Community Standards at Lake Forest
We take great pride in our commitment to shared governance; however, with shared governance comes shared responsibility. As members of the college community, we are all responsible for adhering to the standards of our community, and we should hold each other accountable for doing so.
The administration of the student conduct process is handled through the Office of Student Affairs. The conduct process is designed to help students develop into informed, engaged, and respectful members of the college community. We foster students’ ethical development and personal integrity and promote an environment that balances individual needs and desires against those of the community at large.
Student Conduct Process
Once complete, incident reports are reviewed by the Associate Director of Residence Life (ADRL) to determine whether a violation of policy may have taken place. In cases in which the ADRL determines that there is not sufficient information to determine that a violation may have occurred, he/she may decide not to pursue the case. If the ADRL determines that there is sufficient information to determine that a policy may have been violated, he/she will then decide how to refer the case.
In some cases, the ADRL may determine that an informal response may resolve the situation. Examples include a warning to cease current behaviors (either orally or in writing), conflict mediation, and changes in academic, work, or living environments.
In other cases, the ADRL may determine that a formal response is necessary and he/she will then either assign the case to an Administrative Hearing Officer or refer the case to either the Community Review Board or the Conduct Board. The majority of cases will be referred to Administrative Hearing Officers (see page 44). However, in cases in which the facts are not clear and/or a more formal hearing may be helpful in gathering additional information (i.e., witnesses), the ADRL may refer the case to either Conduct Board or Community Review Board. Cases of major import, as determined by ADRL, will be referred to the Conduct Board.
Notice of Alleged Violation
The student will receive a Notice of Alleged Violation (NOAV) via email to the student’s Lake Forest College email account. As stated on page 17 of the Student Handbook, students are required to regularly check their Lake Forest College email for official communication from the College. The NOAV is not a finding of responsibility, nor is it a sanction; rather, its purpose is to inform a student that a violation of community standards may have occurred and is under investigation.
A student who receives a NOAV must attend the scheduled hearing as instructed in the NOAV. If a student fails to attend the hearing, the officer or Board may hear the case in the student’s absence, based on the information available at the time.
The senior hearing officer is the Associate Director of Residence Life (ADRL). The remaining administrative hearing officers are the professional staff of the Office of Residence Life. In extraordinary circumstances the Dean of Students may act as a hearing officer, in which case the President of the College will be the appeals officer for that case.
The administrative hearing includes only the student and a hearing officer. At the administrative hearing, the hearing officer and the student jointly review all reports, discuss the incident in question, and determine responsibility, if possible. If necessary, the hearing officer may take additional time to determine whether or not the student was responsible for the violation(s) and assign sanction(s). If the hearing officer is able to determine, based upon the information presented during the hearing, that the student “more likely than not” violated college policy of the Student Code of Conduct, he/she will find the student responsible and assign a sanction.
Community Review Board
The Community Review Board consists of 8-10 student members, five of whom may be selected for a hearing. One student will chair and lead the hearing process. The ADRL (or his/her designee) will serve as the advisor to the board and is a non-voting member. A member of the Board may ask not to serve for a particular hearing for reasons of possible conflict of interest.
The conduct board consists of students, faculty and staff and is chaired by the ADRL, who is a non-voting member of the board. The chair’s role is to ensure efficiency and fairness throughout the hearing process.
Five voting members constitute a quorum, and may be any combination of those eligible to serve. A member of the Board may ask not to serve for a particular hearing for reasons of possible conflict of interest.