Community Standards

Mission

The Office of Community Standards promotes the Student Code of Conduct to ensure that Springfield College is a safe and educationally-based community to learn. Community Standards provide students with reflective and developmental opportunities to educate the whole person in spirit, mind, and body to promote student accountability and individualized success. Through the process, the Office of Community Standards promotes a supportive and understanding environment.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of participating in the community standards process, students will be able to:

  • Recognize the value of The Springfield College Student Handbook
  • Understand the administrative hearing process, including how information is shared
  • Articulate the impact of decision-making on themselves and their community
  • Identify ways to develop behavior so that it does not negatively impact themselves or the community in the future

Student Handbook

Student with a message about being kind

Understanding the Administrative Hearing Process

If a student is alleged to have violated one or more of the College’s Code of Conduct policies, they will be scheduled to meet with a college official who serves as an administrative hearing officer for the Community Standards process.

The student will be notified by College e-mail of their administrative hearing date, time, and location at least 24 hours in advance.

If a student neglects to attend a scheduled administrative hearing, it may continue as scheduled in the student’s absence. Students who fail to attend their hearings will forfeit the ability to appeal the finding(s) and sanction(s) in the case. If a student does not attend the administrative hearing, a decision will be rendered without their input.

 The purpose of the administrative hearing will be to:

 hear about the incident from the student’s perspective;

 share what information we have received;

 answer the student's questions about the process;

  explain the College’s standard of proof;

   review possible sanctions, and how the hearing officer will notify the student of their decision (the outcome of your hearing) decision letter;

  and discuss future decision-making.

An Administrative Hearing Officer may elect to appoint an observer or scribe to serve as a note-taker during a College administrative hearing. The observer or scribe must be a College Administrative Hearing Officer. The observer or scribe cannot be a witness or an adviser. The observer or scribe may participate in the College administrative hearing but will not be allowed to determine the decision of the case.

Accommodations: If the student has a documented disability that significantly impacts their ability to participate in an administrative hearing, they may request a reasonable accommodation to facilitate participation. Follow the link to request disability-related accommodations through the Academic Success Center's Disability and Accessibility Services (DAS), which may include submitting documentation from a qualified medical professional to verify the disability and/or the disability-related need for the accommodation. Additional information about disability-related accommodations can be found at Disability and Accessibility Services. DAS will make a determination regarding the request, will notify the appropriate parties, and will assist in the coordination of auxiliary aids and services, as needed.

 Advisers: A responding student and/or complainant may elect to be accompanied and counseled by an adviser at a College administrative hearing. An adviser will not be allowed to question witnesses, object to statements or procedures, or to present arguments, and their role shall be limited to quietly and unobtrusively advising only the responding student in whispers or by written note. Any conduct of an adviser in violation of these conditions in the opinion of the hearing officer, may result in the immediate removal of that adviser, and the continuation of the administrative hearing without the presence of that adviser. Parents, guardians, and/or family members of a student, regardless of their relationship with the College, are not permitted to be present at any administrative hearing; however, with the consent of the student, the hearing officer will meet the with parents, guardians, and/or family members to discuss the process and case. Additionally, students who are witnesses to an incident or are involved in the same student conduct matter, cannot serve as advisers. If a student plans on bringing an adviser, they must notify the Office of Community Standards at (413) 748-3922, or fill out this form, at least 24 hours in advance of their scheduled hearing.

Helpful Links

Adviser

A responding student and/or complainant may elect to be accompanied and counseled by an adviser at a College administrative hearing. 

An adviser will not be allowed to examine witnesses, object to statements or procedures, or to present arguments, and their role shall be limited to quietly and unobtrusively advising only the responding student in whispers or by written note. Any conduct of an adviser in violation of these conditions in the opinion of the hearing officer, may result in the immediate removal of that adviser, and the continuation of the administrative hearing without the presence of that adviser. 

Parents, guardians, and/or family members of a student, regardless of their relationship with the College, are not permitted to be present at any administrative hearing; however, with the consent of the student, the hearing officer will meet the with parents, guardians, and/or family members to discuss the process and case. Additionally, students who are witnesses to an incident or are involved in the same student conduct matter, cannot serve as advisers. 

If you plan on bringing an adviser, you must notify the Office of Community Standards at (413) 748-3922 or by following this link, at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled hearing. 

