2019-2020 Policy Library 
    
    Jan 25, 2020  
2019-2020 Policy Library

Student Conduct Process



1. Introduction

Claremont McKenna College (the “College”) maintains expectations of its community members to conduct themselves in a responsible manner.   These expectations are designed to support the educational mission of the College and constitute the framework on which others depend.   

The College advances its mission through two interdependent commitments:   to the growth of our students’ intellectual strengths and to their personal and social responsibility and accountability.  The College has adopted the Student Code of Conduct  , which describes the College’s overarching expectations for student conduct and other College policies (including, but not limited to, those contained in the CMC Guide to Student Life  ) to: 

  • support student development as responsible and mature adults;
  • support positive and healthy social interactions rooted in responsible decision-making;
  • promote the health and safety of the College community members and its guests; and
  • maintain an environment that facilitates and promotes the broad educational mission and purpose of the College. 

Please refer to the College’s Policy Library to become familiar with the Student Code of Conduct  and other College Policies. 

The Student Conduct Process (the “Process”) is the College’s disciplinary process for responding to alleged student misconduct.  The College maintains similar but distinct expectations and procedures to respond to alleged misconduct by faculty and staff.  If you have any concerns about the conduct of a faculty or staff member, please see one of the deans in the Dean of Students Office.

2. General Provisions

Authority

The disciplinary authority of the College originates in its Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees and the President have designated the Dean of Students (“DOS”) to oversee the administration of the College’s discipline process and procedures.  Changes to this Process, the Student Code of Conduct  and other College policies may be made with the approval of the Ethics and Compliance Leadership Committee.

Jurisdiction

This Process applies to the conduct of students which:

A. allegedly violates the Student Code of Conduct  ;
B. allegedly violates other College policies or regulations including, but not limited to, those outlined in the CMC Guide to Student Life  and those established by College officials and offices for the implementation of a program and/or service (policy examples include but are not limited to those related to off-campus study or event management);
C. allegedly violates any Claremont Colleges intercampus policy; and/or
D. may have an adverse impact on the College and its mission.

This Process applies to a student’s alleged misconduct even when the student is away from campus, including but not limited to, while on semester-long and short-term, off campus study programs, internships, traveling off-campus with athletic teams or student organizations, and during College breaks.

The conduct of students which allegedly violates the Statement of Academic Policy and Statement of Academic Integrity is subject to the jurisdiction of the Academic Standards Committee. 

The conduct of students which allegedly violates any Prohibited Conduct as defined in the Civil Rights Policy  is subject to the Civil Rights Grievance Process.

If the student accused of the alleged misconduct (the “Respondent”) is a student from one of the other Claremont Colleges, the College will investigate the matter and take steps to stop the conduct.  However, the relevant procedures related to any disciplinary action against the Respondent will be those of the Respondent’s home institution. 

This Process is administrative in nature and is separate and distinct from the criminal and civil legal systems.  Pursuing resolution through this Process does not preclude someone from pursuing legal action now or in the future.  If the conduct in question is alleged to be a violation of both College policy and public law, the College will proceed with its normal process, regardless of action or inaction by outside authorities.  Decisions made or sanctions imposed through this Process are not subject to change because criminal or civil charges arising from the same conduct are dismissed, reduced, or rejected in favor of or against the Respondent.

Truthfulness and Cooperation

Full and honest cooperation and truthfulness by all parties is essential to this Process.   All participants in this Process are expected to cooperate fully and provide the truth in any investigation or other meetings related to this Process.  Lying, directly or by omission, to any College official or failing to cooperate with any College official investigating an alleged conduct violation is grounds for a separate discipline proceeding and/or aggravated sanction.  This includes failure of a witness to cooperate with an investigation. 

Statement against Retaliation

It is a violation of College policy for any student, faculty member, staff member, or third party to retaliate, intimidate, penalize or seek retribution in any way against a person who participates in this Process.  The College recognizes that retaliation can take many forms.  Any person who believes that they have been retaliated against for making a complaint/report or for cooperating in this Process should immediately contact the DOS.  The College will take immediate and responsive action to investigate any report of retaliation and will take disciplinary action as appropriate.

Confidentiality of the Process

Reasonable and appropriate efforts will be taken to protect the privacy of the individuals involved in this Process as well as the confidentiality of the details of any conduct proceeding, except where permitted by law.  However, the College cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality to anyone involved in the process, including witnesses.  All individuals involved in any disciplinary proceeding or in the administration of this Process are expected to maintain the confidentiality of the Process and be mindful of the privacy of others involved.  An independent investigation will be conducted to address breaches in confidentiality and disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. 

