Procedures for Addressing Allegations of Nonacademic Misconduct
The following procedures shall be followed in addressing allegations of non-academic misconduct.
1. Providing Information leading to a Complaint: Any member of the University Community may provide information leading to the filing of a complaint against a Student or a Student Organization alleging a violation of the Student Code. A complaint must be made in writing and submitted to the University’s Disciplinary Officer or Conduct Administrator.
2. Disciplinary Proceedings Against a Student Charged with a Violation of Law and a Violation of the Code: University proceedings may be instituted against an Accused Student who has been charged with a violation of state or federal law for conduct which also constitutes a potential violation of this Code (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following the institution of civil or criminal court proceedings against the Accused Student. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this Student Code shall not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of University rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.
3. Pre-Hearing Investigation and Administrative Disposition: The Disciplinary Officer or Conduct Administrator may conduct an investigation to determine if the charges have merit and/or if they can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the Accused Student and the Disciplinary Officer or Conduct Administrator. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the charges are not admitted and/or cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the Disciplinary Officer or Conduct Administrator may also present the case for the University at any subsequent hearing, but if he or she does, he or she shall not serve as a member of the Hearing Body.
4. Hearing Bodies: A Student accused of misconduct has the right to be heard by an impartial Hearing Body. Any dispute surrounding the impartiality of the Hearing Body or any member thereof will be referred to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee, who will review the matter and make a determination.
5. Hearing Procedures:
a. Notice of Hearing: Normally, a hearing will be conducted within ten (10) University Calendar Days of the Accused Student being notified of the charges. Notice may be provided to the Accused Student by in-hand delivery, by registered mail, by University email, with delivery receipt attached, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by overnight delivery, with signature of recipient required. Notice shall be sent or delivered to the Accused Student at his or her campus email address, campus address, if any, or at his or her home address on file with the University, whichever is appropriate. Should the Accused Student refuse to accept in-hand delivery, a written statement of the attempted delivery of the notice signed by the person attempting to make such delivery shall constitute notice. Should the Accused Student refuse to sign for registered or certified mail, the postal document indicating such refusal shall constitute notice. Delivery of notice via University email shall constitute notice regardless of whether the Accused Student has opened and read the email itself.
The notice shall advise the Accused Student of each section of the Student Code alleged to have been violated and, with respect to each such section, a statement of the acts or omissions which are alleged to constitute a violation of the Code, including the approximate time when and the place where such acts or omissions allegedly occurred.
The Accused Student shall be afforded a reasonable period of time to prepare for the hearing, which period of time shall not be less than three (3) University Calendar Days. The Accused Student, the Reporting Party and/or any alleged victim may request a delay of the hearing due to extenuating circumstances. Any decision to postpone the hearing shall be made by the Disciplinary Officer or Conduct Administrator or by the Hearing Body, or by the designee of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
b. Hearing: Hearings shall be closed, but the Hearing Body may, in its discretion, admit any person into the hearing room. The Hearing Body shall have the authority to discharge or to remove any person whose presence is deemed unnecessary or obstructive to the proceedings.
The Accused Student, the Reporting Party and any alleged victim shall have the right to be present at all stages of the hearing process except during the private deliberations of the Hearing Body and the presentation of sanctions. In hearings involving more than one Accused Student, the Hearing Body may determine that, in the interest of fairness, separate hearings should be convened.
c. Record of Hearing: When expulsion or suspension from the University or residence hall separation is a possibility, the University shall make a recording of the hearing. The recording shall be the property of the University. No other recordings shall be made by any person during the hearing. Upon request, the Accused Student may review the recording in a designated University office in order to prepare for an appeal of the decision rendered by the Hearing Body. Further disclosure of the recording shall be governed by applicable state and federal law.
