The Potsdam Pledge
Being more than a collection of individuals, SUNY Potsdam is a community dedicated to the pursuit of common goals. While these goals can be elusive and controversial, the community described in this document reminds us not only of what we are seeking to become but of all that we share in common. Therefore, let it be known that.
SUNY Potsdam strives to be:
- An Educational Community: sharing academic goals in which students, faculty and staff work together to strengthen teaching and learning;
- An Open Community: uncompromisingly protecting freedom of thought, belief and expression;
- A Civil Community: expressing disagreements in rational and non-threatening ways and treating all individuals with consideration, decency and respect;
- A Responsible Community: accepting obligations under clearly articulated principles of behavior designed to support the common good;
- A Safe Community: respecting each other's rights, privacy and property;
- A Healthy Community: respecting and promoting physical and emotional wellness;
- An Ethical Community: reflecting honesty, integrity and fairness in both academic and extracurricular activities;
- A Diverse Community: celebrating our differences and learning from our diversity;
- A Socially Conscious Community: seeking to contribute to the betterment of the campus, the local community, the nation and the world; and
- A Watchful Community: remaining alert to the threats posed by hatred, intolerance and other injustices and ever-prepared to combat them.
I. Definition of Terms
When used in this Code:
A. The terms "College," "institution," and "SUNY Potsdam" mean the State University of New York at Potsdam, and collectively, those responsible for its control and operation.
B. The term "student" includes all persons taking courses at the College both full-time and part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or extended education courses, or those individuals who were students at the time of a reported violation of the Code, as well as individuals on College premises for any purpose related to registration for enrollment. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship as a student with the College are considered "students."
C. The term "faculty" means any person employed by the institution to conduct instructional activities.
D. The term "staff" means any person employed by the institution in any other capacity.
E. In certain situations a person may be both "student" and "faculty" or "staff." One's status shall be determined by the context of the particular situation.
F. The term "Hearing Board" means a board consisting of one student and two faculty/staff convened to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code and to determine sanctions that may be imposed.
G. The term "Hearing Officer" means a member of the faculty or staff authorized to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code and to determine sanctions that may be imposed.
H.The term "organization" means a number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements of institutional recognition.
I. The term "member of the College community" includes any person who is a student, faculty member, College official, member of an organization, or any other person employed by or affiliated with the College. The Dean of Students, or designee, shall determine a person's status in a particular situation.
J. The term "college premises" includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used or controlled by the college (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
K."Presenter" shall be a member of the institutional community appointed by the Dean of Students or designee to present cases herein. The presenter does not represent any one party involved but rather offers the basic information on the case at hand.
L. "Advocates" are an initial contact for students who feel they have been victims of a Sexual Misconduct or any Harassment. Advocates will guide students to, and, if necessary, through their options including the campus student conduct system. An Advocate may serve as advisor to the reported victim during the actual proceedings of the student conduct system.
M. "Advisor" is a person who aids the victim or accused in the student conduct process as set forth herein.
N. The term "shall" is used in the imperative sense.
O. The term "may" is used in the permissive sense.
II. Bill of Rights
The enumeration of these rights shall not be taken to deny or disparage other rights retained by students as members of the institutional community.
A. Freedom of expression, inquiry and assembly are guaranteed to all students.
B. Students shall be free to pursue their educational goals. The institution shall provide reasonable and appropriate opportunities for learning.
C. All students shall be free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of College policy and on matters of interest to the student body.
D. Clearly defined means shall be provided for student participation in the formulation and application of College policy affecting academic and student life.
E. Students shall familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations governing their behavior as members of the institutional community. The burden of providing students with such a reasonable opportunity to be informed rests with the institution. SUNY Potsdam will provide information to each student on how to access the Code of Students Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.
F. A student accused of violating institutional rules shall have the right to a fair and impartial hearing.
G. Access to his or her academic record is guaranteed to every student, subject only to reasonable regulations as to time, place and manner.
H. The rights of students shall not be abridged or denied on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, creed, color, disability, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status or organizational affiliation.
III. Classroom Experience
A. In those courses in which discussion is appropriate, students shall have the right to express views on the course material different from those of the instructor.
