Rules of Procedure for Disciplinary Actions
Any student, faculty, or staff member of the institution may make a complaint alleging violation of University policies or the student Code of Conduct. Additionally, any police reports and documentation supplied by members of the community concerning Waynesburg University students may be used to submit a complaint against a student. Any student may contact a member of the Educational Services staff to file a complaint alleging violation of University Policy by another student. University security, residence life officers or Educational Services staff who either observe a student violation or receive a report which he/she is able to corroborate will submit a written report. Waynesburg University will, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of a crime of violence or a nonforcible sex offense, or to the alleged victim’s next of kin (if the victim dies as a result of the crime or offense), the final results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding dealing with that crime or offense.
Upon complaint of a violation of the Code of Conduct, the Assistant Dean of Students or another member of the Educational Services staff shall review the matter to determine whether the complaint is credible. The Assistant Dean of Students or his designee will serve as the investigating officer and will meet with the appropriate students to determine the legitimacy of the allegations and to ascertain responsibility for these violations of the Code of Conduct. If it is determined that the allegation is without merit, the investigation shall promptly cease and no record of the accusation will be made in the accused student’s file.
If the Assistant Dean of Students or his designee determines the allegation is merited, an administrative interview will be conducted with the accused student. During the administrative interview, he/she shall notify any accused student(s) of the specific charges, including the date(s) and time of the alleged incident.
During the administrative interview, students charged with a disciplinary violation will be given the opportunity to admit to the charge and acknowledge responsibility for their actions. When an admission of responsibility is made, the opportunity for a disciplinary hearing is no longer applicable. The student will be given a sanction determined by the investigative officer. The student may appeal the sanction only in accordance with the same appeal procedures available for hearing dispositions.
If the student denies responsibility for the violation, a disciplinary hearing will be scheduled during the administrative interview to occur within 10 working days of that date. The accused student may examine relevant portions of reports as well as other pertinent evidence and may request a copy for their personal use.
The hearing will normally be conducted by the Student-Faculty Judiciary Council. The Student-Faculty Judiciary Council will not ordinarily be convened during the last week of classes of each semester, during final examinations, or during summer school sessions. Depending upon the seriousness and sensitivity of the accusations or the time of the semester, the disciplinary hearing may be held before a designated hearing officer at the discretion of the staff member conducting the administrative interview. In this case, the Vice President will assign the hearing officer.
The disciplinary hearing will be scheduled with the student at the conclusion of the administrative interview. If the accused student is unable to appear at the scheduled hearing date, he/she will have until 4:00 p.m. two days prior to the scheduled hearing to notify the hearing officer or body. Should the accused fail to appear without giving this proper notice, the case will be heard in his/her absence. At the scheduling of the hearing, the accused student may examine relevant portions of reports as well as other pertinent evidence and may request a copy for their personal use.
A. Student-Faculty Judiciary Council
The Judiciary Council is composed of five students (two seniors, two juniors, one sophomore) appointed by the Student Senate President, three faculty members appointed by the President of the University, and a member of the Educational Services staff. One of the senior students will serve as the chairperson. Student alternates will also be appointed for availability in the case of a conflict of interest.
To be eligible to serve on the Judiciary Council, students must be in good academic standing, have been full-time students at Waynesburg University for at least one year immediately prior to the appointment, and may not have been the subject of any major disciplinary action.
B. Hearing Procedures
- All hearings before the Student Faculty Judiciary Council or an individual hearing officer shall proceed in accordance with the following guidelines:
- All hearings shall be considered confidential and shall be conducted in private.
- No transcript of the proceeding will be produced.
- Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the hearing body. Since hearings are intra-institutional functions, students are not entitled to representation by legal counsel. Moreover, as the presence of the accused student’s (hereinafter “the respondent”) parents would not facilitate the hearing process; their attendance is not permitted unless presented as a witness to the events at issue.
- When an incident or series of related incidents have given rise to complaints against more than one student, the hearing body may, in its discretion, conduct separate hearings, or hear one or more related cases together.
- When a complaint has been filed by a reporting officer of the University (security, residence life staff, administrative staff, and faculty members), the initial written report and any supplemental reports will be submitted to the hearing body and read aloud at the outset of the hearing. Unless requested in advance by the student, the reporting officer will not be expected to testify before the council. The Assistant Dean of Students or his designee will serve as the complainant and present the relevant information to the hearing body, including calling and questioning witnesses.
