Policy Number: D18.0

 

Policy Name: RIT STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS

 

  1. Introduction

An environment that encourages freedom of expression and inquiry is essential to achieving the educational mission of RIT. It is the responsibility of RIT students, faculty/staff and administrators to work towards the achievement of this educational mission through appropriate actions or behaviors related to P.3.0 - Honor Code. When these actions or behaviors are inappropriate, or when these actions or behaviors lead to conflicts, it is the responsibility of RIT to provide a process that informs and educates the RIT community about appropriate behaviors and provides a fair and reasonable manner for the resolution of conflicts. This Student Code of Conduct provides that process for cases involving students.

  1. Scope


    All Students are expected to comply with this Student Code from the time of admission through the separation from the university. This would include Students on co-op and Students not officially enrolled during a particular term, but who have a continuing relationship with the university. This Student Code will apply to a student's behavior even if the student withdraws from the university while a disciplinary matter is pending, or if the behavior occurs off campus. For purposes of this Student Code, the location of the off campus behavior will not affect its applicability. This Student Code applies to Student organizations, their officers and Students' visitors, guests, invitees, or family members. It is the responsibility of Students to inform their visitors, guests, invitees, or family members of this Student Code. Acts committed in violation of this Student Code by Students' visitors, guests, invitees, or family members will be considered violations of this Student Code by the Student. This Student Code does not apply to non-Students, except to the extent that the non-Student is a Students' visitors, guests, invitees, or family member.


  2. Definitions

Terms not defined elsewhere in this policy are defined below.

  1. Accused means any Student member of the RIT Community alleged to have engaged in conduct in violation of the Student Code.
  2. Business Day means Monday through Friday and does not include official RIT holidays.
  3. Code of Conduct means RIT's Student Code of Conduct.
  4. Complaint means the written charges filed against a Student or Student Organization by a Student Conduct Officer for alleged violation(s) of the Student Code. Complaints may only be filed by a Student Conduct Officer.
  5. Complainant means RIT. In matters involving sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking the Complainant will also include the recipient of alleged misconduct, provided that the Complainant is a Student. Complainants in these cases will have the same rights under the Student Code as are provided to the Accused.
  6. Consent means the ability to engage in activity knowingly and voluntarily. In instances involving sexual activity, consent must exist from the beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity and for each form of sexual contact. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage freely in sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive.
  7. Incapacitation means the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because the individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, asleep, unconscious, or unaware that sexual activity is occurring. Incapacitation may result from the use of alcohol and/or drugs. Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. The impact of alcohol and other drugs varies from person to person; however, warning signs that a person may be incapacitated may include slurred speech, vomiting, unsteady gait, odor of alcohol, combativeness, or emotional volatility.
  8. Report of Misconduct means any allegation of a violation of the Student Code. Anyone may file a Report of Misconduct against a Student or Student Organization.
  9. RIT Community means RIT administrators, faculty, staff, Students and Student organizations.
  10. Responses for Code of Conduct Violations means all assigned statuses and conditions to hold Students accountable and to support Student reflection and learning from their behaviors.
  11. Student means undergraduate, graduate, non-degree seeking, students in not-for-credit programs, and all persons taking courses or training at RIT as well as Students on co-op and Students not officially enrolled during a particular term, but who have a continuing relationship with the university.
  12. Student Organization means any RIT recognized student group including fraternities and sororities, athletic teams, clubs, or other student groups on campus.
  13. Student Conduct Officer means any trained administrator designated by the director of the Center for Student Conduct, who is authorized to conduct hearings and to impose the full range of university statuses and conditions. Center for Residence Life professional staff members have the authority to hear cases, and can impose the full range of university statuses and conditions, excluding removal from housing and separation from the university.
  14. Student Conduct Appeals Coordinator means a trained staff member who works with Students interested in appealing decisions of student conduct hearings. The Student Conduct Appeals Coordinator will act as a resource for the Student as they begin the appeal process, and will provide information about the RIT appeals process.
  15. Unwelcomed Conduct means conduct that is not initiated by the recipient or which is regarded as offensive to the recipient, without regard to the intent of the individual engaging in the conduct. Unwelcomed conduct can be persistent, pervasive, or severe and can include sexual misconduct or sexual violence.
  16. Appeals Liaison means a staff member who works with students to help them prepare for the appeal process.
  17. Title IX means Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. It states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
  1. RIT Standards of Conduct

Students and Student organizations are expected to conduct themselves in ways that support the university's mission. The behaviors outlined in these standards are inappropriate and do not support the university's mission. They are listed below to provide Students with information about the university’s expectations for community behavior. Students engaging in inappropriate behaviors, including but not limited to those behaviors listed below, will be afforded the opportunity to participate in the process outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

