Goucher College is committed to maintaining a safe, healthy, and productive living and learning environment for its students, faculty, staff, and the greater college community. As community members, students share a responsibility to conduct themselves in ways that promote these community objectives and are expected to demonstrate respect and civility toward others. This Student Code of Conduct establishes standards of behavior and a disciplinary process to enforce those standards when necessary, which are consistent with the educational aims of the college.
Article I: Definitions
- The term “accused student” means any student accused of violating this Code of Conduct.
- The term “Code” or “Code of Conduct” means this Goucher College Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “college official” includes any person employed by Goucher College who performs assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
- The term “complainant” means any person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated this Code of Conduct.
- The term “may” is used in the permissive sense, and the term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
- The term “policy” means the written rules and regulations of the college as found in, but not limited to, the Campus Handbook, Academic Catalogue, Living on Campus Handbook and Calendar, and the college website.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at Goucher College or at one of the international programs sponsored by the college, either full time or part time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Code of Conduct, or are not officially enrolled for a particular term but have a new or continuing relationship with the college, are considered “students.”
Article II: Code of Conduct Authority
- Vice President and Dean of Students
The vice president and dean of students, hereinafter referred to as the "VP/Dean," oversees undergraduate student discipline at the college, chairs the Judicial Appeals Board, and has such other authority and responsibility as is described in this Code of Conduct. Any duties to be performed by the VP/Dean may be delegated to his or her designee.
- Assistant Dean of Students for Student Development
The assistant dean of students for student development, hereinafter referred to as the "ADOS," is appointed by the VP/Dean to manage student discipline at the college and has such other authority and responsibility as is described in this Code of Conduct. Any duties to be performed by the ADOS may be delegated to his or her designee.
- Associate Dean for Graduate and Professional Studies
The associate dean for graduate and professional studies oversees discipline of students in the graduate and professional programs at the college, assigns sanctions upon a finding of responsibility, and has such authority and responsibility as is described in this Code of Conduct. Any duties to be performed by the associate dean may be delegated to his or her designee.
- Type of Proceeding
The VP/Dean, in consultation with the ADOS and the Judicial Board chair, as appropriate, shall determine whether a case shall be decided by administrative penalty, Judicial Board hearing, or administrative hearing, based upon the circumstances of the case. The general considerations to be applied in making this determination are described in Article V.C of this Code.
- Final Decision
Decisions made by the Judicial Board or a duly appointed administrator shall be final, pending the normal appeal process.
- Waiver of rights
Complainants and accused students may at any time knowingly waive any right granted to them under this Code of Conduct. Such waivers shall be made in writing.
- Special Circumstances. It may be necessary, on occasion, to adjust the student diciplinary process based on special circumstances of a particular case. Whenever possible, approval for such adjustments will be sought from the appropriate parties. However, the college reserves the right to make such adjustments even without consent, as it determines necessary in order to assure fairness, order, or the physical and emotional security of individuals.
Article III: Judicial Board for Conduct
The Judicial Board for Student Conduct ("Judicial Board" or "board") is composed of students, staff, and faculty. Student members are appointed by the Community Building Division of the Goucher Student Government (GSG), in consultation with the ADOS. Selection Criteria and forms are prepared by the GSG, and interested students may apply using the GSG application form .
- Term and officers
Judicial Board members serve for one academic year but may be reappointed. Student members who wish to be reappointed must re-apply. The Judicial Board shall have a chair and two secretaries, all of whom shall be students and shall serve in office for one academic year. The chair and secretaries shall be elected by majority vote of all student board members. In the event of a vacancy, board members shall elect an acting chair or secretary for the remainder of the academic year. The duties of the chair and secretaries are as follows:
- Chair. The chair shall preside at hearings, preserve order during hearings, and perform such other responsibilities as are described in this Code of Conduct. The chair shall only vote on hearing decisions in the case of a tie.
- Secretaries. The secretaries shall keep a written record of the hearing as described in Article VI.B. In the event that the chair cannot attend a hearing or has recused himself or herself, one of the secretaries shall assume the duties of the chair, and the other shall perform the duties of the secretary. In the event that one or both secretaries are not available, the hearing panel shall, in consultation with the ADOS, appoint persons from among its members to act as the chair and secretary, as needed.
- Member Attendance and Conduct at Hearings
For each case heard by the Judicial Board, the chair shall contact Judicial Board members and organize a hearing board composed of the chair, four students, and one faculty and/or staff member. It is the responsibility of all members of the Judicial Board to serve when called to hear cases. Failure to do so may result in removal from the board. It is the responsibility of any board member to recuse himself or herself in a particular case if for any reason he or she is unable to maintain impartiality. No board member who is a witness in a case may serve on that particular hearing panel.
