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A Student's Rights in the Disciplinary Process

As indicated within the Guide to Student Rights & Responsibilities and the "Code of Student Conduct," parties are afforded several rights in a non-academic disciplinary process.  These rights include, but may not be limited to:

Notification of the Alleged Violations:

Students who are charged with an alleged policy violation(s) of the "Code of Student Conduct" will receive a letter from the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities and/or the Office of Civility & Community Standards that details the specific Articles and Sections of the "Code of Student Conduct" or other university policies related to the alleged misconduct.  These letters may be delivered to a student through electronic mail to their university email account or may be delivered in person by a member of our staff or another university official.  Additionally, these letters will include notification of the scheduled disciplinary proceedings date and time.

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Standard of Disciplinary Proceeding Decisions:

Parties have a right for a decision in a disciplinary proceeding to be made based upon a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means that it is “more likely than not” that a fact is true or an event occurred.  Formal rules of evidence will not be applicable in a disciplinary proceeding described within the "Code of Student Conduct."

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Access to Case Materials:

Parties have the right to have reasonable access to the case materials, as appropriate and consistent with FERPA, which will be reviewed as part of the disciplinary process.  Case materials may include copies of the incident reports, statements from involved parties or witnesses, or other relevant materials.  Parties who wish to obtain access to their case materials should contact the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.  Please be advised that should a party wish to obtain a physical copy of the case materials, the materials provided to the party will be redacted in order to protect the confidentially of any parties involved.

Disciplinary proceedings will be recorded or transcribed.  The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities and the Office of Civility & Community Standards utilizes audio recordings of disciplinary proceedings.  Should a party wish to access the audio recording of a disciplinary proceeding, the party should contact the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.

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Witnesses:

Both the university and the parties of a disciplinary proceeding have the right to call appropriate and relevant witnesses to provide information during a disciplinary proceeding.  All parties may question witnesses who will provide information during a disciplinary proceeding, although in certain cases the university may require that such questioning be conducted indirectly and/or from a separate location.  It is expected that all witnesses will provide information that is true and correct.  Character witnesses will not be heard.  Any student who knowingly provides false information during a disciplinary proceeding is subject to disciplinary action by the university.  The failure of a witness to attend a disciplinary proceeding will not invalidate the proceedings. 

Should a party wish to have a witness attend a disciplinary proceeding, they should notify the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities typically at least three business days before the date of the proceeding.  Please be advised that the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities cannot excuse an individual from their attendance in an academic class or another academic requirement.

Should the university determine that a witness will be present during a disciplinary hearing; the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities will inform the parties within a reasonable amount of time before the disciplinary proceedings date, which is typically at least three business days before the date of the proceeding.

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Advisors:

Parties of a disciplinary proceeding have the right to an advisor.  Parties are permitted to have one (1) advisor at a disciplinary proceeding, who may be a parties’ parent, friend, or another individual of the parties’ choice.  An advisor may be, but may not act in the role of an attorney.  The role of an advisor is limited to support and consultation, where an advisor may not address the presiding officer(s) or question witnesses on behalf of a party.  Parties must notify the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities if they will have an advisor during a disciplinary proceeding and if their advisor is an attorney, at least three business days prior to the proceeding.  Please review Article 28 of the "Code of Student Conduct" for more information regarding advisors.

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Statements during a Disciplinary Proceeding:

Accused parties who fail to appear to a disciplinary proceeding will be deemed not to have contested the allegations against them; however an accused party may elect not to speak on his or her own behalf.  In such cases, a party’s silence is not taken as an indication of responsibility.  The presiding officer(s) of the disciplinary proceeding will then make their decisions based upon information maintained within the case materials, witness statements, and other information presented during the proceeding.  Please note that if a party chooses not to make a statement during a disciplinary proceeding, a party’s omission of a statement does not constitute a criterion for an appeal as indicated in the "Code of Student Conduct."

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Notification of Finding of Fact and Outcomes:

Parties of a disciplinary proceeding will receive, in writing, notification of a disciplinary proceedings outcome and the sanction (if appropriate) within a reasonable amount of time after the hearing is concluded.  This written notification will be consistent applicable university regulations and law.

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Appeals:

Parties have the right to appeal the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding but not the sanction.  Appeals must be based upon new information that is relevant to the case, that was not presented at the disciplinary proceeding, and that significantly alters the finding of fact.  For more information, please review information regarding the appeals criteria and submissions.

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