Resolution Options

Student Conduct and Community Standards ("SCCS") believes that members of the Columbia University community should uphold the highest standards of respect, integrity, and civility. These core values are key components of the Columbia University experience and reflect the community’s expectations of its students. Students are expected to conduct themselves in an honest, civil, and respectful manner in all aspects of their lives and especially when navigating conflict.

When conflict occurs within the community, SCCS aspires to resolve it in a way that is education-focused and restorative in nature. SCCS utilizes a number of resolution methods in response to reports of concern. SCCS will make the final determination regarding which resolution process is most appropriate given the information available.

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Administrative Resolution 

Administrative Resolution is a non-disciplinary resolution option that can take place when a reporting party does not want to engage in other resolution processes, or when SCCS does not have sufficient information to initiate an investigation through the Gender-Based Misconduct or Dean’s Discipline processes. This form of resolution can include no-contact directives, no-contact terms mutually agreed upon by the parties, implementation of safety measures, referrals to counseling, and targeted education and training. 

Policies reviewed under Administrative Resolution with the approval of SCCS and the involved parties:

  • Standards and Discipline

  • Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Interim Title IX Policies and Procedures for Students

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Dean's Discipline Process & Hearing

Dean’s Discipline is the disciplinary resolution option utilized to investigate and respond to allegations of behavioral or academic misconduct. Dean’s Discipline is not meant to be an adversarial or legal process but primarily an educational and reflective dialogue. Through the process, students discuss accountability for their behavior as well as the impact their behavior may have on their own lives and the greater community. SCCS expects that students will act honestly and respectfully through the Dean's Discipline process.


Policies reviewed under Dean’s Discipline include, but are not limited to: 

  • Standards and Discipline

  • Columbia Community Health Compact

  • Information Technology Policies

  • Guide to Living

  • Undergraduate International Travel Policy

  • Columbia Residential Policies

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Mediation 

Mediation is a non-disciplinary, voluntary resolution option that allows for parties, with the guidance of a facilitator, to collectively identify and discuss shared issues and appropriate resolution. The goal is to allow participants to develop their own solutions to their conflict.

Policies reviewed under a Party Agreement with the approval of SCCS and involved parties:

  • Standards and Discipline

  • Guide to Living

  • Columbia Residential Policies

  • Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Interim Title IX Policies and Procedures for Students (within Administrative Resolution)

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Party Agreement

A Party Agreement is a non-disciplinary resolution option that allows for parties to resolve conflict by negotiating and abiding by agreed upon terms. If a Party Agreement fails, SCCS will assist the parties in initiating another resolution process. 

Policies reviewed under a Party Agreement with the approval of SCCS and involved parties:

  • Standards and Discipline

  • Guide to Living

  • Columbia Residential Policies

  • Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Interim Title IX Policies and Procedures for Students (within Administrative Resolution)

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Restorative Justice

A Restorative Justice (“RJ”) Conference is a non-disciplinary resolution option that is a dialogue, facilitated by a SCCS staff member, intended to restore relationships and repair harm after a conflict has occurred. Both the student accused of wrongdoing and the individuals affected by the conflict come together to identify the harm that was caused and, collaboratively, determine how conflict and trust might be resolved and repaired.  A party may request to engage in RJ at any stage of the investigative or disciplinary process; however, RJ may not be an appropriate resolution option for all conflicts. 

Policies reviewed under Restorative Justice with the approval of SCCS and the involved parties:

  • Standards and Discipline

  • Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Interim Title IX Policies and Procedures for Students

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Investigation and Adjudication 

An investigation is the disciplinary resolution option utilized to investigate allegations of Gender-Based Misconduct (and is the sole resolution option for allegations of Sexual Assault: Penetration). There are 3 possible routes for investigation. 

  • The investigation and adjudication of allegations under the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy are reviewed through the Gender-Based Misconduct Investigation and Hearing Panel.
     
  • The investigation and adjudication of allegations under the Interim Title IX Policy are reviewed through the Interim Title IX Investigation and Hearing Procedure.
     
  • Complaints that include allegations of both Gender-Based Misconduct and misconduct under the Interim Title IX Policy will be investigated and adjudicated under the Interim Title IX Investigation and Hearing Procedure.

SCCS will designate a two-person team to conduct an investigation into whether a violation of the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Interim Title IX Policies and Procedures for Students occurred. If it is determined that a Hearing Panel is necessary at the conclusion of the investigation, the matter will proceed to a Hearing Panel for adjudication.

Policies reviewed under Title IX Investigation and Adjudication:

  • Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Interim Title IX Policies and Procedures for Students