Published on Rhodes College: Rhodes Handbook (https://handbook.rhodes.edu/)

Student Conduct

Overview

This section of the handbook discusses the various ways in which conduct violations at Rhodes can be addressed.  It does not cover sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct.  See the section of the handbook entitled Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy for more information. 

At Rhodes College, we are committed to adjudicating alleged policy violations in a way that is thoughtful, deliberate, and fair. Remember that we commit to promote the pursuit of knowledge in an atmosphere of integrity, justice, and truth. This commitment is expected not only of our students, but of our staff and faculty members as well. The individuals who adjudicate conduct cases abide by this philosophy and engage in their work with this in mind.

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct


Amendments to Policies

Amendments to the Disciplinary Violations, Disciplinary Outcomes, and Grounds for Appeal can be made at the discretion of Rhodes College. If amendments are made, the updates will be added to the constitutions of the Honor Council and Community Standards Council, respectively. These amendments will not require revisions and approval as outlined in the Honor Council/CSC constitutions. 

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/amendments-policies


Disciplinary Violations

At Rhodes College, each student is responsible for their behavior at all times and under all circumstances. Intoxication or the influence of drugs will not be considered a mitigating circumstance in determining whether a student has engaged in misconduct. Each student is responsible for the actions of their guest and may be held socially and financially responsible for any social offenses committed by that guest. Ignorance is not an excuse for violating College policy.

Since shared community standards are necessary to maintain an atmosphere of respect among individuals in the community, it is the responsibility of every member of the community to report any violation of the Honor Code or Standards of Conduct. 

Examples of student misconduct at Rhodes include, but are not limited to:

  1. Lying in Official Matters and/or Dishonest Conduct.   The term “lying” in official matters or “dishonest conduct” is defined as:
  • Making an untrue or deceptive statement; 
  • Making a material omission, or conveying a false impression, with the intent to mislead a Rhodes College official in an official matter; or falsifying, altering, or misusing official material with the intent to mislead a Rhodes College official in an official matter. Official matters and material include, without limitation, matters having to do with course work, college administration, faculty, residence hall administration, Campus Safety, Honor Council, or Community Standards Council. If an respondent student has lied in an Honor Council hearing, the Council may use the lie as evidence relating to the Respondent to the Honor System when determining a outcome. 
  • Misuse or falsification of any state, federal, or University documents, forms, records, identification cards, or funds by actions such as forgery, alteration, or improper transfer;
  • Possession of a false identification card or possession of another’s identification card.
  1. Cheating. The term “cheating” is defined as the attempt or act of giving or receiving unauthorized aid from any source on academic course work. 

    Cheating includes plagiarism. Plagiarism is an act of academic dishonesty. A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, words, or statements of another person without appropriate acknowledgment. A student must give credit to the originality of others and acknowledge an indebtedness whenever the student does any of the following:

  • Quotes another person's actual words, either oral or written.
  • Paraphrases another person's actual words, either oral or written.
  • Uses another person's idea, opinion, or theory.
  • Borrows facts, statistics, or other illustrative material unless the information is common knowledge. 
  • It is the student’s responsibility to consult the professor, an Honor Council member, or writing handbooks for procedure for properly acknowledging sources.
  1. Stealing. The term “stealing” is defined as the act of intentionally taking, appropriating, or transferring, without right or permission, the academic property of any individual, organization, or institution, either permanently or temporarily associated with the Rhodes community. The following are examples of what could be considered under the definition of stealing: 
  • Appropriating or obtaining access to files or any other electronically stored information without authorization of the owner of such files or information 
  • Taking papers, files, gradebooks, notes, past tests or exams or other academically-related information without the owner’s authorization 
  • Removal of or otherwise making unavailable any material from the Rhodes College library without permission 
  • Outside the academic context, stealing is the attempted or actual theft of services or property of the College, of a member of the College community, or other personal or public property.
  1. Violation by Guest. Any Honor Code/Standards of Conduct violation committed by a guest of a Rhodes College student, excluding prospective students registered through the Admissions Office, shall be the responsibility of their host.  Failure of a student host to reasonably supervise guest behavior, including behavior occurring in their residence hall rooms, behavior at student organization events, college-sponsored events, and behavior by off-campus guests.  
  2. Interfering with College or College-sponsored activities, including but not limited to, studying, teaching, research, college administration, campus safety, or fire, police, or emergency services. 
  3. Bullying and Other Abusive Behavior. This offense includes, but is not limited to: A pattern of targeted, unwelcome conduct directed at an individual or group that is a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s educational programs or activities.    
  4. Hate-Motivated Acts.   Engaging in verbal, written or physical conduct that is (i) based on a person’s or group’s race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, age (40 or over), or disability; and (ii) is intended to intimidate or injure the person physically, mentally or emotionally. 
  5. Disorderly Conduct. Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; conduct that has the effect of unreasonably disrupting the life of or interfering with the activities of persons or groups in the college community.
  6. Endangering health and safety. Attempting or causing physical assault, verbal abuse, threats, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person, including the accused student. Includes conduct that reasonably makes or could be anticipated to make others feel unsafe. 
  7. Interfering with the freedom of expression of others.
  8. Vandalism/Property Damage. Attempted or actual destruction/damage and/or defacement to property of the College or property of a member of the College community or other personal or public property, on or off campus. 
  9. Failure to comply with directions of College officials, including campus safety officers, in performance of their duties. 
  10. Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to any College premises or unauthorized entry to or use of College premises. 
  11. Possession of weapons of any type by students or guests while on College property, including firearms, B-B guns, pellet guns, bows and arrows, hunting knives, explosives or other weapons, except as specifically permitted by the Weapons Policy in the Student Handbook.  
  12. Violation of the College’s Social and Alcohol Policy.
  13. Violation of the College’s Drug Policy.
  14. Violation of any College regulation or policy.
  15. Violating the terms of any disciplinary outcome imposed in accordance with the Honor Code or Standards of Conduct.
  16. Violation of any federal, state or local law.
  17. Silent Agreement/Passive Participation: The agreement to (can be inferred by silent presence or failure to act) or support for an act that is against federal, state, or local laws, Honor Code, Standards of Conduct, or College policy. 
  18. Hazing. According to Tennessee state law (TN 49-7-123 & 49-2-120), every college and university must implement a policy prohibiting hazing. Hazing refers to any intentional or reckless act, whether on or off-campus, by a single student or a group of students that endangers another student's physical or mental health and safety. However, customary athletic events, contests, or competitions are not considered hazing, and the law is limited to actions and situations related to initiation or affiliation with an organization. 

