The Student Conduct Board is a body that can hear and decide student conduct cases. Serving on your
Student Conduct Board is an excellent way to promote citizenship, educate, advance the mission of your University, uphold fairness, foster a safe, healthy climate on campus, and advance your own knowledge and experience. Service on the Board is personally rewarding. It is a noteworthy experience to highlight on your resume, an experience that employers find impressive.
The Student Conduct Board welcomes all students -commuters, residents, traditionally-aged, non-traditionally aged- to apply. Diversity of student members keeps the Board vibrant and representative of the University population.
If you apply and are accepted, you are placed on the Student Conduct
Board Roster and are likely to be called to serve once or twice per academic year since numerous students are on the Roster. Thus, the overall time commitment is minimal. However, prior to and during a hearing where you have agreed to serve, you must fully commit yourself and demonstrate the utmost reliability and punctuality. The Board for a particular case consists of five individuals -two students, two faculty and/or staff members, and a faculty and/or staff chairperson. Sometime before you are asked to serve, you will be asked to participate in a training session; the training sessions may be individual or group oriented.
Shepherd University is committed to order and due process. To accomplish this the University has established a Student Conduct System, which is administered by the Dean of Students. The Campus Student Conduct Board conducts due process hearings.
II. The Campus Student Conduct Board
A. The Board consists of two students, two faculty, and a faculty presiding officer.
B. The Student Conduct Board hears all cases requiring judicial review. The Board may convene as needed or on a weekly schedule.
1. Sanctions assessed by this Board for students found responsible of violating campus policy may include suspension or expulsion from the University (see VII. Disciplinary Sanctions).
2. Sanctions for student organizations may include denial of institutional recognition; use of institutional facilities; restrictions on social activities, recruitment and any other kind of proceeding, formal or informal; mandatory education; reparations; and recommendations to regional or national headquarters that the organizational charters be revoked.
D. The Student Conduct Administrator presents evidence to this Board.
E. If a student or a student organization is found responsible for violating a regulation, it will be based on the “preponderance of evidence” submitted rather than “responsible without a doubt” as used in civil proceedings.
III. The Student Conduct Administrator
The Student Conduct Administrator is an administrator designated by the Vice President of Student Affairs with the responsibility for the overall administration of Student Conduct process at Shepherd University. The Student Conduct Administrator at Shepherd University is the Dean of Students.
IV. Due Process Rights of the Accused Student
A. The accused student in any case has the right:
1. To be presumed not responsible (innocent).
2. To face all witness in the hearing.
3. To question any witness at the conclusion of his/her testimony.
4. To bring witnesses to the hearing.
5. To seek counsel from any member of the campus community or legal counsel.
6. To appeal for cause.
B. Pending the outcome of initial charges or results of an appeal, the student will not have his or her student status altered, except for reasons relating to the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and University property.
C. If, in the judgment of the Student Conduct Administrator, there is probable cause to believe that the continued presence of the accused on campus might constitute an unreasonable risk to campus personnel, students, or property, the Student Conduct Administrator will, on the next regular class day, convene a special committee consisting of three individuals appointed by the Student Conduct Administrator to review the evidence to determine whether a temporary suspension or restriction is warranted. The student will be given an opportunity to address the committee. The committee has the authority to suspend or restrict the student from campus until the student has a campus Student Conduct Board hearing and the results of that hearing are announced to the student.
V. Student Conduct Process Flow Chart
A. After a violation of a campus policy is alleged, a written incident report is submitted to the Student Conduct Administrator.
B. The Student Conduct Administrator meets with the accused student and reviews possible charges with the student. The student may request a hearing, or in incidents where guilt is not contested, take an administrative sanction.
C. If a hearing is needed, the Student Conduct Administrator sets the date and notifies the student of the charges five days prior to the hearing.
D. Prior to the hearing (at least 48 hours prior), the student needs to notify the Student Conduct Administrator if he/she plans to have legal counsel present at the hearing.
