facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon

Conduct Procedures

The basic philosophical approach to discipline at Simpson College is educational in nature and intent. Through staff intervention, discussion of behavior and its consequences, and progressive discipline, students are encouraged and expected to evaluate their behavior and learn to make responsible, positive, and productive choices. The student conduct process exists in order to maintain a community living environment in the halls and on campus that is conducive to personal, social, and educational growth. The main goals are to help students learn self- discipline, assist students in accepting responsibility for their actions, and to encourage students to accept the consequences of their actions.

Violations of campus regulations are handled by the following: 

Academic PoliciesFaculty members, Registrar, Dean of Academic Affairs with appeals to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

General Campus RegulationsStudent Conduct Board and/or Student Development Staff with appeals to the Vice President for Student Development.

Residential Regulations:  Assistant Directors of Residence Life, Director of Residence Life, Student Development Staff, or Director of Security depending upon origination of decision, with appeals to the Vice President for Student Development or the Director of Student Activities (when organizations are involved).

Organizational Regulations: Greek unit governing body or Student Development Staff, with appeals to the Director of Student Activities

Conduct Process

Because our conduct process is educational in intent, the guidelines below may occasionally be deviated from due to various causes, which include but are not limited to, the nature and complexity of the particular incident, individual student situations, timing, etc.

General Procedures

Reporting and Documentation:  Student violations of the Simpson College Handbook may be filed by any member of the college community.  A written or verbal report shall be prepared or directed to the Director of Residence Life, Director of Security, or Dean of Students, who is responsible for the administration of the college judicial system.  Normally, this may be accomplished by filing a written or verbal report with the Office of Security, completing and filing a residence hall incident report, or submitting a photocopy of an official police report.  Any reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place.

Information or Conflict Resolution Meeting:  Following the review of the report, a designated staff member, serving as the conduct officer, may schedule a conflict mediation or a informational meeting with the student(s) to gather information about the incident or resolve tensions between members of the community.   In relatively simple situations when a conduct violation is present but multiple meetings are not needed, this meeting may serve as a conduct meeting as well.

Based on the outcome of the informational meeting, conflict mediation, or conduct meeting, the conduct officer will determine the disposition of the violation(s) and may decide among the following options:

  • A Simpson College policy has not been violated and no further action will be taken.
  • A violation of Simpson College policy could have occurred and can be administratively settled by mutual consent (mediation) of the involved parties on the basis acceptable to the conduct officer. Such disposition shall be final, and there shall be no subsequent proceedings.
  • A violation of Simpson College policy may have occurred and may be appropriate for hearing by the appropriate conduct body. These options include:
    • Conduct Meeting – Setting for most cases arising from first and/or minor policy violations in campus housing and may be a natural evolution of an information meeting.  These are generally heard by Assistant Directors or, in rare cases, other professional members of the Student Development staff.
    • Conduct Meeting - The most serious cases or issues of campus-wide concern are heard by the Director of Residence Life, Dean of Students, or another appropriate Student Development staff member.
    • Student Conduct Board (SCB) Hearing – Serious cases, complicated situations, or issues of campus-wide concern and/or complex situations may be heard by a panel of students.

Student Rights within the Conduct Process

  • The right to a timely hearing and process, with completion within 60 days of initial report, unless extenuating circumstances are present.
  • Notification of the nature of the alleged violation, and the time, date, and place for the hearing.
  • To have a minimum of 48 hours notice prior to the hearing, unless an earlier hearing time is otherwise agreed to.
  • To know the identity of the complainant, unless unique circumstances dictate otherwise.
  • To view any written documentation being used in the hearing, upon request.
  • To submit any additional relevant information prepared.
  • To question adverse documentation presented during the hearing.
  • To present one’s own case.
  • In cases of a Student Conduct Board (SCB), to ask that a SCB member reviewing the incident withdraw. Based upon reasons given for the request, the SCB advisor will determine the validity and grant or deny such a request.
  • To have an advisor, of the student’s choice, present during the conduct meeting or SCB hearing. The advisor cannot address the conduct officer or SCB, but the student may confer with the advisor during the hearing.
  • Formal notification of the decision made.
  • Notification of, and utilization of, the appeals procedure when an appeal is valid.
  • The opportunity to discuss the conduct process further with the conduct officer or SCB advisor prior to or following the meeting or hearing.

