As a member of the student body at LaGrange College, I confirm my commitment to the ideals of civility, diversity, service, and excellence, and will adhere to an honorable standard of conduct.

As an educational institution, the College is concerned not only with the formal in-class education of its students, but also with each student’s welfare and growth into mature individuals who conduct themselves responsibly as citizens.

Like the Honor Code, the Social Code is the responsibility of every student, faculty member, and staff member at LaGrange College. The Social Code attempts to instill in every member of the student body a sense of moral and community responsibility. As such, LaGrange College expects its students to adhere to community standards. Likewise, if someone fails to live up to these codes of conduct, the College expects students to report violations of the Social Code to the Social Council. In this way, students assume the obligation of upholding the integrity of their community and of ethically preparing themselves for the world beyond college.

 

Section I: Overview

As an institution whose mission is to challenge the mind and inspire the souls of its students, LaGrange College is committed to both the intellectual and ethical development of students. To promote moral development and ensure a safe environment conducive to learning, the College has established formal expectations for conduct as well as processes for resolving allegations of student misconduct. Like the Honor Code, promotion and enforcement of the Social Code is a community responsibility shared by students, faculty, and staff. Not only are community members expected to hold one another accountable for their behavior but known violations of the Social Code should be reported to the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students.

 

Section II: Jurisdiction

The College’s disciplinary procedures pertain to acts of misconduct allegedly committed by a student. For the purposes of this policy, a “student” means any person pursuing academic studies at the College; this includes: (a) a person not currently enrolled but who was enrolled in the fall, spring, or summer terms preceding the alleged violation; (b) a person who, while not currently enrolled, was previously enrolled at LaGrange College and who is reasonably anticipated to seek enrollment at a future date; (c) a person who has applied to or been accepted for admission to LaGrange College and has accepted an offer of admission or may reasonably be expected to enroll; or (d) a person enrolled in a LaGrange College program on a credit or non-credit basis.  For the purposes of this policy, individuals who are not currently enrolled at the College remain subject to the disciplinary process for conduct that occurred while they were enrolled as a student.

In general, the College’s jurisdiction for formally resolving allegations of misconduct is limited to instances that occur on College property. The College and/or Social Council may, however, initiate the disciplinary process against a student for prohibited conduct that occurs while the student is participating in off-campus activities sponsored by or affiliated with the College (e.g., field trips, Jan Term, internships, clinical assignments, a campus organization social) or for any conduct that is deemed to potentially threaten the health/safety of the campus or disrupt the learning environment of the College no matter where such behavior may occur.

College disciplinary action may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both criminal/civil law and College policy without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or arrest. The College’s disciplinary process may be initiated prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal/civil proceedings off campus, and any disciplinary sanctions reached under the College’s process will not be reevaluated based on the results of a criminal/civil legal proceeding.

 

Section III: Standards of Student Behavior

Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to disciplinary action under the Social Code (this list is offered to give students examples of misconduct covered by the Social Code, but it should not be considered all-inclusive). A student who assist or attempts to assist another student in violating these standards of behavior is subject to the same disciplinary process under the social code.

 

  1. Engages in conduct that is determined by the institution to violate any provision of federal, state, or local laws.
  2. Use, possession, or distribution of an illegal drug or narcotic, or possession of drug paraphernalia.
  3. Use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages. LaGrange College is a dry campus and, as such, possession of alcohol, even by students of legal drinking age, is prohibited. In addition, violations of state alcohol law (such as driving under the influence or public intoxication), whether on or off campus may be subject to College disciplinary action. Likewise, the display of alcohol bottles and/or paraphernalia (empty bottles, cans, funnels, kegs, etc.) is not allowed in residence halls rooms, even for display purposes. Students who are in the presence of students in the reasonable standard of being aware of a violation of the Alcohol Policy, are considered in violation themselves and will also be subjected to disciplinary action. Likewise, students whose roommates store alcohol in a common refrigerator or room are also subject to disciplinary action.
  4. Engages in conduct that would violate the College’s policy on weapons. LaGrange College is designated as a school safety zone, which means that it is prohibited to possess any explosive compound or weapon in or on any property owned or used by LaGrange College. This includes residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses on campus, and LC owned vehicles. In addition to being a school safety zone, the College is a gun free campus.

