Dear Lafayette Students,

Welcome to the Class of 2023 and welcome back to our returning students! 

As we begin the new academic year, we write to provide a reminder that the 2019-20 Student Handbook (available at https://conduct.lafayette.edu/) is a valuable resource. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with its contents, including useful information about campus offices, explanations of various processes, and our community expectations. 

Also contained in the Handbook is Lafayette College’s Statement on Student Rights and Responsibilities. This Statement was created with input from faculty, students and the Board of Trustees, and is updated periodically.  The Statement lays the foundation for the Code of Conduct, addressing the meaningful role students play in sustaining this educational community. The strength of a residential college lies in the learning opportunities that present themselves around every corner, from classes and laboratories to dining and residence halls, from playing fields to performing arts venues and everywhere in between. Learning alongside and from one another is the heart of what we do each day. 

Last  year, faculty, staff, students, and consultants from D. Stafford & Associates, a national higher education policy consulting firm, contributed to a comprehensive review of the Student Code of Conduct. This review considered compliance with rapidly evolving state and federal laws as well as best practices in the field of student conduct. Updates recommended by the reviewers went before Student Government and the faculty, and the faculty approved the changes last May. The most significant changes were:

  • Students found in violation of the Code of Conduct now have one level of appeal, rather than two. The removal of a second level of appeal aligns with best practice and contributes to the timely resolution of cases.
  • Sanctions resulting from a finding of responsibility will typically go into effect immediately, rather than waiting until the conclusion of the appeals process.
  • The Code of Conduct now prohibits hard liquor at student events, consistent with College policy.
  • As a community that cares for its members, there is no place for hazing at Lafayette College.  Our hazing policy was updated to be clearer about what behaviors are considered hazing and now includes potential outcomes for people or organizations found responsible for hazing.  
  • The Presidential Oversight Committee on Sexual Misconduct is in the process of reviewing the College’s sexual misconduct policies.  A short list of preliminary changes was passed by the faculty in late May, with open forums and additional proposed changes forthcoming this semester.  The changes adopted in May included:
    • Language throughout the policies was changed from complainant/respondent to reporting party or responding party.
    • Charges within the policy were changed from sexual assault and rape to non-consensual sexual touching and non-consensual penetration.
    • Consistent with guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, informal resolution is now available for all cases of sexual misconduct, including cases of sexual violence.

Lastly, as required by the Piazza Law passed in 2018, the Office of Student Conduct has published a report regarding organizations found responsible for hazing during the last five years. Additionally, the office has published an annual report for academic year 2018-2019.  Both are available at the Student Conduct website, conduct.lafayette.edu, in the resources section.

We hope that you will take full advantage of all our campus has to offer in your time at Lafayette, and that you explore the wide range of resources we have to assist our students. If you have any questions about the Student Handbook, please feel free to contact either of us.

Sincerely,

Christopher Hunt, Dean of Students

Jennifer Dize, Assistant Dean of Students

 

Office of Dean of Students | Lafayette College
17 Cattell Street | 104 Feather House
Easton, Pennsylvania 18042