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Frequently Asked Questions

This information is presented to assist students with questions they may have about the College Conduct Board and judicial process. It is designed to answer general questions. Students should consult the Student Handbook for more definitive information. In all cases, the Student Handbook and similar college publications are the authoritative source for college policies.

The College Conduct Board shall generally consist of seventeen (17) and no fewer than fourteen (14) student members with approximately an equal number of juniors and seniors, and exists as a means of ensuring that students uphold the policies, regulations, and ethical standards of the Smith College community.  The College Conduct Board upholds all non-academic college policies, particularly those involving student conduct. Therefore, the board deals with all violations of nonacademic policies and regulations.

A student appears before the board because they may have violated a college policy. A list of behaviors considered violations of college policy can be found in the Student Handbook's Code of Student Conduct. (This list is not exhaustive.)

Anyone can file a complaint against a student. Usually, Campus Safety and/or a residence life staff member will bring complaints before the board. A student may also bring another student before the board if the student believes a violation of college policy has occurred.

No, the Conduct Board reserves the right to RECOMMEND the suspension, dismissal or permanent separation of a student. However, only the president of the college can ultimately make that decision.

A hearing consists of five board members and one adviser. The person bringing the complaint to the board has the opportunity to present her/his version of events to the board, present witnesses, and be questioned. After that, the subject of the complaint has the opportunity to present their version of events, present witnesses, be questioned, etc. Overall, an average hearing takes less than two hours.

In most cases, parents will not be notified of a student’s violation. If the student, however, engages in conduct that places not only the student but also others at risk, parents may be notified. Additionally, if an underage student is found responsible for a violation of the college alcohol policy, the student's parents may be notified. In all cases, the decision to notify parents rests with the dean of students or the dean of the college.

After a hearing, members of the board deliberate and if they believe a violation has occurred, decide what course of action would provide the best means of education for the student. The board does not want to “punish” someone, but rather provide a means of education through sanctioning. If the violation is minor, usually community service or some other activity is selected. If the student, however, commits a more serious violation, a period of probation may also be included. During the period of probation, if a student is found responsible for violating college policies, she is likely to receive more serious sanctioning, which may include a recommendation of suspension, dismissal or permanent separation.

The student may bring an advisor of their choosing to a hearing for comfort and advice. During the course of the hearing, the advisor is not permitted to address the board.

The board and Office of Student Affairs keep a record of the violation and hearing throughout the student’s career at Smith and up to seven years after graduation. In most cases, the violation will not be noted upon the student’s transcript.

Every sanction is designed specifically for the student and their personal needs. The board evaluates the severity of each complaint and determines the sanctioning based upon the information presented at the hearing. Other factors that contribute to the sanctioning process include: how much has the student learned from this experience, is the student likely to repeat the violation, will certain sanctions help or impede the student’s ability to succeed within the Smith community.

Yes, all hearings are confidential. Throughout the hearing, a digital recording is made in case the board needs to hear certain parts of the hearing during deliberation or in case the student decides to appeal the final decision of the board. Statistics on cases can be made available by contacting the dean of students office at

If a student does not complete their sanctioning, the student may be charged with non-compliance and may be required appear before the board for hearing or have a meeting with the advisor to the board.

If a violation or complaint has been filed, there is no way to avoid a hearing scheduled by the board. The easiest method is to simply attend the scheduled hearing. If you believe that the final decision of the board is unfair, you can file an appeal with the dean of students within seven days of receiving the board’s final decision. The appeal process can be found in the SGA Bylaws Article XVI, Section 9(D).

Julianne Ohotnicky | Associate Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Students, Adviser to the Board

Becky Shaw | Associate Dean of Students, Hearing Adviser

Hannah Durrant | Director of Residence Life, Hearing Adviser

Marge Litchford | Assistant Dean of Students, Hearing Adviser

Campus Safety | Ext. 2490

Health Services | Ext. 2800

Wellness Education | Ext. 2800