A. Any charge, accusation, or allegation which is to be presented against a student, and, which if proved, may subject a student to disciplinary action, must be submitted in writing in complete detail to the office of the dean of students promptly by the individual, organization or department making the charge.
B. The chief student affairs officer of the college or his or her designee will conduct a preliminary investigation in order to determine whether disciplinary charges should be preferred. The chief student affairs officer or his or her designee will advise the student of the charge(s) against him or her, consult with other parties who may be involved or who have information regarding the incident, and review other relevant evidence. Following this preliminary investigation, which shall be concluded within thirty (30) calendar days of the filing of the complaint, the chief student affairs officer or designee shall take one of the following actions:
i. Dismiss the matter if there is no basis for the allegation(s) or the allegation(s) does not warrant disciplinary actions. The individualsinvolved shall be notified that the complaint has been dismissed;
ii. Refer the matter to conciliation. If a matter is referred to conciliation the accused student shall receive a copy of the notice required pursuant to section 15.3.e. of this bylaw; or
iii. Prefer formal disciplinary charges.
C. The conciliation conference shall be conducted by the counselor in the office of the dean of students or a qualified staff or faculty member designated by the chief student affairs officer. The following procedures shall be in effect at this conference:
1. An effort will be made to resolve the matter by mutual agreement.
2. If an agreement is reached, the counselor shall report his/her recommendation to the chief student affairs officer for approval and, if approved, the complainant shall be notified.
3. Prefer formal disciplinary charges.
4. The counselor is precluded from testifying in a college hearing regarding information received during the conciliation conference.
D. Notice of the charge(s) and of the time and place of the hearing shall be personally delivered or sent by the chief student affairs officer of the college to the student at the address appearing on the records of the college, by registered or certified mail and by regular mail. The hearing shall be scheduled within a reasonable time following the filing of the charges or the conciliation conference. Notice of at least five business days shall be given to the student in advance of the hearing unless the student consents to an earlier hearing.
E. The notice shall contain the following:
1. A complete and itemized statement of the charge(s) being brought against the student including the rule, bylaw or regulation he/she is charged with violating, and the possible penalties for such violation.
2. A statement that the student has the following rights:
i. to present his/her side of the story;
ii. to present witnesses and evidence on his/her behalf;
iii. to cross-examine witnesses presenting evidence against the student;
iv. to remain silent without assumption of guilt; and
v. to be represented by legal counsel or an advisor at the student's expense.
3. A warning that anything the student says may be used against him/her at a non-college hearing.
F. The following procedures shall apply at the hearing before the faculty-student disciplinary committee:
1. The chairperson shall preside at the hearing. The chairperson shall inform the student of the charges, the hearing procedures and his or her rights.
2. After informing the student of the charges, the hearing procedures, and his or her rights, the chairperson shall ask the student charged to plead guilty or not guilty. If the student pleads guilty, the student shall be given an opportunity to explain his/her actions before the committee. If the student pleads not guilty, the college shall present its case. At the conclusion of the college¿s case, the student may move to dismiss the charges. If the motion is denied by the committee, the student shall be given an opportunity to present his or her defense.
3. Prior to accepting testimony at the hearing, the chairperson shall rule on any motions questioning the impartiality of any committee member or the adequacy of the notice of the charge(s). Subsequent thereto, the chairperson may only rule on the sufficiency of the evidence and may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitive evidence. However, if either party wishes to question the impartiality of a committee member on the basis of evidence which was not previously available at the inception of the hearing, the chairperson may rule on such a motion. The chairperson shall exclude all persons who are to appear as witnesses, except the accused student.
4. The college shall make a record of each factfinding hearing by some means such as a stenographic transcript, a tape recording or the equivalent. A disciplined student is entitled upon request to a copy of such a transcript, tape or equivalent without cost.
5. The student is entitled to a closed hearing but has the right to request an open public hearing. However, the chairperson has the right to hold a closed hearing when an open public hearing would adversely affect and be disruptive of the committee's normal operations.
6. The college bears the burden of proving the charge(s) by a preponderance of the evidence.
7. The role of the faculty-student disciplinary committee is to listen to the testimony, ask questions of the witnesses, review the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing and the papers filed by the parties and render a determination as to guilt or innocence. In the event the student is found guilty, the committee shall then determine the penalty to be imposed.
8. At the end of the fact-finding phase of the hearing, the student may introduce additional records, such as character references. The college may introduce a copy of the student¿s previous disciplinary record, where applicable, provided the student was shown a copy of the record prior to the commencement of the hearing. The disciplinary record shall be submitted to the committee in a sealed envelope and shall not be opened until after the committee has made its findings of fact. In the event the student has been determined to be guilty of the charge or charges the records and documents introduced by the student and the college shall be opened and used by the committee for dispositional purposes, i.e., to determine an appropriate penalty if the charges are sustained.
9. The committee shall deliberate in closed session. The committee¿s decision shall be based solely on the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing and the papers filed by the parties.
10. The student shall be sent a copy of the facultystudent disciplinary committee's decision within five days of the conclusion of the hearing. The decision shall be final subject to the student's right of appeal.
11. Where a student is represented by legal counsel the president of the college may request that a lawyer from the general counsel's office appear at the hearing to present the college's case.