Processes and Guidelines
The University will respond to violations of the Code of Community Conduct through a variety of pathways, informally and/or formally, with the goal of educating all parties involved. Resolutions, as well as appeal processes, are administrative functions internal to the University. Students may also face external, criminal/civil proceedings for violations of federal/state laws and/or city ordinances. Proceedings under the Code of Community Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal/civil proceedings.
After receiving a report, a University official may decide to schedule a meeting with the respondent student to discuss the alleged violation(s). At the meeting, the official will
- explain the purpose of the conduct intervention meeting;
- review the incident report and any impacts/harms to individuals and/or community as a whole;
- listen to the student’s explanation of what occurred and why;
- discuss community behavioral expectations and conflict resolution techniques;
- discuss the consequences of the student conduct process; and
- assist the student in developing an action plan to
- repair the impacts/harms to individuals and or community,
- avoid recurring behavioral issues,
- make any referrals as deemed appropriate, and
- reintegrate into the community.
No sanctions will be imposed other than a verbal warning during the conduct intervention, and there is no right to an appeal. The official has the authority to change handling the incident at the conduct intervention level to the administrative option, voluntary adaptable resolution, or formal action, based on the information revealed in the conduct intervention meeting or if a student fails to appear for the conduct intervention meeting.
The official may send a written notice of the alleged policy violation(s), potential sanctions and educational conditions, with the option for the student to
- accept responsibility with the designated sanctions and educational conditions, or
- request formal action.
The student’s written response must be returned to the official within 10 business days. If the response is not returned within the designated time period, the student waives his/her right to formal action and the sanctions and educational conditions outlined in the written notice are imposed. If the student requests formal action, then a hearing will be scheduled, and the case will proceed with the formal action procedures.
Voluntary Adaptable Resolution (VAR)
The official may offer the option for the parties involved to informally resolve the conflict/incident. If the respondent accepts responsibility for violating the Code of Community Conduct, and the parties to the complaint agree to be involved, adaptable pathways such as mediation, facilitated dialogue, restorative group conferencing, and/or circle processes may be utilized. These voluntary processes allow all parties to be involved in and have influence on the resolution process and outcome. The primary focus is to address the impacts, repair the harm, restore integrity, and reintegrate individuals back into the community. If all parties are not in agreement to VAR, or at any time during the process the official decides it’s not in the best interest of those involved, including the University, then the matter will be handled through formal action.
The official may send written notice of the alleged violation(s), the range of sanctions related to the violation(s), and the date, time, and location for an initial conference. If the student fails to appear at the initial conference, the official may consider all information true and accurate and take appropriate administrative action.
At the initial conference, the student will meet with an official. The violation(s), sanctions and rights of the student will be explained, and the student will be asked if he/she is responsible or not responsible for the violation(s).
At that time, the student may elect one of the following courses of action:
- To take responsibility for violating one or more University rules. The case may then be immediately reviewed by the official, who will take appropriate action.
- If the student wishes to demonstrate mitigating circumstances by producing relevant witnesses or information, a postponement of action may be requested for a reasonable time.
- To deny responsibility for the violation(s), in which case, the official shall determine the next appropriate course of action from the following list.
- Hold an immediate formal hearing with the official or postpone the hearing in order to allow the student to prepare a defense or to arrange for the person who filed the complaint to appear.
- Refer for a formal hearing to another official.
- Refer for a formal hearing before a conduct board. If the board cannot convene, Student Conduct Services will arrange a formal hearing by an official.
- If in the reasonable judgment of the official additional information is needed, the initial conference can be adjourned and completed at a later date or the violation(s) may be dismissed.
At the formal hearings, the student will appear before an individual official or a conduct board. In cases under the Sexual Misconduct Policy where a conduct board is not convened, the case will be heard by two officials. In all other cases where a conduct board is not convened, the case will be heard by one official.
As appropriate to the conduct charges on a case by case basis, a conduct board will be convened to review the possible conduct violation. Conduct boards generally consist of one member of the Student Affairs professional staff, one member of the faculty, and one full-time student. The Residence Life Conduct Boards and Interfraternity Conduct Board consist of only 3 full-time student members.
