Rights of Accused Students
- Students shall be considered not responsible for policy violations until given an opportunity to be heard and found in violation.
- Students shall be notified in writing of the charges against them at least three (3) business days prior to any hearings unless the student waives this right. Business days encompass Monday-Friday and do not include holidays or academic breaks during which the School is closed.
- Students shall have the right to review the Conduct System procedures in their entirety and have any questions answered by a Student Conduct Administrator.
- Students shall expect confidentiality as required by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") and Applicable Laws, and can choose to waive that confidentiality in writing to the Registrar.
- Students have the right to prepare a response and to have the assistance of an Advisor.
- Students may have an Advisor present with them during any meetings with Student Conduct Administrators. An Advisor can be any person who was not involved in the conduct being investigated. Examples of Advisors include: a friend, parent, lawyer or acquaintance or a Student Conduct Administrator not assigned to the student’s current case.
- Students have the right to decline to answer questions or provide a statement during a conduct proceeding. Statements made by students during these meeting may become part of the investigation case file. Additionally, while the likelihood of this information being subpoenaed is very low, there is a possibility the information could be provided to the relevant law enforcement agency in the event that there is a pending criminal case based on the conduct under school investigation.
- Students may postpone a student conduct hearing up to ten (10) business days if there is a pending legal case stemming from the same incident.
- Students may review their case file by making an appointment with the Student Conduct Administrator handling the case.
- Students shall be free from disciplinary sanctions pending conclusion of the hearing, except in cases where interim action is deemed necessary.
- Students have the right to present evidence on their behalf.
- Students have the right to have their case heard within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed thirty (30) business days.
- Students may request an individual hearing when more than one student in a specific incident is alleged to have violated the Code of Conduct.
Any member of the School community may report an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct. Reports can be submitted with an Incident Report and should be submitted as soon as possible after the alleged violation occurs. Upon receipt, the CSCO will assign the case to a Student Conduct Administrator, who will be responsible for the case from initial contact with the accused student through adjudication. If the alleged violation is egregious enough to warrant suspension or expulsion, the CSCO will convene a judicial hearing panel and assign a panel chair.
If warranted, the Student Conduct Administrator will conduct a prompt, thorough, fair and impartial investigation of an incident.
The assigned Student Conduct Administrator will notify the accused student or students in writing that the School is investigating an allegation of a violation of the Code of Conduct made against them, including the date, time, location and nature of the alleged violation. The written notification will also inform the parties how to challenge participation of a Student Conduct Administrator on the basis of bias or a conflict of interest; inform the student(s) of their right to an Advisor and set a date and time for the student to meet with the investigators within three business days of receipt of letter.
During the investigation, the student will have an opportunity to be heard, to submit information and any evidence, to identify witnesses who may have relevant information and to submit questions that they believe should be directed by the Investigator to the individual who reported the violation or to any witness.
Investigations for conduct matters typically will be completed within fifteen (15) business days while classes are in session. Investigations may take longer due to intercessions or School closures. Any extension, and the reason for the extension, will be shared with all parties involved in writing via electronic communication. The accused student may request a hard copy of such notice.
Administrative Notice: Students involved in any incident or policy violation will meet with a Student Conduct Administrator to discuss ways to resolve the alleged violation(s). A violation may be resolved or addressed through a conduct meeting, administrative conduct hearing or conduct hearing panel. The CSCO may determine which form of resolution is appropriate depending on the nature and severity of the violation.
Prior to any formal conduct proceeding, the student will be informed in writing of the following:
- The day, date, time and location of the hearing, with at least three (3) business days’ notice, unless the student waives this right or the CSCO (or designee) believes extraordinary circumstances exist;
- The specific School policies that have allegedly been violated;
- The right to have an Advisor accompany the student to the hearing; and
- In case of Conduct Hearing Panels, in addition to the above-listed information, the student will receive, in writing, the names of the hearing panel members and how to challenge participation by any member of the panel for conflict of interest.
Students that have gone through an administrative hearing with a Student Conduct Administrator or Conduct Panel will receive written notification of the outcome of the hearing detailing the following:
- The determination of responsibility for the alleged policy violation(s);
- Any accompanying sanctions, deadlines by which the execution of a sanction must be completed, as a result of being found responsible for the policy violation; and
- The process by which to appeal the outcome of the case.
Sanctions imposed by a Student Conduct Administrator, Conduct Panel or CSCO/Panel may be appealed to a designated appeals officer or panel by either party. Appeals must be submitted to the CSCO in writing within three (3) business days of the written notification of the decision. It is the responsibility of the student presenting the appeal to demonstrate grounds for such action.
Appeals may be made on the following grounds:
- Procedural error: Appealing party alleges that there was a deviation or change from the procedure outlined in the adjudication process which may have had a material impact on the outcome of the hearing.
