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POLICY #11.2 
SUBJECT: Student Conduct Code



I. PURPOSE

Southern Utah University establishes expectations and community standards for its students through its policies and procedures. The primary Policy for student Conduct (but not the exclusive one) is this Student Conduct Code. It sets out what conduct is prohibited, when it is prohibited, and the procedures that apply to the University’s review of conduct that is prohibited. Students voluntarily assume the responsibility to meet these standards and expectations.


II. REFERENCES

  1. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 20 U.S.C. § 1232g
  2. Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990, 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f) (2018)
  3. Southern Utah University Policy 5.0 Threat Management and Safety Intervention
  4. Southern Utah University Policy 5.27 Non-Discrimination / Anti-Harassment
  5. Southern Utah University Policy 5.60 Sexual Misconduct
  6. Southern Utah University Policy 6.33 Academic Integrity
  7. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.
  8. Utah Code § 76-10-101 et seq. Utah Criminal Code, Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, Welfare, and Morals
  9. Utah System of Higher Education Policy R256 Student Disciplinary Processes
  10. Utah System of Higher Education Policy R262 Student Safety

III. DEFINITIONS

  1. Administrative Resolution Process: A hearing conducted by the Student Conduct Officer where the Student Conduct Officer and Respondent discuss the allegations and evidence allowing the Respondent Student(s) a chance to respond, and after which, the Student Conduct Officer decides whether the Respondent is or is not responsible for a Code violation and applies appropriate Sanctions.
  2. Advisor: A support person chosen by a Respondent who may assist the Respondent in the Student Conduct Process, as further set out in this Policy.
  3. Appeal: An internal grievance procedure in which a Respondent to challenge a decision made by a Student Conduct Officer or Hearing Panel, under the conditions and standards set out in this Policy.
  4. Appeal Officer: The University Employee who considers and decides on requests for Appeals and decides on those Appeals. If a Respondent Appeals a decision of the Student Conduct Officer following an Administrative Resolution Process, the Dean of Students serves as the Appeal Officer. Provided however, where the Dean of Students has served as the Student Conduct Officer or otherwise conducted the Administrative Resolution Process, the Appeal Officer is the VPSA. If a Respondent Appeals a decision of the Hearing Panel, the VPSA serves as the Appeal Officer.
  5. Clearly Erroneous: A standard of review (in this Policy, applicable at the Appeal stage) that means plainly in error, i.e., based on the relevant information, the decision-maker is left with the definite and firm conviction that a material mistake has been committed. In applying this standard, credibility determinations are not reviewed. If an error is harmless (i.e., it would not have changed the outcome) it also is set aside and not Clearly Erroneous.
  6. Code (Code of Conduct / Student Conduct Code / Student Code of Conduct): This Policy, and in particular the Prohibited Conduct listed below as the “Code” of standards that Students must follow.
  7. Conduct Record: Electronic and paper forms and documents containing information about a Student and related to a process under this Policy.
  8. Conduct Review Process: Procedures in this Policy applied to Reported Code violations.
  9. Conflict of Interest: Any circumstance in which an individual’s financial, professional, or other personal considerations may directly or indirectly affect, or reasonably appear to affect, an individual’s professional judgment in exercising any University duty or responsibility. Independent knowledge of an incident through other means generally is not a Conflict of Interest. A person may have a Conflict of Interest, however, where their conduct is involved in a violation of a related Policy.
  10. Employee: A person employed by the University.
  11. Initial Review: Upon receiving a Report of a violation of the Code, a Student Conduct Officer’s review of the Reported conduct.
  12. Jurisdiction: The University’s authority, under this Code, to review matters that are made known to the University, when the conduct is Reported to have occurred under the following circumstances:
    1. Within the University’s programs or activities (including but not limited to within the context of a class, University-sponsored field trip, University Student Organization activity);
    2. On University Premises; or
    3. Regardless of where it occurs:
      1. if the Reported conduct is otherwise directed at substantially disrupting University operations;
      2. if the Reported conduct demonstrates a risk of physical harm to persons in University programs or activities or on University Premises or to University property;
      3. if the Reported Respondent has a supervisory or similar relationship over the person to whom the Reported conduct was directed at or towards;
      4. if the Reported conduct is subject to criminal prosecution and charged at a felony level;
      5. if the Reported conduct would violate articulated professional standards applicable to the Respondent’s field of study and/or related profession;
      6. if the Reported conduct appears to be a part of a continuation or pattern of Prohibited Conduct; OR
      7. if the Reported conduct meets a majority of the following factors:
        1. the Reported conduct is/was directed at or toward another Student, Employee, or Visitor of the University;
        2. the Reported conduct, if true, would be severe enough to potentially warrant a suspension or dismissal as a Student and/or from University employment;
        3. the impact/effect of the conduct would logically and foreseeably create a material impediment to another Student, Employee, or Visitor’s access or participation on campus (generally, mere presence of the Respondent on University Premises or within University Programs alone is insufficient);
        4. evidence of the Reported conduct can be gathered without inordinate expense, effort, or delay, such as due to geographic location and the University connection (or lack thereof) to property, among others;
        5. Reported conduct occurs in a context that a reasonable person would expect the University would have an interest in (maintains a workplace in that location, is part of its geographic service area, would not supersede or conflict with another entity’s authority/responsibility, among others).
    4. Additionally, the following describes when (as opposed to where) the University has Jurisdiction under this Code over a person whose conduct is at issue:
      1. Generally, this Code applies to conduct at all times while the Reported Respondent is a Student.
      2. In determining appropriate threat and safety management measures, the University may consider conduct that occurred prior to a Student being admitted or enrolled at the University, if the Reported conduct presents a risk of physical harm to person in the University programs or activities or on University Premises. The Student Conduct Officer may also consider whether temporary threat and safety management measures are necessary, as further detailed in this Code.
      3. The Code may also apply to former Students when the conduct occurred while the person was a Student. Sanctions and threat and safety management measures may apply as applied to other Students, including but not limited to limiting future interactions with the University.
  13. Panel Chair: The Panel Chair is the Dean of Students or designee. The Panel Chair convenes and oversees the Panel Hearing Process.
