Student Conduct

Introductory Matters

All Middlebury School Abroad students are subject to the Middlebury-wide Policies in the Middlebury Handbook. In addition, students are subject to the policies in the Schools Abroad General Handbook, including but not limited to the policies set forth below.

The purpose of Middlebury College policies and the disciplinary system in Middlebury’s academic community is to protect the well-being of the community and to advance our shared educational mission by establishing a range of appropriate behavior. Middlebury is a community of learners and as such recognizes and affirms that free intellectual inquiry, debate, and constructive dialogue are vital to Middlebury’s academic mission and must be protected even when the views expressed are unpopular or controversial. Middlebury’s Student Conduct policies are meant neither to proscribe nor to inhibit discussions, in or out of the classroom, of complex, controversial, or sensitive matters, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, ethnicity, religion, marital status, place of birth, ancestry, national origin, age, or disability, when in the judgment of a reasonable person they arise appropriately and are conducted with respect for the dignity of others. Middlebury also recognizes that verbal conduct can be used specifically to intimidate or coerce and to inhibit genuine discourse, free inquiry, and learning. Such abuses, including but not limited to conduct that violates Middlebury’s General Conduct Standards policies, Anti-Harassment/Discrimination policy, and other Middlebury-Wide Policies, are unacceptable.

A balance of individual and community health and growth guides Middlebury’s approach to the policies that support its educational mission.  Generally, the student conduct policies are set forth in writing in order to give students general notice of expected conduct and sanctions for prohibited conduct. The Handbook policies are intended to be read broadly and are not designed to define misconduct in exhaustive terms. Depending on their nature and severity, policy violations may be adjudicated and discipline may be assigned by several different administrators, as detailed in the Disciplinary Action section of this Handbook and other applicable policies. Middlebury’s disciplinary authorities consider the totality of a student’s history, the impact on community, and the specific circumstances of the event when determining appropriate responses to policy violations.

Community Standards

The ability of Middlebury to achieve its purposes depends on members of the campus community upholding our commonly accepted standards of conduct, which enable the highest quality of teaching and learning.  Broadly, these are referred to as our Community Standards.  Middlebury seeks to prepare students to be active citizens and leaders who will address the world’s most pressing problems. This mission is advanced through students’ experiences with successes and challenges, and is reflected in the following Community Standards:

  • cultivating respect and responsibility for self, others, and our shared environment;
  • encouraging personal and intellectual courage and growth;
  • manifesting integrity and honesty in all decisions and actions;
  • promoting healthy, safe and balanced lifestyles;
  • fostering a diverse and inclusive community committed to civility, open-mindedness and finding common ground.

Therefore, a balance of individual and community health and growth guides Middlebury’s approach to all endeavors, and to the policies that support those endeavors.

Consistent with the cultivation of an awareness of responsibility and accountability, students found in violation of Middlebury’s policies as stated herein, the Middlebury-wide policies in the Middlebury Handbook, or the host university’s policies and/or who participate in prohibited acts as defined herein will be held responsible and will be subject to discipline up to and including suspension or expulsion from the School Abroad. In addition, students may be subject to discipline by any Middlebury program in which the student is or will be enrolled or their home institution.  See also Scope of Oversight, below.

Emergency Removals

In addition to fostering the growth of its individual students, Middlebury recognizes its obligation to protect the safety of the Middlebury community as a whole and to take appropriate action when that safety is jeopardized. To that end, Middlebury reserves the right, notwithstanding and apart from the procedures described under Disciplinary Action and other policies, on an emergency basis, to ban from the Middlebury program/campus, suspend, expel, or require to withdraw any individual whose presence at Middlebury is determined by the appropriate Middlebury authorities (e.g., School Abroad director or assistant director or dean, etc.) to pose a danger to the Middlebury community or its members, or to be unduly disruptive of Middlebury’s academic or other programs and/or residential life, or who appears to be unwilling or incapable of effectively and/or safely participating in Middlebury’s academic or other programs and/or residential life.

In such cases, actions taken will be subject to review, typically within one week, by the appropriate Middlebury authority (e.g., dean, vice president, or provost).

