Code of Community Standards
Lycoming College is committed to the creation and maintenance of a living-learning environment that fosters the intellectual, personal, social, and ethical development of its students. Lycoming College students are expected to understand and live up to the highest standards of an academic community. Respect for the rights of others and self-discipline are essential for the fulfillment of these goals. Students are expected to meet these expectations and act in a manner that reflects maturity, social responsibility, respect toward other persons and the property of others as well as care for their own health and well-being. Violation of the norms of civility and other accepted rules of behavior, whether or not covered by specific regulations, subjects a student to disciplinary action..
Students at Lycoming College are provided a copy of the Code of Community Standards annually in the form of a link on the College website. Hard copies are available upon request from the Office of Community Standards.
Students are expected to comply with the College’s policies and procedures and to familiarize themselves with this Code of Community Standards. A student’s failure to familiarize himself or herself with the Code of Community Standards does not excuse a violation.
The Code of Community Standards applies to conduct that occurs on or off the College premises, during College sponsored activities and off campus, including overseas and online. The Code of Community Standards applies to groups and organizations, as well as individuals. Students who live off-campus are subject to all policies and regulations in the Code of Community Standards.
The Code of Community Standards also applies to conduct online, via email or other electronic medium. Students should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats and social networking sites are in the public sphere and are not private. While most online speech by students not involving College networks or technology will be protected as free expression and not subject to the Code of Student Conduct, there are exceptions where the College may determine the Code of Community Standards applies. Two of these exception include, but are not limited to:
- A threat a reasonable person would interpret as a serious expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon specific individuals;
- Speech posted online about the College or its community members that cause a significant on-campus disruption.
The Code of Community Standards applies to the conduct of guests of students. The student host(s) is responsible for ensuring his or her guests comply with the Code of Community Standards and may be held accountable for the conduct of his or her guests.
Visitors to and guests of the College may seek resolution of violations of the Code of Community Standards committed against them by members of the College community.
There is no time limit on reporting violations of the Code of Community Standards; however, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the harder it becomes for the College officials to obtain information and witness statements and to make determinations regarding alleged violations.
Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit the College's ability to investigate and respond to a complaint.
Those who are aware of misconduct are encouraged to report it as quickly as possible to the Office of Public Safety and/or the Office of Community Standards.
Lycoming College proceeds with its standards processes regardless of the action or inaction of civil authorities with respect to violations of state and federal laws. The College may pursue disciplinary action against a student concurrently with the processing of criminal charges even if the criminal prosecution is pending or dismissed.
Lycoming College's community standards apply to students from the time of the offer of admission through graduation. This Code applies to each student, group and organization during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment, including conduct which occurs before classes begin, after classes end, and when conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded. Lycoming College reserves the right to revoke its degrees under circumstances tht warrant such action. If a student withdraws from the institution prior to an alleged violation of the Code of Community Standards being fully adjudicated, a hold will be placed on the student's account.
When used in this code:
- "Advisor" means an individual who has agreed to support the student during an investigative, hearing or appeal process. For misconduct allegations within the Code of Student Conduct, other than those that fall under Lycoming College's Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy, students have the right to an advisor selected from among currently enrolled Lycoming College students, staff, or faculty members. For allegations of misconduct that fall under Lycoming College's Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy, both the Complainant and Respondent may select an Advisor of his or her choice from within or outside the College community throughout proceedings." The Office of Community Standards maintains a list of faculty and staff who have been trained in the College's standards process. Students may request this list from the Director of Community Standards by emailing Dr. David Schweitzer (email@example.com). More information on the specific responsibilities of the Community Standards Process Advisor can be found in the procedures section of this Code, under "Community Standards Board Hearing Student Rights." For more information on the role of Advisors for complainants and respondents in cases involving alleged violations of the College's Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy, please click here.
- "Aggressive behavior" is defined as use or threat of physical violence, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health, safety, or physical well-being of any person.
- "College Official" is any person employed either full time or part time by the College to perform duties and tasks in order to fulfill the mission and function of the College.
- "College premises" means buildings or grounds owned, leased, operated, controlled, or supervised by the College.
- "College-sponsored activity" means any activity on or off campus that is initiated, aided, authorized, or supervised by the College.
- "Complainant" means any individual who initiates a student conduct complaint or referral; the institution may act as a Complainant.
- "Day" means normal College business day, not including Saturday, Sunday, or any officially recognized College holiday.
- "Distribution" means making a product or service available directly or indirectly through a third party; sale or exchange of a product or service, directly or indirectly.
- "Excessive quantities of alcohol" means kegs, beer balls, or similar bulk containers, and may also include quantity of beer, wine and distilled beverages given the situation and number of people involved.
- "Group" is defined broadly as a number of persons who are in some way associated with each other.
- "Institution" and "College" mean Lycoming College.
- "Intoxicants" is defined broadly as any substance that is consumed and which may alter or affect mood, behavior or judgment.
- "Legal drinking age" means the threshold age to handle, possess, and/or consume alcohol required by any local, municipal, state, federal and/or national government which could assert jurisdiction over a student.
- "May" is used in the permissive sense.
