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COLLEGE COURT POLICY

Section 400 Ė Student Affairs

406†† COLLEGE COURT

 

 

POLICY

 

In order to provide due process to students charged with infractions of the student conduct code or academic honesty policy, the Dean of Student Services may refer these students to the College Court for disposition of the charges.

 

PROCEDURE

 

1.†††† Composition of the Courts shall consist of two (2)Faculty Justices and three (3) Student Justices.

 

In case of unavoidable schedule conflicts or other good cause shown, alternate faculty justices will be appointed by the Campus Provost to serve.Members of the Student Government Association may be designated by the Dean of Student Services to serve as alternates for Student Justices.

 

2.   Terms of Office

 

††††††††† A.†††† Members are appointed in June (Summer term) for one year or until an existing case is decided.

 

††††††††† B.†††† Faculty Justices are appointed by the Campus Provost.

 

†††††††††† C.†††† Student Justices are appointed by the Student Government Association with one

appointed Chief Justice.

 

3.     The Pre-Hearing Process

 

†††† ††††† A.Filing of a charge

 

†††††††† (1)The accuser files a written complaint with the Dean of Student Services, stating†††

††††††††††††††† the facts underlying the alleged violations and the witnesses to the alleged violation.

 

††††††††††††††††††† (2)†† GPC Protective Services Incident Reports or the Dean of Student Services††

†††††††††††††† †††††††††††† Incident Report may be used to initiate college court procedures.

 

(3)      Except under extraordinary circumstances, complaints must be filed within 45

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† days of the occurrence of the alleged violation.


†††††     B.Notification

 

(1)   The Dean of Student Services shall give the accused student notice of charges against him/her.If the accused is a student organization, the notice shall be served to an officer of the organization and the advisor of the organization.

 

(2)   The notice shall be in writing and contain the facts underlying the alleged violation, the specific College Conduct Regulation(s) the student is alleged to have violated, possible penalties, the date, time, and place of the hearing before the College Court, and the right to receive a list of witnesses.

 

(3)   Except in emergency circumstances, service of notice shall be by letter delivered by hand or by registered mail at least five (5) business days before the date of the hearing.

 

(4)   The accuser and accused shall notify the Dean of Student Services at least three (3) business days prior to the hearing of the names of witnesses he or she wishes to appear on his behalf; the Dean of Student Services shall supply the names of these witnesses to the accused or accuser upon request.

 

 

††††† C.  Request for Postponement

 

(1)   The College Court hearing will be held at the date and time specified in the written notice unless an official postponement has been requested and approved in writing by the Dean of Student Services.

 

(2)   If the accused has a serious reason for postponing the hearing, he or she must notify the Dean of Student Services no later than 48 hours prior to the hearing time.

 

 

(3)   If the accused has not obtained an official postponement and fails to appear for the hearing, the College Court may decide to conduct the hearing without the accused and to impose penalties.

 

 

††††† D.††† Hearing Involving Multiple Defendants or Multiple Campuses

 

(1)   Two or more accused students may be required to participate jointly in a hearing if they are alleged to have participated in the same incident, act, events, or series of related acts.The regulation(s) or factual circumstances alleged need not be identical for the accused in a hearing held jointly.

 

(2)   When students from more than one campus are alleged to have participated in the same incident, the Deans of Students from those campuses will determine the location of the court hearing.

 

 

(3)   Motion for a separate hearing:The accused students may file a written motion, within two (2) business days of notification, with the Dean of Student Services for a separate hearing, citing specific reasons why being heard jointly would unfairly prejudice his/her defense.The motion will be decided by the Dean of Student Services.

 

 

††††† E.††† Summons of Witness

 

If there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a witness will refuse to appear before the College Court, any party may request the Dean of Student Services to summon a witness.Failure of a summoned witness to appear or to submit a written statement may result in disciplinary action.

 

 

4.††† Hearing Process

 

A.†††† Attendance at the Hearing:

 

(1) Members of the College Court

 

(2) A recorder appointed by the Dean of Student Services

 

(3) The accused

 

(4) The accuser

 

(5) Students, faculty and staff of the college

 

(6) Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to have an advisor, who may not actively participate in the dialogue of the hearing but will be restricted to consulting and advising their clients. Failure to abide by these rules may result in the advisorís removal from the hearing.The accused may request the SGA to appoint an advisor for the accused.

 

(7) The accuser and the accused shall be given an opportunity to present necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence, but all witnesses will be admitted to the hearing only when their personal participation is necessary.

 

 

B.   Rights of the Accused Students

 

(1) Right to a notice in writing of any charges.

 

(2) Right to admit the alleged violation, to waive a hearing and to accept the collegeís action

 

(3) Right to admit the alleged violation but request a hearing.

 

(4) Right to deny the alleged violation and request a hearing.

 

(5) Right to a fair hearing before an impartial committee.

 

(6) Right to appear in person at a hearing or not to appear with assurance the failure to appear shall not be construed as indicative of guilt.

 

(7) Right to select an adviser of their choice to attend the hearing with them.

 

(8) Right to call witnesses and present evidence in their behalf.

 

(9) Right upon request to a list of witnesses who will appear against them.

 

(10)  Right to confront and cross-examine witnesses and/or accusers.