    The College's definition of hazing includes acts that cause mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, ridicule, humiliation, intimidation, or endangerment of health and safety, regardless of affiliation, including but not limited to recruiting, joining, pledging, initiating, admitting, affiliating, participating, or retaining membership in an organization or team. 

  • Pressuring, coercing, and/or violating federal, state, provincial, local law, organizational, NCAA, or college policy;  
  • Consumption of any food, liquid, alcohol liquid, drug, or other substance in any non-customary manner;  
  • Physical contact, including and not limited to beating, paddling, branding, dangerous physical activity, exposure to elements, or threats of such conduct;  
  • Any other forced physical activity that could adversely affect the health or safety of the student; 
  • Any activity or exercise that is inconsistent with the mission of the organization/team;  
  • Any activity that could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual through acts such as line-ups or berating, sleep deprivation, forced or coerced exclusion from social interaction, forced or coerced wearing of clothing/apparel, forced conduct, threats of such behavior that could result in extreme embarrassment or any other forced activity that could negatively affect the student’s mental health or dignity; 
  • Disruption of academic performance or class attendance, including early morning or late-night work sessions,  
  • Personal or financial servitude (e.g., not limited to doing someone’s laundry, buying someone’s food, driving someone around/“chauffeuring” someone, completing someone’s classwork for them); 
  • Publicly wearing apparel that is conspicuous and not generally in good taste;  
  • Engaging in public stunts, 
  • Any activity that a reasonable person would view as morally degrading or humiliating games and activities. 
  • Kidnapping or abandonment  

The College holds individuals and organizations accountable for hazing, regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus. Victims' voluntary participation in hazing does not absolve responsibility. The severity of the hazing, including forced alcohol or drug consumption, physical abuse that causes or could cause bodily harm, sexual misconduct, or deprivation of sleep, food, or water, will determine the sanctions and accountability action plans. First-time acts of aggravated hazing may result in suspension or expulsion. 

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/disciplinary-violations


Disciplinary Outcomes

The following outcomes may be imposed for student misconduct at Rhodes:

  1. Warning: This outcome will be used in cases in which the College determines that the appropriate lesson has been learned and conclude the matter with a formal letter of warning. 
  2. Disciplinary Probation: A written notification for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary outcomes if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.  Students on disciplinary probation are considered not in good social standing with the College. Good Standing may be required for participation in certain campus activities. In addition, students not in good standing may have their conduct reviewed for leadership or employment positions on campus. 
  3. Loss of Privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time. 
  4. Fines: Previously established and published fines may be imposed. 
  5. Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement. 
  6. Discretionary Outcomes: Work assignments, service to the college, education, referral to counseling, or other related discretionary assignments (such assignments must have the approval of the OCS Administrator or their designee). 
  7. No Contact: a preventative measure when alleged violation(s) of the Standards of Conduct are reported.  At the discretion of the Director of Community Standards, or their designee, a NCO can be issued as a means of informal resolution. The NCO will usually state that the individual may have been involved in a situation where a violation of College policy occurred and prohibiting the individual from contacting another student(s). 
  8. Residence Hall Suspension: Separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. 
  9. Residence Hall Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls. 
  10. College Suspension: Separation of the student from Rhodes College for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. 
  11. College Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from Rhodes College. 