- "Organization" means a number of persons who have complied with College requirements for registration or participation in a group, including athletic teams and groups affiliated with or supervised by an academic program or department. Any misconduct on the part of an organization during a time it is unrecognized by the College may influence the organization's ability to regain recognition by the College.
- "Respondent" means any student alleged to have violated the Code of Community Standards.
- "Student" includes all persons who have been accepted to the College and have not withdrawn voluntarily or involuntarily.
- "Community Standards Administrator" includes any person(s) who is assigned by the Vice President for Student Life and the Director of Community Standards to investigate, review, manage or resolve violations of the Code of Community Standards.
- "Community Standards Board Member" includes any current faculty, staff, or students who have been trained by the Office of Community Standards to serve on a panel that investigates, reviews, manages, or resolves violations of the Code of Community Standards.
- "Weapon" means an object or substance designed to inflict a wound, cause injury, or incapacitate.
- "Will" and "shall" are used in the imperative sense.
Authority and Interpretation
The prohibited behavior outlined below is not all-inclusive, but rather illustrative of the behavior that may breach the expectations set forth in the Code of Community Standards and expose a student, organization or group to disciplinary proceedings. These rules should be understood broadly and are not designed to define misconduct in exhaustive terms.
The President has delegated responsibility for the enforcement of the Code of Community Standards and disciplinary authority to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students delegates certain matters to the Director of Community Standards, or designee. The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students has the authority to step in at any point in the process, as judged reasonable, and resolve student conduct matters. Disciplinary matters not specifically enumerated in the Code of Community Standards are reserved to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students and, as delegated, the Director of Community Standards, or designee.
Any student, organization or group found to have committed misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions in the Code of Student Conduct. Students who attempt, unsuccessfully, conduct which violates the Code of Student Conduct may be charged to the same extent as if such conduct resulted in an actual violation. Students who assist others in violating any provision of this Code may be charged with a Code violation to the same extent as those persons committing the violation. A student may be held accountable for any violation that is committed by the student’s non-student guest/visitor.
The following misconduct exemplifies the types of behaviors that are subject to the student conduct process:
1. Academic Dishonesty
The nature of violations, sanctions, and judicial procedures governing academic dishonesty are defined by the College's Policy on Academic Dishonesty and will be administered by the Provosts. For more information on academic dishonesty, please visit https://www.lycoming.edu/student-handbook/academic-policies.aspx.
2. Behavior that Jeopardizes the Safety or Well-being of Others
This rule prohibits, but is not limited to:
- Use or threat of physical violence, including engaging in any form of fighting.
- Verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, initiating false reports or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health, safety, or physical or emotional well-being of any person.
- Aggressive Student Behavior: https://www.lycoming.edu/student-handbook/aggressive-behavior-policy.aspx
- Placing illicit substances into the food or beverage of others, without their knowledge or consent.
- Unauthorized use or possession of any weapon, firearm, fireworks, or projectile impelling device: https://www.lycoming.edu/student-handbook/weapons-policy.aspx.
3. Discrimination and Harassment
Any behavior, whether written, electronic, verbal or physical which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work, learning or living environment. These behaviors may include bullying, bias-motivated incidents and hate crimes. This inappropriate behavior may be based on individual characteristics such as race, age, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation or gender expression, veteran status, marital status or any other legally protected status. Discrimination or harassment on the basis of one's membership to a legally protected class are handled through the process outlined by Lycoming College's Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy.
4. Sexual Harassment & Sexual Misconduct
This policy prohibits sexual discrimination in all its forms, including but not limited to any act, attempt or threat of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Matters involving sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are governed by the College’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy, and are not comprehensively addressed through the Community Standards Process.
Definition of Hazing
Hazing is any action or situation which intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes, coerces or forces a student to do any of the following:
- Violate federal or state criminal law;
- Consume any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug or other substance which subjects the student to a risk of emotional or physical harm;
- Endure brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, or exposure to the elements;
- Endure brutality of a mental nature, including activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment.;
- Endure brutality of a sexual nature; or
- Endure any other activity that creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the student.
For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be considered to be “forced” activity. A student may not choose (give consent) to be hazed. The giving of consent does not excuse hazing activities. The good intention or the end result being positive will not be taken into consideration; if the action is considered hazing it is still in violation of the policy.
This applies to behavior on or off the Lycoming College campus. Events that are optional can be considered hazing due to the emotional status of the student and the fear of not being initiated for not participating.
Sanctions for hazing may include the imposition of fines; the withholding of diplomas or transcripts pending compliance with the rules, or pending payment of fines; and the imposition of probation, suspension, dismissal, and any other sanctions the Office of Community Standards deems appropriate.
In the case of a College organization which authorizes hazing in blatant disregard of such rules, penalties may also include rescission of permission for that organization to operate on campus property or to otherwise operate under the sanction of the College.
Lycoming College's Medical Amnesty Policy is designed to reduce barriers to calling for immediate help in situations where emergency medical treatment is needed for onself or someone else. If a student is aware of an alcohol or other drug related emergency as the result of hazing, and takes action on behalf of onself, another student, friend, guest, or any individual on the College campus, the students will not be subject to the formal conduct process. Please refer to the "Medical Amnesty" section of the Code of Community Standards for more information.