In cases of emergency removal (other than expulsion) of a student, the conditions and procedures for return will be determined and communicated in writing to the student at the time of the student’s departure or shortly thereafter.

Faculty and administrative officials should ensure that positional authority is not used to inhibit the intellectual and personal growth of students.

Scope of Oversight

Students will be held accountable for Middlebury policy violations as defined herein, as well as violations of the host university’s policies and rules (as applicable) that take place between the first day of orientation for the School Abroad  program and the completion of the program. Conduct that occurs at or in connection with a School Abroad-related event; or occurs off-site but violates the law or may represent a threat to the safety of the School Abroadcommunity or its members, the pursuit of the program’s objectives, and/or the educational environment of others, may be subject to the disciplinary process (see Disciplinary Action).

In cases where a student is found responsible for a policy violation while participating in the School Abroad, the finding of responsibility may also be referred to the appropriate authority overseeing the student’s home institution or any additional Middlebury or non-Middlebury program in which the student is or will be enrolled for other action as deemed appropriate. This may include but is not limited to: further investigation; additional adjudication under existing policies (using only information gathered in the first disciplinary process, or using subsequently gathered information, or both, as deemed appropriate by the overseeing authority); disciplinary action; or other remedies or processes deemed appropriate by the authority overseeing the home institution or additional program.

Middlebury retains sole discretion to determine whether to initiate disciplinary or other action under its policies against a student who is or will be enrolled in another Middlebury program (including the undergraduate program) regardless of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by a non-Middlebury institution or program and/or the outcome of any law enforcement investigation or court proceeding.

Pending Discipline

A student respondent will not ordinarily be permitted to withdraw from a School  Abroadwith a disciplinary matter pending.  If a respondent withdraws with a disciplinary matter, sanction, or appeal pending, the withdrawal will be considered a resignation from Middlebury, and the student will have given up the opportunity to return to any Middlebury program. The student’s official status at Middlebury will reflect the point in the process at which they withdrew, and the nature of the finding and sanction, as appropriate. Examples include but are not limited to “Withdrawal with a Disciplinary Matter Pending,” “Withdrawal with a Disciplinary Sanction Pending,” and “Withdrawal with a Disciplinary Appeal Pending.”

In extraordinary circumstances, the appropriate supervisory authority (e.g., the School Abroad director, Dean of International Programs and/or the Provost) may, after appropriate consultation, a review of the case, and consideration of Middlebury’s best interests, grant permission for a student to withdraw from the Schools Abroad program when a disciplinary matter is pending. If the student is readmitted to any Middlebury program, the disciplinary matter must be resolved either before the student’s return, or immediately upon the student’s return. See also Student Status for more information (Middlebury undergraduate students). Middlebury may also notify all institutions or programs in which the student is (or will be) enrolled of any pending or unresolved disciplinary matter pertaining to that student.

Prohibited Conduct

The following conduct is prohibited and may result in discipline up to and including expulsion from a Middlebury School Abroad or any other Middlebury program:

*Violation of Middlebury’s General Conduct Standards.

*Violation of Middlebury-Wide Policies including but not limited to Respectful Behavior and Honesty and Cooperation in Middlebury Matters.

*Violation of Middlebury’s Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct, and Stalking.

*Violation of Middlebury’s Anti-Harassment/Discrimination policy.

*Violation of Middlebury’s Policy Against Hazing

*Violation of Middlebury’s Alcohol and Other Drugs policy.

*Violation of Middlebury’s Minors on Campus policy

*Violation of Middlebury’s Academic Honesty, the Honor Code and Related Disciplinary Policies

*Violation of the laws of the host country.

*Violation of the rules or policies of the host entity.

*Violation of program rules or policies regarding housing.