As it relates to the College, these requirements are generally intended to allow College representatives to share confidential information within the organization among those who have a reasonable need to know in order to assist in the active review, investigation or resolution of the report. The College will not disclose the information to third parties without: i) the express consent of the individual; or, ii) in response to a legally-binding request to disclose. This could include a subpoena by a criminal or civil court for the records of the College’s Process.

False Reporting

It is a violation of College policy to file a knowingly false, misleading or malicious complaint of an alleged violation of College policy. A report or complaint alleging false reporting by another student may be initiated pursuant to this Process. A complaint filed in good faith under this provision shall not constitute retaliation.

Interim Measures

In response to all reports of alleged student misconduct, the College may implement Interim Measures (including Interim Suspension) as are deemed necessary to support and protect the health and safety of the parties and the safety of the College community (or any of its individual members) pending the outcome of this Process.Interim Measures may be implemented by the President or the Vice President of Student Affairs (or their designees).  Interim Measures are not appealable and typically terminate upon the conclusion of a case (unless incorporated into sanctions upon a finding of Responsibility), but the individual who implemented the Interim Measure reserves the right to modify or terminate an Interim Measure when appropriate.

Potential Interim Measures that may be applied to a Respondent include, but are not limited to:

  • Issuance of mutual no-contact letters to ensure the safety of all parties and the integrity of the process;
  • Implementing reasonable changes to a Respondent’s work or class schedule;
  • Implementing changes to a Respondent’s housing;
  • Suspending or limiting a Respondent’s access privileges to certain College facilities (e.g., Complainant’s home campus [if from another Claremont College], residence hall, etc.) or activities (e.g., student government positions, athletics, study abroad, sponsored travel, Commencement, etc.) pending resolution of the matter; and,
  • Implementing an Interim Suspension (Non-Academic or Academic).

Interim Suspension:  An Interim Suspension is the immediate, non-disciplinary, temporary separation of a student from the College pending the outcome of the Process.  An Interim Suspension may be imposed:

  • When it is determined that the Respondent poses a potential threat to another;
  • To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community and/or the preservation of College property;
  • To ensure the Respondent’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being;
  • When the Respondent poses a threat of disruption or interference with the normal operations of the College; or
  • If the Respondent commits violations of criminal law or other College policies or Interim Measures (e.g., no-contact order).

The College may impose either a Non-Academic or an Academic Interim Suspension.  A student placed on Non-Academic Interim Suspension may not participate in any College related or affiliated activities on- or off-campus other than classes and may not be present on campus for any reason other than to attend class or with the express permission of the DOS.   A student placed on Academic Interim Suspension is fully suspended from the College pending the outcome of the Process and may not attend classes, may not participate in any College related or affiliated activities, and may not be present on campus for any reason without the express permission of the DOS.

Because an Interim Suspension is considered non-disciplinary, when the College determines that an Interim Suspension is necessary and appropriate, it will normally seek to utilize a Non-Academic Interim Suspension so long as this can be implemented in a manner that is reasonably safe to the Complainant and the community, and possible based on academic obligations.

A violation of an Interim Measure can be processed by the DOS as a Failure to Comply under the Student Code of Conduct.

Decision-Making Standard

In order to determine whether a Respondent is responsible for a violation of one or more violations of College policy under this Process, the College applies a preponderance of the evidence decision-making standard.  Preponderance of the evidence means that, based on the information presented to the fact-finder, it is “more likely than not” that a question of fact in dispute did or did not happen.    

The College’s procedures are not governed by civil or criminal rules of evidence.  This Process is structured to help ensure that the fact-finding process is based upon competent and reliable information.  Toward this end, this Process includes the following considerations.

  1. No adverse inference will be made if a Respondent chooses not to participate in the Process.  However, the Conduct Administrator or Panel (as described below in Sections 3 and 4) will make a determination of Responsibility or Non-Responsibility based upon the information presented.
  2. Character evidence is not allowed in the Process.
  3. In limited circumstances determined to be appropriate by the Investigator in consultation with the DOS, Respondent’s prior conduct history may be included in an investigation if:
    • The Respondent was previously found to be responsible for a similar violation; or
    • The previous incident was substantially similar to the present allegation, even if the individual was not found responsible for a violation; or
    • The information indicates a pattern of behavior by the Respondent and substantial conformity with the present allegation.

