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How Complaints Against Students are Handled

1.  Complaint is received through Campus Police or through the Dean of Students Office “Report It” online reporting tool. After an initial interview with the complainant, a staff member will determine if there is a potential violation of the Student Conduct Code. If so, the responding student is notified that a complaint has been filed and that he or she must schedule an initial interview with a Dean of Students Office staff member within four academic days. An administrative hold is placed on the student’s account until he or she has complied with the request. Allegations of sexual misconduct as defined on Page 9 or bias-related incidents are referred to the Title IX Coordinator for review for possible Title IX violations. If the allegations are determined to meet the definitions of sexual harassment under Title IX, the matter will be handled pursuant to the Council on Post-secondary Education Title IX policy. If it does not, it will be handled as all other student conduct complaints.

2.  At the respondent’s initial interview, the complaint is shared in detail with the student and the student has an opportunity to respond. In this meeting, the student can accept responsibility, deny responsibility or say nothing at all. 

At the conclusion of the initial interview, one of the following actions may be taken by the Dean of Students Office: 

  • Dismiss the case if insufficient evidence that the Student Conduct Code was violated is presented.
  • Refer the case to a student conduct hearing board if the student denies responsibility or the precedent sanction is suspension or expulsion.
  • Issue a sanction (except suspension or expulsion) based on past precedent, the student’s disciplinary record and the specific factors of the incident if the student accepts responsibility for the incident. 

If the student denies responsibility or if he or she is facing possible suspension or expulsion, a student conduct hearing board must be convened at a time not less than three nor more than five business days after the respondent’s initial interview to hear the complaint. 

3.  The student conduct hearing board shall be composed of up to two student delegates and up to two faculty delegates. A Dean of Students Office staff member will preside as a nonvoting chair, except in case of a tie. The number of student delegates and faculty delegates must be the same. Students and faculty members are selected by the Dean of Students Office in consultation with Student Government and Academic Affairs. 

The respondent and the complainant may be accompanied by an adviser of their choosing who may serve as a nonspeaking support for either student. Both the complainant and the respondent may bring witnesses in person or signed and dated witness statements. Witnesses must have firsthand knowledge of the incident or complaint.  Once scheduled, the hearing will occur as planned whether the complainant and/or the respondent chooses to attend or not. 

The student conduct hearing board shall make a determination based solely on the facts presented at the hearing regarding the incident in question. No other factors may be considered. The burden of proof is on the complainant to demonstrate that the respondent is responsible for violating the Student Conduct Code. A preponderance of the evidence shall be the standard of proof. Mitigating factors regarding why the Student Conduct Code was violated are only pertinent in the sanctioning phase.

4.  Once a student conduct hearing board has made a determination of whether the respondent is responsible or not responsible, the hearing board will determine an appropriate sanction. The respondent will be notified of the disposition of the complaint and, if appropriate, the designated sanction within two academic days. The complainant will be informed of the decision of the board, but not the details of any sanction except in cases where otherwise provided for by law. 

Upon receipt of the notification, the accused student or the complainant may appeal the decision as detailed in section B