Student Handbook 2021-2022

Policy Process and Procedures

  • Interim Discipline Measures

    • Keuka College reserves the right to impose temporary measures on a student’s access to the College to protect the general welfare of the campus community, pending the outcome of the formal conduct process. If the Associate Director of Residence Life & Community Standards or their designee determines that a student’s continued presence at Keuka College poses a significant threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the campus community or any individuals therein, they may recommend to the Vice President for Student Development or their designee that the student be given an interim suspension from Keuka College. If the interim suspension is approved, this temporary measure may remain in place through the delivery of the outcome of the formal conduct process.

    • In order to mitigate academic repercussions, the respondent may schedule an Initial Disciplinary Hearing to resolve the matter as expeditiously as possible and is encouraged to do so. Any student subject to an interim suspension may request a review of these interim measures by the Vice President for Student Development or their designee.

  • Initial Disciplinary Hearing(s)

    • Conduct Hearing Officers are professional staff members of the College who have been trained in the Student Code of Conduct. These hearing officers will serve in the role of adjudicating the Initial Disciplinary Hearing. A Conduct Hearing Officer can be, but is not limited to:

      • Head Resident Assistant (HRA)

      • Graduate Assistant Resident Director (GARD)

      • Resident Director

      • Associate Director of Residence Life & Community Standards

    • An Ombudsperson can assist you in navigating the student conduct process, explain College policies and procedures, and help you evaluate your options. Please note that the Ombudsperson cannot represent or advocate for you through the student conduct process, and provides informal advice only. Information to contact the Ombudsperson will be provided in the appointment letter you receive as a respondent.

    • This section outlines the student conduct hearing process at Keuka College.

    • Please be advised that all official communication between the Conduct Hearing Officers and students is through a student's Keuka College email account. Conduct Hearing Officers may use other methods (text messages through the Maxient Conduct Management System, traditional letters, etc.) to supplement communication. Students are responsible for ignoring or not reading communications sent to their Keuka email account in a timely manner.

    • The student conduct process at Keuka College is an administrative process, and not a legal process. In making determinations of responsibility for alleged violations and behavior, the standard of proof that is used is a preponderance of evidence (i.e. what is more probable than not). Information obtained through a search of a student's person, effects, or room without their consent or appropriate notification shall not be admissible, unless obtained through a warrant or conditions stated in Keuka College policies.

    • Outcome(s):

      • Not Responsible - If a respondent is found Not Responsible for a violation, then the alleged violation(s) shall not be on a respondent’s conduct record, will not be accompanied by any sanction, and will not be used as information/evidence for sanctioning purposes of a violation is alleged at a later date.

      • Responsible - If a respondent is found Responsible for a violation, then this violation shall be on a respondent’s conduct record, will be accompanied by an appropriate sanction(s), and may be used for sanctioning purposes if a violation is alleged and the respondent is found responsible at a later date, with the exception of a policy violation reviewed under the Good Friend Policy.

    • The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards may address any alleged violation(s) brought to its attention by Keuka College officials, employees, students, or members of the general public. The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards may then: 

      • Dismiss the referral, if upon careful review, it is determined that no violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred, or that the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards has no standing to hear the referral.

      • The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards may ban a non-student from the College and all College-sponsored events, if upon careful review, they determine that the non-student’s behavior is a detriment to the safety or well-being of the College community.

      • The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards may request that on-campus or off-campus partners reach out to a student or group of students to support, guide, or mediate between students in cases where the referral does not violate the Student Code of Conduct.

      • The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards may, at their discretion, forgo formal charges and instead send a student a warning and notification of policy for certain policy violations.

      • The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards may directly apply alleged violations and hold initial disciplinary hearings for students who have allegedly violated the Student Code of Conduct.

      • The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards may, after careful review, request immediate interim measures, including but not limited to interim removals from campus housing or the campus, to the Vice President for Student Development. Please see the Student Code of Conduct on Interim Discipline Measures for more details.

    • Initial Disciplinary Hearing Process

      • If the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards directly applies alleged violations against a student, it must notify them by sending an "Appointment Letter" to their Keuka College email account. This appointment letter will provide the students with:

        • Alleged violations

        • Date(s) of the alleged behavior

        • Instructions and deadlines for arranging an Initial Disciplinary Hearing with a Conduct Hearing Officer

        • Instructions to connect with the Ombudsperson, if desired

      • All communications from the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards will come through your Keuka College email account via Maxient, our Conduct Manager system, or through certified mail.

      • If a respondent fails to schedule the Initial Disciplinary Hearing with their Conduct Hearing Officer, or if a respondent schedules their hearing and fails to attend, they may be found “Responsible in Absentia.” In this case, the information/evidence gathered in the report(s), oral and written communications, etc. is considered to be accurate, true, and unchallenged, and the disciplinary case may be resolved without input from the respondent. Appropriate sanctions will be assigned. A student may appeal this outcome and sanction(s) based on the grounds listed in the “Disciplinary Hearing Appeal(s)” in the Student Code of Conduct.

