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Organization Misconduct Hearing
In determining whether an organization may be held collectively responsible for the individual actions of its members, all the factors and circumstances surrounding the specific incident will be reviewed and evaluated. Pursuant to the Colby College Code of Student Conduct, an organization will be held collectively responsible when:
1. Actions that lead to the misuse of persons, property, or College funds have received the tacit or overt consent or encouragement of the organization or the organization’s officers.
2. In the course of its activities, an incident is the result of the failure on the part of the organization or its officers to take reasonable precautions against the misuse of persons, property, or College funds.
3. A policy or practice of an organization is directly responsible for a violation.
4. Any organization that engages in any such activities, on or off campus, may have sanctions imposed against it by Dean of Students (or his or her designee.)
5. An organization will not be held collectively responsible for its members’ actions that do not fall under the conditions stated above.
Configuration of the Board The Board for an Organization Misconduct Hearing is composed of the members of the College Student Conduct Board with the following additions and specifications:
· The addition of the Dean of Students, who serves ex-officio and does not vote;
· The Conduct Officer acts as chair of the Board (non-voting). If the Conduct Officer is absent, the Dean of Students representative chairs the hearing as a voting member;
· A quorum of the hearing Board consists of ten persons (the nine voting members and the Dean of Students, who does not vote) with at least one student, one faculty member, and the Dean of Students representative. In the absence of a quorum, the hearing will be rescheduled.
Notification as to the Charge At least seven (7) days prior to the hearing, or as far in advance as reasonably possible if an accelerated hearing is scheduled with the consent of the accused organization, the Conduct Officer shall send a letter to the organization stating the following:
1. A description of the alleged violation(s).
2. The time and location of the hearing and a reminder that attendance is mandatory, superseding all other campus activities. For compelling reasons, the Conduct Officer may adjourn the hearing.
3. The right of the students representing the organization at the hearing to the assistance of an advisor at the hearing. An advisor must be chosen from among current students, faculty, and staff or administrators at Colby College. The advisor may not be a parent or attorney, and no parent or attorney may be present in the hearing room.
The students representing the organization at the hearing may speak and respond to questions on their own behalf. The advisor may consult with the advisee(s) but may not speak on behalf of the advisee(s), unless he/she is directed to answer questions raised by the Board members.
Hearings shall be scheduled as soon as reasonably possible.
As is the case with students representing the organization in question (see “Notification as to the Charge,” #3), the person, if any, initiating the action is also entitled to the assistance of an advisor at the hearing. An advisor must be chosen from among current students, faculty, staff or administrators at Colby College. The advisor may not be a parent or attorney. The advisor may consult with the advisee but may not speak on behalf of the advisee, unless he/she is directed to answer questions raised by the Board members.
Anyone appearing at the hearing to provide information will speak and respond to questions on his/her own behalf.
1. The hearing is closed. Only the person(s) representing the organization and others directly involved in the incident(s) in question are allowed to attend the entire hearing; observers will be permitted to attend at the discretion of the Conduct Officer. The chair may allow other individuals who have relevant information to appear at a portion of the hearing in order to respond to specific questions from the Board or the persons involved.
2. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in Organization Misconduct hearings.
3. Only information pertinent to the possible violation will be considered by the Board.
4. Information about other disciplinary actions against the organization and/or its members, and/or civil or criminal convictions, may be introduced at these hearings if, in the discretion of the chair, this information bears directly on the possible violation.
5. The chair shall have discretionary authority to determine whether the Board will receive and consider particular information, and to resolve any procedural questions or disputes arising in the course of a hearing.
6. Participation in a hearing by telephone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, video or audio recording, written statement or other means may be permitted by the chair to the extent deemed appropriate in his/her sole discretion.
7. Proceedings are strictly confidential. All persons present at any time during the hearing are expected to keep confidential all matters discussed at the hearing; provided, however, that the person(s) representing the organization may discuss the hearing with other members of the organization.
8. Hearings are recorded. Board members, members of the organization whose behavior was in question, the persons, if any, who initiated the action, and appropriate administrative officers of the College shall be allowed to listen to the recording in a location determined by the Conduct Officer. No person will be given or be allowed to make a copy of the recording, which remains the property of Colby College. Persons given access to the recording will be required to sign an agreement confirming that they will protect the confidentiality of the hearing.
Decision The Board shall deliberate in private session to determine whether an organization is responsible or not responsible for the violation(s) in question. The deliberations of the Board shall be kept in strict confidence. The Board shall base its determination on a standard of preponderance of the evidence (i.e., whether it is more likely than not that the organization committed each alleged violation). If an organization is found responsible by a majority of the Board, the Board shall recommend appropriate sanctions. These recommendations will be offered to the Dean of Students, who serves as a non-voting member of the Board.
The Dean of Students will make the final decision and assess the appropriate sanctions. The Dean of Students shall forward a written decision to the person(s) representing the organization at the hearing as soon as reasonably possible including, if applicable, sanctions. Notification to the person(s) representing the organization will constitute sufficient notice to the organization itself, and it is the responsibility of the person(s) representing the organization to notify the rest of the members of the organization of the decision resulting from the hearing.
Sanctions Changes to an organization’s recognition generally form the basis of sanctions for an organization. Recognition by the College grants to any organization the right to function on campus, to receive College privileges, to enroll Colby students as members and to be associated with the College. An organization’s prior disciplinary record, if any, shall be fully considered in the sanctioning phase. The Board may use, but is not limited to, the following sanctions:
1. Full recognition with warning: The organization maintains full recognition but is warned that further failure to meet the criteria for recognition or additional violations will result in a more serious sanction.
2. Probationary recognition: The organization is recognized by the College, but is placed on probation for a specified period of time during which specified privileges and activities may be revoked. Probationary recognition ordinarily will be in effect for a minimum of one semester.
3. Suspended recognition: Recognition is suspended for a specified period of time during which all privileges are revoked, the organization’s activities are discontinued, and funding by the Student Government Association may be withdrawn.
4. Permanent withdrawal of recognition: Recognition is withdrawn permanently.
5. Other Actions: Other sanctions may be assessed according to the specifics of the violation(s) and the type of organization.
Appeal In the event that an organization is found responsible for a violation, the organization may appeal in writing to the Dean of Students within fourteen (14) days after the organization is notified of the decision or, if the appeal is based on the discovery of new information, within seven (7) days of the discovery of new information (see number 2 below) but in no event later than thirty (30) days from the date that the organization is notified of the decision.
An appeal may be based only on one of the following:
1. A procedural error occurred during the process that had a direct impact on the outcome.
2. New information has come to light that has a direct impact on the outcome.
Student Disciplinary Procedures