  14. Panel Hearing Process: A process where a Hearing Panel will conduct a formal hearing for the purposes of reviewing the evidence and recommending a finding of responsibility and disciplinary actions to the VPSA.
  15. Preponderance of the Evidence: Preponderance of evidence means it is more likely than not (or more than 50 percent in favor) that a Code violation occurred.
  16. Prohibited Conduct: Conduct listed in the “Prohibited Conduct” section below, which is considered a violation of the Code and subject to Sanctions and/or other threat and safety management measures.
  17. Report: Allegations that Respondent engaged in Prohibited Conduct made either by the person Reportedly subjected to the Conduct or a third party.
  18. Reporter: Any person Reporting an alleged violation of the Code.
  19. Respondent: A Student alleged/Reported to have violated the Code.
  20. Retaliation: Any materially adverse action that would dissuade a reasonable person from making or supporting a good faith Report, or otherwise participating in the processes under this Policy. Retaliation can be direct, such as changing or denying a benefit of the University, or it can be indirect, such as intimidating, threatening, or harassing a person who has made a Report or participated as a Witness in a process.
  21. Sanctions: Actions or conditions that are required as a result of a Respondent being found responsible for a Code violation.
  22. Student: Individuals who have paid the enrollment deposit to attend the University or are enrolled in courses offered by the University, including but not limited to during breaks in the University academic calendar.
  23. Student Conduct Administrator: The Student Conduct Administrator is the Dean of Students. As needed, the VPSA may designate other Student Affairs Employees as the Student Conduct Administrator.
  24. Student Conduct Officer: A University Employee designated on a case-by-case basis by the Student Conduct Administrator with approval from the VPSA to review Reported Code violations under the Initial Review and the Administrative Resolution Process, as further set out in this Policy. The Student Conduct Administrator may also serve as a Student Conduct Officer.
  25. University Official: Any person employed by the University or serving on its governing boards, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
  26. University Premises: All land, buildings, facilities, and other property owned, managed, operated, leased, or otherwise controlled by the University. Premises also includes the University controlled space on the internet and other technological systems.
  27. Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA): The University Employee, designated by the University President, who oversees Student affairs.
  28. Visitor: A person who has a reasonable basis and expectations to be on campus or in University programs and activities but who is not an Employee or Student in the relevant context.
  29. Witness: Persons who are Reported to have information relevant to conduct at issue.

IV. POLICY

  1. Scope of Policy
    1. This Policy applies to all Students and applies when the conduct meets the Jurisdiction requirements, defined above. All Reports of violations of this Code are subject to review under and application of this Policy.
      1. The University’s Jurisdiction governs only what the University will review for disciplinary and threat and safety management purposes upon Student Affairs receiving relevant information or a Report. The University does not actively monitor conduct in each Jurisdictional context. Rather, this Code generally governs what is brought to the attention of appropriate University Officials and how the University processes that information.
      2. The University expressly disclaims any duty not already otherwise recognized in law independent of this Jurisdiction and/or Code.
      3. Jurisdiction of this Code sets out in what context(s) that punitive or other threat and safety management measures the University implements against a Respondent. Jurisdiction does NOT control when the University offers help, support, and resources to an affected Student. Those resources may be available regardless of whether Jurisdiction applies.
    2. Policy 5.60 is separate. If the Reported conduct meets the definition of Prohibited Conduct under Policy 5.60 and results in a Report, as defined in that Policy, the processes and requirements of that Policy will control and may run concurrently with or prior to processes under this Policy.
    3. Policy 5.27 is separate. If Reported conduct that meets the definition of Discrimination, Harassment, and/or Retaliation under Policy 5.27, the processes and requirements of that Policy may control and/or run concurrently with or prior to processes under this Policy, unless and until referred under that Policy.
    4. Other policies may apply to Reported conduct not covered by this Policy, including but not limited to Policy 6.33 and Policy 5.0.
    5. Any discrepancies in documents will be governed by the Code, which controls over any such conflicts or inconsistencies; provided however, Policy 5.27 and Policy 5.60, along with any safety intervention/risk management measures taken outside this Policy will be primary and control over this Code in the event of any inconsistencies, as needed for the safety of the University and to prevent discrimination.
  2. Prohibited Conduct. The following described conduct is Prohibited Conduct. Prohibited Conduct is a violation of the Code. Violations of the Code are subject to Sanctions and remedies by the University.
    1. Violation of University policies, procedures, rules, or regulations.
    2. Dishonesty: Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
      1. Providing and/or supplying false information to any University Official, faculty/staff member, or office.
      2. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document, record, or instrument of identification.
      3. Tampering with the election of any organization or Student governing body.
        1. Misrepresenting oneself or an organization as an agent of the University.
    3. Disorderly Conduct: Conduct that substantially disrupts or interferes with University or University-sponsored activities, including but not limited to classroom related activities, studying, teaching, research, intellectual or creative endeavor, administration, service or the provision of communication, computing or emergency services.
    4. Threats of Physical Violence: Expressly or impliedly threatening bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, and acting with intent to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, substantial property damage, or death; or making a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another.
    5. Physical Acts of Violence: inflicting physical assault or injury to another person.
    6. Dangerous Conduct: Deliberate or reckless conduct that jeopardizes the health, well-being and/or safety of others or oneself.
    7. Property Violations: Misuse, theft, misappropriation, destruction, damage, or unauthorized use, access, or reproduction of property, data, records, equipment or services belonging to the University or belonging to another person or entity.
    8. Hazing:
      1. intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly committing an act or causing another to commit an act that:
        1. endangers the mental, emotional, or physical health or safety of another;
        2. involves any brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on or in the body, or exposure to the elements or harmful environments;
        3. involves consumption of any food or drink, alcoholic product, drug, or other substance or any other physical activity that endangers the mental or physical health and safety of an individual; or
        4. involves any activity that would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, extended isolation from social contact, or conduct that subjects another to extreme embarrassment, shame or humiliation; and
        5. is for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, holding office in, or as a condition for continued membership in any organization; or if the actor knew that the Reported victim is a member of or initiated for membership with a school team or school organization.