- When both complainant and respondent are students, the Assistant Dean of Students or his designee will present relevant information to the hearing body, including calling and questioning witnesses with firsthand knowledge. Both the complainant and the respondent shall each be permitted to ask questions of all witnesses. A list of witnesses must be provided to the hearing body at the beginning of the hearing. Where either party or the Assistant Dean of Students has called a witness known to the hearing body to possess relevant evidence, the Judiciary Council or hearing officer may call the witness to testify.
- Both the complainant and the respondent may be assisted by a member of the student body or a faculty/staff member of Waynesburg University. These “advisors” are not permitted to speak or participate directly in the disciplinary hearing. No person may serve as an advisor in a disciplinary matter in which he/she is expected to be called as a fact witness.
- The hearing body has broad discrimination in determining the type and quantity of testimony and materials to accept as evidence. The hearing body may accept written statements in lieu of live testimony when the circumstances warrant; e.g., where a witness is unavailable.
- In matters before the Judiciary Council, the chairperson shall decide all matters pertaining to issues of procedure, including objections or requests to submit evidence.
- The standard by which all disciplinary matters shall be decided is whether it is more likely than not the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- The Judicial Council shall determine by majority vote both whether the student has violated University Policies and/or the Student Code of Conduct and/or the appropriate sanction for each violation. In cases heard by a single hearing officer, that staff person will make a determination on the violation and the appropriate sanction.
- The decision of the hearing body will be in written form and mailed or delivered to the accused student within two days. If the hearing determines there was a violation, the sanction shall be listed. The written decision will also list the procedures available to the student for appeal of either the violation or the sanction.
The accused, the complainant or the Assistant Dean of Students may appeal either the decision on a violation or the sanction. Determinations made by the Student-Faculty Judiciary Council or a Hearing Officer will be appealed to the Vice President. If the Vice President has served as the Hearing Officer, the decision may be appealed to the President of the University.
All appeals must be submitted in writing within three school days of the date of notification of the disciplinary sanction. Except as required to explain new evidence, an appeal shall be limited to the review of the written decision and any supporting documents. The President or Vice President, as the case may be, shall review the appeal through written materials to determine the following:
- Whether the original hearing was conducted fairly and in conformity with the prescribed procedures;
- The sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation found to have been committed;
- Any new evidence raised in the appeal was not available to the student at the time of the original hearing and if presented at the hearing would have changed the outcome.
The Vice President or the President, as the case may be, may uphold the decision and sanction imposed, reduce or increase the sanction imposed, or remand the case to the original hearing officer or body for a new hearing. All decisions on appeals are final.
When an appeal is made, the disciplinary sanction will not be implemented pending a decision on the appeal, except where the student has been summarily suspended, in which case the summary suspension will continue pending the outcome of the appeal.
In certain cases involving interpersonal disputes, the investigating officer may suggest that the matter be submitted to mediation. If the involved parties (complainant(s) and accused) agree, the matter will be submitted to mediation before a staff member acceptable to all parties.
Any mediation will result in a “Contract of Resolution” which will specify any terms of settlement and define any future behavioral expectations.
In appropriate circumstances, the Vice President or his designee may issue a summary suspension pending an investigation and disciplinary hearing. A student under summary suspension must immediately leave campus and may not return except to participate in the disciplinary hearing.
A summary suspension may be imposed when the Vice President or his designee has reason to believe that the student is an immediate threat to persons or property, and/or that his/her presence may disrupt the operations of the University.
Any student who returns to campus during the period of summary suspension without the permission of the Vice President shall be subject to further disciplinary action, including but not limited to, suspension, dismissal or expulsion. The imposition of a summary suspension shall not create any presumption of guilt with respect to the underlying accusations. Parents of the student may be notified of the summary suspension.
The Vice President, or his designee, will handle all cases involving a violation of University policy by a student organization. An organization charged with violation of University policy will have the opportunity to admit to the violation and receive an appropriate sanction. The opportunity for a hearing is then dismissed. The organization may appeal the sanction imposed to the Vice President or the President of the University (if the Vice President conducted the hearing).
