When an alleged violation occurs, an incident report is submitted to the Office of Community Standards. The office is responsible for reviewing and handling all reports of alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct. When a report is received, the Director for Community Standards, and/or designee, determines how the case will be processed based upon the allegation and evidence presented. Cases are then assigned to Initial Conference Officers, which can include Residence Coordinators, Conduct Officer, Assistant Directors for the Office of Residential and Student Life or the Director for Community Standards. An Initial Conference meeting will then be scheduled by the assigned officer.
If a student has allegedly violated the Student Code of Conduct, an “Initial Conference Appointment” letter will be sent to the student’s Purchase College email account arranging a meeting, which is called an initial conference. The above referenced letter will provide the student with a summary of the report and the time and place of the meeting. Initial conference meetings are usually conducted within seven (7) working days from the date the incident report was received.
At the initial conference the charges are explained and the accused student is made aware of the range of sanctions for each code violation. Any finding issued by the Initial Conference Officer will be determined on the basis of the information/evidence presented and what is “more probable than not” (aka preponderance of evidence).
Please refer to the Initial Conference page forfor more information. An initial conference meeting is not a hearing.
Third parties are not permitted in the initial conference meetings. If a student feels the need for an advisor during the initial conference phase, they can request for an opportunity to consult (phone or in-person) with the person of their choosing prior to deciding whether to accept or decline finding(s) and sanction(s). The student should simply request a break from the initial conference officer.
Students requiring an accommodation need to contact the Office of Disability Resources to request auxiliary services as described in a later FAQ in this webpage.
Students participating in a hearing (Administrative or Committee) are permitted to have one (1) advisor of choice with them throughout hearing proceedings. The advisor may not speak during the hearing or attempt to participate in the hearing in any other capacity (such as give a witness statement). Typically the student will choose a parent, coach, academic advisor, or professor to attend the hearing with them.
Yes. The Office of Disability Resources (ODR) coordinates academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services for students with disabilities to ensure equal access to all programs, services, and activities at Purchase College. If you have a disability and require accommodations throughout the conduct process, please call or e-mail the ODR to initiate your request for accommodations, (914) 251-6035, email@example.com. The Office of Community Standards must receive information about your approved accommodations at least 24 business hours prior to the scheduled meeting date.
No, the campus conduct process is not the same as a court of law, and attorneys aren’t necessary. However, should the student chose to select an attorney as their advisor of choice they can. Advisors are not permitted to speak during a hearing. Students must present, and request, all information related to their case.
No. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct do not result in a criminal record. The conduct process on campus guides itself on an administrative process, not a penal one. A student’s disciplinary record is considered part of their education record and a separate disciplinary file is maintained by the Office of Community Standards. Education records are protected by privacy laws as outlined in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Yes, a student may elect to appeal the decision made during a missed Initial Conference, or a decision determined at an Administrative or Committee Hearing, on any of the following grounds:
Fair consideration was not provided to the student, (i.e., there is evidence that some aspect of the hearing was prejudicial, arbitrary, or capricious).
New and significant information, not reasonably available at the time of the initial hearing, has become available.
The sanction or remedy imposed is not in due proportion to the nature and seriousness of the offense.
Sanctions are assigned to a student with the goal of allowing the student to learn from a bad decision and provide them with skills to make better decisions in the future. While sanctions are perceived as punitive, we seek to assign sanctions with an educational purpose that will help balance the needs of the individual with the needs of the college community. Some of the sanctions we assign are disciplinary probation, residence suspension, restitution, substance assessment, suspension or expulsion.
A lot of different factors are considered in deciding sanctioning. Primarily, the nature of the alleged violation as well as the student’s prior disciplinary history. Standards and consistency are important factors in the sanctioning process. We have developed recommended standards as sanctions for certain violations in order to be as consistent as possible, however, some situations may warrant departures from the typical sanctions.
In the event that a student does not complete a sanction assigned during the student conduct process, the student will be scheduled for another Initial Conference meeting to address charges related to their failure to comply with a sanction. A student may receive an extension to complete the sanction (i.e. Judicial Educator Module). In other circumstances (i.e. Suspension), a hold may be placed on a student’s account, which could prevent the student from future class and/or housing registrations until the pending sanction(s) is completed.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g, 34 CFR 99), or FERPA, was enacted by Congress in 1974. FERPA provides guarantees regarding the access to and confidentiality of education records. FERPA guarantees the right to access records, the right to challenge content that is inaccurate, and the right to control over the disclosure of records. All rights move from the parent to the student in a post-secondary environment. So, for the purposes of conduct matters, the student must give consent for the office to release any information regarding their disciplinary record. Consent is given by filling out the office’s FERPA Release Form indicating to whom we may release information to.
FERPA states that a student’s disciplinary record is part of their education record, which means it is confidential information and will not be shared without the consent of the student. Typically, possible future employers and graduate schools request for the student to sign a written consent form indicating that the College may release information to the agency/institution.
Disciplinary records are retained for 7 years from the last date of contact per federal and state recordkeeping requirements. Cases involving suspension or expulsion are retained permanently. It is important to note that disciplinary records are not automatically expunged upon graduation from the institution.
We encourage parents/guardians to communicate with their student directly. The student is sent, via Purchase College email, all information regarding their meeting date, place and time. The Office of Community Standards cannot release any information about a student without a signed release from that student (FERPA Release Form). However, even in the event of an active FERPA Release Form being on file, students must present, and request, all information related to their case.
Parents/guardians will only be notified of a disciplinary outcome if a student is found responsible for violating the college’s alcohol and/or drug policy.
In addition to, if a sanction of residence suspension, suspension or expulsion is assigned as the final outcome of a conduct case, the office has the responsibility of notifying the identified emergency contact on file (parent or guardian).