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Code of Student Conduct

"The Honor Basis of the Community:  The basis of democratic self-government at Smith College is individual integrity.  The honor system offers the responsibility of freedom.  It assumes a mature concern on the part of each student for her own behavior and for that of her fellow student; and it demands the honesty and courage to acknowledge personal failure when it occurs.”
Smith College Handbook, 1955

Smith is a community founded on individual integrity and respect for others.  Your behavior affects you, those around you, and the Smith environment.  As noted in the Statement of Student Ethics, students have freely associated themselves with Smith College in a relationship based on mutual trust, personal respect and individual integrity.  As a result, living successfully in this community will always depend on balancing the greatest possible freedom for the individual with a sensitivity to and respect for the rights of others.  This code is based on the conviction that ethical student conduct is crucial to a supportive and inclusive community that fosters achievement and learning.

Joining the Smith community entails both rights and responsibilities.  These rights and responsibilities include:

  1. a willingness to discuss, negotiate and take responsibility for personal conduct and the conduct of one’s invited guests.
  2. a dedication to free inquiry and to the exchange of ideas and criticism, while maintaining respect for the opinions and individuality of others
  3. a commitment to the creation of a sustainable college and world
  4. an embrace of academic integrity and honest academic conduct

The provisions below describe unacceptable conduct and behaviors.  Engaging in these prohibited acts violates the standards of individual integrity, self-respect, respect for the rights and property of others and the responsible behavior which have been adopted in the college community.  While engaged in activities at any of the institutions that are part of the Five-College consortium, Smith students are subject to the policies and regulations of the institution where the activity takes place, in addition to the policies of Smith College.  Violations of the Code of Student Conduct at Smith College or the policies of the other Five-Colleges will be heard by the student-run College Judicial Board.  Violations of Academic Honesty are adjudicated by the host institution.

Being dedicated to the advancement of learning and to the pursuit of truth, Smith College and its students, faculty and staff prohibit the following behaviors:


Use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages, except as expressly permitted by the law and college regulations and/or public intoxication

Related Policies:
College Policies Regarding Alcohol
Policy on Substance Abuse and Substance Use
Social Events


Violation of published college policies, rules or regulations

Related Policies:
Academic Honor Code (All cases are heard by the Academic Honor Board)
Academic Policies
Guest Policy
Residential Life Policies
Smith College Technology Policies
Smoking Policy
Student Handbook Policies


Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion and other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person or which unreasonably interferes with, impedes or harasses other students in the pursuit of their education

Related Policies:
Equal Opportunities Policy
Sexual Assault Policy
Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures


Intentional conduct that is offensive, not respectful, voluntary and understood to be behavior of a kind which targets specific individuals because of race, sex, color, religious creed, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.

When sanctioning, the offensiveness should be measured by its gravity, whether it is intended to be offensive and not respectful, whether it is repeated even after the student engaging in the behavior has been clearly told that it is offensive to another, and by the effect the behavior has on the community and the student or students to whom it is directed.


Acts of dishonesty


  1. Lying or furnishing false information to any college official, faculty member or college office
  2. Forgery, alteration or misuse of any college document, key, identification or record
  3. Abuse of or interference with the Student Government Association policies and procedures, including tampering with the election of any college or SGA-recognized student organization

Any instance of Academic Dishonesty is adjudicated by the Academic Honor Board.


Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, college activities on or off campus, or other authorized non-college activities when the act occurs on college premises

Related Policies:
Policies Concerning Freedom of Expression and Dissent
Statement of Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression


Violation of federal, state or local law on Smith College premises, at college-sponsored or college-supervised activities, or elsewhere, as such conduct adversely affects the college community.

The College Judicial Board and the administration reserve the right to hear and impose sanctions, pending actions by courts or other tribunals outside of the college, including those actions occurring in any of the Five-Colleges.

