Allegations of non-academic misconduct are typically resolved by the Office of Community Expectations (OCE), which, at its discretion, may utilize either an informal or formal resolution process.
Informal Resolution Process
In an informal resolution, a student/organization is invited to meet with a staff member to discuss the report. If the student/organization responds to the meeting request and subsequently actively engages in a conversation about the report, the matter will be closed without disciplinary action.
Formal Resolution Process
There are two avenues for formal resolution of an allegation of non-academic misconduct: an Administrative Review and a Review Panel.
In an Administrative Review, the student/organization will be invited to meet with OCE staff to discuss the incident, answer questions, and provide their perspective of what occurred.
If it is determined that there exists insufficient information to conclude that the student/organization violated university policy by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., what is more likely to have occurred) standard, then the case will be dismissed with no findings or outcomes issued.
If the student/organization accepts responsibility for the allegations, OCE staff may seek to reach an agreement with the student/organization during the administrative review as to appropriate outcomes. If an agreement is reached (i.e., the student/organization accepts responsibility for the alleged violations and the outcomes proposed by OCE staff), the matter is considered resolved and no appeal is available.
If the student/organization challenges either the findings of responsibility and/or the outcomes proposed by OCE staff, the next steps are dependent on the possible outcomes proposed by OCE staff.
If an outcome could include suspension, expulsion, revocation of admission, or revocation of degree, OCE staff will refer the matter to a Review Panel for its determination of responsibility and outcomes. The student’s/organization’s previous disciplinary record will be considered in determining appropriate outcomes and the student/organization retains their ability to appeal the decision issued.
If there is no potential outcome of suspension, expulsion, revocation of admission, or revocation of degree, OCE staff will use a preponderance of evidence standard to determine if the student/organization is responsible for the allegation(s). (There is no option for a review panel.) If so, OCE staff will determine the appropriate outcomes with consideration of the student’s/organization’s previous disciplinary record (if any). The student/organization may submit an appeal.
Review Panels consist of three to five members, designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee, comprised of any combination of faculty, staff, and students, to consider the report/documentation and to hear from and ask questions in real time of the student/organization and any relevant identified parties. The review panel shall determine by a preponderance of evidence standard if the student/organization is responsible for the alleged violation(s), and, if applicable, the appropriate outcome(s).
Appeals are documentary reviews determined solely on the merits of the student’s/organization’s submission. Appeals do not include an in-person or virtual presentation. Therefore, written submissions should be as complete as possible and no longer than five single-spaced typed pages with a font no smaller than a size of 10 point.
Appeals are permitted by the student/organization on one or more of the following grounds:
- New information that is sufficient to alter the determination of responsibility, and which the student/organization was not aware of or could not have reasonably obtained at the time of the initial review.
- Procedural error(s) that materially impacted the determination of responsibility. (Procedural or technical irregularities will not be sufficient to sustain an appeal unless found to have affected the determination of responsibility.)
- The outcome(s) assigned is (are) disproportionate to the determination of responsibility.
The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will consider the written appeal and information/documents considered in the review and provide a written decision to the student/organization and OCE. The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee may uphold the initial decision in its entirety, send the case back to OCE for further review, reverse a finding of responsibility, modify the outcome(s), or dismiss the case. This decision is final and binding and there is no further avenue for appeal.