Role of an Adviser

All students are entitled to an adviser of their choosing to guide and accompany them throughout the campus conduct process.

The student may choose an adviser from a pool of trained Student Conduct Committee members, bring an un-trained adviser from outside of the pool, or may also proceed without an adviser. Advisers chosen from outside of the pool of trained advisers may not have the same level of insight and training on the campus process as do those trained by the college. Outside advisers are not eligible to be trained by the college.

Students are entitled to be accompanied by their adviser in all meetings and interviews at which the student is entitled to be present, including intake, interviews, hearings, and appeals. Advisers should help their advisees prepare for each meeting, and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity and in good faith. The college cannot guarantee equal advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an adviser who is an attorney, but the other party does not, or cannot afford an attorney, the college is not obligated to provide one.

All advisers are subject to the same campus rules, including attorneys and non-attorneys:

  • Advisers may not address campus officials in a meeting, interview or hearing unless invited to do so.
  • Advisers may confer quietly with their advisees as necessary, as long as they do not disrupt the process. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their advisers should ask for breaks or step out of meetings to allow for private conversation.
  • Advisers will typically be given an opportunity to meet in advance of any interview or hearing with the administrative officials conducting that interview of meeting. This pre-meeting will allow advisers to clarify any questions they may have, and allows the college an opportunity to clarify the role the adviser is expected to take.
  • Advisers are expected to refrain from interference with the college’s investigation and resolution. Any adviser who steps out of their role in any meeting under the campus conduct process will be warned once and only once. If the adviser continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the adviser role, the adviser may be asked to leave the meeting. When an adviser is removed from a meeting, that meeting will typically continue without the adviser present. Subsequently, the Director of Campus Life will determine whether the adviser may be reinstated, may be replaced by a different adviser, or whether the party will forfeit the right to an adviser for the remainder of the process.
  • The college expects that the parties will wish to share documentation related to the allegations with their advisers. The college provides a consent form that authorizes such sharing. The parties must complete this form before the college is able to share records with an adviser.

Advisers are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them. These records may not be shared with 3rd parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the college. The college may seek to restrict the role of any adviser who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the college’s privacy expectations.

Alma College expects an adviser to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend college meetings when scheduled. The college does not typically change scheduled meetings to accommodate an adviser’s inability to attend. The college will, however make provisions to allow an adviser who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video and/or virtual meeting technologies as may be convenient and available.

A party may elect to change advisers during the process, and is not locked into using the same adviser throughout.

Last Updated 7/26/2016