        6. Consent by the person hazed shall be no defense to the hazing.
    9. Harassment: Complaints of discrimination or harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), religion, age, and disability will be referred to the Equal Opportunity Office for evaluation under SUU Policy 5.27 and/or Policy 5.60.
    10. Electronic Communication Harassment: means a communication by electronic, electro-mechanical, or electro optical communication device(s) for the transmission and reception of audio, image, or text that is targeted at a specific individual(s) and shall include communication originating or received with intent to intimidate, abuse, threaten, harass, frighten, or disrupt the electronic communication of another through:
      1. Repeated contact by means of electronic communications, regardless of whether a conversation ensues or after the recipient has requested or informed the person not to contact the recipient, and the person repeatedly or continuously:
        1. contacts the electronic communication device(s) of the recipient; or
        2. causes an electronic communication device of the recipient to ring or to receive other notification of attempted contact by means of electronic communication.
      2. making contact by means of electronic communication and insults, taunts, or challenges the recipient of the communication or any person at the receiving location in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response;
      3. making contact by means of electronic communication and threatens to inflict injury, physical harm, or damage to any person or the property of any person;
      4. causing disruption, jamming, or overload of an electronic communication system through excessive message traffic or other means utilizing an electronic communication device; or
      5. electronically publishing, posting, or otherwise disclosing personal identifying information of another individual in a public online site or forum with the intent to abuse, threaten, or disrupt the other individual's electronic communication and without the other individual's permission.
    11. Failure to Comply: Failure to comply with directions of University faculty, staff, or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so. Additionally, Failure to comply with the Sanction(s) imposed under the Code. This section is not intended to prohibit the lawful assertion of an individual’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
    12. Misuse of University Property: Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys, or other devices that provide access to any University property or services.
    13. Unauthorized Use of Facilities: Unauthorized presence in or use of University Premises, facilities, or property.
    14. Alcohol Violations: Use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages in an unlawful manner or otherwise in violation of a University Policy.
    15. Controlled Substance Violations: Use, possession, or distribution of a controlled substance in an unlawful manner or otherwise in violation of a University Policy.
    16. Interference with the Orderly Operation of the University: Intentionally initiating or causing to be initiated any false Report, warning, or threat of fire, explosion, or other emergency.
    17. Abusing a Position of Trust: Any act that is not in accordance with the expectations, responsibilities, or privileges that accrue to an individual by virtue of their status or position.
    18. Disruption of Operations or Breach of Peace: Participation in a campus demonstration which unreasonably disrupts the normal operations of the University (except behavior that meets SUU Policy 5.1) including but not limited to the following examples:
      1. Infringing on the rights of others.
      2. Inciting others to substantially disrupt scheduled and/or normal operations of the University.
      3. Intentional obstruction which unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular.
      4. Inciting another person to breach the peace.
    19. Obstruction: Intentionally engaging in conduct that prevents another person from exercising freedom of expression protected by law.
    20. Unauthorized Use of University Data or Records: Unauthorized access to, disclosure of, or use of any University document, record, or identification, including but not limited to, electronic software, data, University email, and records.
    21. Interference with the Orderly Operation of the Conduct Process: Abuse of or false claims in grievances processes under SUU policies, including but not limited to:
      1. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information.
      2. Substantial disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a grievance proceeding.
      3. Knowingly initiating a Report without cause.
      4. Attempting to unduly interfere with an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the grievance processes.
      5. Attempting to unduly influence the impartiality of a member of a hearing panel or hearing officer prior to, or during the course of, a hearing proceeding.
      6. Verbal, written, phone, or physical harassment, and/or intimidation of a hearing officer or member of a hearing panel.
      7. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of a grievance process.
    22. Unauthorized Use of Course Material: Any illegal or unauthorized taking, selling, or distribution of class notes or testing materials.
    23. Housing Violations: Without limiting the subsection above, a violation of any SUU Student housing unit policy, rule, or regulation as contained in the published Resident Handbook.
    24. Unlawful Conduct: Any activity or conduct that would be a violation of local, state, or federal law is a violation of this Policy.
    25. Attempt to Commit or Conceal: Any attempt to commit or conceal, to aid and abet in the commission of any other listed Prohibited Conduct, or to participate in a conspiracy to commit or conceal an act of misconduct prohibited by this Policy is subject to Sanctions to the same extent as completed acts.
    26. Fireworks and Explosives: The possession, use or attempted use of bombs, explosives, dangerous chemicals, incendiary devices or fireworks.
  3. Freedom of Expression. Conduct that constitutes a protected exercise of an individual’s rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (and related principles of academic freedom) is not a violation of this Policy. See SUU Policy 5.1.
  4. Safe Harbor. Students who have a drug or alcohol addiction may be granted safe harbor from discipline. If a Student self-Reports their own addiction to the appropriate University Officials before the threat of drug testing and/or discipline, the University may decide not to initiate the Conduct Review Process.
    1. A written action plan by the Student may be used to track cooperation with the safe harbor program.
    2. Failure to follow the action plan may nullify the safe harbor protection and the University may initiate the Conduct Review Process if there is a Reported Code violation.
  5. Amnesty. The University encourages all community members to proactively assist others whose health or safety are at risk. Any Student who makes a good faith Report of Prohibited Conduct that was directed at them or another person will not be Sanctioned by the University for a violation related to the use of drugs or alcohol that the University discovers because of the Report. The University may, however, initiate an educational discussion with any Student regarding their personal involvement in minor policy violations.
    1. If the same Student repeatedly requests amnesty for substantially similar minor policy violations, the Student Conduct Officer may deny amnesty.
  6. Reporting Code Violations. A University Employee or Student or any other person may make a Report to the Office of Student Affairs, through a process designated from time to time (see Relevant Links and Forms section, below).
  7. General Principles for Conduct Review Process
    1. Participants in the Conduct Review Process may request accommodations necessary under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through the Disability Resource Center with as much advance notice as possible.
    2. Deadlines and timeframes in this Policy may be extended with written notice to the relevant persons involved and the reasons for the extension. Appropriate reasons may include the absence of a Respondent Student, an Advisor, or Witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.
