Student Code of Conduct

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University of Hawai'i - West O'ahu

Student Code of Conduct

 

ARTICLE IV: STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS (DUE PROCESS)

A. Charges and Student Conduct Officer Meetings

1. Any member of the UH West O'ahu community may file a report against a student for (an) alleged violation(s) of the Student Code. All students accused of violating this Code are entitled to due process, which includes written notification of the alleged violation and a reasonable opportunity to respond and provide evidence and/or witnesses to be considered prior to any final decision.

2. An allegation of a Student Code violation must be directed to the VCSA (or his or her designee) using the online report found here:  http://goo.gl/forms/vNWnzWIhB0.  Any report of a violation of the Student Code should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place.  However, all reports will be reviewed in accordance with this process, regardless of when the report is filed.

3. The DoC will be responsible for training and assigning Student Code cases to appropriate Student Conduct Officers when necessary.

4. The DoC (or assigned Student Conduct Officer) will conduct an impartial and reliable preliminary fact-finding investigation of all allegations to determine if the allegation(s) have merit and/or if they can be resolved administratively. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings.

5. If it is determined that the allegation(s) has/have merit, the Respondent will receive written notification that (an) alleged violation(s) has/have been reported.

6. All official correspondence regarding the Student Code process will be communicated to the Respondent through their official UH West O'ahu email account, unless otherwise requested in writing by the Respondent.

7. In the notification, the student will be directed to make an appointment with the DoC (or the assigned Student Conduct Officer) to review the facts concerning the alleged violation(s) in order to determine if the Respondent will be formally charged with (a) violation(s) of the Student Code.

8. During the scheduled meeting, the Respondent will meet one on one with the Student Conduct Officer, and must provide a picture ID to confirm the proper identity of the Respondent (if unknown by the Student Conduct Officer). Representatives, parents or authorized campus personnel will only be allowed in this meeting at the discretion of the DoC (or the assigned Student Conduct Officer) when deemed appropriate.  In addition, a FERPA release must be signed by the Respondent.

9. If the Respondent is unable to, or does not wish to meet with the DoC (or the assigned Student Conduct Officer) in person, the Respondent may submit a statement in writing (via their UH West O'ahu email account or in person) responding to the allegation(s), within the required response period.

Other arrangements may be made to facilitate the meeting, such as video or phone conference, when a face to face meeting may be difficult for the Respondent and at the sole discretion of the DoC (or the assigned Student Conduct Officer).  In situations where a meeting other than a face to face meeting will be held, the student must provide a copy of their identification to the Student Conduct Officer before the meeting occur.  A face to face meeting is always the preferred option.

If a the Respondent fails to provide a copy of their identification prior to the start of the meeting, the meeting may be rescheduled.

After reviewing the available facts with the Respondent, and/or after reviewing the Respondent’s statement, a decision will be made whether to formally charge the Respondent with (a) violation(s) of the Student Code, administratively resolve the complaint, or further the fact-finding based on information provided by the Respondent.

10. If the decision is made to further the fact-finding, the Respondent will be notified via email once the fact-finding has been completed and/or for follow-up information when necessary.

11. Based on all the facts and circumstances presented, the charge(s) may be amended or changed, and the Respondent will be made aware of the change(s) immediately or as soon as possible verbally or in writing.

12. In the event that the Respondent fails to contact the Student Conduct Officer within five (5) working days of the date listed on the written notification (excluding Saturday and Sunday), a hold will be placed on the Respondent's record until the Respondent responds to the notification, which may result in the Respondent's enrollment or records being delayed or withheld.

13. If a decision is made to formally charge the Respondent, the Respondent shall be be communicated verbally during the meeting with a follow up in writing via email as soon as possible, or via the student’s UH West O'ahu email.

14. If the Reporter requests an alternate form of resolution, and the Respondent agrees, then the parties will engage in informal resolution. If the informal resolution results in mutual satisfaction of both parties, then the case will be considered resolved.  If the case is not resolved, then it may be forwarded to the Student Conduct Officer for resolution.

Informal resolution is not available for cases involving discrimination and/or sex/gender based discrimination [Article III(B)(3) and III(B)(4)(a-e)] unless the Reporter or Victim requests it, and the Respondent agrees to participate.

15. Prior to a Student Conduct Officer meeting, the Respondent shall be provided the following:

a. Written notification regarding how the alleged violation came to the attention of UH West O'ahu;

b. A detailed written summary of the allegation(s) so that the Respondent may properly prepare for his or her meeting or response to the allegation(s);

c. A reasonable opportunity to provide his or her statement for consideration, as well the names of any relevant witnesses for consideration by the Student Conduct Officer before a final decision is made.