B. Students shall have the right to a fair and accurate description of course requirements at the beginning of the course.
C. Students have the right to protection through orderly procedures against prejudicial conduct or capricious academic evaluation.
A. Discussion and expression of all views are permitted within the institution subject only to the requirements of the Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order and this document. Support of any cause by orderly means which do not disrupt the operations of the institution shall be permitted.
B. Students and campus organizations may invite and hear any persons of their own choosing subject only to the requirements for use of institutional facilities.
C. Any student or organization may publish and distribute written material on-campus without prior approval providing such distribution does not disrupt the operations of the College. The College may impose reasonable restrictions on the posting, distribution or display of material.
D. The student press and the student electronic media shall be free from censorship. Sanctions shall not be imposed because of student, faculty, administration, alumni, or community disapproval of editorial policy or content. The student press and media shall exercise this freedom in a manner consistent with the canons of responsible journalism.
E. No individual, group or organization may use the College name without express authorization of the College except to identify institutional affiliation. The student media shall explicitly state on the editorial page or in broadcast that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the student body or the College.
V. Student Organizations
A. Organizations may be established within the institution for any legal purpose. Affiliation with an extramural organization shall not, in itself, disqualify the institutional branch or chapter from institutional privileges.
B. Membership in all institution related organizations shall be open to any qualified member of the institutional community who is willing to subscribe to the stated aims and meet the stated obligations of membership in the organization.
C. Membership lists are confidential and solely for the use of the organizations except that names and addresses may be required as a condition of access to College funds.
D. Institutional facilities shall be assigned to organizations for regular business meetings, for social programs, and for programs open to the public. The College may impose reasonable regulations on the use of facilities.
E. The Student Government Association shall require financial accountability for all allocated funds and shall further require that all expenditures be made in a manner consistent with student activity fee guidelines established by the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York.
VI.Preservation Of Student Records
No student record may be preserved beyond graduation or other final departure from the institution except:
A. Academic records subject to the limitations of the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
B. Financial records of continuing obligations.
C. Medical and psychiatric records subject to the normal rules pertaining to privileged information.
D. Placement records.
E. Records retained as required by law.
VII. Prohibited Conduct
SUNY Potsdam is an academic community committed to the principles of civility and fairness in pursuit of a purposeful academic experience. The provisions that follow shall govern the students of SUNY Potsdam as members of this institutional community. The SUNY Potsdam Code shall apply to conduct that occurs on College premises, at College sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the College community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student shall be responsible for his or her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment, even if his/her conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded. The Code shall apply to a student's conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.
Students under 21 years of age may not use, possess, distribute, sell, or knowingly be in the presence of alcoholic beverages on the college campus or in the SUNY Potsdam community except as expressly permitted by the law or college policy.
- Banned Organizations
Affiliating with any group that has been permanently banned by the College is prohibited. For this purpose, affiliation is defined as joining, rushing, pledging, or being involved in any activity that would normally be associated with being a member of an organization. In addition, residing in facilities that are owned or controlled by a banned organization is considered affiliation.
Failure to comply with directions of institutional officials acting in the performance of their duties is prohibited. Institutional officials include faculty and staff of the College and student employees who are carrying out assigned work responsibilities based on their employment.
- Damage and/or Theft
Theft from or damage to institutional premises or theft of or damage to the property of others is prohibited.
- Dishonesty; including but not limited to the following:
a. Acts of academic dishonesty, to include but not limited to, such as cheating and plagiarism.
b. Furnishing false information to any college official, faculty member or office.
c. Forgery, altercation or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification.
- Disruptive Behavior
a. Intentional disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other institutional activities is prohibited. This behavior includes but is not limited to excessive noise, abusive or obscene language in a public place, obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic and boisterous or threatening conduct which is unreasonable in the area, time or manner in which it occurs.
b. Individual behavior which adversely affects the quality of life on campus or unduly disturbs one or more members of the College community is prohibited. There will be special attention placed on incidents where it is apparent that consumption of alcohol or some other substance is a primary contributing factor.
