Allegheny College governs its student body through a Code of Conduct. The Code is located in The Compass, the College's student handbook. Students who are suspected of violating the Code will face the College's disciplinary process. If the student is found to be responsible for a violation, the College will impose sanctions on them as punishment. The disciplinary process takes place in stages, each requiring an appeal to a higher authority to get a desired outcome.
The disciplinary process begins when an incident report is filed against a student making a claim of a violation. The next step is a disciplinary conference with a Student Conduct Officer.
Allegheny College Disciplinary Conferences
The Disciplinary Conference is a brief meeting with the Student Conduct Officer handling the case. All students facing violation charges must go through the Disciplinary Conference stage first. At the conference, the student will have access to any and all information the College has that is related to the incident. The student can respond with their own witnesses to help support their case. The conference is meant to be more dialogue based, rather than formal. The overall goal is to find a resolution to the incident in question. For lesser violations that do not result in suspension or expulsion, a decision may be rendered without a conference taking place. The accused student can schedule one if they do not agree with the sanction. Failure to schedule a meeting forfeits the student's chance at an appeal and the case will not be able to go any higher.
In order to ascend the case to the next authority, an appeal must be filed within 5 calendar days of the date of the written outcome notification. There are no specific grounds for this level of appeal, other than disputing the outcome.
Campus Life and Community Standards Committee Hearing
If an appeal is successful, the case will be brought to the attention of the Campus Life and Community Standards Committee, the next higher-level authority.
Campus Life And Community Standards Committee: The Committee itself consists of 5 faculty member and 6 full-time students. Hearings will meet with a minimum of 4 members to serve, with an equal number of faculty and students. The Assistant Dean of Students will provide administrative support through the hearing.
Prior to a hearing, accused students will have access to the information being brought against them. At hearings, the complainant, or the person who is bringing the charges, will present their case, including witnesses, first. The accused student will then present their case second, including any supporting witnesses. Both sides are able to question one another's witnesses. After all, information has been heard, the Committee will close the hearing to deliberate. In all deliberations, the standard of "more likely than not" than not will be used. Decisions will be made by a majority vote.
Students are entitled to the assistance of a Community Support Person at hearings in all stages of the disciplinary process. The support person must be a member of the College community, with the exception of cases involving sexual violence. Even if they are not able to attend hearings with the student, attorneys can still help from behind the scenes. An attorney working with a student outside of the hearing setting will be able to provide them with keen insight into how to properly present evidence and argue a case, and ultimately help the student bring these methods into their disciplinary hearings.
Allegheny College Presidential Appeal
The final stage in the process is a Presidential Appeal, which is to be used in the event of an unfavorable Committee hearing outcome. Presidential Appeals are submitted to the President of College, and must be submitted within 5 calendar days of the notification of the Committee hearing decision. The grounds for this appeal are new facts not available at the time of the hearing or a violation of the student discipline process.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Allegheny College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.