Personal concerns, the concerns of others. and the welfare of the College shall motivate the actions of each member of the Trinity community.
The regulations of Trinity College are designed to maintain an environment in which teaching, learning, research, and related activities are undertaken freely and responsibly. The opportunity to live and work in a diverse community is one of the chief attractions and advantages of the college environment. Within that environment, each member of the College, in private and in public, is expected to act with self-respect, prudence, and sensitivity toward the feelings of others.
The College Charter provides that the disciplinary responsibility and authority of Trinity College reside in the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees charges the president of the College as its chief executive officer to maintain order and justice and to advise the Board of Trustees if problems arise in either of these areas that would call for action by the trustees.
Social Code of Conduct
All Trinity students are expected to know and abide by all College policies and regulations, including the prohibition of the offenses described below. These offenses are applicable to students and their respective organizations, including Greek organizations, when a violation has occurred on or off campus.
- Conduct that is unbecoming of a Trinity College student. This includes, but is not limited to:
- disturbance of the peace
- disorderly or indecent conduct
- physical or verbal abuse or assault
- threats, intimidation, or coercion
- any conduct that threatens, instills fear, or infringes upon the rights, dignity, and integrity of any person
- any conduct likely to lead to violence, harassment (a fuller definition is provided below)
- Attempted or actual theft of, or misappropriation of another’s property or services. This includes:
- possession of stolen property
- attempted or actual damage, defacement, or destruction of property
- littering of College premises
- Knowingly furnishing false, inaccurate, or misleading information to or about the College.
- Refusal to comply with a legitimate request or order of a College official or a campus safety officer, including refusal to:
- identify oneself
- relinquish one’s Trinity College identification card
- participate in a College investigation or judicial procedures when one has knowledge of relevant information
- Behavior or any activity that endangers the health and safety of oneself or of others. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- tampering, interfering with, or destroying fire safety equipment
- unauthorized creation of a fire
- failure to evacuate a building during a fire alarm
- raising a false alarm of a fire or other emergency situation
- unauthorized use, manufacture, or possession of firearms, ammunition, explosives, hand weapons, air rifles, or fireworks
- self-destructive behavior
- entrance to the roofs of College buildings (includes buildings owned by Greek-letter organizations)
- interference with entrance or egress from the College or any College facility
- unsafe operation of a motor vehicle
- throwing objects at or from windows
- Unauthorized access to College buildings, including climbing on College buildings.
- Possession, use, duplication, or distribution of College keys or access codes without permission of the owner.
- Dishonest such as forgery, including:
- forging another’s signature on official College forms
- unauthorized alteration or use of College property. Cases of academic dishonesty are adjudicated under separate procedures, found in the section, “Intellectual Honesty.”
- Disruption of the orderly processes of the College, involving obstruction or interference with teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities.
- Any conduct that prevents a College employee from performing his/her duties
- Interference with College events and programs, authorized recruitment, or free and open discussion
- Failure to abide by the operating regulations of academic and non-academic offices and departments, student centers, libraries, laboratories, and other College buildings.
- Misuse of College, state, or federally issued instruments of identification. This includes the:
- possession of a falsified identification card or one that belongs to another person
- creation, sale, or distribution of a falsified card
- Violation of federal, state, or local statutes.
- Failure to comply with, or attempts to evade, any sanction imposed by a College official or the Honor Council.
- Repeated violations of campus regulations in the operation and parking of vehicles.
- Failure to comply with any Trinity College policy or regulation including, but not limited to:
- integrity contract
- alcohol policy and regulations
- drug policy and regulations
- policy on sexual harrassments
- residential contract and/or residential guidelines
- health regulations
- policy on the use of the College’s name, seal, and other identifier
- regulations regarding posters and banners
- regulations for the use of computing
- communications, and video systems
- administrative regulations concerning dances, parties, and organized social affairs, including those sponsored by Greek-letter organization members activities
- policy against hazing
- Knowingly assisting in, or urging or inciting others to violate any College policy, procedure, and/or regulation.
The jurisdiction of the College policies, procedures, and regulations is broad. Trinity College will exercise jurisdiction to the extent practical and possible over all cases alleging violation(s) of College regulations occurring on campus as long as the person being charged is a student and regardless of the student status of the complainant.
The College exercises jurisdiction over all students from the point of acceptance to the College through graduation or transfer from the College regardless of enrollment status. Students who are on required or voluntary withdrawal, study abroad, or any leave of absence remain under the College’s jurisdiction. The College will also exercise jurisdiction over student organizations whether the organization is a College-sanctioned entity or independent organization that maintains students as members.
Withdrawal from the College will not constitute grounds to dismiss any charges that are brought against a student. If there is sufficient reason to believe that a complaint against a student is imminent, the College may exercise its jurisdiction even if a student elects to withdraw before a formal complaint is presented to the College. In cases in which a student withdraws from the College before the adjudication of the complaint, the College may proceed to adjudicate the complaint or place a notation on the student’s transcript indicating that the student withdrew with charges pending.
The College will also exercise jurisdiction, to the extent practical and possible, over all cases alleging violations of College regulations that occur off campus, including any incident that takes place during a period when the College is not in session if:
- the incident poses a threat to the safety and well-being of any member of the campus community, including the person who is complained against;
- the incident is likely to have a substantial effect on the complainant’s/victim’s campus life and activities; or
- the incident affects a compelling interest of the College.
Where a perpetrator is not a student or an organization, the College is limited in its ability to exercise judicial options. However, the administration may still assist the victim. Options include, but are not limited to, a campus-based restraining order and access to campus resources such as counseling and academic and residential accommodations.
