Article V: Student Conduct Policies and Procedures
A. Charges and Hearings
- Any member of the University community may file charges against any student for alleged violations of the Student Code. A charge shall be prepared in writing and sent to the Director of Student Conduct who is responsible for the administration of the Student Conduct system. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the written complaint must be filed within one year.
- All charges shall be presented to the accused student(s) in written form. A time shall be set for an initial hearing, not less than three nor more than fifteen calendar days after the student has been notified. Notice will be considered received one day following the date the notice is posted at the United States Postal Service facility, placed in the student’s mailbox, or delivered to the Living Learning Center. Failure to collect one’s mail from the box or failure to receive or sign for a mailing does not void the fact that the notice was delivered. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct and/or Student Conduct Officer.
- At this initial meeting, the accused student(s) shall be presented with a description of hearing types. There are three hearing types: Responsible Plea, Administrative Hearing (with Resident Director, Student Conduct Officer or Director of Student Conduct) or University Student Conduct Board. The accused student may request, or the Director of Student Conduct and/ or Resident Director/Student Conduct Officer may require, that the allegation be resolved through an Administrative Hearing or through a University Student Conduct Board. The Director of Student Conduct and/or Resident Director/Student Conduct Officer shall consider the preference of the accused student, the nature of the allegations, and student conduct board members availability.
- Responsible Plea: The student accepts responsibility for his/her actions and agrees to the sanction given by the Director of Student Conduct or Resident Director/Student Conduct Officer. There is no appeal with this option.
- Administrative Hearing: An Administrative Hearing is held either with the Director of Student Conduct or Resident Director/Student Conduct Officer. Information is provided by a complainant, accused student, and any witnesses. In an Administrative Hearing, the accused student retains all rights contained in 4a through 4j.
- University Student Conduct Board: A University Student Conduct Board shall normally be convened no more than fifteen school days from the initial meeting with the Director of Student Conduct. The University Student Conduct Board may be composed of one at-large student and two faculty and/or administrative staff members. The Director of Student Conduct shall act as a convener for such a Hearing Body, but shall have no vote in the Board’s determination. A majority vote is necessary to find a student in violation of any charge, and each charge must be voted upon separately.
- Sexual Violence Conduct Board: A Sexual Violence Conduct Board shall normally be convened no more than fifteen school days from the initial meeting with the Director of Student Conduct. The Sexual Violence Conduct Board may be composed of three faculty and/or administrative staff members. The Director of Student Conduct shall act as a convener for such a Hearing Body, but shall have no vote in the Board’s determination. A majority vote is necessary to find a student in violation of any charge, and each charge must be voted upon separately. Time limits may be extended at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct and/or Student Conduct Officer.
- Hearings shall be conducted according to the following guidelines:
- Hearings shall be conducted in private.
- The complainant, accused student(s), and their advisors, if any, shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the hearing at which information is received (excluding deliberations). No other individuals are allowed admission due to the confidentiality rights of students.
- In hearings involving more than one accused student, the Director of Student Conduct and/or Student Conduct Officer, in his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
- The complainant and the accused student have the right to be assisted by an advisor. The advisor must be a current member of the Duquesne University community and may not function as an attorney. The complainant and/or the accused student is responsible for presenting his or her own information and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing. A student should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the hearing because delays will not normally be allowed due to scheduling conflicts of the advisor.
- The complainant, the accused student, and/or Hearing Body shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses subject to the right of questioning by the Hearing Body.
- Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration at the discretion of the Hearing Body.
- All procedural questions are subject to final decision by the Student Conduct Officer and/or voting members of the Student Conduct Board, in consultation with the Director of Student Conduct. The Hearing Body may choose to suspend the hearing to consider such questions.
- The board’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code.
- Formal legal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as those applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in University student conduct hearing.
- Nothing in these paragraphs shall be interpreted to include the right to legal counsel. Questioning of witnesses are conducted by the Hearing Body.
- There shall be a single record of all hearings before a Hearing Body. The record shall be the property of the University. Deliberations shall not be recorded.
