Grievances By and Against Students (Student Conduct Process)
I. INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE OF POLICY
Maryville University (the “University”) is committed to the development of students as individuals and as members of the greater Maryville community. Students are expected to take an active role in encouraging all members of the community to maintain Maryville’s behavioral standards. Students are expected to demonstrate a shared responsibility in developing behavioral expectations and in monitoring and enforcing these expectations within the community, including reporting any violations of the Student Codes that a student might become aware of to the University.
Maryville University developed this student conduct process in an attempt to ensure the rights of individuals in the context of a community. Any student who commits, aids, or attempts to commit any of the acts prohibited by the policies listed in the Student Codes on University property or during the course of a University activity is subject to disciplinary action under the Student Codes.
The policies and procedures herein do not apply to the following categories of student grievances:
- Academic Integrity: Complaints pertaining to academic dishonesty are handled through procedures outlined in the Grievances Related to Academic Integrity.
- Academic Issues (other than academic integrity): Student academic grievances (other than grievances related to academic integrity) are handled through the procedures outlined in the Student Academic Grievance Process.
- Harassment and Discrimination Based on Protected Status: Harassment, discrimination, and retaliation on the basis of protected status (see the Notice of Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity for a definition of “protected status”) is strictly prohibited. See the Policy Against Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation for full information about complaint resolution procedures.
- Sexual Misconduct:
a. Allegations of Sexual Harassment that occurs within the University’s Education Programs or Activities and when committed by a member of the University Community, which are governed by the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy.
b. Allegations of sexual misconduct or sex discrimination, including sexual harassment that occurs off-campus, in a private setting, or outside the scope of the University’s Education Programs or Activities, which are governed by the Policy Against Harassment, Discrimination And Retaliation And Complaint Resolution Procedures for students.
• Complainant – Any student who files a complaint or incident report against another student alleging that they are a victim of conduct by another student that violates the Student Codes. Cases initiated by charges brought by a University official may not involve a Complainant.
• Conduct Officer – A University official designated to investigate and/or adjudicate a conduct matter.
• Day – A calendar day.
• Business Day – A day when administrative offices are open.
• Guest – Any person who is invited to, or accompanied on, campus or to an educational/University activity by a student or other member of the University community.
• No Show – To not attend a conduct proceeding or to remain silent without a negative inference being drawn by the Conduct Officer. If the student is a No Show the case will be determined on the information presented.
• Respondent/Accused – The Student about whom a complaint has been made or against whom charges have been filed. Also referred to as “Accused” or “Charged Student”.
• Sanction(s) – Disciplinary action(s) imposed when a student or student organization is found in violation of Student Codes.
• Student – Any and all persons enrolled at or taking courses through the University in any capacity. Any course registration, whether in a non-degree or degree-granting program of undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies, characterizes the registrant as a “student” from the point of registration to the completion of the course of study. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have clearly manifested intent to attend, remain in attendance, or to return to Maryville University as students are considered “students.” Examples include, but are not limited to, students who are enrolled but not taking classes due to an academic break, medical leave, suspension, or other personal leave; persons who demonstrate an intent to enroll by registering for courses; and students participating in study abroad programs.
• Student Codes – Collectively, the Student Code of Conduct and all supplemental policies, regulations, guidelines, and procedures applicable to Maryville University students as detailed in the Policy Library and other institutional documents and websites.
• Student Organization – Refers to an organization with any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition as a Student Organization at Maryville University, including organizations who are inactive or whose recognition has been suspended. Hereafter, any references to “Student” or “Students” can also be understood to mean “Student Organization” or “Student Organizations,” when applicable.
• University Official – Any individual employed by Maryville University performing assigned duties or professional responsibilities.
• Witness – An individual who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced.
III. COMMUNICATIONS REGARDING CONDUCT MATTERS
Students have the responsibility to respond promptly to all forms of communication regarding conduct matters. The Dean of Students Office and designees communicate with Students primarily through their Maryville email account. Additionally, the offices reserve the right to use any other reasonable means to notify Students regarding conduct issues, including but not limited to phone calls/messages, return receipt letters via Residential Life staff, and certified/return receipt letters via U.S. mail. Failure to respond promptly to these types of communication may result in fines, immediate conduct sanctioning, deactivation of Maryville OneCard services, University housing lock changes, and/or temporary removal from class.
