Michigan Tech's Student Code of Community Conduct has been updated as of August 16th, 2021. Currently, our website does not reflect all updates. Please refer to the code for the most up-to-date information, or contact the Office of Academic and Community Conduct at 906-487-2192 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University will respond to violations of the Code 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 criminal action by the University for violations of Board of Trustees regulations or ordinances, and external, criminal/civil proceedings for violations of federal/state laws and/or city ordinances. Proceedings under the Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal/civil proceedings. The conduct process listed in this section does not apply to sexual misconduct cases - see Section 5— Sexual Misconduct.
4.1 Reporting of Alleged Code Violation
University community members, law enforcement agencies, or members of the public can report possible Code violations by making a written/electronic complaint to the Office of Academic and Community Conduct. See Section 5.3 for Reporting Sexual Misconduct.
4.2 Student Groups/Organizations
Student groups/organizations are expected to comply with the community standards set forth in the Code and may be charged with violations of those standards. Hearings for student groups or organizations follow the same general student conduct procedures. Determinations as to responsibility will be made. Sanctions will be assigned collectively and/or individually, and will be proportionate to the involvement of each individual and the organization.
4.3 Cause and Notice
It is within the discretion of the University to determine the extent to which the complaint will be investigated and/or resolved. If a determination is made by a university official that reasonable cause exists to believe a violation has occurred, then the student alleged to have committed the violation will be provided notice of the violation and an opportunity to respond to the violation. A university official may dismiss the complaint at any stage if they have reasonable cause to believe the complaint is baseless or otherwise unsupported by available evidence.
4.4 Resolutions that May Result in Suspension or Expulsion
When there is the potential for a sanction of conduct suspension or conduct expulsion to be imposed, the case will normally proceed with a formal pathway. The University Official may use their professional judgment to determine if an informal pathway is appropriate. See Section 7— Sanctions, Educational Conditions & Remedies for more information.
4.5 Informal Pathways
4.5.01 Conduct Intervention
After receiving a report, a University official may decide to schedule a meeting with the respondent 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 respondent’s explanation of what occurred and why;
- discuss community behavioral expectations and conflict resolution techniques;
- discuss the consequences of the student conduct process;
- assist the student in developing an action plan to: repair the impacts/harms to individuals and/or community; avoid recurring behavioral issues; make use of appropriate service referrals, as needed; reintegrate themselves back into the community; and/or
- refer the case for formal action at the request of the respondent.
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. Such actions may also be taken if the student fails to appear for the conduct intervention meeting. If a change is made, the respondent will receive the appropriate notice and opportunity to respond.
4.5.02 Restorative Practices
After receiving a report, the official may offer the option for the parties to informally resolve the conflict/incident. If the respondent accepts responsibility for violating the Code, and the reporting parties agree to be involved, restorative practices such as mediation, facilitated dialogue, restorative group conferencing, and/or circle processes may be utilized.
4.5.02.i Conflict Coaching
Conflict coaching is a one-on-one consultation to assess and develop an individual's communication skills and conflict management strategies.
4.5.02.ii Shuttle Diplomacy
Shuttle diplomacy is the crafting of an agreement using a restorative justice framework that does not require parties to participate in an in-person conference with each other. The University official will meet and work with parties individually to create an agreement to which both parties can agree.
Mediation uses a neutral third party to coordinate a structured intervention to assist with resolving conflict between two or more parties.
4.5.02.iv Facilitated Dialogue
Facilitated dialogue is a structured conversation between two or more parties in which a facilitator guides the parties to a better understanding of their differences.
4.5.02.v Restorative Group Conference
A restorative group conference provides a structured opportunity for impacted and responsible parties to address conflict or unacceptable behavior through a facilitated discussion. Restorative Group Conference facilitators create a safe space for all parties to share openly about the incident(s). Facilitators ask a set of restorative questions to both parties and allow each party to discuss what they were thinking at the time of the incident(s) and how the parties feel about the incident now. Impacted parties then create a formal resolution with the responsible party to restore confidence and trust in the responsible party. All parties must agree upon the plan.
4.5.02.vi Restorative Justice Circles
Restorative justice circles involve all parties coming together to share stories and learn more about what harms have been created, who has been affected and how, and ways to repair the harms. In a circle process, participants are encouraged to be open and honest about their perspectives about the conflict, how they have been harmed, how they think others might have been harmed, and to come up with their own solutions on how to fix the harm created. All students sit in a circle and take turns participating and sharing their perspectives while using a talking piece. Often, support persons and community members can also be present to provide their input as well.