16. Student Conduct Officer meetings shall be conducted using the following guidelines except as provided by Article IV(A)(21) below:

a. The Student Conduct Officer meeting will be scheduled at the convenience of the Student Conduct Officer, however, all efforts will be made to schedule the meeting as soon as possible (considering the student’s on campus schedule).

b. The parties may provide the Student Conduct Officer with a list of potential witnesses and a summary of information and/or copies of documents or relevant information they believe will assist the Student Conduct Officer in understanding their version of events.

c. The Student Conduct Officer, in his or her sole discretion, will determine which information is relevant given the report and or the facts and circumstances.

d. All Student Conduct Officer meetings shall be conducted in private. In cases involving sex and gender-based discrimination [as defined under Article III(B)(4)(a-d)], UH West O'ahu will keep the complaint and fact-finding private to the extent possible or as required by law. [Please refer to the UH System’s Executive Policy EP 1.204: Interim Policy and Procedure on Sex Discrimination and Gender-Based Violence] However, for safety reasons, the Student Conduct Officer may request the presence of Campus Security during any conduct meeting.

e. In cases involving more than one Respondent, the Student Conduct Officer, will conduct the meetings separately, to determine the responsibility of each student.

f. The tone of the meeting will be educational and not adversarial.

g. Pertinent information received from witnesses and the parties, records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by a Student Conduct Officer at the sole discretion of the Student Conduct Officer.

h. Requests for a continuance shall be at the discretion of the Student Conduct Officer.

i. During the meeting, the Student Conduct Officer shall determine whether the Respondent has violated each section of the Student Code in which the Respondent is alleged with violating. However, the Student Conduct Officer may also consider a different charge if he or she believes the facts support (a) charge(s) different than the charge(s) the Respondent was originally charged with.  If the charge(s) is/are different from the charge(s) listed in the original notification, then the Student Conduct Officer will discuss or notice the Respondent so that he/she may respond appropriately to the new charge(s).

j. The Student Conduct Officer’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether “more likely than not” (“preponderance of the evidence” standard of proof) the Respondent violated the Student Code.

k. Formal rules of procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as those that are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used (and do not apply) in this Student Code process.

l. If a disruption occurs during the meeting, the Student Conduct Officer, in his or her sole discretion may have the disruptive party removed from the meeting, and the Student Conduct Officer shall be authorized to make a determination on the information already provided. If the individual causing the disruption is a student, he or she may be charged with a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, specifically, “disruption of administration.”

17. There shall be a single verbatim record of all Student Conduct Officer meetings. The digital recording[32] shall be the property of UH West O'ahu. This recording will be maintained only until the appeal process has concluded (if applicable) or as deemed necessary by UH West O'ahu. For the purposes of FERPA the recording is considered an educational record and cannot be released unless a release is signed by all students with identifiable information contained in the recording.  A student involved in the recording may request an opportunity to review the recording (in the presence of an authorized employee) if the meeting only involved one student without discussion of any witnesses (on the recording), and the student on the recording is the individual requesting the review.

18. If after receiving notice, a Respondent elects not to appear or provide a written statement (in lieu of an appearance) to a Student Conduct Officer prior to a meeting, the Student Conduct Officer shall render a determination using information that has been provided. In addition, the Respondent shall be considered to have “waived” his or her right to an appeal, and the decision of the Student Conduct Officer will be considered final.

19. If the Student Conduct Officer has made a decision as to whether “more likely than not” the Respondent has violated at least one provision of the Student Code of Conduct, the Student Conduct Officer will consider (an) appropriate sanction(s).

20. UH West O'ahu uses progressive discipline as a means for preserving its educational and working environment. Once a Respondent has been found responsible for violating the Student Code, the Student Conduct Officer will use all information available, including but not limited to: prior violations of the Student Code (if any), community service involvement, and/or employment to determine (an) appropriate sanction(s).

21. All Reporters will receive information regarding the notification of the alleged violations to the Respondents, as well as, the outcome and final decision of the case. Sexual misconduct Reporters or Victims (offenses listed under Article III(B)(4)(a-d)) will receive a copy of  the actual notification and sanction letter sent to the Respondent, with appropriate redactions (or as required under Interim Executive Policy EP 1.204).

22. The Student Conduct Officer may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the Student Conduct Officer, Reporter, Respondent, and/or other witness while the case is being resolved. These concerns may be addressed in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, UH West O'ahu No Contact Orders, campus security presence at meetings, removal from class, campus or area for a short period or reasonable schedule adjustments. Removal for a period longer than a day requires an Interim Suspension (see Article IV(C)).

23. Both parties will be given information regarding the status of the case when it has been resolved by a Student Conduct Officer via email. Information regarding the appeal process shall be made available to both parties.