      1. A Respondent Student or Witness may submit a request for a temporary delay to the Student Conduct Officer or Panel Chair, as applicable. Any request for temporary delay or limited extension should include a statement and the reason(s) for the request. If no reasonable reason for temporarily delaying the Conduct Review Process exists, the Student Conduct Officer or Panel Chair will deny the request in writing.
      2. The University may proceed with the review and Conduct Review Process in a timely fashion without a Respondent, Reporter, persons affected or other Witness if the person declines to participate.
      3. The University may set reasonable deadlines and move forward with processes regardless of whether a Respondent’s Advisor is able to accommodate those deadlines; generally, only one reasonable request for time extension will be granted related to a Respondent’s Advisor.
    3. Decision makers will evaluate all available, relevant evidence—both evidence that supports or does not support the allegations—objectively and determine credibility without regard to a person’s status as Reporter, person affected by Reported conduct, Respondent, or Witness.
    4. Any person designated as a Student Conduct Officer or other decision maker shall be free of Conflict of Interest. Any challenge based on a Conflict of Interest must have a factual basis and not be mere speculation or disagreement. Independent knowledge of an incident through other means generally is not a Conflict of Interest.
    5. The University will presume a Respondent is not responsible for the Reported conduct until a determination of violation of the Code is made at the conclusion of the Conduct Review Process. This presumption under the Conduct Review Process, however, shall not prohibit the University from taking threat and safety management steps necessary as described in this Policy.
    6. Decision-makers on behalf of the University shall objectively assess and review available information to determine whether a violation has occurred, in accordance with the procedures in this Policy. The standard the University applies in that determination is Preponderance of the Evidence.
    7. The University will not restrict a person from discussing the allegations under review or from gathering and presenting relevant evidence or information. This section notwithstanding:
      1. Retaliation is prohibited. The University may take steps to prevent Retaliation at any time. Instances of Retaliation related to this Code may be processed under this Code and/or through other applicable processes as determined by the Student Conduct Officer reviewing the Report.
      2. The Student Conduct Officer or the Panel Chair, as applicable, may direct persons involved in the Conduct Review Process to cease communications with one another to protect the integrity of the investigation, to prevent Retaliation, or for other reasonable and good cause (i.e., a “no contact agreement.”)
      3. The conduct and communications of everyone involved in the Conduct Review Process remain subject to state laws protecting against defamation and tortious invasions of privacy, such as intrusion upon seclusion, publication of private facts, and false light claims. The University does not provide protection against these independent and separate legal claims.
    8. Persons involved in the Conduct Review Process shall not knowingly make materially false statements or knowingly submit materially false information. However, the determination that a violation of the Code occurred or did not occur alone is not sufficient to conclude that any individual made false statements or provided false information.
  8. Initial Review of Report
    1. Upon receiving a Report of a Code violation, a Student Conduct Officer shall promptly review the Report. The review is to determine next steps in the Student Conduct Process. The Student Conduct Officer may meet with the Reporter and/or other person Reportedly affected by the conduct for clarification purposes and may review available documents or other information as part of the Initial Review. The Student Conduct Officer then will take one of the following steps:
      1. Refer Under Other University Policy
        1. If the Reported Conduct is related to Prohibited Conduct as described in SUU Policies 5.27 or 5.60, the Student Conduct Officer will Report the conduct to the Equal Opportunity Office.
        2. If the Reported conduct is a violation of the Resident Handbook, then the Student Conduct Officer shall be the Housing Director or designee. In the event the Reported conduct could be a violation of the Resident Handbook but does not otherwise include an additional violation of the Code, then the Student Conduct Officer/Housing Director can refer the Resident Handbook-specific matter for resolution in accordance with the Process set out in the Resident Handbook.
        3. If the Reported conduct that violates another University policy also would violate the Code--such as if there are different types of conduct Reported together or if the Reported conduct, if true, would violate both policies--the Student Conduct Officer may process the Reported conduct under this Code while also referring under another policy for determination as to whether that Policy was violated. See Policy 5.0. In some limited circumstances, the Student Conduct Officer may pause review (and stay any deadlines) under the Code while the Reported conduct is reviewed under another applicable policy and that process is concluded. However, an inquiry about whether SUU Policy 5.27 or 5.60 was violated shall be solely reviewed under those Policies.
      2. Conclude that the Reported conduct does not apply to the Code. The Student Conduct Officer may conclude that based on the allegations and information available the Report does not state a violation of the Code and close the matter.
      3. Process for further review under the Code. See description and details of processes below when the Student Conduct Officer determines the Code applies to the Reported conduct.
    2. Notice of Next Steps after Initial Review
      1. If the Student Conduct Officer has contacted the Respondent or if the person affected is the Reporter, the Student Conduct Officer will notify that person of a referral under other University Policy or a conclusion that the Code does not apply to the Reported Conduct, along with a summary explanation.
        1. For a referral, the Student Conduct Officer will include an explanation of what policy it was referred under; a referral is not a determination that the other policy applies or that another policy was violated. A referral simply means it warrants at least an Initial Review under that other policy.
      2. If the person affected by the Reported conduct is not involved and the Student Conduct Officer closes the matter, the Student Conduct Officer may document the review and decision to the file.
      3. Generally, if the Student Conduct Officer has had no contact with the Respondent or provided any notice related to a Report that results in a referral or closing of the matter under the Conduct Review Process, then no notice is made to the Respondent.
      4. Notice to a Respondent when further review is warranted is set out below. The Student Conduct Officer also may notify others such as a person Reportedly impacted by the Reported conduct, that the matter will proceed for further review under the Code. There is no requirement that information is shared, and the Student Conduct Officer is to exercise that discretion as to who to notify and to what extent on a need-to-know basis.
    3. Temporary Threat and Safety Management Measures. During the Initial Review, the Student Conduct Administrator may consider what, if any, threat and safety management measures are necessary during the pendency of any review under this Code. The Student Conduct Administrator may impose such measures, generally after input from the Student Behavioral Assessment Team, if necessary to protect the campus community or prevent serious disruption of University operations. The Respondent-Student will normally be afforded an opportunity to be heard prior to the imposition of any threat and safety management measures if any of those measures impact their ability to be on campus, or any part thereof, and/or to attend work, class or other activities on campus. But in certain circumstances that warrant more immediate action, the Respondent-Student will be provided notice and an opportunity to be heard as soon as reasonably practicable, which may occur after threat and safety management measures are put in place.