Alcohol and Other Substance Use

The use of alcohol or other drugs will never be a defense for or mitigate any behavior that violates College policy.

Special Considerations at the End of the Semester and During College Breaks

The College reserves the right to modify or adapt this Process for alleged violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct  and/or other College policy occurring at the end of a term or during a College break.  These modifications may include an expedited and/or compacted Investigation Review Meeting, a determination of responsibility made by a Conduct Administrator instead of Community Representatives (or a smaller group of Community Representatives), or alternative sanctions beyond those listed in Section 5.

Time Frames

The time frames presented here are meant as guidelines rather than rigid requirements.  Extenuating circumstances may arise that require the extension of time frames.  Extenuating circumstances may include the complexity and scope of the allegation(s), the number of witnesses, the availability of the parties or witnesses, any intervening College break or holiday, or other unforeseen circumstances.  In the event that the Process substantially exceeds a given time frame, the College will notify the Complainant and Respondent of the reasons for the delay and the expected adjustment in time frames.  Best efforts will be made to complete the Process in a timely manner by balancing principles of thoroughness and fundamental fairness with promptness.

Role of Legal Counsel

Because this is not a criminal process, legal counsel is not permitted to participate in any aspect of this Process or speak on behalf of a student during this Process.

Record Retention                                               

Records of all discipline proceedings are maintained by the College for seven years after the student earns a degree.  The discipline records of students who are separated from the College prior to earning a degree will be maintained by the College for seven years after the student’s original anticipated completion date, with the exception of students who are expelled.  The discipline record of any student who is expelled is maintained by the College permanently. 

Transcript Notations

The College will note “Ineligible to Register” on a student’s official transcript if a student is suspended or expelled from the College under this Process.  In cases of suspension, the notation will remain on the official transcript during the period of suspension only.  If a student is expelled, the notation will remain on the official transcript permanently.  In addition, the Dean of Students will truthfully respond, consistent with FERPA, to another institution’s verification of status request sent as a result of a student’s attempt to enroll at another institution.

Continuation of Process if Respondent Withdraws

If a student withdraws while this process is pending, the College reserves the right to complete the process (or any portion of the process) despite the student’s withdrawal.  If the College elects to defer the process while the student is no longer enrolled, the student will be ineligible to register at the College until the process is completed.  In such cases, the College will record “Ineligible to Register” on a student’s official transcript.

3. Reporting Alleged Misconduct & College Response Reporting

Any member of The Claremont Colleges’ community or a visitor may report alleged conduct by a student or student organization that may be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct  or other College policy covered by this Process.  A report should be made in writing to the DOS.  Anonymous reports may be made through the College’s anonymous reporting portal CMCListens (www.cmc.edu/CMCListens); however, the College’s ability to respond to anonymous reports may be limited based on the quality of the information reported.  Reports of alleged misconduct may also come from College officials, including, but not limited to, Campus Safety staff, Dean of Students staff, and Resident Assistants. 

Reports should be made as soon as possible after an incident, as delay in reporting may limit the College’s ability to respond to the alleged misconduct and prevent future misconduct.  Reports made regarding individuals who have graduated, or who have left the College, may be investigated; however, the College does not have the ability to initiate this Process for individuals who have graduated. If a student leaves the College for any reason other than graduation with a pending complaint, they will not be permitted to return to the College until the complaint has been resolved through this Process. 

The three categories of response the College may take through this Process to address alleged student misconduct are described below.  The DOS or designee will evaluate the context of the alleged misconduct and the seriousness of the activity to determine the appropriate disciplinary response warranted.    

As facts are developed, the DOS may elect to move a case from one category to another category.  When changing the nature of the College’s response, the DOS will notify the Respondent and Complainant (the person who made the complaint of alleged misconduct or who was the subject of the conduct) of this decision. 

Conduct Warning

A Conduct Warning is used to respond to minor violations of College policy for which a warning or other simple disciplinary response (such as a fine or some minor corrective measure) is needed.  These are often first violations, or may be repeat violations involving minor policy issues.  A Conduct Warning is not appropriate for all first violations.  Depending on the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, a more significant response may be appropriate.  Examples of policy violations that would be considered for a Conduct Warning include, but are not limited to:  underage possession/consumption of alcohol, open container of alcohol in public, cigarette/cigar smoking in a residence hall, noise, other housing policy violations such as removing furniture from a lounge, fire safety violations such as covering a smoke detector, not evacuating for a fire alarm, violations of the Guest Policy, or having a pet on campus.    