If the organization denies the charge, a hearing will be conducted. The organization will be notified of a hearing date in writing and a single Hearing Officer (the Vice President or his designee) will conduct the hearing in conformity with the procedures governing student disciplinary hearings in matters initiated by report of a University official. Its current President, who may be assisted by another student from the same organization, shall represent the organization at the hearing. The President of the organization may present evidence and question witnesses on behalf of the organization in the same manner as an individual respondent.
The investigative officer, hearing officer, and the Judiciary Council have broad discretion in determining the appropriate sanctions for code violations for students as well as organizations. Any or all of the following sanctions may be imposed, separately or in combination:
A written warning may be issued when the individual’s conduct or disciplinary involvement merits official admonition. Disciplinary warning is a written notice that the conduct in question was inappropriate and that future incidents will be treated more severely. The warning is recorded in the confidential discipline records of the Student Services Office.
Loss of Privilege
Loss of privilege is the withdrawal of the right to participate in a specified activity, or to use a specified service, for a specified period of time. Loss of privilege is recorded in the confidential discipline records of the Student Services Office.
The levying of a monetary fine may be utilized as a sanction. The intended purpose of the fine is to deter future violations and the amount of the fine should reflect this intended purpose, as well as the relative seriousness of the offense.
Restitution requires the student or organization to reimburse the University or complainant for damages caused by their conduct. The fact and amount of the restitution is recorded in the confidential discipline records of the Office of Student Services.
Disciplinary Work Assignments
Disciplinary sanctions may be issued in the form of work assignments, such as campus or local area work projects. Failure to complete the work assignment within the time allowed will result in additional sanctions.
Residence Hall Suspension
Residence hall suspension is the separation of the student from his or her residence hall for a definite period of time. In appropriate circumstances, specific conditions for re-admittance may be imposed. The student’s parents may be notified of a residence hall suspension.
A student or organization placed on disciplinary probation is required to comply with all restrictions imposed by the terms of the probation, and to generally behave in accordance with all University rules and regulations for the period of probation. Failure to abide by the imposed restrictions, or any violation of any University rule or regulation, will result in more severe sanctions, up to and including suspension, expulsion, revocation of recognition or dissolution. While on disciplinary probation, the student or organization membership may be prohibited from participation in varsity sports or other extracurricular activities. The student’s parents may be notified of the probationary status. Disciplinary probation is recorded in the confidential discipline records of the Student Services Office.
Disciplinary suspension may exclude the student from registration, class attendance, residence on campus, the use of University facilities, or all of the above, for a specified period of time. In unusual circumstances (when the presence of the student on campus is deemed to be acceptable), suspension may be deferred to the end of the term. In the intervening time period, the privilege of the use of University facilities will be withdrawn, unless specific permission is obtained from the Vice President. The student’s parents may be notified of the suspension status. Upon completion of the period of suspension, the student may be readmitted, provided the student is in compliance with academic admission standards then in effect. Any violations of University policy after the student is readmitted will likely result in dismissal or expulsion.
In the case of organizations, suspension prohibits the organization from participating in any University sanctioned activities or events, or otherwise operating as an organization, during the period of suspension. Any violation of the terms of the suspension will result in the revocation of recognition and dissolution of the organization.
Disciplinary dismissal is the withdrawal of the privilege of registration, class attendance, and residence on the campus with no possibility (implied or otherwise) that the student may return at any future time. The privilege of the use of University facilities is withdrawn. A student who has been dismissed may apply for readmission on or after one year from the date of dismissal. If the student is readmitted, further incident of misconduct shall result in expulsion. The parents of the student may be notified of the disciplinary dismissal status.
In the case of an organization, “disciplinary dismissal” will be in the form of the revocation of recognition and dissolution of the organization. The organization’s membership may not apply for reinstatement sooner than one year following dissolution. Reinstatement, if granted, may be probationary or subject to such other restrictions as deemed appropriate by the Vice President.
Disciplinary expulsion is the permanent withdrawal of the privilege of registration, class attendance, or residence on the campus with no possibility of readmission. Parents of the student may be notified of the disciplinary expulsion.
In the case of an organization, “disciplinary expulsion” will be in the form of permanent revocation of recognition and dissolution, without the possibility of reinstatement at any time in the future.