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Adjudication Procedures

Procedures For Adjudicating An Alleged Violation

Of The Student Conduct Code

Rights of Students Involved in the Student Conduct Code Process

  1. Be notified of the alleged violations.
  2. Review relevant and appropriately redacted materials by request, regarding the incident(s).
  3. Be informed of the conduct process and/or the investigative process.
  4. Respond to the alleged conduct code violations. This can be in writing through a written statement, or an in person meeting with a conduct officer or investigator.
  5. Be accompanied by a support person during any student conduct process and/or investigation process in which the student is participating (please refer to Support Person guidelines on page 14).
  6. Be notified in writing of the outcome of the conduct complaint.
  7. Under certain circumstances the right to appeal is granted (see Appeals on page 15).
  8. For cases involving Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, Domestic/Dating Violence and other violent crimes the complainant and responding student have the additional rights provided below and listed in more detail on the Prevent website.
    Be notified of:
    • All reporting options available, including making an anonymous report.
    • Support resources (ex. Counseling and Health Services, etc.) and remedial measures (ex. No contact orders, housing relocation, etc.) More specific details see: www.uml.edu/Prevent.
    • The right to request confidentiality (confidentiality is not defined as anonymous) .
    • The outcome to the complaint simultaneously in writing through University email.
    • Appeal Rights (see Appeals on page 15). f. The right not to be required to be in the same room or meeting as the accused (or accuser) during the investigative process.
    • The possible sanctions that the University may impose following the determination of the investigative process.

Case Referral

Any member of the University community or persons unaffiliated with the University may notify the Office of Student Conduct of a student’s violation of the University’s Student Conduct Code. Notifications must be made within one year (365 days) of the alleged violation in order for charges to be brought. However, charges under Section IV, A.1.D.: Stalking; and Section IV, A.1.E: Domestic/Dating Violence; and Section IV, A.1.F.: Sexual Misconduct may be brought at any time while the charged student is enrolled at the University. The University may independently investigate an allegation of student misconduct whether or not it has been submitted in writing and whether or not it is beyond the three hundred sixty-five days provided in this paragraph.

The University does not tolerate retaliation towards a University community member who has reported a potential conduct violation. Please see Section IV, A.1.c: Retaliatory Harassment.

Process

Upon receipt of a complaint the Office of Student Conduct will review the complaint and gather the necessary information to determine if further action is appropriate. If it is determined that there is sufficient information to charge a student with a violation of the Code, charges will be brought and the case must be heard through resolution.

It is the policy of the University to inform both the complainant and the responding student of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding involving sexual misconduct, stalking, dating/domestic violence and, subject to FERPA, other violent crimes, as provided under the Rights of Students, provided above. The complainant and respondent shall be provided with a written list of the Rights of Students.

Disciplinary flags may be set on a student’s record if a student fails to respond to notification of an alleged violation of the University’s Student Conduct Code; fails to complete sanctions; when the University is concerned that a student’s conduct affects the safety and well-being of the University community; or when a student is suspended or expelled from the University. When a disciplinary flag has been set, the student cannot register for classes and may not be eligible for other academic services until meeting with a Conduct Officer.

Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in the campus discipline process.