- If an accused student, with notice, does not appear before a University Student Conduct Board, the information in support of the charges shall be presented and considered even if the accused student is not present.
- The University Student Conduct Board may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, accused student, and/or witness during the hearing by providing alternative means of testimony, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the Director of Student Conduct to be appropriate.
- In general cases arising in the Living Learning Centers, a Resident Director serves as the Student Conduct Officer. The Director of Residence Life may, on occasion, transfer cases to the Office of Student Conduct.
- Proceedings under the Student Code are not criminal proceedings and shall not be construed as such. Duquesne University adopts, for the purpose of this Student Code, the following due process procedures for students: notice of charges, opportunity for a hearing and right to appeal.
- Upon conclusion of the student conduct proceedings, notification of a decision and sanctions will be mailed to the respondent (and victims of crimes of violence, including sexual harassment and sexual violence) no later than two weeks. Time limits may be extended at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct and/or Student Conduct Officer.
B. Organizational Conduct Violations
Greek organizations, student organizations, clubs, or similarly organized groups in, or recognized by the University, are subject to the same standards as individuals in the community. The committing of any offense by such groups or the failure of any organized group to exercise preventative measures relative to violations of the Student Code by their members shall constitute an organizational offense. Both an individual and an organization can be held accountable for misconduct originating from one event or activity. A Student Conduct Hearing for an organizational offense will be conducted in a manner similar to the procedures outlined in Article V: Student Conduct Policies, A. Charges and Hearings. The sanctions which may be imposed upon an organization are outlined below.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student, organization, or group found in violation of the Student Code:
- Warning – a notice in writing which states that violation of policy has occurred.
- Probation – a written reprimand for a violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student, group or organization is found in violation of any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period. Students, organizations or groups on probation may not be allowed to participate in University activities.
- Loss of Privileges – denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Fines – an assessment of a proportionate monetary penalty.
- Restitution – compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Discretionary sanctions – work assignments, essays, service to the University or other related discretionary sanctions.
- Living Learning Center suspension – separation of the student from the Living Learning Centers for a definite period of time after which he/she is eligible to return. During the period of suspension all visitation rights are revoked. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Living Learning Center expulsion – permanent separation of the student from the Living Learning Centers. All visitation rights are permanently revoked.
- University suspension – separation from the University for a definite period of time. During the period of suspension all visitation rights are revoked. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- University expulsion – permanent separation of the student from the University and includes no trespassing on any University property.
- Revocation of admission and/or degree – admission to the University or a degree awarded from the University may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violations of University standards in obtaining a degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
- Withholding degree – the University may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until completion of the process set forth in the Student Code, including the completion of sanctions imposed.
- More than one of the above types of sanctions may be imposed for any single violation.
- Other than revocation of a degree, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record but shall become a part of the student’s confidential record. A student’s confidential disciplinary record will be expunged of disciplinary actions after seven years from the date of the incident. University expulsion and suspension; Residence Life expulsion; and Title IX Sexual Violence are exceptions and will remain on file permanently in the Office of Student Conduct.
- After conducting an investigation and hearing, the Director of Greek Life and/or the Assistant Vice President for Student Life, as appropriate, can recommend sanctions against groups or organizations. In all cases, the sanctions will be determined and imposed by the Director of Student Conduct. Such sanctions shall include:
- Those sanctions listed in Section C.1.
- Deactivation – loss of all privileges, including University recognition, for a specified period of time.
- In each case in which a Hearing Body determines that a student and/or group or organization is in violation of the Student Code, the sanction(s) shall be determined and imposed by the Director of Student Conduct. In cases in which persons other than, or in addition to, the Director of Student Conduct have been authorized to serve as the Hearing Body, the recommendation of all members of the Student Conduct Board shall be considered by the Director of Student Conduct in determining and imposing sanctions. In all cases, the determination of which sanction(s) to impose shall be made by the Director of Student Conduct, and the Director of Student Conduct is not limited to sanctions recommended by members of the Student Conduct Board. Following the hearing, the Director of Student Conduct shall advise the accused student(s) in writing of the determination and of the sanction(s) imposed, if any.