  1. Endangering Behavior. Behavior that threatens or endangers the health and/or safety of oneself or others. Endangering behavior may include physical, verbal, or electronic abuse, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
  2. Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy. Behavior that involves substances including alcohol and other drugs. For detailed information, see D.18.1 “Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.”
  3. Harassment. Abuse, threats, intimidation, assault, coercion and/or conduct, by physical, verbal, signed, written, photographic or electronic means, which unreasonably interferes, threatens or endangers any person on RIT premises or at university sponsored or supervised functions. Harassment includes sexual harassment which is Unwelcomed Conduct of a sexual nature which is made a condition of employment or academic status, or unreasonably interferes with the work or educational environment.
  4. Sex Discrimination. The treatment of an individual based on that individual's gender. Sex discrimination includes sexual misconduct, and sexual violence. Sexual Misconduct is any form of unwanted sexual contact that unreasonably interferes with the work or educational environment. Unwanted sexual contact means against a person's wishes or without consent, including those instances in which the individual is unable to give consent because of unconsciousness, sleep, impairment, incapacitation. Sexual Violence is any act of a sexual nature prohibited by applicable federal, state, or local laws including, but not limited to, rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion that unreasonably interferes with the work or educational environment.
  5. Discrimination. The treatment of an individual based on that individual's group, class, or category. Group, class, or category includes, but is not limited to, race, religion, age, citizenship, color, creed, culture, including deaf culture, actual or perceived disabilities, gender, marital status, ethnic or national origin, political affiliation or preference, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic predisposition.
  6. Stalking. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual that would cause a reasonable individual to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress and which unreasonably interferes with the work or educational environment. Stalking may include, but is not limited to, unwelcomed conduct such as surveillance, following, trespassing, gift giving or property damage, or written, in-person, digital, social media, or other communication directly or through a third party.
  7. Dating Violence. Violence by an individual who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with another individual and which violence unreasonably interferes with the work or educational environment. Whether there was such a relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
  8. Domestic Violence. Violent misdemeanors and felony offenses committed by an individual's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, an individual similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law and which violence unreasonably interferes with the work or educational environment.
  9. Retaliation. Any adverse action intended to intimidate or punish another individual from reporting misconduct or participating in any university process or activity.
  10. Disruptive/Disorderly Behavior. Behaviors that are disruptive to any on or off campus activity or conduct that infringes the rights of others.
  11. Theft. Attempted or actual theft of, or unauthorized possession of university, personal, or public property.
  12. Property Damage. Attempted or actual damage, destruction, or alteration of university, personal, or public property.
  13. Refusal to Comply. Refusal to comply with the legitimate and reasonable request of any university representatives in the performance of their official duties.
  14. Hazing/Failure to Report Hazing. Behavior, regardless of intent, which endangers the emotional, or physical health and safety of a Student for the purpose of membership, affiliation with, or maintaining membership in, a group or Student Organization. Hazing includes any level of participation, such as being in the presence, having awareness of hazing, or failing to report hazing. Examples of hazing include, but are not limited to, beating or branding, sleep deprivation or causing excessive fatigue, threats of harm, forcing or coercing consumption of food, water, alcohol or other drugs, or other substances, verbal abuse, embarrassing, humiliating, or degrading acts, or activities that induce, cause or require the Student to perform a duty or task which is not consistent with fraternal law, ritual or policy or involves a violation of local, state or federal laws, or the RIT Code of Conduct.
  15. Fire/Fire Safety. Behavior that results in a fire, a false fire alarm, or a fire safety hazard.
  16. Unauthorized Access. Unauthorized entry to or presence in any university building or property.  Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of a university key, ID, or access card.
  17. Violation of Law. Violation of federal, state or local law on university premises or at university sponsored or supervised activities.
  18. Weapon Possession. Possession of, or implied possession of, a weapon anywhere on property owned, leased, or controlled by the university. Examples of weapons include, but are not limited to, any type of firearm, martial arts tools, paintball and air soft guns, explosives, chemicals used in a dangerous way, and ammunition.
  19. Gambling. Possession of gambling devices, operation of lotteries and/or the promotion of gambling.
  20. Failure to be a Responsible Host. Failure to ensure that the behavior of a non-university member complies with university policies.
  21. Dishonest Behavior. Any act of dishonesty, including misrepresenting, omitting, altering, or falsifying information to university officials or on university documents, IDs, or records, exclusive of violations of D08.0 - Student Academic Integrity Process.
  22. Violation of RIT Policies. Violation of published RIT policies, rules, and regulations including, but not limited to, Parking and Traffic Regulations, Educational Policies including the Student Academic Integrity Policy, Smoking Policy, Housing Terms and Conditions, Demonstration Policy, and other outlined university policies, rules and regulations.
  23. Code of Conduct for Computer and Network Use.  Behaviors related to the misuse of RIT's computing, network, and information resources, including copyright infringement.  For specifics, see C8.2 - Code of Conduct for Computer Use
  1. General Provisions for the Student Code of Conduct

