Student Code of Conduct and Title IX

Judicial Proceedings


Judicial Procedures

This section gives a general idea of how the College’s judicial proceedings work, but it should be noted that not all situations are of the same severity or complexity. Thus, these procedures are flexible, and are not exactly the same in every situation, though consistency in similar situations is a priority. The College judicial proceedings and all applicable timelines commence with notice to an administrator of a potential violation of College policy.

Notice
Once notice is received from any source (Public Safety, Reporting Individual, Resident Assistant, third party, online, etc.), the College may proceed with a preliminary investigation and/or may schedule an initial educational conference with the responding student to explain the conduct process to the responding student and to gather information.

Disciplinary Process
When a complaint is filed alleging that a student has acted in a manner which may be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Director, Student Rights and Responsibilities, or designee, initiates the disciplinary process by sending a notice to the alleged student regarding the allegations. The conduct officer may conduct further investigation, if necessary.
If the conduct officer determines that a violation exists, these procedural options are available:

      1. Verbal or written warning: For low-level offenses, the conduct officer 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 conduct officer mutually agree upon a disciplinary remedy. By accepting the administrative disposition, the Accused Student waives their 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 conduct officer should make appeal unnecessary.
      3. Judicial Board Hearing: When an administrative disposition cannot be reached, the conduct officer 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.

NOTE: Failure to cooperate with the College’s investigation of an alleged Student Code of Conduct violation, which includes appearing before a Judicial Board or College official if summoned to do so, will result in the student forfeiting their rights to a hearing or appeal and/or may result in disciplinary action. A “hold” may also be placed on the student’s account and interim sanctions put into place.

Judicial Board Hearing
The College Judicial Board is the primary fact-finding and decision-making body in the College conduct system. The Judicial Board shall consist of a chair, four students, four representatives from the Faculty Association, and two representatives from the Civil Service Employee Association. A representative from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities serves as the advisor to the Board. All appointees to the College Judicial Board shall be approved by the President.

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 conduct officer 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 their own choosing and at their 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 of Student Services or their 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 their Judicial Board hearing and the hearing has already commenced, the student will be permitted to attend at the discretion of the Judicial Board.
Judicial Board Hearing Proceedings
    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 conduct officer presents the statement of charges on behalf of the College. The conduct officer 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 conduct officer and the Accused Student will be provided an opportunity to recommend appropriate sanctions to the College Judicial Board if it is determined that they are 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.
    f) In reaching its decision, the Judicial Board shall determine whether it is more likely than not that the Accused Student violated the Student Code of Conduct, based on the information presented.
    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.

Disciplinary Sanctions
Any student who engages in any prohibited act or conduct may be subject to one or more of the following sanctions. The degree of violation and matters of extenuating circumstances shall be taken into account, along with all relevant circumstances, in determining the appropriate sanction. Please note: For students found responsible for Sexual Assault I, the available sanctions are suspension with additional requirements before re-enrollment or expulsion/dismissal. Students found responsible for Sexual Assault II, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking may be subject to one or more of the following sanctions. A sanction need not be imposed in every case, and no sanction shall be imposed that is more serious than is clearly appropriate for the circumstances.

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 their 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 their 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. Please note that a status of Disciplinary Probation may impact a student’s ability to participate in certain student leadership or athletic capacities.
    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.

Interim Actions
Under the Student Code of Conduct, the Vice President, Student Services, or designee, may impose restrictions and/or separate a student from the community pending the scheduling of a conduct hearing on alleged violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct when:
    · A student represents a threat of serious harm to others;
    · Is facing allegations of serious criminal activity;
    · To preserve the integrity of an investigation
    · To preserve College property; and/or
    · To prevent disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the College.
Interim actions can include separation from the institution or restrictions on participation in the community for no more than ten (10) business days pending the scheduling of a conduct hearing. A student who receives an interim suspension may request a meeting with the Vice President, Student Services, or designee, to demonstrate why interim suspension is not merited. Regardless of the outcome of this meeting, the College may still proceed with the scheduling of a conduct hearing.

During interim suspension, a student may be denied access to College housing and/or the College campus/facilities/events. As determined appropriate by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, or designee, this restriction may include classes and/or all other College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. At the discretion of the Director, Student Rights and Responsibilities or designee, and with the approval of, and in collaboration with, the appropriate Student and Academic Services staff, alternate coursework options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an impact as possible on the responding student.

Appeals Process
Any party may request an appeal of the decision of a judicial board, single administrator hearing, or administrative hearing (in the case of suspension, expulsion or housing removal ONLY). All appeals should be filed in writing to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities. All appeals are subject to the procedures outlined below. All sanctions imposed by the original hearing body remain in effect, and all parties should be timely informed of the status of requests for appeal, the status of the appeal consideration, and the results of the appeal decision.