 More than one of the outcomes listed above may be imposed for any single violation. 

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/disciplinary-outcomes


Amnesty

Student safety is of utmost importance to the College. To encourage Students to make responsible decisions, Rhodes College recognizes the need for amnesty from College sanctions in certain situations. Amnesty under this policy, when granted, excuses a Student, RSO, or AG from College sanctions under the Standards of Conduct. Amnesty is intended to promote action when an emergency situation is present. It is not intended to excuse any student or organization causing the emergency situation or unsafe condition.  The decision to grant amnesty will be determined by the Dean of Students, Director of Community Standards, or their designee, on a case-by-case basis.

Amnesty under this policy is limited to violations of the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code and has no bearing on actions taken by any law enforcement agency, including any Police entity. To qualify for amnesty, a Student, RSO, or AG is encouraged to:  report any incident or medical emergency by contacting the appropriate College officials (i.e. Campus Safety, Residence Life, etc.), remain with any student needing attention or emergency treatment,  This policy does not protect students from violations of other college policies, such as threatening/causing physical harm, sexual assault, harassment, damage to property, etc. After a review of the information and considering of any mitigating factors reported, the College has the discretion to grant or deny amnesty to a student, RSO, or AG. 

The College strives to empower students to make healthy and responsible decisions while exploring opportunities to learn. A student, RSO, or AG may not use the Amnesty policy repeatedly as a means to circumvent accountability medically or non-medically.   

Medical Amnesty

The College recognizes the need for emergency response amnesty (“Medical Amnesty”) in certain alcohol, drug, physical, and emotional distress related emergencies and situations. Medical Amnesty may be available in the following situations:

  • Student seeking medical attention for  themselves
  • Student seeking medical attention on behalf of another Student
  • an RSO or AG seeking medical attention for a Student

Medical Amnesty will not be granted for other policy violations (outside of alcohol and drug related violations) that may have occurred during the incident. In order to qualify for Medical Amnesty, the Student, RSO, or AG must comply with College requests for an educational conversation, assessment, and any potential referrals for additional services or treatment and/or outcomes to address the behavior.

Non-Medical Amnesty

The College recognizes the need for amnesty in certain behavioral situations which do not require immediate emergency medical response (“Non-Medical Amnesty”). In order to qualify for Non-Medical Amnesty, the Student, RSO, and/or AG must notify the College of the specific concerns in advance of the College having knowledge of the incident for which Non-Medical Amnesty is sought. In order to qualify for Non-Medical Amnesty, the Student, RSO, or AG must agree to comply with appropriate educational outcomes to address the behavior.

  • Non-Medical Amnesty may be available to a Student, RSO, or AG who proactively seeks clarification of College rules prior to engaging in questionable conduct.

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/amnesty


Appeals

Appeals for Respondents (Charged Student):

All student conduct proceedings at Rhodes allow for an appeal of the outcome of the hearing. For administrative hearings, the appellate officer will be the Dean of Students, or designee.  For appeals of hearings before the CSC, the appellate officer will be the Community Standards Appeals Committee, which is chaired by the Dean of Students, or designee and composed of a representative from Academic Affairs and a student representative, usually the President of the Honor Council. For appeals of an Honor Council decision, the appellate officer will be the Faculty Appeals Committee, composed of faculty and staff. 

Whether from an administrative, Honor Council or CSC decision, the appeal must be in writing, written by the student and not a third party, and is limited to three grounds: 

  1. A hearing procedure was not followed; and/or
  2. The outcomes imposed were inappropriate for the violation of College policy; and/or
  3. New and relevant information, sufficient to alter the decision, that was unknown or unavailable to them at the time of the original hearing.

Appeals that are not based on one or more of the above grounds may be dismissed without further meeting or action. As with the original hearing, legal counsel may not attend any appeals hearing.  Any advice or assistance of counsel must be obtained prior to the hearing.

While an appeal is pending, the student may continue to attend their courses and participate in College life as usual, unless they are under interim removal from campus. Additional limitations on personal contact and/or participation in College-related events or activities may be imposed while the appeal is pending.  

After hearing the appeal, the appellate officer/committee may:

  • For administrative appeals, uphold, modify, or overturn the original decision.  If the decision is modified, the appellate officer may, at their discretion and considering the information received, impose a more severe decision and/or outcome.   
  • For Community Standards Council appeals, sustain the decision of the Council or recommend that the Council reconsider its decision or outcome(s).  
  • For Honor Council appeals, sustain the decision of the Honor Council or return the case to the Honor Council for reconsideration with remarks and suggestions.  