E. The Student Conduct Administrator will call three faculty or staff (one of whom will be chair) and two students from the Campus Student Conduct Board pool to serve as members of the Campus Student Conduct Board. Additional members will also be called to serve as backups.
F. At the hearing the members convene and meet the accused student. Board members who think that prior knowledge of the student or the incident would keep them from being impartial are excused and a substitute board member takes their place. Once the board is convened, the chair swears in the board.
G. The Student Conduct Administrator reads the charges and presents the case.
H. Witnesses are called and asked to give statements. The accused student has the opportunity to question witnesses.
I. The accused student may present his/her case and call witnesses if desired.
J. After all testimony is introduced, the chair will excuse all parties except the board members from the room.
K. Campus Student Conduct Board reviews the evidence and decides whether the student is responsible for the violation.
L. The Student Conduct Board informs the student of its decision. If the student is not responsible, the student is excused.
M. If the student is found responsible, the board will hear in the presence of the student any prior disciplinary record. The student will have an opportunity to raise questions regarding the previous disciplinary record and offer an explanation if desired.
N. The chair will schedule a date/time for the student to receive sanctions.
O. The board will determine the appropriate sanction for the chair to communicate to the student.
VI. How the Student Conduct Process Works
A. A written violation of policy may be received from Residence Life personnel, faculty, students, and other administrative units, or any member of the campus community.
B. Upon reviewing the incident reports, the Student Conduct Administrator:
1. Reviews and investigates the incident.
2. As part of the investigation the Student Conduct Administrator meets with the accused student/s or officers/members of an organization to discuss the incident.
3. Determines the charges (when warranted) to be filed against the accused student/s or club/organization.
4. In cases where the student (majority of officers or the president of the club or organization) admits to the charges or does not wish to contest the case, he/she may elect to waive a hearing and take an administrative sanction from the Student Conduct Administrator. In cases where two, three, or more other officers oppose in writing the president’s position, the case will go before a hearing board. In such a situation, the officers have 24 hours after the charges are delivered to present their written, signed letter of opposition (to the president’s position) to the Student Conduct Administrator.
5. Assigns cases to the Campus Student Conduct Board or administrator as appropriate.
C. Hearing Procedures
1. Cases are investigated by the Student Conduct Administrator, who will interview the defendant/s and all relevant witnesses.
2. If the evidence warrants a hearing, the Student Conduct Administrator will notify the student (officers & members of an organization) of the date, time, and place of the hearing in writing. The notice will be delivered by a member of the Residence Life Staff, or mailed to the student’s off-campus address.
3. Notice of hearings must contain the charges, including pertinent policy sections and a brief description of the incident.
4. Five days’ notice must be given prior to the hearing date.
5. Failure of the accused student to appear on the hearing date after proper notification is not grounds to postpone a hearing and the hearing will continue.
6. In cases identified as having the potential for suspension or expulsion (denial of institution recognition), the student (or officers) will be informed of the right to have legal counsel present at the hearing. (In such cases, students retain legal counsel at their own expense and must notify the Student Conduct Administrator at least two days prior to the hearing of their intent to have an attorney present at the hearing.) An advisor, whether it is legal counsel or a member of the campus community, may consult and advise the accused student, but may not speak on behalf of the student or otherwise participate directly in the proceedings. When the accused student or campus organization retains an attorney, the University may also elect to use legal counsel in an advisory capacity.
7. If a student is a victim of an offense for which the accused student goes to a hearing, the victim may be present throughout the hearing and may have an advisor or legal representative in the same manner as the accused student in the hearing.
8. A taped transcript will be taken at all Campus Student Conduct Board hearings.
9. If the accused student or organization is found responsible and the sanction includes community restitution, the case is forwarded to the Student Conduct Administrator who monitors the community restitution, assessed by the Student Conduct Board.
10. Written sanctions, issued by the Campus Student Conduct Board, will be formulated and delivered by the Campus Student Conduct Board Chair to the Student Affairs Office at a time prescribed by the Court.