The Student Conduct Board

The student/peer conduct system allows the focus of student conduct to shift from the administration to the student. This philosophy provides for the individual growth and development of each student, and holds students accountable for the choices they make and the consequences of those choices.

Staff members and peers attempt to identify and use the “teachable moment,” when a student is receptive to recognizing, understanding, and accepting responsible decision-making, the value of community living standards, respect for individual and community rights and property, the components of good citizenship. The purpose of the conduct process is not to condemn a student. It may, however, condemn the student’s specific behavior in that it may not be in harmony with the best interests of the college community or the student themselves.

The goals of the student conduct process are: 

  • To support a genuine community living atmosphere in which students, staff, and guests are respected as individuals and community standards are upheld for the good of the community.
  • To provide a process that is educational as well as just for students and the community, guaranteeing the rights of both.
  • To provide a system which encourages objective treatment of each individual and is sensitive to environmental needs and problems as well as the Simpson code of conduct.
  • To minimize the incidents in which students repeat violations of college policy.

The Student Conduct Board is comprised of students who apply and are approved by the Student Government Association. Consideration will be given to provide varied representation, i.e., Greek units, theme houses, apartments, residence halls, off-campus, etc. Student Conduct Board members are expected to serve for the entire academic year. One or more full-time Student Development staff members serve as the Student Conduct Board Advisor. The advisors function in the position without vote during hearing procedures.

Under the peer review process, the primary responsibility for student conduct rests with the student.  Any student can be brought before the Student Conduct Board. A student can also be brought before the Student Conduct Board if guests of that student are engaging in activities or behaviors that violate policies.

Student Conduct Board Proceedings

In the event of a referral to the Student Conduct Board (SCB), the chairperson of the SCB is responsible for clarifying the facts and making sure the student understands the policy violated and the rationale behind the policy. The chairperson clarifies and makes sure the student understands the dynamics of who, what, when, where, why, and how the behavior has resulted in an appearance before the SCB. Hearings are not open to the public.  Formal rules of evidence and courtroom procedures are not applicable to disciplinary proceedings conducted by the SCB.

When a student is alleged to have violated a policy and is referred to SCB, it shall be the student’s choice to attend the hearing or not. If the student chooses not to attend the hearing, the hearing will still be held. In the event that the student chooses not to attend the hearing, it may be difficult for the council to fully appreciate the student’s point of view in rendering a decision, but a decision will still be made by the board.

Decisions of the SCB will be communicated to the student by a formal letter that details the decision and the results of that decision. This will be prepared by the SCB chairperson, the SCB advisor, or a person designated by the SCB advisor. In addition, the SCB advisor may meet with the student following the hearing. At this meeting, the SCB advisor will discuss the decision with the student, and the actions necessary (if any) that accompany that decision. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule this meeting if desired.

The letter will be sent by campus mail. The student will then be expected to follow through with whatever actions may be required by the SCB. Failure to comply with sanctions given by the SCB will be considered appropriate grounds for additional disciplinary consequences. These may come from the SCB, or may result from a referral to the Office of Student Development.

Other Terms and/or Expectations of Conduct Processes

Abuse of College Conduct Procedures:  Abuse of College conduct procedures is a violation of college policy.  This includes, but is not limited to, 1)  failure to obey the summons of a college conduct officer; 2) falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information to a college conduct official; 3) disruption or interference with the orderly operation of the college conduct process; 4)  initiation of a conduct process knowingly without cause; 5) attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the college conduct system; 6)  attempting or committing an act of retaliation against a person or student organization that has reported a violation of the Simpson College Handbook; 7)  attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of the Student Conduct Board prior to, or during the course of, participation in the college conduct system; 8) harassment, abuse, or intimidation of a member of the Student Conduct Board prior to, or during the course of, participation in the college conduct system; 9) failure to comply with the sanction imposed as part of the college conduct process; and 10) influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the college conduct system.