Illegal Downloading
Lewd and Lascivious Behavior


Failure to comply with directions of college officials or law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties, and the failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so; failure to comply with judicial hearing bodies


No person shall be permitted to carry firearms or other weapons, concealed or not concealed, with or without a concealed weapon permit, while on properties owned or controlled by the College

Related Policies:
Crimes against Public Peace
Firearms Policy


Use, possession or distribution of narcotics, other controlled substances or drug related paraphernalia, except as expressly permitted by law

Related Policies:
Policy on Substance Abuse and Substance Use


Hazing, defined as any act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation into, admission to, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group or organization

Related Policies:
Hazing - Prohibition Statute of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Pranks and Hazing Policy


The attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to the property of the college, the property of a member of the college community or of other personal or public property


Unauthorized entry to or use of college premises, and failure to report lost or stolen keys or access cards


At Smith College we are committed to maintaining a community in which our diverse student body can live and work in an atmosphere of tolerance, civility and mutual respect for the rights and sensibilities of each individual, regardless of one’s economic status, ethnic background, political views, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics and beliefs. The student-run College Judicial Board serves to uphold these standards, handling complaints of alleged bias by providing a timely response to bias incidents and helping students navigate other college procedures where necessary.

We recognize that disagreements and conflicts of various degrees of seriousness are inevitable.  The college strongly encourages informal resolution of disputes or disrespectful interactions.  Many issues are best resolved by direct communication between the individuals involved, sometimes with the help of a third party. Community members are expected to engage in good faith attempts to mediate their differences.  To that end all members of the community are encouraged to consult with academic department chairs, deans, human resources staff members, residence life staff members, and student affairs staff members to discuss concerns and seek resolution to differences through mediation.

If informal strategies do not result in a resolution the formal complaint process described below can be used.

The student-run College Judicial Board ensures that students uphold the standards adopted for the student community. The College Judicial Board hears cases of alleged infractions of non-academic rules and makes decisions about the outcomes of these cases. The College Judicial Board carefully considers the nature of the complaint and the board’s responsibility to the complainant, the student who is the subject of the complaint and the greater college community. The College Judicial Board has the authority to enforce decisions and to impose penalties or sanctions. The primary goals of such sanctions is education and rehabilitation.

The administration plays an important role in ensuring that the standards specified in the Code of Student Conduct, and this handbook, are maintained. Hearing advisors guide and provide continuity from year to year for the College Judicial Board. The administration generally refers cases of alleged infractions of the code to the Judicial Board, taking administrative action only when circumstances make that the best option and following consultation with the College Judicial Board. The board may also refer cases to the dean of students for action.  Its jurisdiction and procedures are outlined and referenced in Article X of the Student Government Association Constitution and Article VII of the Bylaws.

In addition to adjudicating certain violations, the dean of the college, or the dean’s designee, may impose a college or residential suspension prior to a student’s hearing before the College Judicial Board (sometimes referred to as an “interim suspension”). During an interim suspension, a student may be denied access to college houses, to the college campus (including classes), and/or to all other college activities and privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the dean, or the dean’s designee, may determine to be appropriate.

At any time the College Judicial Board may decide to invoke a formal investigative process in addition to receiving the complaint and the response from the parties involved in a matter alleging a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

An investigation generally will include interviews with:  (1) the complainant; (2) the respondent; (3) witnesses, if any; and others as determined by the investigator.  The investigator will also review documents provided by either the complainant or the respondent and will gather other relevant documents. Investigators will be trained and will treat all in the process with respect and with neutrality.  The investigator is responsible for managing the process with reasonable speed under the circumstances.

All students are expected to cooperate fully in efforts to investigate and enforce this policy.  Records of the investigation will be held by only the investigator until findings are made and shared with the College Judicial Board.

When a formal complaint of an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct describes Conduct that is Offensive, an investigation, usually by the dean of the college or the dean’s designee, is required and findings will be presented to the College Judicial Board as part of the hearing process. According to the Student Government bylaws the College Judicial Board will include four (4) Smith community members in addition to the usual College Judicial Board members, for hearings of Conduct that is Offensive.

In such cases the normal procedures of the College Judicial Board will be followed, with the addition of the four (4) Smith community members to the hearing board.  The normal procedures will include:  referral of a case, review of the incident, notification of complaint, investigation, and hearing.

All Smith students are expected to abide by the standards of responsible behavior and honesty while engaging in academic activities. The Academic Honor Board is the committee of students and faculty responsible for upholding the Academic Honor Code and hearing cases of alleged infractions of academic rules and regulations. Its jurisdiction and procedures are outlined below and referenced in Article XI of the Student Government Association Constitution and Article VI of the Bylaws.


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