Student Judicial System

The judicial policies in the St. Olaf community are meant to be a part of the educational process. An analogy of student discipline in college judiciaries to criminal proceedings is not sound. It frustrates the educational process of the institution when the intricate, time consuming and sophisticated procedures of criminal law are imposed on the academic community. On the other hand, the academic judicial process should guard against arbitrary or capricious action.

Individual students are to bear full responsibility for their conduct both within and beyond the confines of the campus. The college does not function as a sanctuary from civil law agencies and students are expected to exercise personal responsibility in regard to federal, state and local laws and govern their behavior with concern for other individuals and the entire community. Behavior which is contrary to the welfare of the college community and those individuals within this community may result in disciplinary action.

The majority of disciplinary cases are handled through informal student conduct meetings facilitated by a member of the dean of students’ staff. Individuals or groups involved in a policy infraction meet with a member of the professional residence life staff or one of the associate deans who hears evidence and decides on outcomes and possible sanctions.

The Honor Council handles academic cases. More severe cases involving the concern of the entire college may be heard by a judiciary composed of students, faculty and administrators. The college recognizes the importance of supporting the student judiciaries as part of the college?s total educational process. However, because the college bears ultimate responsibility for all judicial proceedings, it must reserve the right to take over and take appropriate action if it is deemed necessary. In all instances, the Dean of Students shall exercise final discretion to determine which judicial body, if any, shall hear each matter. The Dean of Students shall also exercise final discretion on the issue of whether the college shall impose sanctions, and, if so, what sanctions shall be imposed.

Guide to Areas of Jurisdiction

Staff Hearing – Most cases arising from policy violations in the residence halls and honor houses. Generally heard by area coordinators or other professional members of the residence life staff.

Informal Administrative Hearing – Most serious cases, or issues of campus-wide concern, heard by one of the associate deans.

Formal Administrative Hearing – Most serious cases, or issues of campus-wide concern, heard by a panel of faculty and staff.

Honor Council – Infractions of rules governing all tests, quizzes, or examinations.

Appeals Board – Appeals from the rulings of any of the above judicial bodies.