Confidentiality:  At Simpson College, academic and disciplinary records are kept separately.  Within FERPA guidelines, information from disciplinary records is not available to unauthorized persons on campus or to any person off campus without the written-expressed consent of the student.  In extreme situations, it can be released where the safety of other persons is involved. 

Upon request, Simpson will disclose the results of any conduct process conducted by Simpson against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of any crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offence (statutory rape, incest, etc) to the alleged victim or next of kin, if the alleged victim is deceased.

Civil Authorities:  Civil authorities have the right at all times to come onto the campus, including making entry into rented rooms, with or without the knowledge of the College, for purposes of investigation of illegal activity, including search and/or seizure with a search warrant and/or student consent.  On-campus behavior that may be a violation of law may also be referred to local authorities. 

If a student is arrested on- or off-campus, the student is expected to notify the Dean of Students office that the arrest has taken place.  The College reserves the right to invoke conduct proceedings for inappropriate student behavior occurring off-campus.

Disciplinary Action while Criminal Charges are Pending:  Students may be accountable both to civil authorities and to the College for acts that constitute violations of law and college policy.  Disciplinary action at the College will normally proceed during criminal proceedings, and it will not be subject to challenge on the ground that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced.

Inherent Authority:  The College reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community.  Such action may include pursuing disciplinary action for any violation of state or federal law – on or off-campus that affects the College’s educational interests.

Interim Suspension:  In cases of emergency, where the well-being of students or the institution may be endangered, or in cases where the respondent demonstrates a pattern of disruptive behavior, the Dean of Students (or a person designated by the Dean of Students) may take appropriate interim measures including temporary removal of the respondent from College housing and/or temporary suspension of the respondent pending campus conduct proceedings.  Such a temporary suspension may become effective immediately without prior notice; however, a student suspended on a temporary basis shall be given the opportunity to appear personally before the Dean of Students or a person designated by the Dean of Students to discuss the reliability of the information concerning the student’s conduct and whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student on the College campus poses a substantial threat to others or the stability and continuance of normal College functions.

Mediation:  Mediation is encouraged as an alternative means to resolve most disciplinary cases that occur between students or groups of students.  Depending on the situation, the conduct officer may inform complainants and accused students about the availability of campus mediation resources.  The conduct officer may decline to hear a complaint until the parties in a non-academic misconduct case make a reasonable attempt to achieve a mediated settlement.  To be binding in a disciplinary case, any mediated settlement must be approved by the conduct officer.

No Contact Orders: In some situations involving allegations or conflict between individuals on campus, a No Contact Order (NCO) may be placed between the individuals.  This order may restrict movement, communication, third-party contact, or other aspects of campus life for a period of time.  These will be tailored for each situation and communicated via email or letter to the parties involved.  They can be administered through either the Dean of Students Office or the Title IX Coordinator.  If violations of a No Contact Order are present, the administrator of the NCO will potentially enforce modifications of the NCO or conduct sanctions.  

If a criminal or civil NCO or Retraining Order is in place by law enforcement or court authorities, Simpson will help enforce it to our ability and help students connect with local law enforcement if desired.

Room Inspection and Search Policy:  The College reserves the right to have authorized personnel enter student rooms for the purpose of determining general cleanliness of rooms, to determine the amount of damage and general misuse of College property, to remove electrical equipment or other items not in compliance with the housing contract or hall regulations, to make repairs, to maintain the general order and security of the hall, to address suspected violations of College regulations and/or city, state, or federal laws, to respond to emergency situations and to conduct other official business.  Discretion will be used at all times.  Whenever possible, the room will be entered when the student is present. In the event of a search, when suspected policy violations are present, items in the room, including personal property, may be searched.

Definitions of Disciplinary Sanctions

In the event a student is found responsible for a policy violation, sanctions may be imposed. The sanctions which may be imposed include these options below.  Any of these may be deferred, meaning they are not applied immediately but would be applied later if certain conditions are not met.

