1. What is the background on Lewis & Clark’s policies and Code?
Like any community, we have a set of collaboratively established standards that all members are expected to uphold in order to maintain the safety and educational purpose of our community. Our guiding principles of mutual respect, civil discourse, responsible decision-making, and personal accountability inform these standards that are detailed in the Student Code of Conduct.
When students complete their registration agreement to attend Lewis & Clark, they acknowledge their responsibility to “be familiar with the academic and administrative regulations, procedures, and policies”, which includes the Student Code of Conduct and college policies.
Additionally, Lewis & Clark is required by Federal law to comply with certain standards as an educational institution that receives federal financial aid.
2. What does it mean to be an “involved student” in a report?
The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities defines ‘Involved Students’ as any student who is mentioned in an information report. There is a difference, however, between students who the Office believes may have been involved in some kind of misconduct and those who the Office believes may have been just witnesses.
In an informal resolution pathway, students who were present for a situation of concern may be contacted to speak with someone about the situation, to discuss the nature of their involvement, and to seek resolution.
Students against whom a formal complaint has been filed, or who are participating in a formal adjudication process are defined as ‘respondents’ because when they meet with a Conduct Authority they are responding to allegations of potential misconduct. If you are a Respondent in a formal adjudication, we encourage you to review the Code of Conduct and the materials available on our website to ensure you understand the process.
Witnesses may have information about events described in an information report, and may become involved for this reason. The College, the Respondent, and Complainant when one is present, are allowed to request that a witness participate in a formal board hearing. If you are called for a hearing, your participation in the hearing is optional.
If a student feels like another student violated the Code of Conduct, in a way that directly affects either them or the community, they can bring a formal complaint. If you want to make a complaint, please contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities or talk to your Area Director.
3. What is the difference between an Agreed Resolution and a Formal Adjudication?
The Director of SRR determines how each conduct case will be resolved. While there are several conflict resolution pathways available, most students documented for alleged misconduct have either an informal meeting (to hopefully reach an agreed resolution) or a formal hearing (as outlined in the Code).
Both informal meetings and formal hearings rely on dialogue between the student and the administrator. In an informal meeting the Resolution Coordinator and the student attempt to reach an agreed resolution regarding which policies were violated and how the issue will be resolved. This meeting focuses on the policy potentially being violated, the harm it may have caused to the student and their community, and how they can repair that harm. Agreed Resolution records are not recorded as disciplinary records, rather educational records.
Students with severe allegations of misconduct or multiple violations will typically be referred for an administrative hearing. In an administrative hearing, the hearing officer determines which policies were violated and how the issue will be resolved, though we still try to be educational and collaborative in these meetings. Administrative Hearing records become a part of a students disciplinary record and are retained for 7 years.
4. How can I prepare for my hearing?
Start by thoroughly reading the official correspondence that you received confirming your hearing time, and be sure to scroll down so that you can read the SRR process flowchart. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our office. You may also read more about formal hearings in the Code of Conduct.
5. What if I disagree with my outcome?
After a Formal Adjudication, an involved student may appeal for a variety of reasons. A full outline of the possible grounds for appeal can be found in the Code of Conduct.
6. How are conduct issues typically resolved?
When a student is found to be responsible for violating College Policies, they are typically assigned one or a series of outcomes that they need to complete in order to resolve the case. Outcomes serve as a way for students to remedy any harm they may have caused, reflect upon the impact of their actions on the community and themselves, and provide educational pathways for student growth in a variety of areas (conflict resolution, organization and planning, academic success, stress management, etc).
Outcomes assigned vary greatly, and are typically tailored to each individual student’s situation and needs. They range from apologies to reflection papers, from community service to disciplinary probation, and can include suspension or dismissal. Resolution Coordinators and hearing officers will explore possible outcomes with involved students during their respective meetings or hearings.
7. What is the difference between a disciplinary record and and educational record?
When a student goes through a formal resolution process, or Administrative Hearing, a responsible finding will be recorded a disciplinary record. These records are kept for 7 years after you graduate or leave Lewis & Clark College, unless the outcome is a suspension or expulsion, in which case they are kept indefinitely. Outside parties, such as law schools, grad schools or jobs, only can see these records if a student gives them permission through the Registrar’s Office.
All other records, including those of our informal processes or Agreed Resolutions, are considered educational records. These records are only seen by you or relevant staff at Lewis & Clark, and they are usually not shared with outside parties. To see the College’s Record Retention Policy, click HERE.
8. Can my parents find out about my discussions with SRR?
As a student, you and your educational records are protected by the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA ensure students have the right to inspect, review, and control access to your records. Therefore, we cannot share any information about your case or discussions with SRR with your parents or anyone outside of staff with a need-to-know unless you release that information. You can learn more about FERPA and release forms HERE.