d. Opportunity to Present a Defense: The Accused Student shall have the full opportunity to present a defense and information, including the testimony of witnesses, in his or her behalf. The Reporter and the Accused Student may question the statements of any person who testifies in a manner deemed appropriate by the Hearing Body. The Reporter and the Accused Student may make concluding statements regarding the charges made and the information presented during the hearing. The Hearing Body may question the Accused Student and the Reporter, any witness presented by the Accused Student or the Reporter, and any other witnesses the Hearing Body may choose to call to testify.
e. Accused Student Can Choose Whether or Not to Testify in His or Her Own Defense: The Accused Student who is present at the hearing shall be advised by the Hearing Body that he or she is not required to testify, to answer questions, or to make any statement regarding the complaint or the allegations set forth in the complaint. Refusal to do so shall not be considered by the Hearing Body to constitute evidence of responsibility.
f. Non-Appearance of Accused Student at Disciplinary Hearing: If an Accused Student does not appear at a disciplinary hearing, the Hearing Body shall enter a plea of “not responsible” on behalf of such student and the hearing shall proceed in the normal manner of hearing evidence, weighing facts, and rendering judgment. The failure of an Accused Student to appear at the disciplinary hearing shall not be considered by the Hearing Body to constitute evidence of responsibility.
g. Support Persons: The Reporting Party, any alleged victim and the Accused Student shall each have the right to be accompanied by a Support Person. A Student should select as a Support Person one whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the disciplinary hearing because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of a Support Person.
h. Presentation of Evidence: Only evidence introduced at the hearing itself may be considered by the Hearing Body.
i. Evidence of Prior Convictions or Disciplinary Actions: Evidence of prior criminal convictions or University disciplinary actions may be presented to the Hearing Body only after a determination of responsibility has been made and only for consideration in connection with determining the sanction.
j. Accommodation of Witnesses: The Hearing Body may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the Reporter, Accused Student, and/or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the Hearing Body to be appropriate.
k. Written Notice of Decision: The Accused Student shall receive written notice of the decision of the Hearing Body that shall set forth the decision rendered, including a finding of “responsible” or “not responsible,” and the sanctions imposed, if any. The decision of the Hearing Body, as well as the sanction(s) imposed, if any, generally will not be released to third parties without the prior written consent of the Accused Student. However, certain information may be released if and to the extent authorized by state or federal law.
6. Appeals: The decision of the Hearing Body may be appealed by the Accused Student to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee. A request for review must be made in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee within three (3) University Calendar Days of the Student’s receipt of the written notice of decision. For good cause shown, the Vice President for Student Affairs may extend the three-University Calendar Day limitation on filing appeals. A Student may request only one review of each decision rendered by the Hearing Body. A decision reached as a result of an Administrative Disposition may not be appealed.
a. Grounds for Appeal: The Accused Student has the right to appeal the decision of the Hearing Body on the grounds that: (i) the procedures set forth in this Code were not followed and, as a result, the decision was substantially affected; (ii) the sanction(s) imposed were not appropriate for the violation of the Code for which the Accused Student was found responsible; and/or (iii) new information, sufficient to alter the decision, or other relevant facts were not brought out in the original hearing because such information and/or facts were not known to the Accused Student at the time of the original hearing. The appeal shall be limited to a review of the record except as required to explain the basis of new information.
b. Appeal Procedures: In order to prepare for the appeal, the Accused Student may review the recording of the original hearing in a designated University office but will not be permitted to remove the recording from that office or make copies. The appeal will not be heard by anyone involved in the initial hearing. The appeal shall be considered and a decision rendered within ten (10) University Calendar Days of the filing of the appeal.
If an appeal is upheld, the matter shall be referred to the original Hearing Body for reconsideration of its original determination or to a newly-constituted Hearing Body for a new hearing, or the sanction imposed may be reduced, as appropriate. If an appeal is not upheld, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved.
c. Status of Student Pending Appeal: All sanctions imposed by the Hearing Body shall be and continue in effect pending the outcome of an appeal. Any request to delay the commencement of sanctions pending an appeal must be made by the Accused Student, in writing, to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee.