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Student Handbook

Other Policies and Procedures

Rules Relating to Undergraduate Athletics

  1. No group of undergraduates shall take part in athletic sports or give public entertainment without obtaining in advance the consent of the faculty, and application made through the Academic Council; and no undergraduate shall engage in any outside athletic participation which is unauthorized by the Academic Council.
  2. Application for absence in representation of any college organization, athletic, dramatic, debating or musical, must be made in advance to the associate dean of the faculty on a printed form properly filled out and bearing the approval of the head of the department associated with the organization. Plans for such representation are subject to consideration and report by the Academic Council and must be duly authorized before definite engagements are made.
  3. Without the recommendation of the director of athletics or other proper faculty representative and the written permission of the associate dean secured in advance, no participant in any engagement away from the College may take a longer absence from appointed exercises than that granted to the team or club of which he or she is a member. No participant shall travel other than with the team or club of which he or she is a member, unless he or she secures permission in advance.
  4. No undergraduate who receives a gift, remuneration, pay, or any unauthorized award for participation on a College team shall be allowed to take part in intercollegiate athletic competition.
  5. No undergraduate who has used, or is using, knowledge of athletics or athletic skill for monetary gain during the College year shall take part in intercollegiate competition.
  6. An undergraduate's participation in intercollegiate athletics is restricted to a single sport in any season.
  7. All intercollegiate contests must take place on the home grounds of the competing colleges.
  8. All intercollegiate athletic schedules are subject to approval by the faculty. For recognized intercollegiate sports, the maximum number of events in which each team may participate is dictated by regulations specified by the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Junior varsity games are limited to a maximum of not more than two-thirds of the regular varsity schedule. In all sports there is to be an even division between home and away games. For informal sports such as fencing, wrestling, sailing and skiing, only contests that do not necessitate absence from class may be scheduled.
  9. Student groups must consult the vice president, Communications and Development, before soliciting funds from the alumni body, excepting normal organization dues.

Class Attendance

Hamilton College is an academic institution. Although the College is committed to athletics as part of a liberal education, student-athletes are students first. Student-athletes at Hamilton have the same academic obligations as other students.

All parties—coaches, instructors, and students—have certain responsibilities in assuring that students are able to balance their academic and athletic activities. Coaches, instructors, and students shall communicate with each other and work together to minimize conflicts. However, in the case of irreconcilable conflict, academic requirements take priority.

Coaches should inform team members at the beginning of the season about obligations arising from team participation that may conflict with academic obligations, including starting times for home contests and practices and departure times for away contests, or that will require students to participate in team activities when classes are not in session. They should also remind students that they must inform their instructors about possible conflicts and make alternative arrangements as early in the term as possible. Students who make such efforts in timely fashion but who cannot be accommodated by the instructor or who choose to honor their academic obligation rather than that to the athletic team should not have their standing with the team jeopardized.

Individual instructors set attendance policies for their courses. Instructors should inform students at the beginning of the first class meeting about course obligations that may conflict with athletic obligations. Instructors are encouraged to accommodate students who wish to make alternative arrangements for completing course obligations because of conflicts arising from athletic team schedules. Athletes may not be held to standards of attendance that are different from those of other students. In courses in which the instructor will not make accommodation, students should be informed during the drop-add week so that they have the option of taking other courses.

Students must inform instructors at the beginning of the term about conflicts with class obligations—including attendance—caused by membership on an athletic team. Should alternative arrangements for completing course obligations not be possible, the student should immediately inform the coach.

Mandatory athletic practices, including suiting up or other preparations for practice, may not require absence from class. Although instructors are expected to end classes by 3:50 p.m., the Athletic Department recognizes that on occasion, especially with labs, a special situation may require a student to stay beyond that time. Under no circumstances will a coach penalize a student for arriving late as a result of participation in a regularly scheduled academic activity.

Athletic Scheduling

In keeping with its commitment to providing an athletic program for student-athletes who value and respect the fundamental educational goals of the College, the College bases its athletic scheduling policy on the need to provide for the integrity of the athletic program while recognizing the priority of academic requirements. The College considers as maximal limits the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) regulations on dates for beginning and ending of athletic seasons, numbers of contests allowed for each sport, and post-season tournament competition

In addition, the following rules govern the scheduling of athletic practices as well as the resolution of conflicts with academic obligations.

  1. Contests may not normally be scheduled so as to conflict with a regularly scheduled course more than once a week or more than a total of five times in fall or spring term.
  2. Normally, intercollegiate contests will not exceed three per team in any Sunday to Saturday period while classes are in session.
  3. Mandatory practices may not require absence from class before 3:50 p.m., and instructors are expected to release students by that time. Instructors who wish to schedule required academic activities outside of class time are reminded that athletic practices begin at 4 p.m., and, just as instructors expect students to attend class sessions, coaches depend on having their full roster of athletes on hand for practice.
  4. Responsibility for setting the rules and supervising their implementation lies with the Committee on Athletics, which will revise the regulations as needed, receive a report about athletic scheduling in the spring of each year from the VP/Dean, and circulate in the fall of each school year the athletic schedule for the year.
  5. Responsibility for scheduling athletic contests lies with the Chair of the Department of Physical Education, who will send to the Committee on Athletics proposed schedules in time to make any adjustments requested by the Committee. The Chair will consult with the VP/Dean annually at the end of the spring term about the operation of the rules that year. In particular, the Chair will consult about the number of occasions, if any, on which exceptions were made to allow absence from a regularly scheduled course more than once a week or five times a term; and scheduling more than three contests per team in any Sunday to Saturday period.

Captain's Practices

NESCAC regulations stipulate that captain's practices "are to be conditioning and fitness workouts. Captains may not conduct organized technical and tactical practices out of season. No fall captains' fitness workouts may be conducted before students are required to be on campus by virtue of the academic calendar" (NESCAC Manual, 17). Hamilton College further stipulates that (1) players are under no circumstances required to attend any captain's practice, and (2) captains' practices are not to be held between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

General Oversight

General oversight of athletic scheduling will be a responsibility of the VP/Dean, who will address questions and problems of coaches, instructors, and students; and report annually to the Committee on Athletics on the effectiveness of the rules, the exceptions granted that year, and any problems. Responsibility for setting these rules and supervising their implementation lies with the Committee on Athletics, which will revise the regulations as needed.

Coaches, instructors, and students who have questions about the implementation of these regulations or any problems that they are not able to resolve among themselves should meet with the VP/Dean.

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