Students found responsible for violations of the Code of Conduct, as well as complainants within the conduct process, have a right to appeal. The appeal must be in writing and must be delivered to the Office of the Dean of Students electronically or in hard copy within three (3) business days of the date on which the Letter of Notification is sent.
Appeals are not re-hearings, and they are not granted on the basis of disagreement with the original decision. The Office of the Dean of Students will review appeal requests to determine if the appeal has sufficient merit and to decide on appropriate action.
Appeals will be considered based only on the following reasons:
- New Evidence of a Substantive Nature: New, significant, or relevant evidence sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts. Information is not considered new evidence if the student did not attend the original hearing or voluntarily withheld information during the original hearing.
- Substantive Procedural Error: The procedures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct were not followed.
- Severity of Sanctions: Sanctions imposed are not appropriate and/or proportionate to the violation(s) and the conduct history of the student.
- Preponderance Standard Not Followed: The conduct officer(s) did not correctly apply the preponderance standard -- "more likely than not" -- which affected the outcome.
- Hardship Consideration: Student accepts responsibility for the violation(s) of the Code of Conduct, but sanctions issued pose an undue hardship for which the student requests special consideration.
The Dean of Students or designee will consider all information related to the appeal and take one of the following actions:
- Determine the appeal lacks sufficient merit and uphold the original decision.
- Reverse or modify the finding or adjust sanctions on the basis of the information from the case and the written appeal.
- Assign an appeal officer and refer the matter to an appeal hearing. The appeal officer will determine the outcome of the appeal after the hearing is complete, either upholding the original decision or reversing or modifying decisions and/or sanctions.
- Order the original case to be re-heard, in whole or in part, and assign hearing officer(s) to the case.
Appeals for Complainants
Student complainants have the right to appeal based on the same above criteria.
Notification of Parties
In the event that there are two or more parties in a case -- complainant(s) and respondent(s) -- the other party will be notified at the time of appeal and given the opportunity to respond or provide information relevant to the appeal.
A student has three (3) business days (a business day is defined as a day University offices are open) after written notice of a disciplinary decision is issued to file an appeal request with the Office of the Dean of Students. Failure to request an appeal within the 3-day working period waives the right to request an appeal. Special considerations can be brought to the attention of the Dean of Students. Implementation of sanctions during the appeal process is left to the discretion of the Dean of Students, or designee. Deadlines for assignments due will be adjusted to reflect the time it takes to process the appeal.
Request for Appeal
The appeal must be typewritten and submitted with a Request for Appeal Form, which will be attached to the Letter of Notification. In completing the form, the student is asked to make a statement explaining in detail why an appeal should be considered. Copies of any documents that will substantiate or clarify the appeal should be attached. The completed form is to be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students in hard copy or electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
References to the Office of the Dean of Students in the conduct process shall be understood to also refer to the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Vice President’s designee.
In all appeal cases, the disposition of the case by the Vice President for Student Affairs is final.