Conduct Process

As stated in the Code of Students Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct

  

   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 includes the presumption of innocence, as required by SUNY.   Responsibility shall be established by a reasonable conclusion based upon   the evidence presented.

   1.General Procedures

   a.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 judicial process.

   b.Any party involved in disciplinary proceedings may be accompanied by   another individual - friend, Advocate, or advisor - whose role shall be   advisory only.

   c.For cases involving the subject matter of the Discrimination and Sexual   Offense Hearing Board see IX (2) herein.

   d.A Hearing Officer/Board member who is unable to be impartial for whatever   reason shall disqualify himself or herself.

   e.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 Dean of   Student Affairs or designee must initiate formal charges see X (d).

   f.All charges shall be initiated by the filing of a written complaint with   the Dean of Student Affairs or designee. Said officer shall conduct a   preliminary investigation to determine if formal charges are to be filed.

   g.If charges are filed, the accused student shall have the choice of either   a hearing before a Hearing Officer or Hearing Board or the opportunity to   work with a judicial officer on the development of an Administrative   Agreement in Waiver of a Hearing, as directed by the judicial charge letter,   except in cases of alleged discrimination or sexual assault.

   h.Upon the service of notice of charges, the Dean of Student Affairs or   designee 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.

   i.A student suspended on an interim basis shall, upon his or her request, be   given an opportunity to appear personally before the Dean of Student Affairs   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:

   1.The reliability of the information concerning the student's conduct,   including the matter of his or her identity;

   2.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.

   j.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/Waiver of a Hearing is not a viable option, a   hearing before a Hearing Officer shall be held in lieu of a board hearing.

   This determination shall be made by the Dean of Student Affairs or designee.   In such cases, appeal from the decision of the Hearing Officer shall be to   the Dean of Student Affairs.

   k.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 Dean of Student Affairs   or designee. 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.

   l.All disciplinary hearings are presumptively closed to the college   community in an effort to maintain confidentiality of judicial/education   records.

   m.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.

   n.The complainant and accused party shall have the right to offer witnesses,   and to challenge evidence and/or witnesses against him or her.

   o.Hearing Procedures:

   1.The accused shall be asked how he or she pleads to the accusation(s).

   2.If the plea is not responsible, the Presenter shall present the evidence   of the investigation.

   3.Either the victim or the accused may thereafter present additional   evidence.

   4.The complainant, accused and presenter may ask the Hearing Board/Officer   to ask clarifying questions regarding testimony and/or evidence.

   5.Closing statements may be given.

   p.There shall be either a digest or a verbatim record (tape recording) of   the hearing. Access to this record must be made available to either the   victim or the accused for use in an appeal.

   q.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.

   r. An appeal of a decision from the initial hearing may be made by Dean of   Student Affairs or designee, 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 Dean of Student Affairs or designee to file an appeal, and such   request shall not be unreasonably refused.

   1.Appeals may be filed by the Dean of Student Affairs or designee, on the   following grounds only:

   (a)that the initial hearing body failed to observe the procedural   requirements established by this Code;

   (b)that the sanction imposed by the initial hearing body was clearly   unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.

   2.An appeal may be filed by the accused student on the following grounds   only:

   (a)that the initial hearing body failed to observe the procedural   requirements established by this Code;

   (b)that the sanction imposed by the initial hearing body was clearly   unreasonable in light of the known circumstances;

   (c)that due process requirements have not been met;

   (d)that new evidence has appeared, that was not available at the time of the   hearing, which could have substantially affected the initial decision.

   s.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.

   2.Discrimination and Sexual Offense General Procedures

   a.Individuals who are alleged victims of sexual assault, 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 CAVA (Citizens Against Violent Acts), an   off-campus organization. For additional professional support, contact the   SUNY-PotsdamCounseling Center and/or the Student Health Service.

   b.Discrimination and Sexual Offense Judicial Process:

   1.Mediated Resolution: Students may, with an Advocate should they so choose,   bring their complaint of alleged discrimination to:

   a.The Coordinator of the Campus Judicial System, or

   b.The Affirmative Action Officer.