  9. Deciding Which Process (Administrative Resolution or Panel Hearing) Applies to Further Review of the Report
    1. If, after the Initial Review, the Student Conduct Officer determines that further review is warranted, the Student Conduct Officer will notify the Respondent Student(s) in writing of (1) a summary of the the allegations and information gathered, (2) next steps in the process, and (3) an overview of all processes available for resolution.
    2. As part of including an “overview of all processes available for resolution,” the Student Conduct Officer makes a preliminary assessment whether the Reported Code violation reasonably may result in either expulsion or a minimum 10-day suspension from the University. This assessment impacts what process is available to the Respondent (and therefore, what is included in the notice to Respondent):
      1. If the Conduct Review Process may result in an expulsion or specified suspension, a Respondent Student may opt to resolve the matter through either an Administrative Resolution Process or a Panel Hearing Process. The Student Conduct Officer will include information about the two options with the notice. Respondent(s) will have five (5) business days to sign and return the form stating the option chosen.
        1. If the Respondent fails to return the form within the time designated, the Student Conduct Officer will proceed under the Administrative Resolution Process.
      2. If the Conduct Review Process would not possibly result in either expulsion or a 10-day or more suspension, the Student Conduct Officer will proceed under the Administrative Resolution Process.
      3. However, if the possible Sanctions could result in an outcome materially similar to expulsion or a minimum 10-day suspension under the circumstances (e.g., a violation finding may result in inability to continue in a particular educational program due to industry or licensing standards), a Respondent Student may file a request to have their matter heard by the Student Conduct Hearing Panel.
        1. The Respondent shall submit the request to the Student Conduct Administrator no less than one (1) day prior to the Administrative resolution hearing.
        2. The request must include a factual basis for a reasonable belief that the possible Sanction would have a materially equal effect on the individual Respondent Student as expulsion or a suspension of at least 10 days.
        3. It is within the discretion of the Student Conduct Administrator to grant or deny the request.
        4. The Student Conduct Administrator shall notify the Respondent Student in writing of the decision.
          1. A Respondent may Appeal a denial of the request as set forth in Section IV.N.2.b., below.
          2. The grounds for Appeal of the decision of the request are:
            1. This Policy was applied in a Clearly Erroneous manner in reaching the decision on the Respondent’s request; and/or
            2. There is new evidence or information that was not reasonably available or knowable at the time of the decision on the request which is likely to affect the outcome of the Student Conduct Administrator’s decision.
          3. The scope of Appeal will be limited to the decision on the request. The Appeal Officer will not make a determination on the underlying merits of the matter.
          4. The Appeal Officer will review the Respondent’s request and the written decision from the Student Conduct Administrator.
          5. Within five (5) days of receiving the Respondent’s request, the Appeal Officer will provide the Respondent and the Student Conduct Administrator with a written decision either granting or denying the request.
          6. The Appeal Officer’s decision is final and not subject to further Appeal.
    3. Upon receiving notice, the Respondent Student will have five (5) business days to respond to the notification by contacting the Student Conduct Officer or designee, as directed in the notice.
      1. If the Administrative Resolution Process applies and/or is elected by the Respondent Student, the Student Conduct Officer shall schedule a meeting with the Respondent to take place within 10 business days of the response. (See Section IV.J. for details on the Administrative Resolution Process).
      2. If the Hearing Process applies and is elected by the Respondent, then upon the Respondent’s response, the Panel Chair will provide further notice to the Respondent. (See Section IV.K. for details on the Panel Hearing Process and notice from the Panel Chair).
      3. If the Respondent does not respond or fails to show up to a scheduled meeting or Hearing without good cause and notice to the Student Conduct Officer or Panel Chair otherwise refuses to participate, the Student Conduct Officer or Panel Chair will proceed with the applicable process with the information available.
  10. Administrative Resolution Process
    1. Administrative Resolution Meeting. The Student Conduct Officer conducts the hearing/meeting of the Administrative Resolution Process with the Respondent. In conducting the Administrative Resolution Process, the Student Conduct Officer is not bound by any formal rules of evidence (typically recognized in judicial court cases), but evidence may be limited by relevancy and redundancy.
      1. If there is a reasonable and factual basis showing why the Student Conduct Officer cannot make an impartial and objective determination, a Respondent Student may file a request to have their matter heard by the Student Conduct Administrator.
        1. The Respondent shall submit the request to the Student Conduct Administrator no less than five (5) business days after receiving the Notice of the Administrative Resolution hearing.
        2. The request must include a factual basis for a reasonable belief that the Student Conduct Officer has a material Conflict of Interest or is otherwise unqualified to make a determination in the matter.
        3. The Student Conduct Administrator has discretion to grant or deny the request regarding whether the Student Conduct Officer has a Conflict of Interest. The Student Conduct Administrator also has discretion to assign an alternative Student Conduct Officer to hear the matter.
        4. The Student Conduct Administrator will notify the Respondent Student in writing of the decision with corresponding reasoning.
    2. Advisors. Respondents may choose to be accompanied by an Advisor to any related meeting or proceeding. The Advisor may not disrupt the meetings or other proceedings or speak on behalf of the Respondent. Generally, the Advisor is limited to listening and quietly conferring with the Respondent. If an Advisor is disruptive even after a warning, the Advisor may be excluded from the meeting or proceeding. If the Advisor is an attorney, Respondent shall provide at least three (3) days advance notice to the Student Conduct Officer, Student Conduct Administrator, or Panel Chair, as applicable that the Advisor is an attorney.
    3. Combining Review of Matters. Where there are allegations against more than one (1) Respondent arising out of the same set of facts, the Student Conduct Officer may review the allegations and information as one consolidated matter. A Respondent may request a separate review. However, such a request will be at the discretion of the Student Conduct Officer, who will consider the interests of fairness and procedural expediency in deciding whether to grant the request.