Warning oral or written notice that continuation or repetition of specified conduct found unacceptable within a period of time stated in the warning may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.

Required Compliance the carrying out of a college regulation or administrative directive as a condition for avoiding further disciplinary action and/or remaining in good standing.

Restitution– reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. This may take the form of appropriate service or other compensation and may be combined with other penalties.

Fines not to exceed $100.00 for any single violation ($500 for a group).  A student may be provided with the option of supervised community service work at the stated minimum college wage in amount equivalent to the fine, should the situation warrant this option.  In all cases of fines, the money will be used for educational programming or conduct resources.

Deferred Sanction – All or a portion of a sanction that is not applied at the time of initial incident, but will be assigned to a student if further violations within the following 12 calendar months.

Community Service supervised or approved constructive projects.

Educational Sanction may be added to any level of sanctioning. Educational sanctions may include, but are not limited to: service projects, letters of apology, housing transfers, counseling, loss of privileges, such as the opportunity to visit or reside in college housing, educational programs, behavioral contracts, chemical dependency assessments, treatment, etc. Educational sanctions/projects are usually added to the sanction category to facilitate the student’s learning from the experience.

Disciplinary Probation — the most severe and serious warning a student may receive and still remain enrolled in the college. Disciplinary probation may include loss of designated privileges for a specified period of time not to exceed one year. A summary of the nature of the misconduct will be filed in the student’s file. Violation of the terms of the disciplinary probation or any infraction of any college regulation during the period of the disciplinary probation may be grounds for suspension. Probationary status may restrict the student from representing the college in any official capacity including student government, theater, music, athletics, etc. for a specified period.

Social Probation — formal written notification of unacceptable conduct when an organization violates a college policy. Social probation is the most serious sanction which may be applied against an organization and the group continues to remain a recognized campus organization. Further violation of college regulations or the terms of the social probation notification during the stated period of the probation may subject the organization to suspension of its recognized status. This may include loss of designated privileges such as pledging, rushing, exchanges, or use of college facilities for the duration of the probationary period, which may not exceed one year. If the organization is affiliated with an outside organization, both will be notified that permission to continue on campus is in jeopardy.

Suspension  separation from the college for a specified period of time, usually the remainder of the semester or termination of enrollment in the college for an indefinite period. Readmission must be applied for and may be contingent upon compliance with specific conditions. The conditions of readmission, if any, shall be stated in the notice of dismissal.

Levels of Violations and Sanctions

With respect to the types of sanctions identified above, the following information may help students understand how appropriate sanctions are determined. This framework is only a general model to be used as a starting point, and that the individual merits of a given situation may require deviation from this model.

In the following delineation, violations are separated into three levels.  Each succeeding level consists of violations considered to be more serious than those of the immediately preceding category.  This is not a binding construct, nor is it an all-inclusive list of possible policy violations, but it does provide a starting point from which individuals, conduct officers, or the Student Conduct Board may begin to establish the particular severity of any given incident.

When the alcohol policy is violated only by creating excessive noise with alcohol present or carrying an open container of alcohol in a public area in building where alcohol is allowed (not in a substance-free building) and by someone of legal age, the student may receive a verbal request to remedy the situation. This request will be noted as a warning in an activity log.  After a verbal warning has been issued to a student, any subsequent violations of the alcohol policy will result in action being taken. It should be noted that a warning can be issued at Residence Life or Security staff member’s discretion, but they do not have to give a warning before taking action if they choose not to. Verbal warnings will not be given to students violating the alcohol policy in substance-free locations or to students who are not of legal drinking age.

