The student conduct system is designed to be prompt and fair to each person involved in a violation, including an impartial investigation and resolution. The system is administered by the Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct. A trained hearing officer shall conduct each hearing.

In addition to the rights indicated in the procedures described below, students have the following rights in all student conduct cases:

  • The right to be considered exemplary until violations of policy have been established.
  • The right to receive the charge and findings of the student conduct body orally and/or in writing.
  • A student is allowed to bring in a support person as a student conduct advisor. The student conduct advisor is only for a party’s emotional support. An advisor may not communicate with the investigator, hearing panel, or hearing officer at any meeting, hearing, or appeal. That person must be a member of the Carthage community and may not hold a license to practice law, serve on the Board of Trustees, or be the parent/guardian of the student. The hearing officer, at their sole discretion, may grant permission for others to attend the hearing in a limited capacity.
  • The right to challenge the hearing officer’s objectivity in the case. The Dean of Students or his/her designee shall rule on any such challenges.
  • The right not to be a witness against oneself.
  • The right to request postponements of student conduct proceedings for just cause.

Student Conduct Procedures

Student Conduct is responsible for the initial investigation of all cases that may be subject to student conduct procedures. This normally includes collecting the incident report(s), informing the student of the charges and interviewing the accused student. If the student acknowledges responsibility for the violations, appropriate sanctions will then be assessed. If the investigation discloses no violation or, in the investigating officer’s opinion, fails to obtain sufficient information, the student shall be so informed and there shall be no further proceeding.

If the student contests the charges, the Student Conduct Officer will determine responsibility for the charges. The case may be heard by the Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct or a designated hearing officer. In cases that involve sexual misconduct, proceedings will be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability. For formal hearings, the following procedures shall be observed:

  • All those involved in the case shall be contacted at least 24 hours before the hearing and shall be required to either be present or submit written statements. If a student chooses not to be present at a scheduled hearing, action will be taken on the information presented despite the student’s absence.
  • Student Conduct Hearing Officers shall be given the opportunity to hear and question all students involved and present relevant information.
  • The charged student or students shall be given the opportunity to hear and question all relevant information to provide an explanation for the actions, and to furnish witnesses.
  • The hearing officer shall decide whether or not the alleged violation or violations have merit and level sanctions, if any. The student conduct system, in all cases, uses preponderance of the information as the burden of proof.
  • The Office of Student Life reserves the authority to require any student to appear and be interviewed with respect to alleged offenses. The refusal by a student to appear for this interview is grounds for placing a hold on any subsequent enrollment, as well as grounds for initiating separate student conduct procedures.
  • All witnesses must be disclosed to the hearing officer at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. Any witnesses failing to cooperate with the Student Conduct investigation may be prohibited from giving testimony at the hearing.
  • Hearings and appeals may be conducted over the phone, or in absentia, during times where the accused student, or a witness, will be unable to be on campus to attend a hearing.
  • Any audio or video record of the hearing remains the property of Carthage College


A student may appeal the outcome of a hearing to the designated Appeal Officer. The student must submit within 72 hours of the outcome letter, an appeal via the Maxient link provided in the electronic outcome letter. An appeal will be considered based on the accuser’s or defendant’s presentation of new information, proof of bias, or information of the inappropriateness of the decision and/or sanction. The Assistant, Associate, or Dean of Students may hear the appeal or assign the case to other hearing officers at his or her discretion. For incidents involving sexual misconduct, the complainant and the respondent will be notified in writing any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final and when such results become final.

The time period for the investigation and appeals process may be shortened to allow less time for response in circumstances such as the end of an academic term, vacation period or potentially dangerous situation. The Assistant, Associate, and Dean of Students reserves the right to immediately suspend a student from the campus pending the conclusion of the student conduct process.

New Information

The College reserves the right for Student Conduct at any time to reverse its action when new information discloses that the case is more or less serious than initially determined. However, nothing contained herein shall deny to the student the rights guaranteed in this Handbook.