Grounds for appeal requests
Appeals requests are limited to the following grounds:
    1. A procedural or substantive error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedure, etc);
    2. To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included;
    3. The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.

Appeals must be filed in writing with the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities within three (3) calendar days of the notice of the outcome of the hearing. For just cause, the three (3) calendar days may be extended. Exceptions will be made at the discretion of the Associate Vice President, Student Services, and when appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator.

The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, will share the appeal by one party with the other party (parties) when appropriate under procedure or law (e.g. if a responding student appeals, the appeal is shared with the complainant, who may also wish to file a response or request an appeal on the same or different grounds). The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will also draft a response memorandum to the appeal request(s), based upon the Vice President, Student Services, determination that the request(s) will be granted or denied, and why. All request-related documents are shared with all parties prior to submission to the Vice President of Student Services.

The Vice President of Student Services will conduct an initial review to determine if the appeal request meets the limited grounds and is timely. They may consult with the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities and/or the Title IX Coordinator on any procedural or substantive questions that arise.

If the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, the original finding and sanction will stand and the decision is final. If the appeal has standing, the Vice President, Student Services, determines whether to refer the appeal to an Appeals Panel or to remand it to the original hearing officer(s), typically within 3-5 business days. Efforts should be made to use remand whenever possible, with clear instructions for reconsideration only in light of the granted appeal grounds. Where the original decision-maker may be unduly biased by a procedural or substantive error, a new panel will be convened to reconsider the matter, which in turn can be appealed, once. Full re-hearings by the Appeals Panel are not permitted. Where new evidence is presented or the sanction is challenged, the Vice President, Student Services, will determine if the matter should be returned to the original decision-maker for reconsideration or if it should be reviewed by the Appeals Panel with instruction on the parameters regarding institutional consistency and applicable legal guidelines. In review, the original finding and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately, thus the burden is on the appealing party/parties to show clear error. The Appeals Panel must limit its review to the challenges presented.

On reconsideration, the Appeals Panel or original decision-maker may affirm or change the findings and/or sanctions of the original hearing body according to the permissible grounds. Procedural or substantive errors should be corrected, new evidence should be considered, and sanctions should be proportionate to the severity of the violation and the student’s cumulative conduct record.

All decisions of the Appeals Panel are to be made within five (5) days of submission to the Panel and are final, as are any decisions made by the original hearing body, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, or Title IX Coordinator as the result of reconsideration consistent with instructions from the Vice President of Student Services.

Interpretation
The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will develop procedural rules for the administration of hearings that are consistent with the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct. Material deviation from these rules will generally only be made as necessary and will include reasonable advance notice to the parties involved, either by posting online and/or in the form of written communication. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities may vary procedures with notice upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations that are not reflected in this Code. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities may make minor modifications to procedure that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party. Any question of interpretation of the Student Code of Conduct will be referred to the Vice President of Student Services, whose interpretation is final. The Student Code of Conduct will be updated annually under the direction of the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, with a comprehensive revision process being conducted every 3 years.

Transcript Notations
If the student conduct officer/Board imposes a sanction of suspension or expulsion, then, following exhaustion of an appeal, the Vice President, Student Services will notify the College Registrar to place a notation on the student's transcript, which reads “Suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduction violation” or “Expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation,” as applicable. Students may appeal to the Vice President, Student Services, in writing, for removal of a notation that they were suspended, no earlier than one year after the suspension is completed. Notations indicating a student was expelled from the College shall not be subject to removal, and therefore, cannot be appealed. If a student withdraws from the College prior to completing a conduct process and conduct charges are still pending, a notation of “Withdrew with charges pending” will be noted.
Records Release Statement
Colleges and universities vary widely in the student misconduct issues that they consider “reportable” to outside agencies, potential employers, and graduate or professional programs. The practice of the Office for Student Rights & Responsibilities at Monroe Community College is to report any formal disciplinary action taken against a student that results in a finding of responsible for a Monroe Community College policy violation and a sanction of disciplinary probation or greater (our sanctions, in order of increasing severity, are: verbal reprimand, warning, disciplinary probation, suspension, expulsion. Each infraction usually receives one of these statuses in addition to other educational activities and mandates). Disciplinary records are maintained for six years after the end of an academic year, except for records related to suspensions and expulsions. Suspensions and expulsions are also noted on a student’s transcript.

Informal disciplinary actions are not reported by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities to outside agencies. Informal disciplinary actions can occur in the residence halls, by faculty in the classroom, by student conduct staff addressing minor infractions, or as a result of the College’s amnesty policies. Verbal reprimands and written warnings are considered informal disciplinary actions and are not reported.

When the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities reports that a student has no disciplinary record, it is under the parameters described above. If the student’s record is no longer on file because of the six-year limitation, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will state as such.

Go to General Conduct Rules and Regulations for more information.

Go to Title IX Policies for Individuals Reporting Sexual Harassment for more information.