    Weapons come in many forms, and simply possessing one of these objects is a violation of College policy; the following items are prohibited from campus and College property:

    Pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind (this includes air soft, paintball, BB or pellet guns, potato guns and other such homemade devices) or the use, possession, or display of firearms, replicas or toy weapons, ammunition, explosives, weapons, or any other incendiary, explosive, or potentially destructive device, including fireworks.  Additional items that could constitute a violation of this policy include: Knife having a blade of two or more inches; Straight-edge razor or razor blade; spring stick, bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon; Nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken; Throwing star or oriental dart; and Stun gun or taser.

    Please remember that these are only a few examples of weapons that can be considered prohibited on campus. If you know of anyone who is in violation of this policy while on campus, let Campus Safety and/or Campus Life know immediately.

    Acknowledging that a student may want to have a tool to help increase personal safety, mace (or other personal protective spray) is permitted to be carried and used ONLY in a self-defense manner.  Any uses for mace outside of a self-defense tool is prohibited.
  5. Engages in inappropriate conduct, including, but not limited to, pranks, repeated contact of a harassing nature through a personal or electronic medium, and violent, berating or otherwise abusive behavior. Note that conduct deemed to meet the College’s threshold for sexual harassment will be resolved according to the institution’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  6. Behaves in a manner that impedes, interferes with, or disrupts any College teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary, public service, learning, or otherwise authorized activity.
  7. Behaves in a manner that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any student or employee of the College, or of visitors on campus.
  8. Damages, defaces, destroys, tampers with, or takes without authorization property of the College, property belonging to any student or employee of the College, or property of a visitor on campus.
  9. Uses, has unauthorized possession of, or provides others with unauthorized access to or use of College keys, access codes, and other access-restriction devices.
  10. Engages in activities that violate the College’s Hazing Policy as contained in this Student Handbook.
  11. Engages in unauthorized use of property, equipment, resources, supplies, buildings, or facilities owned or controlled by the College, including propping doors or unauthorized entry into property, buildings, or facilities owned or controlled by the College.
  12. Engages in surveillance or recording of any type without the subject’s knowledge or consent in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy and/or the broadcasting or distribution of such material.
  13. Gambling, including in the residence halls.
  14. Misuse, abuse, or tampering with fire safety equipment.
  15. When an individual uses fire or explosives to cause damage to a building, vehicle, ground, or other structure.
  16. Smoking (to include e-cigarettes and vaping) is prohibited inside all college property, including residence halls/college housing. Smoking closer than 50 feet of the entrance of a building is prohibited. It is also prohibited to use and/or have to hookah pipes (and any other hookah related items in the residence halls).
  17. Disruption of the student conduct process, including, but not limited to, failing to appear for a meeting when summoned, failing to appear at or testify at a hearing, attempting to harass, or unduly influence a potential witness or complainant, or failing to complete an assigned sanction.
  18. Violates any rule or regulation or administrative procedure of the College, including, but not limited to, the College’s housing regulations, parking regulations, or other administrative rules set by units such as the business office, athletics, and/or the library. Note that instances of sexual harassment and sexual violence will be resolved according to the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  19. Engages in a Bias Incident, the specific biases that give rise to action under the provision include only those listed and protected under the institution’s “Statement on Non-Discrimination.”  Note that instances of sexual harassment and sexual violence will be resolved according to the Sexual Misconduct policy.
  20. Furnishes false information to a College official or any vendor, volunteer, or contract employee working for or on behalf of the College.
  21. Failure to comply with the reasonable directions of a College official or any vendor, volunteer, or contract employee working for or on behalf of the College. Among others, this includes failure to present College identification or other forms of identification.

 

Section IV: Interim Action

Pending an administrative resolution or Social Council hearing, if the continuing presence of the student poses a potential danger to persons or property or a potential threat of disrupting the academic process or any activity authorized by the College, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or designee may take such immediate interim disciplinary action as is appropriate to the circumstances. Appropriate actions include, but are not limited to, suspending the right of the person to live in campus residence halls, suspending the right to attend one or more academic classes, barring contact with another individual, removal from a campus group or organization, cancellation of trips associated with the College, or otherwise altering the status of the student. In situations where it is deemed that the student should be removed from campus completely, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students will proceed under the College’s Administrative Withdrawal Policy.