Complaints against students by any member of the Trinity community are handled according to the procedures in grievances against students, Complaints against faculty, administration, or staff are handled under separate procedures
Regardless of whether a complaint is made, the College may investigate health, safety or welfare concerns involving Trinity College students, employees, programs or activities, including concerns about sexual violence or harassment. The scope of such investigations will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the College’s administration in consultation with legal counsel and may include outside investigators or consultants. Depending on the purpose of the investigation, disclosure of the results may be limited. Faculty, staff and students are expected to cooperate fully with any investigation authorized by the College.
- College disciplinary proceedings may be initiated against a student charged with a violation of a law that is also a violation of College regulations without regard to the status of civil litigation or criminal arrest and prosecution. The College may conduct judicial proceedings prior to, simultaneously with, or after civil or criminal proceedings off campus.
- When public authorities apprehend a student for a violation of the law, the College will not intervene because of his/her status as a student. Further, the College will not arrange for bail or provide legal counsel to the student. Should a student charged with a violation of the law approach the College for advice, an appropriate staff member will meet with the student and provide reasonable assistance.
- In the event that a student is charged by a prosecutor, grand jury, or in a court of law with a felony, or is convicted of a felony the student is required to inform the college. The College may conduct an inquiry to determine if the student shall remain in student status, or whether he/she shall be suspended until the issue is resolved in the courts. The dean of students shall determine if the student presents a threat to the safety of him/herself or others, is a threat to College property, or if his/her continued presence on campus causes undue disruptions to the regular life and activities of the institution. The dean may also choose to have such determination made by the Honor
Council after a private hearing, or by his designee.
- Whenever convicted of a felony, a student may be suspended indefinitely.
- If convicted and then released on probation, or on bond while awaiting appeal, or after serving a sentence, the student may petition the dean of students for readmission. The dean or designee will determine whether the student should be readmitted or denied readmission on any or all of the following grounds:
- The student is a potential threat to the safety and well-being of him/herself or others.
- His/her presence would be detrimental to the mission of the College.
- The dean or designee may also propose special conditions under which readmission would be permitted. The dean of students will, after reviewing the panel’s recommendation(s), implement such decision as he finds appropriate.
- In situations where a student has been suspended following a felony charge and a prosecutor decides not to pursue the charges, the student may petition for readmission following the procedures outlined above.
(Portions of this policy derived from Cornell University and Lewis and Clark College.)
Transcript notations for conduct violations: Conduct violations resulting in Censure, suspension, or expulsion will be noted on the student’s official transcript. In instances of permanent Censure, suspension, and expulsion, the notation is permanent.
Suspensions for conduct violations: A student suspended for conduct violations is physically separated from the College and may not, while suspended, participate in the academic and co-curricular activities of the College or earn credits toward a Trinity College degree.
In-Loco-Parentis and Parental Notification
In the regular practice of the College, neither the faculty nor the administration assumes what has been generally referred to as an in-loco-parentis role. Students are expected to conduct their lives with ordinary prudence.
When conduct on-campus or at College-sponsored events falls short of this expectation and is in violation of the College’s policies, procedures, or regulations, the College will rely on its own judicial procedures to obtain the necessary redress and corrections.
When misconduct occurs off-campus, students must accept the consequences of action taken against them by civil authority and should not expect the College to intervene on their behalf. The College will not arrange bail or provide legal services to students who are in difficulty with the law but, rather, will expect students to arrange their own release.
Recognizing the benefits that may come from the involvement of parents in the life of the College, students are encouraged to keep their parents and legal guardians apprised of their progress. It is the College’s position that the responsibility for advising parents of a student’s academic and disciplinary standing primarily belongs to the student. It is expected that students will accurately and promptly inform their parents of situations in which their behavior or performance has compromised their good standing at the College.
To supplement the information that students are expected to provide to their parents and due to recent amendments to federal laws giving colleges the authority to notify parents of students less than 21 years of age who violate alcohol or drug policies, the College has adopted a written Parental Notification Policy. The policy is in addition to the intervention and education programs already offered to students.
Regarding alcohol and drugs, parents will be notified when:
- The College receives notification from law enforcement officials that a Trinity College student under the age of 21 years has been arrested during an academic session for an alcohol-or-drug related violation.
- A student has demonstrated he or she is at risk of harming himself, herself, or another, including multiple incidents of alcohol or substance abuse.
- A student under the age of 21 incurs a serious sanction for a first-time offense (such as removal from housing, censure, suspension, or expulsion) or incurs any sanction for a second or subsequent violation of the College’s drug or alcohol policy.
Regarding other situations (and regardless of age), parents will be notified when:
- The College receives notification that a student has been admitted to the hospital or is suffering from a life-threatening illness or there is reason to believe that a student’s health and well-being are in immediate jeopardy.
- A student has been arrested and is unable to arrange his/her own quick release.
- A student has violated a College policy banning violent behavior.
Any notification to parents is contingent upon the provisions of applicable law, including the Higher Education Act, and the extent to which the law permits such notification. Further, any notification to parents regarding disciplinary action taken as a result of a judicial process will be made only upon completion of the process. Students may grant permission to release information, in addition to that described above, to their parents/legal guardian by signing a consent form.
Although in practice we may notify students when their parent or guardian has been contacted, we are not required to do so by law. We are required to keep a record of the contact and will disclose it to students upon request. Furthermore, under certain circumstances, we are permitted by law to release the student’s records to a court without the student’s or parent’s consent.
Please note that in emergency situations, the College reserves the right to contact the individual(s) whom a student indicates to be the emergency contact.
(Portions of this policy adopted, with permission, from the University of Virginia.)