- New evidence: Appealing party alleges that subsequent to the hearing determination, new evidence became available which could have had a material impact on the outcome of the hearing.
- Severity of sanction: Appealing party alleges that the sanctions imposed are either too severe or too lenient in light of the violation or are inconsistent with the type of sanctions imposed on others who were found to be responsible for substantially similar violations.
The designated appeals officer or panel may uphold or overturn the sanctions given by the Student Conduct Administrator or Conduct Panel, return a case for further review, modify sanction(s) within reason or deny the appeal request. In all cases, the decision reached by the designated appeals officer or panel is final.
Conduct of Student Organizations
Student clubs or organizations, upon recognition by the School, become responsible for acting in accordance with School policies and all other applicable School regulations. The School may take action when the behavior of the members of a student organization violates School policy. Both individual and organizational Code of Conduct action may be pursued for the same behavior. Student organizations may be held responsible for acts of individual members when the members are acting on behalf of the organization. These acts include, but are not limited to, the following categories:
- When a member violates School policy, and other members present either fail to discourage such activity or actively condone the violation.
- When the violation is directly related to the organization’s activities or an environment created by the organization.
Alleged violations will be adjudicated as outlined in the Adjudication Process. The following sanctions may be imposed upon student organizations found to have violated School policy:
- Disciplinary sanctions as outlined in this process.
- Deactivation or suspension of the club or organization; loss or restriction of privileges, including but not limited to School recognition or funding.
The School may impose one or more of the following disciplinary sanctions, depending on the severity or the frequency of the violation under consideration:
Reprimand (R): Verbal or written warning to the student that the student has violated the Code of Conduct. Records are maintained in the student’s file via electronic means and are taken into account in the event of future violations.
Residence Hall Probation (RHP): Written notice to the student that the student’s behavior is unacceptable. The student's behavior is monitored closely by Residence Life staff, and the student may be restricted from participating in residence hall activities. Records are maintained in the student’s file via electronic means and are taken into account in the event of future violations. Any further violations while the student is on RHP may result in immediate action, including but not limited to, disciplinary probation, restriction from the housing selection process, immediate removal from the Residence Hall, or suspension or dismissal from the School.
Disciplinary Warning (DW): Written notice that the student’s behavior is unacceptable and that further misconduct may result in more severe penalties. Disciplinary warning is for a specified period of time and may be accompanied by other educational sanctions or restrictions. Records are maintained in the student’s file via electronic means and are taken into account in the event of future violations. After the warning period, the warning status is not considered part of the student’s permanent record.
Disciplinary Probation (DP): Written notice that the student is no longer in good standing with the School. Disciplinary probation may include without limitation denial of privileges, restriction from participation in certain activities, the requirement that specified activities be performed, or other educational sanctions. Disciplinary Probation is for a specified period of time and may be accompanied by other conditions and/or educational sanctions. A student on disciplinary probation may not represent the School in any official capacity (Teaching Assistant, Residence Assistant, etc.), hold an office in School groups of any kind including Student Council, participate in School-sponsored travel, or may be removed from School promotional material. Violation of disciplinary probation is considered grounds for further disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion. At the conclusion of the disciplinary probation period, the student is returned to good standing. Electronic records are maintained in the student’s file and are taken into account in the event of future violations. These records become part of the student’s permanent record at the School.
Suspension (S): Written notice to the student of suspension from the School for a designated period of time, after which the suspended student may petition the School for re-enrollment. The petition must demonstrate that the student has satisfied any accompanying terms of the suspension. A student who has been suspended is required to vacate on-campus housing (if applicable) within 24 hours of written notice and is prohibited from entering School premises without prior approval from the CSCO, even as an audience member or guest. Students who are suspended are required to leave campus within 24 hours of notification unless the decision qualifies for and is awaiting an appeal hearing. Faculty are not obligated to permit make-up of missed assignments, and absences from class are not considered excused. No refunds will be issued, and the suspension becomes part of the student’s permanent record and will be accompanied by a transcript remark.
Expulsion (EX): Expulsion is the permanent separation of the student from the School. A student who is expelled is required to leave campus within 24 hours of notification. If the decision qualifies for and is awaiting an appeal hearing, the student will be placed on an interim suspension. A student who has been expelled is prohibited from entering any School premises (including as an audience member or guest), participating in any School activity or program, and may not apply for readmission. No refunds will be issued, and the expulsion becomes part of the student’s permanent record and will be accompanied by a transcript remark.
Any sanction may be accompanied by or substituted with appropriate activities that the student is required to complete. The student will be given specific deadlines for the completion of these activities. Failure to meet the deadlines may be grounds for further disciplinary action. Records are maintained electronically and are taken into account in the event of future violations. Educational sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
- Educational training, including participation in educational seminars, workshops or other trainings.
