Article I: Purpose
Section 1: Philosophy of Allegheny College’s Residential Learning Community
As members of Allegheny College’s residential learning community, we strive to develop lives rich in meaning and purpose. Students, faculty, staff and administrators are all valued as responsible citizens of both the campus and the surrounding community. By forming connections with our diverse backgrounds, we have the opportunity to expand our understanding of the world in which we live, which is shaped through active citizenship, respect for diversity, and a commitment to environmental responsibility.
As a community, we hold each other accountable for our actions, and value dialogue and reflection as necessary agents of conflict resolution and personal transformation. Trust and mutual respect are critical to the vitality and health of our community, to which we all contribute. As members of this community, we understand that a commitment to excellence, integrity, and ethical judgment must inform the choices we make for they are always reflected in our actions.
To that end, these values are promoted and upheld by the College policies, which are designed to encourage personal responsibility for one’s actions and knowledge of the greater impact those actions have upon others. As community members, we agree to abide by the Honor Code and the College policies. Allegheny College values each student as an adult and expects students to be honest while they participate in informal or formal aspects of the Student Conduct System. The conduct system reflects and responds to violations of the College’s Mission, the Statement of Community, and the Philosophy of Allegheny College’s Residential Learning Community.
Section 2: General Process of the Student Conduct System
The Student Conduct System is educational in nature and is designed to provide a process to determine a student’s responsibility and, when appropriate, assign sanctions for violation of College rules, regulations, and/or policy. The College Student Conduct process is distinct from the civil or criminal law legal process. A student’s specific rights and responsibilities are outlined in each Article of this code.
There are three parts to our Student Conduct System: one for matters related to academic integrity, one for discriminatory and sexual harassment and one for all other student matters. All disciplinary decisions related to the Student Conduct System are based on a review of relevant information and facts. Decisions made by the Student Conduct Officer or designee, the Honor Committee, Community Standards Boards, and the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee will use the standard of proof that it is more likely than not a violation of Allegheny College policy occurred. This means there is information indicating it is more probable than not that a student violated College policies and therefore sanctions are assigned.
Article II: College Authority
Section 1: Jurisdiction and Authority
- Generally, and unless otherwise required by law, the jurisdiction of the College shall be limited to conduct that occurs on College premises or that adversely affects the College community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. This policy can also be applicable to the effects of off-campus misconduct that effectively deprive someone of access to Allegheny College’s educational programs. The college may also extend jurisdiction to off-campus and/or to online conduct when the Dean of Students or Title IX Coordinator determines that the conduct affects a substantial college interest. Regardless of where the conduct occurred, the college will address notice/complaints to determine whether the conduct occurred in the context of its employment or educational program or activity and/or has continuing effects on campus or in an off-campus sponsored program or activity. A substantial College interest includes, but is not limited to:
- Any off-campus action that effectively deprives an individual of access to the Allegheny College’s educational program.
- Any action that constitutes a criminal offense as defined by law that has a direct impact on Allegheny College or members of the Allegheny Community. This includes, but is not limited to, single or repeat violations of any local, state, or federal law.
- Any situation in which it is determined that the individual poses a substantial threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual.
- Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property, or achievements of oneself or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social discord; and/or
- Any situation that is detrimental to the educational interests, reputational interest or mission of the college.
- Decisions about whether to assert College jurisdiction over matters occurring off campus shall be made the by Dean of Students (or designee) in consultation with the Student Conduct Officer. In cases involving alleged violations of the College’s Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures: Including Sexual Violence, Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking decisions about whether to assert College jurisdiction over matters occurring off campus shall be made by the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Dean for Institutional Diversity for cases involving discriminatory harassment. Any student found in violation of the Honor Code or College rules, regulations, or policies is subject to disciplinary action according to the procedures outlined in this Student Conduct System. This includes misconduct during EL Seminars, Study Away experiences, College-sponsored events (both on and off campus), and off campus gatherings.
- All Allegheny College Public Safety officers are Act 120 trained and certified under the Commonwealth’s Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) and/or Act 501 as Special Police and are empowered to make arrests. The Department of Public Safety also has the authority to investigate and issue citations for summary offenses and misdemeanors such as certain alcohol and drug offenses, disorderly conduct, etc., and generally will refer more serious offenses to the Meadville City Police Department for handling.
- A College inquiry may be initiated if a student is charged with violation of a law that also would be a violation of College policy. The College may take separate disciplinary action prior to, during, or after the disposition from a civil or criminal law legal process.
- The College will cooperate fully with federal, state and/or local authorities and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal laws. If the alleged criminal offense is also being considered for action within this student conduct system, the College may inform off-campus authorities of how such matters will be handled within the College community.
- A student who takes a leave of absence or withdraws from the College while disciplinary action is pending, or who is involved in an alleged violation after a leave of absence or withdrawal, is subject to disciplinary review before permission to re-enroll would be granted. In such cases, the College retains the right to investigate and to decide responsibility regardless of whether the student elects to participate in the process.
- Students are responsible for their conduct from the time of acceptance of admission through the awarding of a degree, even if the conduct occurs when classes are not in session.
- Students are responsible for informing guests of the College policies and students may be held responsible for the behavior of their guests.
