Filing a Complaint


a. Any member of the Oberlin College community may bring a complaint about student conduct to the attention of a judicial coordinator. Incident reports from the Office of Safety and Security and written reports from members of the residential education staff may result in disciplinary charges.

(1) Students are not required to report violations of the code of conduct (with the exception of violations of the Sexual Offense Policy), but should consider the consequences of unreported incidents for the community.
(2) It may not be possible to adjudicate anonymous complaints because of the need for reasonable evidentiary standards. Therefore, community members should take seriously their obligation to report violations and to participate in resulting judiciary procedures.

b. Complaints must ordinarily be filed within 10 business days from the date of the alleged incident. A judicial coordinator may determine exceptions on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of 12 months from the alleged incident.

c. Complainants are instructed to meet with a judicial coordinator, who informs individuals about their rights, responsibilities, and options, as well as the hearing or mediation process.

d. If a complainant wishes to file a formal complaint following a conference with a judicial coordinator, he or she must complete a complaint form (available in the Office of the Dean of Students) and indicate a preference for mediation or adjudication.

e. A judicial coordinator has the authority to determine whether an alleged behavior might reasonably have constituted an infraction of the code of conduct and whether there is sufficient information to proceed with a charge. A judicial coordinator also has the authority to proceed with a charge in the absence of a complaint (or in the event that a complaint is withdrawn) if there is sufficient information from a third source, such as a Safety and Security incident report.

f. A judicial coordinator may also refer students involved in judicial matters to the Oberlin College Dialogue Center (OCDC) for mediation when both of the following conditions are met:

(1) Both parties agree to mediation as the appropriate means for addressing their dispute; and
(2) Major violations of the rules and regulations (those likely, according to precedent, to result in suspension or dismissal) have not occurred, as determined by a judicial coordinator.

g. All charges are filed by a judicial coordinator, on behalf of the college.

h. In instances where there is a lack of clarity about whether a case falls under the jurisdiction of the Judicial or Honor System, the Dean of Students or the dean's designee in consultation with the cochairs of the Student Honor Committee will determine which system (Judicial or Honor) shall hear the case.