The College community, of which students are members, exercises its governance in several ways, including the creation and operation of a student conduct hearing board. The College Hearing Board (CHB) and Judicial Council (JudCo) hears cases of alleged misconduct that occurs on campus, in College-owned residence halls or houses, or at College-sponsored event, program, or facility. The only time jurisdiction is extended off-campus is when sexual misconduct (including domestic/intimate partner violence) between Grinnell College students is alleged.
The College Hearing Board and Judicial Council share the same procedures though their composition and jurisdiction are different. The board and council consider the preponderance of evidence (i.e., more likely than not) when determining the facts of the case and making subsequent determinations of findings of responsibility or non-responsibility regarding alleged policy or regulation violations.
The College Hearing Board, appointed by the President of the College, is a fact-finding board consisting of a rotating panel of College administrators, faculty, and students trained in student conduct procedures that typically hears cases that might result in possible suspension or dismissal from the College. The College Hearing Board has primary jurisdiction over the following types of matters, which are infractions of College policy:
- Any matter in which a student violates the rights of a student, faculty, or community member or College guest;
- Any matter in which a student has harassed or injured any College community member or, by other conduct, has interrupted or interfered with any College program or facility;
- Any matter of assault, sexual misconduct, hate crimes/bias-motivated incidents, or theft as defined by Iowa law or College policy;
- Any matter that might result in the suspension or dismissal of a student;
- Any matter the President of the College or the Vice-President for Student Affairs (or designee) deems is best heard by this body.
The Judicial Council is a completely student run fact-finding board that adjudicates allegations of lesser violations of residence hall rules, College regulations or policies, and any student’s or guest’s rights or privileges occurring on campus, in College-owned housing, or in a college-sponsored event, program, or facility. Judicial Council jurisdiction also extends to violations of election guidelines or improper election conduct. The Judicial Council membership is comprised of at least four students and a student presiding officer - all rotating from a pool of hearing board members. In addition, there is a non-voting faculty adviser, a non-voting staff adviser (typically the Dean of Students), and a non-voting SGA Observer (typically the SGA Vice-President for Academic Affairs).
The Dean of Students (or designee) determines which administrative hearing board will adjudicate allegations of misconduct.
The Student Government Association (SGA) executive members select a rotating panel of student conduct hearing board members for both the College Hearing Board and Judicial Council. The Dean of Students (or designee) acts as an adviser and/or presiding officer to the hearing boards, depending upon the body. When the matter involves a computer/telephone complaint or violation, a non-voting member appointed by the Director of Information Technology Services may sit with the hearing board or council and act as a technical adviser regarding the computer/telephone matters.
It is the primary responsibility of the hearing boards to determine the facts of the case, determine responsibility, and make recommendations to the Vice-President for Student Affairs regarding possible educational outcomes (sanctions) if violations are found.