11. The accused student (or the president or designated officer of the organization) will pick up the written results of the hearing at the Student Affairs Office at a time prescribed by the Court.
12. The Student Conduct Administrator maintains a file of all cases heard by the Campus Student Conduct Board.
VII. Disciplinary Sanctions
The sanctions listed below shall be imposed upon students when the circumstances clearly indicate that a campus regulation has been violated. The sanction for a violation may be one or a combination of those set forth below:
A. Admonition: an oral statement to the student offender that he/she has violated University rules.
B. Warning: written notice to the student that continued or repeated violation of University regulations will be cause for more serious disciplinary action.
C. Restitution: reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property.
D. Restriction: limited freedom to move about, to use campus facilities, and/or to participate in campus activities.
E. Disciplinary Probation: period of time during which full compliance with policies, rules, and regulations is required. Noncompliance would make the student on probation subject to immediate suspension or expulsion. Disciplinary probation may also include certain restrictions when so stated in the decision of the hearing body.
F. Suspension: restriction from campus, exclusion from class attendance and other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice of suspension for a stated period of time. The conditions of readmission, if applicable, will be stated in the order of suspension. This sanction shall also be effective at all other state colleges and universities in West Virginia. During a period of suspension, no credits earned at another institution will be accepted at Shepherd University.
G. Expulsion: complete termination of student status for an indefinite period of time. The conditions of readmission, if applicable, will be stated in the order of expulsion. This sanction shall also be effective at all other state colleges in West Virginia. During a period of expulsion, no credits earned at another institution will be accepted at Shepherd University.
H. Organizational sanctions may include, but are not limited to: denial of the use of institutional facilities, institutional recognition, and/or a recommendation to regional or national headquarters that the organizational charter be revoked.
I. In cases where the penalties listed above are inappropriate, a penalty especially suited to the offense may be imposed.
A. An accused student may appeal a decision of the Campus Student Conduct Board on the following grounds:
1. The hearing was not conducted in a fair (impartial) manner.
2. New evidence became available after the hearing.
B. To effect an appeal, the defendant must notify the Vice President for Student Affairs, in writing, within three working days after the receipt of the sanction letter.
C. Should the Vice President for Student Affairs determine there are appropriate grounds for appeal, the Vice President for Student Affairs shall render an appellate decision which shall be final except in case of suspension or expulsion.
D. The decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs may take one of the following forms:
1. Affirm the original verdict.
2. Reverse the decision of the original board based on the appeal grounds.
3. Void the decision of the original board and order a new hearing.
E. In the case of suspension or expulsion the student may appeal the decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs to the President. This must be done in writing, within three working days of the decision. The President’s decision is final except in the case of expulsion.
F. In the case of expulsion a student may appeal the President’s decision to the appropriate governing board. A written petition of appeal must be filed with the Board of Governors within fifteen days of the President’s decision. Unless the Board determines that the petition will be heard within 10 calendar days of the filing of the petition, the decision of the President is affirmed and sanctions imposed therein shall be effective. If the appeal is granted, the sanction imposed by the President’s decision shall be stayed until the Board makes a final decision after a view of the case. In the event the decision of the President is affirmed after such review, the person appealing and the President shall be notified by certified mail and the sanction shall be effective immediately upon receipt by the President of the decision rendered by the Board.
In reviewing student appeals involving the sanction of expulsion, the Board will review all relevant information and records of applicable institutional disciplinary proceedings to ensure that due process has been afforded. In any case of any review of disciplinary action, the Board may take such action as it deems reasonable and proper in all the circumstances and in answer to all its responsibilities under the law.
G. Sanctions imposed by the Student Conduct Process are suspended during the time in which a matter is on appeal. Should the appeal fail, all academic work completed during the time of appeal is forfeited and the sanction begins at once. If it is too late in the semester to impose the sanction, it applies to the next regular semester. In any event a student may not graduate during the process of appeal.