• Student Discipline Process

    The Student Discipline Process is laid out in the detailed policies and procedures below. These steps are excerpted from the code of Student Right and Responsibilities. The process involves five basic steps, although some cases may involve fewer steps than others.

    Submit Incident Report (Written by a college official in most cases.)
    Attend Disciplinary Hearing
    Receive Sanctions
    Appeal Sanctions
    Complete Sanctions

  • THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM & PROCEDURAL RIGHTS

    Judicial Process
     
    A. Reporting Violations

     1. Any student, staff, faculty, community member, or Police officer may report any perceived violation of this Code and/or College policies and procedures. The report may be made to the Juniper Hall Housing Manager, if the perceived violation occurred in the residence halls, or to the Office of Student Life. Perceived criminal activity should be reported immediately to the Office of Campus Services or the Police, which will submit its report of a student violation to the Office of Student Life.

    2. The Office of Student Life or designee may decline to adjudicate a complaint that if proven, would not constitute a violation of the Code. All other complaints will be adjudicated.

    3. When the Office of Student Life or designee decides to adjudicate a complaint, it may do so by a pre-hearing disposition of the charge with the student or by adjudicating the matter through the student judicial process.

    4. The Office of Student Life may elect to wait for any outstanding incident report before adjudicating a complaint. For example, the Office of Student Life may elect to wait for a Police report when it believes that the police report will provide significant relevant information.

     

    B. Interim Suspension
    Generally, student status is not altered pending hearing and appeal, unless preliminary evidence demonstrates that a student's continued presence on campus would pose a threat to the student's health or safety, or the health, safety, or well-being of other persons within the College community, in which case, the student may be suspended on an interim basis. Except in an emergency situation, the Dean of Students or designee will communicate with the student before instituting the suspension. The Dean of Students or designee will state, in writing, the terms and conditions of the interim suspension.

    C. Notice
     A student charged with violating a College policy or rule shall be given written notice to meet with the Director of Student Life or designee at a specific time, date and place for a conference regarding a charge of misconduct.

    D. Required Attendance 
    Failure on the part of the student to meet as requested for an informal or formal hearing may result in a decision being made in the student's absence. The student shall be notified of this decision by certified return mail. Records, registration and transcript details may be held in abeyance until the student follows up on a Notice to Appear.

    E. Victim Notification
     Upon request of a victim (or victim's next of kin, if the victim is deceased as the result of the offense) of a violent crime or a sex offense, COCC will provide a report on the results of any disciplinary proceedings against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of the offense.

    F. Hearings 
    There are two levels of hearings, informal and formal.

    The informal hearing shall be held for all misconduct cases. The results of these hearings will be considered binding when the decision of the hearing officer calls for a disciplinary action that does not include expulsion from the college or eviction from Juniper Residence Hall. If the student claims responsibility for actions or there is overwhelming evidence of student responsibility during the informal hearing process, the result could include indefinite or long-term suspension.

    Formal hearings are held where alleged misconduct could result in such disciplinary action as final expulsion, indefinite or long term suspension from the college or eviction from Juniper Hall. 

     

    1. Informal Hearings
    The Director of Student Life or designee shall conduct an informal hearing with the student at which time the College official shall:

     a. Review the charges with the student.

    b. Review the incident report or other documentation upon which the charges are based

    c. Review the possible disciplinary action that could be taken if found guilty.

    d. Provide the student an opportunity to respond to the charges.

    e. Discuss the charges and the student's response. The student shall be given an opportunity to plead responsible or not responsible to the charges.

    f. Inform the student of his/her decision with respect to the charges within 2 business days of the conference via a written decision letter. Possible actions that would result from the informal hearing include but are not limited to:

    • Dismiss the charges.
    • Assign sanctions.
    • Order restitution.
    • Order probation.
    • Order a summary suspension.
    • Order a formal hearing.

    g. The written decision of the conference will notify the student that s/he has a right to appeal that decision to the Dean of Students within five (5) business days from the date the hearing decision was received. Please see below for further information on appeals. 
     

    2. Formal Hearings

    Formal hearings are held in cases where alleged misconduct could result in such disciplinary action as final expulsion, indefinite or long-term suspension from the College. The President or designee will appoint the Hearings Officer. The procedural requirements are as follows:

    Notice: The written notice of the formal hearing shall inform the student of:

