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THE OFFICE OF COMMUNITY STANDARDS
UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINARY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The following policies and procedures are those by which most complaints of student misconduct alleging a violation of University policies that are filed with the Office of Community Standards will be reviewed and resolved. Please note that there are a few exceptions, as noted below, to these procedures that are associated with complaints concerning sexual harassment/assault.
A. The Complaint:
Any member of the faculty, administration, or staff or any student may file a complaint against any student for a student offense with the Dean of the school in which the student complained of is enrolled or with the Vice President for Student Affairs. Although a complaint may be filed at any
time, it is strongly preferred that the complaint be submitted as soon as possible after the reporter/complainant became aware of the matter. A complaint should include a description of the incident giving rise to the complaint, the identity of the accused student(s), and the names of others
who may have been present, observed the incident, or who otherwise have information related to the matter. Notice of the filing of a formal complaint shall be mailed to the student within 48 hours.
B. Consideration of Interim Suspension:
As provided in by-law 62, the President or the Dean of a school, or their respective designees may determine to suspend the student who is accused of having violated University policy pending consideration of his/her case through the disciplinary process. In matters of Student Affairs jurisdiction, the President’s designee shall be the Vice President for Student Affairs. A student
should not be summarily suspended either completely or for certain purposes, except for reasons relating to his/her physical or emotional safety and well-being, the safety and well-being of students, faculty, or staff, or University property, the maintenance of public order, or the effective continuation of the education process. When this occurs, the student shall be afforded the opportunity to expedite disciplinary proceedings so as to enable the determination of the appropriate resolution at the earliest
possible time. Any period of interim suspension shall be deducted from any ultimate sanction involving suspension. A student who has been subject to interim suspension and who is found “not responsible” shall be allowed full opportunity to make up whatever work was missed due to the
C. Preliminary Investigation:
A staff member in the Office of Community Standards will commence the process of reviewing the complaint, report and other materials associated with the matter by contacting the Complainant or the person filing the report. The Director will also notify the student(s) named in the complaint or report
to inform the student(s) of the filing of the complaint/report and request to meet with those individuals. During the respective meetings/discussions, the students (Complainant and Accused) shall be informed of their rights and responsibilities within the student conduct process, be apprised of the University’s related procedures, and asked to discuss the incident giving rise to the report/complaint. The students may also be asked to submit (by a designated date) a written statement about the incident and to provide the name and contact information of any witnesses/others who might be able to offer information regarding the matter.
Based upon the preliminary investigation, the Office of Community Standards, at its sole discretion, will make the determination as to the appropriate disposition of the matter through one of the following courses of action:
1. Dismissal: The report/complaint will be dismissed if it appears not to have merit or even if the facts alleged in the complaint are true there would be no violation of a University policy.
2. Referral: The matter will be referred to another University office or process if that office or process is thought to be the more appropriate venue through which to address the matter.
3. Non-Judicial Intervention: At the discretion of the Office of Community Standards, the matter may be resolved through a non-judicial intervention (e.g. mediation, educational interventions, administrative actions) if it is deemed to be of a minor nature that is appropriately addressed in such a manner.
a. If the matter involves only alleged violations of Residence Hall policies, the matter will be adjudicated through the appropriate administrator on the Department of Residence Life and Housing Services, acting under the guidance/supervision of the Office of Community Standards using the Residence Life disciplinary policies and procedures. A summary of this process is as follows:
• The administrator in the Office of Residence Life and Housing Services reviews the report and investigates the matter to determine if there is any alleged violation of residence hall policy.
• The administrator in the Office of Residence Life and Housing Services will meet with the student who is alleged to have violated the residence hall policies and with others who have knowledge of the matter.
• The administrator in the Office of Residence Life and Housing Services will make a determination as to whether the student is responsible for the alleged violations and make a determination as to student conduct interventions/sanctions, if any, that are to be imposed.
• The student is notified in writing of the outcome, including any sanctions imposed.
b. If the matter involves alleged violations of Residence Hall policies as well as University policies, or if the behavioral record of the student alleged to have engaged in the volatile action is such that the resolution of a matter could involve a sanction of dismissal from University Housing, the matter may be referred directly to the Office Community Standards. In such cases, the matter will be addressed utilizing the Residence Life Student Conduct Process.
5. Review Under Office of Community Standards University Student Conduct Process: Matters involving alleged violations of University policy and/or other matters referred to the Office of Community Standards addressed by the Office of Community Standards will be addressed as follows:
a. Phase #1: Consensual Resolution: Formal disciplinary charges will be issued and, if appropriate based upon the circumstances, there will be an attempt to resolve the matter through a set of terms by which the University is willing to resolve the matter without a formal hearing. A consensual resolution is an agreement between the accused student and the University that is considered to be a formal student conduct action, the terms of which shall be considered “disciplinary sanctions”. There are two forms of consensual resolution which may be utilized at the discretion of the Office of Community Standards:
• Through a consensual resolution (an agreement between the student and the Director of Community Standards or his/her designee provided that suspension, withdrawal or dismissal from the University is not among the terms.
• Through an informal (judicial) consensual resolution between the student and the Vice President for Student Affairs.
[NOTE: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits a school to disclose to the harassed student information about the sanctions imposed upon a student who was found to have engaged in harassment when the sanction directly relates to the harassed student. This includes an order that the harasser stay away from the harassed student, or that the harasser is prohibited from attending school for a period of time, or transferred to other classes or another residence hall. Further, when the conduct involves allegations of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, FERPA permits a postsecondary institution to disclose to the alleged victim the final results of a disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator, regardless of whether the institution concluded that a violation was committed. Disclosure of other information in the student’s “education record,” including information about sanctions that do not relate to the harassed student, may result in a violation of FERPA.
b. Phase #2: University Judicial Board: If, for any reason, the Office of Community Standards deems a consensual resolution (described in paragraph 4. e.) unattainable or inappropriate, the case will be referred to the University Judicial Board for a formal hearing.