    1. The university will take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination and harassment, to prevent the recurrence of discrimination and harassment, and to remedy the discriminatory effects on members of the RIT Community, as appropriate. Any conduct hearings or appeals that may be commenced under the Student Code will be conducted in an impartial manner by an impartial decision maker(s).
    2. The university encourages students who have been subjected to sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking to report such behavior so that the university can respond appropriately. When reporting such behavior, the student may request confidentiality or anonymity. Any request for confidentiality or anonymity will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Title IX coordinator. In the event confidentiality or anonymity is granted, it may prevent the university from conducting a prompt and thorough investigation or pursuing disciplinary action against the Accused. The university will weigh that request against its obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students. There may be times when the university may not be able to honor a request for confidentiality or anonymity because the goal of providing a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students outweighs the individual's desire for confidentiality or anonymity. If the university determines that it cannot maintain a student's confidentiality or anonymity, the university will inform the student prior to starting an investigation and will maintain the student's confidentiality to the extent possible, including but not limited to, record-keeping that excludes personally identifiable information of the Complainant. The university will take ongoing steps to protect the student from retaliation or harm.
    3. The university has adopted the following principles to govern its internal Student conduct processes for responding to Student misconduct:
      1. Students are adults who are responsible for the consequences of their actions. An academic institution can and should hold a Student accountable for violating institutional policies and rules, particularly when the Student’s conduct interferes with the safety or rights of other members of the institutional community (including fellow Students, faculty, staff and visitors to the campus).
      2. The university is not a microcosm of the general community; it is a special purpose community and only activities related to the achievement of its educational purposes are proper to the community.
      3. Academic institutions are neither law-enforcement agencies nor sanctuaries from the law. Criminal and civil laws still apply within the academic community. In addition, the university has the authority to establish further policies to educate and hold Students accountable for violating these policies. Where the interests of the academic institution and the members of the university community are involved, the special authority of the university will be asserted.
      4. Except for violations of civil or criminal laws, the internal affairs of the university are best handled by the university itself without resort to outside intervention. There can be no guarantee that outside agencies will not choose to intervene on their own or that a victim of a crime will not request the involvement of outside law enforcement.
    4. Violations of Criminal or Civil Laws.
      1. The senior vice president for student affairs or designee will determine if the university will refer violations of criminal law to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
      2. A proceeding under the Student Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. Statuses and conditions may be imposed before the outcome of any civil or criminal proceeding.
      3. The university will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for rehabilitation of Student violators.  Individual Students, faculty and staff, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives as they deem appropriate.
    5. Filing a Report of Misconduct. Anyone may file a Report of Misconduct against any Student or Student organization for violation of the Student Code.
      1. A Report of Misconduct concerning academic conduct matters can be made to the dean of the college (or designee) responsible for the academic program in which the alleged misconduct occurred.
      2. A Report of Misconduct concerning non-academic conduct matters can be made to Public Safety, a Center for Residence Life staff member, or a Student Conduct Officer.
      3. In addition to Public Safety, or a Student Conduct Officer, a Report of Misconduct concerning sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence can also be made to the university’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators, listed here: http://www.rit.edu/fa/humanresources/Diversity/TitleIX, the director of the Center for Women and Gender, or any university employee. Information concerning the applicability of Title IX can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html.
    6. Investigating a Report of Misconduct. Upon receipt of a Report of Misconduct, regardless of type, Public Safety will conduct an investigation. Generally, the investigation will be concluded within thirty (30) Business Days from the Report of Misconduct and transferred to the Center for Student Conduct. This time frame may be modified based on the facts and circumstances of the specific investigation only with the approval of an associate vice president within the division of Student Affairs. The Student Conduct Officer will review the Report of Misconduct and determine if a Complaint will be filed. If a Complaint is filed, the Student Conduct Officer will determine the appropriate action to be taken in accordance with the provisions of the Student Code, including but not limited to, whether the case will be heard by a Center for Residence Life administrator or by a Student Conduct Officer. Generally, the appropriate action will be determined within thirty (30) Business Days from the conclusion of the investigation. This time frame may be expanded based on the facts and circumstances of the specific Complaint and/or the availability of witnesses only with the approval of the Student Conduct Officer. In Reports of Misconduct that concern sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, the Complainant may work with resources such as the CARES Program, Center for Women and Gender, or the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Deputies to discuss all of the reporter’s options, including investigating the report.
