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15. Procedures for the Disposition of Honor Code, Student Code of Conduct including the Alcohol Policy, Drug Policy and/or Other Policies

Procedures

15. Procedures for the Disposition of Honor Code, Student Code of Conduct including the Alcohol Policy, Drug Policy and/or Other Policies

THE PROCEDURES OUTLINED IN THIS SECTION ARE INTENDED TO AID STUDENT AFFAIRS OFFICIALS AND THE HONOR BOARD IN THEIR EFFORT TO ASCERTAIN THE FACTS OF MATTER AND TO REACH A JUST DECISION. CIRCUMSTANCES CAN DIFFER GREATLY BETWEEN CASES, AND THE OFFICIALS AND/OR THE PRESIDING OFFICER OF THE HONOR BOARD MAY NEED TO MODIFY THE PROCEDURES IN A PARTICULAR CASE IN ORDER TO REACH A TIMELY AND JUST DECISION.

1. Reading of the Allegation(s)
The respondent shall be given notice to make appointment within forty-eight (48) hours to appear in the office of a Student Affairs official. The respondent will be presented with materials to fully instruct them on the preservation of their rights. Respondent students who fail to appear in the Student Affairs official’s office after proper notice will have their case processed in accordance with the procedures outlined below in their absence.

The packet shall include:

1.1    Web address or copy of the Honor Code, Student Code of Conduct, Alcohol Policy, Drug Policy, and/or other policy, rule, regulation, etc.

1.2    A statement of the allegation(s) and identification of the complainant.

1.3    A procedural flow chart.

1.4    A listing of staff/faculty honor advisors.

1.5    A form for response to the allegation(s).

1.6    A waiver form.

2. Following the reading of the allegation(s), the student has three (3) working days after receipt of the forms provided to advise the official of the following:

2.1    If his/her response is an admission of violating the Code of Conduct and/or other policy, whether the respondent desires a sanction imposed by a single administrator or disciplinary panel.
 

2.2    If his/her response is an admission of violating the Honor Code, whether the respondent desires a sanction imposed by a single administrator (depends on time of year), disciplinary panel or by an Honor Board.
 

2.3    If his/her response is not an admission of violating a Code and/or other policy:

a) Who his/her counsel or advisor will be (See “response of no violation”).

b) Who his/her witnesses will be.

c) What documents or exhibits will be used.

3. At no time may any member of the Office of the Dean of Students advise or counsel the complainant or respondent. The parties should direct all questions about their matter to their honor advisors or other counsels. The parties, advisors or counsel may confer directly with Office of the Dean of Students for clarification of procedural questions.

4. The Honor Board/Panel/Conduct Official - Admission of a Violation

4.1    No evidence as to the issue of a violation or non-violation shall be considered.

4.2    The respondent shall be permitted to present evidence or testimony solely on the issue of mitigation. Such evidence may, by way of illustration, consist of character witnesses or medical testimony.

4.3    A “victim’s impact statement” may be submitted by the complainant, orally or in writing, outlining the impact of the respondent’s behavior on the complainant’s personal life and/or educational goals.

4.4    Decisions of the conduct body or official shall be communicated to the Dean of Students or designee for review and action.

4.5    Should the respondent elect to appear before the conduct body or official, s/he may waive five (5) working days’ notice and be heard as soon as possible. Should the respondent not waive the requirement, the conduct body or official will convene the proceeding no sooner than five (5) working days after the respondent admits to having violated a code and/or other policy and elects to proceed.

5. The Honor Board/Panel/Conduct Official - Response of Not In Violation

5.1    The respondent and the complainant shall be given written notification of the date, time, and place of the hearing scheduled before the conduct body or official. Documentation of notification will be placed on file. The allegation(s) and/or name(s) of witness(es) may be different from those in the original notice as a result of additional information being made available to the Dean of Students Office through further investigation. Notice shall be given at least five (5) working days in advance of the hearing before the conduct body or official. Respondent students who fail to appear for the hearing after proper notice will have their case considered in their absence, based on evidence and testimony available.

5.2    The Dean of Students Office will provide a list of all witnesses to the allegation(s) to the presiding officer or official prior to the hearing. The Dean of Students Office may require the participation of witnesses when there is a reasonable basis to believe that a witness has knowledge pertinent to the issues. Mandatory participation orders will only be used when a witness has been asked to attend and states that s/he is unwilling to appear voluntarily.

5.3    The case file, containing statement(s) of the witness(es) and all other pertinent information, will be available for review in the Dean of Students Office prior to the hearing. All members of the conduct body or official shall read the case file prior to the hearing.

5.4    Both the respondent and the complainant may be accompanied at the hearing by an honor advisor, another non-attorney advisor, or an attorney. A respondent who wishes to be accompanied by an attorney must inform the Dean of Students Office in writing at least two (2) working days before the scheduled date of the hearing. If the respondent or complainant chooses to have an attorney present to advise him/her, the College’s legal counsel may be present to advise the conduct body or official. When honor advisors or attorneys appear, their participation is advisory only; they shall not ask questions or participate in the hearing itself. No honor advisors or attorneys shall be present during deliberation.

5.5    Hearings will be closed to the public, unless the respondent or complainant requests that others attend.  The granting or denying of this request shall be subject to a majority vote of the conduct body or the official presiding over the case. 

5.6    If the respondent or the complainant has any special needs with regard to the hearing set-up, the request for accommodation must be relayed to the Dean of Students Office at least two (2) working days prior to the actual hearing. The Dean of Students Office may, after reviewing a request, ask the conduct body or official to accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, respondent, and/or other witnesses during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, audio tape, written statement, or other means.

5.7    The Chair of the conduct body will be the presiding officer. In his/her absence, the Dean of Students Office will designate another member of the conduct body to serve in this capacity.

5.8    After reviewing his/her case file (available in the Dean of Students Office), which lists the  members or official called to hear the case, the respondent and complainant may challenge the empanelling of a particular conduct body member  or official on the basis of personal bias. The challenge must be made in writing to the Dean of Students Office at least two (2) working days prior to the actual hearing.

5.9    The presiding officer or official will begin the hearing by stating the allegation(s) and asking the respondent if he/she wishes to change his/her response to the allegation(s). If the response is an admission of a violation, the presiding officer or official will follow the procedures set forth in “Admission of a Violation.” If the response is no violation, the presiding officer or official will proceed to call the investigator and/or witness(es) to the allegation(s) in an order which seems logical to him/her from the witness list and the witness statements and information in the case file.

5.10   Witness(es), complainant and the respondent shall testify under oath or affirmation administered by the presiding officer or official.

5.11    Prospective witnesses will testify one at a time and may be excluded from the hearing during the testimony of other witnesses. Witnesses to the allegation(s) shall testify first; then the respondent may call witnesses and/or testify him/herself. Both the respondent and the complainant shall have the right to be present during the testimony of all witnesses, to question all witnesses, and to argue his/her case.  EXCEPTION:  IN CASES OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALL QUESTIONING IS DONE BY THE PRESIDING OFFICER AND MEMBERS OF THE CONDUCT BODY OR CONDUCT OFFICIAL ONLY. 

5.12   The burden of proof is upon the complainant or the College as complainant, and proof of a violation of the code by the respondent must be by a preponderance of the evidence. (This standard is not as stringent as proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is required for criminal convictions.) Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable during the hearing. The presiding officer or official shall admit all matters into evidence, including hearsay, if relevant, which reasonable persons would accept as having probative value in the conduct of their affairs. Unduly repetitious or irrelevant evidence may be excluded.

5.13   Written statements may be admitted into evidence at the discretion of the Dean of Students if there is good cause why the witness cannot appear in person. Conduct body members or the official may take notice of matters which would be within the general experience of college students at the College of Charleston.

5.14   If, at any time, the presiding officer or official finds it proper and necessary to recess the hearing or to continue it to a new time, she/he may do so.

5.15   A finding of “in violation” requires a majority vote of the conduct body. The presiding officer of the conduct body votes only in the case of a tie.

5.16   After a finding of “in violation” has been rendered by the conduct body or official, the presiding officer or official can inform the complainant that an “impact statement” may be submitted by the complainant, orally or in writing, outlining the impact of the respondent’s behavior on the complainant’s personal life and/or educational goals.

5.17   Records of prior disciplinary action(s) shall not be relevant to the determination of a violation of the code, but shall be provided to the conduct body or official only after a determination of a violation for the deliberations as to sanctions. EXCEPTION:  IN CASES OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT PRIOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION MAY BE INTRODUCED PRIOR TO THE DETERMINATION OF A VIOLATION OF THE POLICY.

5.18   Decisions of the conduct body or official shall be communicated to the Dean of Students or designee for review and action. 

6. Status of a Student/Group Pending Final Resolution of a Disciplinary Case

6.1 Until a final resolution is determined, the status of a student/group will not change unless interim restrictions have been imposed
to protect the health and safety of the complainant/respondent/student group or the College community. 

7. Violations Committed during Final exam periods, Maymester or Summer Sessions

7.1 These procedures shall be in effect during final exam periods, Maymester and summer sessions. Efforts will be made to consolidate several hearings at one time so as not to inordinately interfere with the exam and summer schedules of the conduct body members and the parties involved. Therefore, the period of time between the violation(s) and the hearing may be longer than during the regular school year. Further, during these periods, the student may choose for an official in Student Affairs to hear a response of no violation or to determine a sanction for an admission to a violation in order to expedite their case.