Utilizing the preliminary information they receive about the conduct in question, the Office of Residence Life decides whether to proceed with a given case as either a Disciplinary Conference or a Disciplinary Hearing. A Disciplinary Hearing is ordinarily scheduled when the nature or severity of the charges is such that a finding of responsibility could result in the student’s separation from the University (i.e., temporary or permanent dismissal). If the charges are less serious and finding a student responsible will not likely lead to disciplinary separation, the Office of Residence Life will schedule a Disciplinary Conference.
Disciplinary Conferences are intended to allow for the investigation, discussion, and resolution of alleged violations of University regulations and are ordinarily conducted by one or two staff members from the Office of Residence Life and/or their designee(s). Students may be accompanied to a Disciplinary Conference by their rector and/or another hall staff member.
A list of some possible University sanctions can be found here. With the exception of temporary or permanent dismissal, any of these sanctions may be imposed as the result of a Disciplinary Conference. The results of Disciplinary Conferences are documented, and this record may be used to establish a student’s disciplinary history at the University.
In the event a student receives notice and fails to appear for a Disciplinary Conference, the Office of Residence Life and/or designee reserves the right to render a decision in their absence. A charged student can upon request receive an excused absence in order to attend a Disciplinary Conference.
If an Office of Residence Life staff member or designee conducting a Disciplinary Conference receives information that suggests a Disciplinary Hearing would be a more appropriate setting, the staff member or designee will stop the Disciplinary Conference. A Disciplinary Hearing will then be scheduled and conducted in accordance with Disciplinary Hearing procedures.
Disciplinary Hearings are more formal in nature than Disciplinary Conferences. These hearings are scheduled and conducted before a panel of two or more Office of Residence Life staff members and/or their designee(s). In a Disciplinary Hearing, a student charged with violation(s) of University policy is entitled to the following:
- The student will receive written notification of charges at least five business days in advance of the Disciplinary Hearing. The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to provide less than five business days’ notice when information about an alleged violation is received between the end of the spring semester and Commencement, i.e., Senior Week.
- Upon request of the charged student, the Office of Residence Life will provide the student with the name(s) of any witness(es) invited to the Disciplinary Hearing.
- The charged student may be assisted, but not represented, by a peer student at the Disciplinary Hearing. A peer student for a charged undergraduate student is another undergraduate student. A peer student for a charged graduate or professional student is another graduate or professional student. In no case shall students proceed through an attorney. The Office of Residence Life staff members or their designee(s) shall deal directly with the student charged and not through any third party.
- The charged student shall have the opportunity to present his or her own report of the incident(s) and to present witness(es) to the incident during the Disciplinary Hearing, as well as an opportunity to submit written statement(s) following the Disciplinary Hearing. The charged student shall provide the Office of Residence Life with the name(s) of any witness(es) he or she plans to invite to the Disciplinary Hearing. In general, testimony from witnesses who do not have direct knowledge of the incident in question is permitted only at the discretion of the hearing panel.
- The charged student shall have the opportunity to hear and respond to all information presented during the Disciplinary Hearing. A charged student’s questions and responses should be directed only toward the hearing panel, not to any witness.
- The Disciplinary Hearing panel shall not make a final decision about a charged student’s case before his or her Disciplinary Hearing process is complete.
- The charged student shall be given written notification and explanation for the decision and the disciplinary action taken by the Disciplinary Hearing panel.
- The charged student shall have the opportunity for a case review upon the completion of the Disciplinary Hearing process, as outlined in this publication.
Disciplinary Hearings are closed to all but principal parties, witnesses, peer students (as described above at (3)), appropriate residence hall staff, and Office of Student Affairs and Office of Residence Life staff and/or their designee(s). Should the charged student fail to attend a Disciplinary Hearing after being notified by the Office of Residence Life, the Disciplinary Hearing will proceed and a decision will be made in his or her absence. A representative may not appear in the place of a charged student. A charged student can upon request receive an excused absence in order to attend a Disciplinary Hearing.
A Disciplinary Hearing may result in the imposition of sanctions described here, including temporary dismissal or permanent dismissal. The results of these hearings are documented and may be used to establish a student’s disciplinary history at the University.
Disciplinary Process for Incidents of Alleged Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct or Sexual Assault
If a student chooses to proceed with the disciplinary process following a Title IX administrative investigation, he or she will prepare a written report of the incident, and the student’s role within the disciplinary process will be that of a “complainant.” In some instances, the University may, in its discretion, choose to initiate a disciplinary complaint on its own. Information obtained through the administrative investigation may be used by the Office of Residence Life for consideration in the University disciplinary process, with or without the cooperation of the complainant.
An accused student will be informed of the nature of the charges by the Office of Residence Life, and may, in instances where there is a student complainant, obtain a copy of the complainant’s written statement after preparing his or her own written description of the incident. In turn, the accused student’s written description will be shared with the student complainant, if any.
Reports of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or sexual assault by a student shall be addressed through the University’s student disciplinary process described above. In addition, for matters of alleged sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or sexual assault:
- Both the complainant and the accused student will receive equivalent notice of the process;
- The complainant will have the opportunity to be present throughout the entire Disciplinary Conference or Disciplinary Hearing;
- The complainant will be entitled to the same opportunity to have others present during a Disciplinary Conference or a Disciplinary Hearing as is provided to the accused student, including Hall Staff and/or a peer support person;
- Both the complainant and the accused student will have the opportunity to present witnesses with information pertinent to the alleged sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or sexual assault, and any relevant information to the hearing panel during the disciplinary process;
- The complainant will be provided options for reasonable alternative arrangements if he or she does not want to be present in the same room as the accused student during the Disciplinary Conference or Disciplinary Hearing;
- During the Disciplinary Conference or Disciplinary Hearing, testimony regarding any party’s past sexual conduct will ordinarily not be permitted, except in those instances where there was a prior sexual relationship between the parties and the testimony may be relevant to the issue of consent. If the accused student is found responsible for the conduct alleged in the complaint, his or her past sexual misconduct, if any, may be considered in determining the appropriate sanction;
- The complainant and the accused student will be informed in writing of the outcome of the Disciplinary Conference or Disciplinary Hearing in cases of alleged crimes of violence (as defined by section 16 of title 18, United States Code) or a non-forcible sex offense. If the complainant is deceased as a result of the crime or offense, the next of kin shall be informed in writing of the outcome of the Disciplinary Conference or Disciplinary Hearing upon written request. A Disciplinary Hearing may result in the imposition of the disciplinary sanctions listed above including temporary dismissal or permanent dismissal.