- Assistant Dean of Students for Student Development (ADOS)
The ADOS is not a member of the Judicial Board but shall advise the board on procedures. The ADOS shall attend hearings and is bound by the same rules of confidentiality as board members. He or she shall document procedural steps required by the Code of Conduct as they occur, and perform such other duties as are described in the Code and assigned by the VP/Dean.
Article IV: Proscribed Conduct
- Jurisdiction of the Student Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs at all locations of the college, including, but not limited to, all property owned or leased by the college and the sites of its international, service learning, and community service programs; to conduct at college-sponsored activities; and to off-campus conduct, including conduct that occurs on non-Goucher study abroad programs, that adversely affects the college community, its reputation, and/or the pursuit of its objectives. The VP/Dean shall decide on a case-by-case basis whether the Code of Conduct shall be applied to off-campus conduct, in the VP/Dean's sole discretion.
Each student shall be responsible for his or her conduct from the time of admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment. The Code of Conduct shall apply to a student's conduct even if he or she withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. Students may also be held responsible for conduct that is not discovered until after a degree is awarded.
- Indirect Involvement
Attempting, aiding, abetting, conspiring, hiring, or being an accessory to any act prohibited by this Code is a violation.
- Social Host Policy
It is the responsibility of any student who hosts a visitor or guest (including another Goucher student) on Goucher-owned or -leased property to ensure that the visitor or guest knows and adheres to the Goucher Student Code of Conduct. In instances where visitors or guests violate the Code of Conduct while on Goucher-owned or leased property, or while a guest of the student at a Goucher-sponsored activity off-campus, the host will be held responsible. Responsibility under these rules may occur even if the host is not a participant in the activity or has left the visitor(s) alone. The "host" is defined as the individual(s) who invited the visitor or guest to the room and does not include other lawful residents of the host's room unless they are co-hosts.
Any student found to be responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article VII. The list of violations is not intended to be exhaustive and includes, but is not limited to:
- Abuse of or interference with the student conduct system: applies to any college hearing or other proceeding under this or any other policy related to student conduct. Includes, but is not limited to, failure to obey a notice or official request to appear for a meeting or hearing; failure to provide information at a hearing or to provide truthful information; falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information; disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a proceeding; institution of a proceeding in bad faith; attempting to discourage or retaliate for an individual’s proper use of a policy or participation in a proceeding; harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation or attempted intimidation of a participant, administrator, or decision-maker prior to, during, and/or after a proceeding; failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under a policy; influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit conduct described in this provision.
- Alcohol violations: public intoxication or use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, except as expressly permitted by the Goucher College Alcoholic Beverage Policy. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person younger than 21 years of age. Multi-quart (mass consumption) containers and kegs are prohibited on campus unless authorized by the dean of students. Drinking games, including any activity that encourages the rapid and/or excessive ingestion of alcohol, are not permitted. Such games include, but are not limited to: Quarters, Beer Pong, Beirut, Power Hour, and Flip Cup. Paraphernalia identified as having been used in a drinking game, including tables, may be confiscated by public safety officers and will become the property of the college.
- Computer misuse: attempted or actual theft or misuse of Goucher- or non-Goucherowned computer facilities and resources, including, but not limited to, unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose; unauthorized transfer of a file; unauthorized use or attempted use of another individual’s identification and/or password; use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or college official; use of computing facilities and resources to send or post obscene, harassing, threatening, or abusive messages; use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with the normal operation of a college computing system; use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws or the Goucher College Copyright Policy; use of computing facilities and resources for commercial or profit-making purposes; and any violation of the Goucher College Computer Use Policy.
- Disorderly conduct: conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; conduct that has the effect of unreasonably disrupting the life of or interfering with the activities of persons or groups in the college community.
- Dishonesty: furnishing false information to any college official, staff member, faculty member, or office. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification. Includes, but is not limited to, withholding material information from the college and misrepresenting the truth before a hearing board or other entity of the college. Complaints of dishonesty in academic work are within the jurisdiction of the Goucher College Academic Honor Code and not of this Code of Conduct.
- Disruption or obstruction of authorized activities: disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other college activities, on or off campus, or of any event, function, or activity conducted, sponsored, or approved by the college or authorized to be held on college premises. Includes, but is not limited to, obstructing the movement of authorized persons on campus, preventing authorized access to or exit from the campus or any building or area of a building on campus, and interfering with guests or licensees of the college in speaking, performing, or supplying information or services.
