Contesting a Charge or Sanction and Appeals
Contesting a charge or sanction
At the conclusion of a conduct conference, the respondent may contest the charge(s) or sanction(s) and request a hearing or sanction review if:
- the respondent believes that they are not responsible for one or more of the University charges issued, and/or
- the respondent believes that one or more of the assigned sanctions are not justified by the nature of the violation or are not within the guidelines of the University for the charge, AND the sanction is conduct probation with transcript notation or a form of separation
Requesting a hearing
When a respondent or organization denies responsibility for the charges that were assigned during the conference, they may contest by requesting a hearing.
- The respondent will meet with an administrative hearing officer, who is a University staff or faculty member trained in this role
- If the student is found responsible, the administrative hearing officer assigns appropriate sanctions
- An administrative hearing will typically be utilized in cases that will not result in sanctions ranging from Suspension to Expulsion unless specifically requested by the respondent (s)or organization and/or complainant and agreed to by the Senior Director.
Student Organization Conduct Committee
- The Student Organization Conduct Committee is defined as a group of students authorized by the Senior Director to serve in organizational conduct proceedings at University Park as members of an Administrative Hearing panel or as the student representatives on University Conduct Boards.
- The organization will meet with the administrative hearing panel.
- If the organization is found responsible, the administrative hearing panel assigns appropriate sanctions
University Conduct Board
- The University Conduct Board is defined as a specific group of faculty, staff, and students authorized by the Senior Director to determine, through a hearing, whether a student or organization has violated the Code of Conduct
- The University Conduct Board hearing will be utilized in cases in which there is a potential that the respondent or organization may be suspended or expelled from the University
- The board hears information and determines if a violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred
- If the respondent is found responsible, the board assigns appropriate sanctions
- An appeal process is available based on the outcome
Title IX Panel
- This panel consists of three individuals, including University faculty and staff
- The panel hears relevant information and determines if a violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred in relation to Title IX allegations
- If the respondent is found responsible, the panel assigns appropriate sanctions
- An appeal process is available based on the outcome
Requesting a Sanction Review
When a respondent accepts responsibility for the Code of Conduct violation in a conduct conference but contests the sanction(s) assigned by the case manager, AND the sanction includes conduct probation with a transcript notation or a form of separation, the student may request that the assigned sanction be reviewed.
- The sanction review will ordinarily be a review of the written record of the case unless otherwise determined by the person reviewing the sanction
- The respondent will compose a written explanation of the rationale for contesting the sanction and will submit this statement to the Office of Student Conduct case manager
- The statement, as well as a memo from the case manager, will be forwarded with the respondent’s file to the sanction reviewer
- The sanction reviewer has the ability to sustain or modify the sanctions
- The respondent is then notified by the case manager once a decision has been reached
For additional information on sanction reviews, respondents should contact their case manager.
In certain instances, respondents may request to appeal of a decision following a University hearing. For full information on appeals, refer to the Student Code of Conduct & Student/Student Organization Conduct Procedures.
- Cases resulting in sanctions of Suspension to Expulsion after a hearing may be appealed to the Student Conduct Appeals Officer by the respondent within five (5) business days of receiving official notification of the results of the hearing. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Senior Director or his designee.
- In cases involving a Title IX violation and those involving a crime of violence, the respondent and/or complainant may request an appeal when suspension, indefinite expulsion or expulsion is either assigned or was possible in light of the charges assigned.
- An appeal may be requested on one or more of the following grounds:
- the respondent or complainant have been deprived of their rights and/or stated procedures were not followed that affected the outcome;
- new evidence is presented, that was not available during the time of the original outcome, relevant to establishing whether it is more likely than not that the respondent is responsible for misconduct; and/or
- the sanction(s) imposed was (were) outside the University’s sanction range for such violations and/or not justified by the nature of the offense.
For additional information on appeals, respondents should contact their case manager.