University Judicial Process Policy

Policy Name:  University Judicial Process

Policy Number: STU-7030

Effective:  Legacy

Revised: Not applicable

Policy Statement

University Judicial Process

The University has set up specific guidelines to follow when alleged violations of the University’s Code of Conduct, the Residence Life Policies and Procedures, the University Catalog, as well as procedures and regulations in the Student Handbook have occurred. Sources of resolution for these alleged violations are as determined by the Associate Director of Residence Life, Director of Student Conduct & Advocacy, Associate Director of Student Engagement, and/or the Dean of Students. Instances involving academic violations (i.e., plagiarism, cheating, or classroom offenses) shall be determined by the Vice President for Academic Affairs under the Academic Honesty Policy. 

 The options available are:

  • Administrative Hearing.
  • Judicial Board Hearing.

The University’s core values are emphasized throughout the judicial process. Holy Family looks upon these meetings and hearings as an opportunity for personal growth and development. 

The University Judicial Process is not criminal or civil proceedings, but rather, administrative investigations to determine the violations of University policy. Civil or criminal procedures and evidence do not apply. To determine if a student is found responsible, the Administrative Hearing Officer or Judicial Hearing Board will use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard.

 

Administrative Hearing

An Administrative Hearing may occur when the Associate Director of Residence Life or Director of Student Conduct & Advocacy has determined that a violation of University Policy and/or the Code Conduct does not require a Judicial Hearing Board. In some circumstances, an Administrative Hearing will be requested as part of an adjudication process. The University reserves the right to utilized the Administrative Hearing when deemed necessary, when less serious violations are considered, and at the discretion of the Associate Director of Residence Life or Director of Student Conduct & Advocacy. 

A matter involving a member of a recognized RSO, general operations of an RSO, or an RSO Advisor will be referred to the Associate Director of Student Engagement for resolution. Annual RSO reviews that require matters of Code of Conduct will be referred to the Association Director for Student Engagement for administrative oversight. 

An Administrative Hearing Officer is a trained member of Student Affairs, and will meet with students regarding incidences of Policy or Code of Conduct Violations.

 

Judicial Hearing Board

The Judicial Hearing Board (JHB) is a group of faculty and administrators who are trained to hear cases that involve more serious violations of University Policy and/or the Code of Conduct. When a hearing is scheduled, the moderator will select three (3) trained representatives to serve on a hearing panel to hear a case. Board members shall disqualify themselves from serving on a Judicial Hearing Board case if they believe in good faith that they cannot be objective in the matter. Students will be provided with information regarding composition of the Hearing Board at least 48 hours before a hearing. The student may object to a member for cause in writing at least 24 hours before a hearing. The moderator shall rule on all objections and replace any disqualifications.

The individuals that may comprise a Judicial Hearing Board will include the following members:

  • Board - Members are selected from a group of faculty and administrators who have volunteered and been appropriately trained to hear cases.
  • Chairperson - The chairperson is a voting member, who is a faculty member or administrator selected by the moderator on a case-by-case basis.
  • Moderator - The Moderator is a non-voting member, namely the Associate Director of Residence Life or Director of Student Conduct & Advocacy, or their designee. The Moderator shall advise the JHB on appropriate matters, such as the type of information that may help in determining if the code of conduct was violated and prior sanctions relating to similar conduct. The Moderator shall facilitate the appropriate paperwork and record-keeping, as well as reserve the appropriate space for the hearing.

 

Judicial Procedures

Any member of the University community may file a complaint against a student or student organization alleging violations of the Student Code of Conduct and/or University policies. An incident report completed by a University Official (i.e., Public Safety or Residence Life) is directed to the Associate Director for Residence Life, or their designee, who begins the process. A complaint shall be submitted as soon as possible after the incident occurred, preferably within one week; however, the timeliness of the complaint shall be determined by the Associate Director of Residence Life based on facts and circumstances presented.

All judicial procedures are confidential.