In situations where a student is subject to Interim Action, the student shall have the ability to meet with the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students to discuss the allegation within three business days of receiving notification of the Interim Disciplinary Action. Following this meeting, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students may remove the Interim Disciplinary Action and/or schedule a formal administrative resolution conference or Social Council Hearing within 14 days of this meeting. Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students may also request any psychological testing or other documentation as a requirement of attending the administrative resolution conference or Social Council Hearing; the student, likewise, will be required to provide a release allowing the College access to the assessment report and access to the treatment provider.  Typically, all expenses associated with assessment of a student’s mental, emotional, or physical state as part of the Interim Action process are the responsibility of the student.  The College, however, reserves the right to, even in the situation of a second opinion, to require an assessment that is paid by the College with a treatment professional selected by the institution. Should the student fail to attend the called meeting with the Vice President & Dean of Students, the Interim Disciplinary Action will remain in effect until the incident is closed through the College’s disciplinary procedures or the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students may seek removal from campus under the College’s Administrative Withdrawal Policy.

 

Section V: Resolution Procedures

Allegations that a student has potentially violated the Social Code may come from other students, College faculty/staff, city officials, community members, or other individuals associated with the   institution. Upon receipt of an allegation, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or delegate will review the allegation to determine if the alleged behavior violates one or more College policies. Either prior to or after opening a disciplinary case, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate may conduct an investigation into the matter that may involve requests for documentation or personal interviews with individuals involved. If a disciplinary case is opened, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate will determine to either make a direct referral to the Social Council or call an administrative conference with the student.

  1. Administrative Conference / Administrative Resolution
  1. If an administrative conference is called, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students will determine if the case is to be heard by the Dean or a Dean’s. The Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate will contact the student by phone or via an e-mail sent to the student’s College account informing them to schedule a meeting. In a situation where a student misses multiple scheduled meetings with the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate, a hold may be placed on the student’s account and, if further lack of contact is made, the student may be referred to the Social Council.
  2. In an administrative conference, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate will inform the student(s) of the allegation against them and offer the student(s) a chance to present evidence on their behalf. The Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate may then elect to call another meeting to allow time for further investigation or make a determination on responsibility. If the preponderance of evidence does not support a finding of responsibility, the matter will be dismissed without disciplinary action. If the preponderance of evidence supports a finding that the student is responsible for the alleged act of misconduct, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate will offer the student a written administrative resolution that outlines the determination and the sanction deemed appropriate. The student may then choose to accept the administrative resolution by signing the document and that by signing, the student must follow and comply with all sanctions, and the matter is considered closed with no appeal rights available. The student has the right to a hearing before the Social Council should they disagree with the determination of the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate and choose not to sign the administrative resolution. 
  1. Social Council Hearing
  1. When a Social Council hearing is to be held, the Social Council President will contact the accused student via an e-mail to the student’s College account informing the student of: (a) the allegation against the student, including the date of the alleged incident, if known, and the specific violations under consideration during the hearing, and (b) the date, time, and place of the hearing.
  2. Admission of Responsibility: In the case that a student elects to admit violating College policy to the Social Council President, this honorable act will result in an outcomes hearing, where the student is required to attend (and where any referring or impacted party could also attend). The outcomes hearing will permit the student and impacted parties to discuss potential outcomes.  The Social Council will then evaluate the entire situation in issuing appropriate sanctions.
  3. Denial of Responsibility: If a student denies violating College policy, a formal hearing will be conducted. During the hearing, the President (or alternate) of the Social Council serves as chair of the hearing, ascertaining that all evidence and witnesses are produced. During the hearing, the Social Council presents the evidence supporting the allegation (typically in the form a referral submitted by the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate) and provides the accused student an opportunity to present evidence in their own behalf. At its discretion, the Social Council may call in the referring party (including the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate, if appropriate) or other witnesses listed in the referral to gather information about the situation. Following the introduction of evidence, the Social Council will determine if they have sufficient evidence to render a decision. If insufficient evidence exists, the Social Council may request a continuation of the hearing and dictate what evidence they require the accused student to present at a hearing to be called on a later date. If sufficient evidence exists, the Social Council will take a vote to determine whether the preponderance of evidence supports a finding of responsibility.