The decision of the appellate officer/body is final.

NOTE: For Appeal Procedures for RSO/AGs, see the Organizational Conduct section. 

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/appeals


Conduct Holds

The Office of Community Standards will place a hold (“conduct hold”) on the student’s record if the student has a pending conduct proceeding under the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code or has failed to complete their disciplinary outcome.

A conduct hold may restrict the student from registering for classes, requesting an official transcript, or receiving a degree from the College until the hold has been removed. The hold will remain in place until lifted by the Office of Community Standards or other designated Rhodes College official with authority to do so.

Typically, a conduct hold will be lifted when circumstances change, where the hold is no longer necessary (i.e. completion of disciplinary outcomes, etc.), or at the completion of a conduct proceeding.

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/conduct-holds


Confidentiality and Redaction of Information

The College reserves the right to redact a student’s information to uphold a student’s privacy and protection of confidential information that is protected under FERPA law.

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/confidentiality-and-redaction


Interim Suspension

An interim suspension is an immediate temporary restriction from the College. An interim suspension may be implemented when a student, RSO, or AG whose alleged violation of the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code indicates that there may be a perceived threat to themselves, to others, or to College property.

Conditions may include, but are not limited to, restriction from College premises, participation in academic and/or social endeavors, and college-related activities. 

Interim suspensions will be expedited through the Community Standards process.  An interim suspension may be imposed at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life, or their designee.

  • A student under interim suspension is immediately removed from the Rhodes College community; they may not attend classes, reside in the residence halls, be present on Rhodes College property, or attend Rhodes College sponsored events/activities. 
  • A Registered student organization or Affinity group under interim suspension will be temporarily restricted from operating as an organization/group, including but not limited to, publicizing and hosting events, recruiting, meeting, representing the organization/group. 

An interim suspension will end at the conclusion of the conduct proceedings.  An interim suspension should not be confused with a disciplinary suspension, which is one possible outcome of the disciplinary proceedings.

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/interim-suspension


Virtual/Remote Hearings

At the discretion of the adjudicating Hearing Officer or Council Leadership, a hearing can be conducted virtually.  The Charge Notification will outline the platform that will be used to conduct the hearing. 

All due process rights, responsibilities, and procedures will be adhered to for virtual/remote hearings as a hearing conducted in person. 

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/virtualremote-hearings


Resolution Processes

When a student is alleged to have violated one of the College’s policies, there are resolution  processes by which a student’s case may be heard:

These processes exist to ensure that there is diversity of thought when addressing alleged misconduct. These processes exist under the purview of the Director of Community Standards (also referred to as the OCS Administrator) or their designee, and they are authorized by the Dean of Students. The Director of Community Standards may, in their complete discretion, designate which process an alleged violation of student conduct policy be addressed by.

All student conduct resolution processes, while slightly different in nature, abide by the same standard of proof – a preponderance of the evidence, or “more likely than not”- to determine whether a student did or did not violate College policy.

Student conduct processes at Rhodes are not legal proceedings and so do not strictly adhere to the rules of evidence and procedure by which courts are governed. For the same reasons, lawyers are not permitted to participate in student conduct processes at Rhodes.  Any advice or assistance a student requests from legal counsel must be obtained prior to the conduct process. 

Students are required to be responsive to College officials when a meeting is requested, and more specifically, students must respond in a timely manner to emails and communication sent on behalf of the conduct process.

When a student chooses not to be responsive or elects not to participate in the conduct process, the College reserves the right to move forward with the process in absentia. This means that the Office of Community Standards will conduct a hearing relying on the information they have already received about the incident.

If the College chooses to hold a hearing in absentia, the student will lose the ability to provide new information not brought out in the original hearing.

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/resolution-processes


Educational and Accountability Conference

Education and Accountability Conference is an informal resolution that provides an opportunity for the OCS Administrator to meet with the Respondent involved in an incident where ownership actions have been demonstrated or there is an opportunity for the student to engage in ownership actions.  The goal of this conference is to:

  • Understand the impact of their actions and how they align and/or misalign with their intent.
  • Seek development and education through discussion of exploration of alternative ideas, framework of thinking, and actions.
  • Reach accountability for the actions that have been taken and reach a mutual educational outcome.

Educational and Accountability Conference Procedures

  1. The Respondent will receive written notification of the alleged violation and any evidence submitted. 
  2. The OCS Administrator or designee must act with complete impartiality. 
  3. No recordings (audio and video) are made of the Educational and Accountability Conference process.  The Respondent cannot record the process on any device.
  4. The student provides their narrative about what took place during the incident.
  5. The Respondent may revisit the evidence submitted from their notification; the Respondent may also submit any evidence prior to the scheduled conference or during the conference.  The Respondent must be prepared to provide a copy of their evidence. 
  6. The OCS Administrator, or designee, asks the Respondent questions relevant to the incident and their narrative of events.
  7. The Respondent shares their closing statement.
  8. The OCS Administrator, or designee, concludes the conference and discusses the decision and the outcome with the student.
  9. The Respondent will acknowledge the outcome, in writing:
    • If the Respondent agrees to the outcomes, they acknowledge: 1) they are waiving their student due process rights, 2) they do not request a hearing.
    • If the Respondent does not agree with the outcome, the case is referred to a hearing officer/body.

