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.
The Conduct Process outlined in Section 3 of the Student Handbook will be utilized for all disciplinary proceedings except cases involving civil rights violations, discrimination, harassment, and/ or sexual misconduct, which will proceed under the Civil Rights Grievance Policy and Procedures. For further details about the Civil Rights Grievance Policy and Procedures, including information about reporting, please see http://www.alma.edu/live/files/998-civil-rights-grievance-policies-and-procedures-for.
In disciplinary situations which involve students whose presence on campus appears to constitute a threat to the physical or emotional safety and well-being of groups or individual students, faculty, administration or staff, the President of the College, The Vice President for Student Life, or the Provost (Vice President for Academic Affairs) may suspend the student(s) for a period of time until the normal Conduct process can be carried out or at the discretion of the President of the College, the Vice President for Student Life, or the Provost. If a student is placed on Summary Suspension the Campus Conduct Committee must convene and make a decision on the case within five business days. If a student is found not responsible, they will be able to make up any missed academic work without penalty.
The burden of proof in a Court of Law, (recognized as such by the State of Michigan or the U.S. government) is much more stringent than the preponderance of evidence used in Campus Conduct proceedings. Therefore, the College will uphold any admission of guilt made by a student at off-campus proceedings and shall be conclusive for Campus Conduct purposes. A verdict of guilty, a plea of no contest (nolo contendere) or similar plea in a court of law by a charged student will operate as a conclusive finding that the student is responsible for the purpose of Alma College Conduct proceedings. The College may amend its charge(s), decision(s) , and sanction(s) based on information obtained through an outside proceeding where that information is relevant to activity adversely affecting the College Community.
Proceedings under the Campus Conduct process may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off-campus at the discretion of the President of Alma College, or the Vice President for Student Life.
Last Revision: 8/1/2015