    7. Retaliation. The university prohibits retaliation against anyone filing a complaint alleging a violation of the Student Code, participating in the processes described in the Student Code, or opposing any practice in violation of the Student Code or applicable federal, state, or local laws. In addition to the procedures set forth in the Student Code for the filing, investigation, and resolution of complaints, allegations of retaliation may also be made, in person or in writing, to the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, RIT’s Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, RIT’s Title IX Coordinator, RIT’s Deputy Title IX Coordinators, Public Safety, the RIT president, any RIT vice president, or via the RIT Ethics Hotline at (866)294-9358 or (866)294-9572 TTY (which can be used for either direct or anonymous reporting).
    8. Student Rights. All Students can expect the Student Code to be administered in a caring, sensitive and supportive manner, and to be treated with dignity and respect by all persons involved in the conduct process. The Student Code will allow Complainants to utilize the Student conduct process unimpeded, free from intimidation and harassment, while maintaining the rights of the Accused. All Students have the following rights:
      1. As citizens of the community at large, including but not limited to:
        1. The right to be free in their persons, living quarters, papers, and effects against unwarranted searches and seizures;
        2. The right to remain silent and to be provided with basic due process in disciplinary proceedings;
        3. The right to privacy (in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regarding access to and disclosure of Student records; and
        4. The right to freedom of association.
      2. Freedom of inquiry, and expression, along with the right to participate in university governance and to maintain a Student press free from censorship.
      3. To be informed of any risks involved in acting as human subjects for research activities conducted through RIT.
      4. To receive information pertaining to the Student Code and appropriate referrals for information on the criminal process, where applicable.
      5. To receive access to and information pertaining to available counseling assistance.
      6. To receive access to assistance throughout the Student conduct process, including the ability to utilize the RIT Advocacy Program.
      7. To have access to all information presented during any hearing held in accordance with the provisions of the Student Code, including information and testimony from witnesses.
      8. To be informed, in writing, of the results of any hearing held in accordance with the provisions of the Student Code.
    9. RIT Advocacy Program. The RIT Student Conduct process is intended to address Student misconduct in accordance with RIT's community expectations. As an educational experience, the participating Student is expected to take primary responsibility for responding to the incident in question. Throughout the conduct process, students may find that a trained and knowledgeable advocate can be both supportive and beneficial. The Advocacy Program is a university initiative designed to provide Students with assistance throughout the RIT Student Conduct Process by partnering the Student with an RIT faculty or staff member as they engage in the RIT Student Conduct Process. An advocate neither represents the Student in the hearing, nor may an advocate serve as a character witness for the Student. The advocate serves as a supportive partner to the Student in this educational process. Advocates will provide:
      1. Advocacy prior to Conduct Hearings, including:
        1. Meeting with the Student to assist in preparing for the hearing;
        2. Assisting the Student in understanding RIT policies, and the procedures of the Student Conduct Process; and
        3. Assisting the Student in accessing available university resources.
      2. Advocacy during Conduct Hearings, including:
        1. Participating in the conduct hearing by providing silent support, assisting the Student in making statements and responding to questions, and/or directly asking questions of witnesses and other conduct hearing participants ; and
        2. Assisting the Student in clarifying information pertinent to the incident.
      3. Choosing an Advocate. In choosing an advocate, Students may:
        1. Select a specific person from a list of trained advocates provided by the Center for Student Conduct;
        2. Request that a selection be made for them from a list of trained advocates; or
        3. Select an RIT faculty/staff member with whom they are familiar. Advocates who have not yet been trained for advocacy may receive training by the Center for Student Conduct. Advocates will not be attorneys admitted to practice law in any court or members of a bar association.
        4. An advocate will determine, within their sole discretion, whether or not they are willing to serve as an advocate in any particular matter. In the event a chosen advocate declines to serve in any particular matter, the Student may select another person.
    10. Reporting and Record Management. Records of proceedings under the Student Code will be governed by C22.0 - RIT Records Management Policy.