- Community restitution, including programming requirements or service hours that benefit the School community.
- Written papers including:
- Reflection paper: The student will write a paper reflecting on the incident, including, but not limited to, how the incident has affected the student and those around them.
- Research paper: The student will write a paper researching a specific topic and must include several sources and citations to receive credit for completion.
Any sanction may be accompanied by, or substituted with, appropriate activities that the student is directed to complete. When a student is found responsible for academic misconduct or dishonesty, there are a wide variety of sanctions that can be applied as stand-alone sanctions or in conjunction with status sanctions, educational sanctions, or accompanying terms for sanctions within the Code of Conduct. Academic sanctions include, but are not limited to:
- Oral or written reprimand;
- Make-up assignment;
- Mandated Writing Center attendance or tutoring;
- No credit issued for original assignment/exam;
- A failing grade (F) issued for original assignment/exam;
- A reduced final grade for the course;
- A failing grade (F) for the course;
- Denial of participation in rehearsals, performances, or similar activities;
- Termination from leadership position (i.e. Teaching Assistantship, Fellowship, or the like)
- Denial of participation in School competitions, or other award-based opportunities.
Accompanying Terms for Sanctions
A Student Conduct Administrator or conduct hearing panel may impose accompanying terms to in connection with any sanction to ensure responsible behavior and the well-being of the School community, help the responsible student learn from the experience, and remedy the effects of the conduct on the aggrieved student. The following terms may accompany any of the sanctions described above, except when noted:
- No Contact Order: The student will be issued a No Contact Order prohibiting direct or indirect interaction between the student being sanctioned and the aggrieved student.
- Loss/Denial of Privileges: The student will be denied privileges, including but not limited to termination of leadership positions; loss of membership in School-sponsored groups; limited ability to use campus or School resources/facilities; removal from performances and/or rehearsals; denial of participation in School competitions or other award-based opportunities; and removal from promotional or marketing materials for the School.
- Parent/guardian notification: Parents/guardians may be notified, in accordance with applicable regulations, of the outcome of any student conduct hearing.
- Counseling notification: Counseling staff may be notified, in accordance with applicable regulations, of the outcome of any student conduct hearing. Counseling staff may be asked to provide an assessment and/or continued care, where warranted.
- Faculty/Staff notification: Faculty/Staff may be notified, in accordance with applicable regulations, of the outcome of any student conduct hearing.
- School file entry: A copy of the written notification to the student of the outcome of the hearing may be placed in the student's official School file. Records are maintained in the student’s file via electronic means and are taken into account in the event of future violations.
- Restitution: Restitution is the repayment to the School or to an affected party for damages to property resulting from a violation of the Code of Conduct.
- Removal from School housing: Separation of a student from School-owned housing (residence hall) may accompany the sanction of any administrative conduct hearing. The separation from School housing must be for a designated period of time. Conditions for readmission to School housing may be specified.
- Transcript remark: A transcript remark is a notation on a student's official School transcript. A transcript remark may accompany a suspension or expulsion.
- Other accompanying terms: Other terms designed to ensure responsible behavior may accompany the sanction of any student conduct hearing. These terms may include, but are not limited to, educational projects, meetings with educators/counselors, community restitution, housing relocation and other assignments as warranted.
Record Keeping and Disclosure
The School will keep a confidential record of all reports and proceedings under this Code of Conduct. This information will be used by the School to monitor repeated complaints against the same individual and to document the incidence of Code of Conduct violations in the School community. The School will maintain disciplinary files for a minimum of seven (7) years from the date of the incident or for four (4) years after a student’s graduation or separation, whichever term is the longest. Records of students who continue into new programs will be retained and the retention period extended as appropriate. After the maximum file retention period, the files will no longer be reportable except in cases resulting in suspension or expulsion. Records may be maintained longer in the School’s sole discretion.
Disciplinary proceedings conducted by the School are subject to the Student Privacy and FERPA Policy. Please see the FERPA Policy for more detailed rules in relation to information disclosure.
Any information gathered in the course of an investigation may be subpoenaed by law enforcement authorities as part of a parallel investigation into the same conduct or required to be produced through other compulsory legal process.
Disposal of Records
In the absence of any legal action or current School investigation, conduct records may be destroyed or disposed of upon completion of their use and generally will be destroyed at the end of their retention period. The appropriate method of destruction depends on the record’s physical form or medium and subject matter or content. They should not be placed in unsecured trash or recycling receptacles unless first rendered unrecognizable. Paper records will be redacted, burned, or shredded, and electronic records will be destroyed or erased. Absent any special instructions or unique circumstances, retaining any record past its mandatory retention period should be on an exceptions-only basis after weighing the potential usefulness of the Record against cost or space limitations.