Each student brings to the Hamilton community unique skills, talents, values and experiences which, when expressed within the community, contribute to the quality of the educational environment. Students share with members of the faculty, administration and staff the responsibility for creating and maintaining an environment conducive to learning and personal development, where actions are guided by mutual respect, integrity and reason.

As a residential college, Hamilton places emphasis on the total development of the student, both as a member of the College community and as a citizen in society. A residential setting creates opportunities for students to encounter and appreciate values and lifestyles different from their own, to clarify their personal values and to learn to express their own beliefs. As residents of the College community, students have the opportunity to make decisions that govern their actions, and they will be challenged to accept the consequences of those decisions, both in and outside of the classroom.

By their attendance at Hamilton College, students are obligated to comply with its regulations and procedures, which they are expected to read and understand.

Guiding Principles

Hamilton College regulations and practices are designed to promote the educational mission of the College and to encourage respect for the rights of others. Every student enrolled at Hamilton College has certain obligations and responsibilities as a member of the Hamilton College community. The general principles stated below identify College expectations regarding community living and are the principles that shape the regulations and practices outlined in these Policies and Procedures.

  1. Honesty: Personal integrity is expected of all community members in all aspects of community life, both in and outside of the classroom. The Honor Code, fully adopted at Hamilton College in 1912, places responsibility for intellectual honesty upon the individual student.
  2. Respect for Others: Community members are encouraged to treat all people with respect without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender or gender identity, sexual or affectional orientation, political view, physical abilities, age or intelligence. Such respect for one another promotes free and open inquiry, independent thought and mutual understanding.
  3. Respect for Property: It is in the common interest to protect both College property and the private property of all members of the community. Theft and willful property damage will not be condoned.
  4. Freedom of Expression: The right to express opinions may not be abridged, provided that public safety and the rights of individuals are not compromised. The College protects and encourages controversy and dissent.
  5. Freedom of Assembly: Students may freely assemble, and/or form organizations subject to state and federal laws regarding discrimination.

By their voluntary attendance at Hamilton College, students agree to comply with College regulations, stated here and elsewhere, and as enacted by appropriate College officials. As responsible adults and representatives of the College, students are accountable for their actions both on and off campus. Membership in the Hamilton community does not provide immunity from the laws and standards of local, state or national jurisdictions. The College may take disciplinary action, independent of civil authorities, for activities that take place off-campus when the interests of the College are adversely affected. The College may advise appropriate officials of violations of civil or criminal law committed on campus. Disciplinary action at the College will normally proceed during the pendency of criminal proceedings and will not be subject to challenge on the ground that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced.

For students who wish to file a complaint with the State of New York about the College, the State has a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution, including enforcement of applicable State laws. Information about this process can be found here.

Students who wish to file a Civil rights complaint: a complaint involving discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, and sex, including sexual harassment, should be filed with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights:

Office for Civil Rights (OCR) – Enforcement Office
U.S. Department of Education
32 Old Slip, 26th floor
New York, NY 10005 – 2500
Telephone: 646-428-3900
FAX: 646-428-3843
TDD: 877-521-2172

Or with the NYS Division of Human Rights - https://dhr.ny.gov/complaint(link is external)

A complaint of consumer fraud on the part of the institution should be directed to the Office of the New York State Attorney General, Justice Building, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223.

For a complaint about state student financial aid matters, contact the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) Customer Communications Center at 1-888-NYS-HESC.

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