Muhlenberg College uses a Social Code to govern its student body. The Social Code is upheld and adjudicated by the College's Office of Judicial Affairs. Students who are suspected of violating the College's Social Code will be subjected to the College Disciplinary Process. The College Disciplinary Process is based on investigation and conferences, and is not meant to be adversarial. If a student is found to be responsible for a violation of the Social Code, they will have sanctions imposed upon them by the College.
Muhlenberg College Disciplinary Process
Students facing charges of violations will be known simply as the "accused" throughout the disciplinary process. The first step in the disciplinary process is the pre-hearing meeting.
The pre-hearing meeting is meant to discuss the process and inform the students of what they may face, as well as to discuss the events in question. The accused has several options at this meeting. The first options are to accept responsibility for the violations and sanctions that may accompany them, however, doing so also waives the right to a disciplinary conference. Another option is to accept responsibility for the violation but dispute the accompanying sanctions. If this option is chosen, a Disciplinary Conference will be scheduled to determine what sanctions are appropriate. Finally, the student can deny responsibility altogether and go to a Disciplinary Conference. Failure to attend a pre-hearing meeting is considered an admission of guilt.
Disciplinary Conferences will be held by one of two hearing authorities, depending on the nature of the case.
Disciplinary Committee: A Disciplinary Committee will consist of 2 students and 1 managing staff member.
College Hearing Board: The College Hearing Board will consist of 3 students, 1 faculty member, and 1 managing staff member selected from a pool of volunteers. The cases heard by the College Hearing Board are typically of a higher level than those heard by the Disciplinary Committee. Decisions made by the board are recommended to Dean of Students who has the final say in the matter.
Prior to a hearing, the accused will be notified in writing of the time, date, and location of their hearing. The Disciplinary Committee or the Hearing Board will hear out all statements and information regarding the events in question. The accused will be able to respond to all opposing evidence. Like the pre-hearing meeting, failure to attend to will be considered and an admission of guilt. Cases resolved by the Disciplinary Committee are not subject to appeal.
Students involved in the disciplinary process are entitled to the presence of an advisor selected from the College's faculty or management staff. However, these College authorities are likely to lack both the experience and interest in a student necessary to provide the best possible defense at a hearing. Students have the option to have an attorney accompany them into hearings. Students with an attorney at their side will feel more confident in their case. An attorney will be able to advise students on proper methods of presenting supporting evidence, and responding to evidence presented against them. Making use of these tactics in a hearing setting can strongly influence the outcome of a hearing.
Muhlenberg College Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students may have a chance to make an appeal. Only cases that result in sanctions of expulsion or suspension are subject to appeal. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, new evidence, or disproportionate sanctions. Appeals must be submitted 5 days after receiving written notification of the outcome, and must be sent to the Office of the Dean of Students.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Muhlenberg College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.