Section 2: Interim Measures
For incidents that pose immediate concerns for the safety and welfare of the campus community, during pending College disciplinary proceedings, the Dean of Students (or designee) may take summary action or implement interim measures that limit a student’s ability to be present on campus, engage in coursework, and/or interact with specific members of the College community (no-contact orders) until resolution is reached.
Additionally, the College may impose “Supportive Measures” through the Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures: Including Sexual Violence, Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking.
Section 3: Extraordinary Circumstances
This conduct system may be temporarily altered if warranted by extraordinary circumstances. The Dean of Students (or designee) and the Student Conduct Officer will consult each other prior to any change.
Section 4: Withholding and Revoking Degrees and Diplomas
The College has the right to withhold the awarding of a degree and diploma pending the conclusion of the student conduct process. The College also reserves the right to revoke a degree if the circumstances so warrant.
Section 5: Authorization for Search
The members of the Center for Student Success, other professional employees on call for the Student Success Office, members of the Office of Residence Life, professional staff members of the Department of Athletics, and/or Public Safety Officers of the College may search a student room, athletic locker, or other College property in use by a student when it appears that College policies may have been violated, including possible criminal activity. The College reserves the right to enter, inspect, and search any student room at any time with or without permission or consent of the room occupant(s) to respond to an emergency, provide maintenance work, make safety inspections, and/or based on reasonable suspicion, investigate violation(s) of College policies or regulations.
- All searches of a student room, athletic locker, or other College property in use by a student will comply with the following rules:
- Plain View Rule: The rule that allows a Public Safety officer, members of the Center for Student Success, other professional employees on call for the Center for Student Success, members of the Office of Residence Life, and professional staff members of the Department of Athletics to seize evidence of a violation of College policy, without obtaining a search warrant, when that evidence is in plain view. Only Public Safety officers may seize evidence of a crime, without obtaining a search warrant, when that evidence is in plain view.
- Consent to Search: Consent searches are searches made by Public Safety officers, Center for Student Success, other professional employees on call for the Student Success Office, members of the Office of Residence Life, professional staff members of the Department of Athletics based on the consent of the individual whose person or property is being searched. Without consent to search or other circumstances on this list, Public Safety officers, Center for Student Success, other professional employees on call for the Center for Student Success, members of the Office of Residence Life, and professional staff members of the Department of Athletics may not conduct a search of a room beyond plain view unless they have secured a search warrant.
- Search Warrant: Public Safety officers (or other law enforcement officers) may enter and search when they have obtained a legal document authorizing the law enforcement official to enter and search premises.
- Authorized Entry of Student Room: With authorization by the Dean of Students (or designee), Public Safety Officers, or a designee of the Dean of Students may enter and search a student room without the student’s consent to respond to an emergency or, based on reasonable suspicion, investigate violation(s) of College policies.
- Authorized Entry for Inspection: Conducted for the purposes of health, safety, and maintenance: Though not the primary purpose of the inspection, items within plain view that are in violation of College policy may be removed and the students may be referred to the Student Conduct process. Only Public Safety Officers may seize evidence of a crime.
- Emergency Access to Information Systems: Should a senior Officer of the College—President, Provost, Vice President of Student Life, Dean for Student Success, or comparable College Officer—determine that the life or safety of an Allegheny student, employee, or guest is in imminent danger, the Officer may ask LITS staff to search otherwise private system logs and information services (e.g. student email) for data, including data associated with student accounts, that might help the College reduce the danger. Such requests must be made in writing or through documentable electronic communications, such as email or text via official College communication channels.
- Health and Safety Inspections: A room inspection may occur when there is reason to suspect that College policies may have been violated or there is a concern for a student’s safety. In such cases, the Dean of Students (or designee) or professional Residence Life staff (non-students), upon hearing the initial facts, may authorize the search. Once authorization is given, the designated representative(s) of the Center for Student Success may enter a student room without permission of the residents when suspected conduct in the room appears to violate state, federal or local law or College policy or is sufficiently disruptive as to require staff intervention (e.g. loud noise from stereos, safety concerns, suspicion of illegal activity, loud and boisterous conduct which can be heard outside the room).
- Students may file a complaint with the Center for Student Success or with the Dean for Institutional Diversity if the student believes a search or room entry violates these guidelines. If the student believes that they were targeted for inspection because of bias based on age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, religious practices, or sexual orientation, they are encouraged to contact the Dean of Institutional Diversity and to file a Bias Response Form.
Section 6: Campus Life and Community Standards Committee
The Campus Life and Community Standards (CLCS) committee formulates and recommends policy related to the nature and quality of life on campus, represents the faculty and the student body in hearings concerning the Honor Code and the non-academic student conduct system, and provides faculty consultation to the Athletics Department.
Information about the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee can be found here.
Members of the CLCS Committee comprise the Community Standards Boards, when possible. There will be an additional pool of trained members of Community Standards Boards, approved by the CLCS Committee to supplement when CLCS Committee members are not available.
Section 7: Interim Measures
Interim Measures: For incidents that pose immediate concerns for the safety and welfare of the campus community, during pending College disciplinary proceedings, the Dean of Students (or designee) may take summary action or implement interim measures including but not limited to: limiting a student’s ability to be on campus, be in a specific residence hall, engage in coursework, and/or interact with specific members of the College community until resolution is reached.