    4. The steps for the Administrative Resolution Process meeting include:
      1. Step 1: The Student Conduct Officer conducts the meeting in person or electronic means, as determined by the Student Conduct Officer.
      2. Step 2: At the meeting, the Student Conduct Officer goes through the allegations and information gathered during the Initial Review, along with the sections of the Code potentially violated.
      3. Step 3: Respondent has an opportunity to provide the Student Conduct Officer with copies of any documents, Witnesses, or other information they wish to present in responding to the information presented. The Respondent also may ask questions about processes under the Code and this Policy or other relevant matters.
      4. Step 4: The Student Conduct Officer may interview Witnesses who the Student Conduct Officer has reason to believe have information relevant to the determination under the Code. Statements by Witnesses should be limited to factual statements rather than character statements. The Student Conduct Officer may interview Witnesses at the meeting or outside the meeting, provided that any relevant information is presented to the Respondent with an opportunity to respond.
      5. Step 5: The Student Conduct Officer tells the Respondent a summary of next steps.
    5. Decision Following Meeting with Respondent. After the steps above, the Student Conduct Officer then determines based on a Preponderance of the Evidence whether the Respondent violated the Code, and if so, imposes disciplinary Sanctions appropriate (see section below on types of Sanctions and related considerations) for the violation.
      1. The Student Conduct Officer will communicate the decision within a reasonable time, generally aiming for within five (5) business days following the conclusion of the meeting if no additional Witnesses will be interviewed or documents need to be reviewed. If these additional steps are needed at the conclusion of the hearing, the Student Conduct Officer will communicate an estimated timeline, which may also include a follow-up meeting with the Respondent if necessary.
      2. The written decision shall include:
        1. A description of the allegations at issue in the matter;
        2. Findings of fact supporting a determination;
        3. Conclusions regarding application of University Policy to the facts;
        4. Any Sanctions or remedies imposed; and
        5. A statement regarding any Appeal rights and deadlines.
      3. The Student Conduct Officer may use discretion in deciding whether to provide a copy or notify the person(s) affected by the Prohibited Conduct of the outcome of the Administrative Resolution Process. Generally, the person affected will only receive notice to the extent the decision directly impacts that person.
  11. Panel Hearing Process
    1. In a Panel Hearing Process, a Hearing Panel conducts a formal hearing. The Panel is not bound by any formal rules of evidence (typically recognized in judicial court proceedings), but evidence may be limited by the Panel Chair for relevance and redundancy.
    2. Hearing Panel membership. The Panel will consist of the following, with the particular individuals to be designated by the VPSA or designee:
      1. Dean of Students or designee (as Panel Chair).
      2. Representative from the Division of Academic Affairs (Provost Office Administrator, faculty member, etc.).
      3. SUUSA Judicial Officer or designee.
    3. Closed Hearing. All Panel Hearings will be closed to everyone except those persons specifically provided for in this procedure or persons whose presence at the hearing is authorized by the Panel Chair.
    4. Upon receiving Respondent’s response electing the Panel Hearing Process (see Section IV.K.), the Student Conduct Officer will notify the Panel Chair. Within five (5) days of receipt of that notification, the Panel Chair will notify the Respondent of the date of the hearing, who will be on the Panel, process to object to Panel members, and the rules and procedures available prior to the Hearing (see more below and General Guidelines above).
    5. Objections or Requests Related to Hearing. Upon receiving the notice of the Hearing date, as described above:
      1. Respondents must provide any objections to the membership of the Panel within two (2) business days of the notice by emailing the Panel Chair the objection and the basis for the objection. Generally, Conflicts of Interest that would impact the fairness of the Panel Hearing Process are valid grounds for objection. Claims of Conflicts of Interest must be supported by objective and demonstrable evidence and not mere speculation.
      2. A Respondent may request a rescheduling of the Panel Hearing for good cause shown, within the discretion of the Panel Chair, at least two (2) business days before the beginning of the hearing. Only one (1) rescheduling will be permitted, absent extenuating circumstances (which does not include the schedule or availability of an Advisor). Any such rescheduling shall not unduly delay the resolution of the matter.
    6. The Student Conduct Officer, who conducted the Initial Review, will provide the relevant documents from the Initial Review to the Panel Chair, with advance notice such that all members of the Panel have opportunity to review in preparation for the Hearing.
    7. Hearing Rules and Procedures. The Panel Chair ensures that the processes and procedures outlined in the Policy are followed. Any rules and procedures set out before the hearing will be communicated to the Respondent and any participating persons, as and to the extent applicable, prior to the hearing.
      1. Presence and Attendance
        1. The Respondent is entitled to be present throughout the hearing but not during the deliberation of the Hearing Panel.
        2. If a Respondent Student does not attend a scheduled hearing, the hearing proceeds in the absence of the Respondent Student and a decision made by the Panel based on information available.
          1. Such an absence will not be considered grounds for an Appeal.
          2. Where two (2) or more cases involving common occurrences or the same Student(s) are pending simultaneously, the Chair may decide to consolidate the hearings of such matters or hear them alone and allow them to be heard separately.
        3. Respondent Student may remain silent (i.e., not to testify against themselves), but must be informed that if silence is maintained, the matter will be determined on information available.
      2. Witnesses
        1. Respondent is responsible for arranging for Witnesses testifying on their behalf to appear at the hearing. Respondent shall provide a list of Witnesses, if any, to the Chair at least two (2) business days prior to the Hearing.
        2. The Panel Chair may decide what other Witnesses to invite. Typically, this may include the Reporter, the person Reportedly affected by the conduct, and others with relevant knowledge. The Panel Chair will notify the Respondent of these persons invited to attend.
        3. Generally, Witnesses must attend a hearing (either in person or electronically) in order to provide testimony. In an exceptional circumstance where a Witness is unable to attend the hearing and no reasonable accommodation will allow the Witness to attend, the Witness may write or record a statement that the Chair will present at the Hearing, with the Respondent Student provided an opportunity to supplement, give input, or otherwise respond.
        4. Witnesses are typically asked to comment only on circumstances relevant to the Reported conduct, and not the general character of the Respondent.