B. Sanctions

1. In cases where a student has been found “more likely than not” to have engaged in prohibited conduct (as listed under Article III(B)(1-3) & (5-17) above), UH West O'ahu will impose discipline that is consistent with the impact of the offense on the UH West O'ahu community. Progressive discipline principles will be followed in that the student's prior disciplinary history at UH West O'ahu (and any other institution of higher education, if applicable) will be taken into account, along with any other relevant information while determining sanctions. Disciplinary action taken against a student may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:

a. Written Warning—A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations and a copy of the warning letter is placed in the student’s disciplinary file.

b. Probation—Probation is for a designated period of time (which may include the remainder of their enrollment at UH West O'ahu) and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period. This sanction may require the student to meet with the VCSA (or his or her designee) upon request.

c. Loss of Privileges—Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.

d. Restitution—Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.

e. Discretionary Sanctions—Work assignments, essays, service to UH West O'ahu, Community Service or other related discretionary or educational related assignments.

f. UH West O'ahu No Contact Orders- No unnecessary contact between the Respondent and the Reporter, witnesses, or other individuals (when appropriate).

g. Suspension—Separation of the student from UH West O'ahu for a definite period of time (usually 1 year or less) after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. Suspensions may be effective immediately or deferred.

h. Dismissal—Separation of the student from UH West O'ahu for more than 1 year. The student may be eligible for return. Conditions for readmission, if any, will be specified.  Dismissals will be effective immediately unless otherwise stated.

i. Expulsion—Separation of the student from UH West O'ahu permanently. Expulsions will be effective immediately, unless otherwise stated.

j. Revocation of Admission and/or Degree—Admission to or a degree awarded from UH West O'ahu may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of UH West O'ahu standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.

2. Withholding Degree or Certificate—UH West O'ahu may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

3. More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.

4. The following sanctions may be imposed upon recognized UH West O'ahu student groups or organizations:

a. Those sanctions listed above in Article IV(B)(1)(a-j).

b. Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time.

c. Deactivation (Loss of all privileges may be issued, including UH West O'ahu recognition, for a specified period of time.)

5. Once the Student Conduct Officer has determined that a student and/or group or organization has violated the Student Code, the Student Conduct Officer shall make a final determination of the sanction to be imposed, taking into consideration all information presented at the meeting.

6. The Student Conduct Officer shall advise the Respondent, group and/or organization in writing of the decision and of the sanction(s) imposed, if any.

C. Interim Suspension

In certain circumstances, the Student Conduct Officer, may impose an interim suspension prior to a Student Conduct Officer meeting.

1. Interim suspension may only be imposed in the following circumstances:

a. To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the UH West O'ahu community or preservation of UH West O'ahu property; or

b. To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or

c. If the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of UH West O'ahu.

2. Interim suspension will take effect immediately upon the direction of the Student Conduct Officer and last for no more than ten (10) working days (Saturdays and Sundays are not included). The 10-day period may be extended for good cause by the DoC or by agreement with the Respondent.

3. During the interim suspension, the respondent shall be denied access to the campus (including face-to-face and online classes when appropriate) and/or all other UH West O'ahu activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the DoC may determine to be appropriate.

4. The interim suspension does not replace the regular process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule, up to and including the completion of the Student Conduct Officer hearing, submission of sanctions (if any), and if required, may include appeal processes (if any).

D. Appeals

1. A decision reached by the DoC or Student Conduct Officer may be appealed by either the Respondent(s) or the Reporter(s) within five (5) working days, excluding Saturday and Sunday, of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing, using the appropriate appeal form, and must be delivered to the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs C-247 or submitted using the online appeal form here: http://goo.gl/forms/WGOAUbkr7h.

2. The VCSA (or his or her designee, not the DoC) shall serve as the Appellate Officer in the case, or shall assign an appropriate trained Appellate Officer to the case. The Appellate Officer shall have the sole authority to determine whether or not an appeal warrants further review.

3. When an appeal has been submitted by one party, a copy of the appeal will be sent to the other party to allow the non-appealing party to respond, if they chose. The non-appealing party will be given (3) working days, excluding Saturday and Sunday, to submit a response to the appeal. If no response by the non-appealing party is submitted, the Appellate Officer shall make a final determination on the information provided by the appealing party.

4. An appeal that has been accepted for review shall be limited to a review of the verbatim recording of the Student Conduct Officer meeting and all supporting documents for one (or more) of the following reasons only:

a. There was a material deviation from written procedures that jeopardized the fairness of the process; or

b. There was new information that was unavailable at the time of the meeting, would have resulted in a different outcome; or

c. There was a demonstrable bias by the Student Conduct Officer (this option is only available in cases where there is a digital recording of the Student Conduct Officer’s meeting and it is available to review); or

d. The sanction was substantially disproportionate to the severity of
the violation, given the facts and relevant information.

5. If an appeal is granted, then the designated Appellate Officer shall consider the basis for the appeal and make a determination on the issue presented that fairly addresses the alleged appeal issue ONLY. Decisions of the Appellate Officer when an appeal is granted are as follows:

a. Assign another Student Conduct Officer and re-notice the student in accordance with the procedures.

b. Consider the new information presented and make the final determination and sanctions.

c. Assign another Student Conduct Officer to review the information and make a decision regarding responsibility.

d. Issue appropriate sanctions that are proportionate to the severity of the violation.

The Appellate Officer may request written clarification from the parties that the Appellate Officer deems appropriate to make a determination regarding the appeal request.

The decision of the Appellate Officer (or a Student Conduct Officer, when the case is assigned by an Appellate Officer for an appellate purpose) when made in any circumstances listed above, shall be final and binding upon all involved.

6. If an appeal is denied by the Appellate Officer, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all parties involved.