Safe Harbor (Lycoming College)
Lycoming College encourages all students to act responsibly and in particular for the well-being of another that can be helped to prevent bodily injury or other harm. As such, students who act on the behalf of another while engaged in an alleged act(s) of hazing will not be held responsible for violations of section 5. Hazing or section 8. Misconduct Involving Alcohol subsections a – k of the Lycoming College Code of Community Standards.
This immunity will be provided for the student that takes the initial action in notifying a College official (including a Resident Assistant) or any first responder e.g., law enforcement, ambulance, etc. based on a reasonable belief that another person needed immediate medical attention to prevent bodily injury or other harm.
To qualify for immunity, a student must provide their name and remain with the person requiring the medical attention until a college official or first responder arrives, and their presence is no longer required.
Individuals for whom medical response is required are also provided immunity for violations of section 5. Hazing and section 8. Misconduct Involving Alcohol subsections a-k of the Lycoming College Code of Community Standards.
Safe Harbor (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)
Students should familiarize themselves with the Timothy Piazza Anti-Hazing Law to best understand civil and criminal liability as it relates to acts of Hazing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
6. Violations of Fire and Safety Regulations
Fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers and exit signs are required by the state, are for the protection of all residents, and are to be used only in case of fire. Each resident is responsible for being familiar with the location of exits, fire extinguishers and alarm pull stations. Residential Life Staff and Public Safety Staff will be happy to provide additional information or assistance in this area. Tampering with fire equipment or setting off a false fire alarm is a misdemeanor under state law. Deliberately causing a fire is a felony. Disciplinary action and/or arrest will be taken against a student found tampering with fire equipment, falsely setting off the alarm system, or causing a fire.
This rule prohibits, but is not limited to:
- Intentionally initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning or threat of fire, explosion or other emergency.
- The creation of a fire hazard, the endangering of the safety of persons or property through tampering with fire safety equipment; improper use and/or possession of flammable or hazardous substances, including candles; failure to follow proper emergency evacuation procedures; improper use of emergency equipment.
- Breach of security including such behaviors as propping open a locked door, tampering with or removing an automatic door locking mechanism or door alarm or possession and/or use of a College access card or key when not specifically authorized.
7. Disorderly or Disruptive Behavior
This rule prohibits, but is not limited to:
- Disrupting, interfering or obstructing normal College or College-sponsored programs or activities, including, but not limited to teaching, research, College administration, fire, police, or emergency services.
- Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent.
8. Misconduct Involving Alcohol
This rule prohibits, but is not limited to:
- Use and/or possession of alcohol by persons not of legal drinking age.
- Use and/or possession of alcohol in any freshman living area, regardless of one's age. This restriction applies to all students of Lycoming College, their guests, and members of their families.
- Providing alcohol to a person less than the legal drinking age.
- Use and/or possession of alcohol in any common area (e.g., lounge) except where parties have been registered (see Social Events Policy). Exceptions may be made by the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Director of Community Standards, or the President of the College.
- Possession of excessive quantities of alcohol in apartments, suites, and/or individual rooms or by any one person, group or organization. It is not permitted to have kegs, beer balls, or similar bulk containers; and may also include quantity of beer, wine and distilled beverages given the situation and number of people involved.
- Use or possession of alcohol paraphernalia, such as beer bongs, funnels, pong tables and similar products.
- Open, unconcealed alcohol containers in public areas, such as residence hall hallways or outdoors.
- Serving alcohol to intoxicated individuals.
- Impairment attributable to the consumption of alcohol that substantially interferes with student judgment and decision-making, causes a disturbance, and/or requires the intervention of College personnel.
- Participating in drinking games.
- Use, possession, distribution or sale of grain alcohol.
9. Misconduct Involving Illegal Drugs, Controlled Substances, or Other Intoxicants
This rule includes, but is not limited to:
- Use of any illegal drug, or drug paraphernalia.
- Possession of any illegal drug, or drug paraphernalia.
- Use or possession of controlled substances for which the person does not have a prescription or use for purposes not prescribed.
- The intent or actual manufacture, sale or distribution of any controlled substance or illegal drug.
- Impairment, attributable to the use of illegal drugs, controlled substances, or abuse of other intoxicants that substantially interferes with student judgment and decision-making, causes a disturbance, and/or requires the intervention of College personnel.
10. Theft, Property Damage or Vandalism
This rule includes, but is not limited to:
- Misuse of College funds or resources.
- Attempted or actual theft of property or of services; possession of stolen property.
- Attempted or actual damage of, or defacing College property or personal or corporate property.
11. Acts of Dishonesty or Falsifying College Records
This rule includes, but is not limited to:
- Furnishing false information to College personnel or concealing one’s identity.
- Forgery, unauthorized alteration, or unauthorized use of any College document or instrument of identification.
- Recording of any conversation, electronic or oral, without the consent of all parties involved.
12. Unauthorized Presence In or On College Property
This rule includes, but is not limited to:
- Unauthorized presence in or use of College premises, facilities or property including telephones and computers.
