Rights of Accused Students:
A student who has been accused of violating the Code of Conduct has the following rights with regard to the conduct process:
1. To participate in a one-on-one meeting with an OSCAR or Residence Life professional in which conduct process rights and procedures are explained. The University reserves the right to mandate such a meeting.
2. To be informed of all charges prior to a hearing, and to review incident documentation. Documentation that includes information about other individuals may be redacted.
3. To advance notice of at least three working days before a hearing is to be conducted.
4. To have a fair and impartial conduct hearing.
5. To request witnesses to speak in the student’s defense. The hearing officer or Chair may limit witnesses or statements deemed repetitious or unnecessary. Accused students should inform the hearing officer or Chair prior to the hearing as to the identity of their witnesses no fewer than two working days prior to the hearing. The only witnesses allowed will be those with information regarding the specific incidents or conduct in question. Character witnesses are not allowed.
6. To ask questions of all witnesses who participate in the hearing.
7. To be present at the hearing, except during deliberation, or when other accused students are speaking. Students who do not appear for a hearing are not assumed to be in violation, but the hearing may be conducted in their absence.
8. To be presumed not in violation unless found in violation for any charge(s). The standard of evidence used in all University conduct hearings is preponderance of evidence. This means that for a student to be found in violation of a charge, the evidence must persuade the hearing officer or board that it is more likely than not that the student was in violation.
9. To name an advisor. The advisor must be willing to assist and advise the student during the hearing, but may not speak on behalf of the student. The advisor may be any individual of the accused student’s choosing, as long as he or she is not also a hearing witness. Accused students are requested to provide notice of the identity of their advisor preferably at least one working day in advance of any hearing or investigative meeting that the advisor is slated to attend.
10. To be aware of all evidence presented during the hearing and to have the opportunity to review all relevant available documents.
11. To be notified of the decision made as a result of the hearing.
Rights of Complainants:
The following rights shall extend to complainants only when the accused student has been criminally charged with a crime of violence as defined in Title 18 of the U.S. Code Section 16, i.e.,“(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or (b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense”:
- The right to name an advisor. The advisor must be willing to assist and advise the complainant during the hearing, but may not speak on behalf of the complainant. The advisor may be any individual of the complainant’s choosing, as long as he or she is not also a hearing witness. Complainants are requested to provide notice of the identity of their advisor preferably at least 24 hours in advance of any hearing or investigative meeting that the advisor is slated to attend.
- The right, if they participate in the hearing, to be physically separated from the accused student during the hearing. The complainant must indicate that choice at least two working days prior to the hearing. Whether or not the complainant participates in the hearing, the hearing administrator will notify, in writing, the complainant about the outcome of the hearing and any sanctions imposed, as permitted by law.
- The right to appeal the decision to the Dean of Student Life, or designee, on the following grounds:
- the hearing administrator exhibited unfair bias, which influenced the results of the hearing;
- the availability of new evidence, unavailable at the time of the hearing, that could substantially impact the hearing administrator’s decisions or sanctions;
- an error in hearing procedures, such as those described in the “Student Conduct Process Rights – Rights of Complainants,” that is of such magnitude as to deny fundamental fairness; and/or
- the sanction(s) issued by the hearing administrator are inappropriate for or inconsistent with the violation
Appeals must be submitted, in writing, to the Dean of Student Life within five (5) working days of the date on the hearing outcome letter. In the case of 1), 2) , or 3), a new hearing with the Dean of Student Life may occur if deemed necessary. In the case of 4), the Dean of Student Life shall consider the sanction only. If the Dean of Students is unable to serve in this role for any reason, the appeal will be heard by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Appeal decisions are final.