Lasell College Conduct System addresses alleged student violations of the non-academic policies and procedures detailed in the Student Handbook.
The College will not protect students who violate local, state or federal laws from prosecution by the appropriate law enforcement agencies. The College may choose to proceed with its conduct review process regardless of any off-campus legal actions that are in progress, and whether or not the alleged offender chooses to take part in the campus conduct hearing.
The College reserves the right to take immediate action prior to the convening of a conduct hearing under the following circumstances: a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community or preservation of College property; b) to ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and well-being; c) if the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the College; d) if it is alleged that the student has engaged in a serious violation of College policy and/or local, state or federal laws. Such interim action shall remain in effect until the hearing process has been completed. The requisite notice and hearing process shall follow as soon as it is possible.
The conduct review process is designed to bring resolution to issues of discipline in an educative and timely fashion, and with a commitment to due process. The conduct system is not a court of law and is not held to the same standards of evidence as a legal proceeding. The day-to-day functioning of the Lasell College Conduct System is the direct responsibility of the Conduct System Coordinator, and is facilitated by Administrative Hearing Officers. The Vice President of Student Affairs and the Dean of Student Affairs are responsible for the oversight of the Conduct System. Complaints are brought to the attention of the conduct system through Incident Reports filed by members of the College's staff and/or initiated by a student through a staff member.
After a complaint has come to the attention of the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, a decision is made about the seriousness of the allegation(s) and the case is assigned to an Administrative Hearing Officer. Less egregious issues will most often (though not necessarily) be assigned to Administrative Hearing Officers that include (but are not limited to) the Area Coordinators (from the Residential Life staff); and the Director of Student Activities. Issues of a more serious nature will most often (though not necessarily) be assigned to Administrative Hearing Officers that include the Conduct System Coordinator; the Director of Residential Life, the Dean of Student Affairs; and the Vice President of Student Affairs.
Students who are charged with violations will be contacted by the appropriate Administrative Hearing Officer and apprised about the charge. During a hearing meeting between the Administrative Hearing Officer and the student, the student will be fully informed about the complaint and about the conduct review process, and will be asked to respond to the charges and provide whatever information he/she has about the case at hand. The student may choose to resolve the case immediately by acknowledging responsibility for the allegation as charged and accepting the decision of the Administrative Hearing Officer regarding sanctions. Otherwise, the Administrative Hearing Officer will listen to the student's statements, ask whatever clarifying questions they have, and in some cases continue to gather information from other sources (including, but not limited to: other students involved in the same incident(s); witnesses to the alleged incident(s); and reports from Campus Police or other members of the College community. The Administrative Hearing Officer will consider all of the available information, and reach a decision regarding whether the student is responsible for the allegation as charged; and if responsibility is determined, the Administrative Hearing Officer will then determine what (if any) sanctions will be imposed. If a student fails to respond to communications from an administrative hearing officer, or fails to meet with an administrative hearing officer, the case may be decided in his/her absence.
Conduct hearings are not open to the public. Only those individuals approved by the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs as having a direct relationship to a case may be present at a hearing. Students charged in a case may ask to have witnesses provide additional information, and the names of those witnesses should be submitted to the Administrative Hearing Officer assigned to the case.
At no time may legal counsel be present at a hearing (in any capacity). Hearings may not be taped or recorded. Written notes made during a hearing are kept in conduct files in the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs. Conduct files are educational records and are therefore covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Appeals of original decisions made by the Area Coordinators and/or the Director of Student Activities and/or other individuals designated to serve as Administrative Hearing Officers for less egregious cases, must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Student Affairs. The Dean must receive a student's appeal within five business days of the receipt of the letter from the Administrative Hearing Officer. The decision of the Dean of Student Affairs (or his designee) is final. Note: For purposes of the conduct system, a "business day" will be defined as a day when the offices of the College are open.
Appeals of original decisions made by the Conduct System Coordinator, the Director of Residential Life and the Dean of Student Affairs (or his designee), must be submitted in writing to the Vice President of Student Affairs within five business days of the receipt of the letter from the Administrative Hearing Officer. The decision of the Vice President (or her designee) is final. Should the Vice President of Student Affairs serve as an Administrative Hearing Officer for a case, appeals of original decisions made by the Vice President of Student Affairs (or her designee), must be submitted in writing to the President of Lasell College within five business days of the receipt of the letter from the Dean. The decision of the President (or his designee) is final.
Sanctions that may be imposed by Administrative Hearing Officers, the Dean of Student Affairs, the Vice President of Student Affairs and/or the President of Lasell College (or their designees) include (but are not limited to):
Reprimand - a written notice to a student describing the policy that he/she has violated and acknowledging that the student's violation will be kept in their conduct file.
Warning - a written notice to a student describing the policy that he/she has violated, outlining a specific time period during which the warning will be in effect, and indicating that future violations of any policy during the warning period will automatically result in more serious sanctioning.
Educational Sanctions - students may be required to attend an educational program or workshop series, do research about a specific topic, design and create bulletin boards, work with Residential Life staff on a program or project, meet with a counselor or staff person, and/or participate in some other form of community-based service which is educational in intent.