A student has the right to:

  • reasonably specific advanced written notice of charges.
  • advance written notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing, unless such right is waived in writing by the student.
  • a hearing conducted to ensure that an accused student has a fair and reasonable opportunity to answer, explain, and defend against charges.
  • the opportunity for submission of written physical and testimonial evidence and for reasonable questioning of witnesses.
  • reasonably sufficient interval between the date of charges and the date of the hearing to allow the student to prepare a response.
  • an impartial hearing body.
  • a final decision based upon the evidentiary standard.
  • a written decision in which rationale is explained in detail.
  • an advisor, who may be an attorney, to be present at hearings. The University may limit the participation of the advisor.
  • the opportunity to appeal a decision of a hearing board, under reasonable circumstances.

 

Before a Hearing

When an alleged violation has occurred, the appropriate hearing officer or moderator shall notify the respondent via University email. The process of the hearing will be outlined in the notice. In order to schedule a hearing, the officer or moderator will consult class schedules to find a common available time. It is an expectation that students attend their hearings. Students have a right not to attend a hearing; however, as a result, the students forfeit the opportunity to provide additional information. Thus, the case will be conducted in the student’s absence. The student’s failure to attend does not limit the board or administrator from making a decision based on information available. If a student misses a hearing due to an emergency, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the hearing officer or moderator within 24 hours after a scheduled hearing. No student may be found to have violated a University policy solely based on a student’s failure to attend; nonetheless, a student is responsible for completing any sanction received as a result of a hearing.

 

Hearing Procedures

The judicial process is designed to encourage open discussion among the participants that promotes understanding of the facts, the individuals involved, the circumstances under which the incident occurred, and the nature of the student’s conduct. Hearings are private meetings; parents or legal counsel are not permitted and cannot be a part of these proceedings.

The Administrative Hearing Officer or JHB determines as to each student, and to each violation charged, whether the student is responsible for violating university policies. This determination shall be based upon the facts of the conduct alleged, as well as whether it is more likely than not that the student is responsible for the alleged violation(s). 

 

Advisors

A student may select an advisor to advise them at any judicial proceeding. An advisor can be another student, a friend, a faculty/staff/administrator, a member of the family, or an attorney. Generally, an advisor is present to provide support for a student. Should an advisor not adhere to their standards in that role, the Hearing Board Chairperson will request that the advisor comply with the limitations and provide a warning. If noncompliance persists, the advisor will be required to remove themselves from the hearing. An advisor cannot actively participate in the judicial proceeding.     

 

Factors Considered in Sanctioning

If a student is found responsible for violating a policy, a sanction shall be imposed. The following shall be considered in determining sanctions: motivation, honesty, maturity, cooperation, present attitude, past record, the severity of damage, injury, harm, disruption or the potential for such willingness to make amends, and compliance with previous sanctions. A student’s cumulative judicial file will be considered in sanctioning.

 

Sanctions for University Policy/Code of Conduct Violations

The University encourages opportunities for administrative hearing officers or the JHB to find sanctions that may be tailored to a student’s situation or needs. As a result, the following list is not comprehensive and only contains recommended sanctions:

  • Warning: Written or verbal notice given that is kept on file
  • Program Attendance or Facilitation: Expectation to attend or facilitate an educational program(s)
  • Writing Assignment: Requirement to complete a relevant research and/or reflection paper
  • Discretionary Sanctions: Requirement to complete and or participate in work assignments, community service, University services or programs, or other related discretionary assignments
  • Loss of Privileges: Denial of specific privileges for a defined period of time (e.g., guest, computer, housing selection, visitation, dining services, University representation, cocurricular activities, athletic participation, work study position, leadership role)
  • Counseling Assessment/Meetings: Complete a number of counseling or assessment sessions
  • Fines: Requirement to pay a specified monetary fee to the University
  • Restitution: Requirement to make payment to the University, other persons, groups, or organizations for damage
  • Administrative Relocation in University Housing: Requirement to be placed in an assigned or relocated space in University Housing
  • Disciplinary Probation: A period of fixed duration, during which the status of a student at the University may be evaluated. This includes the possibility of more severe sanctions if the student is found responsible for violating University policy during the probationary period.
  • Deferred Suspension: A designated period of time during which a student is given the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to abide by University policies. If the student is found in violation of any University policy during the time of deferred suspension, a suspension may take effect immediately without further review. Additional sanctions appropriate to the new violation may also be issued.
  • Removal from University Residence: Separation from the residence halls for a defined period of time. The student may be prohibited from participating in the University dining program. The student will be barred from entering all residences within the University residential community during the time of removal from campus housing.  
  • Suspension: Separation from the University for a specified period of time. The student shall not participate in any University-sponsored activity and may be banned from the University premises. The University will not accept any credits earned from another institution during this period towards a University degree. In case of residence hall groups, this sanction may include the disbanding of a living unit, and in the case of student organization, this may include the removal of recognition. Reinstatements shall require the approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs, or other Senior-level Administrator, as designated.
  • Expulsion: Permanent separation from the University and University facilities.
  • Revocation of Admission and/or Degree: Admission to or a degree awarded from the university may be revoked at any time of fraud, misrepresentation, or another violation of the Code of Conduct in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed prior to graduation or admission.
  • Withholding Degree: University may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in the Judicial Process, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

