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College Conduct Board

The College Conduct Board ensures that students uphold the standards for student ethics and conduct outlined in the Student Handbook. The board hears cases of alleged infractions of non-academic rules and makes decisions about the outcomes of cases. Academic infractions are handled by the Academic Honor Board.

About the Board

The board hears cases in teams of 5 members constituting a hearing board. Every hearing board is assisted by an adviser who is a member of the student affairs staff. The Conduct Board uses the code of student conduct and the policies of the college to evaluate the cases before it. The members of the board shall deliberate and reach a consensus on the decision of more likely or not to be responsible for each separate violation the student who is the subject of the complaint has been brought to the board for. Thus, the burden of proof is more likely than not to be responsible for committing a violation.

The code of student conduct expects that each student's behavior and actions will contribute to a community characterized by individual integrity, respect, and a concern for the implications and repercussions of student behavior. Students are encouraged to be familiar with the Student Handbook and Code of Conduct, and should be aware that this list does not constitute an exhaustive or complete list of prohibited conduct.

Summarized from the Smith College Student Handbook – Code of Social Conduct


Membership eligibility is for students in good academic and disciplinary standing, with at least 64 credits and at least one prior semester of enrollment at Smith. The conduct board shall not exceed twenty (20) students and shall minimally include seven (7) students.

Call for Members

The application for Conduct Board membership is currently closed. For questions about the conduct board, or the application process, students are encouraged to contact the chair of the conduct board.

Questions? Email

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 is comprised of a group of students who uphold the policies, regulations, and ethical standards of the Smith College community. There are three types of conduct hearings, Conduct Board Hearing, Administrative Hearing and Administrative Settlement. 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 dean of the college can ultimately make that decision.

A hearing consists of five board members and one adviser. The person bringing the complaint (complainant) 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 (respondent) 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, they are 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 business days of the board’s final decision. The appeal process can be found in the SGA Bylaws.

Julianne Ohotnicky | Associate Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Students

Becky Shaw | Associate Dean of Students, Advisor to the Board

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