Code of Conduct
The following enumerated rights which are deemed necessary to achieve the educational goals of the College are guaranteed to each student within the limitations of statutory law and College policy.
- A student shall have the right to participate in a free and civil exchange of ideas.
- Students shall be treated on an equal basis in all areas and activities of the College regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.
- A student has the right to personal privacy except as otherwise provided by law, and in accordance with other College policies, and this will be observed by students and College authorities alike.
- Each student shall be free from disciplinary action by college officials for violations of civil and criminal law off campus, except when such a violation is determined also to be a violation of the provision regarding off-campus conduct in the Student Code of Conduct and College policies.
- Each student subject to disciplinary action arising from violations of the Student Code of Conduct and College policies shall be assured procedural due process.
- Students’ academic rights include competent instruction for full-allotted time and sufficient assignments graded fairly and promptly to inform the student of academic standing.
- A student has the responsibility to respect the rights and property of others, including other students, the faculty, the administration, and the staff.
- A student has the responsibility to be fully acquainted with the published College policies and to comply with them and the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- A student has the responsibility to recognize that student actions reflect upon the individuals involved and upon the entire College community.
- A student has the responsibility to recognize the College’s obligation to provide an environment for learning.
Student Code of Conduct
Interpretation of Regulations
Disciplinary regulations of the College are set forth in writing in order to give students general prohibitive conduct. The regulations should be read broadly and are not designed to define misconduct in exhaustive terms. In addition, alleged violations of local, state, and federal laws may constitute a violation of the College’s Student Code of Conduct. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct may be grounds for disciplinary action.
Article I. Definitions
- The term “College” means Springfield College.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the College, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the College or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered “students” as are persons who are living in College residence halls, although not enrolled in this institution. This Student Code of Conduct does apply at all locations of the College.
- The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the College to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by the College to be a member of its faculty.
- The term “College official” includes any person employed by the College, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
- The term “member of the College community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, College official, or any other person employed by the College. A person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Office of Human Resources and/or the Office of Registration and Records.
- The term “College premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the College (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
- The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements of College recognition.
- The term “Administrative Hearing Officer” means a College official authorized on a case-by-case basis by the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs to hear cases regarding alleged violations of College policies and/or regulations and to impose sanctions upon any student(s) found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
- The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs is the person designated by the College President to be responsible for the administration of the Student Code of Conduct and the Vice President for Student Affairs has designated the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs to administer the code.
- The term “policy” means the written regulations of the College as found in, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct, Residence Life Handbook, the College website and computer use policy, and Graduate/Undergraduate Catalogs.
- The term “complainant” means any person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated this Student Code of Conduct. When a student believes that s/he has been a victim of another student’s misconduct, the student who believes s/he has been a victim will have the same rights under this Student Code of Conduct as are provided to the complainant, even if another member of the College community submitted the charge itself.
- The term “respondent” means any student who is responding to allegations of violation of College policy, the Student Code of Conduct and/or Housing and Residence Life policies.
- The term “business day” means any day, Monday through Friday, during which the College is open for business.
Article II. Student Code of Conduct Authority
- The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, as the chief student conduct officer for the College, shall identify and train Administrative Hearing Officers and determine which Administrator shall be authorized to hear each matter.
- The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs shall develop policies for the administration of the student conduct system and procedural rules for the conduct of Administrative Hearings that are consistent with provisions of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Decisions made by an Administrative Hearing Officer are be final, pending the appeal process detailed in Article V below.
Article III. Proscribed Conduct
A. Jurisdiction of the College Student Code of Conduct
The College Student Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on College premises, at College-sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the College community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment (and even if their conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded). The withdrawal/leave of absence process cannot be completed if there is a pending judicial matter. The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, or his/her designee, shall decide whether the Student Code of Conduct shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case by case basis, in his/her sole discretion.
B. Conduct-Rules and Regulations
Any student alleged to have violated one or more of the College policies, Code of Conduct policies and/or Housing and Residence Hall policies is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article VI, if found responsible for one or more of the charges.
C. Violation of Law and College Policy/Regulation
- College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and this Student Code of Conduct (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the tendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this Student Code of Conduct shall not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of College rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.
- When a student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a violation of law, the College will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also being processed under the Student Code of Conduct, the College may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Student Code of Conduct and of how such matters are typically handled within the College community. The College will attempt to cooperate with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators (provided that the conditions do not conflict with campus rules or sanctions). Individual students and other members of the College community, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives as they deem appropriate.
