Board of Trustees

ADMINSTRATIVE PROCEDURES FOR BOARD OF TRUSTEE POLICY 4095

STUDENT RIGHTS, RESPONSBILITIES, & CONDUCT CODE (SRRCC)


CONTENTS:
  1. Authority
  2. Interpretation and Revision
  3. Overview
  4. Due Process and Standard of Evidence
  5. Definition of Student
  6. Jurisdiction
  7. Reporting and Anonymous Complaints
  8. Overview of Conduct Proceedings
  9. Preliminary Inquiry and/or Educational Conference
  10. Informal Resolution
  11. Formal Hearing
  12. Review and Finalize Sanction(s)
  13. Hearing Panel
  14. Group Violations
  15. Amnesty
  16. Notice of Alleged Violation
  17. Special Hearing Provisions for Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, or other Complaints of a Sensitive Nature
  18. Procedures for Academic Dishonesty
  19. Notice of Hearing
  20. Lack of Response by Respondent
  21. Interim Action
  22. Formal Hearing Overview
  23. Parental Notification
  24. Failure to Complete Sanctions
  25. Notifications of Sanctions to Individuals other than the Respondent
  26. Appeal Procedures
  27. Grounds for Appeal Requests
  28. Request to Expunge Findings Reported to External Individuals and Organizations

Authority

The President is vested with the authority over student conduct by the Board of Trustees. The President may appoint an administrator[s] to oversee and manage the student conduct process. The President or his/her designee may appoint administrative hearing and appeals officers as deemed necessary to efficiently and effectively supervise the student conduct process. The President may delegate his/her authority over the Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct Code (SRRCC) procedures as deemed necessary.

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Interpretation and Revision

The President or his/her designee will develop procedural rules for the administration of hearings that are consistent with provisions of the Policy 4095 SRRCC. Material deviation from these rules will, generally, only be made as necessary and will include reasonable advance notice to the parties involved, either by posting online and/or in the form of written communication. The President or his/her designee may vary procedures with notice upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this document. The President or his/her designee may make minor modifications to procedure that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party. Any question of interpretation will be referred to the President or his/her designee, whose interpretation is final.

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Overview

The President or his/her designee will assume responsibility for the investigation of an allegation of misconduct to determine if the complaint has merit.

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Due Process and Standard of Evidence

Students should be aware that the student conduct process is quite different from criminal and civil court proceedings. Procedures and rights in student conduct procedures are conducted with fairness to all, but do not include the same protections of due process afforded by the courts. Due process, as defined within these procedures, assures written notice and a hearing before an objective decision-maker. No student will be found in violation of College policy without information showing that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred and any sanctions will be proportionate to the severity of the violation and to the cumulative conduct history of the student.

Students at the College are provided a copy of the SRRCC annually in the form of a link on the College website. The link is sent at least once per year to the student’s WCC email account. Hard copies are available (upon request) from the Ombudsman Office. Students are responsible for having read and abiding by the provisions of the SRRCC.

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Definition of 'Student'

The SRRCC and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of individual students, both credit and non-credit/continuing education, and all College-affiliated student organizations. For the purposes of student conduct, the College considers an individual to be a student when their admission is complete and thereafter as long as the student has a continuing educational interest in the College.

Individuals who violate provisions of the SRRCC after submitting, but prior to completion of their admission application, are provided with due process (written notice of violation and the opportunity to respond) however the full procedures stated in this document are not applied.

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Jurisdiction

The College retains conduct jurisdiction over students who choose to take a leave of absence, withdraw or have graduated - for any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal or graduation. If sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to re-enroll (and/or obtain official transcripts and/or graduate). In the event of serious misconduct committed while still enrolled but reported after the accused student has graduated, the College may invoke these procedures and should the former student be found responsible, the College may revoke that student’s degree.

The SRRCC applies to behaviors that take place on the campus, at College-sponsored events and may also apply off-campus when the President or his/her designee determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial College interest. A substantial College interest is defined to include:

  • Any situation where it appears that the student’s conduct may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of him/herself or others; and/or
  • Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder; and/or
  • Any situation that is detrimental to the educational mission and/or interests of the College;

The SRRCC may be applied to behavior conducted online, via email or other electronic medium. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online. The College does not regularly search for this information but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of College officials. Examples of situations where the College may take action:

  • A true threat, defined as “a threat a reasonable person would interpret as a serious expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon specific individuals”.
  • Speech posted online about the College or its community members that causes a significant on-campus disruption
  • Malicious speech posted online about other members of the College community.