These voluntary processes allow all parties to be involved in and have an 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. The outcome is a formal agreement between the parties as to specifically what will be done by the respondent. If all parties are not in agreement as to the outcome of the restorative practices, 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.
4.6 Formal Pathways
4.6.01 Interim Action
Reasonable cause needs to be present for the University to take interim action prior to proceeding with the conduct process. The purpose of an interim action is to:
- ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the University community;
- ensure the respondent’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
- take action if the respondent poses a threat of disruption of or interference with, the normal operations of the University.
If a respondent fails to comply with the requirements of the interim action, the University may immediately take any lawful action to obtain compliance.
4.6.01.i Interim Action Review
The parties can request an interim action review be conducted at any time after interim action is imposed. The parties must submit the request for review in writing. During the review process, the parties will be given an opportunity to demonstrate, in writing, why they feel cause no longer exists for the interim action to be in effect. This may include providing additional information not available at the time the interim action was imposed. A separate University official will conduct the review.
4.6.01.ii “Interim Action” includes but is not limited to:
- No verbal/non-verbal/third-party contact with another person(s).
- 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 official requests).
- A mandatory behavioral agreement that reinforces conduct expectations, with any further violations of the Code resulting in formal action.
- Restriction on student’s presence in the residence halls, on University property, and/or at University events.
- A requirement of an individualized psychological assessment through Counseling Services or at another facility and/or a medical assessment—the assessment(s) may be used to determine the appropriateness of withdrawing, sustaining, or altering the interim action.
- Immediate suspension from the University pending the outcome of the conduct process.
4.6.02 Administrative Option
The official may send a written notice to the respondent’s university email address of the alleged policy violation(s), findings based on a preponderance of the evidence, applicable sanctions, and educational conditions, with the option for the student to:
- accept the findings and the designated sanctions and educational conditions;
- request formal action; or
- reject the findings in part or entirely and request formal action.
The response must be returned via email to the official within five (5) business days of the official’s emailing of the notice.
If the respondent requests formal action, an initial conference will be scheduled, and the case may proceed with further formal action. If the response is not returned within the designated time period, it shall be presumed the respondent waives their right to formal action, and the sanctions and educational conditions outlined in the email notice will be imposed. If the respondent waives their right to formal action, the complainant may appeal the outcome and request formal action.
4.6.03 Formal Action
Official notice will be sent to the respondent’s university email address with the following information: alleged violation(s); the range of sanctions related to the violation(s); and the date, time, and location for an initial conference. If the respondent fails to appear at the initial conference, the official may consider all information true and accurate, if it so appears, and take appropriate administrative action.
The initial conference notice is sent when there is reasonable cause to believe that a student may be responsible for a violation of the Code. At the initial conference, the student will meet with an official. The purpose of the initial conference is to provide the respondent with additional information about the reported incident and explain the procedures that will be followed to determine if they are responsible or not responsible for a violation of the Code. At that time, the respondent will respond to the violation by electing one of the following courses of action:
- Accept responsibility for violating one or more University rules. The case may then be immediately reviewed by the official, who will take appropriate action. A short postponement will be granted if the respondent wishes to demonstrate mitigating circumstances by producing relevant witnesses or information. A decision notice will be sent to the respondent within five (5) business days, and will include any applicable sanction and condition(s). The official may choose to refer the respondent to a meeting with the University Conduct Board for determination of appropriate sanction and/or educational condition(s).
- Accept responsibility for a violation(s), and request a restorative practice in lieu of formal sanction/educational condition(s). See Section 4.5.02— Restorative Practices.
- Deny responsibility for the violation(s), in which case, the official shall determine
the next appropriate course of action from the following:
- Schedule a formal hearing within a reasonable time in order to allow the respondent to prepare a response and/or to arrange for the complainant who filed the complaint to appear.
- Refer for a formal hearing before the University Conduct Board. If the board cannot convene, the Office of Academic and Community Conduct will arrange a formal hearing by a designated official.
- Adjourn the conference in order to obtain additional information, and then complete the conference at a later time after all additional information has been gathered and reviewed.
- Dismiss the charges if it is decided after the initial conference that cause no longer exists for the charge(s).
- Choose not to respond to the charge. The case will then be referred for a formal hearing before the University Conduct Board.