      3. Opportunity to Respond. Respondent has the opportunity to be informed about all relevant information the Panel will consider in its decision, and the opportunity to review any relevant portions of documents. The Panel will provide the Respondent with an opportunity to respond to all relevant information.
      4. Disclosures. Respondent must provide copies of any documents they intend to submit for consideration during the hearing to the Panel Chair not less than three (3) business days before the hearing.
      5. Chair’s Authority to Conduct Hearing
        1. All persons involved must direct their communications at the Hearing to the Panel Chair. The Panel Chair decides which questions to ask each person.
        2. The Panel Chair may reasonably limit the scope and time devoted to each Witness, matter, or item of discussion during the Panel Hearing, as well as the number of persons testifying.
        3. The Panel Chair decides the order of Witnesses and when a Reporter and/or Witnesses will be in the hearing room or admitted to a virtual meeting room.
        4. The Panel Chair may reasonably limit the scope of evidence considered in the Hearing, particularly for questions of relevance or cumulative evidence. Evidence may consist of oral and written testimony, incident Reports, and other materials related to the incident including secondhand Reports and circumstantial evidence. Student Conduct Hearings are not subject to limiting rules of evidence.
        5. If any Hearing participant becomes unreasonably disruptive to the hearing, even after a warning, they may be removed and/or the hearing postponed at the discretion of the Panel Chair.
        6. Where there are allegations against more than one Respondent Student arising out of the same set of facts, the Panel Chair may hear the matters within one Hearing. A Respondent may request a separate hearing in writing to the Panel Chair no less than three (3) business days prior to the Hearing. The Panel Chair retains discretion whether to combine or separate hearings, and will consider the interests of fairness and procedural expediency in deciding whether to grant the request.
      6. Advisors
        1. During the Panel Hearing, Students may have an Advisor, who may be, but is not required to be an attorney, to advocate on their behalf.
        2. At least three (3) business days prior to the hearing, the Respondent must notify the Panel Chair if they will be accompanied by an Advisor, and notify the Chair if that Advisor is an attorney.
        3. Students are encouraged to represent themselves as much as possible, but an Advisor may actively participate in the Student Conduct Hearing, including:
          1. Present opening and/or closing statements.
          2. Advise the Respondent Student throughout the Student Conduct Hearing.
          3. Present questions during the hearing. Such questions will be presented to the Panel Chair who, in their judgment may then allow the Advisor to ask the question, ask the Advisor to rephrase the question, disallow the question or ask the Advisor to move on to another question or area of questioning.
    8. Steps for the Hearing
      1. Step 1: At the beginning of the Hearing, the Panel Chair will introduce all persons present and communicate any standards, rules, or procedures that apply to the hearing, along with the Code sections that Respondent allegedly violated.
      2. Step 2: The Panel Chair presents the allegations and any evidence or information gathered during the Initial Review.
      3. Step 3: The Panel Chair may then ask a Reporter or Witness to provide information and allow the Respondent Student to respond. The Panel Chair has discretion as to the order of testimony.
      4. Step 4: The Panel Chair or any Panel member may also ask the Reporter and any Witnesses relevant questions that arise during the hearing. The Panel Chair has discretion as to the order of testimony. The Respondent Student will have the opportunity to respond to all testimony.
      5. Step 5: At the end of the hearing, the participating persons other than the Panel will be asked to leave the room during the Panel deliberations.
  12. Panel Decision
    1. The Panel Chair will write a decision on behalf of the Panel within a reasonable time, which in most cases shall not exceed seven (7) business days, of the conclusion of the Hearing.
      1. In the event that the written decision is delayed beyond seven (7) business days, the Respondent will be notified of the delay and informed when the decision will be communicated.
    2. The Panel Chair sends the decision to the Respondent, with a cc to the Student Conduct Officer and the Vice President of Student Affairs.
    3. The decision will include:
      1. A description of the allegations at issue in the matter;
      2. What sections of the Code are at issue;
      3. Findings of fact relevant to the determination;
      4. Conclusions regarding application of University Policy to the facts;
      5. Sanctions or remedies imposed, if any; and
      6. a statement of any Appeal rights and deadlines.
    4. The Panel Chair may use discretion in deciding whether to provide a copy or notify the person(s) affected by the Prohibited Conduct of the outcome of the Panel Hearing Process. Generally, the person affected will only receive notice to the extent the decision directly impacts that person.
  13. Sanctions and Remedies
    1. Upon reaching a determination of responsibility through either an Administrative Resolution Process or Panel Hearing Process, the Student Conduct Officer or Hearing Panel, as applicable, determines the appropriate Sanctions and remedies.
    2. Any Sanctions should be appropriate to end the Prohibited Conduct, to prevent further violation of this Policy. In determining the appropriate Sanction(s), the Student Conduct Officer or Hearing Panel shall be guided by the following considerations:
      1. The severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the misconduct;
      2. The nature of violence in the misconduct and/or use of weapons, drugs, or alcohol (if applicable);
      3. The impact of the misconduct on the person(s) affected;
      4. The impact or implications of the misconduct on the University community;
      5. Prior misconduct by Respondent, including the Respondent’s relevant prior disciplinary history;
      6. Whether Respondent has accepted responsibility for the misconduct;
      7. The maintenance of a safe working and learning environment free from substantial disruptions; and
      8. Any other mitigating, aggravating, or compelling factors.
    3. Sanctions. The Student Conduct Officer or Hearing Panel, as applicable, has discretion to determine Sanctions based on the above-factors, which include but are not limited to, any one or a combination of the following Sanctions:
      1. Warning letter/letter of censure;
      2. Education experiences or performing certain reasonable and relevant educational or related service activities;
      3. Fines;
      4. Campus service;
      5. Restitution;
      6. Formal and/or Public Apology;
      7. No Contact;
      8. Parental Notification;
      9. Disciplinary suspension;
      10. Disciplinary probation;
      11. Disciplinary Dismissal;
      12. Facilitated Dialogue;
      13. Mediation;
      14. Restrictions on housing registration, selection, access, and participation;
      15. Prohibition from being present on campus or a part of it;
      16. Suspension from University social or other activities;
      17. Suspension from being a Student at the University;
      18. Restrictions on future enrollment;
      19. Expulsion from the University;
      20. Notations on Transcripts (which may or may not be expressly stated but can result from changes in Student status or restrictions on enrollment);
      21. Loss of University employment;
      22. Restrictions on future University employment;
      23. Reassignment to only online courses;
      24. Removal from one or more courses;
      25. Loss of Degree;
      26. Loss of Privilege to represent the University; and/or
      27. Any other Sanction or threat and safety management measure aimed at preventing the conduct from repeating or escalating.
