Lycoming College governs its student body using an overaching Student Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is located in the College's student handbook. Students who are suspected of violating the Code will be subject to the College's disciplinary process.
The process begins once a complaint is filed against a student. The complaint will be reviewed by College Officials to see if there is enough basis to present allegations of violations. Depending on the nature of the violation, the complaint can be handled by a number of different collegiate authorities. The department handling the complaint may perform investigations and interviews to gain further insight. Complaints can be resolved in a number of ways, depending on the authority and the nature of the case.
Conflict Resolution consists of an informal dialogue. Mediative in nature, the goal of Conflict Resolution is to reach a mutually agreeable settlement through guided mediation. If the parties agree, then a document with the terms of the agreement will be signed by both parties. Conflict Resolution can either be requested by the parties affected, or recommended by the College Officials overseeing the case.
Lycoming College Formal Resolutions
When a case is to proceed with a Formal Resolution, the Associate Dean of Students will decide on the method to be used, based on the violation.
Simple Resolution consists of a formal written process, and is used for minor allegations. The student will receive their charges in writing, and will have the option to either agree or disagree with the violations and sanctions. If a student does not agree with either the violations or sanctions, they can request an Administrative Hearing within 5 business days of the notice.
Administrative Hearing is the next level above Simple Resolution, and is meant to be used when a student does not agree to the charges or sanctions in a Simple Resolution. A single Conduct Official will be selected for a brief meeting. At the meeting, the information regarding the allegations will be summarized, and possible sanctions will be discussed. The student will have an opportunity to present their own side and respond to the allegations. The Conduct Official will make a decision after this meeting.
Student Conduct Board Hearing
The Student Conduct Board will consist of 3 members: 1 faculty, 1 student, and 1 administrator. Board Hearings will be used in cases where the potential sanctions are suspension or expulsion. The Board will be headed by a non-voting chairperson, who will be either selected by the Associate Dean of Students or the actual Associate Dean. Throughout the hearing process the student facing charges will be known as the "respondent" while the person or the College bringing the charges will be known as the "complainant."
At hearings, the chair will begin by asking the board members to introduce themselves. The chair will then explain the process to all parties involved, and will review the allegations and summarize findings. After this, the board members and chair will question the respondent, the complainant, and any witnesses. Following this the respondent and the complainant can question one another, as well as one another's supporting witnesses. After the questioning has finished, the complainant will make a closing statement, followed by the respondent's closing statement. Finally, both parties will leave the room while the board deliberates. The outcome will be sent to the student in writing.
At hearings, students are welcome to an advisor, though that advisor must be a member of the College community. This means that students facing serious sanctions will either be assisted by a fellow student or a faculty or staff member of the same entity pressing charges against them. Students will want someone that they know is on their side, and someone who has sufficient experience to bolster a strong defense. An attorney working from behind the scenes can fulfill both of those qualities. Attorneys can offer students insight into courtroom tactics that they can bring into the hearing to strongly influence the outcome.
Lycoming College Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have 2 business days of the decision letter to make an appeal. Appeals must be on the grounds of new information, procedural error, or overly severe sanctions. The appeal is submitted to different authorities depending on who decided the initial outcome.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Lycoming College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.