Bryn Mawr College governs its student body through an Honor Code located in the Student Handbook. The Honor Code is enforced and upheld by the Honor Board. When a student is facing charges of violating the Honor Code, the College engages in a multi-step process to work with the students involved to achieve resolution. The overall goal of this process is to reach agreements on how a student can be held responsible for any actions that disrupt or harm the community.
The first step in the disciplinary process is known as Confrontation. Confrontation is a brief preliminary meeting. The student accused of a violation or a wrongdoing will be known as the confronted student, and the accuser will be known as the confronting student. In most cases, the two students will be in direct interaction with one another in a form of mediation. The idea is to reach an agreement or a resolution by means of a "constructive discussion," and limit any adversarial conduct. If the parties cannot agree after the Confrontation, the case will be recommended to the Head of the Honor Board.
Bryn Mawr College Hearings
If a Confrontation leads to a hearing, the confronted student will have the option to consult advice from the Senior Counsel prior to the hearing. The Senior Counsel will also discuss matters of the case before the hearing. Before the parties from the Confrontation arrive at the hearing, any and all statements submitted to the Honor Board will be read and discussed by Board members. During the hearing process, the confronted student can be present for any and all testimony, whether it is in their favor or not. After all other testimony has been heard, the confronted student will have an opportunity to testify and present their own specific take on the events or incident at their own discretion. Hearings are typically conducted in an informal fashion.
Disciplinary matters are typically kept between students and College personnel, however, an attorney behind the scenes can help. Receiving outside legal counsel can help students prepare for their hearings, and learn how to select and present evidence in a clear and convincing matter. The help from an attorney can help a student feel more confident when they step up in front of a hearing board.
In the event of an unfavorable outcome from a hearing, students can make an appeal. The first appeal must be within one week of the conclusion of the hearing. Appeals are made to the Social Honor Board, and are then directed to President of the Self-Government association. Bryn Mawr College appeals can only be made on the basis of a perceived or suspected error in procedure. Appeals will be determined by an Appeal Committee; the President of the Self-Government Association appoints two members to an appeal committee, and the student will select one member of the Self-Government Assembly. These three will select two more members to form a panel of 5 that will then determine the outcome of the appeal.
A final appeal may be made to the President of the College and the President of the Self-Government Association within 3 days of the receipt of the original decision of the Appeal Committee. This is a final appeal. For all appeals, decisions that involve sanctions of separation or exclusion will automatically be appealed. Despite the automatic appeal of a suspension or expulsion, appropriate argument must be made why such a sanction is not warranted.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Bryn Mawr College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.