VI. Procedures Requiring a Hearing for Resolving Violations of the Student Code of Conduct

    1. Notification Process.
      1. The Accused will be sent written or electronic notice of the allegations brought forth as a Complaint.  The notice will include:
        1. A request for the Accused to contact the Center for Student Conduct;
        2. A description of the conduct in which the Student was allegedly involved;
        3. A list of possible university policies, rules or regulations allegedly violated;
        4. The offices that will be represented at the hearing;
        5. A link to the website explaining the Student Code, along with instructions to review the RIT Student Conduct Process documented in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook; and
        6. An assurance that the university will keep the Complaint and investigation confidential to the extent possible and in compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
      2. Notice of the allegations brought forth in Complaints alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking will also be provided to the Complainant.  In addition to the above-referenced notice process, notice to the Complainant will also include:
        1. Information regarding their rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;
        2. Information regarding their rights under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and the Campus Sexual Violence Act;
        3. Information regarding available resources such as counseling and crisis centers; and
        4. Information regarding their right to file a complaint with a local law enforcement agency.
    2. Standard of Review.  All hearings and appeals under the Student Code will be determined using the preponderance of the evidence standard, which is established when all supporting documents of an incident provide information that a Student more likely than not violated the Student Code.
    3. Conduct Hearings. The Director of the Center for Student Conduct, or designee, will determine which hearing type is most appropriate for the incident. There are three hearing types, including:
      1. A hearing with a Center for Residence Life staff member. These hearings are for cases involving incidents in or around RIT housing, and are not recorded. Center for Residence Life staff are authorized to issue the full range of statuses and conditions up to, but not including, removal from campus and separation from the university.
      2. A hearing with two (2) Student Conduct Officers. In conduct hearings involving allegations of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking the Complainant will be entitled to the same rights as the Accused, including but not limited to, the right to present evidence and to participate in the hearing. In these cases, a second Student Conduct Officer will be present at the hearing. This second Student Conduct Officer is an additional trained administrator who will decide, in conjunction with the original Student Conduct Officer, whether prohibited actions have occurred, and if so, the response.
      3. A hearing with a Student Conduct Officer. These hearings are for cases that are not designated in VI(C1) and VI(C2). Student Conduct Officers have the authority to impose a full range of statuses and conditions including suspension and expulsion. Student Conduct Officers will determine, within their sole discretion, the extent to which the Complainant and their advocate may participate in the hearing.
    4. Hearing Participants.
      1. Advocates. The Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, will be informed that they have the right to bring either an advocate of their choice in cases involving sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking, or, in all other cases, an advocate from a list of trained advocates provided by the Center for Student Conduct, to the hearing (refer to V. H.).
      2. Attorneys. The Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, may also bring an attorney, in addition to an advocate, to the conduct hearing as an advisor only when the case has resulted in an arrest and is also being heard in a court of law, and upon the permission of the Student Conduct Officer. If an attorney is present during a conduct hearing or appeal presentation, the attorney cannot participate in the hearing process. An attorney can only observe the hearing process and give the Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, quiet counsel outside the conduct hearing or appeal. If the Student Conduct Officer determines that the behavior of an attorney present during a conduct hearing is inconsistent with, or disruptive to, the university hearing process, the conduct hearing may be terminated at that time or the attorney excused from the remainder of the conduct or appeal hearing.
      3. Parents/Guardians. Parents/guardians are not permitted to participate in or be present during any RIT Student conduct hearing or appeal, unless the Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, is under the age of eighteen (18). In those instances, the parent/guardian can observe the hearing process or appeal presentation and give the Student quiet counsel. If the parent/guardian is chosen as an advocate under this policy, then the parent/guardian shall be afforded the same opportunities to participate in the conduct hearing as any other advocate.
      4. Witnesses. The Student Conduct Officer determines and permits witnesses for the Accused and where appropriate, the Complainant. Witnesses must be members of the RIT Community in order to be present for the hearing; other witnesses can make statements through Public Safety to be read during the hearing. Witnesses must have direct information regarding the incident; character witnesses are not allowed. For hearings involving allegations of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, students must obtain approval of witnesses by the Center for Student Conduct three business days prior to the hearing.
      5. University Liaisons. Other persons who might be present at the hearing include:
        1. Public Safety representatives;
        2. NTID conduct liaison (if either the Accused or the Complainant are NTID-supported Students);
        3. Other appropriate university personnel (e.g., a representative from the Center for Residence Life or Fraternity and Sorority Life); and/or
        4. Sign language interpreters or captionists if the Student, or any participant in the hearing, is deaf or hard of hearing.
    5. Recording of Hearing. All conduct hearings with Student Conduct Officers are audio recorded. The participants in the conduct hearing will be informed upon entry into the hearing location of the recording. Hearings can be video recorded upon request. A request for video recording must be made in writing twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled hearing. Video recording requests made with less than twenty-four (24) hours' notice may be denied at the discretion of the Student Conduct Officer. All participants in the conduct hearing will give their consent to video recording. Any participant in the conduct hearing that chooses to not be video recorded will be audio recorded only. Recordings (both audio and video) will be retained in accordance with the C22.0 - RIT Records Management Policy. The recording of the conduct hearing is a university business record and the property of the university. The Accused, or where appropriate the Complainant, may request access to the recording by submitting a written request to the Center for Student Conduct after an appeal is submitted to the Student Conduct Appeals Coordinator and prior to the Appeals Hearing.
    6. Accommodations Request. Students with a valid Disabilities Services Agreement (DSA) from the Disability Services Office may be eligible for accommodations in the student conduct process. Students requesting accommodations for the conduct process must provide a current DSA to the Center for Student Conduct before accommodations can be made.

