Bard College Student Handbook

Physical Violence/Threats of Physical Violence

Bard College and New York State Law (penal law article 35, use of force and deadly physical force regulates physical interaction between NY State Residents and guests) does not tolerate physical violence. Any act or threat of physical violence is in direct conflict with the educational mission and goals of the College. Community members who engage in physical violence against another member of the community are subject to disciplinary action.

Physical assault is defined as any physical contact with another person that causes that person harm, intends to cause that person harm, or can reasonably be viewed by the person as a source of harm, regardless of whether the behavior was deliberate or whether the potential outcome was intended. Physical assault can be direct (for example, striking, shoving, or kicking another) or indirect (for example, hitting a person with anything thrown or propelled, including objects thrown from a window or structure).

Violations of this policy will result in sanctions that may include, but are not limited to: restricted access to campus, loss of social privileges, social probation, mandated threat assessment, loss of housing, mandatory leave, social leave, suspension, or expulsion. Violators may also be subject to arrest. If it is determined that a student found responsible for violating this policy had no other option but to use physical violence to defend themself, this will be taken into consideration in the sanctioning process.

Upon receiving a report of physical violence, the Dean of Students shall immediately convene an administrative hearing, which may include representatives from the Dean of Student Affairs Office, the Office of Safety and Security, the Office of the Dean of the College, the Office of Residence Life & Housing, Health Services, Counseling Service, and the Student Judiciary Board. Individuals who are alleged to have violated the policy on physical violence may have their access to campus limited until an administrative hearing can be convened or is concluded. In situations where it is determined that an individual poses a potential threat to the well-being of others, summary loss of housing privileges or temporary suspension from the College may be imposed. Violations of the policy can be heard either through a judicial hearing or administrative hearing at the discretion of the Dean of Students.

In instances where a student is charged with a violation of local, state, or federal law, on or off campus, the Dean of Students will review the nature of the charges against the student and determine whether the matter warrants additional disciplinary action from the college. At the discretion of the Dean, on-campus proceedings may be delayed pending the outcome of associated criminal cases. A finding of guilt or an admission of facts in criminal court may be used as evidence against a student at an on-campus judicial hearing.