IV. STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS
As an educational institution, Maryville University’s conduct procedures and responses to Student behavior are designed as much for guidance and correction of behavior as for invoking fair and appropriate Sanctions. The following procedures represent the steps that may be employed to reach a resolution in cases of alleged misconduct by Students or Student Organizations. Please note that each case is handled individually and that some of the procedures outlined below may not be necessary in every case. Proceedings conducted pursuant to this code shall be informal, fair, and reasonably expeditious. In these proceedings, formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable, nor shall deviations from prescribed procedures invalidate a proceeding or decision, unless significant prejudice to an accused Student or to the University may result. In any conduct proceeding, the person bringing the complaint (University or Complainant) shall bear the burden of establishing the occurrence of a violation of the Student Codes by a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.
Questions concerning these conduct procedures should be addressed to the Dean of Students Office.
- Reporting a Violation
Any member of the University community may submit an incident report or complaint to Public Safety, the Residential Life Office, or the Dean of Students Office detailing a potential student violation of the Student Codes. (Cases of academic misconduct should be reported to the appropriate Academic Dean.) The incident report should contain the date, time and location, names of individuals involved, and details of the incident. Complaints should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferably no later than during the semester in which the event happened. An incident report must contain the name, phone number, and ID number of the Complainant. The submission of an incident report does not automatically initiate conduct proceedings.
- Consideration, Investigation, and Notice
Upon receipt of an incident report, a student file is generated. The Dean of Students or designee will consider information provided by the Complainant and may decide further investigation is needed in order to determine if there is reason to believe that a violation of the Student Codes may have occurred.
In cases where the Dean of Students or designee determines that there is no reason to believe that a violation may have occurred, they may decide not to pursue the case. In the event that a complaint is filed and it is determined there has not been a violation of the Student Codes, the parties involved may be referred to an appropriate office for mediation or further support services.
If there is credible information suggesting that a violation of the Student Codes may have occurred, the Student will be issued a notification letter or a directive requiring attendance at an incident review meeting or a hearing with a Conduct Officer.
A Student will be notified in writing by the assigned Conduct Officer of any conduct proceedings instituted to adjudicate that Student’s alleged misconduct. The notification will include the date, time, and location of the conduct meeting; a statement of charges; and a statement of the Student’s rights. The Student shall be notified at least one (1) business day ahead of scheduled conduct meetings. Notice shall be considered received upon delivery to a Student’s University email account (see section III. Communications Regarding Conduct Matters).
Additional factors that may be considered when determining the course of action taken after review of an incident report include:
- Multiple Respondents: Cases are addressed by incident. Therefore, when more than one Student is accused, the matter may be handled as a single case. Similarly, when any combination of Students and Student Organizations are involved, the matter may be handled as a single case. All parties involved will be heard either individually or as a group.
- Student Organizations: Student Organizations may be charged with violating the Student Codes. A Student Organization and its officers may be held collectively and/or individually responsible when violations occur. Sanctions for Student Organization misconduct may include revocation or denial of registration or recognition, in addition to all appropriate Sanctions provided herein.
- Criminal Conduct: The University may pursue disciplinary action against a Student for violation of the Student Codes at the same time the Student is facing criminal charges for the same offense, even if the criminal prosecution is pending or has been dismissed, or the charges have been reduced. See Criminal Conduct/Civil Offenses Policy.
- Conduct Meetings and Hearings
1. Incident Review Meeting: During an incident review meeting, the Student will meet with a Conduct Officer to discuss the incident report(s) and the alleged policy violation charge(s). Students will receive a formal notification of the charges and an outline of various resolution options as well as the Student’s procedural rights. The Student will be encouraged to discuss and review information contained in the Student’s conduct file, and the allegation(s) being brought against the Student. Students will answer and may ask questions regarding the allegation(s) as well as the Student conduct process.
