Inside the Senate

CS Reps from each section (i) meet and discuss Community Standards issues or concerns that arise in sections, (ii) work with section presidents and ed reps to enhance communication within the sections in order to bridge the gaps between people with opposing viewpoints on sensitive issues, and (iii) serve on various committees and panels within the CS group.

Community Standards Committee
The CS Committee is comprised of students, faculty, and administration. Students Chris Crane, Margaret Howell, and Maria Molland have represented students in the discussion of initiatives and issues related to Community Standards throughout the year. Three students from the RC will be joining this discussion beginning next month. Pam Ring Community Standards Director, Professor Mike Beer, and Dean Carl Kester work with the students on this front.

This year, the CS Committee is trying to effect the transformation of Community Standards from what is viewed as mostly a disciplinary function to something more positive. We have formed an Aspirations Committee to work on rewarding students for upholding the highest standards for themselves. This committee will include Professor Mike Beer, Dean Carl Kester, and three students from the RC and will also work on hosting events on campus concentrating on values and aspirations as well as other initiatives.

Other issues the CS Committee has been working on include clarifying what is meant by a “violation” and trying to send a consistent message about CS and the administration’s expectations of HBS students to both students and faculty. Additionally, CS reps regularly attend the SA meeting in order to maximize communication between the CS Committee and the student body at large.

Community Standards Panels
Of the Community Standards issues that arise on campus, most are handled locally (at the individual or section level through effective communication). A small subset of these is reported to Pam Ring, the CS Director, who evaluates the situation in order to determine whether a violation has likely occurred. Of the accusations that reach Pam, only a small number ever go to a CS Panel for evaluation.

Community Standards Panels are comprised of three students, two faculty members, and one staff member, as well as a faculty chair of the Panel who only votes if there is a tie. Pam gathers data, maintains records, acts as a liaison with students and witnesses appearing before the Panel, and reports on matters related to the Panel’s work, but does not vote. The Panels are highly confidential in order to protect students’ interests and meet intensely in order for the group to come to resolution quickly and report back to the accused of their findings. This process is described in great detail on

Last year there were 24 sanctions given to students, five of which were dismissed prior to going to the CS Panel. These included eight warnings, three reprimand/probations, one suspension, one suspension of alumni privileges, and two denials for reentry from previous cases. For more information on last year’s CS Panels, please see the CS 2001 Annual Report on

Where do I find out more about Community Standards?
There is a detailed description of the disciplinary process on under Quick Info/ HBS Policies/ Conduct/ Community Standards.