Policies & Procedures

The freedom to teach and to learn depends upon the creation of appropriate conditions and opportunities on the campus as a whole as well as in classrooms and laboratories. All members of the academic community share the responsibility for securing and sustaining the general conditions conducive to this freedom.

Student Handbook

All policies relevant to campus life—ranging from academic dishonesty to sexual misconduct—can be found in the Alma College Student Handbook. All campus policies can be found by going to the Policies & Disclosures page.

Disciplinary Proceedings

The primary purpose of regulations and discipline in a college is to protect the well-being of
the community and to advance its educational mission by defining and establishing certain
norms of behavior. At Alma College, disciplinary proceedings have a role that is subordinate to
positive guidance, rational admonition and reasonable appeal to members of its community to
observe its stated norms.

The disciplinary system establishes procedures for a fair hearing, including advising a person fully of the charges against him or her, affording him or her ample opportunity to speak on his or her own behalf, and requiring a clear explanation of his or her rights of appeal. Disciplinary proceedings are instituted only for violations of standards of conduct defined in advance and published or for actions that can be reasonably deduced as violations in light of those specifically defined as such.

Disciplinary or counseling procedures may be the necessary consequence of misconduct
occurring on or off campus. This misconduct may include instances wherein a student violates
municipal, state, federal or international laws. Whenever a student’s behavior becomes
disturbing to other members of the college community or hinders the college in its basic
educational functions, college officials may be required to initiate advising and/or disciplinary
procedures. The college reserves the right to change or modify its rules, regulations and policies so as to ensure the effective functioning of the institution. Such changes will be published as they occur.

The Conduct Process

The steps followed at Alma College to resolve formal disciplinary matters are called the conduct
process
. This process 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, though avoiding the
formalities and complexities of a legal process, nevertheless aim 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. Decisions will be made based on the
“preponderance of evidence.”

The following student conduct 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 Student Life Office. All possible
disciplinary matters begin with a complaint filed with a member of the Student Life staff
or by any member of the college community. Each complaint is investigated and, 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.