Student Rights and Responsibilities

Welcome to the office of student conduct, rights, and responsibilities (OSCRR). This office serves as a hub for students' understanding of their rights and responsibilities. Increasing student knowledge of rights and responsibilities to the campus community allows students to make positive decisions around interpretation of policy and personal accountability for behavior. The office is located in the Prescott area office. Please contact the director of student conduct, rights, and responsibilities, Jessica Fontaine, if you have any questions about student rights, policies, resources, or if you are interested in getting involved in student support opportunities offered by OSCRR. Many answers to your questions about the conduct process can be found in the FAQ section below.

OSCRR Purpose Statement

The purpose of the office of student conduct, rights, and responsibilities is to support the student life and College missions by engaging the campus community around issues pertaining to social responsibility, personal accountability, and transformative education.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
If I have questions about the student conduct process, where should I go?
To whom does the Hampshire College Student Handbook apply and when does it apply?
What's the difference between a conduct meeting and a CRB hearing?
Who are conduct administrators?

Questions from Respondents (accused of a policy violation)
I just received an e-mail saying I’m required to attend a conduct meeting. What is it / what should I do?
What happens if I don't attend my conduct meeting?
What will happen at a Conduct Meeting?
How is it determined what conduct administrator I will meet with?
What if I don’t feel comfortable with the conduct administrator I’ve been assigned to meet with?
I received an e-mail saying I’m responsible for violating policy, but I didn’t have a conduct meeting, how can that happen?
What happens if I am found responsible for violating the Norms for Community Living & Policies?
What if I disagree with the decision?
If I don't complete my sanctions, what will happen to me?
I have a student conduct record. How will this affect my graduate school application?
Will my parents find out?
Will conduct information appear on my transcript?

Questions from Complainants (reported someone else for a policy violation)
How do I report an incident/concern?
Can I report anonymously?

What if an incident occurred with a group of students?
What happens after I report an incident occurred?
How do I find out the outcome?
Can I choose to have my report reviewed at a CRB hearing?

 

 

General Questions
If I have questions about the student conduct process where should I go?
Check out the rest of the questions in this FAQ, and if you can't find what you're looking for or would just prefer to speak with someone, feel free to contact the office of student conduct, rights, and responsibilities at 413.559.6205 or oscrr@hampshire.edu. You may also contact any area coordinator in Residence Life or the dean of students office.

To whom does The Hampshire College Student Handbook apply and when does it apply?
The Hampshire College Student Handbook applies to all currently enrolled students, including those on field study, exchange, and other short-term programs. Accepted students should also be aware of the Student Handbook when engaging in pre-College events, online groups, and any other Hampshire-affliated context. Five College students who attend classes at Hampshire or attend Hampshire-sponsored events on or off of the Hampshire campus are also subject to the terms of the Hampshire College Student Handbook. The Norms for Community Living and Policies are expectations for student behavior regardless of the location of the alleged offense.

What’s the difference between a conduct meeting and a CRB hearing?
If you are charged with a violation, and you deny responsibility for the charges, you can choose either a conduct meeting or a CRB hearing to resolve the matter. A conduct meeting is an informal meeting with a conduct administrator, who will consider information presented by the complainant and the accused student and determine whether the student is responsible for the charges. A CRB hearing is a more formal process, in which the parties present their cases to the CRB (a panel of students, faculty and staff). The hearing board then determines whether the accused student is responsible for the charges. For more information on the Community Review Board, including CRB-specific FAQs, see the CRB page.

Who are Conduct Administrators?
Conduct administrators are professional staff from the office of student conduct, dean of students office, and residence life and housing who are trained to facilitate conduct meetings and determine responsibility for violations of policy and sanctions when applicable. Area coordinators typically only review first time and/or minor policy violations and have the authority to administer general sanctions, alcohol and other drug Sanctions, deferred status sanctions, and housing sanctions (excluding removal from housing) as listed in the Student Handbook. Other staff designated as conduct administrators hear all types of violations and have the authority to administer sanctions up to and including expulsion from the College.

 

Questions from Respondents (accused of a policy violation)
I just received an email saying I’m required to attend a conduct meeting. What is it/what should I do?
This letter outlines a reported violation and the corresponding charges and you should attend the meeting. The charges match up with the language found in the Norms for Community Living and Policies in the Student Handbook. The letter also lists the dates of the alleged violation and when/where/with whom you’re expected to meet to discuss what happened. You are expected to be at this meeting unless you have a Five College course or medical/mental health appointment that conflicts with the meeting time. If you have one of these conflicts, you should respond to the person that sent you the email immediately to reschedule.

What happens if I don't attend my conduct meeting?
The conduct administrator will make a decision in your absence and without your input. This means you will be found not responsible, responsible, or referred for a hearing with the CRB. You will be expected to comply with the outcome and complete any requirements.

What will happen at a Conduct Meeting?
The conduct process will be explained to you, and you will work with the conduct administrator to determine how you would like to come to a resolution. You may be chose to resolve the complaint during the conduct meeting or move forward to a CRB hearing. The conduct administrator can also determine that a resolution should be determined in a CRB hearing. The conduct administrator will allow you the opportunity to review any information available in your case and discuss the incident.

