The disciplinary process is initiated once a complaint is filed against a student by a member of the College community or by the Code of Conduct Official (CCO). This policy is not intended to prevent members of the College community from attempting to resolve matters informally. Failure to cooperate with the College’s investigation of an alleged Student Code of Conduct violation will result in the student forfeiting his/her rights to a hearing or appeal and/or may result in disciplinary action.
- A. Disciplinary Process
When the CCO files or receives a complaint alleging that a student has acted in a manner which may be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the CCO initiates the disciplinary process by meeting with the Accused Student, putting him/her on notice of the alleged violation, and providing him/her with an opportunity to respond to the allegations. The CCO may conduct further investigation, if necessary. If a student fails to attend the initial review, depending upon the nature of the violation, a hold will be placed on the student’s account and/or interim sanctions may be put into place until a meeting can be scheduled.
If the CCO determines that a violation exists, these procedural options are available:
- 1. Verbal or written warning: For low-level offenses, the CCO may issue a verbal or written warning to the Accused Student. Warnings shall not be subject to a hearing before a Judicial Board or an appeal.
2. Administrative Disposition: The Accused Student and the CCO mutually agree upon a disciplinary remedy. By accepting the administrative disposition, the Accused Student waives his/her right to a hearing before the College Judicial Board, and all of the other requirements related to Judicial Board hearings. A student selecting an administrative disposition may still seek an appeal for removal/suspension/expulsion offenses* only, however, the agreement of the student and the CCO should make appeal unnecessary.
3. Judicial Board Hearing: When an administrative disposition cannot be reached, the CCO shall refer the alleged violation to the Judicial Board for a hearing. Refer to the section below regarding Judicial Board rules and procedures.
4. Single Administrator Hearing: Available only in Title IX cases in place of an Administrative Disposition, this hearing follows the rules and guidelines of a Judicial Board hearing, but the case is presented to a single hearing officer instead of a panel. Appeal would go to a panel.
* All suspension/expulsion appeals will be directed to the Vice President for Student Services or designee(s). All housing removal appeals will be directed to the Assistant Vice President for Student Services or designee(s).
- B. Judicial Board Hearing
The College Judicial Board, acting through a panel of at least six members (five members, including at least one student, plus the chair presiding), hears and decides cases involving alleged violations of College policy. The chair votes only in the case of a tie. Decisions of the College Judicial Board are final, except as outlined in the appeal procedure (see Appeals Process).
- a) A hearing with the College Judicial Board shall be scheduled by the CCO not later than thirty (30) days following an Accused Student’s request for a hearing.
b) A written statement of charges shall be presented to the Accused Student no less than five (5) days prior to a hearing. A hearing will not be scheduled less than five (5) days after a student receives the written notification of charges. In the case of summary suspension, a student is immediately provided with written notification of charges and a College Judicial Board hearing will be scheduled within five (5) days.
c) A College Judicial Board hearing is an administrative hearing. Though the rules of evidence do not apply. The preponderance of the evidence standard (what’s more likely than not) is used in the judicial process.
d) In a matter involving more than one Accused Student, the Judicial Board may permit, at its discretion, an individual hearing for each Accused Student.
e) The Accused Student has the right to be accompanied by one advisor of his/her own choosing and at his/her own expense. The advisor may be an attorney. An advisor’s role is limited to advising the Accused Student directly. An advisor is not permitted to participate directly in the hearing.
f) A request to reschedule a Judicial Board hearing must be completed 24 hours prior to the scheduled time of the hearing and will only be considered for just cause. Just cause will be determined by the Vice President for Student Services or his/her designee.
g) Failing to attend a Judicial Board hearing will result in the hearing being conducted in the student’s absence. If a student is late to his/her Judicial Board hearing and the hearing has already commenced, the student will be permitted to attend at the discretion of the Judicial Board.
C. Conduct of the Hearing
- a) A hearing is normally conducted in private.
b) There shall be a record created of all hearings. The record shall be the property of the College.
c) All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the College Judicial Board.
d) Admission of any person(s) into the hearing shall be at the discretion of the College Judicial Board.
e) A hearing shall proceed as follows:
- i. The CCO presents the statement of charges on behalf of the College. The CCO may present documents, materials, and/or witnesses in support of the statement of charges.
ii. The Accused Student responds to the statement of charges. The student may present documents, materials, and/or witnesses in response to the statement of charges.
iii. Following the parties’ presentations, the College Judicial Board may question each party, their witnesses, and/or review all information presented. The College Judicial Board has the discretion to request additional documents, materials, or information from either party.
iv. While direct cross-examination by the parties is not permitted, each party will be given the opportunity to question the other by presenting questions through the Judicial Board. If the Board determines a question is relevant, the other party will be asked to respond.
v. The College Judicial Board shall have the final opportunity to question the parties.
vi. The College Judicial Board shall determine, by majority vote, whether the statement of charges has been proven.
vii. The CCO and the Accused Student will be provided an opportunity to recommend appropriate sanctions to the College Judicial Board if it is determined that he/she is in violation of policy.
viii. The College Judicial Board shall determine, by majority vote, what the sanctions will be. The sanctions are shared at the hearing with the student.
g) Within five (5) days of the conclusion of a hearing, the College Judicial Board shall issue a written decision outlining its findings and disciplinary action, if any, to the parties.
