Student Conduct Process
All student conduct processes are separate from law enforcement investigations. Even if law enforcement and criminal justice authorities choose not to prosecute a particular incident, the university may still pursue the incident through the student conduct process.
More about the process
We want all participating parties to be knowledgeable about the process that occurs once a complaint is filed with Student Support & Conduct. The following describes the investigation process, the hearing, and the outcome of the hearing. Student Support & Conduct staff will be available to explain the process as requested. The student conduct process will be prompt, fair, and impartial. This means that the process will be completed within a reasonable timeframe and without undue delay. The process will be conducted in a manner that is consistent with the university’s policies and will be transparent to all parties. The victim that submits the complaint is referred to as the complainant. The alleged individual is referred to as the respondent. Lastly, the student conduct process will be conducted by university officials who do not have conflict of interest or bias for the complainant or respondent.
Filing a formal complaint
In order for disciplinary action to be taken, a signed formal complaint must to be filed and the complainant must participate in the investigative and hearing processes.
An investigation into an formal complain proceeds as follows:
- The complainant and respondent will be notified of receipt of the complaint.
- A university official will separately meet with the complainant and respondent to discuss the complaint submitted, review the investigation and hearing processes.
- An investigation will be conducted by a non-biased Investigator. This investigation will include meeting personally with the complainant; meeting personally with the respondent(s); meeting personally with any witnesses; and, reviewing any documentary information.
- The investigation will be adequate, reliable, and impartial. The Investigator will compile an investigation report, which will be fact-checked by the complainant and respondent.
- The university official will determine if a conduct hearing is possible based on the available information. If it is determined that the university will proceed with a conduct hearing, the complainant and the respondent(s) will be notified of the hearing date.
- You are allowed one advisor to be present during the investigation process.
- After receiving feedback on a report, the investigator will compile the hearing file. The hearing file will be provided at least ten days before the hearing.
Hearing procedures are as follows:
- Hearing notification will occur at least fifteen days in advance and include the hearing date, time and location. Hearings will be scheduled around academic schedules
- Allegations involving a complainant and respondent will be heard by the Student Conduct Committee Hearing Panel, which is comprised of a faculty member, a staff member and a student.
- The hearing includes opening statements, presentation of the investigation report, presentation of information by complaint and respondent, questions to each party, and closing statements.
- Each party is permitted to have a person of their choosing to accompany them throughout the hearing as an advisor. The primary role of the advisor to aid you in recounting your experience. If the case falls under Title IX policy, you are required to have an advisor present in the hearing to ask questions of the other party. If you are unable to obtain an advisor, the university will provide one for you.
- Each party is permitted to be present during the hearing (except during deliberations). All parties can be in the same room in a pre-arranged, non-threatening location or in separate rooms with a video conference option.
- The standard of proof used in all university conduct hearings is preponderance of the evidence, which means the determination to be made is whether it is more likely than not a violation occurred. This is significantly different than proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is required for a criminal prosecution.
Possible outcomes include the entire range of sanctions listed in the Student Code of Conduct. When it is determined that sexual violence is more likely than not to have occurred, the outcome can include separation from the university.
Respondents and complainants will be informed simultaneously in writing of the outcome within two business days after the hearing.
Each party has the right to appeal the decision reached through the hearing proceedings within ten business days after the hearing and the right to respond if an appeal is submitted by the other party.
If an incident falls within the parameters of the Title IX guidance outlined by the Department of Education, additional investigation and hearing information can be found here.
For more information, visit Student Support & Conduct.