  1. Hearing Procedures for Resolving Violations of the Student Code of Conduct
  1. All Student conduct hearings will be conducted in private.
  2. The Student Conduct Officer will inform the Student that the conduct hearing is being recorded (when appropriate).
  3. The Student Conduct Officer will review with the Student a copy of the Student Rights section V. G. of the Student Code and ask the Student to acknowledge in writing that it has been reviewed and understood.
  4. The Student Conduct Officer will review all of the materials or evidence that has been submitted by witnesses, Public Safety, Center for Residence Life, or others. The materials may consist of, but are not limited to, a summary of the case as written by Public Safety, statements from witnesses, or statements from other persons involved in the situation.
  5. After the submitted materials and evidence have been read, the Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, will have an opportunity to refute or explain the materials or evidence or add information. The Student Conduct Officer and other university officials present will ask the Student questions and discuss the case. The Student may choose to remain silent (not answer any questions or make statements), or the Student (and their advocate) may participate in the discussion.
  6. The Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, and the Student Conduct Officer are permitted to bring witnesses and question the witnesses of others.
  7. The RIT Student Conduct Process is not a court of law and legal rules of evidence and procedure do not apply. The Student Conduct Officer will determine in their sole discretion the range of testimony permitted by witnesses and items of information which may be considered.
  8. If the Student Conduct Officer determines that a witness or Complainant may be emotionally harmed by giving evidence in the presence of the Accused, the Student Conduct Officer may make other arrangements (such as use of a wall partition or video conferencing) to allow the testimony while not depriving the Accused of access to the evidence.
  9. All procedural questions will be decided in the sole discretion of the Student Conduct Officer.
  10. In cases where the Accused fails to answer the charges or appear at the conduct hearing, the hearing may still take place. A determination will be made and a status imposed based on the evidence submitted at the conduct hearing. The Accused's failure to answer charges or appear at the conduct hearing cannot be the sole basis for a responsible finding under this policy. In addition, the Accused may be put on a conduct status for failure to attend a conduct hearing after receiving a written or electronic request to appear at the hearing.
  11. Once all evidence has been submitted and discussed, and within the sole discretion of the Student Conduct Officer, the Accused, Complainant, and the advocate(s) will leave the room. The Student Conduct Officer and other university staff present will deliberate and discuss the appropriate resolution of the case including appropriate statuses and conditions, if any.
  12. Upon conclusion of the deliberation and discussion, the Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, and their advocate(s) will then be asked to rejoin the conduct hearing and be informed by the Student Conduct Officer of the determination. If the determination is that the Student violated the policies, rules, or regulations of the university, the response to misconduct will be discussed. The conduct hearing is concluded when the Student Conduct Officer provides their determination.
  13. If, in the sole discretion of the Student Conduct Officer, it is deemed appropriate, interim suspension or restrictions may be imposed during the time of an appeal or until the time to appeal has passed. (See VIII. 4).
  14. Upon conclusion of the conduct hearing, the Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, will be simultaneously sent written notice of the determination and any status imposed within five (5) Business Days of the conclusion of the conduct hearing. This written notice will include the process by which the Student can appeal.
  15. The Accused, and where appropriate, the Complainant, must file an appeal to the Student Conduct Appeal Coordinator within five (5) business days from the date of the electronic mailing of the outcome letter.
  16. Once the outcome is final (i.e., after the decision of an appeal or after the five (5) day time to appeal has passed), the Student is required to complete all of the required conditions.
  17. There will be a single record of the conduct hearing and this record will be the property of the university.  The record will be maintained in accordance with the provisions of C22.0 - RIT Records Management Policy.
    1. Responses to Violations of the Student Code of Conduct

    An important component of the conduct process is education. Conduct officers may assign or design responses to allow for education and reflection on a particular incident while promoting a safe and respectful community. Responses, which include statuses and conditions, emphasize accountability, emotional growth, conflict resolution, restorative values and campus safety. A refusal to comply with an assigned condition will result in further action, including a hold on a Student’s account, a new hearing, or suspension.

    1. a. Statuses. A status is meant to allow students to reflect on their behavior and the decisions they made that led to the finding of responsibility. A status indicates the Student's disciplinary standing with the university. Some statuses may exclude a Student from participating in various university activities. It also indicates how long a record will be retained by the university and under what circumstances, if any, it would be available to third parties (See C22.0 - RIT Records Management Policy).
      1. Notice of Incident. For certain code violations, the Student or Student organization may be notified of the incident report either through a meeting or a letter, stating that the university will take further action for any subsequent violations.
      2. Warning. Written notice to a Student or Student organization that continued or further violations of any university policy, rule, or regulation within a specific period of time (not to exceed one calendar year) may result in an additional response from the university. Warnings may require specific conditions to be completed.
      3. Probation. Probationary periods indicate that a Student or Student organization is no longer in good standing with the university and that further violations during the probation (not to exceed two calendar years) may result in extension of the probationary period, additional conditions, or suspension or expulsion. During the period of probation, specific conditions may be assigned. All assigned conditions are required to be completed before their deadlines. If a Student organization with a national affiliation (e.g., a Greek-letter organization) is found responsible for misconduct and is placed on a status of Probation, RIT will inform the national office of the decision.
      4. Suspension. Suspension is the immediate removal of the Student's affiliation with the university for a specific period of time, which includes exclusion from classes, university housing, and all other university activities. Suspended Students are not allowed to be on campus for any reason during the period of suspension and may be arrested for trespassing if found on university property. Students are not allowed to live on campus after a return from the suspension period. Suspended Student organizations may lose certain privileges, such as use of campus facilities, participation in university activities, use of allocated funds, recruitment, or new member education activities. If a Student organization with a national affiliation (e.g., a Greek-letter organization) is found responsible for misconduct and is placed on a status of Suspension, RIT will inform the national office of the decision. Specific conditions will be required to be completed prior to the Student or Student organization's return. Once the term and the conditions of a suspension are completed, it is the responsibility of the Student to contact their academic college to discuss returning to that college.
      5. Expulsion. Expulsion is a permanent involuntary separation of a Student from the university. Under typical circumstances, readmission is not possible.
    2. b. Additional Statuses for Student Organization Statuses. While Student organizations may be placed on a status similar to individual Students, including Warning, Probation, and Suspension, several other statuses apply solely to Student organizations.
      1. Social Probation. A Student organization on Social Probation is not permitted to hold any social functions (e.g., parties) for a specified period of time.
      2. Disaffiliation. Disaffiliation is a permanent involuntary process to revoke recognition of a university organization that has a charter.
    3. Conditions.  A condition is a response to provide the Student or Student organization with experiences from which to learn. Any condition may be required of a Student or Student organization, and may include the following: community restitution, substance abuse education and/or evaluation, Reflection and Development seminar attendance, research or reflection paper, letter of apology, university housing probation, removal from housing, and loss of housing renewal privileges.
    4. Interim Suspension or Restrictions. This action assigned by the director of the Center for Student Conduct, or designee, is a temporary suspension of certain rights or privileges during the conduct process. An interim suspension may be broad and all-inclusive or may be specific to a location and/or function to ensure the physical or emotional safety and well-being of members of the university community, the Student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being, the preservation of university property, or safety and order on university premises. An interim suspension, interim removal from university housing, or other interim restriction, may be imposed before, during, or after the commencement of a conduct hearing, or during the appeal process. A Student or Student organization subject to interim suspension or other restrictions will receive written or electronic notice of the suspension or restrictions imposed, as well as the notice of the process for resolving the interim restrictions. The interim suspension or restrictions will remain in effect until the conduct process is resolved.
    5. Hold on Student Account. A hold may be placed on a Student’s account as a response to a Student who refuses to comply with the conduct process, or in other appropriate circumstances. It may be applied in situations where there is a need to resolve a pending conduct charge, even in the case of an individual who was, but is not now, currently a Student.
    1. Appeals for the Student Code of Conduct
      1. Appeals Process. The Director of the Center for Student Conduct, or designee, an associate vice president from within the division of Student Affairs, and the Institute Appeals Boards will hear appeals of determinations made under the Student Code imposing the statuses of probation, suspension, or expulsion.
        1. Warnings. Warnings may not be appealed.
        2. Probation. Appeals of probations from Center for Residence Life staff members may be appealed by sending a letter of appeal to be reviewed by an Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. Appeals of probation from Student Conduct Officers may be appealed to the Institute Appeals Board.
        3. Suspension or Expulsion. Appeals of suspensions or expulsions may be appealed to the Institute Appeals Board.
        4. Title IX outcomes. Any outcome of a Title IX hearing may be appealed by either Accused or Complainant to the Institute Appeals Board.
      2. Basis of Appeals.
        1. The basis of the appeals process will be limited to:
          1. Determining whether the decision making process and/or hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented;
          2. Determining whether the decision reached was based on the preponderance of the evidence;
          3. Determining whether the decision was appropriate;
          4. Considering new evidence which was not available at the time of the original hearing and which is sufficient for a reasonable person to alter the decision; or