At the discretion of the Conduct Officer, the charges against the Student may be dismissed, or a hearing option will be chosen. An accused Student may waive the right to a hearing in consideration of a more immediate disposition of the alleged violation(s). In such cases, the Conduct Officer responsible for the incident review meeting will also facilitate an informal proceeding after the Student accepts full responsibility for their actions and verifies that the allegation(s) against them are correct. If this option is chosen by the Student, the Conduct Officer will determine the appropriate Sanction(s), and the Student waives their right to an appeal.
2. Mediation: This procedure is implemented by the Dean of Students and/or the Director of Residential Life or their designee and is generally reserved for first offenders and less serious violations. It may be used when an alleged violation arises out of a dispute between a charged Student and another party or parties. The goal is to design a mechanism to resolve the dispute and to prevent it from recurring. A follow-up letter will be sent outlining the agreed upon resolution. If the participants involved fail to live up to the agreed upon resolution, an administrative hearing will be scheduled and further conduct action may be taken.
3. Administrative Hearing: An Administrative Hearing typically occurs in front of a single Conduct Officer who is responsible for determining whether a violation occurred and then imposing Sanctions when appropriate. In certain cases, as decided by the Dean of Students, more than one Conduct Officer may be assigned to hear a case. An Administrative Hearing is an opportunity for the accused Student to formally respond to alleged violations of the Student Codes.
4. Conduct Board Hearing: A Conduct Board Hearing typically occurs in front of a panel of 3-5 University officials selected from a pool by the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students assigns a Conduct Officer to act as a non-voting advisor to the Board. The Conduct Board is responsible for determining whether or not a violation occurred and may make recommendations for sanctions (if applicable), but the Dean of Students or designee is responsible for final sanctioning and communication to the Student in a decision letter. A Conduct Board Hearing is typically selected in cases where the alleged violation of the Student Codes is significant enough that a responsible finding might result in expulsion.
Failure to Appear: Failure to attend an incident review meeting or hearing will be deemed failure to comply, and the Student will waive the opportunity for a hearing. In such cases, a decision will be made based upon information received. No recommendation for the imposition of sanctions shall be based solely upon the failure of the accused to answer charges or to appear at a conduct meeting. A representative may not appear in the place of the Student. For documented emergencies and other unforeseen circumstances, a Student may request one (1) postponement of a scheduled appointment time, provided that the Conduct Officer is notified at least one (1) business day in advance of the scheduled meeting.
- Rights of the Accused
If an Administrative or Conduct Board Hearing is convened, a Student charged with a violation has the following rights:
- To have prior knowledge of the charges and have the charges in writing explained fully at every level of the conduct process.
- To be present throughout the hearing.
- To hear testimony and/or see all written statements concerning the charges.
- To refute oral and/or written statements made by witnesses.
- To present witnesses as part of the student’s response to the allegations and the charges. Students may present witnesses in person.
- To not attend the hearing or to remain silent without a negative inference being drawn by the Conduct Officer or Hearing Board, understanding that if the Student is a No Show or if silence is maintained, the case will be determined on the information presented.
- To be advised of the appropriate appeal process.
- To bring a support person to a hearing.
Students who receive University accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act should notify the Conduct Officer that the appropriate accommodations should be accorded them as part of the conduct process. Assistance with an accommodation request can be provided by the Office of Disability Services and Success.
- Rights of the Complainant/Victim’s Rights
Some actions that violate the Student Codes involve victimization of one or more Students by another Student(s). This behavior may include acts of theft or damage to property, physical violence, and other acts that endanger the safety of others in the University community. If a Student has filed a complaint and is identified as a victim, that Student is entitled to certain rights during the conduct process. It is important to remember, however, that the accused Student is being charged with violating a University policy; therefore, the University is ultimately responsible for initiating charges. Although a victim’s input may be sought during the conduct process, the ultimate disposition of the case rests with the University. If a victim withdraws the complaint during the course of the conduct proceeding, the University reserves the right to proceed with the case on the basis of evidence other than the testimony of the victim.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows colleges and universities to disclose to an alleged victim the final result of a conduct proceeding against an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense. The disclosure may be made without written consent of the alleged perpetrator. An alleged victim of any other offense or policy violation may be notified of the final result only if the alleged perpetrator provides his or her written consent to do so.