Other Policies

Alcohol and Other Drugs
Middlebury is committed to promoting individual and community health, safety, and responsibility.  We expect all students and employees to observe all applicable laws governing the possession, use, and furnishing of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances, also referred to as illegal drugs, and failure to do so is prohibited. We have also committed to ensuring that, in accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act of 1989 and the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations, our policies concerning alcohol and drugs contain clear statements about: (1) the standards of conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs and alcohol by students and employees; (2) that Middlebury will impose disciplinary sanctions on students and employees who violate these policies (consistent with applicable law); (3) the applicable legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illegal drugs and alcohol; and (4) health risks and information regarding drug or alcohol counseling, treatment or rehabilitation, or reentry programs that are available to students and employees. When alcohol violations occur, disciplinary sanctions will be imposed in accordance with this policy. Serious incidents that put a student or others at risk of harm, as well as repeated offenses, may require a more vigorous response, including referral to counseling or a treatment facility, a leave of absence, and/or disciplinary outcomes as appropriate.

All School Abroad students, faculty, staff, and visitors are subject to the local laws of the host country as well as Middlebury’s and the host university’s drug and alcohol policies, as applicable.  Middlebury does not protect students or employees from prosecution for drug or alcohol offenses under applicable laws and does not interfere with legitimate law enforcement activities.  Law enforcement officers may have a legal right to search individuals, and with consent or proper documentation may search property—including residences —without prior notice.  Middlebury also reserves the right to furnish law enforcement officials with information regarding alleged illegal activities.

Overseas authorities consider illegal drug use to be an extremely serious matter.  Local laws often impose severe penalties, including jail time, for conviction of drug possession, no matter what the quantity.  Moreover, it is not uncommon for the accused to be considered guilty until proven innocent and be held in jail. Middlebury College and U.S. officials will be powerless to help students found to be engaging in unlawful drug use or the selling or transporting of drugs.

The following actions are prohibited:

Alcohol
a. Underage drinking.  Only persons of legal age (21 or older in the United States or as defined by the laws of the foreign host country) may possess or consume alcoholic beverages. Legal proof of age, such as a valid driver’s license, state issued liquor identification card, or a passport, may be required.

b. Purchasing, serving, or furnishing alcohol for/to a minor.

c. Selling, manufacturing, or distributing alcohol illegally.

d. Possession, production, or provision of false identification.

e. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.  Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited. Students who are charged by law enforcement officers with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and are awaiting the outcome of legal proceedings shall have their driving privileges on any Middlebury campus (if applicable) suspended pending disposition of the matter. In those incidents where the DUI involves an accident with injuries to others, or other exceptional factors, immediate disciplinary action may take place.

f. Violating local laws or regulations regarding the possession or use of alcohol.

g. Engaging in drinking games and other behaviors designed for the purpose of becoming intoxicated through the abusive use of alcohol (e.g., funnels, keg stands, “around-the-world” parties, and other alcohol consumption based on speed and/or volume, etc.).

h. Administering alcohol to individuals against their will and/or without their knowledge.

i. Repeated unsafe intoxication. Single or multiple instances involving alcohol/drug-related transport to the hospital and/or to detoxification facilities may also result in disciplinary action, consistent with the Good Samaritan policy below.

Drugs
The following actions are prohibited:

a. Using, or possessing illegal drugs or controlled substances, including but not limited to prescription medication without a properly issued prescription.

b. Misuse of legal substances to cause impairment/hallucination.

c. Possession of drug paraphernalia that has been used.

d. Growing, manufacturing, distributing, or selling illegal drugs or controlled substances, including prescription drugs, with or without the intent to distribute.

e. Administering drugs to individuals against their will and/or without their knowledge.

Health and Community Responsibility
Middlebury believes that alcohol and other drug-related problems affect our entire community and that each of us has a responsibility to help safeguard the community health by respecting Middlebury’s policy and intervening in situations of abuse. Any member of the Schools Abroad community having knowledge of an individual participating in a Schools Abroad program who is abusing alcohol or in possession of or using illegal drugs is urged to encourage the individual to seek counseling and/or medical assistance. All members of the community are also expected to help protect the community health by informing appropriate Schools Abroad directors or staff members of instances of drug distribution and/or sales.

