Procedures for handling infractions of regulations established by the administration.
The purpose of the Kenyon College conduct process is to review alleged violations of Kenyon policies, procedures and regulations by individual students, groups of students or student groups. The various components of the College conduct system are designed to respond to such violations, to determine the facts based on a standard of the preponderance of the evidence, to ascertain responsibility or non-responsibility regarding the alleged charges, and to determine appropriate sanctions.
The vice president for student affairs or designee has the authority and responsibility for the administration of the Kenyon conduct process. The members of the Division of Student Affairs and the Student Conduct Review Board seek to provide a conduct process and disciplinary function that educates students about their rights, responsibilities and accountability as members of the Kenyon community. The College’s conduct process encourages students and/or the groups to which they belong to recognize their obligations to themselves, to their peers, to Kenyon and to society as a whole. Therefore, a goal of the conduct process is to build an understanding on the part of the students of the positive and negative outcomes of one’s behavior and the manner in which that behavior can and often does affect others. Through established procedures, the College conduct process seeks to ensure the protection of student rights in questions of alleged violations of Kenyon policies, procedures and regulations.
It should be noted that the College reserves the prerogative to require students to leave the campus prior to the formal consideration of alleged violation of policies whenever their activities are viewed as threatening or potentially injurious to the well-being or property of members of the Kenyon community or to the property or orderly functioning of the College. An individual or group may be required to curtail or modify behavior and/or activities prior to the formal consideration of alleged violation of policies whenever these behaviors and/or activities are viewed as threatening or potentially injurious to the well-being or property of members of the Kenyon community or to the property or orderly functioning of the College. An individual who chooses to voluntarily withdraw may still be subject to the conduct process if and when the student is readmitted.
Kenyon’s president or designee (normally, the vice president for student affairs) may invoke immediate interim suspension following an incident of serious misconduct on the part of individuals or groups when the offender poses a threat to self, others, property or the orderly functioning of the College or when a felonious act has been committed. In compliance with federal and Ohio law, Kenyon reserves the right to notify authorities and the local community of any dangerous or threatening situations and to take action without the consent of the victim.
The College reserves the right to determine whether particular violations of local, state or federal laws also constitute a violation of Kenyon rules and standards. Therefore, students who are arrested and charged by law-enforcement authorities may be notified that College disciplinary action also is pending. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not refer to or place restrictions upon private action, and therefore private institutions of higher education, including Kenyon, are not bound by the prohibitions in the 14th Amendment. The College is in a contractual relationship, not a constitutional relationship, with its students, unless it is in some way acting on behalf of the state, and its procedures are designed to protect the best interests of all its students and the Kenyon community as a whole.
In cases where students have allegedly violated both campus regulations and statutory laws, the College may be faced with a situation where it must take action in its code of conduct prior to action by the courts. This does not constitute double jeopardy for the student, since the campus and the community are two separate jurisdictions. Therefore, the proceedings are independent of each other and one need not necessarily await the outcome of the other. The institution is maintaining its integrity by lawfully determining that the student is unfit to continue in the academic community. Kenyon reserves the right to take action against a student in cases where the College feels that the presence of the student on campus may endanger or disrupt the Kenyon community. (See also the Campus Government Constitution, Article IV, available at kenyon.edu/student-handbook.)
The College may delay granting a diploma otherwise earned until the completion of the student conduct process including completion of any sanctions imposed.
Infractions of nonacademic rules and regulations will be reported to the vice president for student affairs, who, with other members of the Student Affairs staff and the Student Conduct Review Board, has jurisdiction in such cases. Initially, a staff member will be assigned to make a preliminary inquiry into the nature and circumstances of each alleged violation. The accused student(s) and/or group will be contacted by the Student Affairs staff member to schedule a meeting to discuss the report or complaint of alleged behavior and to review the conduct review procedures and the student’s rights in that process.
In cases when the staff member deems the student(s) and/or group not responsible, or feels that the infraction(s) merit(s) nothing more than a warning, the staff member may adjudicate the case within a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days while the College is in session. If the infraction appears to call for a more serious sanction, such as disciplinary probation, suspension or dismissal, the student affairs staff member shall consult with the accused student(s) and, at the discretion of the staff member, with the chair of the Student Conduct Review Board. The accused person, persons or group are normally given the opportunity to elect either an administrative hearing or a hearing by the Student Conduct Review Board for judgment, and if appropriate, assignment of a sanction. Note that the staff member assigned to a case always has the prerogative to refer the case to the Student Conduct Review Board because of serious alleged violations for which a hearing by the community, as represented by the Student Conduct Review Board, might be more appropriate. Such a referral by the staff member may also occur when the case is of such a nature that the staff member cannot formulate a judgment on the basis of the information available. The choice for a student or group may be limited to an administrative hearing if the alleged violation occurs at a time when the Student Conduct Review Board cannot be convened.
When students or group participate in an Administrative Hearing, certain procedural rights are afforded:
It should be noted that in an appeal, the preponderance of evidence shifts to the respondent, and that an appeal is not a rehearing of the case. The letter of appeal must be filed with the dean of students or designee within three business days of written notification to the respondent of the outcome of the administrative hearing. The dean of students or designee will normally make a decision regarding the written appeal within 15 business days of receipt of the written appeal. In the presence of unusual circumstances, only the president of the College may grant additional time to the dean of students or designee for consideration of the appeal. Normally an appeal will be considered unless it is obvious that none of the criteria listed for an appeal is present. In considering an appeal, the dean of students or designee may deny the appeal and maintain the decision of the administrative hearing officer, grant the appeal and modify the sanction or penalty, or refer the case back to the administrative hearing officer for further deliberation. The decision of the dean of students or designee regarding the case shall be final and not subject to further appeal.
While sanctions may be of a punitive nature, they are intended to be educational as well. Notice of sanctions may be sent to the student’s parents or guardian, faculty advisor or coach, and the infraction is entered on the student’s record in the Dean of Students Office. One year following graduation, all disciplinary records are purged except those involving incidents that resulted in suspension or dismissal from the College. For students who withdraw from the College, all records are retained for five years. Actions that may be taken, individually or in combination, by the staff member or the Student Conduct Review Board are:
The sanction or sanctions determined at the time of a hearing (administrative or Student Conduct Review Board) are effective immediately following the appeal period unless indicated otherwise by the dean of students or her/his designee.
Policies governing the recording of suspensions and dismissals on the student’s permanent record can be found in the College’s academic rules and regulations published in the Kenyon College Catalog.
For organizations and groups, disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, restriction of social events; loss of housing privileges; probation; suspension; dismissal; and/or removal of recognition of the group.
If a sanction is violated, the individual and/or group shall be subject to further disciplinary actions.
In any case of discipline, whether it is adjudicated by a staff member or by the Student Conduct Review Board, that judgment shall be final, subject only to appeal by the respondent to the dean of students or his/her designee. Such an appeal must be filed within three business days of the official notification. A form for this purpose is available at the Office of the Dean of Students. After hearing the appeal, the dean of students may sustain the decision being appealed, impose an independent judgment of the case, or refer the case back to the Student Conduct Review Board officer for further deliberation.
In the case of a Student Conduct Review Board hearing, an audio recording of the hearing will be made by the administrative liaison to the Student Conduct Review Board. The recording is the property of Kenyon College, and it is available only to the dean of students for the purpose of making determinations stemming from an appeal of the results of a Student Conduct Review Board hearing. Other parties may not have access to, or copies of, the recording. The recording is destroyed when: (1) the time period for filing an appeal expires without an appeal being properly filed, or (2) a decision is made by the dean of students in the event of an appeal.