- Support Person
Students may select an individual of their choice as an advisor to support them during their involvement in a University conduct process. The Student’s advisor may help the Student prepare, but may not communicate on behalf of the Student at any time during the course of the proceedings. A Student is permitted one support person at a conduct meeting or hearing. Permission to be accompanied by a second support person is at the sole discretion of the Conduct Officer assigned to the case. For hearings, the Conduct Officer will need to be notified at least 24 hours in advance with the name of the support person attending the hearing with the student.
When present at an Administrative or Conduct Board Hearing, a Student’s advisor may communicate with the Student, both verbally and in writing, during the hearing. An advisor is prohibited from addressing a hearing board or witnesses during the hearing process. If an advisor does so, or if the Conduct Officer determines that the advisor’s presence is causing a disruption, the Conduct Officer shall give the advisor a verbal warning. If the advisor addresses the board or a witness again and/or continues to cause a disruption, the advisor will be asked to leave the hearing. If the advisor refuses to comply, the hearing will be stopped, Public Safety will be called to escort the advisor off campus, and the Student will waive their right to be present at the hearing.
A witness is an individual who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced. Character witnesses are considered irrelevant and will not be permitted to speak during a conduct meeting or hearing. A person who serves as a witness may not serve in any other capacity during the hearing, such as a support person. A Student charged may call upon witnesses to participate in a hearing. A written list of these witnesses or any signed witness statements must be submitted to the Conduct Officer for final approval at least one (1) business day prior to the hearing. The Conduct Officer makes the determination if a witness can provide relevant testimony. It is the Student’s responsibility to notify approved witnesses of the time, date, and place to appear. If any witnesses fail to show, the hearing will continue without them.
- Hearing Process for Administrative and Conduct Board Hearings
1. The usual format of a hearing is as follows:
- Introduction of all present parties.
- Cases are introduced and allegation(s) read.
- Opening statement by the Student charged.
- Questions for the Student charged from the Conduct Officer and/or members of the Conduct Board.
- Statement(s)/report(s) from witnesses on behalf of the University.
- Questions for University witnesses from the Conduct Officer and/or members of the Conduct Board.
- Questions for University witnesses from Student charged.
- Statement(s) from witnesses on behalf of the charged student.
- Questions for Student’s witnesses from the Conduct Officer and/or members of the Conduct Board.
- Questions for Student’s witnesses from Student charged.
- Final questions for the Student charged from the Conduct Officer and/or members of the Conduct Board.
- Closing statement from the Student charged.
2. Responsibility is established based on a preponderance of evidence (i.e., it is more likely than not that the Student charged was responsible). Only evidence presented at the hearing shall be considered.
3. Hearing boards are empowered to determine responsibility for an incident. The Dean of Students or designee will review outcomes of the hearing board and apply the appropriate sanction(s).
4. Final sanctions determined by the Dean of Students or designee will take into consideration the Student’s prior disciplinary involvement/sanctions as well as the severity of the current violation.
5. The Dean of Students or designee will issue a Decision Letter to the student providing notification of the decision and any sanctions imposed.
6. Once a Student receives the decision letter, the Student may choose to appeal the decision pursuant to the section of this policy titled “Appeal Process.”
- Appeal Process
Students found responsible for a policy violation may appeal. Third parties may not file an appeal on behalf of a Student. An appeal is not a rehearing and must fit within the guidelines listed below. The decision regarding a conduct violation by either an Administrative Hearing or a Conduct Board may be appealed on any of the following grounds:
- New evidence of a substantive nature: New, significant, and relevant evidence regarding the case becomes available that could not have been discovered by a diligent respondent at the time of the hearing. Information is not considered new evidence if the Student did not attend the original hearing or voluntarily withheld information during the original hearing.
- Substantive procedural error: A specified procedural error or error in interpretation of the University discipline system as a result of which the respondent was denied a fair hearing or the error prevented the Conduct Officer or Hearing Board from making a fair decision.
- Excessive Sanctions: The assigned sanction of expulsion, suspension, probation, or University restriction/ban are unreasonable in light of the violation. Assigned sanctions of a written warning and/or educational sanctions may not be appealed.