Willfully impeding the proper function of doors is prohibited. Propping open exterior or interior doors that allow access to a locked facility is prohibited. Unauthorized entry into any building or facility is prohibited.
a. Students may not use, possess, distribute, sell, or knowingly be in the presence of marijuana, other illegal drugs, and/or controlled substances.
b. Any items that can be utilized for or are designed for the use of drugs (e.g. bowls, bongs, etc.) are prohibited. Any items that are fashioned for the purpose of drug use will also be considered a violation of this policy.
c. Students may not use, possess, distribute, sell, or knowingly be in the presence of synthetic cannabinoids or other similar substances.
Willfully overloading, damaging, dismantling or tampering with elevators or elevator equipment is prohibited.
a. Tampering with fire safety equipment on campus is prohibited.
b. Intentionally, carelessly, or recklessly causing the false report of a fire alarm, either personally or by activating the fire alarm system is prohibited.
c. Intentionally, carelessly or recklessly causing a fire to be ignited in any College building or on the grounds of the campus without a legitimate purpose is prohibited.
d. Intentionally interfering with or failing to follow emergency procedures, including fire drills/alarms, is prohibited.
This may also be a criminal offense and persons apprehended and found responsible may be subject to both College sanctions and criminal penalties.
Includes such acts as, but is not limited to:
a. Attempting or threatening to subject another person to unwanted physical contact.
b. Stalking any person by any means including by physical, electronic, written or telephonic means.
c. Persistent, pervasive, or severe bullying behaviors such as theft or destruction of personal property, public humiliation, intimidating or threatening behaviors.
d. Directing obscene language or gestures at another person or group of people in a threatening manner.
I. Bias-Related Harassment. Harassing conduct that limits or denies equal treatment of another person or persons and is based on race, religion, gender, age, creed, color, disability, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status or organizational affiliation or other protected characteristics is prohibited.
- Oral, written, graphic or physical conduct relating to an individual's race, color, national origin (including an individual's ancestry, country of origin, or country of origin of the student's parents, family members, or ancestors) or other protected characteristics that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the educational institution's programs or activities is also prohibited.
- Such bias-related acts may subject the offender(s) to more serious levels of sanctioning.
Respect for the dignity and rights of other students are a basic tenet of the College community. Any activity expected of someone that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or which endangers the mental, emotional, or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in an organization or team whose members are or include students at SUNY Potsdam is prohibited. Hazing may occur regardless of the person's willingness to participate. Note: A person commits a hazing offense if the person engages in hazing; solicits, encourages, directs, aids or attempts to aid another engaging in hazing; or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly permits hazing to occur. Hazing is prohibited in this community.
- Published Institutional Rules
Violation of any published institutional rule, such as Residence Life policies, the Acceptable Use Policy (campus computer use policy), and the Academic Honor Code.
- Reckless Action
The taking of any action or the creating or participating in the creation of any situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health is prohibited.
- Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature which interferes with a student's performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
- Sexual Misconduct
a. Any sexual act that occurs without the consent of the victim, or that occurs when the victim is unable to give consent is prohibited.
b. Obscene or indecent behavior, which includes, but is not limited to, exposure of one's sexual organs or the display of sexual behavior that would reasonably be offensive to others, is prohibited.
Note:The act of consent requires spoken words or behavior that indicates, without doubt to either party, a mutual agreement to participate in sexual intercourse or other sexual activities. Indicators of consent do not include silence or past or present sexual relationships. A person is deemed incapable of consenting when that person is developmentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, physically helpless (whether induced by drugs, alcohol, otherwise), or asleep. The use of alcohol or other drugs cannot be considered an excuse for Sexual Misconduct. Sexual Misconduct can be committed by a friend, acquaintance, or stranger.
- Surreptitious Electronic Use
Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to secretly make an audio, video, photographic, or digital record of any person while on College premises or the College community without their prior knowledge or without their effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, secretly taking pictures of another person in a locker room or restroom.
- Violation of Law
Violation of any local, state or federal law or rule and/or regulation established by the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York is prohibited.
