Conduct Adjudication Information
This material has been prepared to assist you in understanding the proceedings which are taking place as a result of a reported incident. The presentation of this information does not presume the degree of your involvement in the reported incident, and neither the administrator nor the student justices with whom you may be involved will approach your case with any predetermination of a final disposition. Therefore, the receipt of this material should not be interpreted as a prejudgment of your involvement.
Procedures for the Adjudication of Violations of the Student Conduct Code
The State of Indiana has charged Vincennes University with the responsibility for providing an orderly campus environment conducive to learning in which persons and property are protected from harm. Priorities inherent among these responsibilities:
- Protect persons and property;
- Uphold Federal, state, local laws and University regulations;
- Provide an orderly environment conducive to learning;
- Encourage the individual growth of students.
The Board of Trustees of Vincennes University has adopted University policies and procedures in exercise of the above responsibilities. The University administration is responsible for providing the process for dealing with violations of the policies. The process, which has been developed for handling conduct situations, includes the following:
Conduct adjudication is a process, which is used for all alleged violations, which may result in a change of student status.
The process contains three fundamental steps:
- Presentations of the alleged violations;
- Decision and action by the Dean of Students or his designate.
An appeal is available to the student on receipt of the decision.
Right to Appeal
The right to appeal the Dean or Associate Dean of Students decision is afforded all Vincennes University students as a matter of policy and due process. All appeals of disciplinary hearing decisions will be made to the Student Life Advisory Board and an appeals hearing will be called.
The Appeals Hearing will include:
- the sanctioned student; (who may be assisted by an advisor)
- the Dean or Associate Dean of Students;
- the Appeals Hearing moderator; and
- the five members of the Student Life Advisory Committee.
Description of Rights in Disciplinary Situations
Students have been accorded rights in disciplinary situations by the Board of Trustees in keeping with procedural due process. Basically, students have the right:
- To be aware of the alleged violation a reasonable time before the hearing.
- To bring an advisor to the hearing.
- To have a fair hearing.
- To be informed of the decision.
- To appeal decisions of the hearing.
Conduct Adjudication Process
Presentation of Alleged Violations
A student who is accused of an alleged violation of the University Conduct Code is notified, either in writing (at the last reported local address) or verbally, of the alleged violation by the Dean of Students or his designate.
Hearings may be conducted by the Dean of Students or other hearing officers designated by the Dean of Students. All hearings provide the opportunity for the accused student to respond to charges, to present witnesses, and to raise questions. The hearing officer, through questioning, seeks to arrive at the truth. Should a student fail to appear at a scheduled hearing, after proper notification, the hearing may be conducted in his/her absence at the discretion of the hearing officer.
Presentation of Decision
An explanation of the action and its effect on the student is made, which may include probation stipulations and future expectations for the student's behavior. The student is informed of the right to appeal and the procedures to follow.
A student has the opportunity to appeal the decision of the disciplinary hearing to the Student Life Advisory Committee. Appeal requests must be presented to the Dean of Students or designate in writing within 5 business days of the receipt of the decision from the hearing process.
Types of Disciplinary Actions
The actions which may be taken when a student is charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code range from being dropped up to and including expulsion from the University. The action taken depends on the severity of the violation, the degree of involvement of the student, the individual circumstances of each case, the student's disciplinary record and possibly the student's academic situation.
Not in Violation
If there is evidence presented during the hearing that shows the student is "not in violation" of the charge, record of that decision will be maintained for one year
Minor violations of the conduct code usually merit a warning. If the student has continuing minor violations, he/she is subject to further disciplinary action.
A report of the student's misconduct is entered on his college records in the Dean of Students Office as a severe warning concerning future violation of the conduct code. If no further violation occurs, the incident does not become a part of the student's permanent college records.
Permanent Disciplinary Probation
A report of the student's misconduct is entered PERMANENTLY on his/her college records. This information concerning the violation(s) accompanies the college transcript as a matter of permanent record.
In cases of serious misconduct, the student may be suspended from the University for a designated period. Once an individual has been suspended, he/she loses the privilege of returning to the campus and/or attending any campus activity during this period. When a student is suspended, he/she is expected to immediately check out of the Residence Hall and/or leave campus. Suspension becomes a part of the student's permanent records.
In cases of serious misconduct, a student may be expelled PERMANENTLY with no option to return to the University. This also becomes a matter of permanent entry on the student's record.
In cases of serious misconduct, a student may be suspended from the moment of first notification of charges until the hearing. This hearing must be held within a reasonable time after the person has been notified.
Preservation of Records
Dependent upon the type of action taken, Conduct Adjudication Process records are maintained on file in the Dean of Students office for specific periods of time:
- Not in Violation - one calendar year, unless involved in additional violations
- Warning - one calendar year, unless involved in additional violations
- Disciplinary Probation - two calendar years after the date of the last action taken
- Permanent Disciplinary Probation - three calendar years after the date of the last action taken
- Suspension - permanently
- Permanent Suspension - permanently
- Alcohol- or drug-related violation - three years following the academic year of violation
Access to Records
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Public Law 93-380), conduct records are considered to be "Educational Records;" therefore, students have the right to inspect and review the materials contained in their conduct record subject to office procedures. Additionally, there are ten classes of persons who may be given information from the conduct records without the student's prior consent.
Vincennes University officials, including members of the faculty, may have access upon verification of legitimate educational interest.
Officials of other schools or school systems in which the student seeks or intends to enroll may have access with written consent of the student.
Parents of a dependent student may have access. Dependency is defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
The Higher Education Amendments (http://www.ed.gov/legislation/HEA/) of 1998 included a change to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OM/ferpa.html) that permits colleges and universities to notify parents of students under 21 years of age when their student has been found in violation of student rules in regard to alcohol and other drugs, through a campus judicial process. If an underage student is found responsible for violating the alcohol or drug policy on campus, a letter indicating as much may be sent to their parents or legal guardian by the dean of students.
The results of the disciplinary proceedings, subject to the requirements of Section 99.39 of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, may be disclosed to a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding conducted by the institution of postsecondary education with respect to that alleged crime or offense. The institution may disclose the final results of the disciplinary proceeding, regardless of whether the institution concluded a violation was committed.
Subject to the conditions of PL93-380, Section 99.37, authorized representatives of the Controller General of the United States, the Secretary, the Commissioner, the director of the National Institute of Education, or the Assistant Secretary for Education or state educational authorities may have access.
Officials connected with the student's application for a receipt of financial aid (i.e. banks, vocational rehabilitation, scholarship donors) may have access.
State or local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically required to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statute adopted prior to November 19, 1975, may have access.
Organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction, may have access if (a) such studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal identification of students by persons other than the representatives of such organizations and (b) such information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose for which it is conducted.
Accrediting organizations may have access in order to carry out their accrediting functions.
Access to conduct records may be granted in compliance with judicial order pursuant to any lawfully-issued subpoena, subject to office procedures. Students may give consent for others to have access to their conduct records. Release of information will be permitted if the request is;
- In writing
- Is signed and dated by the person giving consent
- Specifies the records/information to be released
- Specifies the reason for the release
- Specifies the names of the parties to whom such records are to be released.
Information may be released from the conduct records to appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health and safety of a student or other persons.