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Offices & Services > Office of Student Development > Student Handbook

Conduct Council Constitution

A view of the Gizmo patio from above.

Article I: Name
The body for administering social discipline at Knox College shall be known as the Conduct Council.

The Conduct Council shall hear complaints of violations of college policy committed by students or student organizations with the exception of violations of the honor code, which are heard by the Honor Board, and violations of college policies regarding harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct, which are heard by the Grievance Panel. Complaints filed against College faculty and staff are heard by the appropriate Vice President.

The College's conduct officer, normally a member of the Office of Student Development, shall serve as the Convener of the Conduct Council.

Summary of process
(The following summary does not supersede the actual Conduct Council Constitution)

1) Complaints should be brought to the attention of the conduct officer.

2) The conduct officer may hold an administrative hearing, at the student's request, with both parties present, in an attempt to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the complaint. Acceptance of a resolution of the complaint by both parties will preclude further judicial action on the original complaint.

3) If either party declines an administrative hearing or a mutually agreed upon determination cannot be reached during the administrative hearing, the convener shall then arrange a hearing with the Conduct Council.

4)  The person(s) bringing charges may, at any time before the conclusion of a hearing, choose to withdraw the charges. Such a withdrawal of charges will end the judicial process.

5) The hearing shall lead to a determination of responsible or not responsible regarding the complaints of violations of College policy. Should the accused be found responsible, sanctions will be imposed.

6) The Dean of Students shall be informed of the sanctions and shall be responsible for their implementation.

7) Appeals shall be heard by the President of the College.

8) Any intimidation of students participating in a hearing shall be viewed as a serious offense subject to disciplinary action.

Article II: Jurisdiction
Complaints of violations of Knox College policies committed by students or student organizations should be brought to the attention of the conduct officer. He or she shall review the complaints and determine, first, if the complaints are within the jurisdiction of the Conduct Council or should be heard by the Honor Board or the Grievance Panel.

Article III: Administrative Hearings
Section 1. Should a complaint be deemed within the jurisdiction of the Conduct Council, the conduct officer at the request of either party may attempt to reach a mutually agreeable solution through an administrative hearing. In an administrative hearing both parties will meet and discuss the complaint in the presence of the judicial officer. Both parties may bring their advisor to this Administrative hearing. Should both parties come to an agreement at that point, there will be no need for a Conduct Council hearing on the original complaint. The acceptance of a solution will be formalized in writing. If no agreement is reached the complaint will be referred to the Conduct Council.

Section 2. Results of Administrative Hearings, with all names omitted, shall be included in the summaries that are provided for the student newspaper.

Article IV: Structure and Membership
Section 1. The Conduct Council shall consist of seven students (one from each year with the exception of the first years, the rest at large), two faculty members and the Convener of the Conduct Council.

Section 2. The College's conduct officer, normally a member of the Office of Student Development, shall serve as the Convener of the Conduct Council. The conduct officer who also serves as the Convener of the Conduct Council shall serve as the administrative liaison between students and the Council, responsible for insuring that all parties have an understanding of the Conduct Council Constitution. The Convener shall arrange the hearing and shall be responsible, along with the student chair of the Conduct Council for communicating the outcome of all hearings to all parties. The Convener shall observe the hearing but shall not participate except to correct procedural error. The Convener shall participate in the deliberations of the Conduct Council following a hearing to the extent of providing information about precedent of past violations and sanctions. The Convener shall not vote during hearings or deliberations.

Article V: Selection of Board Members
Section 1.
During Spring Term the next year's vacancies will be filled.

Section 2. To be eligible for a position on the Conduct Council students must be full time students in good academic standing and have a good conduct record while a student. (Falling below good academic standing or being found responsible for violation of College Policy while a member of the CC may result in termination of appointment to the Council.)

Section 3. Appointments of students to the Conduct Council shall be made by a panel comprised of two Senators appointed by Senate, the Vice Chair of the Student Senate, one faculty member from the Student Life Committee who is to be selected by the Student Life Committee; the Convener of the Conduct Council, and the most senior student member of the Conduct Council. The selection panel shall strive to select a diverse and representative group to serve on the Conduct Council.

