Setting A Standard Of Excellence For All
We at Pratt Institute have high expectations regarding social and academic conduct, and we expect everyone to value and uphold the community standards essential to the pursuit of academic excellence and social responsibility. These standards are listed in the Bulletin, the Student Handbook, and pamphlets that detail policies relating to the use of computer technology, sexual assault and harassment, alcohol and drugs, and human rights, particularly those concerning persons with disabilities. This pamphlet summarizes the procedures available to adjudicate alleged violations of Pratt’s social and academic conduct codes.
Step One: Always attempt to resolve conflicts informally. All members of the Pratt community have the right to file a complaint when they believe that another person has committed a social or academic infraction. Whenever possible, however, it is recommended that conflicts be resolved informally, with the help of a mediator, if necessary, as is often the case in residence hall situations and in cases of academic infractions.
Step Two: File a detailed incident report of a violation of the Social Conduct Code with the Student Conduct Coordinator.
The Coordinator will investigate the matter and decide upon the method of adjudication. She or he will hear the case or refer it to the appropriate student conduct body for further action. Please see the section on academic integrity and the judicial process for information concerning cases of academic integrity violations.
Step Three: A decision is made.
Once a decision as to guilt is made, an appropriate sanction will be levied and the student(s) will be notified as soon as possible but no later than ten (10) business days after the hearing. The student(s) will be provided with information about the appeal process.
Standards And Procedures
Pratt’s Community Standards are divided into two sections: Social Conduct Code and Academic Integrity Code. Each section has its own set of procedures to resolve alleged infractions.
Social Conduct Code
The adjudication of infractions of the Student Conduct Code is not a formal legal process although fundamental fairness applies. The process, educational in nature, has as its goal the protection of each person’s rights while at the same time providing an experience from which those involved in the process can learn.
Who Has Jurisdiction in Residence Hall Disputes? Alleged infractions of the Social Conduct Code or Residential Life policies that occur in residence halls by a resident or a non-resident are referred first to the Student Conduct Coordinator for action. If the infraction is considered serious enough to warrant either dismissal or suspension from the Institute, the associate director refers the case to the Student Conduct Coordinator, who will confer with the Vice President for Student Affairs to determine next steps.
The Student Conduct Process is Designed to Expedite an Appeal
The Institute student conduct process ensures that all appeals are handled in a timely and fair manner. The appeal officer or board limits the review of an appeal of a decision rendered by the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Student Conduct Coordinator, or adminiatrative hearing board to assertions that:
- The evidence presented at the meeting/hearing was not sufficient enough to justify a decision.
- The sanction imposed was not in keeping with the gravity of the violation.
- There is evidence that the Vice President, the Coordinator, or the board acted in a capricious or prejudicial manner.
Students who do not attend their hearing or conduct meeting have limited opportunity to appeal unless they can show just cause for not scheduling or attending their hearing/meeting.
An appeal must touch on one of these issues and must be submitted in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs within 72 hours (not including weekends or holidays) of receipt of the written decision. The Vice President may accept the report and de cision, return the case to the Judicial Coordinator for further review and/or referral to an Appeal Board, or reverse the decision and dismiss the case. The Vice President may also accept the decision but may reduce the sanction imposed. The sanction may not be increased. If the decision is accepted the matter will be deemed final except that either side may petition the Vice President for Student Affairs upon discovery of new evidence.
In the case that new evidence becomes available any request for rehearing must be submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
The Student Conduct Coordinator Expedites Appropriate Review of the Case
The Student Conduct Coordinator, after considering the evidence and, whenever possible, interviewing the respondent, may take any one of the following actions:
- Dismiss the case after counseling and advisement.
- Impose sanctions deemed appropriate, subject to respondent’s right of appeal.
- Refer the case to either the Student Conduct Board or the Administrative Hearing Board.
The following describes the various hearing boards:
- The Student Conduct Board is composed of five (5) to seven (7) members who are trained and selected from the judiciary pool. The Student Conduct Coordinator, who serves as a non-voting member, designates a chairperson.
- The Administrative Conduct Board is composed of one administrator or staff member, one faculty member, and one student. The chair is elected by the board and is a voting member.
- The Appeal Board has jurisdiction over an appeal of a decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Student Conduct Coordinator, the Student Conduct Board and the Administrative Conduct Board. The Appeals Board is composed of one student, one faculty member, and one administrator or staff member selected from among the judiciary pool. The chairperson, elected by the board, is a voting member.
Who May NOT Sit on the Various Hearing Boards?
The Institute has specific guidelines for who may not sit on hearing boards.
- If a member of a hearing board perceives a conflict with respect to a case, that member must withdraw, and an alternate will be selected.
- If the respondent or complainant objects to a member for good cause and the board agrees, an alternate will be selected.
