Administrative Hearing

The implicated student will be contacted regarding a possible violation and will be required to meet with the disciplinary officer by a specified date. The disciplinary officer will then give the student the opportunity to meet with the disciplinary officer to respond to the alleged violation. If the student admits to the violation, the disciplinary officer will assign a sanction (and/or points, if the Policy on Alcohol and Drugs has been violated). Any sanctions (or points) that could be imposed by the University Student Conduct Board (see below), other than administrative withdrawal from a course, suspension, expulsion, or revocation of degree, may be imposed in an administrative hearing. When a student admits responsibility, there is no option for an appeal of sanctions or points issued through an administrative hearing. When appropriate, the disciplinary officer can designate another member of the staff of the Vice President and Dean of the College to conduct an administrative hearing.

University Student Conduct Board

The University Student Conduct Board determines if matriculated or enrolled students on or off campus, singly or acting as a group, have violated the University Code of Student Conduct, and, if so, what action should be taken. Depending on the type of violation, the disciplinary officer will convene one of two types of hearing:

  1. University Standards Hearing
  2. Organization Misconduct Hearing

The University Student Conduct Board is composed of 11 people:

  • The Disciplinary Officer, who serves as Chair of the Board;
  • Five students;
  • Three members of the faculty;
  • One administrator at large (not a member of the Office of the Vice President and Dean of the College); and
  • One member of the Office of the Vice President and Dean of the College, appointed by the Vice President and Dean of the College (the “Vice President and Dean of the College representative”).

Except as otherwise provided below, a quorum for the hearing board consists of seven persons with at least one student, one faculty member, and either the disciplinary officer or the Vice President and Dean of the College representative. (If the disciplinary officer is absent, the Vice President and Dean of the College representative chairs the hearing.) In the absence of a quorum, the hearing will be rescheduled.

The configuration of the hearing body for an individual case will depend upon the type of violation (see below). Faculty members are elected by the faculty, student members are appointed by the Student Senate, and administrators are appointed by the Vice President and Dean of the College. Terms for faculty and administrators (other than the disciplinary officer and the Vice President and Dean of the College representative) are three years; students serve for one year.

Students must have completed at least two terms at Colgate before they are eligible to serve on the board. Student members must be in good academic standing, and students who have been found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct by the University Student Conduct Board are not eligible to serve as board members.

No member of the board may be a practicing attorney.

The board shall meet at times determined by the Disciplinary Officer.

Certain violations of the Policy on Alcohol and Drugs will be resolved by the assessment of points (and implementation of the resulting consequences) in accordance with the description of the points system found in that policy. The assessment of points will be determined through an administrative hearing or University Student Conduct Board hearing, as determined by the disciplinary officer, to be held in accordance with the procedures set forth in this System of University Standards and Student Conduct.

University Standards Hearing

The disciplinary officer shall refer for a University Standards hearing:

  1. Cases involving possible violations of the Code of Student Conduct that could result in an administrative withdrawal from a course, sanction of suspension or expulsion;
  2. Cases in which the student involved does not accept responsibility for the violation with the understanding that the full range of sanctions including administrative withdrawal from a course, suspension, or expulsion are available should the student be found responsible for the behavior in question; 
  3. Cases of academic dishonesty other than plagiarism, and cases of plagiarism which are not to be resolved by the faculty member or in which the student involved does not agree with the faculty member’s proposed resolution.

Configuration of the Board

The configuration of the board for a University Standards Hearing is as described above for the University Student Conduct Board.

Notification as to the Charge

  1. A description of the alleged violation(s).
  2. The time and location of the hearing and a reminder that attendance is mandatory, superseding all other campus activities. If the student does not appear at the scheduled hearing, the hearing will be held in absentia. For compelling reasons, the chair may reschedule the hearing.
  3. The right of the student whose behavior is in question to the assistance of an adviser at the hearing. An adviser must be chosen from among current students, faculty, staff, or administrators at Colgate University. The adviser may not be a practicing attorney, and no practicing attorney may be present in the hearing room. The student subject to the hearing may speak and respond to questions on their own behalf. The adviser may consult with the advisee but may not speak on behalf of the advisee, unless they are directed to answer questions raised by the board members. Hearings shall be scheduled as soon as possible.