The Dean of Students or designee will review appeals to determine if there are grounds to warrant an appeal hearing. For cases in which the Dean of Students makes the original conduct decision, a designee of the Dean of Students will assume the role of appeal officer as described in this section.
1. Timeline for Appeal
A Student or Student Organization has five (5) business days from the time when the Decision Letter was sent to file an appeal with the assigned appeal officer. Failure to submit an appeal within the five (5) business day period waives the right to an appeal. Sanctions will not be implemented while an appeal is under consideration unless it is determined that postponement of the sanction may result in a serious threat to the University community. The Decision Letter will provide the time, location, and date by which an appeal must be received, along with the designated appeal officer and submission method. An extension of the appeal deadline may be requested in writing to the Dean of Students in order to accommodate periods of University recess or for other extenuating circumstances. The decision to grant an appeal deadline extension is at the sole discretion of the Dean of Students.
2. Content of an Appeal
The Student’s or Student Organization’s appeal should indicate in writing the specific bases or reasons for the appeal. The appeal statement should include the following: Name, ID#, address, phone number, reason for appeal, and appropriate information regarding why the appeal should be granted. The letter should be of sufficient detail to stand on its own without accompanying testimony to permit the evaluation of the merit of the grounds for appeal. For example, if there were procedural errors, the errors should be identified and it should be noted what effect those errors had on the outcome of the case. If there is new evidence, the nature of that evidence and the potential effect on the outcome of the case should be noted. If the Sanction is perceived to be excessive, one should note why the Sanction was excessive and should suggest a more reasonable Sanction. Copies of any documents that will substantiate or clarify the appeal should be included.
3. Review of an Appeal
The Dean of Students or designated appeal officer will determine whether there is sufficient basis to modify or uphold the original determination and Sanction(s). If the appeal criteria are not met, the appeal will be denied. The review method used to make a determination is at the discretion of the appeal officer.
Students or Student Organizations submitting an appeal will receive written notification of the decision generally within five (5) business days of its submission. The decision of the Dean of Students or designated appeal officer is final.
When a Student or Student Organization accepts responsibility or is found responsible for a violation of the Student Codes, sanctions tailored to the specific violation(s) may be imposed. Individual mitigating circumstances, as well as aggravating factors, such as past misconduct by the Student and/or Student Organization, or failure to comply with previously imposed Sanctions, shall be considered when determining the level and scope of the Sanction. Generally, a Student who is found responsible for additional offenses will be subject to more severe Sanctions.
Disciplinary actions include but are not limited to one or more of the following Sanctions that do not diminish or replace the penalties available under generally applicable local, state or federal laws, and/or the University’s Criminal Conduct/Civil Offenses Policy:
- Disciplinary Warning: A disciplinary warning (or formal warning) is the minimum Sanction issued to a Student for violating Student Codes. Disciplinary warnings serve as notification to the Student that subsequent violations will warrant more serious disciplinary action.
- Disciplinary Probation: Disciplinary probation (or conduct probation) is issued to a Student for a specific period of time. Disciplinary probation is a more serious Sanction than a warning. It is a period of review and observation during which the Student must demonstrate the ability to comply with University policies and other requirements stipulated for the probation period. It may limit certain activities or privileges of a Student. Students on conduct probation are not considered to be in “good standing” with the University. Students who violate their probation may face Sanctions more punitive in nature.
- Disciplinary Suspension: Disciplinary suspension from the University involves the temporary removal of the Student from the University for a specified period of time with the understanding that the Student may be returned to good standing at the completion of the suspension period after having satisfied the accompanying conditions, if any. All tuition and fees are forfeited, and the Student is responsible for paying all unpaid tuition and fees. A condition of readmission (e.g., counseling assessment, community service, participation in a substance abuse program, etc.) may be imposed. All privileges, including campus visitations, are revoked.
- Expulsion: Expulsion is the most serious University conduct action and involves the permanent separation of the Student from the University. Expulsion involves the forfeiture of all rights and degrees not actually conferred at the time of expulsion, notification of the expulsion to the Student, permanent notation of the expulsion on the Student’s academic and conduct records, withdrawal from all courses according to the policies of the Student’s school or program, and forfeiture of tuition, fees and room and board charges (if applicable). Any Student expelled from the University will not be permitted to visit the University premises except when engaged in official business and with the approval, in writing, by the Vice President for Student Life or Dean of Students.
