Disciplinary sanctions and appeals
- Applies to:
- Current Students
- Approved by:
- Judicial Affairs
The purpose of sanctions is to help students understand their behavior in the context of the college community and to deter inappropriate behavior in the future. Conduct Officers and College Hearing Panels strive to apply sanctions that are commensurate with the misconduct and to assign an educational element and where appropriate a restorative element to address harm to individuals and/or the community.
Sanctions are decided based on the facts available in each situation on a case by case basis. For consistency, there are standard sanctions for high frequency violations which serve as guidelines for staff members addressing the situation.
The following range of sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code:
- Admonition - An oral statement to the student that s/he is violating or may be violating college policies. The conduct officer will review the policy and rationale and explore resources/supports for the student.
- Warning - A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations. The conduct officer may include policy statements and rationale for clarification purposes.
- Warning Status - An official disciplinary action in response to a violation of specified regulations. Warning status is set for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more serious disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulation(s) in the future and especially during the warning period. Warning status may affect a student’s ability to travel on an off-campus program or interim, and may affect an athlete’s eligibility.
- Personal Probation - An official disciplinary action in response to a student violating specific regulations. Personal probation is set for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more serious disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulation(s) in the future and especially during the probationary period. Personal probation may affect a student’s participation in leadership roles in student organizations, eligibility in college athletics and acceptance into off-campus travel programs.
- Loss of Privileges - Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Fines - Monetary fines may be imposed by conduct officers for violations of the student conduct code. Fines are decided based on the facts of the situation and can range up to $500.
- Restitution - Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Restoration - A plan to address injury or harm caused to an individual and/or the community.
- Community Service - An assignment of appropriate community service that is both beneficial to the community and likely to assist the individual in understanding the harm caused by his or her misconduct.
- Parent/Guardian Notification - Notification of parents or guardians may occur in cases of alcohol or drug policy violations, abuse, or injury or threat to self, or in conjunction with disciplinary probation or disciplinary suspension.
- Discretionary Sanctions - Participation in classes or assignments designed to address decision-making and consequences of behavioral choices within a Christian educational community; mandatory drug or alcohol assessments, or other related discretionary assignments (such assignments must have the prior approval of a Senior Judicial Advisor).
- Disciplinary Probation - An official disciplinary action in response to violating specific regulations. Disciplinary probation is set for a designated period of time and includes likely notification of parents and the probability of more serious disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulation(s) in the future and especially during the probationary period. Within disciplinary probation, staff members can specify the violation to be a level one, level two, or level three type of violation. Disciplinary probation may affect a student’s participation in leadership roles in student organizations, eligibility in college athletics and acceptance into off-campus travel programs.
- Suspension from Campus Housing - Separation of the student from on-campus housing (residence halls or apartments) for a definite period of time, after which the student may be eligible to return. Conditions for return to on-campus housing may be specified.
- Disciplinary Suspension - Separation of the student from the College for a definite period of time, after which the student may apply to return. Conditions for readmission will be specified. Parents of students are notified of the suspension sanction by the Senior Judicial Officer. During suspension the student is not permitted to be on Calvin College property except by prior permission by a Student Life Dean.
- College Expulsion - Permanent separation of the student from the College. Expelled students are not considered for future application to the college. Expelled students are not permitted to be on Calvin College property except by prior permission by a Student Life dean or Campus Safety.
- Academic Sanctions - Imposed on any student found to be guilty of academic dishonesty: a grade of zero for the piece of work involving academic dishonesty or, in egregious or repeat cases, a failing grade for the course.
- Provisional Suspension - In certain circumstances, the Vice President for Student Life, or the Dean of Students for Student Conduct may impose disciplinary suspension prior to a hearing with a Senior Conduct Officer or a College Hearing Panel or pending an appeal of a disciplinary decision.
- Provisional suspension may be imposed to:
- Ensure the safety and well-being of members of the college community and campus property.
- Ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being.
- Address situations where a student faces criminal prosecution or the college is notified of criminal prosecution.
- Address a definite threat of disruption or interference with the normal operations of the College.
- During the provisional suspension, students shall be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other college activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Vice President for Student Life or the Dean of Students for Student Conduct may determine to be appropriate.
- Provisional suspension may be imposed to:
Expungement of Disciplinary Records
Upon graduation, the student’s confidential disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions upon application to the Dean of Students for Student Conduct. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than college suspension or college expulsion are eligible to be expunged. The college shall normally expunge student’s confidential record seven years after final disposition of the case.
Appeal Processes related to College Disciplinary Action
For information about the appeal process involving the Calvin College Safer Spaces Policy, contact Todd Hubers.
For the appeal process involving all other violations of Calvin College Student Conduct Code, the following information applies:
Accused students or complainants may appeal both the decision and the sanction imposed by conduct officers (student deans, resident directors, and faculty members). To find the appeal form on line, students may go to this form. A paper copy of the appeal form is also available from the office of the Vice President for Student Life.
In order to file an appeal of a disciplinary decision, students must present in writing the completed appeal form and attach any and all evidence and rationale to support the appeal. The appeal must be submitted to the Vice President for Student Life within five (5) college business days of the sanction decision. Upon receiving an inquiry regarding an appeal, the Vice President will schedule an appointment with the student to discuss the appeal and the appeal process. The Vice President for Student Life serves as the ex officio secretary of the Appellate Board.
Appeals are limited to a review of the written documentation and/or verbatim record of the original decision or hearing, the student’s appeal submission, and the hearing officer’s response to the student’s appeal. In the event of new evidence, the Appeal Board has the option to conduct interviews or pursue other information to fully understand the nature and meaning of the new evidence.
Appeal Board Review
The Appeal Board will review decisions where there are questions about whether:
- The original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the violations and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence that the Student Conduct Code was violated, and giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those allegations.
- To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial evidence using the preponderance of evidence standard (i.e. whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Conducy Code occurred).
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Conduct Code which the student was found to have committed.
- To consider new evidence, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
Appeal Board Decision
- If an appeal of the finding of a student’s responsibility for the violation is granted by the Appeal Board, the sanction will be lifted immediately.
- If an appeal of the severity of the sanction is granted, the Appeal Board will impose a modified sanction which will be implemented by the Vice President for Student Life.
- If an appeal of the finding of the student’s responsibility for a policy violation or the severity of the sanction is denied by the Appeal Board, it may not impose more severe sanction(s) for the responsible student.
- The decisions of the Appeal Board are considered final.
Appeal Board Mandate and Composition
The Appeal Board shall function as the appeals body for student discipline cases.
- The board meets each fall for training and organizational purposes. The Appeal Board is convened by the Vice President for Student Life on an as needed basis.
- A quorum is constituted by two students and two faculty members.
- A minimum of two-thirds votes is required to sustain an appeal.
- The board does not have the right to increase the sanctions.
- The board shall conduct appeals according to the Student Conduct Code.
Seven members: the Vice President for Student Life who shall serve as secretary and a non-voting member; three faculty members who shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Vice President for Student Life; and three students, identified leaders, one from the residence halls, one from the Knollcrest East apartments, and one (junior or senior) from Student Senate who are all appointed by the Student Senate’s Appointments Committee in consultation with the Vice President of Student Life; by graduation of each year.
Approved by Faculty Senate: September 2014
- Course code: