Faculty, staff & students are regularly asked to serve as an advisor through the conduct process. We hope the information below will assist you in being prepared for that process. Please also visit our FAQ page for faculty, staff and administrator.
Role of an Advisor
The role of the advisor in the student conduct process is to provide guidance and support to students in what may be a challenging and stressful experience. It is the student’s responsibility to ask for the advisor to serve in that capacity. The advisor is not expected to investigate the hearing or speak on behalf of the student and is only has access to information the student chooses to share with the advisor. If a student shares hearing documents with the advisor, the advisor cannot share those documents with any other parties, despite the students wishes. The advisor is encouraged to help the student self-advocate throughout the process. Advisors are not required, but we recommend to students that they work with an advisor as it can be helpful in the conduct process.
Who Can Serve as an Advisor?
Advisors for students involved in the conduct process must be a current member of the faculty or staff, or a student at Dickinson College and cannot hold a law degree. The advisor is not expected to be an expert on process and policy. The main goal for the advisor is to mentor the student, act as a resource referral or answer any questions the student may have. Advisors and students are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students Office if they have questions at any point.
While the following information is geared towards college community members serving in the role of advisor for students who have been accused of violating the community standards, students who are considered a “complaining party” are also permitted to have advisors. Often times a complaining party can also referred to as a victim and is defined as any member of the College community, including students, faculty, other employees or the College who believe that a student or student organization has violated the Community Standards.
Tips for Advising a Student/Organization Prior to a Hearing
- Review the current Community Standards.
- Discuss the situation with the student so you have a full understanding of what occurred and why it is a potential violation of our community standards.
- Review the hearing process with the student.
- Review the documents associated with the hearing with the student.
- Ask students questions that they may be asked during the hearing to assist them in preparing for the hearing.
- Review how the student plans to respond to the situation and to questions that may be asked.
- Provide honest and constructive feedback to the student about the student's plan to respond to the allegations.
- Help the student place this situation in its appropriate context. By this we mean providing an independent measure for the student to gauge the seriousness of the allegations and the potential outcomes if responsible for violating the community standards.
- Assist the student in navigating the decision they make about communicating the situation to the parents/guardians.
During the Hearing
At the hearing, the advisor is not permitted to speak for or represent the student. The advisor may speak directly to the student they are advising, providing suggestions or reminders for the student to take into consideration. Ultimately we want the student to be responsible for engaging the conduct process. If the advisor has concerns about the process or fairness for the student, the advisor should advise the student to raise these concerns with the hearing administrator.
Tips for Advising a Student through the Outcome of a Hearing
- Assist the student in processing the decision, what the sanctions mean if applicable and what the implications are for the student as they move forward. Asking the student how the student might make decisions differently or what was learned from the experience is entirely appropriate.
- Assist the student with the appeals process if applicable. This may include explaining the process to the student, reviewing the appeal letter, or assisting in the preparation for the appeal.
- Advisors may attend the appeal hearing with the student if the student is requested to appear at the hearing. Sometimes the panel may just review the written documents associated with the original hearing.
- Provide support to the student if the student is upset or under distress due to the situation and refer to the appropriate resources if needed.
- Assist the student with constructive ways to communicate the decision to parents/guardians.
We are grateful for the assistance and mentoring advisors play in our conduct process. Advisors should not hesitate to take immediate action to get help for the student should there be any concern about the well-being or safety of the student at any point during the conduct process. Please contact the Dean of Students Office with any questions.