- If a board determines that a member may be prejudicial to the case, an alternate will be selected.
- A member may not serve on a board if he or she was a witness or an active participant in the case being heard.
- No student who is currently on academic probation or the subject of disciplinary action may serve on the Student Judicial Board.
The Issue of Confidentiality
All matters of social discipline remain confidential. Students’ conduct records do not become part of their permanent record. However, they may be referred to when a student is involved in another conduct action, and then only at the time of determination of the penalty. If a student is under 18 years of age at the time when a serious penalty is imposed, parents or legal guardians will be notified. A serious penalty defined as suspension or dismissal from either the residence hall or the Institute. In 1999, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was amended to allow, and, in fact, encourage the Institute to inform parents or legal guardians of students under the age of 21 who have been involved in disciplinary action in which the use of alcohol and/or other drugs was a factor. In this regard, the student conduct officers make determinations on a case-by-case basis.
Who Handles Off-Campus Violations?
The Institute’s student conduct bodies, including the Vice President for Student Affairs, have limited jurisdiction over offenses committed outside the Institute’s campuses. The exceptions are:
- Offenses occurring during participation in an Institute-sponsored activity, or
- Offenses calling into serious question the offender’s membership in the educational community.
How Are Incidents Involving On-Campus Visitors Handled?
Senior administrative officers or security personnel present at an incident involving a visitor, invitee, or licensee are authorized to take necessary action.
A Fair Student Conduct Process Means a Fair Hearing. Each hearing board has a specific set of procedures it follows in obtaining and considering evidence and issuing penalties. Specific procedures determine how the boards:
- Deliver timely notice of hearings
- Allow representation
- Determine the scope of the inquiry
- Examine witnesses
- Adjudicate cases
- Determine and then impose discipline
- Deliver findings
What Penalties Can be Imposed?
Penalties range from oral and written warnings and restitution to dismissal from the residence hall and/or the Institute. Typical penalties include:
- Oral and written warnings
- Social Probation that jeopardizes a student’s status at the Institute in the event that another infraction occurs
- Restriction that denies the student the use of certain facilities or the right to participate in certain activities or privileges for a specified period of time
- Room reassignment that moves the student to a different space in the residence hall
- Suspension that removes the student from the residence hall or the Institute for a stated period of time
- Dismissal that removes the student from the residence hall or the Institute
- Restitution that requires a student to make repayment for damage or loss to either Institute or individual property
- Service that may require a student to complete an educational project or program
Academic Integrity Code
At Pratt, students, faculty, and staff do creative and original work. This is one of our community values. For Pratt to be a space where everyone can freely create, our community must adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity.
Academic integrity at Pratt means using your own and original ideas in creating academic work. It also means that if you use the ideas or influence of others in your work, you must acknowledge them.
- We do our own work,
- We are creative, and
- We give credit where it is due.
Based on our value of academic integrity, Pratt has an Academic Integrity Standing Committee (AISC) that is charged with educating faculty, staff, and students about academic integrity practices. Whenever possible, we strive to resolve alleged infractions at the most local level possible, such as between student and professor, or within a department or school. When necessary, members of this committee will form an Academic Integrity Hearing Board. Such boards may hear cases regarding cheating, plagiarism, and other infractions described below; these infractions can be grounds for citation, sanction, or dismissal.
Involuntary Administrative Withdrawal
Students with psychiatric or emotional disorders sometimes violate Pratt’s Community Standards. In these cases, the student will face the consequences of their actions. However, they may also be referred to a medical professional for evaluation. Occasionally students may be required to withdraw from the Institute for psychiatric or medical reasons. If such students do not leave willingly, they will be subject to involuntary administrative withdrawal from the Institute if it is determined that there is a substantial and significant possibility that the student, as a result of a physical or psychological condition:
- Will harm him/herself or others.
- Will cause significant property damage.
- Will be substantially unable to meet his or her responsibility as a student.
- Will be unable to care for his or her daily physical needs without assistance and has failed to secure such assistance.
- Will directly impede the lawful activities of others.
- Will directly and substantially interfere with the Institute’s normal operations.
The student may be subject to an immediate interim withdrawal pending the outcome of such an evaluation. View the full Involuntary Administrative Withdrawal Policy.
Complaints Not Adjudicated Through The Student Conduct Process
Please refer to the Sexual Harassment Policy for complaints alleging sexual harassment, including sexual violence. Please refer to the Policy for complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, marital status, age, sexual orientation, status as a veteran, political beliefs, disability, citizenship, genetic information, or national or ethnic origin. These complaints are not adjudicated in accordance with student conduct procedures.
For More Information
Vice President for Student Affairs
Director of Residential Life and Housing
Director of Learning/Access Center