Level 1
  • Quiet hours violations
  • Escort policy or visitation violations
  • First time violations of the alcohol policy, where compliance is present and aggravating circumstances are not
  • Non-compliance with COVID-19 requirements, where compliance upon request is present and aggravating circumstances are not.  These areas include mask wearing, daily Moodle Check-Ins, visitation policies, social distancing expectations, or other guidance provided by Simpson College.  See specific guidelines on campus and in housing to learn more.
  • Failure to complete mandatory elements of student life (Title IX training, required floor meetings, etc)
  • Accumulating 10 or more parking violations
  • Smoke-free campus violations
Level 2
  • Repeated incident of Level 1 violation
  • Fireworks (situations involving very little threat to personal safety)
  • Vandalism
  • Non-compliance with COVID-19 requirements, where non-compliance with a staff request or aggravating circumstances are present. 
  • Bias related behavior of a non-violent or threatening nature
  • Failure to comply with college staff directions
  • Verbal abuse or belligerence towards staff members
  • Unauthorized entry or use of college facilities (includes buildings, students’ rooms, and hall restrooms, etc)
  • Theft
  • Hosting a large social event that violates the capacity guidelines
  • Violations of the common container alcohol policy
  • Accumulating 15 or more parking violations
Level 3
  • Repeated incident of Level 2 violation
  • Fighting or physical assault, sexual misconduct, or other physical or psychological abuse (this includes harassment)
  • Non-compliance with COVID-19 requirements, where severe potential consequences for the health and well-being of the community are present.
  • Bias related behavior of a violent, threatening, or more significant nature
  • Fire safety violations
  • Weapons violations
  • Fireworks (situations involving greater hazard to personal safety)
  • Vandalism of a more significant nature
  • Drugs

Based on the level of sanction, below is a framework which guides possible sanction options decided by the conduct officer(s) or Student Conduct Board.  Specific situations and circumstances may cause deviations from this framework, although most sanctions within the conduct process will fall within the appropriate level.

Level 1

Any combination of:

  • a warning
  • deferred sanction or fine up to $50
  • fine from $25 to $50
  • community service, up to 10 hours
  • restitution for damages
  • educational sanction
  • attendance at a substance-dependency program
  • compliance with other recommendations
Level 2

Any combination of:

  • a warning
  • deferred sanction or fine up to $100
  • fine from $25 to $100
  • community service, up to 15 hours
  • restitution for damages
  • educational sanction
  • attendance at a substance-dependency program
  • compliance with other recommendations
  • restriction of campus privileges
Level 3

Any combination of:

  • a warning
  • deferred sanction or fine up to $100
  • fine from $50 to $100
  • community service, up to 25 hours
  • restitution for damages
  • educational sanction
  • attendance at a substance-dependency program
  • compliance with other recommendations
  • restriction of campus privileges
  • disciplinary probation
  • removal from residential facilities, without refund
  • temporary suspension from the college
  • indefinite suspension from the college

Alcohol Policy Violations (Group)

When campus groups or organizations violate the alcohol policy as an activity of the group/organizations, the group/organization will be subject to sanctions as a unit.  Group/organizations sanctions may include fines up to $500, social probation, educational sanctions, community service, and loss of recognition.

In all cases where group fines are assessed, the money will be used for educational programming or resources.

Appeals

Appeals are a means of ensuring that students’ rights are upheld and that all students receive fair treatment as they go through the conduct process. Appeals must be written and submitted within 5 business days of issuance of sanction notification, except in the case of new evidence.  The 5 business day time window does not include winter or spring break. The appeal will be evaluated to determine if valid grounds exist for an appeal review. The student will be notified within one week if and when the appeal will be reviewed. All appeals of individual student decisions are submitted to the Vice President for Student Development.  All appeals of sanctions applied to organizations, fraternities, or sororities are submitted to the Director of Student Activities.

Appeals may be made for the following reasons:

  • failure of the SCB hearing or conduct meeting to adhere to proper procedures as outlined in the SCB manual or other established guidelines,
  • unusual conditions or the addition of new, relevant information, or
  • excessive or inconsistent sanctions.

A student may not appeal based only upon dissatisfaction with a sanction.

Appeals will result in one of three possible actions:

Initial decision is:

  1. supported
  2. modified
  3. removed

Determination is made by the Appeal Board, which is composed of the Vice President of Student Development or designee, a faculty member, and an SGA representative.  In appeals related to the Sexual and Relationship Misconduct Policy, the appeal is heard by the Vice President of Student Development (or designee) and the faculty member.  For organizational appeals, the appeal is heard by the Director of Student Activities.