- Drug violations: actual or intended use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of marijuana, narcotics, or other controlled substances, or of equipment, product(s), or material that is used, intended for use, or designed for use related to controlled substances. Includes any violation of the Goucher College Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Policy or of any federal or state statute governing controlled substances. Also includes improper use, possession, or distribution of prescription drugs and inhalants.
- Violation of the Smoking Policy (smoking in any Goucher building or vehicle, or within 25 feet of any Goucher building). Includes violation of the college hookah policy (including smoking a hookah in or within 25 feet of any college building or outside the perimeter of the Loop road, and smoking a controlled substance in a hookah.)
- Endangering health or safety: attempting or causing physical assault, verbal abuse, threats, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person, including the accused student. Includes conduct that reasonably makes or could be anticipated to make others feel unsafe. Complaints of sexual misconduct by students, including sexual assault and sexual harassment, are within the jurisdiction of the Sexual Misconduct Policy (online at www.goucher.edu/misconduct) and not part of this Code of Conduct.
- Failure to comply: failure to comply with directions of college officials, Residential Life staff, or public safety officers acting in performance of their duties, including failure to provide identification to these persons when requested to do so.
- Fire and safety violations: includes, but is not limited to, starting a fire in prohibited areas, storing or possessing any hazardous, flammable, or explosive materials; failing to leave a building during a sounded alarm; engaging in reckless behavior that causes a fire; tampering with fire/safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, pull stations, or sprinklers; pulling false alarms or falsely reporting a bomb, fire, or other emergency on college premises or at activities sponsored by the college.
- Harassment or intimidation: physical or psychological harassment or abuse of any member of the college community or of any guest. Harassment is behavior that either is intended to, or actually does, inflict harm or emotional distress or provoke a violent reaction. It may include use of racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, or personal slurs or epithets, or other threatening, intimidating, hostile, or abusive treatment of any person or group of persons in the college community. Includes harassment or intimidation via electronic modes of communication, including but not limited to electronic mail, text messaging, and Internet sites.
- Hazing: an act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act and is considered a violation of this rule.
- Misappropriation or misuse of funds or property: includes improper handling or use of college or student organization funds or property.
- Misuse of electronic devices: includes cellular telephones, pagers, and other electronic devices. Includes, but is not limited to, use in a manner that causes disruption or the use for the purposes of photographing test materials or for engaging in other forms of academic misconduct or prohibited activity. Also includes any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on college premises without his or her prior knowledge or without his or her effective consent. This includes, but is not limited to, taking pictures or videos of another person in an area in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a locker room, residence hall room, or restroom.
- Misuse of telephone or other technology: includes, but is not limited to, making or assisting in making unauthorized telephone calls, misuse or tampering with telephone or communications equipment, unauthorized use of another person’s authorization code, unauthorized use or possession of telephone or other communications equipment or services, and inappropriate use of voicemail.
- Possession or use of explosives, firearms, or weapons: possession or use on college premises of explosives, fireworks, firearms, or other weapons, including, but not limited to, pellet guns; knives; clubs; or look-alike weapons, such as toys that look like real guns; and use of any such item or other object in a manner that harms, threatens, or causes fear to others. Exceptions may be made to permit use of properly marked toy guns during authorized games, such as Humans vs. Zombies.
- Security violations: disregard for or violation of campus rules or policies designed to promote the security of buildings. Includes, but is not limited to, propping doors, failing to secure doors, and providing access to buildings to unknown or unauthorized persons through OneCard use or other means.
- Theft and/or damage to property: attempted or actual theft or wrongful appropriation of (i.e., theft with intent to temporarily deprive owner of possession) and/or damage to property of the college, property of a member of the college community, or other property not belonging to the accused student. Includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized use of property or services, knowing possession of stolen property, and actions constituting a violation of the vandalism policy (Residential Life policies here).
- Unauthorized entry: entry or attempted entry to any college facility without authority or against the will of the occupant or the individual in charge of the facility. Includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized use or occupation of any part of college property (e.g., gaining access to roofs or balconies or using a window as a means of entrance or exit) and unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of OneCards or keys to any college premises.
- Violation of rules and regulations related to study abroad programs: violation of any policy, rule, or regulation of a study-abroad provider, whether or not such providers are formally affiliated with Goucher, including both written and oral directions and precautions of the program provider or host organization, as well as those issued by the U.S. or foreign government.