Involvement with or dependency upon drugs or excessive or illegal use of alcohol is viewed by Middlebury as a health concern, as well as a disciplinary matter. Any time a Schools Abroad Director has reasonable concerns that a student’s health is being compromised by alcohol or other drug use (even in cases where no concrete evidence or direct witness is involved), a drug and/or alcohol consultation or assessment, may be required.  In addition, the Director may notify the student’s parents or guardian of concerns about the student’s drug or alcohol use.

Sanctions

Disciplinary sanctions for students enrolled in a School Abroad will be issued in accordance with the disciplinary procedures set forth in the Disciplinary Action section of this handbook. Sanctions may include warnings, reprimands, probationary status, a letter of official college discipline, suspension or expulsion (see also Sanctions). The disciplinary official may, in their discretion, issue sanctions in accordance with the general outline of expected outcomes in the Sanctions chart referenced above (including educational outcomes).

Good Samaritan Policy
Middlebury’s Good Samaritan Policy is intended to encourage students to seek swift medical assistance for themselves and others without fear of penalty under Middlebury’s disciplinary processes. Our primary concern is the health and safety of our students. We urge students not only to take care of their own wellbeing, but to behave in an equally responsible way with their peers.

There may be times when safety concerns arise from a student’s excessive drinking or drug use, and in these situations, students should not hesitate to seek help from the School Abroad staff or medical or counseling professionals out of fear of disciplinary action by Middlebury.  Under this Good Samaritan policy, neither the student in distress nor the student or organization seeking assistance will ordinarily be subject to disciplinary action by Middlebury for the possession, provision, or consumption of drugs or alcohol.

This policy refers to isolated incidents only, and does not excuse or protect those who flagrantly or repeatedly violate the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy, nor does it preclude disciplinary action arising from violations of other Middlebury policy. However, in cases involving additional policy violations, Middlebury will consider the positive impact of reporting an incident as well as the health and safety needs of the involved student(s) when determining the appropriate course of action.

This policy cannot protect students from action by law enforcement personnel, including those in another country.

Laws, Resources, and Additional Information

For information specific to state and federal laws governing the use, possession, and distribution of drugs and alcohol, as well as additional resources, see Middlebury’s Annual Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Notice.

Policy Against Sexual Misconduct Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct, and Stalking
Middlebury is committed to providing a campus and workplace environment that is safe and secure for all students, staff, faculty and others who participate in Middlebury’s programs. Sexual misconduct (including sexual assault), domestic and dating violence and misconduct,  stalking, and related retaliation, as defined by Middlebury’s Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct, and Stalking (“SMDVS”), are strictly prohibited. Middlebury will take reasonable, prompt and appropriate action to respond to sexual misconduct (including sexual assault), domestic and dating violence and misconduct,  stalking and related retaliation where such conduct impacts or has the potential to impact the Middlebury program-based educational, residential, or employment environment of any member of the Middlebury community. Such action could include discipline for employees such as written reprimands, salary freezes (faculty) or termination of employment; or discipline for students such as written reprimands, probationary status, a letter of official college discipline, suspension or expulsion from any or all programs in which the student is enrolled or participating (students). It could also entail non-disciplinary measures such as No Contact Orders and/or No Trespass Orders, training, and providing safety and support services to complainants and affected parties, as appropriate. Factors to be considered in determining sanctions are listed in Section 10 (H), below. Information about on-campus and off-campus support services (i.e., counseling, health, victim advocacy, legal assistance and other related services) is provided in Appendix C to the SMDVS policy.

Information about on-campus and off-campus support services (i.e., counseling, health, victim advocacy, legal assistance and other related services) is available from the Schools Abroad Director.

Except as otherwise specified in the policy or herein, Middlebury’s SMDVS Policy applies to faculty and staff employed by Middlebury, students, as well as others who participate in Middlebury’s School Abroad programs and activities (see Section 2, Definitions: Covered Third Parties).

Complaints of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault and sexual exploitation), domestic and dating violence and misconduct, stalking and related retaliation should be made to the director of the School Abroad and/or a Judicial Affairs Officer or Human Relations Officer (see contact information below). The procedures for addressing complaints or reports of sexual misconduct, domestic and dating violence, domestic and dating misconduct, stalking and related retaliation are set forth in the full SMDVS policy. However, where applicable law or the host university where the program takes place mandate different procedures or policies, those procedures or policies will apply.