Failure to abide by or complete any sanction shall be considered an additional violation of the Code of Conduct.  Failure to pay a fine, for example, can result in increased fines or additional sanctions being added to the fine. Incomplete sanctions may result in a hold placed on the student’s account, preventing registration.

 

Notification of Hearing Outcome 

The student shall be notified in writing via their Holy Family University email, of the outcome of a hearing within three (3) business days after a hearing. University may only disclose the results of a hearing by which is permitted by law. Proper University authorities shall be notified of any sanction. Parents of students under 21 may be informed of the code of conduct violations with respect to the use of possession of alcohol or controlled substance.

 

Application of Interim Suspension or Conditional Attendance

Routine infractions of the Student Code of Conduct will be addressed through the appropriate University judicial system processes. In certain circumstances, the University may, through its Dean of Students or designee, impose a suspension prior to a review of misconduct within the University’s judicial system. An interim suspension (immediate separation from the University) may be imposed for the following reasons:

  • To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property;
  • To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; and/or
  • If the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University.

As an option, a student may be given guidelines for conditional attendance (e.g., housing/ class relocation) by the Dean of Students or designee. During this time a student may be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus, including classes, and/or other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. There is no appeal for this status, but the University shall make every effort to conduct the judicial process without undue delay. The student shall remain on Interim Suspension/Conditional Attendance until the hearing and/or an appeal determines their status. In addition, at any time after filing a complaint, the Dean of Students or designee may place a registration hold on the record of any student pending the outcome of proceedings or enforcement of sanctions. A registration hold may also prevent registration of classes, the release of transcripts, and the award of a degree.

 

University Withdraw Prior to Judicial Hearing Process

If a student voluntarily withdraws from the University while involved in the judicial process, a registration hold shall be placed on the student’s account. The student will not be permitted to re-enroll until after the Judicial Process has been concluded and/or the sanction in their absence is completed.

 

Appeals Process

Students who wish to appeal are granted the opportunity through the appeals process. All appeal requests shall be directed in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs, or their designee, within five (5) business days of written notification of the action taken by the Hearing Officer or the JHB. The appeal should be delivered to the Vice President for Student Affairs via email. The appeal process is reserved for serious sanctions only. In the appeal letter, a student must clearly demonstrate that one or more of the following has occurred to be considered for an appeal:

  • Material failure to follow procedures of the Judicial Process that has affected the outcome.
  • New information sufficient to alter a decision that was not reasonably available at the time of the original hearing.
  • Sanction(s) was/were not consistent for the violation(s) of a University Policy.

Appeals submitted for other reasons or past the allotted time will not be considered. The Vice President for Student Affairs determines if the appeal is warranted. The Vice President for Student Affairs, along with the Appellate Board Members, will review all available information pertaining directly to the appeal, and shall make a decision within five (5) business days. The Appellate Board will consist of three (3) trained members. The Appellate Board may replace the sanction with another which may be more severe, less severe, or otherwise different, may remand the case for consideration, and/or may direct the case for a new hearing. If the Vice President for Student Affairs finds no merit to the appeal, the decision of the original hearing will stand. While an appeal is pending, sanctions are not in effect unless an interim suspension/conditional attendance has been imposed on the student.