The SRRCC applies to guests of community members. The hosts may be held accountable for the misconduct of their guests. Visitors to, and guests of, the College may seek resolution of violations of the SRRCC committed against them by any members of College community.

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Reporting and Anonymous Complaints

There is no time limit on reporting violations of the SRRCC; however, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the harder it becomes for College officials to obtain information and witness statements and to make determinations regarding alleged violations.

Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit the College’s ability to investigate and respond to a complaint. Those who are aware of misconduct are encouraged to report it as quickly as possible to Campus Safety.

A responding student facing an alleged violation of the SRRCC is not permitted to withdraw from class(es) until all allegations are resolved.

College email is the College’s primary means of communication with students. Students are responsible for all communication delivered to their College email address.

Alleged violations of federal, state and local laws may be investigated and addressed under the SRRCC. When an offense occurs over which the College has jurisdiction, the College conduct process will usually go forward notwithstanding any criminal complaint that may arise from the same incident.

The College reserves the right to use the results of a criminal trial to impose sanctions for related campus charges.

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Overview of Conduct Proceedings

This overview gives a general idea of how the College’s campus conduct proceedings work, but it should be noted that not all situations are of the same severity or complexity. Thus, these procedures are flexible, and are not exactly the same in every situation, though consistency in similar situations is a priority. The campus conduct process and all applicable timelines commence with notice to an administrator of a potential violation of College rules.

NOTICE: Once notice is received from any source (victim, 3rd party, online, etc.), the College may proceed with a preliminary investigation and/or may schedule an initial meeting with the responding student to explain the conduct process and gather information.

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Preliminary Inquiry and/or Educational Conference

The College conducts a preliminary inquiry into the nature of the incident, complaint or notice, the evidence available, and the parties involved. The preliminary inquiry may lead to:

  • A determination that there is insufficient evidence to pursue the investigation, because the behavior alleged, even if proven, would not violate the SRRCC, (e.g.: for reasons such as mistaken identity or allegations of behavior that falls outside the code).
  • A more comprehensive investigation, when it is clear more information must be gathered.
  • A formal complaint of a violation and/or an administrative meeting with the responding student.

When an initial administrative meeting is held, the possible outcomes include:

  • A decision not to pursue the allegation based on a lack of or insufficient evidence. The matter should be closed and records should so indicate.
  • A decision on the allegation, also known as an “informal” resolution to an uncontested allegation.
  • A decision to proceed with additional investigation and/or a “formal” resolution

The College may determine that a preliminary meeting with the respondent student is unnecessary due to the severity or the violation or the urgency of resolution. The College reserves the right to move to the Formal Hearing process when it deems necessary.

Individuals who have received a forewarning about their behavior will generally move to a Formal Hearing process immediately.

If a decision on the allegation is made and the finding is that the responding student is not responsible for violating the SRRCC, the process will end. The party bringing the complaint may request that the President or his/her designee reopen the investigation and/or grant a hearing. This decision shall be in the sole discretion of the President or his/her designee will only be granted for extraordinary cause.

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Informal Resolution

An Informal Resolution may be arranged after the designated administrator investigates the facts and evidence, then meets with the responding student. The administrator may find that the responding student is in violation, and if the responding student accepts this finding, the College considers this an “uncontested allegation.” The administrator conducting this initial meeting will then determine the sanction(s) for the misconduct, which the responding student may accept or reject. If accepted, the process ends. If the student does not accept the sanction, the process moves to a Sanctions Only Formal Hearing.

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Formal Hearing

In the situation of a contested allegation, forewarning to the student, or situations whose severity require a formal hearing - additional investigation may then be commenced and/or a hearing may be held when there is reasonable cause to believe that a rule or rules have been violated. A formal notice of the complaint will be issued, and a hearing will be held before an administrator. If the finding is that the responding student is not responsible, the process ends. Applicable appeal options are described below.

In the situation of a Sanctions Only Formal Hearing, the administrator will hear the respondent’s evidence and testimony before making a final determination on the sanction. The responding student may present character witnesses or other witnesses during the hearing. The Sanctions Only Formal Hearing is not intended to expand the framework of the original complaint nor is it a process to overturn the finding. The hearing administrator is not bound to issue the same sanction rendered during the Informal Resolution.