- University Restriction and/or Ban: A Student may be restricted from the University, particular areas of the University, or University events as a result of inappropriate behavior. A Student who violates this ban may be subject to further disciplinary action, arrest, and/or prosecution.
- University Housing Removal and/or Ban: The removal of the Student from on-campus housing on either a permanent basis or for a stated period of time. Visitation privileges during this temporary or permanent separation may be revoked and housing fees forfeited. Conditions for readmission to University housing, if permitted, may be specified. A signed housing contract for future terms could be rescinded or a refusal to accept any future housing contract for a designated time period could be imposed.
- University Housing Relocation: The Student is required to vacate their current room assignment and is relocated to another room assignment within University housing. The Student is responsible for all fees associated with this relocation.
- Personal Restriction or Loss of Privilege: Denial or restriction of certain privileges for a designated period of time. Examples include but are not limited to: eligibility for service as an officer or member of any University organization or committee, participation in any intercollegiate activity, eligibility to receive or maintain any award from the University, attendance at University-sponsored social events, and restricted contact or total disassociation from members of the Maryville community. Includes restriction or loss of guest privileges in University housing, in campus facilities, or on campus grounds for a specified period of time.
- Restitution: Restitution may be imposed to recover damages or losses experienced by the University or a member of the University community resulting from theft, misuse, damage or destruction of private property.
- Fines: Fines payable to the University may be levied against Students who violate University policy. Students are responsible for all fines levied against them for violating University policy. A Student’s failure to pay fines may result in a hold being placed on the Student’s account, the Student’s account being sent to a collection agency, and/or legal action being taken to recover such fines.
- Educational Sanction: In certain instances where punitive measures are inappropriate or inadequate, an educational Sanction may be assigned. This Sanction is designed to help educate the student toward responsible behavior. These Sanctions may include but are not limited to a written apology, educational assignment/paper, task-oriented community work, volunteer services, and/or awareness workshops.
- Counseling Assessment Referral: A counseling assessment referral may be assigned for a Student with either the University or other approved licensed counselor or agency. When applicable, the Student is responsible for all costs associated with the referral, consultation, course, or session.
VI. Special Circumstances
In some circumstances, it may be necessary for the University to take the following actions in conjunction with, or outside of, the initiation of any conduct proceedings:
- Administrative Hold on University Account: This action is most frequently taken when Students do not complete assigned sanctions within the required timeframe, when Students fail to answer charges, or when Students must complete specific actions prior to being readmitted following suspension. This action prevents the Student from registering for classes, obtaining transcripts or diplomas, etc. Maryville University reserves the right to withhold transcripts or a diploma pending the resolution of all outstanding conduct violations and the successful completion of any sanctions issued as a result of those violations.
- Administrative Withdrawal for Non-Academic Reasons: The University may require a Student to take an administrative withdrawal if there is sufficient evidence that the Student is engaging or is likely to engage in behavior that presents a real danger of substantial harm to self or others, or substantially disrupts the learning environment and activities of the University community. There are limits to the University’s ability to care for Students with serious physical or psychological conditions and therefore the University reserves the right to decide, in certain circumstances, when it cannot provide educational or other services to a particular Student.
- Admissions Applications: see Admissions Applications policy.
- Behavioral Contract: Behavioral contracts are written expectations regarding a Student’s future behavior within given circumstances. Behavioral contracts are useful when behaviors of concern are persistent and the Student is not responding to other intervention strategies. Behavioral contracts are designed to align a Student’s behavior with the values of the University and other behavioral standards outlined in the Student Codes, so that the Student can contribute to an effective learning environment without infringing on the rights and property of others within the University community. While not intended to be punitive, failure to abide by a behavioral contract can result in initiation of disciplinary action as outlined in the behavioral contract.
- Deferred Suspension: At the conclusion of a conduct proceeding, a deferred suspension from the University or removal from University housing may be imposed due to severe extenuating circumstances. The suspension begins at a specified date as determined by the Dean of Students or designee. This option may be utilized only with approval by the Vice President for Student Life.