    • The policy or regulation alleged to have been violated in sufficient detail to allow the student to prepare a defense.
    • The possible disciplinary action to be taken.
    • The right not to be compelled to testify against oneself.
    • The right to a hearing as established under these disciplinary procedures.
    • The right to examine the evidence, hear all testimony and to ask questions of witnesses appearing and testifying against him/her and to offer witnesses and evidence in his/her behalf. Such evidence must be requested 48 hours before the hearing
    • The right of an advisor of his/her choice, at his/her own expense, acting in an advisory capacity only. The name and address of the advisor shall be provided to the office of Student Life no later than 24 hours prior to a hearing. The advisor is not permitted to speak at the College hearing.
    • The right to enter a plea of responsible or not responsible within three school days after the charge. If the student fails to enter a plea within three school days, a plea of not responsible is entered and a hearing date being set by the Hearings Officer.
    • The right to bring witnesses to the hearing. A witness is a person who has personal knowledge of the incident at issue. Character witnesses are considered irrelevant and will not be permitted to testify. A person who serves as a witness may not serve in any other capacity during the hearing. The student must submit a list of witnesses to the hearing officer 24 hours in advance of the hearing. The list should include each witness' name and a summary of the witness' expected testimony. It is the student's responsibility to bring his/her witnesses to the hearing at the scheduled date and time.

    3. Hearing Procedures

    The purpose of a hearing is to review all the facts and to consider testimony, both written and oral, in an effort towards determining whether or not College policy has been violated and whether or not the student should be disciplined, and if so, what disciplinary action should be taken.

    a. Closed Hearing. All proceedings are closed, except that an alleged victim(s) may be given permission by a hearing officer to attend. Those present in the hearing room will be the Hearing Officer, college staff recorder, the student's advisor, and the student involved in the action. In addition, witnesses will be interviewed individually.
    b. Unbiased Adjudicator. Hearing Officers must remove themselves from hearing a case if they believe that they cannot be unbiased. Respondent will be notified of the hearing officer(s) who will consider the Charge at least 3 business days before the hearing. If respondent or other interested party believes the hearing officer cannot be unbiased, s/he must write to the Dean of Students in the Office of Student Life to request a replacement, stating the specific reasons s/he believes the hearing officer would be biased. The written request must be made a minimum of 2 business days before the hearing is scheduled to be held. If the Dean of Students agrees, s/he will reassign the Charge to a different Hearing Officer, but the hearing date will remain unchanged if possible.
    a. Hearing Record. The hearing officer will make a record of the hearing. If the College deems it appropriate, the hearing will be audio tape recorded. The recording will remain on file in the Office of Student Life.
    b. Maintaining Order. The hearing officer is responsible for maintaining order during the hearing. The hearing officer may take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure an orderly hearing.
    c. Presenting Evidence/Questioning Witnesses. The student will have an opportunity to present relevant information and witnesses in response to the Charge. The student will have the opportunity to examine all information leading to the charge(s) and to respond to all witness testimony. The hearing officer will question witnesses. The student may not question witnesses directly, but may submit questions to the hearing officer, who will decide which, if any, of the questions to ask witnesses. Witnesses who have already testified may not talk with witnesses who have not yet testified.
    d. Requesting Evidence. The student or the hearing officer may request the presence of relevant witnesses. If an alleged victim or a witness is not present at the hearing, his/her presence can be requested.
    e. Sexual Offenses. A victim of an alleged sexual offense or assault may testify via an intercom or other remote audio or video device, so that s/he may testify without face-to-face contact with the accused student. The identity of all witnesses who testify must be known to the accused student. In no event may testimony via intercom or other remote device be used to keep the alleged victim's identity from the accused student.
    f. Anonymous Evidence/Evidence Received Outside the Hearing. The hearing officer will refuse to accept or hear any evidence coming from an anonymous source or evidence which is presented outside of the hearing.
    g. Relevant Evidence. The hearing officer will decide whether to admit evidence. Rules of evidence used in courts of law are not used in this judicial process. Generally, a hearing officer will agree to hear evidence which is relevant to the subject matter of the hearing and is fair and reliable under the circumstances of the case. Character witnesses generally are not considered relevant.
    h. Adjudicatory Standard. The hearing officer/judicial council will determine whether the Respondent is "responsible" or "not responsible" for the alleged violation. The Respondent will be presumed "not responsible" until proven otherwise by a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence is reached when the hearing officer/Judicial Council concludes that it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Code as alleged in the Charge.
    i. After reviewing available information on the case, the Hearings Officer will afford the student an opportunity to make his/her final comments before a decision is made.
    j. Written Hearing Decision. The hearing officer will provide a written decision to the student within 2 business days following the hearing. The hearing decision will state what evidence the hearing officer/judicial council considered and how it reached its decision based upon that evidence. If the Respondent is found responsible, the hearing decision will state what sanctions will be imposed.
    k. Notice of Appeal. The Respondent will be notified upon receiving the hearing decision that s/he has a right to appeal that decision, as described below, to the Judicial Affairs Officer or designee within five (5) business days from the date the hearing decision was sent.

    4. Appeals Procedure
     1. Individuals wishing to appeal disciplinary decisions made through the informal or formal hearing process may do so to the Dean of Students or designee within five (5) business days from the date the hearing decision was received.