The possession on campus of any weapons, including but not limited to, firearms and ammunition, explosives, knives over four inches, swords, martial arts equipment, stun guns, air guns, paint-ball guns, pellet guns, clubs, crossbows, archery equipment, sling shots etc. is prohibited.
The following sanctions may be imposed after proper procedures have been followed if the preponderance of the evidence establishes a violation of prohibited conduct. The list is not exhaustive. Hearing Boards and Hearing Officers may impose any single sanction listed or any combination of them. These agencies may impose any other sanction not foreclosed by state and/or federal law, by this Code, or by the policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York. When determining disciplinary sanctions, the Hearing Board or Hearing Officer shall consider a student's past disciplinary record. Repeat offenses, especially in the areas of alcohol or other drugs, have the potential for the recommendation of suspension or expulsion.
Hearing Board/Officer Sanctions
a. Conditional Discharge: Dismissal of charges on conditions established by the disciplinary agency.
b. Disciplinary Probation: Probationary status for a specified length of time during which a student, if found responsible for violations of policy, will be subject to more severe sanctions.
c. Residence Hall Probation: Loss of priority in the housing assignment process and notification that the student's housing privilege is in jeopardy.
d. Restitution: Compensation for damages done or payment for expenses incurred as a result of the student's behavior. In most cases, this sanction should be imposed in conjunction with another sanction.
e. Community Service: Assignment of tasks to be carried out within a specific period of time.
f. Residence Hall or Campus Restriction: Restriction from appearing in any residence hall or other area of campus. Other restrictions may be imposed such as denial of access to specified campus services or activities. A student may also be barred from the entire campus if behavior threatens the health, safety or well-being of the College community.
g. Disciplinary Removal from Residence: Removal from College residence halls on either a permanent basis or for a stated period of time without refund.
h. No Contact Order: A directive that the sanctioned student shall stay away from other faculty, staff, or student(s) and shall not in any way communicate or interact with said named faculty, staff, or student(s).
i. Restriction Order: A directive restricting the sanctioned student from certain stated acts, activities, places, people or things.
j. Deferred Suspension: This sanction is imposed when the hearing officer/board has found the student/s responsible for a violation sufficient to warrant suspension but feels there are mitigating circumstances that warrant one final chance. Being found responsible for another violation during the period of deferred suspension no matter how minor, will result in immediate suspension.
Note: Failure to complete sanctions by the assigned deadline will result in a "Judicial Hold". The "Hold" will remain in effect until all assigned sanctions are complete. The "Hold" means you are unable to register or make changes to your class schedule.
Recommendations to President
Hearing boards/officers may recommend the following sanctions. Only the President of the College (or designee) can impose them. Such a case is not acted upon by the President until the student conduct process, to include appeal, is completed.
A. Disciplinary Suspension:
- Partial suspension: exclusion from particular activities, academic or co-curricular, for a limited period of time.
- Full suspension: exclusion from all College activities for a limited period of time.
a. Students sanctioned with full suspension shall not receive credit for the semester in which the suspension occurred, and will be liable for all tuition and fees for that semester.
b. Student will not be allowed on the SUNY Potsdam campus, as a student, guest, employee, or in any other role or for any other purpose without permission of the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards
B. Disciplinary Expulsion: Permanently separates the student from the College.
- Students sanctioned with expulsion shall not receive credit for the semester in which the expulsion occurred and will be liable for all tuition and fees for that semester.
- Student will not be allowed on the SUNY Potsdam campus as a student, guest, employee, or in any other role or for any other purpose without permission of the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
Conduct that leads to death or serious physical injury of another person including, but not limited to, hazing, physical abuse or Sexual Misconduct, will result in a permanent transcript notation indicating a disciplinary separation from the College. The transcripts shall read "Suspension – Disciplinary" or "Expulsion – Disciplinary". Further, students found responsible for such violations shall not receive credit for the semester in which the suspension or expulsion occurred and will be liable for all tuition and fees for that semester.
IX.Student Conduct Hearings
College disciplinary proceedings are not civil or criminal court hearings. Thus, the due process requirements for hearings conducted under this Code are not identical to the due process requirements of courts of law. College disciplinary proceedings shall extend fundamental fairness to all parties, which include the presumption of innocence, as required by SUNY.
