Student Handbook

Hearings & Adjudications

All cases involving student infractions of college policies and regulations will be adjudicated by judicial committees except where noted.

  1. The Campus Conduct Committee will hear all disciplinary cases where the infractions are academic in nature or of such a serious nature that suspension or expulsion of the student or group is possible. The exception is when the allegation involves sexual assault/misconduct. (see Section 5 for details)

    NOTE: only in cases where the infraction is of such a nature that suspension or expulsion is possible, the student or group involved may request in writing an administrative hearing. The Vice President for Student Life, or Designee, will be the hearing agent for all such administrative hearings.
  2. The Student Conduct Coordinator will have primary authority for all other cases including those involving Greek organizations. If the case is of a serious nature the case may go directly to a hearing with the Director of Campus Life or the Vice President of Student Life.
  3. During those times when the Campus Conduct Committee, Sexual Misconduct Committee do not function (first and last week of terms during Spring Term and Summer if not enough members are on campus) all cases will be heard by the Vice President for Student Life, the Director of Campus Life, the Student Conduct Coordinator, or Designee with appeals going to the appropriate administrator.\
  4. Procedures for Sexual Misconduct Complaints
    Sexual Misconduct is a violation of the Code of Campus Conduct. Alma College provides on-campus counseling and health services and referrals to off-campus services for victims of sexual offenses. Further, the College will change a victim’s academic and living situations after an alleged sex offense, including, but not limited to room or class changes, providing the options are reasonably available and requested by the victim. Please see Section 3: Student Conduct and Appeal Process for the procedures, sanctions, and appeals process related to sexual misconduct on campus.

    Allegations of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct will be handled administratively by the The Title IX Coordinator housed in the Vice President for Student Life’s Office. Complaints will be investigated by administrators of the college who have received investigator training. The investigators will then present the findings and recommendations at the hearing. Alleged violators will have the ability to choose between a hearing agent appointed by the Vice President for Student Life or the Sexual Misconduct Committee. The Sexual Misconduct Committee will consist of a faculty/staff member of the Campus Conduct Committee, the Director of Campus Life, and a faculty/staff member appointed by the Title IX Coordinator. The hearing will be conducted in accordance with procedures outlined in the Campus Conduct Committee process outlined in Section 3 of the Student Life Handbook. Appeals to the decisions of the panel or hearing agent will be heard by the provost.

    Retaliation and False Accusation of Sexual Misconduct
    The college considers both retaliation and the malicious filing of false allegations to be serious ethical violations. A person bringing a complaint founded in good faith will suffer no recrimination. It is a violation of the college’s sexual misconduct policy to retaliate against a person for complaining of or reporting alleged misconduct and for assisting, participating or cooperating in an investigation of sexual misconduct. Retaliation is a very serious violation which can subject the offender to sanctions independent of the merits of the sexual misconduct allegation. False and malicious accusations, however, are harmful to the personal and professional reputations of the accused person. The college regards sexual misconduct complaints made falsely and maliciously to be a very serious matter and subject to appropriate sanctions if found to be false and malicious in a hearing separate from the original sexual misconduct hearing.

    Right to Seek Legal Counsel/ Advocates
    Action taken by the institution shall neither replace nor preclude the rights of any party to seek legal counsel at their own expense, or to pursue the matter through state or federal legal systems. Either party may be accompanied by an advocate faculty/staff person when responding to questions during a sexual misconduct investigation. Students’ right to be accompanied by an advocate during student disciplinary hearings is stated under Rights and Responsibilities of Students Subject to Disciplinary Hearings in the Student Life Handbook. The Title IX Coordinator will arrange annually for the dissemination of information and for such training of supervisors as may be necessary to understand federal and institutional policies and procedures regarding misconduct violations and related complaints.
  5. Conduct decisions by the above will be based on the “preponderance of evidence.” A preponderance of evidence is defined as: a decision in which a reasonable person would find that college policy was more likely violated than not.

Last updated 7/23/2013