NOTE: In certain circumstances involving alleged policy violations (e.g., involved individuals are enrolled in or employed by a foreign university or a non-Middlebury program) the host university’s disciplinary procedures or the local court system may supersede Middlebury’s procedures in that location. In these situations, the School  Abroad directory,, and/or other Middlebury official(s) will work closely with the local staff or faculty at the host university (or local law enforcement, if applicable) to ensure that the matter is appropriately addressed.  Middlebury will, nonetheless, take steps within the scope of its authority designed to prevent the recurrence of harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic or dating violence or misconduct, or stalking, and remedy the effects of such behavior. In addition, Middlebury retains sole discretion to determine whether to initiate its own investigation and adjudication under its SMDVS policy regardless of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by a non-Middlebury institution or program and/or the outcome of any law enforcement investigation or court proceeding.

The full text of Middlebury’s Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct, and Stalking is available at: http://www.middlebury.edu/about/handbook/policies-for-all/non-discrim-policies/smdvs

Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy

Middlebury is committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus environment where bigotry and intolerance are unacceptable. Discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, and related retaliation, as defined by applicable law and the corresponding terms of this policy, are antithetical to Middlebury’s mission. Middlebury strictly prohibits conduct that constitutes unlawful discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, as well as related retaliation, as defined under Middlebury’s Anti-Harassment/Discrimination policy. Middlebury will take reasonable and appropriate remedial action to prevent unlawful discrimination, harassment, and related retaliation, eliminate any hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if applicable.

Except as otherwise specified herein, this Anti-Harassment/Discrimination policy applies to faculty and staff employed by Middlebury, students, as well as to others who participate in Middlebury’s Schools Abroad programs and activities.

Complaints of harassment, discrimination and related retaliation should be made to the director of the School Abroad and/or the Human Relations Officer. Procedures for filing and resolving complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and related retaliation in such programs are set forth in Section B of the policy; however, where applicable law or the host university where the program takes place mandate different procedures or policies, those procedures or policies will apply.

NOTE: In certain circumstances involving alleged policy violations (e.g., involved individuals are enrolled in or employed by a foreign university or a non-Middlebury program) the host university’s disciplinary procedures or the local court system may supersede Middlebury’s procedures. In these situations, the School Abroad director, and/or other Middlebury official(s) will work closely with the local staff or faculty at the host university (or local law enforcement, if applicable) to ensure that the matter is appropriately addressed.   Middlebury will, nonetheless, take steps within the scope of its authority designed to prevent the recurrence of harassment, discrimination and related retaliation, and remedy the effects of such

Because Middlebury is committed to cultivating a safe, healthy and inclusive community where all individuals treat each other with respect, we ask all students to complete an on-line training course called “Think About It” as part of the pre-departure process.

The full text of Middlebury’s Anti-Harassment/Discrimination policy is available at: http://www.middlebury.edu/about/handbook/policies-for-all/non-discrim-policies/anti-harassment-discrimin

Contact Information for Reporting Under Middlebury’s Policy Against Sexual Misconduct Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct, and Stalking and Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy

Title IX Coordinator

Susan P. Ritter, J.D.
Middlebury College
Service Building 213
Middlebury, VT 05753
802.443.3289
sritter@middlebury.edu

Judicial Affairs Officers/Title IX Coordinator Designees

Karen S. Guttentag
Associate Dean for Judicial Affairs and Student Life
Middlebury College
McCullough 138
802.443.2024
kguttent@middlebury.edu

Brian Lind
Associate Dean for Judicial Affairs and Student Life
Middlebury College
Service Building 217
802.443.5385
blind@middlebury.edu

Human Relations Officers/Title IX Coordinator Designees

Steven C. Collier, J.D.
Service Building, 213
Middlebury College
802.443.3474
scollier@middlebury.edu

Earl Fechter, J.D.
Middlebury College
Service Building, 216
802.443.3426
efecther@middlebury.edu

 

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