When the College receives notice of an incident which warrants a Conduct Warning, the DOS will assign a Conduct Administrator to respond to the alleged misconduct.  Conduct Administrators are College officials who are trained to implement this Process and determine whether violations of College policy have occurred.  Generally, Conduct Administrators are members of the Dean of Students staff but other staff may also be trained to serve in this role. 

The student will receive a letter from the Conduct Administrator via email notifying them that the College is aware of the alleged misconduct.  This letter will also identify the Student Code of Conduct  or other College policy involved.  The letter serves as a warning and is maintained in the student’s disciplinary file.  Other educational expectations or responses to the student’s conduct may be communicated in the letter as appropriate for the conduct (e.g., educational sanctions, fines, etc.).  Since this is an informal response there is no appeal.  Although no meeting with the Conduct Administrator is required, students receiving a Conduct Warning may request to meet with the assigned Conduct Administrator. 

Conduct Conference

A Conduct Conference is used to respond to more serious alleged misconduct which includes conduct that impacts the community more significantly and for students who have had other violations of College policy and for which the Conduct Warning response has been ineffective.  Examples of alleged policy violations that would be considered for a Conduct Conference include, but are not limited to: hosting unregistered social events, distributing alcohol to underage students, other alcohol offenses not described in a Conduct Warning, some drug violations, failure to comply with a College official, including Campus Safety staff and Resident Assistants, or parking tickets or library fines totaling more than $250.

When the College receives notice of an incident which warrants a Conduct Conference, the DOS will assign a Conduct Administrator.  The Conduct Administrator will notify the student via email that the College has received a report of alleged misconduct in which the student is alleged to be involved and that the student needs to participate in a Conduct Conference with the Conduct Administrator to resolve the matter.  This letter will also identify the Student Code of Conduct  or other College policy involved.

The purpose of the conference is to evaluate the alleged misconduct, discuss any incident reports, and talk with the student about the impact of their conduct on the community and themselves, as well as expectations for the future.  Based on the conversation with the student and in consultation with the other Conduct Administrators, the Conduct Administrator will determine an appropriate response to the alleged misconduct.

If the Respondent is found responsible for violating College policy, the Conduct Administrator will assign sanctions as appropriate (see Section 5).  Suspension and expulsion are not available as sanctions in a Conduct Conference.  The outcome of a Conduct Conference may be appealed as outlined in Section 6. 

The Conduct Administrator will notify the Respondent and Complaint of the outcome of the Conduct Conference and the right to appeal via email. 

Conduct Investigation and Review

As described below, Conduct Investigation and Review is reserved for the most significant and serious cases (where suspension or expulsion are possible sanctions), for cases which are particularly complex or involve numerous parties (regardless of whether suspension or expulsion are possible sanctions), and for conduct which caused, or could have caused, significant disruption to the College or its members.   Examples of conduct that may warrant a Conduct Investigation and Review include, but are not limited to, physical injury or threatening to harm another and distribution of illegal drugs. The College may act as Complainant in lieu of a student.

At any point during the Process, a Respondent may accept Responsibility for the identified policy violation(s) and proceed directly to Sanctions.  In doing so, the Respondent waives any right to appeal.

To ensure a fair and equitable Process, the Complainant, Respondent and witnesses involved in the Process should not discuss the case amongst themselves during the Process.  The Community Representatives should not discuss the case amongst themselves or with any participant during the Process, except as permitted during the Meeting and deliberations.  

Whenever this process refers to “DOS,” that also includes any individual designated by the DOS to perform the functions described below.

4. Conduct Investigation and Review

When the DOS determines an incident warrants a Conduct Investigation and Review, the DOS will notify the Respondent in writing of the initiation of this Process and will identify the policy violations which the DOS believes the complaint raises.  The DOS will appoint a trained internal or external investigator or investigative team (the “Investigator”) to conduct a reasonable, impartial, and prompt investigation of the alleged misconduct. The DOS will appoint an Investigator based on several factors, including the parties involved, the complexity of the complaint, and the need to avoid any potential conflict of interest. The Investigator, in consultation with the DOS, will establish a timeline and plan for conducting the investigation. 