- Interim Action: When the University determines it is appropriate to do so to protect the health, safety, or well-being of an accused Student, a complaining Student, and/or the University community, interim action may be implemented by the Dean of Students or designee, pending resolution of an investigation and/or conduct proceeding. An attempt by a University Official is made to meet with a Student prior to assigning interim action, but when a meeting is not possible the interim action is communicated in writing along with any terms, conditions, or options to challenge. Interim action can include but is not limited to:
- Interim Restriction and/or Ban: Temporary restriction from the University, particular areas of the University, or University events, and may also include denial or restriction of certain personal privileges for a designated period of time.
- Interim Suspension: Temporary separation of the Student from the University. A Student’s status normally is not altered pending a hearing or appeal. However, if preliminary evidence demonstrates that a Student’s continued presence on campus would pose a threat within the University community, an interim suspension may be imposed. At the discretion of the University, measures will be taken to assist the Student in mitigating any negative academic impact resulting from being placed on interim suspension.
- No Contact Directive. The Dean of Students or designee may instruct a Student to have no contact with another member of the University community for a specified period of time. This directive may be stated in writing before, as a result of, or after a conduct meeting. In some cases, this directive may be in effect outside of the initiation of any conduct proceedings. The person who is protected by this directive may receive a written statement detailing the directive as permitted by applicable law.
- Notification to Parents or Legal Guardians: The Dean of Students or designee has the authority under FERPA to notify parents or guardians when Students under the age of 21 are found to have violated any federal, state, or local law or University policy related to the possession, use, or distribution of alcohol or controlled substances. Nothing in these guidelines shall prevent University officials from notifying parents or guardians of health or safety emergencies, regardless of the conduct status of the Student. Nothing in these guidelines shall prevent the University from notifying parents or guardians when Students under the age of 21 are involved in a group activity off campus, in which the Student’s Student Organization is found to have violated University policy with respect to the use and/or consumption of alcohol or drugs. Whenever possible, Students will be informed that parental notification is planned in advance of their parents or guardians receiving the notice. The notification of parents or guardians is simply an act of notice and is not subject to Conduct Appeal.
- Postponement of Activity Participation and Conferring of Honors and Degrees: The University reserves the right to deny, delay or postpone the involvement of a Student in any University-related activity or delay or postpone the conferring of any honor or degree pending the outcome of any conduct process and/or actions.
This policy and associated procedures do not take the place of conduct action associated with a Student’s behavior that is in violation of Student Codes. This policy is to be invoked in extraordinary circumstances in which, at the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee, the regular conduct system cannot be applied or is not appropriate. This policy may be invoked when a Student is unable or unwilling to request a voluntary withdrawal and the Dean of Students or designee deems a withdrawal necessary to protect the health and safety of the Student or others, or the integrity of the learning environment and campus community. Examples of such extraordinary circumstances include, but are not limited to: suicidal threat/attempt, self-starvation or purging behavior, ongoing substance abuse or addiction, serious threats of harm to self or others, or bizarre or destructive behavior.
A condition of readmission (e.g., counseling assessment, participation in a substance abuse program, medical clearance, behavioral contract, etc.) may be imposed. There is no appeal to this policy since it is invoked only in extraordinary circumstances in response to immediate concerns.
VII. Confidentiality and Disciplinary Records
All conduct proceedings are closed and confidential. Final conduct decisions are communicated to the charged Student and relevant University officials. If the charged Student signs a release, the final conduct decisions are also communicated to the charging party, except that in cases alleging crimes of violence, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits the final results to be disclosed to the victim of the crime without such a release. A copy of the written description of the sanction is placed in the Dean of Student’s disciplinary file in the Office of Student Life.
Upon graduation or withdrawal from the University, Student records in the Offices of Residential Life and Student Life are maintained for a period of ten (10) years after which time they are destroyed. Records of Students who are placed on academic probation, involuntary leave, suspended or expelled from the University may be maintained indefinitely. Student conduct files will contain contact information, letters of notification, decision letters from each case in which a Student was found responsible and any other relevant documentation. Students have a right to view their Student file at any time. Conduct records are separate from academic records except when a Student is expelled. In that case, expulsion may be noted on the Student’s academic transcript.
Policy Revised August 2020