Elizabethtown College governs its student body using its Student Code of Conduct, located in the College's Student Handbook. The Student Code of Conduct is upheld and enforced by Elizabethtown's Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The purpose of the Code is to ensure a safe environment for students of the College to both live and learn in. Students who violate the Code of Conduct will find themselves subject to the Student Conduct Process. If a student is held responsible for a violation, they will have sanctions imposed on them by the College to serve as punishment for their behavior.
Elizabethtown College Student Conduct Process
The Student Conduct Process begins when a report of misconduct is filed against a student. Any member of the college can file a report of misconduct against a student. Throughout the Student Conduct Process, the person who initiated the initial misconduct report will be known as the "complainant," while the student who is the subject of the complaint will be known as the "respondent." The Student Conduct Process offers several potential resolution options without escalating the matter to the level of Formal Resolution.
Mediation or Restorative Conference
Mediation, or a Restorative Conference, is a simple guided conference to reach an agreeable resolution. Mediation is used for lesser matters, and will not be used in cases of physical violence. Outcomes arrived through Mediation are not typically recorded in the respondent's disciplinary record.
Simple resolution may be used in incidents that are of a higher level than those that can be resolved through Mediation. Upon receiving a report of misconduct, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities reviews and assesses the complaint. After a determination is made that a code violation exists, the Office presents the respondent with the charges in writing. The respondent then has the opportunity to agree with the assessment and accept responsibility and sanctions. If the respondent does not agree with the charges, they must request a Formal Resolution within 5 business days.
The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will make a determination of whether or not Formal Resolution is necessary. Formal Resolution will be used if a student requests it, or is used immediately for the most serious violations. Formal Resolution involves a series of meetings conducted by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or an assigned Student Conduct Administrator. The Conduct Officer will meet with the respondent separately to discuss allegations and potential sanctions. The respondent can also ask questions regarding the case. The Conduct Officer may have a similar meeting with the complainant. The Conduct Officer may also choose to meet individually with witnesses as well. After hearing all of the facts obtained through the meetings, the Conduct Officer will make a decision using the standard of "preponderance of evidence."
Students are permitted to have representation at these meetings, however, their representation must be someone from the College community. This representative may not necessarily have the same level of experience or dedication that an attorney will have. While unable to attend meetings, an attorney can still provide assistance to students from behind the scenes. Students who receive counsel from an experienced student defense attorney will gain insight into valuable courtroom techniques, and knowledge of how to properly apply them to the Student Conduct Process.
Elizabethtown College Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals must be made within 5 business days of the written notification of the decision. The grounds for appeal are new facts for consideration, violations of student conduct procedures, or sanctions that are inappropriate for the violation.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Elizabethtown College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.