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Procedures


Scope:  Who is covered by this Policy?                 

Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students and Student Organizations 


Policy

Report, Investigation and Notice

Report

Any person or organization may make a written report alleging a violation of this Code to the Office of Community Standards. The University may elect to treat a police report or citation as a disciplinary report. The Office of Community Standards or designee, will provide the accused student(s), student organization, fraternity or sorority a copy of the written notice of the report. The parties have the right to be accompanied by an advisor, including an attorney or advocate, to any related meeting or proceeding. The role of the advisor is only to be present; they will not be provided documentation or permitted to interject during the meeting. If a support person is determined to be unreasonably interfering with the investigation, they may be asked to leave.

Investigation

Reports alleging Title IX or Endangering Health or Safety violations will be investigated by the Office of Community Standards.  Other reports of Code violations will be investigated as necessary by the Office of Community Standards.  An investigation is designed to provide a prompt, fair and impartial investigation of the report. Once a decision is made to pursue an investigation, the University will provide written notice to both parties, which will include a description of the parties involved, the specific sections of the policy allegedly violated, the specific alleged misconduct, and the date(s) and location(s) of the misconduct. Expectations for Complainants and Accused Persons will be provided to both parties.

Absent extraordinary circumstances, the parties will receive the written notice at least three (3) business days before they are interviewed by the investigator

The complainant will not be required to discuss issues directly with the accused. The investigator will contact all parties and witnesses to establish interview times and locations. Contact between the parties will be limited to necessity.

The parties are entitled to the same opportunity to file a written statement, to submit information and to identify relevant witnesses. Either party may request additional or different interim measures as the investigation progresses.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a preliminary report summarizing the relevant evidence collected during the investigation. Each party will have five business days to review the report and provide any comment or response. .Thereafter, the investigator will finalize the report and include a determination as to whether or not reasonable cause exists to believe a violation occurred, and what responses need to occur.

The purpose of the investigation is to ascertain whether reasonable cause exists, whether a violation occurred, and what responses need to occur. The standard of review used to determine responsibility on campus is a “preponderance” standard. This determination is based on the greater weight of the information and does not require a standard beyond a reasonable doubt.

During any stage of the investigation, if the investigator reasonably suspects that either party  poses an imminent threat of harm or disruption to the campus community, the investigator will notify the Miami University Police and the Dean of Students, who may initiate the summary suspension process under the Code of Student Conduct to immediately remove the partyfrom campus and/or impose other restrictions.

The parties will simultaneously be provided with a copy of the investigative report. The parties will be given timely and equal access to information that will be used during disciplinary meetings and hearings.

Notice

The Office of Community Standards or designee, after reviewing a report or on its own initiative, may initiate the disciplinary process by giving the accused written notice of the alleged violation(s) and proposed sanction. The University will not conduct a procedural review for alleged violations unless suspension or dismissal is a proposed sanction.

When suspension or dismissal is not the proposed sanction(s) the accused will be provided an opportunity for a hearing before Student Court or an administrative hearing officer.

The parties have the right to be accompanied by an advisor, including an attorney or advocate, to any disciplinary related meeting or proceeding. The role of the advisor is only to be present; they will not be provided documentation or permitted to interject during the meeting or proceeding. If an advisor or support person is determined to be unreasonably interfering with the disciplinary meeting or proceeding they may be asked to leave.

Procedural Review

The purpose of the procedural review is to review the  charge, provide an explanation of the disciplinary process, review options and inform the accused of potential and proposed sanction(s) for the alleged violation(s). In matters involving an alleged violation of Section 103, both the complainant and the accused will have a Procedural Review. Ifan accused fails to appear at the procedural review, the accused may be deemed to have committed the violation and the sanction(s) set forth may be imposed or the matter may be rescheduled for a hearing at the discretion of the Director of the Office of Community Standards.

An accused must, no later than two University working days from date of the Procedural Review or, if there is no Procedural Review, five days from receipt of the, select one of three options and return the Page Two Option Form to the Office of Community Standards.

The options are:

  1. Admit to the violations and agree to accept the recommended sanctions; or
  2. Request an administrative hearing officer; or
  3. Request a hearing:
  4. before Student Court if suspension or dismissal is not a potential sanction; or
  5. before the Disciplinary Board if suspension or dismissal is a potential sanction; or
  6. before an Administrative Hearing Panel if an alleged Title IX violation.

All cases of alleged violation by a fraternity, sorority or student organization will be held before an Administrative Hearing Officer except those involving an alleged Title IX violation in which case the hearing will be held before an Administrative Hearing Panel.

The Office of Community Standards encourages students charged in the same incident and who have chosen the same hearing venue to have their cases consolidated for hearing. The Office of Community Standards reserves the right to require consolidation for a hearing.

If an accused fails to timely notify the Office of Community Standards of the option selected, the hearing will be scheduled by the Office of Community Standards.

Hearing

Hearings

  1. The hearing shall commence no sooner than five University working days after delivery of the charge to the accused and, in case of an alleged Title IX Violation, the complainant. Either party may request a postponement of the hearing for reasonable cause. Any request for postponement must be made in writing, include the supporting rationale and be received by the Office of Community Standards at least two University working days before the scheduled hearing.
  2. The hearing is closed to the public. Each partyis entitled to bring an advisor of their choice and two persons for support to the hearing. If an advisor or support person is determined to be unreasonably interfering with the hearing, they may be asked to leave. The University will accommodate concerns for personal safety, well-being, and/or concerns regarding confrontation betweenthe parties and/or witnessesduring the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen or by permitting participation by other means.
  3. The Office of Community Standards may elect to have a process coordinator present a hearing. The role of the process coordinator is to ensure procedures and the hearing guidelines are followed.
  4. The parties have the right to file a written statement or a written response to the complaint. The Office of Community Standards will establish deadlines for submission of the written statement and response. The hearing authority has the right to determine the acceptability of testimony and other information during the hearing and may place time limitations on testimony and on closing statements.
  5. The parties have the right to submit information and question witnesses who testify in the matter. Witnesses other than the complainant and the accused student(s) shall be present only when they are giving testimony. The hearing authority has the right to control the questioning of all witnesses and require that all questioning be conducted through the hearing authority.
  6. In a hearing alleging a Title IX violation, the questioning of the complainant and the accused student(s) will be conducted through the Administrative Hearing Panel. Complainants will not be asked about prior sexual history with anyone other than the accused student(s). The parties will both be given access to any information that will be used during the hearing at least three University working days prior to the hearing. For more information see-Expectations for Complainants and Accused Persons
  7. The hearing will be recorded by the University. Either party may make provisions for a record of the hearing, subject to their own payment of the cost; or as the parties may agree, in advance in writing, to share the cost of the record. If a record is made, a copy shall be supplied to the University at no cost.
  8. Each party will be given the opportunity to present a closing statement.

At the close of the hearing, the hearing authority will adjourn and deliberate privately. The standard of review used to determine responsibility is a “preponderance” standard. Within ten calendar days after the close of the hearing, the hearing authority will issue its decision in writing.

If the Administrative Hearing Officer/Disciplinary Board/Administrative Hearing Panel determines that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred, sanction(s) will be imposed. If an accused fails to appear at a scheduled hearing, and the absence is not excused, the hearing may proceed without the presence of the accused student(s). Hearings may be rescheduled at the discretion of the Office of Community Standards.

Disciplinary Board

The University Disciplinary Board will be composed of ten faculty members, endorsed by the chair or co-chairs of the Board and appointed by the President; eight undergraduate students, who are juniors or seniors, nominated by Associated Student Government and appointed by the President; and two graduate students, nominated by the Dean of the Graduate School and appointed by the President. The chair or co-chairs of the Disciplinary Board will be members of the faculty and will be appointed by the President. Except for the chair or co-chairs, who will serve three-year terms, all members will serve one-year terms. Quorum for University Disciplinary Board hearings is defined as at least three faculty members and two students. If the accused student(s) is a graduate student, one of the student members shall be a graduate student.

Administrative Hearing Panel

Hearings before the Administrative Hearing Panel shall follow the same procedures as are followed by the Disciplinary Board. The Administrative Hearing Panel Pool will be composed of six faculty members appointed by the President, and four staff members appointed by the Office of Community Standards. An Administrative Hearing Panel will be comprised of two faculty members and one staff member who shall serve as chair.

Student Court

The Student Court will consist of 15 undergraduate students and up to two alternate undergraduates. Student Senate confirms the Student Court appointments. The term of office will be for one calendar year beginning on the last day of second semester or until resignation or removal. Quorum for Student Court hearings is defined as at least five students. If the accused student(s) is a graduate student, one of the student members shall be a graduate student. The Student Court will handle all cases referred to it by the Office of Community Standards.

Notification

The Office of Community Standards will notify the student, student organization, fraternity or sorority of the decision (in writing) of the outcome of the hearing and will also notify the student, student organization, fraternity or sorority, if responsible, of the sanction(s) imposed. In cases of an alleged Title IX violation the parties will be simultaneously notified, in writing, of the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings including the result of any initial, interim and final decision, the institutions procedures for appeal and any change to the results. The notification includes whether the accused was found responsible, if so the sanction imposed, and the reason(s) for the result. Upon request, the complainant and the accused student(s) of an alleged crime of violence will be advised of the final results (whether the accused was found responsible and if so the sanction[s] imposed) of the disciplinary proceeding.

Administrative Fee

Any student, student organization, fraternity or sorority that is found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct will be assessed an administrative fee of $50 per incident.


Related Form(s)

Not Applicable.


Additional Resources and Procedures

Not Applicable.


FAQ

Not Applicable.


Policy Administration

Next Review Date

7/1/2023

Responsible Officer

Director, Office of Community Standards

Legal Authority

Not Applicable.

Compliance Policy

Yes

Revision History

Reference ID

Student Handbook 2.3

Reviewing Bodies:

 Student Life Counsel