    A simple majority vote of the Social Council members present during the hearing (the chair only votes when there is a tie) will determine the responsibility of the accused student. If the preponderance of evidence does not support a finding of responsibility, the matter is dismissed without disciplinary action. If the preponderance of evidence supports a finding of responsibility, the Social Council will take another majority vote (with the chair only voting when there is a tie) to assign an appropriate sanction or sanctions.
  4. Although the accused student may learn the Social Council’s decision immediately following the hearing, a letter outlining the decision (and any sanctions if issued) will be supplied to the student following the hearing. Although the Social Council has final authority in issuing a sanction in a Social Council hearing, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students or Delegate will oversee the administrative functions associated with completion of the sanction.
  5. The accused student has the right to be accompanied by a silent advisor during the hearing. This advisor will be excused from the hearing if this person attempts to speak or advocate on behalf of the student in any way. The advisor must be a current student, faculty member or staff member of the College.
  6. If an accused student chooses not to participate in a hearing or fails to appear for a hearing after proper notice, the Social Council may either elect to reschedule the hearing or conduct the hearing in absentia without the student’s presence.

  1. Appeal

    After a Social Council decision is reached, either the student found responsible or the referring party may appeal the finding, the sanction, or both. This appeal must be made in writing and submitted to the College Vice President for Academic Affairs within seven weekdays of receiving notification of the finding. The appeal must specify the exact grounds for the appeal and include all supporting evidence; grounds for seeking and granting an appeal include: (a) new evidence not available at the time of the hearing; (b) errors in process; (c) errors in interpretation; (d) findings or sanctions that are clearly erroneous or disproportionate to the offence. A determination on the appeal will be made by the Social Council Appeals Board, consisting of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the President of the Faculty Assembly, the SGA Parliamentarian, the Social Council appeals representative, and student at-large selected by the Social Council President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In the case of conflict of interest, any individual above may be replaced by an appropriate alternate, decided by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Appeals Board may uphold the decision in full, dismiss all findings, amend the decision with amended sanctions as listed in Section VI, or remand the decision for another hearing before the Social Council with the addition of new evidence not heard in the original hearing.  The ultimate decision of the Social Council Appeals Board is final.

 

Section VI: Sanctions

The Social Council, the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students, or Delegate may assign sanctions to students found responsible for violations of the Social Code. Sanctions are intended to be educational in nature. Failure to comply with sanctions could result in additional disciplinary charges and/or a hold being placed on the student’s records and registration. Although not an exhaustive list, the following are examples of sanctions that may be applied:

  1. Status Sanctions – these are often base sanctions determined by the severity of the misconduct or the repeated nature of such actions and they are typically accompanied by one or more of the active sanctions listed below.

  1. Written Reprimand – Often used for first offenses or less severe behavior, a reprimand reflects that the conduct is not supported by the College’s mission and indicates that more severe sanctions may follow if the conduct is repeated.
  2. Disciplinary Probation – A DP status sanction is issued for a specific period of time (typically a semester or year) and indicates that, should similar or other misconduct occur within this timeframe, more severe sanctions, including suspension or expulsion, will likely follow.
  3. Deferred Suspension – Deferred Suspension is used in situations where the conduct is severe enough to justify suspension from the institution but mitigating circumstances exist to permit the student an opportunity to correct behavior; a student who has any further disciplinary issues while on deferred suspension will almost always be immediately suspended from the institution or expelled. Like Disciplinary Probation, Deferred Suspension is imposed for a certain period of time, may be contingent on the student completing additional requirements, such as active sanctions, as a condition of remaining on deferred suspension.
  4. Suspension/Revocation of Privileges – Either the temporary or permanent removal of privileges entitled to LaGrange College students; these include, but are not limited to, ability to hold office for membership in a club or organization, representing the College during events, operating a vehicle on College property, entering campus buildings, living in campus residence halls, attending a particular class, or participating in a varsity sport.
  5. Suspension from the Institution – A student suspended from the Institution is barred for a designated period of time from entering College property without written permission from the Vice President & Dean of Student Engagement. Students suspended for two consecutive academic periods (g., fall semester and summer sessions – or – spring semester and interim period) will have to reapply to gain readmission to the College. Students who are suspended will immediately (and by no later than 48 hours) need to vacate campus and their residence hall rooms, even, if deemed necessary, on an interim basis during the appeal period.
  6. Expulsion – A student expelled from the Institution is permanently barred from entering College property without written permission from the Vice President for Student Engagement & Dean of Students. Students who are expelled will immediately (and by no later than 48 hours) need to vacate campus and their residence hall rooms, even on an interim basis during the appeal period.
  7. Rescind Admission or Revocation of Degree – The College has the authority to rescind an offer of admission or revoke an issued degree for conduct that is sufficiently severe to warrant such action.

