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Community Code

Student Conduct System

Carthage College recognizes that holding students accountable for their behavior, according to the community standards as outlined in this Code, is integral to the educational process. The College reserves the right to address those who violate established rules, practices, and procedures, or those whose conduct is contrary to the best interest of other students or the College.

Students are expected to abide by state laws, city ordinances and college regulations both on and off campus. Civil authorities may be called to the campus if College officials deem such action necessary. Any behavior that violates the community code; whether on campus, adjacent to campus or off-campus, is subject to Carthage student conduct charges.

Any group or organization may be held accountable for the actions of any of its members in violation of this code.In cases where a group or organization faces student conduct, each person participating in a violation may also be charged as individuals.

All violations of Carthage policies, state law or federal law are subject to sanction under the community code.

These are guidelines and the College reserves the right to intervene at anytime to protect the good of the community.

The Student Conduct Point System

An outline of the Student Conduct Point System follows:

  • The Assistant, Associate, and Dean of Students retain the authority, within established due process procedures, to immediately dismiss or suspend any student at any time.
  • Students and organizations are assessed points and sanctions for violations of Carthage policies.
  • The point system is divided into three categories, based on the degree of severity of the infraction.
  • One point violations remain on the student’s record during the entire period the student is enrolled at Carthage. The point is considered part of the student’s accumulated point total for one year from the date of the incident.
  • Two point violations remain on the student’s record during the entire period the student is enrolled at Carthage. 
  • Repetition of any violation will result in a two point minimum assessment.
  • Greater point accumulations (three or more), become a permanent part of the student’s record and accumulated point total.
  • New or not covered violations will have a point value determined by the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct.
  • Six accumulated points in any two consecutive semesters constitute grounds for suspension or dismissal. J-Term points will be considered first semester points and included within the first semester point total; summer school points will be included within the second semester point total.
  • Accumulated points warranting suspension or dismissal proceedings shall be:
    First-year students: 6 points
    Second-year students: 9 points
    Third-year students: 12 points
    Fourth-year or more: 15 points
  • A student committing multiple violations at the same time may be assessed multiple points. For example, a student who is found in violation of the policy governing foul and abusive language and vandalism during the same incident may be assessed points for both violations.
  • Floors are to be treated as individuals within the system. Should a floor or group of students (not individual students) be found in violation of a Carthage policy, the floor or group of students will be considered for sanctions and disbandment.
  • At their discretion, the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct will determine in which category offenses are placed.

Student Conduct Process

The student conduct system is designed to be prompt and fair to each person involved in a violation, including an impartial investigation and resolution. The system is administered by the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct. A trained hearing officer shall conduct each hearing.

In addition to the rights indicated in the procedures described below, students have the following rights in all student conduct cases:

  • The right to be considered exemplary until violations of policy have been established.
  • The right to receive the charge and findings of the student conduct body orally and/or in writing.
  • A student is allowed to bring in a support person as a student conduct advisor.  The student conduct advisor is only for a party’s emotional support. An advisor may not communicate with the investigator, hearing panel, or hearing officer at any meeting, hearing, or appeal.  That person must be a member of the Carthage community and may not hold a license to practice law, serve on the Board of Trustees, or be the parent/guardian of the student. The hearing officer, at their sole discretion, may grant permission for others to attend the hearing in a limited capacity.
  • The right to challenge the hearing officer’s objectivity in the case. The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee shall rule on any such challenges.
  • The right not to be a witness against oneself.
  • The right to request postponements of student conduct proceedings for just cause.

Student Conduct Procedures

Student Conduct is responsible for the initial investigation of all cases that may be subject to student conduct procedures. This normally includes collecting the incident report(s), informing the student of the charges and interviewing the accused student. If the student acknowledges responsibility for the violations, appropriate sanctions will then be assessed. If the investigation discloses no violation or, in the investigating officer’s opinion, fails to obtain sufficient information, the student shall be so informed and there shall be no further proceeding.

