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Student Honor and Community Standards

I. INTRODUCTION

We review "The Pathfinder" on a yearly basis and make changes as appropriate; this version of our policies and procedures applies to the 2017-2018 academic year.

At Colorado College, we strive to provide a safe environment that is conducive to academic success for students, while fostering socially responsible and productive citizens.  We seek to impart knowledge and develop character, and we expect students to uphold values that advance the common good. To this end, the Colorado College Student Honor and Community Standards are founded on three values: honor, respect, and integrity.  The Student Honor and Community Standards encompass many aspects of campus life for students, with the expectation that students will engage with and exemplify these values at all times.  

The following policies and procedures are considered part of the Student Honor and Community Standards:

  1. Academic Honor Code
  1. Freedom of Expression
  1. Anti-Discrimination Policy and Procedures, and Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence Policy and Procedures
  1. Community Standards, which are set forth below in Section V(D)

The College strives to cultivate an environment in which our students are making informed and good choices, are thriving, and are eager to serve as productive members of the community. While the policies described herein are intended to set guidelines and outline expectations, they are also intended as a positive affirmation of the community we all create.

Colorado College is a special place and it is a privilege for our students to be a part of our community. It is expected that all students uphold the values of honor, respect and integrity, and familiarize themselves with and abide by the Student Honor and Community Standards, and all other College policies that apply to them.  Ignorance of the Student Honor and Community Standards is never an excuse for failing to comply, for these values protect and uphold this special place, and promote a safe environment where all members of our community are able to fully engage in the life of the College.

All students are expected to cooperate with College officials, including in any investigations of possible misconduct. Students who are found responsible for violating the Student Honor and Community Standards will be held accountable for their behavior.  The Student Honor and Community Standards are not intended to be an exhaustive list of rules to follow; rather, students are expected to internalize and make appropriate decisions based on the three underlying values (i.e., honor, respect and integrity).  The College’s goals in responding to alleged misconduct are to: ensure student and public safety; promote health and wellness; hold students accountable for their actions or inactions; educate one another to include understanding one’s impact on the community; provide an opportunity for growth and development; and promote an environment that supports the educational mission of the College.

The Policies and Procedures described below explain the Student Honor and Community Standards, and how alleged violations by students are generally addressed by the College.  The Student Life Office is primarily responsible for overseeing Freedom of Expression and Community Standards; the Title IX Coordinator and Deputies oversee the Anti-Discrimination Policy and Procedures and the Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence Policy and Procedures; and the Honor Council oversees the Academic Honor Code. 

Colorado College’s Student Honor and Community Standards, and any and all related policies and procedures, may be interpreted, applied or changed by the College at any time, as determined solely by the College.  The Student Honor and Community Standards, and the policies and procedures referenced herein, do not create any contractual rights with any third party, including with students or employees.  The College retains sole discretion to take appropriate action depending on the facts and circumstances of any particular situation.

II. Values

The Student Honor and Community Standards are based on the following values, which exist to advance the common good.  We hope and expect every student will strive to exemplify these values at the College and throughout their life: 

Honor:  Acting with dignity and honesty in all contexts, settings and circumstances

Respect:  Upholding a sense of the worth or excellence of every person; being accepting of rights and differences of others; and treating others equitably, which means acting fairly and justly towards others inclusive of their backgrounds

Integrity:  Adhering to values and principles, and being truthful with oneself and with others

How Students Live Our Values

The Student Honor and Community Standards are not designed to just be a list of what behaviors are discouraged or prohibited, but they are also designed to provide affirmative guidelines for positive behavior and contribution to our community:

A Colorado College student should:

  1. Treat other students, all faculty, and all staff and community members with honor, respect, and integrity;
  2. Take responsibility when exercising freedom of expression in a manner that also considers the standards of civility, consideration and tolerance that should shape the actions of members of the community with one another;
  3. Assist others by engaging in active bystander intervention, to include watching out for the safety and well-being of fellow community members;
  4. Act in ways that minimize risk of harm to themselves and to others, including mental, physical, emotional or psychological harm, and promote the safety of individuals and the overall community; and
  5. Work to further their academic and social development and not interfere with others who are striving to achieve the same;

III. When These Values And Standards Apply

By accepting admission to and enrolling at Colorado College, students are obligated to conduct themselves consistently with the values of Colorado College, the Student Honor and Community Standards, other Colorado College policies and procedures, and all applicable laws.  Students may be dismissed from Colorado College if the student's conduct is deemed in egregious violation of these values and standards. The Student Honor and Community Standards and the outlined processes apply to the conduct of both individual students and groups of students (both informal and college-recognized groups).

The Student Honor and Community Standards set a range of expectations for the Colorado College student no matter where or when the conduct may take place, whether on college property, at college-sponsored events or programs, or off-campus. The Student Honor and Community Standards also apply to conduct that takes place at any time from the date that a student is admitted to the College until the student has completed graduation, including during the summers and between semesters.  The College retains the right to respond to behavior that occurs in the interim period after classes end for the semester and before graduation.  The Student Honor and Community Standards also apply to students when they host guests who violate College policies. In these cases, students may be held accountable for the misconduct of their guests.

