Section 14. College Sanctions and Corrective Actions

The responsible administrator for this section is the Office of Community Standards. Student Affairs has approval authority.

14.0. Introduction

The Director of Community Standards, Student Affairs administrators, the Community Standards Review Board, or the Title IX Hearing Boards adjudicate most cases involving violations or alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct and are empowered to assign sanctions and corrective actions to respondents found to have violated provisions of the code. If a student is found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and is assigned a sanction, the sanction takes effect immediately and remains in place until it is completed, expires, or is vacated through an appeals process. For violations of intellectual responsibility, the instructor is responsible for assessing any course consequence. In some cases, where a finding is not made (i.e., cases where medical amnesty is applied), the College may still require students to engage in corrective actions (see Section 4.4, AOD Medical Amnesty Statement).

This section lists some of the sanctions and corrective actions that may be imposed upon students or student groups. The College reserves the discretion to impose more stringent or different sanctions or corrective actions depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Sanctions for student misconduct under the Student Code of Conduct are generally cumulative in nature.

14.1. Warning

A written warning that will be considered in determining sanctions if future violations occur.

14.2. Financial Restitution

Monetary reimbursement to a person or to the College for damage or loss of property or the abridgment of a person’s use or access to the use of property or a service.

14.3. Limitations on Participation or Loss of Privileges

A student may be prohibited from living in residence, accessing particular areas of campus, participating in intramural or intercollegiate athletics, entering Housing Selection, campus parking, eating at Valentine and/or participating in other College activities, including attending campus events.

14.4. Community Restitution and Other Alternatives

The adjudicator of a case can assign particular forms of community work, on or off campus, and a number of hours to be worked. The adjudicator will be responsible for supervising the student’s implementation of the community restitution. The adjudicator may also require attendance, when appropriate, at educational workshops or similar opportunities suitable to the nature of the infraction.

14.5. Educational Project

A student may be required to complete a project or research/reflection paper.

14.6. Residential Probation

This status describes the respondent as not in good standing with their living unit over a specified period of time. Further violations of housing regulations while a student holds this status may result in escalated consequences including disciplinary probation, residence reassignment, denial of residence on campus, or suspension.

14.7. Disciplinary Probation

This sanction consists of a warning in writing which specifies that further infractions of the Student Code of Conduct during a student’s time at Amherst will, in most instances, lead to suspension, dismissal or, in very serious cases, expulsion from the College. A student on disciplinary probation may be barred from some or all extracurricular activities for a defined period.

14.8. Course Penalties

Acts of cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of violation of academic integrity should result in the student receiving a failing grade. The recommended sanction for a violation of academic integrity is failure for the course, though grade penalties are always assigned solely at the discretion of the instructor. All such acts will be part of the student’s conduct record in Student Affairs official record. The Community Standards Review Board panel or the Director of Community Standards may assign other sanctions as well, depending on the seriousness of the offense and the student’s previous record. Note: Course penalties are not available sanctions to the Community Standards Adjudication Process. All grade related matters are solely the purview of the course instructor.

14.9. Denial of Residence on Campus

A student who violates community standards associated with residential and/or social life at the College or involving respect for persons, or who is found to have engaged in sexual misconduct, may be required to vacate their residence and be denied permission to live on campus, either for a specified time or permanently. Other sanctions may be assigned as well, but if residential denial is the only sanction, the student will continue to be enrolled as a degree candidate and will be allowed to attend all academic exercises.

14.10. Suspension

The rights and privileges of being a student at Amherst College may be suspended for a specific period of time, the minimum of which will be to the end of the current semester. Conditions may be added to a suspension. The student must leave the campus and may return at the end of the period of suspension without petitioning for return. During the period of suspension, the student is not permitted on the Amherst College campus, except with advance written permission from the Dean of Students or designee.

14.11. Withholding of Degree

In student conduct cases involving second-semester seniors when probation or suspension might otherwise be assigned, the College may withhold the student’s Amherst College degree for a specified period of time. When this occurs, the student may be permitted to remain on campus to complete the requirements for the degree, although its award will be delayed.

14.12. Dismissal

A student may be required by the Committee on Academic Standing to leave the campus for at least one semester and must petition for return at the end of that time. The student may be required to fulfill particular obligations while away from the College and to provide evidence of having done so, along with evidence of their readiness to return to Amherst and to meet its standards. During the period of dismissal, the student is not permitted on the Amherst College campus, except with advance written permission from the Dean of Students or designee. Dismissals are assigned only by the Committee on Academic Standing. Note: Dismissal is listed in this section to distinguish it from suspension. However, dismissal is not an available sanction to the Community Standards Adjudication Process nor the Interim Title IX Grievance Process.

14.13. Expulsion

Expulsion is the permanent termination of student and degree-candidate status at Amherst College. It may be imposed only in the most serious of cases or when a student has been suspended or dismissed previously and commits another offense judged to be worthy of a second suspension or dismissal. A student expelled from Amherst College is not permitted on campus, except with advance written permission from the Dean of Students or designee.

14.14.  Deferred Sanction

In some cases, a sanction may be held in abeyance for a specified period of time. This means that if the student is found responsible for any violation of College policy during that period of time, the student will be subject to the deferred sanction without further review of the prior case in addition to the disciplinary action appropriate to the new violation.