- Unauthorized presence in another student's room, any College building, or other College premises or property.
- Unauthorized access or attempted access to any computer file, program, or facility.
- Attempting to access College facilities when not authorized to do so; inviting, encouraging, or admitting an unauthorized person to enter College facilities or property.
13. Failure to Comply/Failure to Act
This rule includes, but is not limited to:
- Failure to comply with the directions of College officials, and in a civil manner, including campus public safety officers, student life administrators, resident assistants, faculty and staff members, and dining room employees in the performance of their duties.
- Being present when and where a violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct is occurring and failing to leave the scene or notify campus authorities that there is a violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct taking place.
- Knowingly violating the terms of any student conduct sanction imposed in accordance with this Code; not completing sanction(s) as assigned.
14. Affiliation with Unrecognized Groups
This rule includes, but is not limited to:
Affiliation in any manner with a student organization or group that has had its recognition revoked, including formerly recognized fraternities and sororities.
15. Violation of Other Rules and Policies
This rule includes, but is not limited to:
Violation of published College regulations or policies. Such regulations or policies include but are not limited to COVID-19 policies, the Information Technology and Acceptable Use, the Sexual Harassment-Sexual Misconduct Policy, all Residential Life Policies, Student Club and Organization policies, and Hoverboards.
16. Violations of Local, State, or Federal Laws
Violations of local, state, or federal laws, even if not explicitly stated in the Code of Student Conduct, may subject the student to the student conduct process by the College. A student at Lycoming College charged with or convicted of a criminal act while off campus may also be subject to action by the College. It is the responsibility of students to notify College Officials if they have violated laws.
Reporting Violations of the Code of Community Standards
Any member of the Lycoming College community may file a report or complaint, which should be submitted as soon as reasonably possible. The College reserves the right to assume the role of Complainant and to refer information to local law enforcement. Reports should include as much detail as possible, including the name(s), date, location, and description of the alleged act(s) of the behavior.
To make a report of any concerning student behavior, contact:
Department of Public Safety
Emergency: (570) 321-4911
General Phone: (570) 321-4064
Office: Rich Hall, Public Safety
Code of Community Standards Procedures
This section describes the procedures employed for resolution of alleged standards violations. Any questions regarding prohibited conduct or the community standards process should be referred to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Dr. Daniel Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org), or the Director of Community Standards, Dr. David Schweitzer (email@example.com), or designee.
If the student withdraws from the College, after an incident where policy may be violated, the charges will be dropped, the proceedings terminated, and a hold shall be placed on the student's account. If the Respondent later reapplies for readmission, the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, or designee will decide whether he or she shall be subject to further discipline as a requirement of readmission.
The time periods provided in the Code of Community Standards may only be extended by the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students or the Director of Community Standards, or designee and, then, only if one of those administrators determines that there are reasonable extenuating circumstances. The decision as to whether or not to extend any time period is final.
College Official(s) make an initial determination as to whether there is a sufficient basis to believe that a violation of a Code of Community Standards may have occurred or if a student needs support services. The Department of Public Safety, Residential Life staff members or the Director of Community Standards or designee may decide to interview or meet with involved persons.
If it is determined that there is a sufficient basis to believe that a violation of the Code of Community Standards may have occurred, the matter will be referred to the appropriate process. The Director of Community Standards or designee will decide the forum in which the matter will be resolved: Conflict Resolution, Simple Resolution, Administrative Hearing, or Student Conduct Board Hearing. The Director of Community Standards or designee decides which student conduct member (s) will hear and decide upon outcomes for each matter. Students have the right to challenge participation of a specific hearing board member, if there is perceived conflict of interest. The Director of Community Standards retains the right to decide if there is a clear conflict of interest.
Members of the College community are expected to comply with any request or directive issued by a Community Standards Administrator in connection with a disciplinary proceeding, unless compliance would result in significant personal hardship or substantial interference with normal College functions. Such circumstances should be presented to the Community Standards Administrator within two (2) days of delivery of the request to appear.
Student members of the College community are compelled to appear at a hearing, and to participate and assist in and cooperate with an investigation of alleged misconduct, if requested by College personnel to do so. Failure to do so is a violation of the Code of Community Standards.
If the Respondent does not appear for a hearing, does not provide satisfactory explanation for his/her absence, or leaves the hearing before its conclusion, the hearing may proceed and the Community Standards Administrator(s) or Community Standards Board may render a decision based on the available information.
A student group or organization and its officers and membership may be held collectively and individually responsible when violations of this code by the organization or its member(s):
- Take place at organization-sponsored or co-sponsored events, whether sponsorship is formal or tacit:
- Have received the consent or encouragement of the organization or of the organization's leaders or officers; or
- Were known or should have been known to the membership or its officers.
Hearings for student groups or organizations follow the same general student conduct procedures. In any such action, individual determinations as to responsibility will be made and sanctions may be assigned collectively and individually and will be proportionate to the involvement of each individual and the organization.
The College may impose interim measures as needed to provide for the well-being or safety of individuals or members of the campus community or the integrity of the disciplinary process. The Vice President for Student Life, Director of Community Standards, Director of Residence Life, Director of Public Safety, or any of their designees have discretion to impose interim measures, which may include, but are not limited to, no communication/no contact directive; providing a Public Safety escort on campus, referral to counseling services, residential, academic or employment modification, and interim suspension. Interim suspension may include suspension of privileges, as well as suspension from the institution. During an interim suspension, a student may be denied access to the residence halls and/or campus, including classes, may be located to a different residence hall, have class changes made and/or denied access to other College activities or privileges for which the student may otherwise be eligible. The interim suspension, however, does not replace the student disciplinary process.
The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students may take action against a student, organization or group in a manner external to, and as an alternative to, the Code of Community Standards process when he or she believes such action is warranted to protect the safety and well-being of members of the College community, to protect the accused student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being, to protect College property or if the accused student, organization or group poses an ongoing threat of disruption or interference with the College’s operations.
Steps for Resolution
Depending on the type of allegation(s), some procedures may be more appropriate than others. The Director of Community Standards or designee generally decides on the appropriate procedure for the type of matter.
Conflict or Restorative Resolution
In some instances, conflict or restorative resolution may be an acceptable means of resolving a matter. Students, organizations, or groups may bring to conflict or restorative resolution any conflict that materially and negatively impacts their own status or that of other members of the College community. Any member of the College community may, likewise, refer students for conflict or restorative resolution. The purpose of the conflict or restorative resolution process is to promote reconciliation and effect an agreement amoung the parties. This process also affords the opportunity for discussion of varying points of view and encourages individuals to come forward to seek means for informal conflict or restorative resolution and the prevention of inappropriate behavior. Parties develop an agreement that each person is then responsible for upholding. Conflict or restorative resolution can be used only when all parties agree to the process as an option of resolving their dispute.
If a mutually agreeable settlement is reached, the terms will be drafted by the parties. The document will be signed by all parties and kept in confidential student files for as long as the students are enrolled or the student organization(s), or group(s) continues to be recognized. Each party receives a copy of the agreement. If the matter cannot be resolved by mutual agreement, or parties do not comply with the outcome, the matter may be referred for a Formal Resolution.
If you are interested in Conflict or Restorative Resolution, contact: Director of Community Standards, Dave Schweitzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simple Resolution is a formal written process for minor allegations of the Code of Community Standards. A Community Standards Administrator reviews information and sends a student, organization or group notice, generally via email, of the alleged violation(s) and recommended sanction(s). If a student, organization or group accepts responsibility for the violation(s) and agrees with the recommended sanction(s), a formal record of the Simple Resolution, along with pertinent information, will be maintained in the student’s discipline file or the organization or group’s file. If a student disagrees that a violation has occurred and/or with the recommended sanction(s), s/he may request a formal Administrative Hearing within five (5) days of the date of the Simple Resolution notice.
Administrative Hearing (otherwise known as an educational conversation) is an informal hearing process for an allegation(s) of the Code of Community Standards. The hearing is generally conducted by one (1) or two (2) Standards Administrator(s). These hearings are conducted for allegations that more likely than not result in sanctions less than disciplinary suspension from the College for the respondent student(s), organization(s), or group(s). During the hearing, the allegation(s) are reviewed, information summarized and possible sanctions discussed. The hearing is an opportunity for the student to provide his/her perspective and respond to the allegation(s). For an Administrative Hearing, the Respondent(s) is sent a hearing notice generally at least three (2) days prior to the date set for the hearing. The hearing notice normally includes:
- a statement of the date, time and location of the hearing;
- the Code of Community Standards allegation(s); and
- The electronic link to information of the Code of Community Standards
After an Administrative Hearing, a student(s), organization(s) or group(s) will receive a formal decision letter. The student(s) has the right to appeal the decision. Please see the section on Appeals.
Community Standards Board Hearing is a hearing generally conducted by two (2) to three (3) Standards Board Members, which may be composed of faculty members, students, and administrators across the College. The Director of Community Standards or designee will function as a non-voting Chair of the Board. Generally, cases referred to the Community Standards Board are allegations that are significant in nature, potentially resulting in disciplinary suspension or expulsion from the College, and may not be resolved through an Administrative Hearing.
For cases of alleged violations of the College's Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy, which includes sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct, student representatives do not serve on the Community Standards Board; for these allegations, the Board is compromised only of faculty and staff members who review the case.
Community Standards Board Hearing Student Rights
- The right to notice of the alleged violation(s);
- The right to an advisor selected from among currently enrolled Lycoming College students, staff, or faculty members. The role of the advisor is to assist a student by providing support throughout the community standards process. An advisor cannot represent a student, and therefore has a non-speaking role during hearings and/or investigative meetings within the community standards process. The role of the advisor for cases involving violations of the Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy differs from that of the community standards process. However, advisors of students involved in cases within the standards process may:
- Assist the student in understanding the process in response to an alleged violation of the Code of Community Standards;
- Assist the student in understanding one's rights and responsibilities as a participant in the community standards process;
- Assist by accompanying the student to any meeting with a community standards administrator, investigator, or community standards board;
- Assist the student in understanding the appeals process, when applicable; and
- As appropriate, foster a student's personal growth through reflection and discernment of one's behavior/decision-making in light of the College's standards and values.