Outcomes of Education and Accountability Conferences

  1. The outcomes of an Education and Accountability Conference will be discussed and agreed on between the OCS Administrator and the Respondent.
  2. When determining the educational outcomes for the violation, the following criteria is considered along with any other factors determined by the OCS Administrator to be relevant:
    • The nature and severity of the violation.
    • The ability of the Respondent to demonstrate their ability to uphold the Standards of Conduct as a productive member of the Rhodes community.
    • The level of cooperation and accountability of the Respondent during the conference. 
  3. The following outcomes may be imposed:
    • Warning: This outcome is used in cases in which the Honor Council determines that the appropriate lesson has been learned and concludes the matter with a formal letter of warning.
    • Disciplinary Probation: A written notification for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary outcomes, including suspension or expulsion, if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period. Students on disciplinary probation are considered not in good social standing with the College.  Good standing may be required for participation in certain campus activities. In addition, students not in good standing may have their conduct reviewed for leadership or employment positions on campus.
    • Discretionary Outcomes: Work assignments, service to the College, education, referral to counseling, follow-up meetings, developing/hosting programs and/or initiatives, educational seminar/workshops, required behavioral assessment, or other related discretionary assignments (such assignments shall have the approval of the OCS Administrator or their designee).
  4. More than one of the outcomes listed above may be imposed for any single violation. 
  5. The outcomes of the Education and Accountability conference is discussed and agreed on between the Respondent and the OCS Administrator, conclude the conference. 
    • If the Respondent agrees with the outcome, they acknowledge their agreement and understand they are waiving their right to a formal hearing and appeal.   
  6. Failure to adhere to any outcome imposed may result in the individual being referred through a formal Community Standards resolution process (i.e., Administrative Hearing Conference, Community Standards Council, or Honor Council) or a conduct hold placed on their account.
  7. Disciplinary Outcomes are not a part of the student’s permanent academic record but is a  part of the student’s disciplinary record.
  8. Future violations of the same policy will be referred through a hearing resolution process. 

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/resolution-processes/educational-and


Mediation

Mediation is an informal resolution that involves bringing the involved parties together, along with a neutral mediator, to facilitate a constructive conversation and work towards a resolution. It is commonly used when conflicts arise between students or groups of students and aims to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/resolution-processes/mediation


Administrative Hearings

When a case is addressed through the Administrative Hearing process, the staff member adjudicating the matter (the OCS Administrator, Hearing Officer, or their designee) will send the student a charge letter via their Rhodes email address.

  1. The Office of Community Standards receives an information/incident report regarding an alleged violation of the Standards of Conduct, the student is notified by the OCS Administrator in writing an Administrative Hearing will take place. 
  2. Any student identified as an active part of the reporting or hearing process is required to comply with every part of the process.  Such students may not decline to participate in the process without good cause, as determined by the OCS Administrator. If a Respondent declines to participate in the process, the outcome will be determined without their input and they may be subject to disciplinary outcomes under the Rhodes Standards of Conduct.
  3. The OCS Administrator will send a Charge Notification Letter that includes an incident report identifying the nature of the alleged violation, the time and place of its alleged occurrence, and any evidence/documentation to be considered at the hearing. The student will also receive a written list of hearing procedures as outlined in the Standards of Conduct.
  4. The notice will be sent at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. This time period may be extended by a written request from the student to the OCS Administrator.  The approval is at the discretion of the OCS Administrator.
  5. The student shall be allowed to review all evidence prior to the scheduled hearing.
  6. The student shall not be present during hearing officer’s deliberations. 
  7. The Respondent may offer evidence/documentation, including, without limitation, the introduction of documentary evidence, the calling of witnesses with relevant knowledge. All evidence and a complete list of witnesses shall be submitted by the Respondent to the OCS Administrator at least 24 hours before the hearing. The OCS Administrator reserves the right to postpone the time of the hearing to properly evaluate any new evidence. The Respondent shall be responsible for securing the appearance of their witnesses at the hearing.  Evidence submitted less than 24 hours prior to the hearing will not be considered.
  8. All participants in the hearing process should keep the matter under consideration confidential. The Respondent may make such investigation as they require to state their case and may also consult with a chosen faculty member, family members, counselors or their attorney.
  9. The hearing officer may find the Respondent “Responsible” of the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code/policy only upon a preponderance of the evidence. Under this standard, a violation has occurred if it is more likely than not (greater than a 50% chance) that a violation of the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code/policy occurred. 
  10. The Respondent may be found “Responsible” of the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code/policy only for the violation(s) which is the subject of the hearing.
  11. If the Respondent fails to participate in the hearing process, the Hearing Officer may continue with the hearing procedure. 
  12. In cases in which two or more students are respondent of a joint violation, the Hearing Officer may conduct one hearing for the joint violation but shall arrive at an independent decision for each respondent student.
  13. If found “Responsible” of the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code/policy, the Respondent may call for an appeal of the Hearing Officer’s decision and/or sanctioning by the Appellate Officer. The Respondent must request the appeal in writing within four business days of the decision, and the Respondent must indicate or list the specific ground(s) upon which they are basing their request for an appeal.
  14. All accounts (Complainant, Respondent, and Witnesses) during the Administrative Hearing will be held individually only to give their own testimony.  No other persons may be present during the hearing. Disruptive behavior on the part of anyone present shall result in immediate and permanent removal from the hearing.  Hearing proceedings will move forward in absentia. 

