The Student Code of Conduct is necessary to meet the fundamental requirements of an academic/ professional learning environment. Such standards 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 assured of the special conditions necessary for free inquiry and expression.

A student at Purchase College neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of citizenship. Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with all town, state, and federal laws. Decisions pertaining to violations of law on the campus are made at the time of arrest by the University Police Department and evaluated by the Office of the District Attorney for possible prosecution. The circumstances surrounding an incident, nature of available evidence, intent of the complainants, seriousness of the alleged violation, and other relevant factors influence the decision to refer an incident for legal action.

As members of the Purchase College community, students are also expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Violations of any of these standards may result in disciplinary action through the conduct system outlined below; prosecution in the criminal and civil courts may also result from the same violation. Disciplinary action by the college is independent of any criminal or civil proceedings. For action to be taken and sanctions to be imposed on campus, the college’s interests as an academic and professional community must be distinct and clearly involved. Generally, college jurisdiction and discipline will be applied to conduct which occurs on college premises or at college sponsored events or activities. However, jurisdiction and discipline may also be applied to conduct, even though off-campus, which adversely affects the college community or the interests and mission of Purchase College.

The discipline structure and the procedures used in it are designed to be educational, rather than punitive. Their effectiveness is dependent on the overall attitude of the college community itself. There must be a widely shared commitment to the principle of self-governance, such that misconduct will be reported, charges will be brought, witnesses will make statements if called, findings of responsibility or no responsibility will be made when the evidence warrants it, and sanctions will be imposed, if appropriate.

The Campus Life Committee will periodically review a set of guidelines to be used by the Office of Community Standards and/or the members of the college community in assigning sanctions.