Article IV Code of Conduct Procedures
If you alleged to have violated one or more of the College’s Code of Conduct policies, you will be scheduled to meet with a college official who serves as an administrative hearing officer for our Community Standards process and you will be notified via College e-mail of your meeting date, time, and location.
The meeting will be approximately 30-45 minutes and will cover the following:
- To hear about the incident from your perspective;
- To share what information we have received;
- To answer the student’s questions about the process;
- To explain the College’s standard of proof;
- To review possible sanctions and how the hearing officer will notify you of their decision (the outcome of your hearing) decision letter;
- To review the appeal process; and
- To discuss future decision-making.
Within 3-5 business days of your meeting, you will receive an outcome letter, via email, that details all pertinent information regarding the hearing officer’s decision including but not limited to, the findings for each charge (responsible or not responsible), sanctions, and a link to the appeal process.
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:
- Error in the charge and/or hearing process that has materially affected the outcome (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.);
- 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 Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee shall act as the appeal officer. The appeal must be submitted electronically via the appeal form link included in your outcome letter and must clearly and succinctly outline and explain how 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:
- Reject the appeal as untimely or improper based on the grounds articulated above.
- Uphold the original decision and/or sanction.
- Grant the appeal and:
- Return the case with specific instructions to the original hearing officer or hearing body for further consideration;
- 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.
Article VI. Community Standards Sanctions
The purpose of the College’s Community Standards process is to be both educational and corrective, but can be punitive when deemed necessary. The Community Standards process is intended to make clear to the student the limits of acceptable behavior and to give students who violate the Code of Conduct an opportunity to more fully understand the expectations of being a member of the Springfield College community. The consequences for students and/or organizations found responsible and/or complicit in a violation may include a combination of interventions. Failure to complete assigned consequences may result in the student’s record being placed on hold (Community Standards Hold) which can prevent registration, participation in the room selection process, release of grades/transcripts, participation in graduation, and/or the granting of a degree. The consequences/sanctions include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Written Warning of Violation of Code of Conduct: An official written notice of the College’s disapproval of a student’s actions indicating that any future violation will be dealt with more severely.
- Restriction: Temporary or permanent loss of privileges or the use of or participation in a College facility, program, or service.
- Intervention: Educational or informative workshops, events, reflective or research papers, meetings, counseling sessions, or activities related to the violation or incident.
- Monetary Fines: A disciplinary fine that is placed on the student’s account. Note: Standard fines include $50.00 for a first alcohol offense, $100 for a first drug offense and $100.00 for a second alcohol or drug offense. Other violations may warrant the consequence of a greater or lesser fine depending on the policy and the circumstances.
- Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage or injury made payable to the affected party
- Probation: Official notice that any further/future violations are likely to result in suspension or expulsion from the College. A student on probation may not be permitted to serve in select leadership positions in student organizations and may experience additional restrictions and loss of privileges from varying programs and events as specified in the policies of such activities.
- Interim Action: Interventions and/or restrictions issued by the assistant vice president for student affairs or his/her designee at his/her discretion prior to the adjudication of a conduct case that could include, but are not limited to, interim suspension, limitation of access to designated College facilities and/or residence halls by time and location, limitation of privilege to engage in specified College activities and/or reassignment to alternate housing pending the outcome of the Community Standards process.
- Interim Suspension: A denial of access to the residence hall(s), to the campus (including academic classes), and/or to all other College activities or events, which the student might otherwise be eligible to participate in or attend. Note: Interim Suspensions are issued prior to adjudication of a student conduct case by the assistant vice president for student affairs or his/her designee. Interim suspension may be imposed: 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; or c) if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the College. The interim suspension does not replace the regular process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through an Administrative Hearing, if required. However, the student will be notified in writing of this action and the reasons for the suspension. The notice will include the time, date, and place of a subsequent hearing at which the student may show cause why his or her continued presence on the campus does not constitute a threat.
- Suspension: A complete separation from all College classes, activities, events, services, facilities, grounds and campus property (including College owned houses in the adjacent neighborhoods) for a specific period of time and/or until specific conditions are met. Any violation of these terms will result in additional action up to and including expulsion. Suspensions are immediate regardless of the timing of the academic year, unless otherwise specified.
- Expulsion: Complete and permanent termination of the student’s relationship with the College. This termination pertains to all classes, activities, services, facilities, grounds, and precludes any future enrollment in the College’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools.
