conduct

Presbyterian College is proud of its strong community of students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, and friends.

As vital members of Presbyterian College’s community, students are expected to balance their autonomy with regard for other members of the community, and responsibility and respect for the policies and procedures of the College. These policies and procedures are intended to preserve community and foster civility and an environment that is conducive to the educational mission of the College.

Student Conduct Process

Student Conduct Board members at Presbyterian College play an integral role in educating their peers about their responsibilities as members of the PC community, upholding community behavioral standards, and implementing the Code of Responsibility.

For complete information about the process, always refer to the most recent version of the Garnet Book.

Note: The information below is for quick reference only. For a complete listing of procedures and related Student Conduct information, please refer to the Garnet Book. Should any discrepancies exist, the information provides in the most recent publication of the Garnet Book will be considered as the accurate and final source of information.

Handling of Alleged Violations

Reporting. All reports of alleged violations by students of the Code of Responsibility or other policies will be sent to the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life in a timely manner…The Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life will make an initial evaluation of the information in the report and assign each incident to a College conduct officer or perform the function of the conduct officer himself/herself.

Title IX Compliance.  The Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life will consult with the Title IX Coordinator with respect to any alleged violation that may constitute Sexual Misconduct (including sexual discrimination, harassment, and/or violence).  If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the charge involves Sexual Misconduct in whole or in part, those allegations involving Sexual Misconduct will be processed pursuant to the separate Sexual Misconduct

Notification of Student.  The  Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life will notify a student accused of a violation (the “referred student”) in writing of the nature of the alleged violation and the necessity to meet with a College conduct officer as outlined below.

Interim Sanctions and Suspension. The Vice President for Campus Life or his/her designee may impose interim sanctions, up to and including suspension, prior to the beginning of the conduct process.  Following the imposition of an interim sanction/suspension, the opportunity for a conduct hearing as described below will be provided as expeditiously as possible.

The Standard of Proof. The standard for determining a student’s responsibility for policy violation will be a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, the determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the referred student violated the Student Code of Conduct.

Conference with a College Conduct Officer

Each referred student will attend a meeting with a College conduct officer to discuss the alleged violation.

The student and the conduct officer will review the information concerning the incident, and the student will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations. If the conduct officer determines during the conference that the student did not violate policy, the case and any judicial charges will be dismissed.

If the conduct officer determines that there is some credible evidence that a policy has been violated, the student may either accept responsibility for violating policy and the sanctions imposed by the conduct officer, or the student may request a Student Conduct Board hearing.

Student Conduct Board Hearing Process

The College’s conduct hearings and appeals are not legal proceedings; therefore, neither the student nor the College may have legal counsel present at the meeting, and rules of evidence and similar courtroom procedures do not apply. Moreover, the proceedings are not adversarial and shall be conducted in a manner that preserves the educational tone of the proceedings.

The referred student will receive a written notice of the hearing at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. The notice will include A statement of the alleged charges of policy violation(s); A summary of the information upon which the alleged violations are based; The time, date, and place for the hearing; and a copy of these procedures.

Hearings and deliberations are confidential, and participants should not discuss these matters, except as is reasonably necessary or desirable as part of the student conduct process, including training.

Hearings are closed except to the members of the Board hearing the case, the referred student, the student’s adviser from the College community, and the person presenting the College’s case. In cases involving alleged violence, a threat of harm, or stalking, the victim(s) and his/her/their adviser(s) from the College community will also be allowed to be present during the entire hearing.

The referred student may invite a faculty, staff, or student member of the College community to attend the hearing as an adviser. The adviser’s role is limited to communicating directly with the referred student, and the adviser may not directly participate in the hearing or ask questions of the student, witnesses, or Board members.

Student Conduct Board members are interviewed, selected, and trained each year by the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life and experienced Board members from prior years.  The Student Conduct Board for the hearing of a particular matter will be selected by the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life and will consist of a student chairperson (non-voting), two student members (voting), and one faculty member (voting)…The chairperson oversees the hearing, maintaining order and making certain that the process is followed. The chairperson shall interpret and apply these rules in the interests of truth, justice, order, and the College’s overarching goals of education and character building.  The voting members of the Board have the right to question any and all witnesses will deliberate to determine responsibility (in “Full Hearings”) and will determine appropriate sanctions.

The College, Student Conduct Board members, and the referred student shall have the opportunity to present and examine statements, facts, and any relevant information regarding the case. The College and the referred student shall have the opportunity to present and question their own witnesses.  The College and the referred student shall have the opportunity to present any questions for the witnesses to the chairperson of the Board in order to refute or respond to the testimony.

The student may present up to five competent witnesses to give testimony related to the specific charges in a Full Hearing.  In both a Full Hearing and a Sanctions-Only Hearing, the student may present up to three character witnesses to offer information concerning the referred student’s character.

In a “Full Hearing,” after all information has been presented, the Student Conduct Board will go into closed deliberations to determine whether the student has violated the College policy which the student is charged with violating.  The determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the referred student violated the policy.  A vote of the majority of the Board members with a vote shall be required to find the referred student to be in violation of College policy. Where feasible, the Chairperson will render the Board’s decision orally to the referred student.

If the Student Conduct Board finds the student has violated the College policy (or if the Board is conducting a “Sanctions-Only Hearing”), the Board will consider the information presented by the College to determine appropriate sanctions for the referred student’s violation of policy. The referred student may then present his/her character witnesses. After all character witnesses have been heard, the Student Conduct Board will go into closed deliberations to determine appropriate sanctions for the referred student. A vote of the majority of the voting Board members shall be required to impose the sanctions.

The Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life shall be responsible for communicating the Board’s decision in writing to the referred student. The decision shall include a statement of each policy found to have been violated and the sanctions imposed. In cases involving a victim of violence, the victim will also be notified of the outcome of the hearing.

Decisions of the Student Conduct Board may be appealed to the Student Conduct Appellate Panel following the process described in the Garnet Book.