IV. Judicial Procedures
- Reported Students’ Rights
Students and organizations reported for alleged violations of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct have a right to the following:
1. Written notice of charges, including time and place of the alleged violation.
2. Resolution of charges in accordance with judicial system policies as outlined.
3. At least 72 hours’ notice of the time and place of an SJB hearing.
4. Review of the reports that serve as the basis for the charge(s).
5. Assistance from an advisor.
6. Written notice of the results of hearings and appeals.
7. File an appeal of the SJB’s ruling.
8. Confidentiality regarding the outcome of their hearing (except for the reporting party’s right to be informed of the SJB’s decision) and any subsequent appeal.
- Reporting Party’s Rights
The person reporting a violation of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct has the right to the following:
1. Advice from the Office of the Dean of Students in preparing for a hearing.
2. At least 72 hours’ notice of the time and place of a hearing.
3. Participation in the hearing, if the case is not resolved via judicial conference.
4. Notice of decision of hearings and appeals.
5. Resolution of charges in accordance with judicial system policies as outlined.
- Reports of Violations
Although most alleged violations are documented by the Office of Public Safety, any individual who is aware of a violation of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct may submit a report to the Office of the Dean of Students. Reports should be submitted as soon as possible, but preferably within five (5) days of the incident. Reports must be in writing and contain a complete description of the incident with the names of all parties involved as participants or witnesses. The University may file a complaint when violations of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct harm salaried employees, University guests or neighbors, or if witnesses are unwilling to pursue the matter.
The Code of Non-Academic Conduct applies to groups as well as to individuals. Whenever a complaint is filed with the SJB, the officers of the SJB and an administrative advisor will review the complaint to determine the degree to which a group may be responsible for the actions leading to the complaint. If it is determined that a group may be responsible for a violation of the Code, the SJB will take appropriate action with respect to the group as well as the individuals involved.
- Notification of Charges
An accused student will receive written notification of alleged violations of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct. The student must respond to the notice of charges within the time frame outlined in the notification. Please note that the University’s primary means of communicating with students is through their Wesleyan e-mail accounts. Students are responsible for reading and responding to e-mail from University officials.
- Adjudication Procedures
There are several adjudication procedures used to resolve cases. The SJB co-chairs and the administrative advisor(s) will meet to review cases submitted for adjudication. This group will determine the appropriate adjudication procedure for resolving of the case. If the group is unable to come to consensus on an adjudication procedure for a particular case, the vice president for student affairs may make the final determination.
1. Judicial Conference
Minor judicial matters and cases where mediation is feasible will be referred to the Residential Life professional staff who will contact the accused student(s) and attempt to resolve the case via a judicial conference. During the judicial conference, the accused student(s) and the Residential Life staff member will discuss the incident, alleged violations and possible sanctions. If an agreement regarding the student’s level of responsibility and sanctions (if appropriate) can be reached during the conference, the student will sign a summary/response form indicating their agreement with the proposed resolution and the case will be considered closed. If no agreement can be reached, the case will be referred to the Student Judicial Board for formal adjudication.
If a student is facing more serious charges, the student may request a judicial conference with the dean of students or designee. The conference will be conducted as outlined above, but the full range of sanctions is available to the dean. The dean will consult with the co-chairs of the SJB before imposing sanctions.
2. Simplified SJB Hearings
In cases involving minor violations, the SJB shall convene a simplified hearing. At such a hearing, the board shall meet with three voting members present—although
permitted, advisors do not normally attend simplified hearings. A limited range of
sanctions including disciplinary warning, disciplinary probation, community service
assignments, fines, restitution, and educational assignments is available in this
procedure. If, during the course of a simplified hearing, the SJB determines that the
nature of the violation and/or probable sanctions are more serious than anticipated,
the simplified hearing may be adjourned in favor of a full hearing.
3. Full SJB Hearings
In cases involving violations that are deemed to be serious, the SJB shall convene
a full hearing. At such a hearing, the board shall meet with five voting members
present, at least one faculty advisor, and at least one administrative advisor. The full
range of sanctions is available in this procedure. In cases where the administration
identifies itself as the aggrieved party, the administrative advisor should withdraw
and will be replaced by the second faculty advisor. This procedure should not be followed when the administration brings a case on behalf of an aggrieved third party.
If a student’s continued presence on campus endangers University property, the
physical safety or well-being of other members of the University community, affects
his/her physical or emotional safety or well-being, or disrupts the educational
process of the community, the dean of students may request an expedited hearing.
An expedited hearing will be convened immediately (typically within 48 hours) and
may involve an interim board (as outlined in Section III-D-2) if the SJB is unable
to convene on such short notice. Examples of cases that warrant such a hearing
include, but are not limited to, cases involving arson, assault, sexual misconduct,
threats, and reckless endangerment. The dean of students has the authority to place
a student on an immediate suspension pending the outcome of the hearing.