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Review and Finalize Sanction(s)

If the student is found in violation (a finding of responsible) SRRCC, sanctions will be applied by the hearing administrator.

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Hearing Panel

At the discretion of the President or his/her designee, a Hearing Panel may be convened rather than having a single administrator oversee a hearing. The Hearing Panel will be assembled according to the following guidelines:

  • A panel will be chosen, comprised of one student, one faculty member, and one staff member or administrator. For panels involved with complaints involving discrimination, sexual misconduct, or other sensitive issues, the President or his/her designee will usually use three administrative/staff members for the panel.
  • The President or his/her designee will have final authority to approve all those serving on the panel. The President or his/her designee is charged with responsibility for training the panel and ensuring a fair process for the party bringing the complaint and responding student.
  • The panel’s findings and proposed sanctions (if a finding of Responsible is determined) is not a binding outcome but an advisory recommendation for the final determination by the President or his her/designee.
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Group Violation

A student group or organization and its officers and membership may be held collectively and individually responsible when violations of this code by the organization or its member(s):

  • Take place at organization-sponsored or co-sponsored events, whether sponsorship is formal or tacit;
  • Have received the consent or encouragement of the organization or of the organization’s leaders or officers; or
  • Were known or should have been known to the membership or its officers.

Hearings for student groups or organizations follow the same general student conduct procedures. In any such action, individual determinations as to responsibility will be made and sanctions may be assigned collectively and individually and will be proportionate to the involvement of each individual and the organization.

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Amnesty
  • For Victims. The College may provide amnesty to victims who may be hesitant to report to College officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of minor policy violations, such as underage drinking, at the time of the incident. At the discretion of the President or his/her designee, amnesty may be extended on a case-by-case basis. When amnesty is provided, educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.
  • For Those Who Offer Assistance. To encourage students to offer help and assistance to others, the College may provide amnesty for minor violations when students offer help to others in need. At the discretion of the President or his/her designee, amnesty may also be extended on a case-by-case basis to the person receiving assistance. When amnesty is provided, educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.
  • For Those Who Report Serious Violations. Students who are engaged in minor violations but who choose to bring related serious violations by others to the attention of the College may be offered amnesty (at the discretion of the President or his/her designee) for their minor violations. When amnesty is provided, educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or record will result.
  • Abuse of amnesty requests can result in a decision by the President or his/her designee not to extend amnesty to the same person repeatedly.
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Notice of Alleged Violation

Any member of the College community, visitor or guest may allege a policy violation(s) by any student for misconduct under this Code by using the Report a Concern form on the Washtenaw Community College web home page. The following link connects to the Report a Concern online form.

Notice may also be given to the President or his/her designee or to the Campus Safety and Security office. Additionally, administrators may act on notice of a potential violation whether a formal allegation is made or not. All allegations can be submitted by a victim or a third party, and should be submitted as soon as possible after the offending event occurs. The College has the right to pursue an allegation or notice of misconduct on its own behalf and to serve as convener of the subsequent campus conduct process.

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Special Hearing Provisions for Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, or other Complaints of a Sensitive Nature

For all hearings under this sub-section, alternative testimony options may be provided, such as placing a privacy screen in the hearing room or allowing the alleged victim to testify from another room via audio or audio/video technology. While these options are intended to help make the alleged victim more comfortable, they are not intended to work to the disadvantage of the responding student.

The past sexual history or sexual character of a party will not be admissible by the other parties in hearings unless such information is determined to be highly relevant by the hearing administrator. All such information sought to be admitted by a party or the College will be presumed irrelevant until a showing of relevance is made, in advance of the hearing. Demonstration of pattern, repeated, and/or predatory behavior by the responding student, in the form of previous findings in any legal or campus proceeding, (or in the form of previous good faith allegations), will always be relevant to the finding, not just the sanction.

The party bringing any complaint alleging sexual misconduct, other behavior falling with the coverage of Title IX, and/or a crime of violence will be notified in writing of the outcome of a hearing, any sanctions assigned and the rationale for the decision.