D. Tuition Credit/Refund for a Disciplinary Suspension or Expulsion
- A student who is suspended from the University during the semester in which the incident occurred is eligible for a tuition credit that will be applied to the semester immediately following the period of suspension. The amount of tuition credited will be based upon the tuition refund schedule for a voluntary withdrawal and the tuition rate in effect during the semester in which the incident occurred less any required financial aid adjustments and any outstanding balance on the student’s account. The date used to calculate the tuition credit will be the date of the incident that resulted in the suspension. Tuition credit not utilized in the semester immediately following the period of suspension is forfeited.
- A student who is expelled from the University forfeits all payments for tuition and fees incurred for the semester the incident occurred.
- Housing charges will not be reimbursed to any student found responsible of a Student Code of Conduct violation resulting in suspension or expulsion from the University. Appeals may be directed to the Executive Vice President for Student Life.
- The University may, in its sole discretion, place a hold on the student's academic records at the time of the incident, which will limit access to transcripts and other educational records until the disciplinary process is complete.
E. Interim Living Learning Center or University Suspension
In extraordinary circumstances, the Executive Vice President for Student Life, or his/her designee, may consider a University or Living Learning Center suspension prior to a hearing through the student conduct process.
- Interim suspension may be imposed only: a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; b) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and wellbeing; c) if the student poses a definite and/or ongoing threat of disruption or interference to the normal conduct of operations of the University; and/or d) if the student’s behavior is in direct conflict with the moral and spiritual values of the University.
- During the period of interim suspension, the student shall be denied access to the Living Learning Centers and/or denied access to the University (including being barred from classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which he/she might otherwise be eligible, as the Executive Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee may determine to be appropriate.
- The interim suspension does not replace the regular process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through a University Student Conduct Board hearing, if required.
- An appeal of a decision reached or sanctions imposed by a Hearing Body may be made by an accused student within seven (7) days of the hearing. For cases involving Sexual Violence or Sexual Harassment, the complainant (if the complainant is the victim of the violation) may also file an appeal within the seven school day timeframe. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Director of Student Conduct.
- Responsible plea waivers have no appeal option.
- An accused student may appeal a decision reached and sanction imposed by the Resident Director to the Director of Student Conduct.
- An accused student may appeal a decision reached and sanction imposed by the Director of Student Conduct or the University Student Conduct Board to an appellate body.
- An accused student and victim may appeal a decision reached or sanction imposed by the Sexual Violence Conduct Board to an appellate body.
- An appeal shall be limited to a review of the record of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes, except as required to explain the basis of new evidence.
- To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the accused student (and complainant, if the victim of a violation involving sexual violence and/or sexual harassment) a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present his/her information.
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed was appropriate to the violation.
- To consider new evidence, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not available at the original hearing because it was not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing. An Appellate Body shall determine the propriety and admissibility of any new evidence.
- The sole basis of an appeal is the written statement of appeal. The written statement should be as complete as possible in setting forth the basis for appeal as described above.
- Following an Appellate Board decision, the Executive Vice President for Student Life may review the case. The student must request a review from the Executive Vice President for Student Life in writing within forty-eight hours upon receipt of the Appellate Board decision.
G. Student Conduct Authority
- The Director of Student Conduct shall have the responsibility of determining the composition and authority of Student Conduct and Appellate Boards.
- The Director of Student Conduct is charged with development of policies for the administration of the student conduct program and procedural rules for the conduct of hearings which are not inconsistent with provisions of the Student Code.
- Decisions made by a Hearing Body and/or Director of Student Conduct shall be final pending the normal appeal process.
- The Hearing Bodies may give advisory opinions, at their sole discretion, on issues not before any Hearing Body and where no violation of institutional regulations has taken place. Such opinions shall not be binding nor may they automatically be used as precedent.
- A Hearing Body may be designated as arbiter of disputes within the student community. All parties must agree to arbitration and agree to be bound by the decision with no right of appeal.