Hearing Guidelines for Participants
Hearings are closed to the public. At the discretion of the official, an additional official may be present for the purpose of assisting in managing the hearing, but the assistant shall not otherwise participate in the hearing. Where a sanction of suspension or expulsion can be imposed, hearings will be recorded.
The official and/or chair of the conduct board shall exercise control over the proceedings to avoid needless consumption of time and to achieve orderly completion of the hearing. Any person, including the student charged with the conduct violation, who disrupts a hearing may be excluded by the official or chair.
During the hearing, the student may present an explanation of the facts and circumstances relating to the incident, present relevant witnesses who can speak to the facts and/or written information, ask questions, and reserve the right to not respond to questions. The official and/or chair may determine that witnesses or information are not relevant to the charge(s). They may also call on the complaining party to give an explanation of events.
The participant may have a “support person” to accompany and assist in the campus hearing process. The support person may advise and/or provide support to the participant but may not take part directly in the hearing itself. When criminal charges have been filed against the accused student (and the accused student will have an attorney present during the hearing), the complaining person may also have an attorney present. The attorney may advise the participant but may not take part directly in the hearing itself.
No disciplinary action shall be taken unless it is established by a preponderance of the information that the student is responsible for the violation(s). Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable in conduct hearings. Information which reasonable persons would accept as having probative value in the conduct of their affairs can be considered.
Written notice of the conduct decision will be sent to the student within 10 business days of the hearing. This time may be extended if necessary in the reasonable judgment of the official and/or chair. Any conduct decision may be appealed and must follow the established procedures.
The University may take interim action with any student to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the University community; to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or if the student poses a threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University. If a student fails to comply with the requirements of the interim action, the University may immediately take any lawful action to obtain compliance.
“Interim action” means any lawful action, order, restriction or demand made pursuant to this section, and includes, without limitation. the following:
- Immediate suspension from the University
- A restriction on the student’s presence in the residence halls, on University property, and/or at University events
- A requirement that the student secure a psychological assessment through Counseling Services or at another facility at the student’s expense and/or a medical assessment. The assessment(s) may be used to determine the appropriateness of withdrawing, sustaining, or altering the interim action.
- No verbal/non-verbal/third-party contact with another person(s)
- A disciplinary hold on the student account that prevents registering for academic courses and/or making any type of academic requests,e.g., transcripts. In order to have the hold removed, the student will need to comply with the official’s request.
- A mandatory behavioral agreement that reinforces conduct expectations, with any further violations of the Student Code of Conduct resulting in severe sanctions
Interim action does not replace the applicable procedures under this Code, which shall proceed on the normal schedule as described in Section XI of this Code.
Statement of Intent Regarding Limited Immunity
The welfare of students in the University community is of paramount importance. At times, students and other individuals may need medical assistance. The University encourages students to offer assistance to others in need and to seek assistance for themselves. Sometimes students may be hesitant to seek or offer assistance due to concerns that their behavior violates University rules or that a student in a medical emergency will be charged with a rule violation.
The University intends to give significant consideration to limited immunity from a finding of responsibility under the Code of Community Conduct in medical emergencies as defined in this policy for a student providing assistance, as well as for a student receiving assistance in cases of a medical emergency. Educational conditions may be imposed rather than disciplinary sanctions, if appropriate, based on the professional judgment of the Dean of Students or designee.
A “medical emergency” is defined as any situation where an individual’s physical and/or psychological health is at serious risk and immediate action must be taken to protect the individual or others.
This statement of intent applies only to administrative enforcement of the Code of Community Conduct and does not provide immunity from arrest or criminal prosecution.
Possible Sanctions and Outcomes
Attempts to commit acts prohibited by these rules may be punished to the same extent as completed violations. Repeated or aggravated acts of prohibited conduct may result in progressively more severe sanctions. Conduct violations that are motivated by the offender's bias due to race, religion or cultural identity, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender-identity, or ethnicity/national origin may also result in more sanctions.