Notify the Office that you are bringing an adviser

Accommodations

If you have a documented disability that significantly impacts your ability to participate in an administrative hearing, you may request a reasonable accommodation to facilitate participation. 

Follow the appropriate process to request disability-related accommodations through the Academic Success Center's Disability and Accessibility Services (DAS), which may include submitting documentation from a qualified medical professional to verify the disability and/or the disability-related need for the accommodation. You may also follow the link on the administrative hearing letter which will provide you access to the proper form. 

DAS will make a determination regarding the request, will notify the appropriate parties, and will assist in the coordination of auxiliary aids and services, as needed.

Request accommodations

Appeal

Every student has the right to ask for reconsideration of a decision determined by any Hearing Officer. Appeals are confined to a review of the case file based on one or more of the pertinent grounds for appeal described below. Appeals are not intended to re-hear the allegations or to constitute a de novo review of the case. 

Absent clear and material error, appeals determinations are intended to be deferential to the original hearing officer. Findings should be revised by the appeal officer only when returning the case for reconsideration by the original hearing officer or granting a new hearing would be insufficient, impractical, or unnecessary. Sanctions will be revised by the appeal officer only if there is a compelling justification to do so. 

An appeal must be submitted within three (3) business days after the decision letter is delivered to the student's Springfield College email account. An appeal may be made solely on the grounds of: 

  1. Error in the charge and/or hearing process that has materially affected the outcome (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.); or 
  2. New information that could not have been discovered prior to the hearing through the exercise of reasonable diligence and that would have materially affected the outcome. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included in the written appeal. 

The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee shall act as the appeal officer. The appeal must be submitted electronically and must clearly and succinctly outline and explain how one or both of the specific grounds described above have been met. The party submitting the appeal has the burden of demonstrating how the above grounds have been met. After reviewing the written appeal(s), written statement(s), and associated case file, the appeal officer will take one of the following actions: 

  1. Reject the appeal as untimely or improper based on the grounds articulated above. 
  2. Uphold the original decision and/or sanction. 
  3. Grant the appeal and: 
    1. Return the case with specific instructions to the original hearing officer or hearing body for further consideration;
    2. Modify the sanction(s) by reducing or enhancing the sanction(s). A rationale will be provided by the appeal officer when a sanction is modified. All decisions made by the Appeal Officer are final and not subject to further appeal. 

Submit an Appeal

Sanction Completion

Students who must turn in an education paper as part of their sanction may upload it here. Please fill out this form in its entirety. If you have trouble with the completion of this document, please email communitystandards@springfieldcollege.edu.

All documents must be in PDF format and no larger than 1GB.

After submission, please allow up to three (3) business days for your documentation to be updated.

Upload Your Paper

Medical Amnesty FAQs

What is medical amnesty? 

  • Medical amnesty will be applied in place of a “responsible” or “not responsible” finding,  during an administrative hearing. Medical Amnesty will be applied when a student seeks medical treatment for themself or others due to ingestion of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • When medical amnesty is applied, the student will not face disciplinary sanctions for a code of conduct violation, but educational sanctions may be applied.
  • The administrative hearing is not disclosed on background checks to outside entities when medical amnesty is applied. 

How does a student get medical amnesty?

  • The student, or someone on their behalf, must actively seek medical attention from a College official (resident assistant, resident director, police, etc.), not from a friend, equipped to assess the situation. The person actively seeking medical attention from a College official must then stay with the impaired student for medical amnesty to be applied.
  • A student found dangerously intoxicated and/or under the influence of drugs by a College official will not qualify for medical amnesty.
  • A student does not need to “claim” medical amnesty; if the incident began with a person actively seeking help, medical amnesty would automatically apply.

What happens when a student receives medical amnesty?

  • College officials are committed to engaging students in learning from incidents that lead to medical amnesty. The administrative hearing process will provide the student with a meeting with Student Affairs to discuss the report and follow-up steps that may include alcohol or substance use education.

Who receives medical amnesty?

  • The student who needed assistance and the person assisting, if applicable.

How many times can someone receive medical amnesty?

  • A student who needs assistance due to being dangerously intoxicated, and/or under the influence of drugs on more than one occasion, may be subject to disciplinary action on more than one occasion.