Community Probation - students placed on community probation will have a period of time designated to them during which any additional violations of College policy might result in the immediate suspension of their residential housing privileges and/or a restriction of their privileges regarding participation in activities and/or student organizations.
Conduct Probation - students placed on conduct probation will have a period of time designated to them during which any additional violations of College policy might result in suspension from the College.
Fines - students may have fines levied upon them ranging in amount from $50 and not usually exceeding $1000; the monies collected from conduct fines go directly into the general operating budget of the College, and do not revert to Student Affairs.
Restitution - students may be held responsible for any financial obligations resulting from damage / theft of personal property or College property.
Relocation within the residential system - students may be moved from their current housing assignment to another assignment.
Temporary or permanent revocation of residential housing privileges - students may be removed from the residential system for a specified period of time or permanently.
Suspension of activities privileges - students may have their opportunity to take part in some or all campus activities and/or their access to specific buildings abridged for a specified period of time or permanently.
Suspension from the College - students suspended from the College will not be able to pursue course work and will not be considered to be in "good standing" during the time of the suspension; after the designated period of the suspension, students may apply to be re-instated to the College (and if allowed to return, may be required to be on a conduct probationary status).
Dismissal from the College - students dismissed from the College will be permanently denied access to degree work.
Educational sanctions that are not completed by the prescribed date may result in a fine being levied in addition to, or in lieu of, the original sanction, and a letter or reprimand may be added to the original sanction. Fines and restitution payments which are not paid by the prescribed due date will be billed to the student's account with the College, an additional late fee may be levied, and a letter of reprimand may be added to the original sanction.
A student may appeal the decisions rendered in the Conduct System only if: 1) due process has not been observed; 2) new information has been identified that would significantly influence the case; and/or 3) the sanctions imposed are deemed to be inappropriately harsh. Appeals must be made in writing within five business days of receipt of the letter relating the outcome of the administrative hearing. Students will be informed in writing as to the status of their appeal. If an appeal is granted, the Vice President of Student Affairs (or her designee), or the President (or his designee), may require a meeting with the student submitting the appeal before rendering his/her final decision. NOTE: sanctions take effect immediately unless otherwise specified; if a sanction is successfully appealed the change takes effect at the time that decision is communicated in writing to the student.
The Conduct System is educational in nature and is intended to address student misconduct in accordance with Lasell College community expectations. As an educational experience, the participating student is expected to take responsibility for responding to the incident in question.
Lasell College students who are involved in the Conduct System as either a complainant or respondent, may receive counsel and support from a trained, professional staff member serving as a Conduct System Advisor. Most students are not familiar with the complexity of the Conduct System, and when their involvement in an incident brings them into contact with the Conduct System, it can feel overwhelming and confusing. The Conduct System Advisor can be a steadying support for such students, and assist students in the navigation of the Conduct System.
If a student is involved in a complaint as a respondent, and a case is assigned to an Administrative Hearing Officer, the student will be contacted to schedule a conduct hearing. At this time, the student is informed that a Conduct System Advisor is available to them. Students responding to a meeting request may also ask to be contacted by a Conduct System Advisor, normally within two business days of their response. NOTE: if a student is involved in an allegation of sexual misconduct, either as a complainant or respondent, he/she may identify any support person they wish to have available to them, and may also request the assistance of a Conduct System Advisor.
A student complainant may request the assistance of a Conduct System Advisor, related to an allegation of misconduct by another student, where the complainant is directly impacted by the alleged misconduct. A complainant may request a Conduct System Advisor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting the Office of Student Affairs at 617.243.2124.
In supporting a student complainant in the Conduct System, a Conduct System Advisor may serve in the following capacities: Meeting with a student to prepare for any Conduct System meetings, related to the case;
- Assisting a student in understanding Lasell College policies, and procedures attendant to the Conduct System;
- Helping a student to access appropriate College resources; and
- The Advisor will be able to update the complainant on the progress of a conduct case, and on any outcomes of the conduct hearing which will have a direct impact on the complainant.
In supporting a student respondent in the Conduct System, a Conduct System Advisor may serve in the following capacities:
- Meeting with a student in to prepare for the conduct hearing;
- Assisting a student in understanding Lasell College policies, and procedures attendant to the Conduct System;
- Helping a student to access appropriate College resources;
- The Advisor will be able to attend a student’s conduct hearing, but will not be permitted to actively participate in the hearing; and
- The Advisor will be available to assist a student until a final resolution of the conduct case is reached.
Note: As a “responsible employee,” Conduct System Advisors are among the individuals on the campus who are mandated to report allegations of sexual misconduct to the College’s Title IX Coordinator. Confidential services are available to students through the College’s Counseling Center and the Center for Spiritual Life.
Lasell College reserves the right to notify parents/guardians in certain situations when students violate College policies. Most specifically, this would include repeated or egregious alcohol policy violations, drug offenses and/or violations that jeopardize the student's continued association at the College.