Hearing Procedures

  1. The Hearing Officer shall preside over the hearing.
  2. The Hearing Officer must act with complete impartiality. If the Hearing Officer believes their participation in any aspect of hearing process constitutes a conflict of interest, they must recuse themselves.
  3. No audio or video recording of the hearing will not be made during the Administrative Hearing process.  The Student may not record on their personal device.
  4. The student shares their opening statement.
  5. The Respondent may observe all evidence presented during the hearing but shall not be present for Hearing Officer’s deliberations. 
  6. The student provides their narrative about what took place during the incident.
  7. The OCS Administrator or designee asks the student questions relevant to the incident and their narrative of events.
  8. The student shares their closing statement.
  9. The OCS Administrator or designee concludes the hearing and deliberates on the outcome.
  10. Legal counsel retained by an Respondent student or any other person participating in the hearing shall not attend the Administrative Hearing. Any advice or assistance requested of legal counsel by a student must be obtained prior to the hearing.

After the hearing has ended, the student will: 1) meet with the OCS Administrator, or their designee to discuss the outcome of the hearing followed by a written decision, or 2) receive a decision letter.  All written decisions will be sent via the student’s Rhodes email address, informing them of the outcome, whether or not they have been found in violation, and if they have been found in violation, what the outcomes will be.

The Appeal Process for a Respondent (Charged Student)

Students who wish to appeal the outcome of an administrative hearing should submit an appeal letter to the decision-maker who is named in the decision letter. The appeal letter must be written by the student, and not another individual or party. This letter must specify the basis for the appeal. Appeals will be considered based on the supporting documents provided by the student, and may be requested on one of three grounds: 

  1. The student believes that the hearing procedure was not followed; 
  2. The student believes the outcomes imposed were inappropriate for the violation of College policy; 
  3. The student has new and relevant information, sufficient to alter the decision, that was unknown or unavailable to them at the time of the original hearing  

Appeals that are not based on one or more of the grounds listed above may be dismissed without further meeting or action. Students have four business (4) days from the date their decision letter was sent to submit an appeal. 

The appeal of an administrative decision will be heard by the Dean of Students, or their designee. The Dean of Students, at their discretion, may determine that, in addition to the documentation received for the appeal, interviews are warranted to gather more information about the appeal.  After reviewing the appeal documentation/information, the Dean of Students, or their designee may uphold, modify, or overturn the original decision.  If the decision is modified by  the Dean of Students, at their discretion and considering the information received, may impose a more severe decision and/or outcome.  The decision of the appellate officer is final. 

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/resolution-processes/administrative


Organization Conduct

Rights of a Charged RSO, or AG

A Charged RSO, or AG will have the following rights:

  • The presumption of not responsible. A Charged RSO, or AG may not be deemed responsible until the conclusion of the hearing proceedings.
  • To receive a notification letter through Written Communication of any specific allegation, Charge(s), and evidence collected.
  • To be provided with a reasonable amount of time to respond to the Notification Letter.
  • To refuse to comment or answer questions.
  • To present information or any Witness in defense of a charge per the procedures outlined in the Standards of Conduct.
  • To present evidence of any issue coming before their hearing.
  • To be notified prior to a hearing to inspect and review the information on which a charge is based.
  • To have an Outcome imposed that is appropriate with the violation.
  • To retain rights as a RSO, or AG until a final decision is issued by the hearing officer or appellate body. However, a RSO, or AG may be subject to an Interim Suspension, limitations or conditions as set forth in the Standards of Conduct.
  • To appeal any interim suspension and/or hearing outcome as detailed in this Standards of Conduct.
Responsibilities of a Charged RSO or AG

A Charged RSO, or AG will have the following responsibilities before and during a hearing: 