 

(11) Right to request a copy of the record of the tape recording of a hearing if the offenses involve possible suspension or expulsion.

 

(12) Right to appeal to the Provost, then to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, and then to the President of the college.

 

C.    Burden of Proof

 

The accused student shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty.The accuser must prove his/her case against the accused by a preponderance of the evidence which may be defined as a belief that it is slightly more probable than not that the facts are true and exist.This is sometimes expressed as 51% certainty.

 

D.   General Guidelines for Conducting a Hearing

 

The following hearing guidelines shall be followed in all cases.These rules shall be interpreted to maintain a hearing procedure to the extent that informality will not hinder or obstruct the basic fact-finding function of the Court.

 

(1) The College Court will not be bound by formal rules of legal proceedings and may admit any information that may be of value in determining the issues involved.

 

(2) Hearings shall be open except for cases involving academic records.

 

(3) A tape recording of the proceedings may be kept in the office of the Dean of Student Services.

 

(4) The College Court may grant adjournments to enable either the accuser or the accused to investigate evidence if a valid claim of surprise is made or when in the opinion of the Court an interruption in the hearing would be desirable.

 

(5) The accuser and the accused shall have the right to question all witnesses.

 

(6) The findings of fact and the decision of the College Court will be based solely on the hearing record.

 

E.   Oath/Affirmation by Witness

 

(1) As each witness is called, he/she will take an oath or affirmation, administered by the Chief Justice, that he/she will tell the truth.

 

†††††††††††††† (2) The oath shall be:ďDo you swear or affirm that the testimony you will give at this hearing will be the truth?Ē

 

F.    Pleas

 

A plea is not required.However, the accused shall have the right to plead guilty or not guilty.

 

G.   Evidence

 

(1) The Court shall consider only evidence presented at the hearing.Irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded.

 

(2) Signed affidavits (written statements) shall be admissible.If a witness legitimately cannot appear at the hearing, that witness may testify in writing.However, the court will recognize that no questioning of the witness is then possible.The Court will place highest value on direct examination of all witnesses; therefore, it is in the highest interest of all parties to ensure the attendance of their witnesses.Affidavits must be served on the opposing party no later than three (3) days prior to the hearing.Affidavit forms may be requested from the Dean of Student Services.

 

H.   Orders of Proceedings

 

(1) The Chief Justice will explain the order of proceedings and answer questions regarding that order.

 

(2) The Chief Justice will read the statement regarding truthful testimony to all parties in the hearing.Afterwards, witnesses will wait outside the hearing room.

 

(3) The accuser presents the charge. (3 minute statement)

 

(4) The accused answers the charge. (3 minute statement)

 

(5) The Court may question the accuser and accused at any time during the hearing.

 

(6) The accuser presents relevant evidence and witnesses.

 

(7) The accused may question the accuser and the accuserís witnesses.

 

(8) The Court may question those witnesses.

 

(9) The accused presents relevant evidence and witnesses.

 

(10) The accuser may question the accused and the accusedís witnesses.

 

(11) The Court may question those witnesses.

 

(12) The Court presents any witnesses separately summoned by the Court as relevant to the case.

 

(13) First the accuser and then the accused may question the Courtís witnesses.

 

(14) Any witnesses may be recalled for further questioning by any participants.

 

(15) Final statement by the accuser.

 

(16) Final statement by the accused.

 

(17) The Court deliberates.

 

I.     ††††Deliberations of the College Court

 

(1) The deliberations of the College Court shall be closed to all except Court members.

 

(2) Decision of the Court shall be based on a majority vote.

 

(3) The Chief Justice shall vote only in case of a tie.

 

††††† J.††††† Prior Record

 

(1) During the hearing, evidence of the accused studentís past violations of the Student Conduct Code will be excluded from the hearing unless the Court concludes that it is necessary and that admitting the prior record would not be unduly prejudicial to the accused student.

 

(2) In recommending a penalty, if the Court concludes that the accused student is guilty of the present charge(s), the Court may then consider the accused studentís prior record in determining the appropriate penalty.

 

(3) The accused student has the option of raising the matter of his/her prior record for the Court to consider when setting a penalty.

 

††††† K. ††† Sanctions may be imposed by the College Court.See Disciplinary Sanctions section of the Student Handbook for a listing of possible sanctions.

 

5. Reporting the Courtís Decision

 

A.        Within one (1) business day of the hearing, the Chief Justice of the Court shall forward the Courtís decision and penalty to the Dean of Student Services.

 

B.        Within five (5) business days of the hearing, the Dean of Student Services will inform the accuser and the accused of the decision of the Court and the penalty imposed.Notification shall be in writing and shall be delivered by hand or by registered mail.

 

C.        One record of the charge and the Courtís decision and penalty shall be kept in the studentís confidential activity file in the office of the campus Dean of Student Services.Court records will be maintained in a collegewide database maintained by the Deans of Student Services.A copy of the file will be made available to the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.

 

D.        Any further distribution of the information shall be restricted because of the confidentiality requirements for student records.

 

6.††Appeals

 

A.        Within five (5) business days of notification of the Courtís decision, the accuser, the accused, or the executing administrator may file a written appeal with the Campus Provost.Further appeals can be made through the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, and finally, the President.

 

 

Approved by CAB 1/25/01††††††††††††††††††