Disciplinary Proceedings

Any member of the University community (administration, faculty, staff, and students) may request charges against any student(s) for alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct. All allegations of violations should be prepared in writing and directed to the Coordinator of Student Conduct. In addition, any allegation of violations should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place. The Coordinator of Student Conduct may conduct an investigation to determine if the reported allegation(s) has merit and/or if they can be disposed of administratively by mediation or mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the Student Conduct Office staff. If the charges cannot be disposed of by mediation or mutual consent, the Student Conduct Office staff may later serve in the same manner as a non-voting member of the Student Conduct Board in a hearing. The Coordinator of Student Conduct may refuse to grant hearings on complaints resulting from incidents that occurred at a time too distant from the date of the filing of charges, or when information or testimony is too vague. Complaints generally should be made within 30 working days after discovery of the alleged violation and/or identification of the alleged violator.

A student charged for alleged violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct will be entitled to a disciplinary conference or disciplinary hearing. The Student Conduct Office staff will make a determination of whether a disciplinary conference or disciplinary hearing will be held, based on the range of sanctions that may be issued for the particular violation. Any student, however, may elect to have a disciplinary conference. If a student entitled to a disciplinary hearing elects a disciplinary conference, the full range of sanctions may be imposed, including residence hall suspension, University suspension, and expulsion.

The Coordinator of Student Conduct will serve as the hearing officer for either the disciplinary conference or disciplinary hearing. In rare occasions the Director of Student Conduct will assume the role of hearing officer if the Coordinator of Student Conduct is unable to serve in that capacity and the case cannot be rescheduled within a reasonable time.

Disciplinary Conference
In instances where a student is charged with alleged Student Code of Conduct violations that will likely result in a sanction less than removal from University housing, University suspension, or expulsion, the student will be entitled to a disciplinary conference. Minor residence hall violations are usually handled in this manner (for more information on residence hall disciplinary conferences, see p. 112). Students entitled to a disciplinary hearing may also choose to request a disciplinary conference, with the understanding that the full range of sanctions, including residence hall suspension, University suspension, or expulsion, will be applicable. A disciplinary conference will normally consist of an informal meeting between the respondent and the Coordinator of Student Conduct, who will serve as the hearing officer. The Coordinator of Student Conduct will gather all information necessary to make a just decision in the case. If the Coordinator of Student Conduct determines that the student is responsible for the violation, the Coordinator of Student Conduct will impose sanctions appropriate for the violation.

Disciplinary Conference Procedures
The following procedural guidelines are established for respondents charged with violations of the Student Code of Conduct and assigned to a disciplinary conference through the Student Conduct Office:

  1. The student shall be notified by the Coordinator of Student Conduct that a complaint has been made. The Coordinator shall provide the student with a written statement with the name of the complainant (person(s) or the University), the procedures for resolving the complaint, and the range of sanctions that may be imposed.
  2. The student must make an appointment for a disciplinary conference with the Coordinator of Student Conduct or a designee no later than three working days after the letter is received.
  3. If the student fails to arrange a meeting with the Coordinator of Student Conduct within three working days after receipt of the letter or fails to show up at the scheduled disciplinary conference, information in support of the charge(s) will be presented and considered.
  4. The student will have reasonable access to information pertaining to the case prior to and during the disciplinary conference.
  5. The student will have the opportunity to respond to the information presented and may bring relevant witnesses to the disciplinary conference.
  6. The student may be accompanied by an advisor (the advisor shall be a member of the full-time faculty, staff, or student body of Gallaudet University, but not a lawyer). The student is responsible for presenting his or her own information, and therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in the disciplinary conference. Advisors may confer with a student only when there is not a question on the table or a response pending from the student. A student should select an advisor or a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time of the disciplinary conference because delays will not be considered due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor. Violations of any restrictions for advisors will result in the advisor being removed from the disciplinary conference at the discretion of the Coordinator of Student Conduct.
  7. Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable to disciplinary conferences. Any information or testimony the Coordinator of Student Conduct or hearing official believes to be relevant may be considered.
  8. After the disciplinary conference, the Coordinator of Student Conduct shall determine whether the student is responsible for the violation with which he/she is charged. The Coordinator of Student Conduct's determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct.
  9. The student shall be informed of the right to appeal a decision to the Director of Student Conduct (or the Executive Director of Student Affairs, if the Director served as hearing officer in the case). A decision or judgment of the Coordinator of Student Conduct or hearing official may be appealed by either or both of the parties involved on the following grounds:
    • The disciplinary conference was not conducted fairly and in conformity with prescribed procedures, which made it unfair. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant unfairness results.

    • New or newly discovered information that could not have been produced at the conference. In order for the Director of Student Conduct (or the Executive Director of Student Affairs, if the Director served as hearing officer in the case) to consider new information sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original conference, such information and/or facts must not have been known at the time of the original conference by the appellant.

    • The decision is not supported by substantial information considering the record as a whole. That is, the facts in the case were not sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct occurred.

    • ]The sanction imposed was excessive or insufficient and not appropriate for the violation.

An appeal must be in writing, must indicate the basis of the appeal with an explanation, and must be made within five working days of the date the parties were notified of the decision. In an appeal case, sanctions assessed by the initial Coordinator of Student Conduct or hearing officer may be held in suspense until acted upon in appeal. The appeal will be reviewed by the Director of Student Conduct (or Executive Director of Student Affairs if the Director served as hearing officer), and he or she may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanction originally determined. The Coordinator of Student Conduct shall convey pertinent information related to the case. The decision of the Director of Student Conduct (or the Executive Director of Student Affairs if the Director served as hearing officer) is final.

All disciplinary conferences shall be closed to the public in order to protect the confidential nature of the proceedings.

Disciplinary Hearing
In instances where a student is charged with alleged Student Code of Conduct violations that will likely result in a range of sanctions that may include residence hall suspension, University suspension, or expulsion, the student will be entitled to a disciplinary hearing. A student may also choose to waive his/her right to a disciplinary hearing and request a disciplinary conference with the Coordinator of Student Conduct, with the understanding that the full range of sanctions, including residence hall suspension, University suspension, or expulsion, will be applicable.

A disciplinary hearing will involve a Student Conduct Board or an Administrative Student Conduct Board.

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