Responsibility shall be established by a reasonable conclusion based upon the evidence presented.
- Any academic or administrative official, faculty or staff member, or student may file a complaint against any student or student organization. The organization's president or designee shall represent the organization charged throughout the student conduct process.
- Any party involved in disciplinary proceedings may be accompanied by another individual - Friend, Advocate, or Advisor - whose role shall be advisory only.
- For cases involving the subject matter of the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board see IX (B) herein.
- A Hearing Board/Officer member who is unable to be impartial for whatever reason shall disqualify himself or herself.
- The institution may make a preliminary investigation to determine if the charges may be disposed of informally to the satisfaction of all parties involved without the initiation of formal disciplinary proceedings. If all parties do not agree to informal disposition of charges, then the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards must initiate formal charges see X (D).
- All charges shall be initiated by the filing of a written complaint with the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Said officer shall conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if formal charges are to be filed.
- If charges are filed, the accused student shall have the choice of either an Administrative Agreement in Waiver of a Hearing with the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards or designee or a hearing before a Hearing Board or Hearing Officer, as directed by the student conduct charge letter, except in cases of reported Harassment or Sexual Misconduct.
- Upon the service of notice of charges, the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards may suspend a student for an interim period pending disciplinary proceedings whenever there is evidence that the continued presence of the student on the campus poses a substantial threat to himself/herself or others, or to the stability and continuance of normal College functions.
- A student suspended on an interim basis shall, upon his or her request, be given an opportunity to appear personally before the Dean of Students or designee, within five (5) school days from the effective date of the interim suspension except when the student is physically or mentally incapacitated, or when he or she has been incarcerated. In such cases, the meeting shall be held at the student's request as soon as is practical. A meeting shall then be held on the following issues only:
a.The reliability of the information concerning the student's conduct, including the matter of his or her identity;
b.Whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student on the College campus poses a substantial threat to himself/herself or to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal College functions.
- If a violation of the Code of Conduct occurs when the College is not in session, between semesters, when the Boards have not been formed, when the end of the semester precludes conformance to the established procedures, and an Administrative Agreement in Waiver of a Hearing is not a viable option, a hearing before a Hearing Officer shall be held in lieu of a Hearing Board.
This determination shall be made by the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards. In such cases, appeal from the decision of the Hearing Officer shall be to the Dean of Students.
- All effort will be made to ensure that the calendar of the disciplinary proceedings shall be set between three and ten days from the date of notification of the filing of formal charges by the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards. The actual disciplinary hearing shall be scheduled in a manner that is both expeditious and fair to all parties. The accused student shall receive written notification of the date, time and place of the hearing.
- All disciplinary hearings are presumptively closed to the college community in an effort to maintain confidentiality of student conduct/education records.
- In hearings involving more than one party, the Hearing Board/Officer may agree to separate hearings for any of the accused upon request by that student no less than twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the hearing.
- The complainant and accused party shall have the right to offer witnesses and to challenge evidence and/or witnesses against him or her.
- Hearing Procedures:
a. The accused shall be asked how he or she pleads to the accusation(s).
b. If the plea is "not responsible," the Presenter shall present the evidence of the investigation.
c. Either the victim or the accused may thereafter present additional evidence.
d.The complainant, accused and presenter may ask the Hearing Board/Officer to ask clarifying questions regarding testimony and/or evidence.
e. Closing statements may be given.
- There shall be either a digest or a verbatim record of the hearing. Access to this record must be made available to either the victim or the accused for use in an appeal.
- No recommendation for the imposition of sanctions may be based solely upon the failure of the accused student to answer the charges or appear at the hearing. In such a case, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.
- An appeal of a decision from the initial hearing may be made by the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, or the accused student in a case within four (4) school days of the decision except as the period may be extended by the Appellate Board. A victim, if dissatisfied with the sanction(s) imposed, may request the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards or designee to file an appeal, and such request shall not be unreasonably refused.
