Harcum College governs its student body using a Student Code of Conduct. The Code is in place to ensure a safe and secure learning environment for students of the College. Students who are suspected of violating this code will be subjected to the College's Student Conduct Procedures. The Student Conduct Process is the College's form of a judicial practice. Student who are found responsible for violations will have sanctions imposed on them by the College.
Any member of Harcum College's community can file charges against a student for misconduct. Charges are submitted to the Office of Campus Safety. Once submitted a Judicial Affairs Officer will be assigned to review the case.
Student Conduct Process
Once the charges are filed, it is at the Judicial Affairs Officer's discretion whether or not the hear the case or to refer it to the Judicial Hearing Committee. The Judicial Affairs Officer can also investigate into the matters of the charges to determine if they hold merit, or if the charges can be resolved through a mutual agreement between the two parties. If the charges are resolved through a mutual agreement, there will be no further proceedings, including appeal.
Informal Disciplinary Process
The College offers an informal disciplinary process for minor violations of the Code. Informal resolution can only be used when all parties agree to seeking resolution informally. Informal resolution consists of mediation process, and can potentially involve sanctions. If a resolution cannot be reached, the case will move forward to a formal hearing in front of either a Judicial Affairs Officer or the Judicial Hearing Committee.
Hearings will follow relatively the same process regardless of what judicial body is presiding over the hearing. The hearing will proceed according to specific guidelines. At formal hearings, the person who initiated the charges will be known as the "complainant" while the student facing charges will be known simply as the "accused student." Both complainant and accused student will have an opportunity to present witnesses and to engage in cross-examination of one another's witnesses and evidence. Members of the judicial body will also be able to cross-examine witnesses as well. Procedural questions and the overall procedural integrity of the hearing are left up to either the chairperson of the Judicial Hearing Committee, or the Judicial Affairs Officer presiding over the case. After all the information has been heard, the judicial body will decide whether or not the accused student violated the code. Deliberations will use the standard of "more likely than not."
Harcum College permits students to have an "observer" present at the hearing, upon request. There is no reason why the observer in this case should not be an attorney. Students who have an attorney present at their hearing will feel more confident and secure in their case. On top of this, attorneys who provide counsel to a student can offer insight into courtroom tactics. Students who enter their hearings armed with proper techniques of evidence presentation and cross-examination will have an edge over their adversaries in the hearing room.
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students will have an opportunity to make an appeal. Appeals must be made within 5 school days of the disciplinary decision. Appeals must be submitted by a form through the Office of Student Life, and must contain the student's particular rationale for the appeal. For more severe sanctions, at times an Appeals hearing will take place.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Harcum College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.