    4. Remedies. The Student Conduct Officer or the Panel, as applicable, may include in their decision the remedies related to the conduct reviewed and the corresponding determination. The Student Conduct Officer or the Panel should be guided by the goal of stopping the Prohibited Conduct and restoring the affected person to as similar a position as possible--as related to access and participation in employment, academics and the like--if they had not been subject to the Prohibited Conduct (acknowledging that the University’s ability to do so is limited to what is within the University’s control). Sometimes remedies will overlap with the Sanctions but sometimes they may be in addition to the Sanctions. Remedies also may include extending a longer time frame of a temporary supportive measure. Student Affairs and/or other University Employees as directed will implement those remedies.
  14. Appeals. Respondents found responsible for a Code violation may request an Appeal of the Student Conduct Officer or Hearing Panel’s decision. To do so, the Respondent shall send the Appeal request in writing, or as otherwise directed by the Student Conduct Officer or Panel Chair, to the Appeal Officer identified in the decision letter or otherwise communicated to the Respondent.
    1. Grounds for Appeal. Appeals are not rehearings, and Appeals are not granted on the basis of disagreement with the written decision. The Respondent may request to Appeal a decision based only on one or more of the following:
      1. There was a denial of adequate and fair due process that resulted in a material error that impacted the outcome of the Conduct Review Process;
      2. This Policy was applied in a Clearly Erroneous manner in reaching the decision on violation finding, Sanctions, and/or threat and safety management measures;
      3. The Sanction and/or threat and safety management measure imposed was not appropriate for the violation(s) which the Respondent was found to have committed; or
      4. There is new evidence or information that was not reasonably available at the time of the review and/or hearing which is reasonably likely to affect the outcome of the Conduct Review Process.
    2. How to Request an Appeal and Deadline
      1. The Respondent may request an Appeal in writing to the Appeal Officer (described above in Definitions). To request the Appeal, a Respondent must include a statement explaining in detail why the Respondent is contesting the findings or the action(s) based on one or more of the above grounds for Appeal, any relevant reasoning and facts that support the Appeal, and include copies of any documents that will substantiate or clarify the Appeal request and Appeal.
      2. A Respondent may Appeal within five (5) business days after receipt of the written notification of a disciplinary decision. Failure to Appeal within the five (5) business days period waives the right to Appeal. Sanctions imposed by the Student Conduct Officer or the Hearing Panel are suspended during the pendency of an Appeal request and consideration of an Appeal. If the University implemented temporary threat and safety management measures, those remain in place. If a request for Appeal is returned due to not sufficiently addressing the grounds for Appeal, the Respondent will have three (3) business days to submit a revised Appeal, at which time the right to Appeal will expire if the Appeal Officer has not received a response from the Respondent.
    3. Review of an Appeal Request
      1. Within seven (7) business days of the receipt of the Respondent’s submission for Appeal, the Appeal Officer will notify the Respondent in writing of their decision to:
        1. Deny the request for Appeal for failure to articulate one of the permitted grounds for Appeal with relevant information;
        2. Accept the Appeal for review, and indicate a timeline in which the Appeal will be substantively reviewed; OR
        3. Inform the Respondent of the outcome of the Appeal decision (see more below).
      2. If a delay occurs or additional time is needed, the Appeal Officer will notify the Respondent of the delay.
    4. Appeal Decisions
      1. If the Appeal Officer accepts the request for Appeal, the Appeal Officer reviews the request and submitted information to determine whether the Respondent has demonstrated an error under one or more of the above-listed grounds for Appeal. The Appeal Officer may review the file from the Conduct Review Process and ask clarifying follow up questions to University decision-makers, as needed to arrive at a decision on the Appeal.
      2. The Appeal Officer or their designee may decide one of the following:
        1. Affirm the decision of the Panel Hearing Process or Administrative Resolution Process and thus deny the Appeal; OR
        2. If the Appeal Officer decides that the above-listed grounds for Appeal are met, then the Appeal Officer may do one more of the following:
          1. Modify the Sanctions and/or ongoing threat and safety management measures;
          2. Return for a new or partial rehearing or administrative meeting; or
          3. Overturn all or part of the finding and issue a new or edited finding.
      3. The Appeal Officer shall issue the decision on Appeal in writing. The Appeal Officer shall provide the decision to the Respondent, with a copy to the decision-maker(s). The Appeal Officer may use discretion in determining whether to provide a copy or notify the person(s) affected of the outcome of the Appeal. Generally, the person affected will only receive notice to the extent the decision on Appeal directly impacts that person.
      4. The decision of the Appeal Officer is final and not subject to Appeal.
  15. Expungement. Conduct Records may be expunged by the VPSA or their designee for good cause, upon written request of a Student with a Student Conduct Record. A Student may submit a written request stating good cause as well as any supporting documentation and/or letters of recommendation to the Office of Student Affairs. The decision to expunge a Student Conduct Record is entirely within the discretion of the VPSA. The VPSA shall notify the requesting Student in writing of the decision on expungement. That decision is the final decision of the University and not subject to Appeal.

V. RELEVANT FORMS/LINKS


VI. QUESTIONS/RESPONSIBLE OFFICE

Questions about this Policy should be directed to the Dean of Students in the Office of Student Affairs. The Vice President for Student Affairs is the Responsible Office for this Policy.


VII. POLICY ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT DATES

Date Approved: December 12, 1992 (as Policy 5.46)

Amended: November 12, 2004 (as Policy 11.2); December 3, 2008; December 4, 2009; August 24, 2012; April 29, 2016; October 18, 2021 [as temporary authorization]; December 2, 2021 [as permanent authorization]