Note: Appeals are submitted only in written form to the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards and then forwarded to the Appellate Board members. An appeal is not another Hearing. Therefore, every effort should be made to include all important information that the appealing party would like the Appellate Board to review.
a. An appeal may be filed by the accused student on the following grounds only:
(1) that the initial hearing body failed to observe the procedural requirements established by this Code;
(2) that the sanction imposed by the initial hearing body was clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances;
(3) that due process requirements have not been met;
(4) that new evidence has appeared that was not available at the time of the hearing, which could have substantially affected the initial decision.
b. Appeals may be filed by the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, on the following grounds only:
(1) that the initial hearing body failed to observe the procedural requirements established by this Code;
(2) that the sanction imposed by the initial hearing body was clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.
- A party charged with any offense under the Code and thus subjected to any of the proceedings herein may choose to waive, in writing, any of the rights attendant to those proceedings.
Note: Please find information on how to write an effective appeal at: http://www.potsdam.edu/studentlife/studentconduct/judicial/appeal
B. Harassment and Sexual Misconduct General Procedures
- Individuals who are reported victims of sexual misconduct, sexual, racial or ethnic harassment, or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation are encouraged to contact (for 24 hour assistance) an Advocate, a Residence Hall staff member, University Police or Reachout (an off-campus organization.) For additional professional support, contact the SUNY Potsdam Counseling Center and/or the Student Health Services Office.
- Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Student Conduct Process:
a. Mediated Resolution: Students may, with an Advocate should they so choose, bring their complaint of reported Harassment to:
(1) The Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, or
(2) The Affirmative Action Officer.
Mediated resolution can ONLY be used in cases of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, not for cases of sexual assault.
At this stage, complaints may be mediated and resolved without formal charges being filed. The purpose at this stage is to minimize embarrassment for all parties, to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of all parties, and to centralize reporting of reported offenses.
If one or both parties do not agree that informal resolution has occurred, the case will be forwarded to the formal campus adjudication process.
b. Formal Resolution: All cases of reported Harassment or Sexual Misconduct will be heard either by a Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Hearing Officer or a Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board.
(1) Reported victims of sexual assault or sexual, racial or ethnic harassment and the accused student have the right to have an Advocate/Advisor accompany them throughout the student conduct process.
(2) Reported victims of sexual assault or sexual harassment shall have the right to not have their past sexual history discussed during their hearings except if it pertains to prior sexual activity with the accused.
(3) In cases of reported Harassment (racial, sexual or ethnic harassment), sexual assault or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, in consultation with the victim, will choose either a Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Hearing Officer or a Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board to adjudicate the case.
(4) In cases of Sexual Misconduct:
a. There may be a delay of up to six months.
b. The Hearing Board/Officer may allow screening to avoid direct contact between victim and accused.
c. The victim may have an Advocate act as adviser.
d. The victim's advisor and accused's advisor may request the Hearing Board/Officer to raise questions on behalf of their advisee.
e. The Hearing Officer/Board may allow the presence of the victim throughout the hearing.
This website clearly outlines the SUNY Potsdam Policy related to Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure. http://www.potsdam.edu/studentlife/studentconduct/codeofconduct.cfm
X. Administrative Process
A. Appointment: All members of the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board, the Appellate Board, and all Hearing Officers shall be appointed by the Student Conduct Council.
(1) The Student Conduct Council shall consist of the President of the College, the President of the Student Government Association, and the Chairperson of the Faculty Senate. The Affirmative Action Officer shall be an advisor to the Student Conduct Council and attend all meetings.
(2) Unanimity of the Student Conduct Council is a desired goal, but a simple majority vote of the Student Conduct Council shall be adequate to appoint any candidate.
(3) The Student Conduct Council will select Hearing Officers and Hearing Board members who are capable of adjudicating cases in a fair, knowledgeable, and impartial manner.
(4) Hearing Officers and Board members will possess or receive the necessary education and training regarding the subject matter of cases he or she will be adjudicating.
B. Vacancy: All effort shall be made to ensure that vacancies shall be filled by the Student Conduct Council within twenty (20) days of the date of the actual vacancy.