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Procedures for Academic Dishonesty

These procedures cover conduct described under the category of "Academic Dishonesty". Any individual who suspects that academic dishonesty has occurred should report the incident to the instructor in charge of the class.

Step One:
If the instructor suspects a student of academic dishonesty, he/she will meet with the student as soon as possible. If the meeting does not alleviate the instructor's suspicions, the instructor will notify the student that the matter is being referred to the Divisional Dean. In situations where more than one student is involved, more than one class involved, or more than one site is involved; the Divisional Dean shall consult with the Vice President for Student and Academic Services prior to investigating the report of academic dishonesty.

Step Two:
The instructor shall notify the Divisional Dean in writing of the charge and shall review the charge and documentation with the Divisional Dean. The Divisional Dean will investigate the charges, reviewing documents and interviewing witnesses (including the student suspect), as he/she deems appropriate and reach a decision regarding the student's culpability. Within ten (10) business days of the notification of the charge, the Divisional Dean will place his/her decision in writing to the student, the faculty member, and the Vice President for Student and Academic Services. The Divisional Dean will advise the student and the instructor of the right to appeal.

Step Three:
Either party may appeal to the Vice President for Student and Academic Services under the Appeal guidelines in the Code of Conduct. The Vice President for Student and Academic Services shall inform the Vice President for Instruction of the appeal.

Step Four:
The decision on the appeal by the Vice President for Student and Academic Services shall be final.

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Notice of Hearing

Once a determination is made that reasonable cause exists for the President or his/her designee to refer a complaint for a meeting or hearing, notice will be given to the responding student. Notice will be in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: emailed to the student’s College-issued email account; delivered in-person by a designee of the President or his/her designee; or mailed to the local or permanent address of the student as indicated in official College records. Once mailed or emailed such notice will be presumptively delivered. The letter of notice will:

  1. Include the alleged violation and notification of where to locate the SRRCC and the associated administrative procedures; and
  2. Direct the responding student to contact the President or his/her designee within a specified period of time to respond to the complaint. This time period will generally be no less than three days but no more than one calendar week from the date of sending the notice.

A meeting with the President or his/her designee may be arranged to explain the nature of the complaint and the conduct process. At this meeting, the responding student may indicate, either verbally or in writing, to the President or his/her designee, whether they admit to or deny the allegations of the complaint. This initial meeting may also result in an Informal Resolution.

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Lack of Response by Respondent

The respondent has the right not to respond to notices sent by the College about pending conduct issues. The College will continue the conduct process to conclusion regardless of the respondent’s participation. The College retains the right to defer the process when in its judgment, the respondent is unable to respond (for example: in extreme situations when the respondent may be temporarily incapacitated).

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Interim Action

The President or his/her designee may impose restrictions and/or separate a student from the community pending the scheduling of a formal campus hearing or during the investigative stage on alleged violation(s) of this Code when a student represents a threat of serious harm to self, others, is facing allegations of serious criminal activity, to preserve the integrity of an investigation, to preserve College property and/or to prevent disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the College. Interim actions can include separation from the institution or restrictions on participation in the community pending the scheduling of a campus meeting or hearing on alleged violation(s) of this Code.

During an interim suspension, a student may be denied access to the College campus, facilities, or events. As determined appropriate by the President or his//her designee, this restriction may include classes and/or all other College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. At the discretion of the President or his/her designee and with the approval of, and in collaboration with, the appropriate academic Dean(s), alternative coursework options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an impact as possible on the responding student.

If suspended, the student may request an immediate hearing from the President or his/her designee to show cause why the interim suspension should be lifted. This hearing will be held to determine if the interim suspension should be continued. The interim suspension may be continued if a danger to the community is posed and/or the College may be delayed or prevented from conducting its own investigation and resolving the allegation by the pendency of the criminal process. In such cases, the College will only delay its hearing until such time as it can conduct an internal investigation or obtain sufficient information independently or from law enforcement upon which to proceed.

