Code of Conduct

  • As a residential college, Williams believes that for each student the experience of living with other students has an educational importance that should parallel and enhance their studies. For students to profit from living and working together, they must respect the rights of other members of the community in which they live and work—a community which includes students, members of the faculty and staff of the College, and other residents of Williamstown. The President, Trustees, faculty, and students of Williams College have established the codes of conduct described below to foster the learning that comes from living and studying with individuals of diverse backgrounds and from learning to honor opinions and beliefs that may differ from one’s own.

    By enforcing the Code of Conduct, the College supports an environment conducive to intellectual, ethical, and civic development.  Students are expected to respect the rights of others, their persons and their possessions, and refrain from any unreasonable disruption to the College or the community around it.  The College will hold students responsible if they fail to maintain good conduct on the campus or elsewhere.

  • Williams College does not discriminate on grounds unrelated to its educational objectives; it is committed to being a community in which all ranges of opinion and belief can be expressed and debated, and within which all patterns of behavior permitted by the public law and College regulations can take place. The community is varied, including people of diverse races, religions, national or ethnic backgrounds, gender expressions and gender identities, and sexual orientations, and its members may from time to time disagree with one another’s ideas and behavior. The College seeks to assure the rights of all to express themselves in words and actions, so long as they can do so without infringing upon the rights of others or violating standards of good conduct or public law.

    Accepting membership in this community entails an obligation to behave with courtesy to others whose beliefs and behavior differ from one’s own; all members and guests of this community must be free of disturbance or harassment, including racial and sexual harassment.

    Students will be treated equitably and fairly under the Code of Conduct.

  • The College does not give students protection from the consequences of violations of federal, state, and local laws, and public authorities may act independently to investigate and prosecute any such violations. When students are charged with legal violations committed on or off–campus, the Dean of the College may also initiate disciplinary proceedings. The accused student, however, may request of the Dean of the College a suspension of the disciplinary proceedings until the conclusion of the court case.  This request may be denied by the discretion of the Dean of the College.  In addition, the Dean of the College may impose interim restrictions as provided in the following section.  In the case of a graduating senior, in the event the College disciplinary proceedings are not concluded by Commencement, the degree may be withheld.

  • Informal dean meetings, warnings, and educational assignments do not become part of a student’s formal disciplinary record.  This information is reported to the student and is kept on file in the Dean’s office until graduation, when it is removed. Students who receive these actions can answer negatively if they are asked if they have been subject to College discipline.

    Disciplinary probation, suspensions and expulsions are part of the student's formal disciplinary record. Students who receive these sanctions must answer affirmatively if they are asked whether they have been subject to College discipline. In the case of suspension, The Dean of the College retains student records of probation and suspension for seven years from the date of the notice of final disposition.  In the case of expulsion, the Dean of the College retains student discipline records indefinitely.

    All non-disciplinary files in the Dean's Office will be retained for seven years from the date of the most recent update to the student record.

  • Definitions of sexual misconduct, reporting, investigation and adjudication, support through the process, and affect on student records are all explained here