  • To be honest.
  • To attend the scheduled hearing on a specified date, time, and location.
  • To have personal information kept private. All hearing proceedings are confidential and private.   The Office of Community Standards may share information with campus partners with a legitimate educational interest of the matter.   
  • To conduct themselves in a manner that is respectful and honorable.  Any participant that is disruptive to the hearing process will be dismissed and the process will continue in their absence.
  • Only the College may record in the investigative and hearing proceedings. No other form of recording or transmission of any proceeding (including investigations) is allowed.
  1. A registered student organization (RSO) or Affinity group (AG) may be accused of a violation of the Standards of Conduct regardless of whether a member of the organization is individually accused of a violation arising from the same incident(s).  Registered organizations and sponsored activities are subject to the same rules and regulations as individual students, and Rhodes may hold them accountable for their actions even when the College pursues charges of misconduct for the same incident against individual members of the group. 
  2. A RSO or AG may be held accountable if any of the following situations regarding an alleged violation(s) of the Standards of Conduct apply:
  • The conduct is sanctioned by the organization and/or any of its officers. “Sanctioned by” includes, but is not limited to, active or passive consent or encouragement or possessing prior knowledge that the conduct was likely to occur; and/or
  • The activity involved such a significant number of members of the organization and/or the organization advertised or promoted the activity through communications associated with the organization, such that a reasonable person would conclude that the activity was affiliated with or sanctioned by the organization; and/or
  • The organization, either in whole or in part, planned and/or implemented the activity, and/or advertised the activity; and/or
  • The activity occurred on property (whether on campus or off) owned, controlled, rented, leased, or used by the organization or any of its members for organization activities; and/or
  • The activity was related to initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in the organization; and/or
  • The organization knew or should have known about the activity and failed to act responsibly in preventing it.
  1. In any hearing resulting from a violation by a RSO or AG in which it is determined that the violation was caused by the action of individuals rather than the official action(s) of the organization, those individuals may be referred through the Community Standards process as individuals.
  2. The president of the RSO/ the primary student point of contact for the AG shall represent the organization in all conduct proceedings. Rhodes College-issued email addresses are the primary means of communication with RSO or AGs and the Office of Community Standards.  Officers within the RSO or AGs are responsible for all communications delivered to their Rhodes College email addresses. RSO or AG leadership should check their Rhodes College email address daily. Notices of an investigation, meetings, and hearings are only sent to Rhodes College email addresses.
  3. The president of the RSO/ the primary student point of contact for the AG will be notified in writing by the Director of Community Standards of the charges against the organization. The president will be further advised in writing of any outcomes the Office of Community Standards is taking against the organization.
  4. The Director of Community Standards, or their designee, will conduct an Administrative Hearing on the charge(s). 
Interim Suspension for RSO/AG:

A RSO or AG that has been charged with a violation of the Standards of Conduct may, in the discretion of the College, be placed on interim suspension pending the investigation and/or adjudication of the charge(s).  While on interim suspension, an organization may be directed to take one or more of the following actions: (1) refrain from publicizing or holding events; (2) refrain from recruiting, meeting with, or initiating new members; (3) refrain from holding meetings of its membership; or (4) any other action deemed appropriate based on the charge(s) at issue.  An organization placed on interim suspension will be notified in writing of the terms of the suspension.  Failure to observe the terms of the interim suspension may itself be deemed a violation of the Standards of Conduct. 

Hearing Procedures (for RSO/AG)
  1. The Hearing Officer shall preside over the hearing.
  2. The Hearing Officer must act with complete impartiality. If the Hearing Officer believes their participation in any aspect of the hearing process constitutes a conflict of interest, they must recuse themselves.
  3. No audio or video recording of the hearing will not be made during the Administrative Hearing process.  The Student may not record on their personal device.
  4. The president of the RSO/ the primary student point of contact for the AG (or Respondent) shares their opening statement.
  5. The president of the RSO/ the primary student point of contact for the AG (or Respondent) may observe all evidence presented during the hearing but shall not be present for Hearing Officer’s deliberations. 
  6. The president of the RSO/ the primary student point of contact for the AG (or Respondent) provides their narrative about what took place during the incident.
  7. The OCS Administrator or designee asks the president of the RSO/ the primary student point of contact for the AG (or Respondent) questions relevant to the incident and their narrative of events.
  8. The president of the RSO/ the primary student point of contact for the AG (or Respondent) shares their closing statement.
  9. The OCS Administrator or designee concludes the hearing and deliberates on the outcome.
  10. Legal counsel retained by president of the RSO/ the primary student point of contact for the AG (or Respondent) or any other person participating in the hearing shall not attend the Administrative Hearing. Any advice or assistance requested of legal counsel by a student must be obtained prior to the hearing.