   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 alleged 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.

   2.Formal Resolution: All cases of alleged discrimination or sexual offense   will be heard either by a Discrimination and Sexual Offense Hearing Officer   or a Discrimination and Sexual Offense Hearing Board.

   c.Alleged 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 judicial process.

   d.Alleged 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.

   e.In cases of alleged discrimination (racial, sexual or ethnic harassment),   sexual assault or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, the Dean of   Student Affairs or designee, in consultation with the victim, will choose   either a Discrimination and Sexual Offense Hearing Officer or a   Discrimination and Sexual Offense Hearing Board to adjudicate the case.

   f.In cases of sexual assault:

   1.There may be a delay of up to six months.

   2.The Hearing Board/Officer may allow screening to avoid direct contact   between victim and accused.

   3.The victim may have an Advocate act as advisor.

   4.The victim's advisor and accused's advisor may request the Hearing   Board/Officer to raise questions on behalf of their advisee.

   5.The Hearing Officer/Board may allow the presence of the victim throughout   the hearing.

   X.JUDICIAL PROCESS

   Within the Judicial Process, there are Hearing Boards and Hearing Officers   as described herein.

   a.APPOINTMENT: All members of the Discrimination and Sexual Offense Board,   the Appellate Board, and all Hearing Officers shall be appointed by the   Judicial Council.

   1.The Judicial Council shall consist of the President of the College, the   President of the Student Government Association, and the Chairperson of the   Faculty Assembly. The Affirmative Action Officer shall be an advisor to the   Judicial Council and attend all meetings.

   2.Unanimity of the Judicial Council is a desired goal, but a simple majority   vote of the Judicial Council shall be adequate to appoint any candidate.

   3.The Judicial Council shall appoint one alternate for each constituency   serving on the Campus-Wide Hearing Board, and the Appellate Board.

   4.Except in extraordinary circumstances all appointments shall be made in   April prior to the academic year in which the appointees will serve.

   5.The Judicial Council will select Hearing Officers and Hearing Board   members who are capable of adjudicating cases in a fair, knowledgeable, and   impartial manner.

   6.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 Judicial Council within twenty (20) days of the date of the actual   vacancy.

   c.HEARINGS: Hearings are prescribed by the Code may be held before the   following Hearing Board or Hearing Officers:

   1.Hearing Board - This Board hears cases involving violations of this Code   which are not referred to a Hearing Officer, or to the Discrimination and   Sexual Offense 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   administration of the College. The Dean of Student Affairs or designee shall   choose from a list of hearing officers one officer to hear each case in   which an Hearing Officer has been requested. The choice of Hearing Officer   shall be made by the Vice President for Student Life or designee. 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   discrimination and sexual offense there shall be hearing officers appointed   by the Judicial Council.

   3.The Discrimination and Sexual Offense Board-This Board hears cases as set   forth in IX (2). This Board shall consist of one student, one faculty member   and an administrator. 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, s. 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, s. 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 administrator 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.

   5.Administrative Agreement/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/Waiver of a Hearing process (AA). An   Administrative Agreement/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, nor accept the proposed sanction, the case   will be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs, or designee. The case will   then be heard by a Hearing Officer or a Hearing Board.

   d.Resolving a Complaint by Mediation

   1.The College encourages mediation whenever practical and appropriate. If   the parties agree, the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards may   refer any disciplinary matter other than an alleged act of academic   dishonesty to the Campus Mediation Program or other resources for mediation.

   2.It is within the sole discretion of the Dean of Student Affairs or   designee to determine whether a disciplinary complaint is suitable for   mediation. If mediation fails or new information comes to light about an   unresolved matter then in mediation, the Dean of Student Affairs or designee   may proceed with an investigation and the filing of disciplinary charges.   The Dean of Student Affairs or designee 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.

   3.If the Dean of Student Affairs or designee 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.

   4.If a student fails to comply with the terms of a mediation agreement, the   Dean of Student

   Affairs or designee 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.