IV. Timeline for Reporting

Those who are aware of misconduct are encouraged to report it as quickly as possible to any Division of Student Life staff member, the Student Life Office, and/or Campus Safety.  In addition, if misconduct may violate criminal laws, students are encouraged to report such misconduct as quickly as possible to law enforcement.  Students are encouraged to self-report misconduct; self-reporting will be considered a mitigating factor in determining whether and what sanctions may be imposed.

There is no time limit on reporting alleged violations of the Student Honor and Community Standards. However, the longer one waits to report an incident, the harder it becomes for the College to investigate and make a determination regarding alleged violations.  Visitors to and guests of Colorado College are also protected by and held to the Student Honor and Community Standards. Visitors and guests may report alleged violations of the Student Honor and Community Standards committed by members of the Colorado College community to the Student Life Office or Campus Safety.

V. Expectations Regarding Student Behavior

A. Academic Honor Code (“Honor Code”)

The Academic Honor Code is a central part of the College’s academic program and Student Honor and Community Standards. 

See the “Honor Code,” “Investigation Handbook,” the “Administrative Manual,” and the “Investigation Procedure Flow Chart” for more information about how the “Honor Code” is enforced, all of which can be found here:

www.coloradocollege.edu/other/honorcouncil/

B. Freedom of Expression and Community Standards Response Panel

Academic freedom is essential to the mission of Colorado College, and freedom of expression is a vital component of academic freedom.  The College’s “Freedom of Expression” policy describes in detail the College’s commitment to freedom of expression, as well as the procedures applicable to written materials, demonstrations, and other forms of expression, and is found at this link: 

www.coloradocollege.edu/basics/welcome/leadership/policies/freedom-of-expression      

The College’s Freedom of Expression policy states in part as follows:

Freedom of thought and freedom of expression are essential to any institution of higher learning.  While uncensored speech is essential to an academic community and will be vigorously defended, members of the College community should understand that standards of civility, consideration and tolerance must shape our interactions with one another.

Sometimes, freedom of expression means that members of the College community are confronted with views that some find unsettling, disagreeable or even offensive.  The College must therefore foster robust freedom of expression within a framework of robust civility, particularly in this age of electronic communication and social media. 

All voices or views which any member of our community considers relevant should have the opportunity to be heard.  Wherever possible, they should also be exposed to evidence, questioning and argument.  Community members should take responsibility for their expressions; anonymous expressions are contrary to the free and open exchange of ideas.  As an integral part of this commitment to freedom of expression, the College strives to ensure that all such exchanges happen peacefully.  With appropriate regulation of the time, place and manner of events as described in the “Freedom of Expression” policy, neither speakers, nor listeners, should have any reasonable grounds to feel intimidated or censored.

The College’s commitment to freedom of expression does not mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish.  There are some circumstances in which behavior so violates our community standards that formal College intervention may be appropriate.  The College may restrict or sanction expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that constitutes a threat, discrimination, harassment or retaliation, that unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that otherwise disrupts or is incompatible with the College’s mission or its activities, events or business operations.

The College has established a Community Standards Response Panel to help educate and foster a civil and just community that protects freedom of thought and expression, values diversity, promotes respect for all individuals regardless of their status, and promotes the pursuit of individual goals without interference from abuse, discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

The Community Standards Response Panel has three general responsibilities:

  1. Educating the campus community about issues pertaining to freedom of expression;
  2. Reviewing complaints of student behavior that may involve freedom of expression issues, which are referred to the panel by the Office of Student Life; and
  3. Reviewing other matters (not involving a complaint of student behavior) that may involve freedom of expression issues, which are referred to the panel by the Office of Student Life.

Specifically, in addition to educating the campus community about these issues (which may be done through events, campaigns, and other methods as determined appropriate by the panel and the College), complaints of behavior by a student or a group of students that may implicate the student’s or students’ freedom of expression will be referred to a Community Standards Response Panel as described further below in Section VI(C)(3), unless the College determines in its sole discretion that a complaint must be addressed under the Anti-Discrimination Policy, the Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence Policy, or in some other appropriate manner based on the facts and circumstances.

Finally, other matters that do not necessarily involve a complaint against a student or group of students may also be referred to a Community Standards Response Panel for review and recommendations to the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students as to how the College should respond within the community and/or publicly when there is a potential conflict between freedom of expression, and behavior or speech that may harass, injure, or silence others, or otherwise disrupt the activities, events, or business operations of the College.

C. Anti-Discrimination Policy and Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence Policy

Discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, disability, religion, veteran status, age, or any other protected status under the law is strictly prohibited.  The College’s “Anti-Discrimination Policy and Procedures” describe in detail this type of discrimination and harassment, including how to report such discrimination or harassment, and how the College addresses alleged violations of the Policy.

In addition, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence are strictly prohibited.  The College’s “Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence Policy and Procedures” describe in detail this prohibited conduct, including how to report alleged violations, and how the College addresses alleged violations of the Policy.  

See the College’s Anti-Discrimination Policy and Procedures, Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence Policy and Procedures for more information.

Retaliation for making a complaint or otherwise participating in an investigation under either of these Policies is also strictly prohibited, as described in detail in such Policies.