- Reasonable access to the information of the allegation(s);
- A reasonable opportunity to ask questions and respond to the alleged violation(s);
- The right to question or have questions posed to the other primary party involved; generally the Complainant or Respondent, as reasonable;
- The right to name material witnesses from the College community (material witnesses are those possessing direct knowledge of the case under consideration or those having technical or expert information relevant to the case);
- The right to a modified hearing structure upon request and if deemed appropriate by a Standards Administrator; a modified hearing structure may include a partition panel during a hearing so as not to directly view the Complainant/Respondent, utilizing technology, such as a phone or Skype, or holding separate hearing times for the Complainant and Respondent;
- The right to challenge participation of a specific hearing board member;
- The right to a written decision;
- The right to request an appeal.
Some of these rights occur during the investigation phase or hearing process, as deemed appropriate by the Administrator managing the matter. For example, in some cases it may not be appropriate to have the Respondent directly question the Complainant. The Conduct Official will then modify the format of the process to provide a reasonably fair and equitable process for the primary parties involved.
General Provisions for Student Conduct Board Hearings
- For a Student Conduct Hearing, the Respondent(s) is sent a hearing notice generally at least three (3) days prior to the date set for the hearing. The hearing notice normally includes:
- a statement of the date, time and location of the hearing;
- the Code of Student Conduct allegation(s);
- Notice of the right to an advisor (The right to an advisor selected from among currently enrolled Lycoming College students, staff, or faculty members. Complainants and Respondents, may have an advisor present; specifically, for cases of alleged sexual misconduct, students may select an Advisor of their choice);
- The electronic link to information of the Code of Student Conduct; and
- A list of the names of the Board members selected to hear the case.
- The Respondent may challenge the presence of any member of the board on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement to the student conduct official no later than two (2) days prior to the hearing. The conduct official will then determine whether to sustain or deny the challenge. If the request is sustained, a replacement will be appointed to serve on the hearing board.
- The Director of Community Standards or designee ultimately will decide what information may be presented at a Student Conduct Board hearing. Board members will receive hearing materials no later than two (2) days before the scheduled hearing date.
- In order to preserve the confidential nature of the student conduct process, and to protect the privacy of all parties, all hearings are closed.
- Objections to the introduction of specific statements or documents may be considered by the Chair of the Board. Irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious information is excluded.
- Material witnesses may be allowed to remain in the hearing following their participation. The Complainant and Respondent may remain throughout the entire hearing, as deemed appropriate by the Chair.
- Evidence of prior misconduct is considered only after a finding of responsibility on the allegation(s) addressed and may be used in the determination of sanctions.
- It is within the discretion of the Chair to audiotape record the proceedings. The participants will be informed if the proceeding is to be recorded and their continued participation in the proceedings shall be deemed consent.
- Only the members of the Student Conduct Hearing Board, including the Chair may be present during deliberations. A consensus by the Board members is necessary to make a decision, based on a preponderance of evidence.
- The Student Conduct Hearing Board shall render its decision and the Chair will notify the student, generally within 2 days.
Order of Presentation in Student Conduct Board Hearings
- The Chair asks the Board Members to introduce themselves to the parties; the Chair introduces any material witnesses.
- The Chair summarizes the process, reviews the allegations and summarizes any findings of an investigation.
- The Board members and Chair can ask questions of the Respondent, Complainant and Witnesses.
- The Respondent and Complainant have the opportunity to ask questions of one another, except in cases of alleged sexual misconduct; the Respondent and Complainant also have the opportunity to ask questions of the material witnesses, if deemed appropriate by the Chair.
- The Complainant may make his/her closing statement.
- The Respondent may make his/her closing statement.
- The Hearing concludes and all persons exit, except for the Student Conduct Board members who remain to deliberate. The Chair may remain to answer any policy or procedural questions and to introduce previous discipline history, if a finding of responsibility is determined.
- The Student Conduct Board members notify the Chair of the decision; the Chair delivers the decision of the Board in writing to the student, generally within two (2) days.
A student, organization or group found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct may request an appeal within two (2) days of the date of the decision letter. Failure to file a request for an appeal in a timely manner constitutes a waiver of any right to an appeal. In requesting the appeal, the student, organization or group must specify the ground(s) for appeal and his/her rationale for the request.
The basis for an appeal is limited to the following grounds:
- There is new or newly discovered information that may affect the outcome of the hearing;
- There was a procedural error that substantially affected the outcome of the hearing.
- The sanction is excessively severe.
The appeal process is not a hearing, but rather a review of the relevant information and materials; it represents a procedural safeguard for the student. The student, organization or group may be asked to meet with the Appeal Official or Appeal Panel; however, it is the decision of the Appeal Official or Appeal Panel to request a student, organization or group to attend a meeting for this review process.
When an appeal request is received, the Appeal Official(s) will consider the appeal in two consecutive parts. One, the Appeal Official(s) consider whether or not the appeal request meets the grounds for an appeal. If the grounds are not met, then the Appeal Official or Chair of the Appeal Review Panel will notify the student and the matter will be concluded. The original decision will stand.