Section 4. The selection panel will also conduct reviews of student members, as needed, to determine eligibility for continuing membership and quality of service. The selection panel will have the authority to remove Council members and to fill vacancies, when necessary.

Section 5. Students interested in serving on the Council will apply for positions providing, among other things, a rationale for wanting to serve and a list of two students and two faculty members who might be contacted as references. Applicants also may be interviewed by the selection panel.

Section 6. Faculty appointments to the Conduct Council will be made by the Executive Committee. To be eligible, a faculty member must have served on the faculty for at least two years.

Article VI: Officers
Section 1.
The Officers of the Conduct Council shall be Chair and Secretary.

Section 2. The Chair shall be the longest serving student member of the Council, or, when student experience is limited as determined by a majority of the council, any student member of the Council may be elected chair by a majority vote of the CC. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Conduct Council. The Chair or the Convener of the Conduct Council shall inform the accused of complaints brought against him or her. The Chair or the Convener of the Conduct Council shall see that the accused, the accuser and the Dean of Students are notified of the CC's determination within 24 hours.

Section 3. A recording secretary shall be chosen from the student members by the Conduct Council before each hearing. The Convener shall keep accurate records of all hearings conducted by the Conduct Council. The Convener of the Conduct Council will be responsible for providing the results of all cases (including charges, determination, and sanctions where applicable, and omitting all student names) for publication in The Knox Student.

Article VII: Powers
Section 1.
The Conduct Council shall have the power to hear evidence and to determine whether students have been in violation of College rules, regulations, or standards of conduct. All determinations shall be subject to review on appeal to the President of Knox College.

Section 2. After making its determination of responsible or not responsible, the Conduct Council will assign sanctions in cases where the students have been found in violation of college rules. regulations, policies, or standards of conduct. The Conduct Council will submit said sanctions to the Dean of Students for implementation.

Section 3. Sanctions shall include but not be limited to any one or combination of the following:

Warning: A student is notified that his or her conduct is unsatisfactory and should not be repeated.

Disciplinary Probation: This status is extremely serious. Disciplinary Probation is assigned for a set period of time and in many cases conditions will be outlined.

In some cases a student placed upon Disciplinary Probation may be prohibited from the following:

  • participating in student publications
  • participating in intercollegiate athletics
  • participating in intramural athletics
  • participating in public performances by campus organizations
  • holding an office or participating in any student organization
  • exercising his or her normal residential privileges, including housing
  • attending or sponsoring College social functions
    Conditions of sanctions may include:
  • require students to participate in counseling
  • assign educational or community service projects
  • assign fines when appropriate (for example, a $25.00 fine for underage possession and/or consumption or alcohol outside of private places is standard)

The Conduct Council may hold students responsible for any damages they have caused, either directly or indirectly. This responsibility may include costs, and/or doing repairs or clean up.

Suspension: A student may not continue at the College until the specified conditions have been fulfilled.

Separation: A student is permanently separated from the College and is no longer allowed to continue in any capacity as a student at Knox College.

Individuals that present a threat to the safety and welfare of members of the Knox community may be banned from campus.

Section 4. A record of disciplinary action taken against a student is placed in the student's personal file in the Dean of Student's office, but does not appear on the student's transcript and generally is not made available to personnel outside of the College. Legitimate requests for such information from graduate schools, employers and the like, will be filled only with the permission of the student.

Article VIII: Advisor
Section 1.
The Role of the Advisor

A. During investigative, judicial (including appeals), or disciplinary proceedings, the individual(s) or organization(s) facing charges have the right to be assisted in his/her/their defense by a person acting as an advisor. This right will only come into effect after an initial incident report has been filed.
B. During any and all investigative, judicial (including appeals), or disciplinary proceedings, the individual(s) or organization(s) bringing charges have the right to be assisted in his/her/their complaint by a person acting as an advisor.
C. The advisor must be a currently enrolled Knox College student or a currently employed faculty member or staff member.
D. The advisor's role will be to offer advice to the accused. The advisor may also help assemble witnesses and help prepare the accused's arguments. The advisor may not question the accused, the accuser(s), the witness(es), or council members.
E. The accused is the final authority in terms of his or her case and is not obliged to ask an advisor to become involved. Once an advisor is involved the accused will determine the extent of the advisor's involvement and may terminate the services of the advisor at any time or switch advisors prior to or after any proceeding. Furthermore, the accused shall control all information pertinent to the case and the advisor shall be required to observe the guidelines governing confidentiality as stipulated by Conduct Council.
F. Neither the competence of the advisor nor the accused's decision not to have an advisor shall be valid grounds for an appeal.
G. During any investigative, judicial (including appeals) or disciplinary proceedings, the advisor may be present, if the accused desires. This privilege will only come into effect after an initial incident report has been filed. The only exception shall be investigative proceedings where the College must intervene immediately to protect the physical safety of one or more community members.

