained to receive Complaints, hear cases, determine responsibility and assign sanctions, including: Associate Dean of Students; Assistant Dean of Students; Director/Assistant Director of Residential Life and Housing; Residential Life Coordinators; and any trained CC staff member designated by the Associate or Assistant Dean of Students.
Dean’s Panel: The Associate Dean of Students, or their designee, either individually or with one or more Conduct Authorities, convened to hear a student conduct case.
Finding of Responsibility: The decision made by a hearing body that a student is responsible for violating a CC policy or standard.
Hearing: The specified date and time when a student has the opportunity to respond to the Complaint of alleged misconduct.
Student Conduct Committee (SCC): A committee of students responsible for hearing cases as determined by the Assistant Dean of Students or their designee.
Any person affiliated with the CC community — students, faculty, visitors, guests, and staff — may bring Complaints of misconduct against a student or group of students. To initiate a case, allegations must be presented to a Conduct Authority. After receiving allegations of misconduct, the Conduct Authority will provide a written incident report to the Assistant Dean of Students, who will review the allegations and determine an appropriate individual or group to hear the case, or determine whether to pursue an informal resolution process. All allegations should be submitted at the earliest opportunity after an incident occurs.
As necessary, CC reserves the right to initiate a Complaint, and initiate conduct proceedings without a formal Complaint by the victim of misconduct.
In most circumstances, CC treats attempts to commit violations of the Student Code of Conduct or other CC policies as if those attempts had been completed.
Based on the nature and severity of the alleged misconduct, the prior conduct record of the accused student(s), and the impact on the CC community of the alleged violations, the Assistant Dean of Students will determine whether the hearing will be conducted by a Residential Life Coordinator (RLC), by a Student Conduct Committee (SCC), by a Dean’s Panel, or by an Administrative Panel.
Allegations of sexual misconduct are referred to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for resolution through the Sexual Harrassment, Sexual Miscoduct and Sexual Violence investigation process.
Allegations of academic misconduct are referred to the Honor Council.
Allegations of violations involving Pan-Hellenic and Interfraternity policies are referred to the Greek Judicial Review Board.
The Associate Dean of Students, or their designee, has the authority to impose an interim suspension, which requires a student leave campus pending the outcome of the hearing process. During this time, the 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 CC premises unless otherwise permitted by CC. Interim suspensions 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; or
- If the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interferences with, the operations of CC.
The hearing process is intended to be a learning process for the student and a means to hold students accountable for misconduct. The hearing process will follow the general procedures below, but the timing and format of these procedures may vary.
- The student is informed of the alleged policy and/or standard violations.
- A student is given notice of a date/time of a hearing.
- The hearing body conducts an investigation, if warranted.
- A hearing occurs where the student has the opportunity to respond to the Complaint of misconduct, and where evidence and witnesses may be presented.
- The hearing body makes a finding of whether or not the student was responsible for the violation.
- The hearing body reviews the student’s prior conduct record and determines a sanction that is appropriate to the needs of the student and the CC community.
- Findings of responsibility and sanction determinations are referred to the Associate Dean of Students, or their designee, who will issue the finding of responsibility and the sanction to the student in writing.
The standard of proof needed to determine that a student is responsible for a violation is “more likely than not,” or more than a 50% likelihood that the student is responsible for the violation. This is the same standard of proof typically required in civil court.
A hearing body will conduct the hearing process even when the respondent of the alleged misconduct decides not to participate. Available information will be presented and discussed even in the student’s absence, and a finding of responsibility and sanction will apply to the student.
The respondent may bring a support person to the hearing if they provide notice to the Assistant Dean of Students at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. The support person must be a member of the CC community and may not be a parent/legal guardian of the student or an attorney representing the student. Attorneys are not part of our Student Conduct process and are not allowed to: be present at any interviews or hearings; communicate with the hearing body or any other College official involved in the adjudication process; or actively participate in the investigation and adjudication process.
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 Accessibility Resources by calling (719)227-8285.
Sanctions are the response of CC when a student is found to have violated a CC policy or standard. Sanctions will vary and punitive responses may be employed. Multiple sanctions may be assigned for one violation. Sanctions of housing restriction, disciplinary probation, or suspension may limit a student's opportunities and activities on and off campus including but not limited to hosting, room selection, and study abroad/courses taught off-campus. A student’s conduct history will be taken into consideration when sanctions are assigned. Sanctions that may be imposed include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Official Conversation: A documented conversation with a CC official.
- Official Warning: A formal notice from CC that the conduct is unacceptable.
- Reflection/Research Papers: A document requiring critical analysis and articulation of a specified topic.
- Program Attendance/Interview: Required attendance at an event or interview that is relevant to a specific topic. This is often accompanied by a reflection/research paper.
- Restitution: A monetary or service sanction required to pay for the cost of repairing or replacing physical damage or any other cost incurred as a result of the student’s conduct.
- 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.
- Roommate Agreement: A mutually agreed upon written contract that students sharing a living space create and agree to uphold.
- Housing Restriction: Official notice from CC that any additional findings of responsibility will likely result in relocation to a different (usually more supervised) residential community. Students sharing a room/apartment are responsible for the activities in that space and thus all students sharing a room/apartment may be placed on housing restriction, regardless of who was present at the time of the incident.
- Room Change: Relocation to a different (usually more supervised) residential community.
- Persona Non Gratis: Prohibiting entry into a specific building on campus for a specific amount of time due to interference with the community.
- Disciplinary Probation: A formal notice from CC that any additional findings of responsibility will likely result in suspension from CC.