If the appeal request meets the grounds, the Appeal Official(s) will review the matter and make a decision. The decision may be to refer the case back to the original Student Conduct Official or Student Conduct Board members to reconsider the information; refer the case for further investigation and/or process; reverse the decision, in whole or in part or uphold the original decision.
If a decision was reached by a student conduct Official(s), such as a Residential Life Coordinator, the appeal will normally be reviewed by the Director of Residential Life.
If a decision was reached by the Director of Residential Life the appeal will be reviewed by the Director of Community Standards.
If a decision was reached by the Director of Community Standards, the appeal will be reviewed by the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.
For decisions rendered by either the VP for Student Life and Dean of Students or the Student Conduct Board, the appeal request should be emailed to the appropriate person listed below, who acts as Chair of the Appeal Review Panel. The chair will determine if the appeal meets the criteria for an appeal. If it does not meet criteria, the chair will inform the student by email. If the appeal does meet criteria, the Appeal Review Panel will be convened. The Appeal Review Panel consists of three (3) members: one faculty, one administrator and one student. The Chair will deliver the decision rendered by the Appeal Review Panel to the student within two (2) days.
For cases of Sexual Harassment – Sexual Misconduct, a student will not serve on the Appeal Review Panel.
Appeal Review Process
Appeals are generally completed within 2 weeks, following receipt of the request.
Appeal Review Panel Deliberations and Decisions
- Only the members of the Appeal Review Panel may be present during deliberations. The Chair may remain to answer any policy or procedural questions.
- The Appeal Review Panel has authority to refer the case back to the original Student Conduct Official(s) to reconsider the information; refer the case for further investigation; reverse the decision, in whole or in part or uphold the original decision.
- A consensus is necessary to uphold or change the decision
- All Appeal Review Panel decisions are final, with the exception of those resulting in expulsion. The Respondent may further appeal a decision of expulsion to the President of the College within two (2) days from the date the Appeal review decision is issued. The appeal will be in writing. The President’s decision is final and is not subject to further appeal.
Disclosure of Findings
The College may disclose the results of any conduct proceedings regarding crimes of violence or non-forcible sex offenses to an alleged victim.
Standard of Evidence and Sanctioning
The purpose of the conduct process is to determine whether, more likely than not, the information presented at the hearing supports a finding that a conduct violation occurred and, if so, to assign a sanction(s). In assigning a sanction(s), Student Conduct Official(s) will consider the following:
- the conduct record of the Respondent (the number of past violations and the current status/standing);
- the nature of the offense; and
- the severity of any damage, injury, or resultant harm.
Student Conduct Officials are not bound to the examples below and may vary their decisions based on the educational need of the situation. Students, organizations or groups that have violated the Code of Student Conduct are subject to one or more of the following sanctions:
- Formal Warning is a written notice, that the student has violated College policy and continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may result in more serious disciplinary action.
- Disciplinary Notice is a written notice indicating that the student has violated College policy, carries additional educational sanctions, and notifications and includes a warning that continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may be cause for additional disciplinary action, including disciplinary probation.
- Disciplinary Probation is a period of review during which the student, organization or group remains in good standing, but must demonstrate the ability to comply with College policies and any sanction(s) assigned. Notification is generally made to parent(s)/guardian(s).
- Deferred Suspension is a period of review during which the student, organization or group is not in good standing. The Student, organization or group must demonstrate an ability to comply with College rules, regulations, and all sanctions. Deferred Suspension may negatively impact the student’s ability to participate in campus positions, leadership programs and employment opportunities. Notification is generally made to parent(s)/guardian(s), coaches and some academic or co-curricular program advisors, as appropriate. If, during the period of the Deferred Suspension, the student is again found to be in violation of any policy or an order from a Student Conduct Official, the student may be immediately suspended from the College. As part of the deferred suspension sanction, the student, organization or group will meet with the Director of Community Standards or VP for Student Life and Dean of Students weekly throughout the determined period of the deferred suspension. The student is not in good standing with the College during their period of deferred suspension.
- Residence Hall Suspension: Separation of the student from the residence halls for a specified period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. The student will not be permitted to be present in any residence halls during the course of the suspension. Residence hall suspension may be specified during weekends.
- Residence Relocation: Administratively moved to a different on-campus residence.
- Residence Restriction: Restricted access to certain college housing.
- Disciplinary Suspension is a written notice to the student that s/he is separated from the College for a designated period of time. The student will receive "W’s" in current courses and the "W’s" will appear on the student’s transcript. During the suspension period, a Judicial Hold is active on the student’s account. The student is not permitted to register for classes and is not permitted to attend any College-sponsored events, on or off-campus, without permission from the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, or designee. A student is not eligible for any financial refund. For permission to return to the College, the student must petition the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, or designee, in writing, showcasing completion of any sanction(s). The student should contact the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, or designee, at least six (6) weeks in advance of the start of the new semester.
- Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Fines: May be imposed for violations of specific policies and procedures.
- Educational Sanctions: Educational discussion with hearing official(s), service hours, attendance at a workshop, writing a paper, or other appropriate assignment may be applied.