4. Joint Student-Administrative Panel
When the SJB co-chairs and advisors determine that a case involves egregious violations and/or serious violations where external legal charges may also result
from the alleged conduct, a joint student-administrative panel may be convened to hear the case. At such a hearing, the board shall be comprised of two student members of the SJB and two administrators, all with full voice and vote. At least one of the SJB’s administrative advisors should serve on the board. The full range of sanctions is available in this procedure. If the board is unable to come to consensus on the case during deliberations, the vice president for student affairs may make the final determination. For this reason, the vice president for student affairs may attend the hearing in an ex officio capacity, but should not attend deliberations. The dean may consult with the University’s legal advisor if appropriate.
5. Administrative Panel
Cases involving violations of the sexual misconduct and assault policy will be adjudicated by an administrative panel comprised of four employees of the University. The panel will be comprised of two male and two female staff or faculty drawn from the advisors to the board or hearing officers who have been trained on cases of sexual assault. The procedures for the hearing outlined in the Code and the Sexual Misconduct and Assault Policy will be followed. The procedures for the hearing outlined in the Code and the Sexual Misconduct and Assault Policy will be followed with the exceptions listed below to maintain compliance with Title IX:
- An accused student will not be permitted to read statements submitted to the dean’s office until their statement has been submitted. The student will be provided with information related to the alleged violation to have sufficient understanding of the charge(s).
- A student bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct or assault may participate in a hearing without physically appearing before the board. The victim may participate through the use of speakerphone or via similar means.
- The accused student and the student bringing the complaint will not be permitted to directly question one another in the hearing. Each student will be provided an opportunity to make an opening statement, present witnesses, answer questions from the Administrative Panel, and make a closing statement.
- Both students will be informed of the outcome of the hearing and any sanctions imposed.
- Either party will be provided an opportunity to appeal the decision of the Administrative Panel to the President based on the following grounds:
- Violation of fair process
- Excessive or inappropriate sanction
- New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the hearing
- Procedural error (if the error adversely affected the outcome of the hearing)
6. Joint Graduate Judicial Board-Student Judicial Board Panel
When the SJB co-chairs determine that a case involves both an undergraduate(s) student(s) and a graduate student(s), a joint GJB-SJB panel may be convened to hear the case. At such a hearing, the board shall be comprised of two student members and one advisor member from each of the GJB and SJB panels.
- Hearing Procedures
The following hearing procedures will be used in all hearings except as noted in Section IV(E)5 above for cases of sexual misconduct and assault.
1. The chair will conduct the hearing according to the following procedures.
a. The chair will inform the accused student(s) of the alleged violation(s).
b. The accused student(s) will acknowledge whether they are responsible or not responsible for the violation(s).
c. The person(s) reporting the violation(s) and witnesses (if any) will have the opportunity to make opening statements and offer their account of the incident.
d. The accused student(s) and their witnesses (if any) will have the opportunityto make opening statements and offer their account of the incident.
e. The reporting person(s) and the accused student(s) may question each otherand any witnesses. Questions are directed to the board who then redirects them to the appropriate party.
f. Board members may question the reporting person(s), the accused student(s), and/or any witnesses.
g. The reporting person(s) and the accused student(s) may make closing statements.
In cases where the reporting person(s) or accused student(s) fail to appear, the chair may modify these procedures.
2. All parties involved in the hearing may review available written evidence in the case file before the hearing.
3. A victim of any violation involving alleged sexual misconduct or assault may participate in a hearing without physically appearing before the board. The victim may participate through the use of a speakerphone or via similar means.
4. All judicial hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the standards of fair process. Specifically, the accused student should be informed of the nature of the charges against him/her, be given a fair opportunity to refute them, and the opportunity to appeal the board’s decision. Any board member who feels he/she cannot be impartial in a given case shall recuse himself/herself and shall be replaced by another voting member.
5. The board may require the cooperation of any member of the University community in furnishing testimony or evidence directly related to the adjudication of a case. However, no member of the University staff with whom an accused student has entered into a confidential relationship may provide information arising from that relationship without the permission of the accused student. Furthermore, the board shall excuse a witness if it concludes that by giving testimony the witness may be endangered.
6. The chair (or designee) will generate a written summary of all hearings. Full hearings will also be tape-recorded. Written summaries will be maintained with the case file. Tape recordings of the hearing are to be used by the board during deliberations and/or by the President if there is an appeal of the board’s findings. Tape recordings will usually be destroyed after the appeal process is complete.
7. Student judicial records are confidential and are available only to persons who have permission from the student. Limited judicial information may be shared with other University administrators and faculty members who, at the discretion of the dean of students, have a legitimate need-to- know.