If the student contests the charges, the Student Conduct Officer will determine responsibility for the charges. The case may be heard  by the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct or a designated hearing officer. In cases that involve sexual misconduct, proceedings will be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.  For formal hearings, the following procedures shall be observed:

  • All those involved in the case shall be contacted at least 24 hours before the hearing and shall be required to either be present or submit written statements. If a student chooses not to be present at a scheduled hearing, action will be taken on the information presented despite the student’s absence.
  • Student Conduct Hearing Officers shall be given the opportunity to hear and question all students involved and present relevant information.
  • The charged student or students shall be given the opportunity to hear and question all relevant information to provide an explanation for the actions, and to furnish witnesses.
  • The hearing officer shall decide whether or not the alleged violation or violations have merit and level sanctions, if any. The student conduct system, in all cases, uses preponderance of the information as the burden of proof.
  • The Dean of Students Office reserves the authority to require any student to appear and be interviewed with respect to alleged offenses. The refusal by a student to appear for this interview is grounds for placing a hold on any subsequent enrollment, as well as grounds for initiating separate student conduct procedures.
  • All witnesses must be disclosed to the hearing officer at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. Any witnesses failing to cooperate with the Student Conduct investigation may be prohibited from giving testimony at the hearing.
  • Hearings and appeals may be conducted over the phone, or in absentia, during times where the accused student, or a witness, will be unable to be on campus to attend a hearing.
  • Any audio or video record of the hearing remains the property of Carthage College

Appeals

A student may appeal the outcome of a hearing to the designated Appeal Officer. The student must submit within 72 hours of the decision, a written statement to the Appeal Officer requesting the appeal. The decision to hear an appeal usually is based on the accuser’s or defendant’s presentation of new information, proof of bias, information of the inappropriateness of the decision and/or sanction, and/or other extenuating circumstances. The Assistant, Associate, or Dean of Students may hear the appeal or assign the case to other hearing officers at his or her discretion.  For incidents involving sexual misconduct, the complainant and the respondent will be notified in writing any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final and when such results become final.

The time period for the investigation and appeals process may be shortened to allow less time for response in circumstances such as the end of an academic term, vacation period or potentially dangerous situation. The Assistant, Associate,  and Dean of Students reserves the right to immediately suspend a student from the campus pending the conclusion of the student conduct process.

New Information

The College reserves the right for Student Conduct at any time to reverse its action when new information discloses that the case is more or less serious than initially determined. However, nothing contained herein shall deny to the student the rights guaranteed in this Handbook.

Sanctions

The sanctions imposed will be based upon the incident in question as well as the student’s conduct history. In all cases where sanctions are imposed, the student will receive written notification and a copy will become part of the student’s conduct file in the Dean of Students Office. Depending on the severity of the violation, the parents or guardians of the student may receive written notification of the decision.  For sexual misconduct incidents, the complainant will be notified in writing of any institutional disciplinary proceeding that arises from an allegation of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  The following are the penalties most often assigned, listed in increasing order of severity. However, the Hearing Officer may assign additional penalties, including written warning, monetary fines, restitution, activities restrictions, short term suspension, counseling, community service, educational assignment, room or hall relocation, and/or revocation of residency status. Exemplary behavior may be considered and factored in when deciding sanctions.  Any student who is removed from a campus residence because of a student conduct sanction remains financially responsible for the room portion of the residency fee.

Probation - The student is notified in writing that any further violation(s) of Carthage policies may result in immediate removal from the residence halls, suspension or expulsion. A student on probation status may be excluded from participating in all co-curricular or non-credit activities, except as a spectator, and may not represent Carthage at any public appearance. Co-curricular and non-credit activities include, but are not limited to, all extra-curricular activities (i.e. inter-collegiate athletics, intramurals, Greek participation, clubs, etc.). A time limit will be stated but normally should not exceed one calendar year. This sanction may be an alternative to suspension and/or expulsion. A copy of the letter is placed in the student’s confidential conduct file and will remain part of this file for up to five years after leaving Carthage College, and is sent to the parent/guardian. No notation is made on the permanent record in the Registrar’s Office.

Suspension - The student may be dismissed as a student for a specified time (typically no less than the remainder of an academic term and could be years).  Based on the time of the supension, a W(withdrawal) will be recorded for each course on the on the official college record if after the add/drop deadline.  Suspension can be a specific duration or indefinite and subject to later reconsideration.  Unless otherwise specified, suspension includes a ban from campus until the date the person is eligible for re-application.

Expulsion- The offender is permanently dismissed from the college. Unless otherwise specified, dismissal includes a ban from campus and no eligibility to return to Carthage. Based on the time of the supension, a W(withdrawal) will be recorded for each course on the on the official college record if after the add/drop deadline.  A copy of the letter is placed in the student’s confidential conduct file, and sent to the parent/guardian. A notification is made on the permanent record in the Registrar’s Office.