Student Conduct Possible Sanctions
- Academic Integrity Warning—an official written warning that a student has inadvertently violated the Academic Integrity Policy.
- Disciplinary Probation—a written reprimand for violation of the Academic Integrity Policy. Probation is for a designated period of time not to exceed 18 months and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
- Suspension—a sanction of Suspension terminates the person's status as an enrolled student for an indefinite period of time and prohibits the student from attending classes. Reinstatement and conditions for reinstatement, if any, shall depend upon an evaluation by the Dean of Students or Dean of the Graduate School following an application for reinstatement by the student.
- Expulsion—a sanction of Expulsion terminates the person's status as an enrolled student with no opportunity for reinstatement. Expulsion that results from a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is listed as such on the student's academic transcript.
Conduct decisions may, in addition to sanctions, include educational conditions: writing assignments, educational/experiential workshops, counseling, fees, community service, restorative practices, loss of privileges, educational projects, and/or assessments. The University has complete discretion to require or to not require educational conditions on a case-by-case basis.
Academic Misconduct and Grading Sanctions
In addition to the sanctions described above, the decision maker (Academic Integrity Committee or hearing officer) may also assign a grading sanction of "F*", "E*" or "U*" in the course as a disciplinary measure. In such cases, the faculty member responsible for teaching the course will submit an F, E or U in the course for the student and the decision maker will require the student to complete an educational assignment on ethics and integrity. The faculty member reserves the right to impact the grade beyond the sanction.
F*—If the student has not completed an educational assignment within the time specified in the disciplinary decision, the decision maker will instruct the Registrar's Office to add an asterisk (*) to the F grade and the transcript will read "failure due to academic misconduct." Students with an F* remaining on their transcripts may not serve as officers of any recognized student organization, nor represent the University in events external to the University, including varsity sports, student contests and competitions, and similar events.
E* and U*—A student receives a grad of E* for pass/fail courses or U* for audited courses. These grades will be administered in the same manner as a grad of F*.
If a grading sanction of “F*”, “E*” or “U*” is not assigned, the decision maker may make other recommendations to the instructor regarding grading, including lowering the grade by one whole letter, but such recommendations are not required to be adopted by the instructor. Grades may also be lowered at the discretion of the instructor in any case where the decision maker finds a violation of academic integrity.
Revocation of Degree
The University reserves the right to revoke an awarded degree for fraud in receipt of the degree or for serious disciplinary violations committed by a student prior to the student’s graduation.
Students found responsible for conduct violations may appeal decisions made by an official and/or board. Instructions for initiating an appeal will be provided in every conduct decision letter. In incidents involving acts of violence as well as cases brought under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the complaining individual may also appeal under these procedures. The basis for an appeal is limited to questions of fact, questions of procedure, and severity of sanction.
Question of Fact—Students may appeal on “questions of fact” by introducing new information that would significantly affect the outcome of the case. Information introduced that was not known or could not be reasonably known at the time of the hearing by the student shall be considered new information. Evidence that was known but withheld by the student shall not constitute a question of fact and will not be considered upon appeal.
Question of Procedure—Appeals will be considered on the basis of “questions of procedure” by demonstrating that the procedural guidelines established in this document were breached and that such departure from established procedure significantly affected the outcome of the case.
Severity of Sanction—Students may appeal the “severity of sanction” that has been imposed by presenting a statement that explains why they believe the sanction should be reconsidered.
A student must state the basis for appeal in writing to the Office of Academic and Community Conduct, Administration 310, or by email, no later than five days from the date of this decision. The Office of Academic and Community Conduct or a designee will review the facts and evidence to determine whether there is a basis under the Code of Community Conduct to process an appeal. In appeals of Academic Integrity decisions, a three-member Appellate Hearing Panel shall be convened. The Office of Academic and Community Conduct will notify the student in writing of the decision of the Appellate Hearing Panel within three business days of the appellant hearing. This action shall be final and is not subject to further appeal.