    2. Appeal Procedures
    a. Bases for Appeal. The hearing decision may be appealed for the following bases only: (1) a procedural error unfairly and materially affected the outcome of the case, (2) evidence has been discovered which was not reasonably available at the time of the hearing, and/or (3) a clear abuse of discretion on the part of the hearing officer.

    b. Submitting an Appeal. To appeal, the Respondent must submit a written statement to the Dean of Students or designee stating, as precisely as possible, the basis for the appeal and the evidence to support the appeal.

    c. Consideration of Appeal. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Dean of Students or designee may elect to meet with the Respondent to discuss the appeal and, if necessary, hear the new evidence. The alleged victim may be given an opportunity to respond to the appeal.

    d. Written Appeal Decision. The Dean of Students or designee will render a written decision regarding the appeal. If the appeal is granted, the Dean of Students or designee will state on what basis the appeal was granted and describe any new evidence that was received and considered in rendering an appeal decision. The appeal may modify the hearing decision, including sanctions, as warranted. The appeal decision is final.

    5. Post-Hearing Procedure
    If the student fails to comply with the sanctions imposed upon him/her, as may have been modified by appeal, the hearing officer retains the power to impose additional sanctions on the student, up to and including dismissal from the College. In addition to the sanctions listed in the next section, the hearing officer may place a hold on the student's future registration privileges with the College. Such a hold results in a cancellation of all pre-registered courses. The hold remains in effect until the outstanding judicial matter and/or sanctions have been resolved and the initiating party authorizes its release. This action is not subject to appeal unless the sanction involves suspension from the residence halls or suspension/dismissal from the College. In these instances, an appeal may be filed using the procedure set forth above 

    F. Sanctions

    The following forms of discipline may be imposed on a student who is guilty of misconduct:

    A. Warning 

    Notice that a student's conduct in a specific instance does not meet College standards and that continued misconduct may result in a more serious disciplinary action. 

    B. Disciplinary Probation

    Notice that the student found in violation of the College standards may continue to be enrolled under stated conditions, violations of which may be cause for more serious disciplinary action.

    C. Restitution

    Compensation for loss, damage to or misappropriation of property or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damages. Restitution may be imposed in combination with any other penalty.

    D. Educational Sanction

    These may include, but are not limited to:

    • a formal apology, in writing and/or in person
    • a public presentation
    • reading books
    • watching videos
    • a reflective essay or a research paper on a designated topic
    • alcohol and other drug education which may require the completion of: 

       -Alcohol and Other Drug Education 
      -Consultation with a Counselor and completion of any/all referrals made as a result of the consultation
      -Specified number of sessions with a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CDAC)

    All alcohol and other drug education classes, as well as sessions with a CDAC, may have fines or fees associated with them which must be paid for by the student.

    E. Community Restitution

    Performance of a specified number of community restitution hours. This sanction will be fulfilled either on or off campus, as specified. On campus service will be in a specified department.

    F. Fines

    When appropriate, fines payable to the college may be levied for selected policy violations.

    G. Suspension From Residence Halls

    Prohibits the student from residing in any College-operated residence hall on either a temporary or a permanent basis. Student may reapply for housing after stated period of suspension. Specific restrictions on access to residence halls during the period of suspension may also be invoked. Suspension usually includes forfeiture of any fee rebate for the remainder of the housing contract.

    H. Suspension by an Instructor

    An instructor has the authority to immediately remove a student, who in the judgment of the instructor, is violating the College disruption policy or whose behavior jeopardizes the safety or wellbeing of the class.

    I. Summary Suspension from College

    A student may be suspended from presence on campus and participation in any or all programs (including academic programs) and any and all activities sponsored by the College, by the College President or designee, when the alleged acts are so serious that the continued presence of the student in the College community represents a potential danger to the health, welfare, and safety of the College or community or which places the educational mission of the college at risk. The determination of the seriousness of the alleged act shall be in the sole discretion of the College President or designee. Such suspension shall be in effect until a formal disciplinary hearing with the College President or designee has taken place. Determination of continued suspension or expulsion will be made through the formal hearing process.

    J. Deferred Suspension

    Placement on deferred suspension status during which there is observation and review of behavior. If the student is found to further violate college regulations during this period then the student is suspended without further hearings. Deferred suspension may be for a period of one term up to and including the remainder of a student's enrollment at the college.

     

    K. Suspension from College

    Separation of the student from the college for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Such separation prohibits attendance at any classes and participation in any College programs during the suspension period. The terms of the suspension may restrict access to College grounds or buildings, as well as attendance at College-sponsored social events, or other functions, as deemed appropriate by the College President or designee. The student may not register and/or enroll until the stated period of suspension is completed, and any requirements for the period of suspension are met.

    L. Expulsion

    Expulsion for an indefinite period of time includes loss of all College privileges including college employment and the privilege of entering any portion of the campus, participation in any campus programs or any activities sponsored by the College except by written authorization from the Office of the College President or designee.

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