- Suspension: Exclusion from CC with the opportunity to rejoin after a designated time period. During a suspension, the student cannot participate in any CC activities such as academic coursework, student employment, student activities, or campus events. The student cannot be on CC premises for the duration of the suspension and will receive no financial refunds. Return to campus may be contingent upon completing specified requirements. Students who are suspended may not take classes at other institutions for credit. In rare cases, the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students, or their designee, may make an exception.
- Dismissal: Permanent exclusion from CC, its premises, and all of its activities.
- Educational Sanctions: Participating and completing relevant educational programs or trainings, and paying the cost of such programs.
- Community Service: Fulfilling community service assignments at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Students or their designee.
- Social Probation: Limiting the student group’s social activities including, but not limited to, limitations on living units, Greek chapters, and student organizations.
- Disciplinary Probation: A formal written notice that any additional conduct violations could result in suspension of the student group’s status.
- Suspension of Status: Suspending recognition, registration, or chartering of a student group.
Note: A student may be required to attend an assessment with a counselor to assess if further action by CC is warranted due to conduct impacting the sanctioned student or the surrounding community. The sanctioned student will be responsible for the cost of the assessment. If assessment results indicate a need for further action or follow-up, that will be required. Students not facing conduct sanctions may still be required to participate in an assessment if there are concerns for student well-being.
Reprieve from Sanctions
CC 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. CC desires to acknowledge behaviors that demonstrate care and concern for the members of our community. Accordingly, CC 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 CC’s policies relating to consumption of alcohol. Students involved in such circumstances should still expect to meet with CC professionals to discuss the situation and any concerning behaviors. A reprieve from sanctions will only be granted by CC when the circumstances so warrant. Generally, CC will not grant reprieve if the conduct and behavior in question include acts of violence, vandalism, or result in harm to others.
Appeals are limited to one appeal per case. Whether to grant an appeal is at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students or their designee. 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 letter advising the student of the finding of responsibility and sanction. Appeal letters should include: the grounds for the appeal; supporting documentation; and information and arguments relevant to support the appeal. Disagreeing with the assigned sanction is not an appropriate ground for appeal. Appeals may be granted for any of the following reasons:
- New Evidence or Information: New evidence or information sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not known at the time of the original hearing.
- Failure of Hearing Process: Allegations that the hearing body deviated from the Student Conduct 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 process has relevant history of interaction or involvement sufficient to establish a bias or conflict of interest.
If an appeal is granted, a new hearing will occur before a hearing body that is composed of a new panel of Conduct Authorities or a new panel of Student Conduct Committee members. The new hearing body may review documentation from the original hearing, appeal documentation and, at its own discretion, request statements or testimony from the parties. The hearing body will issue a finding of responsibility and make a recommendation to the Associate Dean of Students, or their designee, who retains the authority regarding decisions of a hearing body after an appeal has been granted. Recommendations may include maintaining or overturning a prior finding of responsibility, a new finding of responsibility, a reduction of sanctions, maintaining recommended sanctions, or increasing sanctions from those initially recommended. Students should be aware that one potential outcome of a hearing after an appeal has been granted could be additional findings of responsibility and an increased sanction.
Note: Sanctions are effective as of the date of the letter advising the student of the finding of responsibility and sanction. Even when an appeal is requested, the sanction must be followed. If a student wishes to have a sanction suspended pending the outcome of an appeal, the student must request this in their request for an appeal. It is at the discretion of the Vice President of Student Life/Dean of Students, or their designee, as to whether to grant a suspension of a sanction.
At the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students, or their designee, and in accordance with either or both FERPA or HIPAA, if applicable, CC will make contact with a student’s parent/legal guardian to inform them of the finding of responsibility and any sanctions in cases that so warrant, including but not limited to cases involving alcohol or drugs or where the student’s well-being was significantly endangered. (Note: CC may provide parents who claim a CC student as a financial dependent—according to I.R.S. guidelines—with information pertaining to the student’s education at CC.)
Policy on Disciplinary Conduct Records
When a student is found responsible for violating a CC policy or standard, a disciplinary conduct file is created. This file contains all of the information pertinent to conduct proceedings in which the student has been involved and found responsible. The conduct files are maintained by the Student Life Office. After a student graduates from CC, all recorded violations, except for those noted below, will be expunged from the student’s conduct file. This means that the violations will no longer be officially part of the student’s conduct file for post-graduation reporting purposes (e.g., employment or graduate school admission). However, records of severe violations (those that result in suspension or dismissal) will be maintained by CC and will be considered part of the student’s conduct file for post-graduation reporting purposes for as long as CC maintains the record. In the case of a government agency requesting disciplinary records that the student has given permission to release (e.g. employment), the full disciplinary record will be released. If you have any questions about whether or not you need to report any conduct violations for post-graduation purposes please contact the Student Life Office.
As necessary, Colorado College reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without receiving a formal complaint by a victim or community member.
Although student conduct is usually addressed through processes outlined in the Student Conduct Procedures, Colorado College reserves the right to handle student conduct concerns administratively, including assigning sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal when the conduct is regarded as being in severe conflict with the best interests of Colorado College or in severe violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Such administrative actions will be initiated according to the discretion of the Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Life or their designee. Among other things, the need for confidentiality, for immediate action, or for protection of others may prompt such action. CC also reserves the right to grant a reprieve from sanctioning when circumstances warrant such a response.
Furthermore, Colorado College reserves the right to grant a voluntary withdrawal for a student in lieu of a formal conduct process and potential sanctions. Such a withdrawal may or may not allow for the student's return. If return is allowed, an agreement will be made describing the conditions of the student's return, such as completion of a treatment program, medical documentation, etc. The student must request a voluntary withdrawal in writing to the Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Life prior to a scheduled conduct hearing.
Just as students with disabilities may be eligible for accommodations in their classes and living environments, and other aspects of their educational experience at CC, accommodations may be available for student conduct procedures as well.