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Formal Hearing Overview
  1. Notice of the time, date and location of the hearing will be in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: emailed to the student’s College-issued email account; delivered in-person by a designee of the President or his/her designee; or mailed to the local or permanent address of the student as indicated in official College records. Once mailed or emailed such notice will be presumptively delivered.
  2. If there is an alleged victim of the conduct in question, the alleged victim may serve as the party bringing the complaint or may elect to have the College administration serve as the party bringing the complaint forward. Where there is no alleged victim, the College administration will serve as the party bringing the complaint forward.
  3. If a responding student fails to respond to notice from the President or his/her designee, the President or his/her designee may initiate a complaint against the student for failure to comply with the directives of a College official and give notice of this offense or take other Interim Actions as deemed necessary.
  4. At least two (2) days before any scheduled formal hearing, the following will occur:
    • The responding student will deliver to the President or his/her designee a written response to the complaint;
    • The responding student will deliver to the President or his/her designee a written list of all witnesses that the responding student will call at the hearing;
    • The responding student will deliver to the President or his/her designee a list of all physical evidence the student intends to use at the hearing;
    • The College will furnish (upon the responding student’s request) a written list of all witnesses for the complainant at the hearing;
    • The College will furnish (upon the responding student’s request) a written list of the evidence that will be presented at the hearing;
    • The responding student will deliver to hearing administrator, the name of the non-participating advisor that may be accompanying the respondent at the hearing.

The parties have the right to be present at the hearing; however, they do not have the right to be present during deliberations. If a student cannot attend the hearing, it is that student’s responsibility to notify the President or his/her designee no less than two (2) days prior to the scheduled hearing to arrange for another date, time and location. Except in cases of grave or unforeseen circumstances, if the responding student fails to give the requisite minimum notice, or if the responding student fails to appear, the hearing will proceed as scheduled. If the party bringing the complaint fails to appear, the complaint may be dropped unless the College chooses to pursue the allegation on its own behalf, as determined by the President or his/her designee. The hearing will begin promptly at the day and time specified. Admittance of late arriving participants will be at the discretion of the hearing administrator.

The President or his/her designee will conduct the hearings according to the following guidelines:

  • Hearings will be closed to the public.
  • Admission to the hearing of persons other than the parties involved and their non-participating advisor will be at the discretion of the hearing administrator and/or the President or his/her designee.
  • In hearings involving more than one responding student, the standard procedure will be to hear the complaints jointly; however, the President or his/her designee may permit the hearing pertinent to each responding student to be conducted separately. In joint hearings, separate determinations of responsibility will be made for each responding student.
  • The parties have the right to a non-participating advisor/advocate of their own choosing. The advisor/advocate may not make a presentation or represent the party bringing the complaint or responding student during the hearing. They may confer quietly with their advisee or exchange notes during the hearing.
  • The party bringing the complaint and the responding student will have the privilege of questioning all present witnesses indirectly through the hearing administrator. The hearing administrator will determine the relevancy of questions before requiring an answer. Unduly repetitive witnesses can be limited at the discretion of the hearing administrator.
  • Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the hearing administrator. Formal rules of evidence are not observed. The hearing administrator may limit the number of character witnesses presented or may accept written affidavits of character instead.
  • All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the hearing administrator.
  • The hearing administrator will deliberate after the hearing and determine whether it is more likely than not that the responding student has violated the SRRCC. Once a finding is determined, if the finding is that of a SRRCC violation, the hearing administrator will determine an appropriate sanction(s).

Notification of sanctions will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: emailed to the student’s College-issued email account; delivered in-person by a designee of the President or his/her designee; or mailed to the local or permanent address of the student as indicated in official College records. Once mailed or emailed such notice will be presumptively delivered. In cases of sexual misconduct and other crimes of violence, notice of the outcome will be delivered to all parties simultaneously, meaning without substantial delay between the notifications to each.

There will be a single verbatim record, such as an audio recording, for all Formal Hearings. Informal meetings, Educational Conferences, and Deliberations will not be recorded. The record will be the property of the College and maintained for thirty calendar days after either the Formal Hearing decision or if applicable, thirty calendar days after the decision by the appellate administrator if there is an appeal.  The recording will be destroyed after the thirty days.

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Parental Notification

In compliance with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), the College reserves the right to notify the parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any conduct situation, particularly alcohol and other drug violations. The College may also notify parents/guardians of non-dependent students who are under the age of 21 of alcohol and/or other drug violations.

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Failure to Complete Sanctions

All students, as members of the College community, are expected to comply with conduct sanctions within the timeframe specified by the hearing administrator. Failure to follow through on conduct sanctions by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect or any other reason, may result in additional sanctions and/or suspension from the College. Students that have been placed on Campus Restrictions of any type or have been suspended are required to meet with the hearing administrator to petition to return to campus, have a hold lifted, or to discuss their conditions to return.