The information provided below is to highlight possible consequences for typical policy violations of the Code of Conduct and is not absolute; individual circumstances will be reviewed in detail before a decision is rendered. Aggravating factors will also be considered.
|Underage possession or use of alcohol with no aggravating factors||Written Warning of Violation of Code of Conduct, Think About It (online education module), and/or Alcohol Policy Reaction Paper|
|Underage possession or use of alcohol with aggravating factors (such as conduct history, amount of alcohol, other minor violations)||$100 fine, probation, Deferred Loss of Housing, Alcohol Education Class and Reflection paper, parent/guardian notification|
|Hospital transport for alcohol abuse||Parent/guardian notification, probation (any further violation of the Code of Conduct will likely result in college suspension), AOD counseling referral, $100 fine, and/or BASICS|
|Underage possession or use of alcohol with significant aggravating factors (three or more alcohol violations; alcohol violation with violence of assault associated)||$100 fine, removal from housing or college suspension, parent/guardian notification, AOD assessment and referral to out- r inpatient treatment and/or BASICS|
|DUI/DWI||$100 fine, suspension and/or AOD assessment and treatment plan, parent/guardian notification|
|Providing alcohol to minors||$75 fine, Think About It (online educational module), parent/guardian notification|
|Possession of drug paraphernalia||Think About It (online educational module)|
|Possession and/or use of marijuana with no aggravating factors||$50 fine, written Warning of Violation of Code of Conduct, parent/guardian notification, Think About It (online educational module) and reflection paper, deferred loss of housing|
|Possession and/or use of marijuana with aggravating factors (such as conduct history, amount of marijuana, other minor violations)||$100 fine, removal from housing, parent/guardian notification|
|Possession and/or use of illegal drugs (such as heroin, cocaine, large amounts of marijuana) or of legal medication which is being used outside the parameters of a medical authorization||$100 fine, college suspension for at least one year, AOD assessment and treatment plan, parent/guardian notification|
|Intent to sell and/or sale and/or distribution of controlled substances and/or drugs||Expulsion|
|Non-alcohol and Other Drug Violations||Sanctions|
|Abuse and Assault||Parent/guardian notification, college suspension or expulsion|
|Bias Incident||Depending on the severity of the case: counseling, restitution, probation, college suspension, or expulsion|
|Disorderly Conduct||Parent/guardian notification, probation|
|Disrespectful or Verbally Abuse Behavior toward a College Official||Parent/guardian notification, probation, restitution, or mediation|
|Failure to Comply||Parent/guardian notification, probation|
|False Indentification||$100 fine, arent/guardian notification, probation|
|Fighting/Physical Assault||College suspension, expulsion, restitution, or mediation|
|Fire Alarm - Activation of a False Alarm||$100 fine, restitution, college suspension, loss of housing|
|Fire Alarm - Failure to Evacuate||Watch fire safety movie, fire safety paper|
|Fire Alarm - False Discharge of a Fire Extinguisher||Resitution, deferred loss of housing|
|Guest Policy Violation||Deferred loss or loss of guest privileges for a specific period of time|
|Hazing||Depending on the severity of the case: counseling, restitution, probation, college suspension, or expulsion|
|Interfering with Conduct Process||Probation, reflection paper, interview|
|Noise Violation||Restitution, mediation|
|Public Urination||Parent/guardian notification, reflection paper|
|Smoking/Tobacco Use/Vaping||$100 fine, confiscation of paraphernalia|
|Theft||Resitution, probation, loss of privileges|
|Threatening Behavior||Parent/guardian notification, restitution, probation|
|Vandalism/Damage||Restitution, probation, parent/guardian notification, deferred loss or loss of housing|
(a) If a group or organization is charged with violation of one or more College policy or regulation, the following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
- Those sanctions listed above in Article V.
- Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time.
- Deactivation or loss of all privileges, including College recognition, for a specified period of time.
(b) Other than College expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than residence hall expulsion, College suspension, College expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree shall be expunged from the student’s confidential record seven years after final disposition of the case. In situations involving both an accused student(s) (or group or organization) and a student(s) claiming to be the victim of another student’s conduct, the records of the process and of the sanctions imposed, if any, shall be considered to be the education records of both the respondent(s) and complainant(s) because the educational career and chances of success in the academic community of each may be impacted.
Article VII. Interpretation and Revision
A. Any question of interpretation or application of the Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee for final determination.
B. The Student Code of Conduct shall be reviewed every year under the direction of the Vice President of Student Affairs.