- Violation of college policy: violation of any college policy, rule, or regulation, whether published in hard copy or available electronically on the college website. Includes, but is not limited to, Residential Life policies (http://www.goucher.edu/student-life/living-on-campus/policies), use of laundry machines, parking (including the accrual of multiple parking tickets), traffic, library, dining hall, campus solicitations, and sales.
- Violation of any federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance: Any such violation may be grounds for disciplinary action under this Code of Conduct. Any student who is arrested on or off campus must inform the VP/Dean within 48 hours of the arrest.
Article V: Disciplinary Process
- Who may file a complaint: Any member of the college community may file a complaint against a student or student organization for violations of the Code of Conduct. The complainant is usually, but not always, a person who has been aggrieved by the alleged misconduct. If no specific person has been aggrieved, if the aggrieved person fails to file a complaint, or if the aggrieved person is not a member of the college community, the ADOS may designate an appropriate college official to act as complainant.
- How a complaint is filed: A complaint shall be prepared in writing and directed to the ADOS. An incident report prepared by the Office of Public Safety may serve as the written complaint. The complaint must include the name of the student or organization being accused of violating the Code and the basic facts or circumstances of the violation.
- Signing a complaint: All complaints should be signed. Anonymous complaints will be accepted at the discretion of the ADOS, in consultation with the VP/Dean. However, it should be noted that anonymous complaints are generally less persuasive and more difficult to prove. All complainants are strongly encouraged to identify themselves by signing their complaints, and they are reminded that harassing, intimidating, attempting to discourage, and retaliating against a complainant are all prohibited by this Code.
- Informal Resolution of Complaints
The ADOS or his or her designee may conduct an informal investigation and determine if the complaint can be resolved informally, by mutual consent of the parties involved, and in a manner acceptable to the ADOS. Such disposition shall be final, and there shall be no subsequent proceedings.
- Formal Disciplinary Proceedings
Any complaints that are not resolved informally shall be subject to the following formal proceedings:
- Administrative penalty: Administrative penalty is generally appropriate when an alleged violation of the Code is considered to be minor in nature, and either the accused student admits responsibility to all charges. Minor offenses generally do not warrant expulsion from the college and/or permanent notation on the student’s record. Professional staff in the division of student life shall meet with the student and impose an appropriate sanction.
- Judicial Board hearing: Hearings before the Judicial Board are usually appropriate for offenses that have a direct impact on the greater Goucher community, and/or might warrant disciplinary probation, removal from the residence halls, suspension, or expulsion from the college.
- Administrative hearing: The VP/Dean may deem some alleged offenses to be most appropriately handled by an administrative hearing rather than a hearing before the Judicial Board. Administrative hearings may also be appropriate if the accused student is enrolled in a non-traditional program or if the VP/Dean determines that timing or other circumstances of the case preclude a hearing before the Judicial Board. The ADOS may conduct an administrative hearing or may appoint another college official to do so.
- Emergency administrative action: Under certain circumstances, the college president, the provost, or the VP/Dean may require an accused student to leave the residence halls or the college prior to a proceeding and disposition under this Code or, if no proceeding is pending or anticipated, during such period as is deemed appropriate.
- Conditions. Emergency administrative action may be imposed only
- to ensure the safety or well-being of members of the college community or preservation of college property;
- to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety or well-being; or
- if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations or reputation of the college.
- Access. As a result of emergency administrative action, the student shall be denied access to the residence halls and/or to campus (including classes) and/or to all other college activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the president, provost, or VP/Dean deems appropriate.
- Effect. Emergency administrative action does not replace the procedures outlined in this Code, which shall proceed, if required, up to and through a hearing, decision, and appeal.
- Conditions. Emergency administrative action may be imposed only
- Violation of Law and College Discipline
College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and this Code, without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of the VP/Dean. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this Code shall not be subject to change because criminal charges were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the student.
- Notice to Accused Student
Upon receipt of the written complaint, the ADOS or his/her designee will prepare a charge letter that informs the accused student of each violation of the Code being charged. The charge letter shall be delivered to the accused student and shall set forth the accused student’s right to choose an adviser, as provided in Article VI.C, and the responsibility for identifying witnesses in a timely manner and ensuring their attendance at any hearing. The student shall also be informed of the right to view all material that will be presented by the complainant at the hearing. This includes, but is not limited to, incident reports and witness statements, which generally will be redacted to remove student names and other identifying information to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"). The accused student shalll arrange to view the materials in the office of public safety, which shall obtain materials from the complainant when the office is not serving in the capacity of complainant at the hearing. In certain cases, the director of public safety or designee, in consultation with legal counsel, may further redact or withhold witness statements and other documents, or portions thereof. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, situations in which disclosing the information could cause harm to a witness or other individual, or could compromise an ongoing college investigation. Upon receipt of a charge letter, accused students with questions or concerns about the hearing process should immediately contact the ADOS to schedule an informational meeting.