The DOS will appoint a Review Panel (the “Panel”).  A Panel consists of three Community Representatives chosen by the DOS from the pool of trained faculty, students and staff.  Eight faculty members are appointed by the Vice President of Academic Affairs and approved by a vote of the faculty to serve two year terms as a Community Representative and are eligible for reappointment.  The Vice President of Academic Affairs will appoint a replacement faculty member should a vacancy arise before the term expires.  A combination of juniors and seniors are selected by the DOS through an application and interview process.  The DOS will appoint a replacement student should a vacancy arise.

Community Representatives have received training with respect to the College’s Student Conduct Process. The Community Representatives are selected for each Panel as the DOS determines appropriate based on the nature of the complaint and to avoid any conflicts of interest.  The DOS will notify the parties of the members of the Panel. If a party objects to a Community Representative’s involvement based upon a conflict of interest, the party must provide written notice to the DOS within two business days from the notification explaining the conflict of interest.  The DOS will promptly rule on the objection and provide notice to the party (and appoint a new member, if the DOS finds a possible conflict of interest).

Preliminary Investigation Phase

The Investigator, in consultation with the DOS, will establish an investigation plan.  The Investigator will then conduct a Preliminary Investigation based upon the facts and circumstances reported to the College and developed through the course of the investigation, including interviews and follow-up interviews as feasible and appropriate with the Complainant, the Respondent, and any witnesses, and gathering other pertinent evidentiary materials to the extent reasonable and appropriate. The Investigator will prepare a written summary of each interview and send the same to the witness for a review of accuracy.  Unless the witness requests additional time, the witness statement will be deemed accurate if the witness does not provide feedback on the statement within two business days of the Investigator emailing it to the witness.

Complainant, Respondent, and any witnesses are expected to respond to the Investigator’s request to schedule an interview or to provide other evidentiary materials within a timely manner, generally within five business days of the Investigator’s request. If a party or witness fails to respond in reasonably timely fashion, the Investigator may continue the investigation without the benefit of this information.

When the Investigator, in consultation with the DOS, determines that the Preliminary Investigation is reasonably complete, the Investigator will prepare a Preliminary Investigation Report, which will include:

  • A summary of the incident, alleged Policy violations, the Complainant’s allegations, and the Respondent’s response;
  • A description of the relevant, material undisputed facts; and
  • A description of the relevant, material facts in dispute;

The Investigator will notify the DOS once the Preliminary Investigation Report is ready for review.  Once the DOS approves the Preliminary Investigation Report, the DOS will notify the parties that the Preliminary Investigation Report is available to review and will provide confidential access (such as a protected, “read-only” posting to a secure web portal) to view the Report. 

The parties (nor anyone on their behalves) may not copy, remove, photograph, print, image, videotape, record, or in any manner otherwise duplicate or remove the information provided.

Response to Preliminary Investigation Report

The parties will have three business days to submit a written request outlining any additional investigation steps that they believe are necessary, including:

  • Posing follow-up issues or questions for witnesses, the Complainant or the Respondent;
  • Requesting a follow-up interview with the Investigator to clarify or provide any additional information that such party believes is relevant to the investigation or to seek clarification from the Investigator on aspects of the Preliminary Investigation Report;
  • Identifying any new witnesses who should be interviewed (including a description of what topics/issues the witness should be asked to address and why this is necessary for the investigation); 
  • Explaining any additional evidentiary materials that should be collected and reviewed to the extent that such items are reasonably available (e.g., text messages, social media postings, etc.), understanding that the Investigator lacks the power to subpoena evidence; and
  • Identifying and objecting to any information that such party believes was inappropriately included in the Preliminary Report.

After considering these requests, the Investigator will develop a Final Investigation Plan that outlines any additional investigatory steps to be taken and briefly explains any denied requests. The Investigator will also address any objections to the information included in the Preliminary Report.  To the extent such objections are accepted, the Investigator will redact the Preliminary Investigation Report and investigation materials accordingly. The Investigator will maintain copies of both the complete and redacted investigation materials. To the extent such objections are not accepted, the Investigator will summarize these reasons but also note the party’s objection(s).

The Investigator will brief the DOS on the Final Investigation Plan in writing or orally. The DOS will share the Final Investigation Plan with the parties. If no one requests any further investigation or otherwise objects to the Preliminary Investigation Report, such Report shall be deemed the Final Investigation Report and the DOS will schedule the Investigation Review Meeting consistent with the steps described below.

