A formal hearing before the Student Conduct Committee is not the only method for resolving disputes between members of the College community. The College provides several methods for addressing alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
The Dean shall have authority to render decisions in minor cases of misconduct. The Dean may refer any case to the Student Conduct Committee.
A minor case of misconduct is any case wherein, in the judgment of the Dean, appropriate disciplinary action if taken would involve only some form of censure or required action (as explained in Section C below). These penalties may include, but are not limited to, letters to a student’s file, loss of various privileges, referral to counseling, community service, or removal of a student from College housing or dining.
The “Dean’s Review” method of resolution is not a formal hearing. Rather, it provides an opportunity for a student accused of minor misconduct to meet with the Dean, discuss the allegations of mis-conduct, and have the Dean determine the appropriate penalty. Any student called upon to speak to the Deans in connection with a disciplinary matter may ask another member of the current Bates College community to serve as his or her advisor (see Part III, A.1., below).
The decision in a minor case of misconduct shall not be recorded on the student’s permanent record, but will remain in the student’s confidential file until graduation. The Dean shall send the student a letter identifying the misconduct, stating the Dean’s decision regarding penalties, and notifying the student of the right to appeal to the Student Conduct Committee.
If the Dean makes a decision in a minor case of misconduct that the student accused of misconduct feels is unjustified, that student may appeal the decision to the Co-Chairs of the Student Conduct Committee. The student appealing the decision must submit the appeal in writing to the Co-Chairs of the SCC within two class days from the time at which the original decision was communicated to him or her by the Dean. The Co-Chairs may affirm, reverse, or otherwise modify the original decision of the Dean.
When the Dean makes a decision in a minor case, the Dean shall provide the Co-Chairs of the SCC with a report of the case and its disposition. The Co-Chairs may bring the case to the Committee for discussion.
Dorm of House Councils
Student-run Dorm or House Councils are often appropriate venues for resolving some kinds of student misconduct, especially issues related to daily life in a dormitory. Examples include: minor cases of dorm damage, noise disputes, and misuse of housing facilities.
Dorm or House Councils should function as mediative bodies rather than punitive ones. They may attempt to resolve disputes and, if they are unsuccessful, elect to send a dispute to the Deans. For example, the Dorm Council could determine how to allocate a dorm damage bill among two or more students believed to be responsible for damage. If the students agree to the terms, they pay the bill. If the matter cannot be resolved, then it could be sent to the Deans. In extreme cases, a Dorm Council may recommend to the Deans that a disciplinary hearing be held to determine whether a student has engaged in conduct that warrants removing the student from campus housing.
The operation of Dorm or House Councils is subject to oversight by the Dean of Students Office.