Rights of a Student Accused of Policy Violations

In keeping with the mission and values of Keene State College, all hearings shall afford students the important rights identified below in addition to the right of privacy and the right to protection from discrimination.

Right to adequate and timely notice of charges. A student or student organization is entitled to prompt notification of the charges. Other than at the beginning of the semester, the end of the semester, during summer sessions, or as deemed necessary by the Director of Student Conduct, students will be notified of this information at least two days before the hearing is to occur. This notification will take place via an e-mail sent to the student’s College-issued e-mail account. Students can request that a hearing date and/or time be changed for extenuating circumstances (such as a death in the family, court date, etc.) and must request this at least 48 hours prior to a hearing through e-mail. It is at the discretion of the Chairperson or Hearing Officer whether or not to grant this request.  Failing to read your e-mail will not be considered a violation of this right or serve as grounds for appeal.

Right to be presumed not responsible. A student or student organization facing charges is presumed not responsible until found responsible by a preponderance of evidence. Charges filed against a student or a student organization are based on the information contain in the complaint report. The Hearing Officer or Hearing Board will hear all the available information before rendering a decision.

Right to present evidence and/or witnesses. A student or student organization shall be given the opportunity to appear, provide information, and present evidence and witnesses at the hearing. A student or student organization has the right to hear all evidence presented against them, whether it comes in the form of a direct testimony or as written or recorded statements.

Right to remain silent. A student or student organization facing charges may choose not to present evidence or speak in their own behalf. A decision will still be rendered based on the information that is presented at the hearing.

Right to an advisor. A student or student organization facing charges has the right to have an advisor of his or her choice, within specific parameters. Advisors are limited to current members of the College community (student, staff, or faculty).  If criminal or civil charges have been filed in association with the incident then students are permitted to have their non-College related attorney present at the hearing as a non-participating observer.  Please remember that the role of the advisor is to help prepare and provide support to a student during the hearing process but at no time will be allowed to present evidence or speak on behalf of the accused student.

Right to timely notice of findings. A student or student organization has the right to receive prompt notification of the results. Generally within 5 days of a hearing an outcome letter will be sent to the student’s College-issued e-mail account.

Right to appeal. A student or student organization found responsible can choose to appeal the decision. While an appeal is pending, the sanctions issued shall not be imposed except in extraordinary circumstances. Please refer to the Appeals section of the Student Code of Conduct and College Conduct System for a complete explanation of the appeal process.