      • At the Initial Disciplinary Hearing, the respondent shall be presented with all available and relevant evidence/information concerning the behavioral accusations. The respondent will then be asked to respond to the alleged charges with a response of "Responsible" or "Not Responsible" for each alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The respondent will then be asked to provide their own account, evidence, and/or information concerning the alleged incident. Any finding issued by the Conduct Hearing Officer will be determined on the basis of all information/evidence available in the Initial Disciplinary Hearing using the aforementioned preponderance of evidence standard. Conduct outcomes as a result of this hearing will be sent to the respondent in question via their Keuka College email via Maxient or through certified mail.

      • The following outcomes may result from the Initial Disciplinary Hearing.

        • The respondent is found Not Responsible by the Conduct Hearing Officer, deeming the reported evidence/information insufficient or unsubstantiated. The case is considered closed.

        • The respondent is found “Responsible” by the Conduct Hearing Officer. The respondent is informed of this outcome and all applicable sanctions via the outcome letter sent to their Keuka College email. After receiving the outcome letter, the respondent has five (5) business days to appeal the outcome and sanction(s) issued by the Conduct Hearing Officer in the form of an official appeal. If the sanctions were Level 1 in nature, the outcome cannot be appealed, absent of procedural error. If the sanctions were Level 2 in nature, the outcome can be appealed by following the instructions for an appeal found in this document and all outcome letters that involve a finding of Responsible for any violation. If an outcome is appealed, the findings of the Conduct Hearing Officer are considered to be void. If no appeal to the outcome has been received after five (5) business days, the case is considered to be resolved and the outcome and sanctions applied are final. No appeal will be heard after this point and all appeals are final, absent of procedural error.

    • Disciplinary Hearing Appeal(s)

      • Student Conduct Justices (Faculty, Staff & Students) - These College faculty members, staff members, or students have been trained in the Student Code of Conduct. These justices will serve in the role of adjudicating the Disciplinary Hearing Appeal.

      • For an appeal to be considered, appeals must be submitted in writing to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards within five (5) business days after the respondent has received written notice of the findings via the outcome letter from their Conduct Hearing Officer.

      • A three-member appeals panel, chosen from a pool of all hearing panel members (Disciplinary Hearing Appeal Panel), shall be designated by the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards. No member of the appeals panel may have been previously involved in any part of the case under review.

      • Appeals are limited to the following grounds:

        • Review of Procedures - a procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.)

        • New Evidence - new evidence, which was unknown or unavailable during the original hearing, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.

        • Appropriateness of Outcome - The sanction(s) imposed are substantially inconsistent with the severity of violations(s).

      • The Disciplinary Hearing Appeal Panel will review all appeal requests.The original outcome and sanction(s) will stand if the appeal is not timely or is not based on the grounds listed above, and such a decision is final. The appeal letter from the respondent must demonstrate that the grounds for an appeal request have been met. The original outcome and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately.

      • When the Disciplinary Hearing Appeal Panel finds that at least one of the grounds for appeal has been met, additional principles governing the hearing of appeals will include the following:

        • Decisions by the Disciplinary Hearing Appeal Panel are to be deferential to the original decision, making changes to the outcome only where there is clear error, and to the sanction(s) only if there is a compelling justification to do so.

        • Appeals are not intended to be full re-hearings (de novo) of the allegation. In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. An appeal is not an opportunity for the Disciplinary Hearing Appeal Panel to substitute their judgement for that of the original Conduct Hearing Officer merely because the panel disagrees with the outcome and/or sanction(s).

        • Appeals granted based on new evidence should normally be remanded to the original Conduct Hearing Officer for reconsideration. Other appeals may be remanded at the discretion of the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, or in limited circumstances, heard by the Disciplinary Hearing Appeal Panel.

      • The Associate Director of Residence Life & Community Standards will confer with the Disciplinary Hearing Appeal Panel, incorporate the results of any remanded grounds, and render a written decision on the appeal to the student within three (3) business days from the hearing of the appeal.

      • The appealing respondent will be informed of whether the grounds for an appeal are accepted and the result of the appeal decision.

      • Once an appeal is decided, the outcome is final, absent of procedural error.

      • The appealing respondent will be notified in writing within three (3) business days of the outcome of the Disciplinary Hearing Appeal Panel, without significant time delay between notifications, and in accordance with the standards or notice of outcome as defined above.

      • In rare cases where a procedural error cannot be cured by the original Conduct Hearing Officer (as in cases of bias), the Disciplinary Hearing Appeal Panel may recommend a new hearing with a new Conduct Hearing Officer. The results of a new hearing can be appealed, once, on any of the applicable grounds for appeals, stated above.

      • All sanctions from the original outcome will be stayed, pending the outcome of the appeal. All respondent statuses (interim restrictions or suspensions), will remain in place pending the completion of the discipline process, which concludes with a final decision from the Disciplinary Hearing Appeal Panel.