- D. Disciplinary Sanctions
Findings and sanctions will become a part of a student’s conduct file and will be part of the student’s educational record. The sanctions that may be imposed by a conduct officer or hearing board are as follows:
- a) Verbal Reprimand: This action is a formal admonition on behalf of the College community and is intended to clearly document, in a student’s disciplinary file, that his/her behavior has been deemed unacceptable. Reprimands typically do not include additional sanctions, but may.
b) Written Warning: This action is a written statement on behalf of the College community and is intended to clearly document, in a student’s disciplinary file, that his/her behavior has been deemed unacceptable and that repetition or additional wrongful conduct would be followed by more severe disciplinary action. A written warning may include additional sanctions.
c) Disciplinary Probation: This action constitutes a change in status between good standing and suspension or expulsion from the College. For a specified time period or indefinitely the student must demonstrate behavior that aligns with the mission, values, and policies of the College. The student is permitted to remain enrolled at the College under certain stated conditions.
d) Fines: This action may be imposed when necessary.
e) Restitution: This action typically results from disciplinary violations involving theft and/or damage to College property.
f) Discretionary Sanctions: This action typically occurs in conjunction with a written warning or disciplinary probation. Sanctions include but are not limited to: essays, privilege revocation, referral to counseling or another service area, work assignments, apology letters, service to the College, or other related discretionary assignments may be imposed.
g) Deferred Removal from the Residence Halls: An official action informing the student that the violation of any College regulation or residence hall policy during the deferred removal period will result in residence hall suspension or residence hall removal. For a specified time period or indefinitely, residence hall privileges may be revoked, such as having guests/visitors or borrowing hall equipment.
h) Residence Hall Removal: Eviction/removal from the residence halls and the termination of the student’s housing license. Students removed from the residence halls may not return to the halls or surrounding grounds as a guest and may be arrested for trespassing.
i) Residence Hall Suspension: Eviction/removal from the residence halls for a period of time up to two years and the termination of the student’s housing license. Students suspended from the residence halls may not return to the halls or surrounding grounds as a guest and may be arrested for trespassing.
j) Residence Hall Relocation: An official action moving a student from one room to another within the residence halls. Students relocated to another room may be restricted from entering a specified room, suite, floor or building.
k) Residence Hall Interim Removal: A temporary action removing a student from the residence halls in order to protect the safety of other students in the community. A residence hall interim removal is used in situations where threats are made, acts of physical violence are committed, and/or there is any indication of a safety risk. Typically, interim removals occur after business hours and last until the next business day, but can last through an investigation and conduct process period.
l) Suspension: This action results in the involuntary withdrawal of the student from the College for a period of time up to two years or until specific conditions have been met. Please note that the college has a Transcript Notation Policy, and that an outcome of suspension will be noted on your transcript as follows: “Suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation.”
m) Summary Suspension: This action results in the immediate removal of a student from the College, including the residence halls, until a conduct hearing can take place. If a student is summarily suspended, immediate written notice of charges is provided and a Judicial Board hearing is scheduled within five (5) business days. During this time, a student may not be permitted to be on campus for any reason without notifying Public Safety.
n) Expulsion: This action results in termination of student status at the College for an indefinite period of time. Please note that the college has a Transcript Notation Policy, and that an outcome of expulsion will be noted on your transcript as follows: “Expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation.”
o) Loss of Privileges for Clubs or Organizations: In addition to the above sanctions, clubs or organizations may suffer loss of all or selected rights and privileges for a period of time or indefinitely.
p) Interim Sanctions: This action results in directives that are in place through the judicial process. A student may be placed on a disciplinary probation status, temporarily relocated or removed from the residence halls, unable to attend one class, referred to counseling, provided an order of no contact, etc., while an investigation and Judicial Board hearing are taking place.
- E. Appeals Process
- a) The written appeal must contain the reason for the appeal. Appeals must meet one of three criteria:
- i. New evidence exists, which was not presented at the hearing because it was not reasonably known to the Complainant or Responding Student at that time, and which is sufficiently relevant such that it could alter the CCO or College Judicial Board’s decision.
ii. The College’s failure to follow its own processes and procedures.
iii. The sanction imposed was not appropriate in light of the evidence presented.
c) The appeals officer’s decision is final.
- F. Interpretation
- G. Transcript Notations
- H. Records Retention Policy Statement
According to the Records Retention and Deposition Schedule CO-2 for use by counties, revised 2006 (page 34e), the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will only retain student disciplinary records for six years after the end of an academic year. This includes but is not limited to suspension notices, suspension hearing records, probationary condition adherence records, expulsion records, correspondence, fine assessments, and related records. Similarly, grievance records – including investigative records, hearing proceedings, decisions rendered, appeals, and records of arbitration, final decision and correspondence – will only be retained for six years following the resolution of the grievance.
The only records that may be retained longer than six years, are records relating to academic transcript notations, including complaint, suspension notices, suspension hearing records, expulsion records, all correspondence, appeal, and other related records.