Hearings for possible violations that occur near or after the end of an academic term will be held immediately after the end of the term, during the summer, as outlined in the section titled “Conduct Board Hearing When College Is Not in Session,” or at the beginning of the subsequent term, at the discretion of the disciplinary officer.

As is the case with the student whose behavior is in question (see “Notification as to the Charge,” number 3), the person, if any, initiating the action is also entitled to the assistance of an adviser at the hearing. An adviser must be chosen from among current students, faculty, staff, or administrators at Colgate University. The adviser may not be a practicing attorney. The adviser may consult with the advisee but may not speak on behalf of the advisee, unless they are directed to answer questions raised by the board members.

Anyone appearing at the hearing to provide information will speak and respond to questions on their own behalf.

The Hearing

 

Only the person(s) directly involved in the incident in question are permitted to attend the entire hearing; there will be no observers. The chair may allow other individuals who have relevant information to appear during a portion of the hearing in order to respond to specific questions from the board or the persons involved. The board does not hear character witnesses but will accept up to two letters supporting the character of the student involved. Character references will be considered in the sanctioning phase following a finding of responsibility, where appropriate.

Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in University Student Conduct Board hearings.

  1. Only information pertinent to the possible violation will be considered by the board; however, information about other student disciplinary actions or civil or criminal convictions may be introduced at these hearings if, in the judgment of the chair, this information bears directly on the possible violation. The chair shall have discretionary authority to determine whether the board will receive and consider particular information, and to resolve any procedural questions or disputes arising in the course of a hearing.
  2. Participation in a hearing via telephone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, video or audio recording, written statement, or other means may be permitted by the chair to the extent deemed appropriate in their sole discretion.
  3. Proceedings are strictly confidential. All persons present at any time during the hearing are expected to maintain confidentiality.
  4. Hearings are recorded. Conduct board members, the student whose behavior was in question, the persons, if any, who initiated the action, and appropriate administrative officers of the University shall be allowed to listen to the recording in a location determined by the disciplinary officer. No person will be given or be allowed to make a copy of the recording. Persons given access to the recording will be required to sign an agreement confirming that they will protect the confidentiality of the hearing.

Decisions

The board shall deliberate in closed session to determine whether a student is responsible or not responsible for the violation(s) in question. The board shall base its determination on a standard of preponderance of the evidence (i.e., whether it is more likely than not that the student committed each alleged violation). If a student is found responsible by a majority of the board, the board will assess appropriate sanctions (and/or points, if the Policy on Alcohol and Drugs has been violated). The disciplinary officer shall not vote to determine responsibility for a charge, but shall vote in the sanctioning phase of the hearing should the members of the board be deadlocked in their decision. The deliberations of the board shall be kept in strict confidence.

The chair shall forward a written decision to the student involved as soon as is reasonably possible, including, if applicable, sanctions and/or points. In cases of academic dishonesty or violations of the Policy on Academic Behavior, a copy of the board’s decision shall be sent to the faculty member who initiated the action.

Sanctions and Points:  Sanctions shall be determined by the administrative hearing officer in administrative hearings, or in cases reviewed by the University Student Conduct Board, a majority vote of the board. Factors considered when determining a sanction may include:

  1. The nature, severity of, and circumstances surrounding the violation,
  2. A student’s disciplinary history,
  3. The impact of a sanction on a student,
  4. Previous cases involving similar conduct; and
  5. Any other information deemed relevant by the administrative hearing officer or board.

The following are the usual sanctions that may be imposed upon students, singly or in combination:

  1. Warning: A formal statement that the student’s behavior was unacceptable and a warning that further infractions of any University policy, procedure, or directive will likely result in more severe disciplinary action.
  2. Probation: A written reprimand for violation of the Code of Student Conduct, providing for more severe disciplinary sanctions in the event that the student is found in violation of any University policy, procedure, or directive within a specified period of time. Terms of the probation shall be specified and may include denial of specified social privileges, exclusion from co-curricular activities, and/or other measures deemed appropriate.
  3. Suspension: Termination of student status for a definite period of time not to exceed two years, or until specific criteria are met. Students who return from suspension are automatically placed on probation through the remainder of their tenure at Colgate.
  4. Expulsion: Permanent termination of student status.
  5. Administrative Withdrawal from a Course: Immediate withdrawal from a course with the loss of course credit, with a designation of “W” on the student’s transcript, regardless of whether the deadline for course withdrawal has passed. In cases where a sanction of an administrative withdrawal from a course is imposed, the student will also be placed on disciplinary probation through tenure.
  6. Withholding Diploma: The University may withhold a student’s diploma for a specified period of time and/or deny a student participation in commencement activities if the student has disciplinary charges pending, or as a sanction if the student is found responsible for an alleged violation.
  7. Revocation of Degree: The University reserves the right to revoke a degree awarded from the University for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of University policies, procedures, or directives in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
  8. Other Actions: In addition to or in place of the above sanctions, the University student conduct board or administrative hearing officer may assign any other sanctions as deemed appropriate, including, but not limited to, the following:
    1. Mandated counseling: Mandated counseling so the student has the opportunity to gain more insight into their behavior.
    2. “No contact” directive:  a prohibition against having any avoidable contact with one or more identified persons, in person or through telephonic, electronic, written, or other means. A “no contact” directive may include additional restrictions and terms.
    3. Apology: Requiring the student to write a letter of apology to those involved.
    4. Campus or Community Service: Requiring unpaid service to the University or local community stated in terms of type and hours of service.
    5. Restitution: Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property, or for personal injury, and other related costs.
      • Housing related sanctions
        • Loss, revocation, or restriction of off-campus living privileges.
        • Loss, revocation, or restriction of privilege (e.g., exclusion from specified locations or alteration of status in the housing lottery or other selection system) to live in University housing.
      • Monetary fines

In cases of academic dishonesty where a finding of responsibility has occurred, the sanctions shall be:

  1. For first offenses: Failure in the course and either warning or probation; or failure in the course and suspension.
  2. For second offenses: Failure in the course and suspension or expulsion.

For first offense cases in which a student has been found responsible for plagiarism but the University Student Conduct Board determines that the plagiarism does not constitute academic dishonesty, the penalty shall be a warning. If a warning is issued, the faculty member will determine the appropriate sanction for the particular assignment.

Any matriculated and enrolled Colgate student arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher will be sent before the University Student Conduct Board. A finding of responsible by the board will result in, at minimum, a sanction of suspension, ordinarily for the remainder of the current term.

If a student has been found responsible for violation of the Policy on Alcohol and Drugs, the University Student Conduct Board will assess points in accordance with the description of the points system found in that policy.

Appeal

In the event that the University Student Conduct Board finds a student responsible for a violation, the student may appeal in writing to the Vice President and Dean of the College (or their designee) within seven (7) days after the student is notified of the decision of the board or, if the appeal is based on the discovery of new information, within seven days of that discovery (see number 2 below) but no later than thirty (30) days from the date that the student is notified of the decision. An appeal may be based only on one of the following:

  1. A procedural error occurred during the process that had a direct impact on the outcome.
  2. New information has come to light that has a direct impact on the outcome.
  3. The sanction is too severe.

After receiving the appeal, the Vice President and Dean of the College (or their designee) may:

  1. Deny the appeal.
  2. Accept the appeal and take appropriate action, which may include modifying the finding of responsibility and/or the sanction or asking the board to reconvene.

While the appeal is pending, the sanctions imposed will remain in effect unless the Vice President and Dean of the College (or their designee) decides otherwise.

Records

For the benefit of the board, a set of records of all prior hearings will be kept by the disciplinary officer. 

With the exception of expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be recorded on a student’s academic transcript. In the case of expulsion, the student’s academic transcript shall be annotated with the statement: “Expelled for disciplinary reasons (effective date).” Students should review the University’s Policy on Recommendations for more information about disclosure of disciplinary records.

Conduct Board Hearing When College Is Not in Session

If a hearing needs to be held at or after the end of the semester and the regular University Student Conduct Board cannot be convened, the disciplinary officer may convene a special University Student Conduct Board. The membership will consist of members available at the time of the hearing with a quorum of five, including at least one student, one faculty member, the disciplinary officer, and the Vice President and Dean of the College representative, with the disciplinary officer acting as chair. 