          5. Determining whether the deciding administrator or hearing body was biased or otherwise unable to consider the case objectively.
        2. Except as required to explain the basis of new evidence, the appeals process will limit its review to the process and outcome of the initial hearing (if there is one), together with any supporting documents.
        3. Any party seeking to appeal a decision will do so in writing and must specifically state one or more of the reasons listed in IX.B.1 of this Student Code, and the evidence supporting the appeal.  Any appeal that fails to specifically state the basis for appeal will be returned.
        4. In matters regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, an appeal may be brought by the Accused or the Complainant.
        5. Witnesses are only allowed to provide information that was not available for the original hearing. See guidelines for Witnesses (VI. 4).
      3. Procedure for Non-Institute Appeals Board Appeals Hearings. For cases heard by the Center for Student Conduct.
        1. Within five (5) days the Student intending to appeal must submit the basis of appeal in writing to the Student Conduct Appeals Coordinator.
        2. The appeal letter will be assigned to an Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs or designee.
        3. All relevant information will be reviewed and a decision will be made. This decision is final and cannot be appealed further.
      4. Members of the Institute Appeals Board (IAB). Members of the Institute Appeals Board will be chosen in accordance with the provisions of this policy from representatives of RIT’s shared governance system (Academic Senate, Staff Council and Student Government). Individual faculty, staff, and Students may apply to serve on the pool of candidates. From this pool of candidates, individuals will be selected to serve on the Institute Appeals Board. Members of the Institute Appeals Board who do not fully serve their term, or fail to meet the expectations for the position, will be replaced by the representative group that initially selected them in consultation with an associate vice president within the division of Student Affairs. Replacement members will complete the term of the member being replaced. Members of the Board will attend mandatory training periodically as offered throughout the year. Failure to attend mandatory training may be grounds for early termination of a member's term. Board members serving as alternates in IAB hearings are expected to attend all hearings for which they are scheduled and will be dismissed by the Institute Appeals Board Chair when deemed appropriate. The Institute Appeals Board will be trained and coordinated by an associate vice president within the division of Student Affairs, or designee.
      5. Board Composition. Each Institute Appeals Board will consist of five (5) members. The members will consist of two (2) Students and two (2) non-Students chosen from faculty, administration, or staff, and chaired by an associate vice president within the division of Student Affairs or designee, all of whom will each have the right to one (1) vote.
      6. Closed Hearings. Appeals are conducted in private. At the request of either of the parties involved, and at the sole discretion of the Chair of the Institute Appeals Board, the appeal may be open to other members of the university community. Admission of any person to the appeal will be at the discretion of the Chair of the Institute Appeals Board.
      7. Determinations of the Institute Appeals Board.
        1. After considering the appeal, and upon close of the hearing, the Institute Appeals Board may:
          1. Reduce, dismiss, or uphold the original decision and/or status and conditions imposed. In matters related to sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, the Institute Appeal Board may also recommend a more serious status.
          2. Remand the case for a rehearing or reconsideration of the status or conditions imposed;
          3. Remand the case with specific recommendations for resolving procedural errors; or
          4. Reopen the hearing to request an appearance of any individual involved in the case and postpone making a determination until that individual meets with the Institute Appeals Board.
      8. Procedure for Institute Appeals Board Appeals Hearings.
        1. Within five (5) days of receiving the determination of a conduct hearing, the Student must submit the basis for appeal in writing to the Student Conduct Appeals Coordinator.
        2. The Student requesting the appeal has the right to be assisted by an advocate in accordance with the provisions of the RIT Advocacy Program (See V. H.).
        3. Once an appeal is filed, the parties involved that are required to receive notice, will receive written, electronic notification within five (5) Business Days of the receipt of the appeal. This notice will state that the case is under appeal and will be scheduled for an appeals hearing. Upon receipt of any written responses, or the expiration of five (5) Business Days from the sending of the notification of an appeal, whichever comes first, an appeals hearing will be scheduled. The appealing party will attend the scheduled hearing or forfeit the right to appeal.
        4. In appeals regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, any written responses submitted will be shared with the parties at least two (2) Business Days before the scheduled hearing. In all other appeals, written responses will not be shared with the parties.
        5. The Student filing the appeal and their advocate will appear in front of the Institute Appeals Board and present the basis for the appeal. The individual will generally be given a time limit of twenty (20) minutes for this presentation. In matters regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, the Complainant will also be given up to twenty (20) minutes for their presentation. Both the Accused and the Complainant may participate in the hearing; however, a partition or video conference may be utilized.
        6. The Student Conduct Officer(s), who made the original determination, or designee, will then respond to the appeal and give the rationale for the decision, including and status and conditions.
        7. After presentation of the appeal and before the parties are dismissed, the Institute Appeals Board may ask questions of the parties present. Upon conclusion of the appeal hearing, a final determination concerning the appeal will be made. A hearing is considered closed after all testimony and evidence has been submitted by the parties. The Chair of the Institute Appeals Board will determine when a hearing has concluded.
        8. The decision of the Institute Appeals Board will be mailed to the required parties within ten (10) Business Days of the hearing.  The decision rendered by the Institute Appeals Board is final and may not be appealed further.

     

    Responsible Office: Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Management Services

     

    Effective Date: Approved December 1962

     

    Policy History:
    Modified 2006
    Edited for department/title changes August 2008
    Edited September 2010
    Modified March 2012
    Revised August 2014