After the hearing has ended, the president of the RSO/ the primary student point of contact for the AG (or Respondent) will: 1) meet with the OCS Administrator, or their designee to discuss the outcome of the hearing followed by a written decision, or 2) receive a decision letter.  All written decisions will be sent via the student’s Rhodes email address, informing them of the outcome, whether or not they have been found in violation, and if they have been found in violation, what the outcomes will be.

Appeal Procedures for a RSO/AG:
  • Appeals for RSO (Under Interim Suspension): RSO/AG has the right to appeal an interim suspension.  The appeal must be submitted to the Dean, or their designee, who is named in the interim suspension notification letter. The appeal letter must be written by the President of the RSO/the primary student point of contact for the AG. This letter must specify the basis for the appeal.  The Dean, at their discretion, may uphold, modify, or overturn the interim suspension.
  • Appeals (After a Hearing):  All organizational conduct proceedings at Rhodes allow for an appeal of the outcome of the hearing.  The appellate officer will be the Vice President for Student Life, or their designee. The Standards of Conduct Appeal Form must be completed, and is limited to three grounds: 
  1. A hearing procedure was not followed; and/or
  2. The outcomes imposed were inappropriate for the violation of College policy; and/or
  3. New and relevant information has become available, sufficient to alter the decision, that was unknown or unavailable to them at the time of the original hearing.

Appeals that are not based on one or more of the above grounds may be dismissed without further meeting or action. As with the original hearing, legal counsel may not attend any appeals hearing.  Any advice or assistance from legal counsel must be obtained prior to the hearing.

While an appeal is pending, the organization’s interim suspension status will remain active, if applicable.  If no interim suspension status was imposed, the sanctions will be placed in abeyance until the appellate officer renders an outcome. 

After hearing the appeal, the appellate officer may uphold, modify, or overturn the original decision.  If the decision is modified the appellate officer may, at their discretion and considering the information received, impose a more severe decision and/or outcome.   

Disciplinary Outcomes for RSO/AGs:

The following outcomes may be imposed when a RSO or AG has been found in violation of the Standards of Conduct: 

Primary: 

  • Warning is notifying the organization that it has violated the Standards of Conduct and is a caution that repetition of the behavior or other misconduct may result in a more severe outcomes. An organization may not receive more than two warnings for the same conduct in an academic year without more serious action being taken.
  • Loss or Restriction of Privileges is limitation or removal of social privileges including, but not limited to, the opportunity to schedule social functions, to use Rhodes facilities, or to post notices. 
  • Educational Measure is a requirement to complete specific assignments at the organization’s expense directly related to the violation committed.
  • Restitution is requiring an organization to reimburse Rhodes, appropriate individual(s), or vendor(s) for damage or misappropriation.
  • Task Participation is requiring the organization’s members to participate in assigned tasks or service projects appropriate to the violation.

Secondary: 

  • Termination is removal of institutional recognition. Rhodes denies the organization all privileges associated with recognition including, but not limited to, the right to reserve space in College facilities or to use Rhodes property or resources, the right to receive student activity fees or other funding from College resources, and the right to participate in or sponsor extracurricular or social activities on campus.
  • Suspension is removal of institutional recognition for a stated period of time. During the period of suspension, the organization will be denied the use of all Rhodes facilities and resources and may not in any way participate in or sponsor any extracurricular or social activity on campus. At the end of the prescribed period of time, the organization will be allowed to re-form subject to any condition(s) set forth at the time of suspension. 
  • Probation with Loss of Privileges is continued recognition with loss of the right to sponsor or participate in all extracurricular and/or social activities for a stated period of time. Further misconduct during the period of probation or violation of the terms of the probation will most likely result in a loss of recognition.
  • Probation is continued recognition and operation with a warning that further misconduct during the period of probation or violation of the terms of the probation may result in loss of institutional recognition. Conditions may be attached as terms of continuance during the period of probation.

The officers, leaders, or any identifiable spokespersons for a RSO or AG may be directed by a member of the college staff to take appropriate action designed to prevent or end prohibited conduct by the organization or by any persons associated with the organization who can reasonably be said to be acting on the organization's behalf. Failure to make reasonable efforts to comply with the directive shall be considered a violation of the Standards of Conduct both by the individual officers, leaders, or spokespersons for the organization and by the organization itself.

Rhodes College officials may exercise the authority to cancel an organization’s event when there are concerns about an organization's ability to follow campus policies and guidelines. Cancellation notification will be through the Office of Student Engagement with rationale for the decision included. The sponsoring organization shall be notified immediately upon the decision to cancel.

In the course of an approved activity/event, the Department of Campus Safety or an acting Rhodes College official can discontinue a sanctioned activity/event when College policy is not being followed. 

Printed from: https://handbook.rhodes.edu/student-handbook/community-standards-rhodes/student-conduct/resolution-processes/organization