C. Hearings: Hearings are prescribed by the Code and may be held before the following: Hearing Board or Hearing Officer.
(1) Hearing Board - This Board hears cases involving violations of this Code which are not referred to a Hearing Officer, or to the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board or Officer. This board shall consist of one student and two faculty or staff. Every effort will be taken to include at least one faculty member according to procedures outlined in Section X, A. The Hearing Board can impose any of the sanctions listed in Section VIII or any combination thereof of this Code.
(2) Hearing Officer-A Hearing Officer may be a member of the faculty or the staff of the College. The Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards shall choose from a list of hearing officers one officer to hear each case in which a Hearing Officer has been requested. The choice of Hearing Officer shall be made by the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards. A Hearing Officer who is unable to be impartial for whatever reason shall disqualify himself or herself. Hearing Officers may impose any of the sanctions listed in Section VIII or any combination thereof of this Code. For cases of Harassment and Sexual Misconduct there shall be hearing officers appointed by the Student Conduct Council.
(3) The Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board-This Board hears cases as set forth in IX (B). This Board shall consist of one student and two faculty or staff members. They may impose sanctions as set forth in Section VIII. An alternate for each Board position shall be appointed by the same process.
(4) The Appellate Board - This Board is empowered to hear all appeals according to Section IX, 19. The Appellate Board may review a case, deny review, remand to the disciplinary body below with or without instructions to include the choice of Hearing Officer or Board should that option not have been originally available, and/or alter the sanctions imposed below.
The Appellate Board may not alter or reverse a disciplinary agency's decision on any grounds other than those outlined in Section IX, 19. The burden of establishing that standard has been met rests on the party making the appeal. Further, the Appellate Board may not alter or reverse the decision of the disciplinary agency on any grounds other than that specifically cited as the basis of the appeal.
The Appellate Board shall consist of two students, two members of the faculty, and one staff member according to the procedures outlined in Section X, A.
The Appellate Board can impose any of the sanctions set forth in Section VIII, or any combination thereof of this Code.
Administrative Agreement in Waiver of a Hearing- Students found to be in violation of the Code of Student Conduct can have the case resolved through the Administrative Agreement in Waiver of a Hearing process (AA). An Administrative Agreement in Waiver of a Hearing would be completed only when there is acknowledgment of responsibility on the part of the student who has been charged and agreement that the sanction/s imposed is/are reasonable and fair. All parties, including the victim, must agree that the sanctions are reasonable and fair. Should the accused student not accept responsibility for the charges or accept the proposed sanction, the case will be referred to the Director of Student Conduct or designee. The case will then be heard by a Hearing Board or a Hearing Officer.
D. Resolving a Complaint by Mediation
- The College encourages mediation whenever practical and appropriate. If the parties agree, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards may refer any disciplinary matter other than a reported act of academic dishonesty to the Campus Mediation Program or other resources for mediation.
- It is within the sole discretion of the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards to determine whether a disciplinary complaint is suitable for mediation. If mediation fails or new information comes to light about an unresolved matter than in mediation, the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards may proceed with an investigation and the filing of disciplinary charges. The Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards may also set a date, after which it will begin to investigate the original complaint or file charges if a matter has not been successfully mediated.
- If the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards refers a complaint for mediation and both parties to the dispute agree to participate, the College Mediation Center will assign a trained mediator and advise the complainant(s) and respondent(s) in advance of the date, time, and place set for mediation. In order to resolve a disciplinary matter by mediation, both the complainant and the respondent must agree, first, to participate in the mediation and, second, to the proposed resolution.
- If a student fails to comply with the terms of a mediation agreement, the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards may take steps to enforce the agreement (including use of a Judicial Hold or the filing of new charges under the Code of Student Conduct) or may investigate the original complaint and bring disciplinary charges under this Code.
A. Compliance with Other Laws: This Code shall be administered in compliance with the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990.
B. Survival Clause: If any part, or portion, or provision of this Code is determined to be unconstitutional or illegal, the remaining provisions of the Code shall remain in full force and effect.
Revised: June 2012
Sections of this Code, in part or in whole, come from the SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oswego Code of Student Conduct and A 21st Century Model Student Conduct Code by Edward N. Stoner II and John Wesley Lowery. This was done with permission. Special thanks for the guidance received from those documents.