How is it determined what conduct administrator I will meet with?
For first time and/or minor violations of policy you will typically meet with your area coordinator. If you live off campus, and have a first time and/or minor violation of policy you will meet with an area coordinator or other member of the residence life staff dependent on the availability of the staff. For repeated violations of policy and/or significantly egregious violations you will be assigned to an assistant director for residence life or dean in the dean of student office based on the availability of staff. Typically the director of student conduct, rights, and responsibilities does not serve as a conduct meeting administrator, but may for any type of violation if deemed appropriate by the dean of students.

What if I don’t feel comfortable with the conduct administrator I’ve been assigned to meet with?
It can feel uncomfortable to talk about behavior, and conduct administrators understand that and want to listen to your story. If you have a legitimate reason to believe a conduct administrator cannot be objective, please contact the office of student conduct, rights, and responsibilities at 413.559.6205 or oscrr@hampshire.edu at least one business day prior to your conduct meeting to discuss whether you can be reassigned to a different conduct administrator.

I received an email saying I’m responsible for violating policy, but I didn’t have a conduct meeting, how can that happen?
Two things could have happened 1) you did not appear at your scheduled time for a conduct meeting and a decision was made in your absence or 2) For minor policy violations, conduct administrators have the authority to render a decision without a meeting. These most frequently occur for fire safety violations and failure to comply with completing sanctions.

What happens if I am found responsible for violating the Norms for Community Living and Policies?
If you are found responsible for a violation, you will be assigned sanctions, any of the sanctions listed here.
Our sanctions range depending on:
 The nature of the violation (what you did)
 Prior violations/previous disciplinary history (what have you done before)
 Mitigating circumstances surrounding the violation (unusual circumstances)
 Your motivation for the behavior (why you chose to do what you did)
 Sanctions in cases involving similar violations (precedent)
 The developmental and educational impact (how is this going to affect you)

What if I disagree with the decision?
You have a right to appeal a decision if you meet the criteria for appeal specified in the Appeals Policy. You have seven calendar days to appeal from the day a decision is rendered to you.

If I don't complete my sanctions, what will happen to me?
You will receive additional sanctions for failure to comply, and may be referred for an additional conduct meeting. If you are graduating and fail to complete sanctions by commencement, your diploma and transcripts will be held until the sanctions are complete.

I have a student conduct record. How will this affect my graduate school application?
Typically, graduate schools will inquire about your student conduct record during the application process via a Disciplinary Clearance Form. Questions on these forms vary. The only sanctions that mean you are not in good disciplinary standing are disciplinary status sanctions. Please consult with the office of student conduct, rights, and responsibilities to determine if you have a student conduct record and if so, what will be reported to a prospective graduate or professional school.

Will my parents find out?
Disciplinary files are considered part of your educational record and cannot be disclosed without your consent. In most cases, your parents will know only as much as you choose to reveal. In rare cases, such as if you are suspended or expelled, your parents will be notified and you will be a part of that conversation. If you would like your parents or some other party to have access to information about your student conduct history, you must grant the College written permission to release that information. You can find a release authorization form here.

Will conduct information appear on my transcript?
No, outcomes and sanctions are not currently included on transcripts. The office of student conduct, rights, and responsibilities maintains a student conduct file that is separate from your transcript. All information about your student conduct history is contained in this file. This information is considered part of your educational records and cannot be released to outside parties without your permission.

 

Questions from Complainants (reported someone else for a policy violation)
How do I report an incident/concern?
Use our online reporting form. This form is NOT for emergency reporting; if you need to report an emergency or hazardous situation please call 413.559.5424 for immediate assistance. Any community member may submit a report and will be contacted during business hours to follow up on the report. Submitting a report assures the concern will be reviewed and followed up on by the College; not all reports become a part of the student conduct process.

Can I report anonymously?
Yes, you can anonymously report incidents/concerns here; however, without the participation of the reporting party, the process may be limited, so you are encouraged to include contact information. 

What if an incident occurred with a group of students?
If the students are a part of a recognized student group and an incident occurred in relation to the student group, you can still file a complaint using our online reporting form. Be sure you specify that this is related to a recognized student group and someone from campus leadership and activities will contact you. If your complaint is against a group of student who are not a part of a recognized group still use our online reporting form and someone from the office of student conduct, dean of students office, or the residence life office will contact you.

What happens after I report that an incident occurred?
The director of student conduct, rights, and responsibilities will review the complaint and conduct a preliminary review to determine whether the accused student can be charged with a violation of policy. This preliminary review may include meeting with the person who filed the complainant, the accused student, and/or any witnesses involved. If the student is charged, there are several options for resolving the matter. See the Formal Conduct Process for an explanation of the next stages. If the student is not charged the complainant will be presented with options for Informal Resolution.

How do I find out the outcome?
As a complainant, you will only be notified of the outcome if the case is related to physical or sexual violence; under FERPA guidelines the College is not permitted to release any other types of outcomes to complaints (or any other information that's a part of a student's educational record). You can be informed that an outcome has been determined (just not the specifics of the outcome) if that is helpful to you.

Can I choose to have my report reviewed at a CRB hearing?
As a complainant, you can share your preferences, however the respondent has the right to come to a resolution through a conduct meeting if the conduct administrator reviewing the case also agrees that is an appropriate way to determine an outcome. If it is determined that the case will be reviewed by the CRB, the complainant is encouraged to participate.

Stay In Touch
With Student Rights & Responsibilities
Snail Mail
Office of Student Conduct, Rights, & Responsibilities
Mail Code PH
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email
413.559.6205
oscrr@hampshire.edu