- Hearing Date
- Setting the hearing
In those cases where it is determined that a Judicial Board or administrative hearing is appropriate, a hearing date, time, and place shall be set between five and seven business days after the accused student has received the charge letter. In special circumstances, and in consultation with the VP/Dean, this timeline may be shortened or extended, at the discretion of the ADOS.
The complainant, accused student, and administrators or Judicial Board members involved in the proceeding shall be notified of the hearing. It is the responsibility of the complainant and the accused student to inform any advisers and witnesses of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
- Failure to attend
If an accused student, with notice, does not appear at a scheduled hearing, the information in support of the complaint shall be presented and considered in the accused student's absence. If a complainant, with notice, does not appear at a scheduled hearing, the complaint may be considered or dismissed at the discretion of the Judicial Board or administrative hearing officer. Hearings typically close 10 minutes after the scheduled start time. Parties arriving after a hearing closes may not be admitted to participate. No later than 24 hours before a scheduled hearing, either party may provide notice of absence for justifiable reasons to the ADOS. At the discretion of the ADOS, the hearing may be postponed.
- Setting the hearing
Article VI: Hearing Procedures
Judicial Board and, to the extent practical, administrative hearings shall be conducted according to the following procedures:
All hearings are confidential and shall be closed to the public. All persons involved in the handling of complaints under this Code, including the complainant, the accused, any advisers and/or witnesses, Judicial Board members, and administrators, are required to keep the matter as confidential as is reasonably possible. Outside of disclosures required by law or college policy or to college officials with a legitimate need to know, all participants are prohibited from discussing a case with other members of the college community. Judicial Board members may not discuss cases outside of meetings of the Judicial Board. A member who violates this confidentiality provision may be removed from the board and may be subject to discipline for failure to comply with college policy, as determined by the ADOS and the president of the GSG.
- Hearing Record
The ADOS shall document procedural steps as they occur prior to the Judicial Board or administrative hearing (such as filing the complaint, providing a copy of the complaint to the accused student, and notifying the participants about the hearing date). The Board secretaries or the administrative hearing officer shall keep a written record of the hearing, including the charges, names of all hearing participants, summaries of information presented, any written statements presented, and decisions reached and sanction(s) imposed. Audio recordings of hearings may be made to ensure the accuracy of written records and will be preserved until all disciplinary procedures, including any appeals, are completed. The written record for all hearings shall be kept in the office of the ADOS.
At any disciplinary proceeding, the complainant and the accused student both have the right to be accompanied by one adviser of their choice. The adviser must be a member of the Goucher College community, may not be a current Judicial Board member, and may not be a practicing attorney or a witness in the case. The complainant and the accused student are responsible for presenting their own information at the hearing. For this reason, the advisers may not participate directly in any hearing.
- Joint Hearings
For complaints involving more than one accused student, the ADOS may, at his/her discretion, permit the hearing concerning each accused student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
- Presentation of Information
Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in proceedings under this Code. However, information presented in a hearing must be relevant, not privileged, and legally acquired. The relevance of information shall be determined by the chair of the board or the hearing officer. The following guidelines govern the presentation of information by witnesses at hearings:
- Limitation of witnesses. The chair or hearing officer may limit the number of witnesses for such reasons as redundancy and relevancy. Information about the character of an accused student is considered of very limited relevance to the proceedings and will only be permitted at the discretion of the chair or hearing officer.
- Identification of witnesses and other information. No more than 48 hours after receiving the charge letter, as specified in Article V.E, parties must provide the ADOS or Hearing Officer with the names of all witnesses requested to appear at the hearing as well as copies of any written information s/he intends to submit at the hearing. The ADOS or Hearing Officer shall share these names and information with the other parties. Both the complainant and the accused students may arrange to view written information in the office of public safety, as noted in paragraph V.E. Exceptions to these deadlines will only be made with the permission of the ADOS, in consultation with the chair or hearing officer. At the discretion of the ADOS or Hearing Officer, any witness who is not a member of the Goucher College community may be required to review hearing procedures and responsibilities with the ADOS prior to the hearing.