- Loss of Privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a period of time. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Exclusion from certain College buildings or areas;
- Denial or revocation of automobile registration privileges;
- Prohibition from holding office in any student group or organization;
- Denial of the opportunity to participate in certain College activities or of eligibility to represent the College in any co-curricular activity;
- Suspension, disassociation, loss of status or termination as a recognized student organization. For fraternities and sororities, this may include notification to national headquarters.
- Social Probation: A loss of privilege to host social events (alcohol free and/or with alcohol) on campus or off-campus for a specified period of time. In addition, while on social probation, organizations are prohibited from providing funds to other organizations in support of an event/activity. Further, the name of the organization is not to be included in the promotion of an event/activity without prior permission from the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. If the organization would like to seek permission for a special event during their probationary period that request must be sent to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students at least one week in advance.
- Parent/Guardian Notification: alerts the student that his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified of the conduct decision; generally, a copy of the Decision Letter will be sent to parent(s)/guardian(s).
- Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student or organization from the College. This sanction may include restriction on the use of College facilities. Notification of expulsion will appear on the student’s transcript.
- Advisor/Coach Notification/Meeting: alerts the student that his/her Coach, Academic Advisor, International Advisor or other appropriate staff member will be notified of the conduct decision. Generally, the Advisor/Coach will be copied to the Decision Letter. The student may be sanctioned to meet with the Advisor/Coach.
- No Communication/No Contact: restricts the student from any contact, whether in person, electronic, or via third parties, with one or more community members.
- Victim Notification: victim(s) of the "Aggressive Behavior policy" will be notified in writing of the outcome of the Student Conduct Board Hearing.
Failure to complete sanctions by their assigned due date and/or according to instruction may result in additional conduct proceedings, and/or the Director of Community Standards placing a hold on the student's College record which affects their ability to register for classes. The Director of Community Standards will lift the hold once sanctions are completed as originally instructed.
Below are guidelines for minimum sanctions for violations of the alcohol and drug policy. At the discretion of the Student Conduct Official, Student Conduct Board or Appeal Review Official(s) these sanctions can be modified or increased.
- The costs of any substance abuse counseling, a substance assessment, and resulting treatment conducted off campus are the student’s responsibility.
- When appropriate, restrictions of participation in extracurricular activities or other loss of privileges are sanctioned.
The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Director of Community Standards, Director of Residential Life or designee(s) have the authority to notify parents or guardians about possible violations of the Code of Student Conduct under any of the following circumstances:
- When a student has authorized the College to release educational records to parents or guardians;
- When a student is found responsible of any violation of the College's policies on alcohol misconduct or illegal drugs;
- When a student is involved in a student conduct violation that could result in suspension or expulsion from the College;
- When a student is facing a medical or psychological emergency; or
- In the judgment of the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Director of Community Standards, or Director of Residential Life notification may be to the benefit of the health and well-being of the student.
Disciplinary Records are maintained by the Office of the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Director of Community Standards and/or Director of Residential Life and are maintained as follows:
- Records of suspension and/or dismissal from the College will be maintained permanently;
- Records of deferred suspension will be maintained for a period of one (1) year after a student graduates or may be maintained for a longer period of time at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students based on the circumstances of the incident;
- Records of warning, probation, or other sanctions will be destroyed upon a student's graduation;
- The judicial records of a student who has voluntarily withdrawn from the College will be destroyed after two consecutive years of such withdrawal unless the record indicates a prior suspension in which case the record will be maintained permanently. For additional information on student educational records, please visit: https://www.lycoming.edu/student-handbook/student-records.aspx.
Student health and safety are of primary concern to Lycoming College. The College recognizes that students may be reluctant to report concerns or emergencies involving substance use because of possible consequences specified in our Code of Student Conduct. Lycoming College is committed to reducing reporting barriers and strongly encourages a student to contact College staff regarding any substance use emergency. A student should feel comfortable calling for immediate help whether it is for them, another student, a guest or any individual on campus.
If a student is aware of an alcohol or other drug related emergency and takes action to call for help, on behalf of himself or herself, another student, friend, guest or any individual on the College campus, the students will not be subject to the formal conduct process. The student may be asked to meet with a staff member to have an educational discussion and be given information for support services, such as Counseling.
It is very important that students follow the Medical Amnesty guidelines in order to support the person who needs medical attention.
If a student or someone a student knows is experiencing a medical emergency, you should:
- Call Public Safety at 4911 or 911, if off campus
- Stay with the individual experiencing the emergency. Do not leave.
- Cooperate with the emergency team and provide them with any information that may support an effective and fast intervention.
Medical Amnesty may not apply to incidents where there may be other policy violations, such as an organizational violation, physical or sexual violence, hazing or possession of substances that induce incapacitation, such as "date-rape" drugs. Lycoming College will review incidents where an individual uses Medical Amnesty more than one time by the same individual. In such situations, the matter may be referred to the Director of Community Standards or designee to determine appropriate next steps.
The Code of Student Conduct is in effect beginning August 30, 2019. Lycoming College students should explore the contents in this Code of Student Conduct, as there have been many changes aimed to support an efficient, equitable and fair process for our students.