Pomona College’s disciplinary authority originates in the Board of Trustees and the President of the College. It has been delegated through the faculty to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) of the faculty. The Student Code derives its authority from the Student Affairs Committee and changes in the Code require the Committee’s approval. The Student Affairs Committee and the President of the College have delegated responsibility for administration of the Student Code to the Vice President and Dean of Students, but the SAC reserves the right to hear cases as described below.
Decisions made by a judicial body shall be considered final. However, an appeal may be made on specified grounds by the respondent.
College jurisdiction and discipline extends to conduct which occurs on Claremont colleges premises or at an activity sponsored by any of the colleges, and conduct which occurs off campus but constitutes grave misconduct or flagrant disregard for the college community. When a student is charged with a violation of federal, state or local law, and college disciplinary action is also taken, campus proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with or following civil or criminal proceedings. The College’s proceedings are not bound by determinations made by civil or criminal proceedings.
When an activity occurs off-campus, it is the responsibility of the Vice President and Dean of Students to determine whether College jurisdiction will be asserted.
The full Judiciary Council shall consist of one student Judiciary Chair, one student Associate Judiciary Chair, one student Appeals Board Chair and up to forty-five additional student members. The Judiciary Council shall be a standing body which meets at a time and place established by the chair. Participation in Judiciary Council and Penalty Board and Appeals Board hearings shall rotate among the forty-five members of the Judiciary Council. The Associate Judiciary Council Chair shall chair cases when the Judiciary Council Chair is unavailable or when a high number of cases to be adjudicated exists. When an Associate Chair is not serving as chairperson on a case, she or he may sit as a regular panel member.
Students are strongly encouraged to have an advisor when they appear before a judicial panel. It is the role of the advisor 1) to help the student understand the student judicial process, and 2) to advise and support the student during the hearing process. Advising the student during the hearing involves helping the student to remain calm and confident, reminding the student if a key point has not been stated or received enough emphasis, being attentive to whether the respondent has adequately responded to all questions and concerns raised by or implied in the charges or the hearing.
The advisor speaks to and advises the student but does not address the Dean or Community representative who presents the charges or the student judicial panel that hears the charges or the witnesses. During the hearing phase, the advisor or the respondent may request a recess to confer with the Judiciary Council chair or with each other outside the hearing.
A number of judicial advisors who are faculty and staff are prepared to advise any student who needs assistance with the judicial process. Students may select an advisor from this group or seek the assistance of any other faculty, staff or student member of the College Community (excluding attorneys or members of the Judiciary Council or members of the Student Affairs Committee or a witness in the case). The Dean and the Judiciary Council Chair shall inform the respondent of the availability of advisors.
The Office of Student Affairs offers judicial advisors training in the provisions of the Student Code, the processes by which the Student Judicial Council reaches decisions, and the penalties that may be imposed.
Methods of addressing a case are:
- Judicial Board Hearing. A Judicial Board shall hear cases where the facts of the case or the role and responsibility of the respondent are in dispute. Eight members (including, at the start of the hearing, at least three women and three men) plus the non-voting chair shall constitute the hearing panel to sit for a particular case (any six members plus the chair shall constitute a quorum). A dean from Student Affairs shall sit with the board as an advisor on process and to represent the views of the College, and a staff member from the Office of Student Affairs shall be present to record the proceedings.
- Penalty Board Hearing. A Penalty Board hearing shall be convened when the respondent agrees to the facts of the case and to responsibility for a violation of the Student Code and signs a charge sheet so indicating. Four members (two women and two men) plus the non-voting Judiciary chair constitute the hearing panel (and a quorum) for a Penalty Board case. A dean from the Student Affairs shall sit with the board as an advisor on process and to represent the views of the College, and a staff member from the Office of Student Affairs shall be present to record the proceedings.
- Appeals Board Hearing. An Appeals Board hearing shall be convened when the respondent alleges that new evidence has been found or improper judicial procedure occurred in the Judicial Board or Penalty Board hearing. Three members and the non-voting Appeals Board Chair shall constitute the hearing panel (and a quorum) for an Appeal. Appeals Board members shall be selected from those Judiciary Council members who did not participate in the Judicial Board or Penalty Board hearing of the case. A dean from Student Affairs shall sit with the board as an advisor on process and to represent the views of the College, and a staff member from the Office of Student Affairs shall also be present.
