Student Conduct Process

This document serves as an extension of the Community Standards for Students, and provides an overview on Carleton's student conduct process, with special emphasis on social misconduct. For more detailed information about student conduct, social misconduct, sexual misconduct, or academic honesty and personal integrity, please review the community policies in the Campus Handbook

Student Conduct Philosophy

Carleton students, as members of a residential community dedicated to learning, should act responsibly and respectfully, and hold themselves and others accountable. The student conduct system at Carleton is guided by the community standards policy and addresses violations through a private, consistent, yet individualized process. Education and the development of the whole person is a guiding principle and recognizes students are developing skills and knowledge that should assist them to make positive life choices. Therefore, follow-up and sanctions associated with violations of community standards encourage students to reflect intentionally on incidents, identify areas for personal growth, and use campus and/or community resources to support this growth.

Responses to Alleged Violations of College Policy      

Incident reports are typically made by Security Officers and Residential Life staff. However, any member of the Carleton College community may file a report by filling out a Community Concern Form. The Dean of Students Office determines who will follow up with the student(s). As part of the investigation the staff member determines whether the alleged violation is an act of academic dishonesty and personal integrity, sexual misconduct, or social misconduct.

Informal Response

The system of response to allegations of student misconduct is an educational one. The very nature of a residential college creates opportunities and challenges for young adults living in community, some for the first time. It is not unusual for young adults in this situation to, on occasion, exercise poor judgments, act insensitively or without thinking, or engage in inappropriate behaviors. Consequently, many minor incidents (e.g., excessive noise, roommate conflicts) are handled informally through conflict resolution, mediation, restorative justices, or simple agreements that the parties involved will cease and desist a certain conduct. Many minor incidents are resolved with the assistance of peer leaders or Student Life staff. Such cases usually do not result in official disciplinary records or sanctions, but may be introduced at a later date if patterns of unacceptable behavior emerge.

Formal Disciplinary Action

When it is neither possible nor appropriate to resolve a conflict or disciplinary matter informally, the alleged violation is forwarded to the Dean of Students Office for action by Student Life staff (e.g., Area Director, Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Community Standards, Title IX Coordinator, and/or Security). There are three major categories of violations, each with a separate and distinct method of resolution: social misconduct, academic honesty and personal integrity, and sexual misconduct. The rest of this document will only focus on social misconduct. Please review the complete Community Standards for Students for more detailed information about the processes of both academic honesty and personal integrity and sexual misconduct.

As mentioned previously, when an incident is forwarded to the Dean of Students Office, a member of the Student Life Staff is assigned to follow-up with the incident. This will most likely require all students involved in the incident to meet with a member of the Student Life Staff to discuss the incident and provide information leading to its resolution. The role of the Student Life staff member is to determine if the incident has violated any tenets of the Community Standards for Students. If a student is found responsible for a violation, sanctions may be imposed. Many instances of social misconduct occur in or near the residence halls. For most incidents that occur in these locations, the Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Community Standards will assign a member of the Office of Residential Life (e.g., Area Director, Associate Director of Residential Life, or Director of Residential Life) to review and make a determination of responsibility. 

Sanctions for Social Misconduct

Disciplinary sanctions may be administered to students in violation of Community Standards for Students. Disciplinary sanctions may also be imposed upon groups and organizations as well as individuals. More than one sanction may be imposed at one time. Please note that when determining sanctions, every case is viewed individually, and any prior violations of Community Standards for Students will be taken into consideration.

  • Censure and Warning: Written notification that the student's behavior is unacceptable and that continuation or repetition of such conduct may result in more severe disciplinary action.
  • Residential Probation: Students are put on residential probation after repetitive violations or blatant disregard for the broader residential community.
  • Disciplinary Probation: A written reprimand including a statement that any further violation of College policy may result in suspension or expulsion.
  • Interim Suspension: Immediate separation from the College for a period defined by the Dean of Students to: (1) ensure safety and well-being of people and property, or (2) prevent disruption or interference of normal operations of the College.
  • Suspension: Termination of a student's enrollment at the College for a specified period of time. This may also include restricting access to campus or College events during the suspension.
  • Expulsion: Permanent termination of enrollment, including no further access to campus or any College events without written approval from the Dean of Students. 
  • Restitution: Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. At the discretion of Student Life Staff, this may take the form of work, community service, or other compensation such as service to the College community.
  • Life Safety Fines: Any violations of community standards that could pose a threat to individual’s lives. Fines will be assessed based on the severity of the violation.
  • Chemical Health Assessment: Performed by a qualified chemical dependency counselor for the purpose of determining possible patterns of abuse. The student is encouraged to follow the treatment recommendation(s) provided by the counselor.
  • Revocation of Privileges: Exclusion from college housing, lose right to host events/gatherings in residence hall spaces, participation in extracurricular college activities or removal from other activities (e.g.,  participation in an off-campus program.)
  • Other: Student Life Staff may choose to administer a sanction not mentioned above, in line with the student conduct philosophy.

Appeals for Social Misconduct Violations

For violations of the Community Standards for Students that are adjudicated by a member of the Residential Life Staff, the Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Community Standards is responsible for reviewing appeals. If a student wishes to appeal either a finding of responsibility or specific sanctions, they must request an appeal to the Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Community Standards within 7 days of the date of the conduct meeting by contacting the Dean of Students Office at extension 4075. For more information about the appeals process, please view the Community Standards for Students.

Please note that a violation of any of the Carleton Community Standards may result in residential probation or disciplinary probation dependent on the frequency of violation and impact on other community members. Also, it is always possible for additional requirements beyond those listed above to be given to students when there is a violation of community standards.