Office of Community Standards

The Office of Community Standards and the college’s disciplinary system promote individual student development and uphold the Student Code of Conduct. These standards exist to create an atmosphere in which all members of the college community—students, faculty, administrators, staff, and other citizens—may feel secure in the constitutional and civil rights granted to them in the society at large, and that the conditions necessary for freedom of inquiry and expression, which are at the core of any academic community, are protected. The college’s disciplinary system facilitates students’ ethical development through education, behavioral consequences, developmental exercises, and when necessary, separation from the college.

The campus discipline process is an administrative, rather than a legal, process. The standard of proof used in campus disciplinary proceedings is “preponderance of the evidence” (i.e., more likely than not), a standard used in civil cases, rather than the higher standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” used in criminal cases. Procedures are fair, respectful of student rights, and applied equally and consistently. The Office of Community Standards promotes campus-wide understanding of this process through proactive initiatives and community outreach.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Because academic integrity and plagiarism are academic matters, the college’s policy on academic integrity is administered by the Academic Integrity Committee under the aegis of the provost. Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their academic work. Cheating, forgery, and plagiarism are serious offenses, and students found guilty of any form of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary action. The college’s policy on academic and professional integrity, published in the Student Code of Conduct, is available here.

The process for addressing an alleged violation of academic integrity is designed to be as simple as possible and to keep decision-making in the hands of the faculty. When a faculty member encounters an alleged violation, he or she notifies the student and schedules a meeting (the initial conference). Notification and resolution forms, plus guidelines for faculty, are available here on the Academic Integrity website under “Forms and Resources.”

If either the faculty member or the student is dissatisfied with the results of the initial conference, he or she may refer the matter to the Academic Integrity Committee, from which a panel of two faculty members and one student will be chosen to hear the case. The chair of the Academic Integrity Committee, appointed by the provost, presides as the nonvoting chair of the hearing panel. Faculty members who have questions about the academic integrity policies or procedures should call or email the Chair of the Academic Integrity CommitteeDarcy Gervasio, (914) 251-6423.