 

  1. Active Sanctions
  1. Educationally based assignments (such as, but not limited to, on-line alcohol or drug modules, reflection papers, or research assignments). The student will bear any costs associated with required sanctions.
  2. Community/College service.
  3. Fines
  4. Withholding of grades, official transcript, and/or degree.
  5. Bar against readmission, bar against enrollment, withdrawal from the College or a period of enrollment, and/or drop from one or more classes.
  6. Restitution to the College for damage to College property (the College will not mandate restitution between students).
  7. Referrals to other College units or outside agencies (g., counseling, anger management, drug/alcohol treatment, spiritual guidance, etc.). Some referrals may be for mandated assessments where the student will sign a release permitting the College access to the assessment report and treating professional, while other referrals will just require proof of a meeting/intervention. The students will bear any costs associated with required assignments or interventions.
  8. Denial of degree.
  9. Other sanctions deemed appropriate.

Section VII: Selection of the Social Council

The Social Council is responsible for interpreting the Standards of Student Behavior and other policies found in the Student Handbook; likewise, the Social Council is responsible for taking actions when these standards and policies have been violated.

The Social Council shall consist of at least six voting members and one non-voting chair. Students interested in serving as a Social Council representative will submit an application to the Student Engagement office. A Selection Committee will select a roster of worthy representatives from among the applicants.

Student applicants must be enrolled full-time in the semester for which they serve and must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.6. Additionally, all applicants and members of the Social Council must be in good disciplinary standing.

The President of the Social Council will be elected by the representatives of the Social Council. Another member of the Social Council will be elected by the Social Council representatives to serve as the Recording Secretary and Appeal Board representative; that representative will not vote at Social Council hearings.

Each hearing conducted by the Social Council will be comprised of panel of the membership of the Council. The panel shall consist of at least four members, one of which must serve as chair of the panel. The chair of the panel will only vote in the case of a tie. Hearings will be recorded for review during deliberation and appeal. Once the deadline for appeal has passed, or a final decision by the appeal board is made, the recording will be destroyed.

The Social Council will be served by two Faculty Advisors, appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Faculty advisors will serve a minimum of two years with the Social Council, alternating their resignation years so that the Social Council always has the presence of an experienced advisor. Faculty Advisors have the right to resign at any time. The Social Council may request a new advisor by unanimous vote.

The Social Council must participate in a least two annual trainings (one held each semester). Additionally, Council members will be required to sign a Confidentiality Form annually. Social Council hearing panel members will be required to disclose any conflicts of interest prior to serving on any panel for a disciplinary hearing. Social Council members may be removed from the Council by a majority vote of members of the Council, and any member found to violate confidentiality may be subject to disciplinary action by the College.

 

Section VIII: Maintenance of Records

Records of hearings of the Social Council will be kept in a locked cabinet in a secure location; hearing referrals and decision letters will also be maintained in individual student disciplinary files kept in the Vice President & Dean of Student Engagement’s office. The Social Council should publish non-identifiable, summary information regarding its actions on a regular basis to help inform the College community of its activity.

 

Note on Accommodations

Reasonable changes or accommodations in its proceedings will be made upon request and documentation, particularly for students with disabilities, but all students – regardless of accommodations or disabilities – are still required to comply with the Social Code and other college rules and regulations. The Social Council will work with the College’s disability coordinator on requests for accommodations.