The Judicial Process
The steps followed at Alma College to resolve formal disciplinary matters are called the judicial process. This procedure exists to assure that basic due process is granted to all students of our Community who find themselves in conflict with the Community's standards. All such conflicts are resolved by members of the Alma College Community in a system which, while avoiding the formalities and complexities of a legal process, aims to respect the dignity of the individual as well as personal and community rights. With heavy reliance on the honesty of all participants, it is assumed that reasonable people, properly informed, can and will make judgments in the best interest of the College Community.
The judicial structures and procedures have been set in place and are to be considered binding on all parties. The formal responsibility for discipline rests with the Vice President for Student Life. All possible disciplinary matters begin with a complaint filed with a member of the Student Life staff (Vice President for Student Life, Residence Hall Director, Resident Assistant, etc.) by any member of the College Community. Each complaint is then investigated. If formal disciplinary action seems called for, then the student or group alleged to have violated College policy is notified by a staff member of the Student Life Office that the matter is being referred to an appropriate judicial body or hearing agent. Consult the Alma College Student Life Handbook for a detailed explanation of the process.
Final Authority for Disciplinary Matters
As a result of the corporate status of the College, the President, as a chief administrative officer, is charged with the internal direction of the College. Implied in this statement is the President's and the Board of Trustees' authority to take whatever action they deem appropriate, within established College policy and procedures, to protect the best interest of Alma College. This authority may include the direct application of these policies and procedures by the President subject to review by the Board of Trustees.
Disciplinary records are kept in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. Thus, disciplinary actions are recorded on the student's "personal record" and are not placed on the student's transcript. These disciplinary records are typically retained for a period of one academic year after the student graduates or withdraws from the College. The College may determine it is in its best interest to retain these records for a longer period of time, for example if legal action is anticipated or pending. After such time all disciplinary records are destroyed. These personal records are confidential. However, in most cases parents will be notified of disciplinary action.