Student Conduct

Disciplinary Process

Reports of behavior alleged to violate university policy should be filed with or forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct.

POLICY

The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee may take administrative action(s) against an undergraduate student (or, if pursuant to the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, a graduate or professional student) and/or a student group to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the university community or any member of it. Administrative action includes, but is not limited to, a “no contact” directive, removal of privileges, removal from or relocation within the residential community, suspension of activity, and/or suspension from the university. If administrative action is issued while a disciplinary action is pending, such action may remain in effect until the disciplinary process is resolved.

PROCEDURE

  • Any member of the university community who has reason to believe that a student or student group may pose a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the university community or any member of it should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs or other staff within Student Affairs as appropriate.
  • The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will conduct a preliminary review of available information and, where necessary and appropriate, gather additional information. If feasible under the circumstances, the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will meet with the student in question before taking administrative action.
  • Based on the available information, the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee shall determine whether administrative action is warranted. The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will prepare a written statement identifying the administrative action(s), the time period such action(s) is/are in effect, and the reasons for the administrative action(s).

The university invites students/groups to participate fully in all aspects of the disciplinary process. If a student/group elects not to participate in any part of the process (e.g., submitting a written statement or participating in a hearing), the conduct officer/hearing body may proceed without benefit of that student’s/group’s input. A student/group will be held accountable for any sanctions issued as a result of a hearing.

Office of Student Conduct staff and/or designee(s) will gather information regarding the alleged incident in order to determine the appropriate means of resolution.

Investigations may include interviews, a review of related documents, requests for written statements from any person involved in the alleged incident, and review of material available electronically. Polygraph examinations and/or their results are neither admissible nor considered in any part of the disciplinary process. Students and organizations are encouraged to be forthright and as specific as possible when offering information related to an investigation, but may choose the extent to which they share information.

Cases may be dropped for insufficient information, or referred for mediation, arbitration, informal resolution or disciplinary action. In order for a case to be referred for disciplinary action, there must be sufficient information to believe that a policy violation may have occurred and that the alleged individual/group may be responsible. Administrative Action (above) may be implemented any time during the disciplinary process.

If a case is referred for disciplinary action, the student/group will be notified of the incident in question and the policy violation(s) under consideration, and will be given an opportunity to respond. There are several means by which to resolve disciplinary situations. The Office of Student Conduct will determine which avenue is most appropriate to pursue.

Any case may be forwarded directly to a disciplinary hearing if there is sufficient information to believe that a policy violation may have occurred and that the alleged individual/group may be responsible. Most cases will be referred to administrative hearings. Cases that are serious in nature, involve complicated facts, and/or involve students/groups with previous disciplinary violations may be forwarded to the Undergraduate Conduct Board for resolution. (See the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy for adjudication of allegations of sexual misconduct.)

Disciplinary hearings are not trials and are not constrained by the same rules of procedure and evidence typically used in a court of law. The university disciplinary system operates under a standard of fairness, which includes an opportunity for the student/group to be notified of the alleged incident and policy violations under consideration and an opportunity to be heard.

Individuals or groups who deny responsibility for serious offenses of university policy and who face possible suspension or expulsion/dissolution from the university have the right to request a hearing before a five-person panel of the UCB. Individuals or groups who accept responsibility for alleged violations of university policy, but are unable to agree on a proposed sanction, which may include suspension or expulsion/dissolution, have the right to request a hearing before a three-person panel of the UCB. (The conduct officer may, due to the circumstances of the case, elect to utilize a five-person panel.)

If a student/group accepts responsibility for (an) alleged violation(s), the conduct officer, or designee, may propose (an) appropriate sanction(s) based on the specifics of the case, precedent and university interests.

If the student/group accepts responsibility and agrees to the proposed sanction(s), the student/group waives his/her/its right to a hearing and/or appeal, the resolution becomes final, and the outcome is recorded on the student’s/group’s disciplinary record. If the student/group accepts responsibility, but is unable to agree to the proposed sanction(s), the case will be forwarded to a hearing to determine (an) appropriate sanction(s).

If the student/group denies responsibility, the case will be forwarded to a hearing to determine responsibility and (a) sanction(s) as appropriate.