The Investigator will review the requests for additional investigation with the DOS and will develop a Final Investigation Plan that will outline any additional investigatory steps that will be taken and will also briefly explain any requests that the Investigator recommends be denied. The Investigator, in consultation with the DOS, will complete a final investigation plan and will notify the parties of the final plan in writing, which will include a brief explanation as to the reasons for denying or not pursuing any requests for further or follow-up investigation.

Any appeal based on an Investigator’s determinations set forth in the final investigation plan is limited to the grounds and timing specified in Appeals, below (Section 6) and can only be appealed by the Respondent after the sanctioning phase or by the Complainant after a finding of No Responsibility.

Final Investigation Phase

The Investigator will conduct further investigation as outlined in the final investigation plan.  After the Investigator and DOS determine that the final investigation is reasonably complete, the Investigator will prepare a Final Investigation Report.  The Investigator will share the Final Investigation Report with the DOS for approval.  Once approved, the DOS will notify the parties and the Panel once the Final Investigation Report is available to review and will provide confidential access (such as a protected, “read-only” posting to a secure web portal) to view the Final Investigation Report.

The parties (nor anyone on their behalves) may not copy, remove, photograph, print, image, videotape, record, or in any manner otherwise duplicate or remove the information provided.

The parties and Panel will have five business days to review the Final Investigation Report.

Scheduling the Investigation Review Hearing

The DOS will schedule an Investigation Review Hearing (the “Hearing”).  The DOS will provide written notice to the parties and Panel of the date, time and location of the Hearing.  The Hearing will normally be held within three to five business days following the conclusion of the Final Investigation Report review period.

The Investigator must be available during the Hearing and may be called upon as a witness. All parties and witnesses must attend the Hearing.

Investigation Review Hearing

The DOS moderates the Hearing and acts in an oversight capacity to ensure that the Hearing conforms to the standards for fairness, neutrality and equality, as well as to address any procedural questions that may arise. 

The purpose of the Hearing is for the Panel to make findings of fact on disputed facts and determine if a Policy violation occurred based on the facts the Panel determined to have occurred.  The standard of proof for both findings is a Preponderance of the Evidence, with the burden of proof on the Complainant.  A Respondent is presumed not to have engaged in disputed conduct or violated College policy.  Decisions are made by a simple majority of the Panel.  

The Hearing will follow the sequence set forth below:

  • The DOS will make opening introductions and explain the scope, purpose, and rules of the Hearing.
  • The Panel will question the Complainant.  After the Panel questions the Complainant, the Respondent may ask questions of the Complainant.
  • The Panel will then call witnesses and can determine the order of the witnesses.
  • The Panel will question the Respondent.  After the Panel questions the Respondent, the Complainant may ask questions of the Respondent.
  • The Complainant will have five (5) minutes to give an oral closing statement.
  • The Respondent will have five (5) minutes to give an oral closing statement.
  • The DOS will adjourn the Hearing. The parties will then be excused from the Hearing.
  • The Panel will deliberate in confidence.  The DOS will be present during deliberations to answer procedural questions that may arise and to ensure that the deliberations are conducted appropriately.

The Investigator and witnesses will only be in the Hearing room when they are called as witnesses.

The College reserves the right to audio record the Hearing (excluding the deliberations).  If the Hearing will be recorded, the DOS will notify the parties and will maintain the recording with the case file consistent with the record retention guidelines outlined in this process.

Accommodations During the Investigation Review Meeting

If requested and appropriate for the case, the DOS will make arrangements for either party to participate in the Hearing from a remote location or to participate without being in the other party’s direct physical presence (while still permitting both parties to hear the proceedings).

Support Person

Both the Respondent and the Complainant may have a Support Person with them at all meetings associated with a Conduct Investigation and Review, including the Hearing.  The Support Person must be a current member of the CMC community, unless the Complainant is a student from one of the other Claremont Colleges, in which case the Support Person may be a student, faculty member or staff member from that college.  A Support Person may not be a Community Representative or a witness in the case, nor may it be legal counsel.  The Support Person may attend, but may not participate, in the meetings and Hearing.  The Respondent and Complainant must speak for themselves during the process and any associated meetings.

Deliberations

The DOS will be present during the Panel’s deliberations to answer any procedural questions that may arise and to ensure the deliberations are conducted appropriately.  Each Community Representative will have a single vote; a majority vote is required to find a Respondent responsible for alleged misconduct.

The Panel will either accept or reject the Investigator’s recommended findings of fact and may only find a Respondent responsible based upon a preponderance of the evidence decision-making standard.

Outcome Notice and Sanctioning

The DOS will notify each party in writing of the outcome of the Conduct Investigation and Review within three business days following the Hearing.

The written decision must include a description of the facts found by a preponderance of the evidence to have occurred and an explanation as to how the facts show by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation of College Policy occurred.

If the Respondent is found responsible for a violation of College policy, the DOS will notify the parties in writing that the matter is being referred to a Sanctioning Officer.  The Sanctioning Officer is a College official authorized to assign sanctions through this Process.  These individuals include, but are not limited to, individuals who serve as Conduct Administrators, the Vice President of Student Affairs, or another senior College official.

The Complainant and the Respondent will be provided the opportunity to submit a Consideration of Sanctions statement to the DOS within three business days of the DOS’ notification.  The Consideration of Sanctions statement should outline the sanctions the party believes should be considered by the Sanctioning Officer as well as an explanation of why the requested sanctions are reasonable and appropriate.

After the time period for submitting any Consideration of Sanctions statements has expired, the Sanctioning Officer has three business days to determine sanctions.  The DOS will communicate the sanctions outcome to the parties within three business days of the conclusion of the sanction decision. 

5. Sanctions

The Conduct Administrator or the Sanctioning Office may assign any one or more of the following sanctions to a Respondent who is found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and/or other College policy.  Sanctions not listed here may be imposed in consultation with and approval by the DOS.  To aid in a determination of appropriate sanctions, the Sanctioning Officer will review the case record, the Consideration of Sanctions statement(s), and the Respondent’s prior conduct history, including any academic dishonesty violations.  

Sanction(s) will be structured to end the conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on the Complainant and the College community.  Not all violations will be deemed equally serious offenses, and the College reserves the right to impose different sanctions depending on the severity of the offense and prior conduct record. 

Sanctions are not appealable.

  1. Restitution:  Reimbursement by the Respondent(s) to the College, another Claremont College, the Claremont University Consortium, the Complainant(s), or a member of the Claremont colleges community to cover the cost of property damage or other loss.
  2. Fine:  A monetary penalty assessed as appropriate to the violation.
  3. Service Hours:  A defined number of work hours the Respondent must complete on or off campus.  The assigned Conduct Administrator or Sanctioning Officer will determine the nature of the work to be performed. 
  4. Educational Program/Project:  Programs and activities designed to help the Respondent become more aware of College policies and help the Respondent understand the inappropriateness of their behavior, including, but not limited to, participation in an educational program or completion of an online program.
  5. Referral for Counseling:  A referral for an assessment with an appropriately trained therapist and a mandate to follow any recommendations resulting from the assessment.
  6. Loss of Privilege(s):  Denial of specific privilege(s) for a defined period of time.  Privileges include, but are not limited to, participation in extra-curricular activities and events such as social events, intercollegiate athletics, intramural programs, student organizations, and student government, as well as the privilege of living on campus, living in a specific residence hall, participation in commencement ceremonies, or having a vehicle on campus. 
  7. Restricted Access:  Conditions which specifically dictate and limit the Respondent’s presence on campus and/or participation in College-sponsored activities.  The restrictions may include, but are not limited to, presence in certain buildings or locations on campus or a no contact order.
  8. Removal of Offending Cause:  Requirement to remove identified property or item (i.e. pets, stereos, speakers, etc.).
  9. Relocation/Loss of Housing:  Requirement that the Respondent relocate to another residence hall, or move off-campus, by a specified date.
  10. Conduct Probation:  Formal, written notice that the Respondent’s behavior is in violation of the Student Code of Conduct  and/or other College policy and an expectation that the Respondent exhibit good behavior for a defined period of time.  Any violation during the probationary period will result in increased sanctioning and may result in suspension or expulsion from the College.
  11. Withholding of a diploma:  Failure to complete any disciplinary sanction prior to Commencement may result in the withholding of a diploma.  The Respondent will receive their diploma once the DOS confirms that all sanctions are complete. 
  12. Suspension:  Separation from the College for a defined period of time.  During the suspension period the Respondent is not permitted on campus, is not permitted to participate in any College-sponsored or affiliated program or activity, and is not permitted to earn any academic credits towards the Respondent’s degree.  The terms of the suspension may include the designation of special conditions affecting eligibility for re-enrollment or special conditions to be in effect upon re-enrollment, including a term of Conduct Probation.
  13. Expulsion:  Permanent separation from the College.  A Respondent who has been expelled is not permitted on campus and is not permitted to participate in any College-sponsored or affiliated program or activity.

While sanctions are not appealable, the notice of sanctions will provide notice of the right to appeal the finding of responsibility.

6. Appeal Procedures

Appeals are confined to a review of the Appeal Record (as defined below).They are not a de novo hearing.In a request for Appeal, the burden of proof lies with the party requesting the appeal, as the original determinations and any findings of fact are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately.

The Complainant and Respondent have a limited right to appeal the results of a Conduct Conference or a Conduct Investigation and Review.  The party who submits an appeal is the Appellant, and the responding party is the Appellee.  An appeal is not allowed simply to express dissatisfaction with the outcome. Instead, the grounds for appeal are limited to the following categories:

  • Procedural Error:  A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome as it applies to the Appellant (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures).  A description of the error and its impact must be included in the written appeal.
  • New Information:  New information has arisen which was not available or known or reasonably could have been known to the Appellant prior to the relevant decision/determination, or information that was improperly excluded from the Conduct Conference or a Conduct Investigation and Review despite a request from the Appellant to include it, which could have substantially impacted such decision/determination. Information that was known to the Appellant but which they chose not to present is not new information. A summary of this new or excluded evidence and its potential impact on the decision/determination must be specified.

For Conduct Conference cases, either party can file an appeal of the finding of Responsibility/Non-Responsibility within three business days from the date of the outcome notice sent by the DOS.  

For Investigation and Review cases, the Complainant may appeal a finding of No Responsibility or the Investigator’s refusal to conduct further investigation upon a proper, timely request following the Preliminary Investigation Report.  The Complainant has three business days from the date of the outcome notice to submit a written appeal to the DOS.  

The Respondent may appeal a finding of Responsibility or the Investigator’s refusal to conduct further investigation upon a proper, timely request following the Preliminary Investigation Report.  The Respondent has three business days from the date of the sanctions notice to submit a written appeal to the DOS.  

The DOS will share the request for Appeal with the Appellee, who shall have three business days to submit a response statement.  Requests for appeal and responses to the same shall not exceed 10 pages. Non-conforming submissions will not be considered beyond the first 10 pages.  Late submissions will not be accepted.  Either party may request a waiver of the page limitation. Such request must be made in writing to the DOS prior to the deadline for the appeal submission. 

The DOS will refer the written appeal, any response, and the underlying case record (the “Appeal Record”) to an Appeal Officer.  Appeal Officers are individuals authorized to consider an appeal of a Conduct Conference or a Conduct Investigation and Review.  Generally, Appeal Officers will be the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee) or a Conduct Administrator.   The Conduct Administrator assigned to the case being appealed may not serve as the Appeal Officer for the case.

The Appeal Officer will determine whether any grounds for the Appeal are substantiated.  If the Appeal Officer determines that the Request for Appeal shows a Procedural Error that significantly impacted the relevant decision/determination, the Appeal Officer will return the complaint to the DOS with instructions to correct the error and to reconvene the Conduct Conference or Conduct Investigation and Review to reconsider the findings as appropriate.  In rare cases where the procedural error cannot be corrected (as in cases of bias), the Appeal Officer will order a new investigation with a new Investigator. The results of a reconvened Meeting cannot be appealed.

If the Appeal Officer determines that the Appeal shows New Information (or previously excluded evidence) that should have been considered, the complaint will be returned to the DOS, who in turn will provide the information to the Conduct Administrator for reconsideration or direct the Investigator to draft a new Final Investigation Report in light of the new or previously-excluded information only.  The DOS will promptly reconvene the Meeting to reconsider the original findings as appropriate. The findings of the reconvened Conduct Conference or Meeting are not appealable.

Appellant and Appellee will be notified in writing of the outcome of the appeal within eight business days of receipt of Appellee’s response statement, including whether the Appeal is denied. The Appeal Officer’s decision is final and is not subject to appeal.

While the appeal is being processed, the Respondent’s relationship with the College will maintain the status quo (e.g. if the Respondent was on Interim Suspension pending the Process, the Interim Suspension remains in place).