- Presence of witnesses. The complainant and accused student are responsible for ensuring that their witnesses appear at the hearing. If either party or a Judicial Board member or hearing officer wishes to hear from a witness who refuses to appear, the person requesting the witness shall contact the ADOS and explain why the witness is necessary. Upon determining that adequate justification exists for the request, the ADOS shall direct, in writing, the witness to appear. Student witnesses who fail to appear upon such written direction, fail to provide information, or fail to provide truthful information at a hearing will be considered in violation of the Code and may be subject to disciplinary action. Except for preliminary hearing matters, as described in Article VI.F.1, witnesses are not permitted to be present at the hearing except during such time as they are presenting their information.
- Written statements. Witnesses are expected to appear and present information in person at a hearing. However, when a witness is unavailable or otherwise unable to testify, or when circumstances justify his or her absence, the ADOS (or the hearing officer in the case of administrative hearings) upon request, has the discretion to permit a written witness statement. Any such statement must be presented to the ADOS or hearing officer at least 48 hours before the hearing is scheduled. The ADOS or hearing officer will share the statement with the other party, who shall be provided an opportunity to review the statement at least 24 hours prior to the hearing and respond to the statement during the hearing. The witness statements shall be redacted, as necessary, as provided in Article V.E.
- Order of the Hearing
- Preliminary matters. The chair or hearing officer shall assemble in the hearing room all persons who are to participate in the hearing and shall call the hearing to order. The chair or hearing officer shall inform all persons present that the proceedings are confidential, as provided in Article VI.A, and that all participants are expected and required to conduct themselves in a respectful manner toward the other persons present. Personal attacks will not be permitted. Anyone found by the chair or hearing officer to be disrupting or interfering with the orderly conduct of the hearing may be required to leave, forfeit his or her opportunity to participate in the hearing, and be subject to disciplinary proceedings for such behavior. The chair or hearing officer will administer the following oath to all persons who are to testify: “For the integrity and honor of the Goucher community, I pledge that my statements shall be the truth and only the truth to the best of my knowledge, memory, and conscience.” Witnesses will then be asked to leave the hearing room, but they are required to remain nearby until called to provide information.
- Reading of charge(s). The chair or hearing officer shall read the charge letter aloud and advise the accused student of his or her right to remain silent.
- Prior judicial record. The chair or hearing officer shall inform the accused student that his or her prior judicial record shall not be taken into account in determining whether he or she violated the Code. However, if the accused student makes false statements about his or her prior judicial record during the hearing, the board or hearing officer may take into account relevant information from a witness or college official concerning that record for the sole purpose of assessing the credibility of the accused student. The board or hearing officer may take into account any prior judicial record, including sanctions imposed, when determining sanctions for a violation. The chair or hearing officer shall advise the accused that for this reason, he or she may wish to address issues related to any prior judicial record but is not required to do so.
- Plea. The accused student shall state whether he or she accepts responsibility for each alleged violation and may, if appropriate, make a brief statement explaining that decision. The hearing will proceed, even if the accused student accepts responsibility, to provide the board or hearing officer with an understanding of the case necessary to impose appropriate sanctions.
- Hearing. The hearing shall proceed in the order indicated below. The chair or hearing officer has the sole authority to decide the appropriateness of all information presented and questions asked. At any time during the hearing, the chair or hearing officer in his or her sole discretion may pause, recess, or postpone the proceedings. No postponement may exceed two school days.
- Presentation of the complainant’s case: The complainant shall be responsible to present information, introduce his or her witnesses, and introduce any other information as permitted in Article VI.E. The accused student and the board or hearing officer shall have the opportunity to examine the information as it is introduced and to question the complainant’s witnesses as they are called.
- Presentation of accused student’s case: The accused student may present information, introduce his or her witnesses, and introduce any other information as permitted in Article VI.E. The complainant and the board or hearing officer shall have the opportunity to examine the information as it is introduced and to question the accused student’s witnesses as they are called.
- Response: At the discretion of the board or hearing officer, the complainant and the accused student may present further information or call witnesses in response to the information already introduced, subject to the rights of review by the other party and the board or hearing officer.
- Closing statements and deliberations: First the complainant, then the accused student, may present closing statements to the board or hearing officer. Any advisers present at the hearing may also present a brief closing statement. The chair or hearing officer will then recess the hearing, and the board or hearing officer will begin deliberations. The complainant, the accused student, and any witnesses shall remain available for further questioning if necessary. In his or her discretion, the chair or hearing officer may choose to dismiss the parties and notify them of the decision, as provided in Article VI.G.4.