8. All hearings are closed to the general public.
9. If an accused student fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, the board will hear thecase based on the available information. The University will not necessarily drop charges of misconduct because an accused student leaves the University for any reason (e.g., voluntary withdrawal, required resignation, separation, or dismissal).
10. An accused student may bring an advisor to a hearing. The advisor must be a student, a member of the faculty, or an administrator at the University. During the hearing the advisor may only advise during recesses granted by the board and may clarify procedural questions before, during, or after the hearing.
11. The board will make decisions about responsibility and sanction(s), if appropriate, during closed session, and their decisions regarding responsibility shall be based on the evidential standard of “fair preponderance.” The board is responsible for determining if it is more likely than not that the alleged violation occurred. The party bringing the charges need not provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt in a hearing. Decisions rendered during hearings shall be by majority vote of the voting members present. The board will forward its finding and recommended sanction(s) to the dean of students who will review and implement them in the name of the University. The considered judgment of the board shall be taken by the dean of students as a binding recommendation, to be modified only in extraordinary circumstances.
12. The University requires that judicial boards and administrative staff maintain confidentiality regarding judicial matters. Individual(s) who reported the alleged violation(s) will be informed of the board’s decision. Information about assigned sanctions will be shared with reporting parties as deemed appropriate by the board.
The dean of students may share information about judicial charges, findings, and sanctions with University personnel who, at the discretion of the dean, have a legitimate need to know.
- Hearing Findings
1. Not responsible
A decision that the accused student is not responsible for a violation of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct, or that there is insufficient evidence to establish that a student is responsible for the alleged violation(s).
A decision that the accused student is responsible for a violation of policy as charged.
- Hearing Sanctions
1. The University should have a range of sanctions of graduated severity to deal with infractions of varying seriousness. Insofar as possible, sanctions should “fit” the offense in a common-sense manner.
In Fall of 2012, the university implemented a point-system to bring greater clarity to what students may expect if they are found to have violated regulations.
The following grid contains the point ranges the judicial board will consider for particular violations (#). If a case arises where a student or group is charged with multiple violations, the board will have the discretion to consider the greatest range indicated by all of the alleged violations (for example, if there are two violations with ranges of 2-6 and 1-3 respectively, the board will consider the range of points as 1-9). The total range of points goes from 1 to 10. If a student accumulates 10 or more points, the board will likely recommend a separation from the university for a specified period of time.
Regulation Points Regulation 1 (Privacy and Tranquility): 1-3 Regulation 2 (Harassment and Abuse): 4-10 Regulation 3 (Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Assault): 5-10 Regulation 4 (Property): 1-8* Regulation 5 (False Information): 1-4 Regulation 6 (Misuse of Documents): 2-10 Regulation 7 (Locks and Keys): 1-4 Regulation 8 (Fire Protection Systems): 2-5 Regulation 9a (Starting a Fire): 1-4 Regulation 9b (Storing Flammable Material): 1-3 Regulation 9c (Restricted Items): 1-3 Regulation 9d (Explosives, Ammunition, Incendiary Devices): 2-10 Regulation 9e (Lethal Weapons): 4-10 Regulation 10 (Reckless Endangerment): 2-10 Regulation 11 (Pets): 1-3 Regulation 12 (Disruptions): 1-10 Regulation 13a (Drugs): 1-5** Regulation 13b (Underage Possession or Use of Alcohol): 1-3 Regulation 13c (Distribution of Alcohol to minors): 1-4 Regulation 13d (Possession of False Identification): 1-2 Regulation 13e (Open Container): 1-2 Regulation 13f (Sale or Dispensing without a Permit): 1-3 Regulation 13g (Operating Under the Influence): 5-10 Regulation 14 (Failure to Comply): 1-4 Regulation 15:
Social Event Registration
Smoking in Residence Hall
Quiet Street Noise Violation
*Restitution for property damage may be included in the sanction up to 2 times the cost of repair or replacement.
**Distribution/sale of drugs on or off campus will result in 4-10 points.
#The point ranges outlined above will be followed except in mitigating and aggravating circumstances where the impact of student behavior indicates a judicial response outside of the published range.
In addition to any other sanctions:
1-4 total accumulated points will result in a student receiving a “disciplinary warning”.
5-10 total accumulated points at any time will result in a student being on “disciplinary probation”.
10 or more accumulated points will result in a separation of the student from the University through either suspension or dismissal.
A student who has been found responsible for violating the Code of Non-Academic Conduct and assigned points as a result may decrease that number after two complete academic quarters, not including summer sessions, without being found responsible for additional violations. A student with accumulated points will lose one point from their accumulated total after two compete quarters following their hearing date of their last incident if there are no additional violations. (A student with 5 points who is placed on probation in May, will return to good standing in January of the following year without any additional infractions.)