Article IX: Procedure
Section 1. Any member of the Conduct Council may receive reports of alleged violations of the College's rules and regulations, policies, or standards of conduct committed by students, which may be submitted by any member of the Knox community. Reports will be passed along to the College's judicial officer who will review the reports and determine the appropriate action to be taken, in consultation with the person(s) bringing forth the report.

Section 2. Students who are willing to admit that they were in violation of College policy may have the option of having an Administrative Hearing conducted by the conduct officer, depending upon the violation.

An Administrative Hearing may also be held, with both parties present, in an attempt to reach a mutually agreed upon determination.  The judicial officer may impose sanctions in an Administrative Hearing.

Section 3. A quorum for the Conduct Council shall consist of five voting members including at least one faculty and three students. Conflict of interest issues shall be resolved by the Convener. The Convener of the Conduct Council shall be present at all hearings conducted by the Conduct Council.

Section 4. Determinations of in violation or not in violation shall be based upon preponderance of evidence with a majority vote of those present.

Section 5. The CC shall examine all evidence and hear and question the witnesses.

Section 6. The Chair of the Conduct Council shall be responsible, in a conduct hearing, for informing the accused of charges brought against him or her and for giving him or her the opportunity to say whether he or she was in violation of College policy or not. The accused shall be questioned by and be allowed to ask questions of the Conduct Council and shall be permitted to see and to question his or her accuser(s).

Section 7. Prior to the hearing, the accused shall be informed in writing of the reasons for possible disciplinary action with sufficient particularity, and in sufficient time, to ensure opportunity to prepare for the proceedings. If a student accused of a violation is deemed a threat to the safety of the campus community by the Dean of Students or the President, he or she may be temporarily removed from the campus until a conduct hearing has been completed and a determination has been reached.

Section 8. During the disciplinary proceedings the student has the right to be assisted in his or her defense by a person acting as an advisor. The advisor must be a currently enrolled Knox College student or a currently employed faculty or staff member. The advisor's role in the hearing will be to offer advice to the accused. He or she may not question the accuser(s), the witness(es), or council members.

Section 9. Hearings are closed. Only the parties involved and their witnesses and advisors are permitted to attend. Only currently enrolled Knox College student or a currently employed faculty or staff member will be allowed to attend a hearing in any capacity.

Section 10. No recording devices, including tape recorders, video cameras, etc. will be permitted in a hearing.

Section 11. The Conduct Council shall then come to a determination of whether the accused was in violation of College policy or not. If found responsible, the council shall impose sanction(s). The council shall submit the sanction(s) to the Dean of Students for implementation.

Section 12. Appeals of determinations or sanctions may be made on the grounds of procedural error in the hearing, bias, appropriateness of sanctions or the availability of new evidence significant to the case.
Appeals are heard by the President of the College; appeals must be submitted in writing to the President of the College within two weeks of the initial determination.

Section 13. When deemed appropriate by the Judicial Officer, the Dean of Students or the President of the College shall be permitted to act on behalf of the Conduct Council.

Article X: Amendment Process
Amendments to the Conduct College Constitution are submitted to the Student Senate and the Student Life Committee for approval. The Student Senate and the Student Life Committee will approve or reject the proposed amendment (s) based upon a majority vote. An amendment that will require changes in faculty regulations must be passed, by majority vote, by the Faculty Senate. All amendments to the Conduct Council Constitution must be read to the Faculty Senate.

Approved by Student Senate, Spring 2002