- The Student Affairs Committee. The Student Affairs Committee shall consider any case which the Judiciary Council has refused or over which it is unable to accept jurisdiction or which, after accepting jurisdiction, it declares impossible to adjudicate. Decisions necessary to determine jurisdiction shall be made by the Vice President and Dean of Students.
The Student Affairs Committee consists of ten voting members—four faculty members, the Vice President and Dean of Students and five students. When meeting as a judicial body, the Dean of Students shall sit as a voting member of the hearing panel only if the dean has had no involvement with the case prior to the hearing. If the dean has had prior involvement with the case, a Dean from Student Affairs shall sit with the SAC as a voting member. The Judiciary Board chair shall be present to advise the SAC chair on process while a second dean from the Office of Student Affairs shall present the view of the College regarding the alleged offense.
Five members, including at least three students and at least two faculty members, shall constitute a quorum for hearing a discipline case. If fewer than five SAC members (and if fewer than three student members and fewer than two faculty members of the SAC) are available for a hearing, the chair of the SAC shall draw student hearing panel members from the Judicial Council and faculty hearing panel members from the Executive Committee of the Faculty.
The Student Affairs Committee may, at any time, request and receive a report on any judicial action, including a full report on any particular case or a summary of violations and penalties assigned. Such report shall be prepared by the Office of Student Affairs.
- The Office of Student Affairs. For purposes of this code, the Office of Student Affairs consists of the Vice President and Dean of Students, the Associate Deans of Students and Campus Life, and members of the on-call staff. They investigate reports of Student Code violations, determine responsibility and impose sanctions, as well as prepare charge sheets and refer cases to the Judicial Council. The range of sanctions the Deans may impose includes but is not limited to community service, educational sanctions, referral to drug or alcohol counseling or rehabilitation program, warning, probation, monetary fines, payments of damages, or suspension of on-campus privileges (including on-campus housing). The sanctions of suspension or expulsion from the College may not be assessed by the Deans but require action by the Judiciary Council, the Penalty Board, the Student Affairs Committee or the President.
When a case is handled by the Dean’s Sanction, respondent, the complainant or the victim may, in writing, petition the chair of the Judiciary Council within five school days of the imposition of a sanction to convene a hearing. If the Judiciary Council chair agrees that the case warrants further consideration, it shall be brought before a Penalty Board or Judicial Board or the Student Affairs Committee for hearing. Until such reconsideration takes place, the sanction(s) assessed by the Office of Student Affairs shall remain in effect.
The Office of Student Affairs may, at any time, require that a case be given a hearing by a Judicial Board, Penalty Board or by the Student Affairs Committee.
The Office of Student Affairs shall maintain judicial records including:
- A public, permanent precedent file which consists of case abstracts specifying charges, facts, case dispositions and rationales for dispositions. Identification of participants in cases shall be omitted. This precedent file shall be furnished to judicial bodies when they are hearing cases. Current information from the precedent file shall be published each semester as a report to the community on charges, case dispositions, penalties and rationales.
- A confidential case file that is part of the record of each student found by the judicial bodies to have violated the Student Code. The confidential file is maintained permanently for students whose sanctions include residence hall suspension or change, residence hall expulsion, college suspension or college expulsion. In all other cases the confidential file will be maintained for five years from the date of the offense.
- The President of the College. By action of the Board of Trustees, the President of the College is empowered to order interim summary suspension of any student from the College if it is deemed necessary for the well-being of the College community and until such time as the case can be referred to a hearing or the circumstances necessitating such action are remedied. In cases when the respondent has been suspended or expelled from the College by action of the Judiciary Council or the Student Affairs Committee, the respondent may request that the President review the case following review by the appeals board. In addition, the President may, under extraordinary circumstances, review and if necessary, remand or alter the decision of the judicial bodies.
- Mediation. A mediation group may be impaneled to serve as an arbiter of disputes within the student community in cases where the complainant wishes to pursue mediation rather than have the case heard before the Judicial Council. All parties must agree to the mediation and be bound by the decision to mediate with no right of appeal to the Judiciary Council.