2. The board will consider a range of sanctions including but not limited to community service, fines, restitution, educational assignments, and referrals to deans and directors of student affairs’ departments. Based on the number of points assigned, the board will normally recommend the imposition of one of the following sanctions:
a. Disciplinary Warning—An official written reprimand that includes a warning that further violations of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct will result in more serious sanctions.
b. Disciplinary Probation—A status imposed by the board, indicating the student’s standing within the University is in question. Additional violations during the probationary period may result in suspension or dismissal.
c.Deferred Suspension - A temporary status for a period to be established by the board, during which the student's standing within the University is in jeopardy. Additional violations during the probationary period will result in suspension or dismissal.
d. Suspension—A student’s removal from the institution for a period to be determined by the judiciary, but in no event less than the remaining portion of the semester during which the case is adjudicated. Students must comply with the terms of their suspension in order to be eligible to return to the university.
e. Dismissal—A student’s permanent removal from the institution.
3. In cases of damage to University property, the board, as a part of its recommendation to the dean of students, should normally require full restitution and/or any reasonable expenses for repair. The board may recommend restitution for damages suffered by a third party, but cannot collect damages on behalf of a third party.
4. The board may recommend restriction of individual access to specific University facilities, limitation of individual participation in specific University activities, or curtailment of privileges that are enjoyed by a student, so long as these restrictions are directly relevant to the violation.
5. Repeat Violations—In the case of repeated violations or violation in deliberate disregard of a specific warning, a student will be subject to more serious sanctions than would otherwise be the case. A prior disciplinary record is never relevant in determining the facts of an incident, but once the facts have been established, it is relevant in determining appropriate sanctions.
6. Sanctions Related to Group Behavior—In addition to recommending other sanctions such as community service, fines, educational assignments, restitution, etc., the board may recommend the imposition of the following sanctions:
a. A written disciplinary warning with a copy maintained in the judicial file.
The warning may specify corrective measures that can help the group avoid similar complaints in the future.
b. Disciplinary probation for a period to be established by the board, implying that the group’s standing within the University is in jeopardy and that further negligent or willful violations will normally result in suspension of University recognition. Disciplinary probation may include restrictions on the group’s functions during the probationary period. The group should also be informed of corrective measures that must be undertaken during the probationary period and maintained after its conclusion.
c. Suspension of University recognition—a group desiring to reestablish a relationship with the University must reapply for recognition by the University through the dean of students.
Modifications to the appeals process for cases involving sexual misconduct and assault are outlined in Section IV(E)5.
Reported students who have been found in violation by the board may appeal the decision to the President on the basis of the following grounds:
1. Violation of fair process;
2. Excessive or inappropriate sanction;
3. New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the hearing;
4. Procedural error (if the error adversely affected the outcome of the hearing). Students who wish to appeal must do so in writing. The appeal letter must clearly state the grounds and rationale for the appeal. Appeal letters should be addressed to the President and must be delivered to the President’s Office prior to the date indicated in the written notification of the hearing decision (typically students will have five business days to file an appeal).
Sanctions resulting from the case will not be implemented until after the appeal is resolved. If an expedited full hearing results in a student’s immediate suspension or dismissal, the student must leave campus and remain off campus during the appeal process.24
The President will notify the student of the outcome of the appeal. If the appeal is granted, the President has the authority to modify the sanctions or recommend a new hearing. If the appeal is denied, the sanctions will be imposed and the University will consider the case closed.
- Additional Procedures
1. Internal Injunctions
One special power, which may be exercised by the SJB, shall be to determine the point at which free expression by one individual or group crosses the line of tolerability and becomes an invasion of the rights of other individuals. This critical judgment must always be exercised in determining when verbal or physical expression can reasonably be considered harassment or disruption. Immediately upon receipt of a complaint that harassment or disruption is in process or imminent, thereby threatening to deprive an individual of his/her rights, the SJB shall convene to consider the matter. In such a case the board shall be authorized to deliver an injunction against the conduct in question. This warning shall contain an explicit description of the disruptive behavior and reasonable time limit for compliance with the terms of the injunction. The injunction shall remain in effect until superseded by decision of the President. If the injunction is violated, the vice president for student affairs (or designee), shall have the authority to impose immediate, temporary sanctions including, but not limited to, immediate suspension from the University.
The president has the authority to make changes to the Code of Non-Academic Conduct or related procedures. Changes should be proposed to the vice president for student affairs. The dean will consult with the members of the SJB and with the Student Life Committee about the proposed changes before forwarding recommendations to the president. If extensive changes appear warranted, the Student Life Committee should consider establishment of a mechanism for broadly eliciting opinion and advice from the community.
3. Judicial Records
Student judicial records are confidential and are maintained separately from official academic records. Judicial records are maintained for six years from date of the incident, at which time they are destroyed. To inspect their record, a student should make an appointment with the clerk of the SJB. Students will have access to all official records and correspondence in the file. Except as required by law, information from the file cannot be released without the student’s permission.