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Notifications of Sanctions to Individuals other than the Respondent

The College will release detail of the sanctions issued to the Respondent for a SRRCC violation under the following guidelines:

  • The details of any sanction(s) related to a Title IX offense will be handled in accordance with the federal regulations in effect at the time of the sanctioning.
  • For all SRRCC violations other than a Title IX violation, the complainant(s) and/or victim(s) will be notified of the finding in their case and if a determination of responsible is arrived at, the complainant(s) and/or victim(s) will be notified of the sanction(s) issued. For crimes of violence, the victim will be notified of the outcome and sanction from any hearing.
  • For the sanction of Expulsion, the respondent’s transcript will carry a notice of the expulsion.
  • In the event of a finding of responsible, the College may release the related sanction(s), the SRRCC violation(s), date(s) of the violation(s), and other pertinent information as the College deems necessary in the following situations:
    • During background checks, fitness for duty requests, subpoenas and other lawful requests for records.
    • Within the guidelines of FERPA for any situation the College deems related to the Health and Safety of the Campus Community, another Campus Community, or the Community at large.
    • Within the guidelines of FERPA for individuals that apply for admission or financial aid at another institution of higher learning.
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Appeal Procedures

Any party may request an appeal of the decision of the hearing administrator by filing a written request to the original hearing administrator, subject to the procedures outlined below. All sanctions imposed by the original hearing administrator remain in effect, and all parties should be timely informed of the status of requests for appeal, the status of the appeal consideration, and the results of the appeal decision. The hearing administrator will forward the appeal to the designated appellate officer for review and response.

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Grounds for Appeal Requests

Appeals requests are limited to the following grounds:

  • A procedural (or substantive error) occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.);
  • To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included in the written request to the original hearing administrator;
  • The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation and/or past behavior.

Appeals must be filed in writing with the original hearing administrator within five 5 business days of the notice of the outcome to the hearing, barring exigent circumstances. Any exceptions are made at the discretion of the President or his/her designee.

The hearing administrator, upon notice of appeal, will share the appeal by one party with the other party (parties) when appropriate under procedure or law (e.g., if the responding student appeals, the appeal is shared with the complainant, who may also wish to file a response, request an appeal on the same grounds or different grounds). The President or his/her designee will draft a response memorandum to the appeal request(s), based on the determination that the request(s) will be granted or denied, and why.

If the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, the original finding and sanction will stand and the decision is final. If the appeal has standing, the President or his/her designee will either remand the appeal to the original hearing officer or at their discretion, select a new hearing officer or hearing panel to consider the appeal. Efforts should be made to remand whenever possible, with clear instructions for reconsideration only in light of the granted appeal grounds. Where the original decision-maker may be unduly biased by a procedural or substantive error, a new hearing administrator or panel will be constituted to reconsider the matter.

On reconsideration, the original decision-maker may affirm or change the findings and/or sanctions of the original hearing according to the permissible grounds. Procedural (or substantive) errors should be corrected, new evidence should be considered, and sanctions should be proportionate to the severity of the violation and the student’s cumulative conduct record. The appeal decision will be provided to the President or his/her designee for review prior to the release to the involved parties.

Appeals are not intended to be full re-hearings of the complaint.

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Request to Expunge Findings Reported to External Individuals and Organizations

A responding student with a finding of responsible may request to have their finding expunged from reporting to external individuals and organizations under the following conditions. The President or his/her designee will evaluate the request and respond in writing.

  • The request can be made for any sanction excluding Expulsion. All Expulsions will remain a part of the student’s permanent record.
  • The student has demonstrated a period of unimpeachable behavior of no less than three years since the finding. For more severe charges, the College may require a longer period of unimpeachable behavior. The College may consider other negative behavior on or off campus, public sources of information, or behavior that is deemed negative but did not result in a misconduct charge
  • The College may consider character witness or other evidence of redeeming behavior.
  • If approved, the College will not report the charge or finding to external sources. Internally, the College will continue to report to appropriate departments.
  • In the case of a search warrant or subpoena requesting specific information on the case in question, or specific requests for the history of the student’s findings and sanctions, the College is legally obligated to report the original findings.
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Revised September 2014

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