- Basis. The board, by majority vote, or the hearing officer shall determine whether the accused student is responsible for violating each section of the Code he or she is charged with violating. The decision shall be made solely on the information presented at the hearing. As provided in Article VI.F.3, the prior judicial record of the accused shall not be considered in making this determination, although such information may be considered when it has been allowed to assess the credibility of the accused student.
- Standard. The determination of the board or hearing officer shall be made on the basis of a preponderance of evidence, meaning a determination whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Code.
- Sanction. When an accused student is determined to have violated the Code, individual or combined sanctions may be imposed, as provided in Article VII. In determining sanctions, the board or hearing officer may consider both the prior judicial record of the accused and sanctions imposed in previous cases. For Judicial Board hearings, the board shall consult with the ADOS regarding sanctions, and its members shall determine sanctions by majority vote during hearing deliberations. For administrative hearings, the hearing officer shall consult with the ADOS regarding sanctions.
- Notice of decision
- Judicial Board: In the case of a hearing before the Judicial Board, at the conclusion of deliberations, the board shall prepare a brief oral statement of its decision, the reasons for it, and any sanction(s) imposed. The chair shall reconvene the parties and announce the decision. In those cases where the parties have been dismissed during deliberations, the hearing will not be reconvened, but the chair and/or the ADOS will inform the parties of the board’s decision in writing within 48 hours or as soon as is reasonably possible. Both parties shall be informed of their right to appeal the decision according to the provisions of this Code.
- Administrative hearing: In the case of an administrative hearing, the hearing officer will inform the parties of the decision in writing within 48 hours or as soon as is reasonably possible. Both parties shall be informed of their right to appeal the decision according to the provisions of this Code.
- Procedural Questions. During the hearing, all procedural questions are decided by the Judicial Board chair or by the hearing officer, in consultation with the ADOS or his/her designee.
Article VII: Sanctions
- The following sanctions, or any combination thereof, may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Code, with the exception of alcohol and drug violations and fire safety violations, which are subject to a separate sanction policy set forth in Parts B and C below. Disciplinary sanctions may impact a student's ability to study abroad.
- Warning: a notice in writing that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations and that further violations may result in more severe disciplinary sanctions.
- Disciplinary probation: a written reprimand for violation of this Code. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to have violated any institutional policies during the probationary period.
- Educational Conference: confidential meeting with a trained member of the Goucher community that addresses alcohol and/or drug use decision-making.
- Parental Notification - A student's parent or guardian may be notified of the outcome of a case following completion of the hearing and appeal, or end of the appeal period.
- Loss of privileges: denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time, including, but not limited to:
- visiting privileges to certain college facilities
- participation in specified college activities
- holding any or a designated office or leadership position
- membership on a college board or committee
- participation in designated co-curricular activities
- participation on athletic teams or in designated athletic competitions or events
- room-draw priority
- Fines: levied on individuals or organizations in amounts appropriate to the offense.
- Restitution: compensation for loss, damage, or injury, which may take the form of appropriate service, monetary reimbursement, or material replacement.
- Discretionary sanctions: include, but are not limited to, work assignments, community service, essays, coursework, service to the college, attendance at educational programs, assessment for counseling, mediation, or other sanctions designed to educate or benefit the student. Evidence of attendance will be required as appropriate.
- Residence hall sanctions: may include a change in room or hall assignment or removal from the residence halls. Removal shall only be imposed with approval from the VP/Dean and may be permanent, for a specified period of time, or until the VP/Dean approves return. Conditions for return may be specified.
- Suspension: separation of the student from the college for a definite period of time or until approved by the VP/Dean for re-enrollment, after which the student is eligible to return. Suspension shall only be imposed with approval from the VP/Dean. Suspension implies exclusion from classes, college activities, residence halls, and other college property. Suspensions extending beyond the semester in which action is taken shall consist of full semesters; in no event shall a suspension terminate before the end of a semester. Suspended students forfeit all fees paid to the college. A suspended student is not permitted to be on campus without prior approval of the VP/Dean.
- Expulsion: permanent separation of the student from the college. Expulsion shall only be imposed with approval from the VP/Dean. Expelled students forfeit all fees paid to the college and are not permitted on campus without prior approval of the VP/Dean.
- Revocation of admission and/or degree: admission to or a degree awarded from the college may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of college standards in obtaining admission or the degree or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
- Sanctions for Violations of Goucher College’s Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Policy and for Fire Safety Violations
Click here to view the sanctions.
- Record of Sanctions
Other than expulsion, suspension, or revocation or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but they shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. By application to the VP/Dean upon graduation, the student’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than removal from the residence halls, expulsion, suspension, or revocation or withholding of a degree.
