Disciplinary Procedures of the College
In general terms, College members should conduct themselves in a fit and proper manner at all times, having consideration for their neighbours, be they fellow students, Fellows, College staff or the local community. Internal disciplinary procedures exist for more minor infringements. Additionally, the University has a number of sanctions for breeches of its own Regulations, while the most serious breaches, including all criminal behaviour, will be referred to the local police. Note that complaints of harassment or sexual misconduct are addressed through separate College and/or University procedures.
The College Statutes provide that the maintenance of discipline of Junior Members of the College, excluding academic matters in College is the responsibility of the College Proctor. The College Proctor is generally involved only when they receive a complaint. The College Proctor deals with general complaints themself, usually acting in consultation with the Tutors in the first instance and occasionally with members of the Junior and Graduate Parlour Committees. In practice, some minor items involving questions of discipline or propriety can be dealt with informally by individual Tutors. More serious matters which may attract a fine are handled by the College Proctor. The great majority of disciplinary matters are discharged by, and end with, a moderate fine, set according to precedent, and ranging between £25 and £100 (fine classification)
Disciplinary measures may include formal warnings as to future conduct, fines, requirements to desist from activities, prohibition from use of College facilities (such as the Bar), expulsion from College accommodation and expulsion from the College for short periods. The College takes a particularly serious view of student misbehaviour that inconveniences other members of the College, members of College staff or its neighbours. Students will be expected to be mindful of the proximity of neighbours, both within College properties and in the wider community. Students resident in outlying properties that are in a non-academic environment should be especially sensitive to this.
Unruly, abusive or threatening behaviour or excessive noise is not tolerated and those responsible can expect an uncomfortable interview and sanctions. All matters reported to the Senior Tutor are recorded, a fact which will be unhelpful to anyone who has to see the Senior Tutor about a disciplinary matter on more than one occasion.
For serious acts of vandalism, offences against fire safety, or other acts which risk the safety of others, fines upon individuals may be substantial, typically falling in the range £100 - £250 (in 2017 prices).
With regard to offences that involve groups of people, the group is first asked whether those directly responsible are willing to identify themselves. In many cases, individuals do choose to avoid jeopardising the well-being of the group, and own up. In some they do not. In these cases, there is no alternative to a corporate fine, which may well amount to £500 or more, depending upon the size of the group, and the seriousness of the offence.
Where physical damage to College property is involved, as a result of action by an individual or a group, the principle is that the cost of restitution is required and then a fine is levied on top of this sum. Damage to property outside College would be dealt with either by normal legal procedures or by a similar process of restitution cost plus fine.
In each of the offences above and in similar cases the College Proctor will interview the offender and impose a sanction. The College Proctor holds regular termly meetings with a Proctor’s Advisory Panel, on which representatives of the Junior and Graduate Parlour Committees sit, along with the Senior Tutor, College Registrar and the Head Porter. This Panel regularly reviews the tariffs of fines and other sanctions imposed. A student or group of students wishing to appeal against the penalty imposed should contact the Senior Tutor within ten working days of the imposition of the penalty; the Senior Tutor will then convene a meeting of the Proctor’s Advisory Panel to consider the appeal.
Persistent or other grave offences, for instance involving substance abuse, will trigger the warning, and then the reality, that a further misdemeanour will result in the offender being required to leave College property. The effect of this, under Cambridge conditions, is effectively to double the annual accommodation cost.
Very serious offences (which are exceedingly rare) may result in the offender being rusticated or sent down i.e. required to leave Cambridge temporarily or permanently. In such cases, the University may well be involved and the College and the University will act in consultation.
Hearings of the Student Disciplinary Panel are normally convened only in the case of the last two categories of offence. In Pembroke, the Student Disciplinary Panel is formed by the Master as Chair, the College Proctor, one other experienced Tutor not already involved in the case, the Senior Tutor and another Tutor (who will usually be the Tutor of the individual undergraduate or graduate student involved). Procedures will vary according to the nature of the offence, and the evidence available to the Hearing; but the student is always given opportunity to present his or her own defence. In this process, the student may be assisted by his or her Tutor, and/or by a person of his own choice.
Students may appeal the outcome of the Student Disciplinary Panel by writing to the Master within 5 days of the outcome having been communicated. Any appeal may be remitted, in accordance with the College Statutes, for consideration by the entire Governing Body. The Governing Body may appoint a separate appeal panel, or may consider the appeal directly. In any event the appeal will be concluded by issue of a completion of procedures letter. Again the student may be represented or assisted by his or her own Tutor, and/or by a person of his or her own choice. It should be stressed that it is very rare for a misdemeanour to require more than a simple fine.