The findings of the Hearing Officer or Hearing Board may be appealed by the accused student or the individual who filed the original complaint and will be considered only under the following circumstances:
- to determine whether the hearing was conducted in accordance with procedures prescribed by the College Conduct System, giving the individual who presented the complaint a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence that the Code of Conduct was violated and giving the accused student(s) or student organization a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present a rebuttal. Deviation from designated procedures will not be a basis for granting an appeal unless significant prejudice can be demonstrated as a result of the deviation.
- to determine whether the facts of the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Code of Conduct occurred and the accused student(s) or student organization more likely than not is responsible based on a preponderance of evidence presented at the hearing.
- to determine whether the sanction(s) imposed was appropriate for the violation(s) committed, the past conduct history, and sanction(s) of the student(s) or student organization.
- to consider new evidence not brought forth in the hearing, which is sufficient to alter the decision or outcome. This new evidence will be considered on appeal only if it is clear that the evidence could not have been known by the student(s) appealing at the time of the hearing.
Appeals must be submitted by the student in writing (electronically or printed copy) and contain grounds for the appeal based on the criteria identified above and must be received by the Coordinator of Student Conduct or a designee within five business days of the date indicated at the top of the hearing outcome notification e-mail. In most cases, Coordinator of Student Conduct (or another Hearing Officer) will review the appeal except in instances where she or he heard the original case. In some cases, the appeal may be considered by the Director of Residential Life and Housing Services.
Upon receiving an appeal, the Appellate Officer will vet the appeal to determine whether or not any of the grounds upon which a case can be appealed have been addressed at a sufficient level that an appeal is warranted.
In cases where the outcome of the hearing was a sanction(s) of disciplinary suspension, disciplinary dismissal, or deactivation of a student organization, Coordinator of Student Conduct will generally constitute a Board of three members selected from the Hearing Board membership to consider the appeal. However, there are times (during the start or end of the semester, during examination periods and summer session, and other times deemed necessary due to calendar, personnel, or other special considerations) when constitution of a Board will not be practicable. At such times, the Coordinator of Student Conduct or a Hearing Officer may conduct the appeal review in lieu of a Board.
Appeals Process The appeal review is limited to an analysis of the written appeal document, the record and documents of the initial hearing, and an interview with the original Hearing Officer or Chair of the Hearing Board. If the appeal is based on the appropriateness of the sanction(s) issued, a complete review of the student or student organization’s conduct history, including previous sanction(s), will take place. In cases where new evidence has emerged, this information may be included as part of the review process. If new information or a procedural error has been determined through the appeals process, the case shall be returned to the original Hearing Officer or Hearing Board Members, or a newly constituted one, to allow for a reconsideration of the original finding. The new hearing will be scheduled as soon as possible. If there is reason to believe that the sanctioned student or other members of the College community are at risk, or a need exists to protect College property or prevent material disruption of the College’s educational process, the Coordinator of Student Conduct may immediately enforce any or all of the original sanctions and those sanctions shall remain in effect pending the final outcome of the case.
In cases where the review determines that the sanction(s) imposed are appropriate, the Hearing Officer or Hearing Board will not grant the appeal and the original sanction(s) will remain. Sanctions that are appealed by the accused student may not be increased; instead, the outcome of a successful appeal may be a reduction or alteration of the original sanction(s). The accused student or student organization is not at risk of a more severe sanction by exercising the right to request a review. However, if the appeal is requested by the individual filing the complaint or an impacted party, the result may be to reduce, alter, or increase the original sanction.
All decisions resulting from an Appeal Review shall be final. Although a verbal notification may be provided to the student who requested the appeal review, an e-mail notification of the decision shall be sent within 20 business days of the review.