  1. When the Office of Student Conduct determines that a violation of the University’s Student Conduct Code is likely to have occurred, it will in a timely fashion complete the following actions:
    • Notify the student that he/she has allegedly violated the Student Conduct Code and provide a time no sooner than three (3) business days, in accordance with the student academic calendar, for a Campus Conduct Conference. This notification will be in writing sent through University email. Failure to appear for this Campus Conduct Conference may result in imposition of sanctions in absentia and forfeiture of the right to appeal. Refusal to accept notification is not grounds for failing to appear at the Campus Conduct Conference.
    • A Conduct Officer will be selected to investigate the matter and make a determination as to whether the Code has been violated and determine sanctions, if applicable. Students through the conduct office and the Conduct Officer may request a submission of firsthand written factual accounts by witnesses and/or the appearance of witnesses. The Conduct Officer shall facilitate this process and approach witnesses, and may request that the authors appear at the Campus Conduct Conference by making such request, either verbally or in writing. The Conduct Officer may exclude repetitive information or information that is not firsthand knowledge. Relevant and appropriately redacted materials may be reviewed by either student prior to the Campus Conduct Conference at the student’s request.
      The Campus Conduct Conference is a closed meeting. The Conduct Officer has the discretion to include other individuals as the Campus Conduct Officer deems appropriate. During the Campus Conduct Conference the following will occur:
      • A student may be accompanied by a Support Person (please refer to Support Person guidelines on page 14).
      • The student will be allowed to provide his/her account of the incident.
      • Questions may be asked by the Conduct Officer to the student and any witnesses. Student and/or witnesses will not address each other. The student may ask questions through the Conduct Officer of any student and/or witnesses. No direct communication between students and/or witnesses will be allowed. If the Conduct Officer deems the question(s) inappropriate they will not be considered. This is to maintain the educational and non-confrontational tone to the Campus Conduct Conference.

        A decision regarding an alleged Student Conduct Code violation will be made under the “Preponderance of the Evidence” standard.

      • At the end of the Campus Conduct Conference one of the following will occur:
        1. Conduct Officer makes a decision regarding the alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code; and if the student is deemed responsible, determine sanctions. All decisions will be provided in writing to the complainant (if appropriate) and the responding student.
        2. Conduct Officer does not make a determination immediately, in order to consider the matter further. The Conduct Officer will notify the complainant (if appropriate) and the responding student of the decision in writing, within five (5) business days of the Campus Conduct Conference.
    • If the student is found responsible for a violation, the student has the right to appeal. The complainant, if a student, may also have the right to appeal. See Section VII, Appeals.
  2. When the alleged violation(s) of the Student Conduct Code may result in Removal from Housing, Suspension, or Expulsion, an investigative model will be utilized:
    • The Office of Student Conduct will notify the student that he/she has allegedly violated the Student Conduct Code and provide a time no sooner than two (2) business days, in accordance with the student academic calendar, for a meeting with the Director of Student Conduct or designee. This notification will be in writing sent through University email. If the responding student fails to appear for this meeting, the investigative process will continue in the student’s absence. The responding student is allowed to be accompanied by a support person (please refer to Support Person guidelines). At this time the investigative process will be explained. The following information will be provided to the student in writing:
      1. List of rights of a student involved in the conduct process (see Rights of Students Involved in the Student Conduct Code Process under this Section VI).
      2. Name(s) of the investigators assigned to the matter
      3. Information regarding the investigative process
    • An investigator will be appointed by the Director of Student Conduct or designee (The Director may serve as the investigator) to conduct the investigation. The investigator will make all reasonable attempts to gather all relevant information to determine whether or not the Code was violated, based on the preponderance of the evidence. This includes, but is not limited to: interviewing the complainant, responding student, applicable witnesses and physical evidence (ex. Screenshots, call logs, etc).
    • At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will present his/her report to the Director of Student Conduct or designee. The report shall include (if applicable): summaries of interviews, statements from involved parties and witnesses, physical evidence (ex. Screenshots, call logs, etc). Additionally, the report shall include recommendations regarding the finding of responsible or not responsible (based on a “Preponderance of the Evidence”) and if applicable recommended sanctions.
    • After review of the report by the Director of Student Conduct or designee, the complainant and responding student will be notified simultaneously in writing through University email of the alleged conduct charges against the responding student. A date, time and location will be provided to both the complainant and the responding student no sooner than three (3) business days, in accordance with the student academic calendar, to meet to review the investigator’s report. The meetings are conducted individually. If the responding student fails to appear for his/her meeting, the Director of Student Conduct or designee may accept the investigator’s recommendation that the responding student violated the Code and impose sanctions, if applicable; there will be no right to appeal and the case will be closed. Sanctions cannot be appealed.
    • If the investigator recommends no violation occurred the complainant may submit an appeal based on the grounds articulated in the conduct code (see Appeals in Section, VII).
    • At the meeting the responding student has/have the right to accept the recommended finding of responsible or not responsible.
      1. If the responding student accepts the investigator’s recommended finding of either responsible or not responsible, the case is closed and the process is concluded with no rights to appeal.
      2. If the responding student does not accept the investigator’s recommended finding of responsible the investigation will be assigned to a review panel of two administrators. In this case, the responding student (and complainant where the claim involves stalking, dating/domestic violence or sexual misconduct) has/have three (3) business days to respond to the investigator’s report. The response(s) shall be in writing and will be provided to the review panel.