Organization Misconduct Hearing

The disciplinary officer generally refers possible violations of the Code of Student Conduct by organizations recognized by Colgate University to the University Student Conduct Board for an organization misconduct hearing. In instances where the violation is not referred to the University Student Conduct Board, the disciplinary officer or their designee will review the case in an administrative hearing. The disciplinary action resulting from an organization misconduct hearing with respect to an organization does not preclude disciplinary action with respect to individual members of that organization.

A group or organization will be held collectively responsible (i.e., subject to group/organizational discipline) when it is reasonable to attribute the actions of at least some of its members to the group or organization as a whole. Among the situations in which group/organizational discipline may be imposed are the following

  1. Any act or omission in violation of the Colgate University Code of Student Conduct, or University policy, that has received the explicit or implicit consent or encouragement of one or more of the group’s or organization’s officers;
  2. Any act or omission in violation of the Colgate University Code of Student Conduct, or University policy, that has been undertaken by one or more members of the group or organization as a result of the unreasonable failure of the officers to oversee the conduct of the group’s or organization’s membership and/or group or organizational activities;
  3. Any failure of the officers of the group or organization to ensure the adoption of reasonable precautions to avoid a violation of the Colgate University Code of Conduct, or University policy; or
  4. Any policy or practice of the group or organization that results in a violation of the Colgate University Code of Student Conduct, or University policy.

A group or organization found responsible in accordance with the foregoing may have sanctions imposed against it pursuant to applicable University disciplinary procedures. A group or organization will not be held responsible for its members’ actions that do not fall under the conditions stated above. (October 2013)

Configuration of the Board

The board for an organization misconduct hearing is composed of the members of the University Student Conduct Board, with the following additions and specifications:

  1. The addition of the Vice President and Dean of the College, who serves ex officio and does not vote;
  2. The disciplinary officer acts as chair of the board.

A quorum of the hearing board consists of eight persons (the seven voting members and the Vice President and Dean of the College, who does not vote) with at least one student, one faculty member, and either the disciplinary officer or the Vice President and Dean of the College representative. (If the disciplinary officer is absent, the Vice President and Dean of the College representative chairs the hearing). In the absence of a quorum, the hearing will be rescheduled.

Notification as to the Charge

At least seven (7) days prior to the hearing, or as far in advance as reasonably possible if an accelerated hearing is scheduled with the consent of the implicated organization, the disciplinary officer shall send a letter to the organization stating the following:

  1. A description of the alleged violation(s).
  2. The time and location of the hearing and a reminder that attendance is mandatory, superseding all other campus activities. For compelling reasons, the disciplinary officer may adjourn the hearing.
  3. The right of the students representing the organization to the assistance of an adviser at the hearing. An adviser must be chosen from among current students, faculty, and staff or administrators at Colgate University. The adviser may not be a practicing attorney, and no practicing attorney may be present in the hearing room. The students representing the organization at the hearing may speak and respond to questions on their own behalf. The adviser may consult with the advisee(s) but may not speak on behalf of the advisee(s), unless they are directed to answer questions raised by the board members.

Hearings shall be scheduled as soon as reasonably possible. For possible violations that occur near or after the end of an academic term, hearings will be held immediately after the end of the term or during the summer, as outlined in the section titled “Conduct Board Hearing When College Is Not in Session.”

As is the case with students representing the organization in question (see “Notification as to the Charge,” number 3), the person, if any, initiating the action is also entitled to the assistance of an adviser at the hearing. An adviser must be chosen from among current students, faculty, staff, or administrators at Colgate University. The adviser may not be a practicing attorney. The adviser may consult with the advisee but may not speak on behalf of the advisee, unless they are directed to answer questions raised by the board members.

Anyone appearing at the hearing to provide information will speak and respond to questions on their own behalf.

The Hearing

Only the person(s) representing the organization and others directly involved in the incident(s) in question are allowed to attend the entire hearing; observers will be permitted to attend at the discretion of the disciplinary officer. The chair may allow other individuals who have relevant information to appear during a portion of the hearing in order to respond to specific questions from the board or the persons involved.

Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in organization misconduct hearings.

  1. Only information pertinent to the possible violation will be considered by the board; however, information about other disciplinary actions against the organization and/or its members, and/or civil or criminal convictions, may be introduced at these hearings if, in the judgment of the chair, this information bears directly on the possible violation. The chair shall have discretionary authority to determine whether the board will receive and consider particular information, and to resolve any procedural questions or disputes arising during the course of a hearing.
  2. Participation in a hearing via telephone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, video or audio recording, written statement, or other means may be permitted by the chair to the extent deemed appropriate in their sole discretion.
  3. Proceedings are strictly confidential. All persons present at any time during the hearing are expected to keep confidential all matters discussed at the hearing; provided, however, that the person(s) representing the organization may discuss the hearing with other members of the organization.
  4. Hearings are recorded. Board members, members of the organization whose behavior was in question, the persons, if any, who initiated the action, and appropriate administrative officers of the University shall be allowed to listen to the recording in a location determined by the disciplinary officer. No person will be given or be allowed to make a copy of the recording. Persons given access to the recording will be required to sign an agreement confirming that they will protect the confidentiality of the hearing.

Decision

The board shall deliberate in closed session to determine whether an organization is responsible or not responsible for the violation(s) in question. The deliberations of the board shall be kept in strict confidence. The board shall base its determination on a standard of preponderance of the evidence (i.e., whether it is more likely than not that the organization committed each alleged violation). If an organization is found responsible by a majority of the board, the board shall recommend appropriate sanctions. These recommendations will be offered to the Vice President and Dean of the College, who serves as a non-voting member of the board.

The Vice President and Dean of the College will make the final decision and assess the appropriate sanctions. They shall forward a written decision to the person(s) representing the organization at the hearing as soon as is reasonably possible, including, if applicable, sanctions. Notification to the person(s) representing the organization will constitute sufficient notice to the organization itself, and it is the responsibility of the person(s) representing the organization to notify the rest of its members of the decision resulting from the hearing.

Sanctions

Changes to an organization’s recognition generally form the basis of sanctions. Recognition of an organization by the University grants it the right to function on campus, to receive University privileges, to enroll Colgate students as members, and to be associated with the University. An organization’s prior disciplinary record, if any, shall be fully considered in the sanctioning phase. The board may use, but is not limited to, the following sanctions:

  1. Full recognition with warning: The organization maintains full recognition but is warned that continued failure to meet the criteria for recognition or additional violations will result in a more serious sanction.
  2. Probationary recognition: The organization maintains full recognition but is warned that continued failure to meet the criteria for recognition or additional violations will result in a more serious sanction.
  3. Suspended recognition: Recognition is suspended for a specified period of time during which all privileges are revoked and the organization’s activities are discontinued, and in the case of a fraternity or sorority, use of the chapter house by the organization’s members is prohibited.
  4. Permanent withdrawal of recognition: Recognition is withdrawn permanently.
  5. Other actions: Other sanctions may be assessed according to the specifics of the violation(s) and the type of organization.

Appeal

In the event that an organization is found responsible for a violation, the organization may appeal in writing to the University President within fourteen (14) days after notification or, if the appeal is based on the discovery of new information, within seven (7) days of the information’s discovery (see number 2 below), but no later than thirty (30) days from the date of notification. An appeal may be based only on one of the following:

  1. A procedural error occurred during the process that had a direct impact on the outcome.
  2. New information has come to light that has a direct impact on the outcome.
  3. The sanction is too severe.

After receiving the appeal, the president may:

  1. Deny the appeal.
  2. Accept the appeal and take appropriate action, which may include modifying the finding of responsibility and/or the sanction or asking the board to reconvene. 

While the appeal is pending, the sanctions imposed will remain in effect unless the president decides otherwise.

Records

With respect to records, the same is followed as for the University standards hearing.

Organizational structure and copy for this handbook was revised in the summer of 2020. The information contained in this publication applies to the academic years 2020–2021 but this handbook is not to be regarded as a contract between the student and the University. The University reserves the right to change requirements, policies, rules, and regulations without prior notice in accordance with established procedures.

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