- Groups or Organizations
The following sanctions may be imposed upon student groups or organizations:
- those sanctions listed in Article VII.A.1-5.
- loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time.
- deactivation, meaning loss of all privileges, including college recognition, for a specified period of time.
- Compliance with Sanctions
At the discretion of the VP/Dean, a student may not register for classes, participate in room draw, participate in commencement, or receive a degree if he or she has not completed or complied with sanctions imposed under this Code or if he or she has an unresolved student disciplinary matter. The college may withhold transcripts or awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of procedures set forth in this Code, including the completion of any sanctions imposed.
Article VIII: Appeals
- Judicial Board and Administrative Hearings
- Written appeal: The accused student and/or the complainant may appeal a decision of the Judicial Board or administrative hearing officer. Such appeals shall be in writing by the accused student or the complainant and must describe the specific ground(s) for the appeal. The written appeal shall be delivered to the VP/Dean within five school days after the delivery of the written decision.
- Grounds for appeal: Appeals may only be made on the grounds described in this section. If it is unclear that appropriate grounds have been stated for an appeal, the Judicial Appeals Board may convene electronically or by telephone to review the written appeal and determine if appropriate grounds exist. The grounds for appeal are:
- The procedures described in this Code were not followed, and the deviation(s) from those procedures caused significant prejudice to the person appealing;
- The sanction(s) imposed were disproportionate for the violation of the Code for which the accused student was found responsible;
- New information or other relevant facts, not reasonably available to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing, have now become available and are sufficient to alter the decision.
- Delay of sanctions pending appeal: At the discretion of the VP/Dean, any sanctions imposed at the hearing may be delayed pending a decision on an appeal.
- Judicial Appeals Board
All appeals of hearing decisions are decided by the Judicial Appeals Board. The Appeals Board consists of these five members: the VP/Dean; the associate dean for undergraduate studies; one faculty member appointed by the provost; the Goucher Student Government president or, in his or her absence, the vice-president; and the Student Action Committee chair. The Appeals Board shall have the power to affirm, reverse, or modify the decision and/or the sanction(s) imposed or to remand the decision to the Judicial Board or hearing officer for further consideration.
- Appeal Procedures
- Response and review: Once a written appeal has been received, the other party shall be given the opportunity to submit a written response to the appeal. The Appeals Board shall decide the appeal based upon these written submissions and a review of the hearing record, as described in Article VI.B. The Appeals Board shall not hold a new hearing.
- Decision: All five members of the Appeals Board are expected to meet, either in person or by telephone, to decide the appeal. In cases where a prompt decision is deemed necessary and all five members are unable to meet, the Appeals Board may decide an appeal with three members present. Appeals Board decisions require a majority vote of the board members present. The decision of the Judicial Appeals Board is the final decision of the college.
Article IX: Graduate and Professional Programs
Complaints involving accused students who are enrolled in graduate and professional programs at the college shall be handled either by administrative penalty or administrative hearing. To the extent practical, and with the following exceptions, such cases shall be subject to the provisions of this Code:
- Administrative penalty. The associate dean for graduate and professional studies shall appoint a program director or other college official to meet with the student and impose an appropriate sanction.
- Administrative hearing. The associate dean for graduate and professional studies shall appoint a college official to serve as a hearing officer who shall follow the hearing procedures outlined in this Code to the extent practical. If the hearing officer finds the accused student responsible for a violation of this Code, the hearing officer shall recommend an appropriate sanction to the associate dean for graduate and professional studies. The associate dean shall determine the sanction and notify the accused student.
- Administrative penalty: At the request of the accused student or complainant, administrative penalties may be informally reviewed by the associate dean of graduate and professional studies. The decision of the associate dean shall be the final decision of the college.
- Administrative hearing: The accused student or complainant may appeal the decision of an administrative hearing by submitting a written appeal to the provost within three days of receiving the decision. The provost shall convene a Graduate Judicial Appeals Board consisting of the provost as chair; a graduate and professional studies director who also teaches, but is not the director of the program with which the appellant is associated; and a graduate student not associated with the appellant’s program. The Graduate Judicial Appeals Board shall perform the functions of the Judicial Appeals Board under this Code.
- Records. The associate dean for graduate and professional studies shall record procedural steps as they occur prior to any administrative proceeding under this Code. The college official assigned to handle an administrative penalty or administrative hearing shall keep a written record of the proceeding, which shall be kept in the office of the associate dean. Audio recordings of hearings may be made to ensure the accuracy of written records and will be preserved until all disciplinary procedures, including any appeals, are completed.