        The review panel will be utilized to issue a formal resolution on the incident(s). The review panel may take the following action:

        1. Consult with the investigator for clarification in order to take action to resolve the matter(s).
        2. Confirm the investigation and recommendations for findings and sanctions, if applicable. Sanctions are determined based on severity of the incident(s) and past conduct history.
        3. Request further investigation by the same investigator.
        4. Request a new investigation by a different investigator.
        5. Determine findings do not support recommendations.

Once the review is complete, the review panel will provide its finding on responsibility and sanctions, if applicable, to the Director of Student Conduct or designee. The student respondent will be sent the finding in writing through University email. If the complaint involved stalking, dating/domestic violence, sexual misconduct, or certain violent crimes, the outcome will be shared simultaneously to the complainant and the responding student, in writing through University email.

The responding student (and complainant where the claim involves stalking, dating/domestic violence or sexual misconduct) has/have the right to appeal the outcome (see the Appeals Section).

Right to Support Person

A student may elect to be accompanied at all student conduct and investigation processes by a support person of his/her choice. A student should select a support person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the meeting(s) because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of a support person. If a student elects to have an attorney present as their support person, it will be at the sole cost and expense of the student. The student must notify the Office of Student Conduct of who their support person is within one business day. Student conduct and/or investigative processes will not be scheduled based on a support person’s availability.

The role of the support person in all cases is limited to supporting the student during the conduct and/or investigative process. The support person may not speak on behalf of the student, answer questions directed to the student and/or address or ask the other party questions. At no time may the support person be a first hand witness to the incident(s) in question.

The student must direct all questions and/or concerns about any conduct and/or investigative process to the Conduct Officer or Investigator. Both the responding student and the complainant’s support person(s) are strictly prohibited from speaking directly with any administrator involved in making a determination on the incident, outside of the conduct/investigative process.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

The University is committed to providing appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities so that all students have meaningful access to all University programs and services, including the Student Conduct Process.

All students with disabilities who are involved in the Student Conduct Process, including complainants and responding students, support person(s), witnesses may seek accommodations for any stage of the Student Conduct Process and/or Investigative Process. Any student requesting an accommodation must do so far enough in advance to allow the request to be reviewed and an appropriate accommodation identified and implemented. Although there is no firm deadline beyond which an accommodation cannot be requested, the student will be held accountable for making any request in a timely fashion: the University may not be able to provide an accommodation which is not requested at least five working days before the accommodation is needed. Accordingly, each student seeking an accommodation is strongly encouraged to do so as early as possible in the Student Discipline Process.

A request for accommodation shall be made to the Director of Disability Services (“Director”) or designee. The request will be reviewed by the Director, who will apply appropriate legal standards and University policies and procedures to determine what accommodation, if any, is appropriate. The student will be given an opportunity to have an interactive role in the review process—i.e., to discuss the request with the Director—before the Director completes the review. The Director may require the student to provide appropriate documentation from qualified health care professionals to support the request. In addition, the Director, in her/his discretion, shall consult as appropriate with the Conduct Officer or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs or their designee, or other experts of the Director’s choosing. The Director will make his/her determination in light of the student’s particular disabilities and the nature of the Discipline Process, as informed by any consultations, relevant documentation and relevant previous accommodations provided to the student. The student will be given an explanation of the Director’s determination.

If the student requesting accommodations disagrees with the Director’s determination on reasonable accommodations, he/she may appeal the determination to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach within five (5) working days of the Director’s decision.