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Arrow RIT Student Conduct Process
  1. Introduction
  2. Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. RIT Code of Conduct
  5. General Provisions
  6. Procedures
  7. Warnings and Sanctions
  8. Appeals

I. Introduction

An orderly environment promoting freedom of expression and inquiry is essential to the academic community. Society and educators alike have long recognized the desirability of academic institutions being fairly autonomous within the society, but this autonomy carries with it certain rights and responsibilities for students, faculty and administrators. When the boundaries between appropriate and inappropriate actions or behaviors are crossed, there needs to be well-established procedures within the university community for dealing with the misconduct. If such a system of internal rights, responsibilities, and corrective action is at all times grounded in principles of reasonableness and fairness for all concerned, the system itself will promote the educational process and enhance the highest aims of the academic community.

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II. Scope

All Students shall comply with this Policy, including Students on co-op and Students not officially enrolled during a particular term, but who have a continuing relationship with the university.  Students off campus behavior, to the extent that it is in violation of this Policy, shall be subject to on campus disciplinary action.  For purposes of this Policy, the location of the off campus behavior shall not affect its applicability. This Policy may be amended from time to time and is considered part of the conditions of enrollment or participation in RIT sponsored events or programs. It shall apply to Student organizations, their officers and Students’ visitors, guests, invitees, or family members. It shall be the responsibility of the Students to inform their visitors, guests, invitees, or family members of this Policy. Acts committed in violation of this Policy by Students’ visitors, guests, invitees, or family members shall be a violation of this Policy for which the Students may be subject to disciplinary sanctions.

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III. Definitions

Terms not defined elsewhere in this Policy are defined below.

A.     Accused means any member of the RIT community alleged to have engaged in conduct in violation of this Policy.

B.      Business Day means Monday through Friday and does not include official RIT holidays.

C.   Complaint means the written charges filed against a Student by a Student Conduct Officer for alleged violation(s) of this Policy. Complaints may only be filed by a Student Conduct Officer.

D.   Complainant means RIT. In matters involving sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or sexual violence, Complainant shall also include the individual against whom the alleged acts occurred.

E.     Report of Misconduct means any oral or written allegation of a violation of this Policy. Any member of the RIT Community may file a Report of Misconduct against a Student or Student organization.

F.    RIT Community means any individual authorized to be on the RIT campus including administrators, faculty, staff, Students and Student organizations, and external organizations and individuals in their operations with RIT.

G.    Student means undergraduate students, graduate students, non-matriculated students, students in not-for-credit programs, and all persons taking courses or training at RIT.

H.    Student Conduct Officer means a staff member in the division of Student Affairs who presides over student conduct hearings.

I.    Student Conduct Appeals Coordinator means a staff member in the division of Student Affairs who talks to 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, will provide information about the RIT appeals process, and may provide feedback when requested.

J.    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.

K.    Student Advocacy Coordinator means a staff member in the division of Student Affairs who trains the advocates and works with students to assist them in assisting an advocate.

L.    Appeals Liaison means a staff member in the division of Student Affairs who works with students and helps them prepare for the appeal process.

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IV.  RIT Conduct Code

A. Proscribed Conduct. The following conduct is prohibited by all members of the RIT Community. Students and Student organizations alleged to have violated or participated in the violation of any proscribed conduct shall be subject to this Policy and may be subject to disciplinary sanctions.

  1. ENDANGERING BEHAVIOR: Conduct that threatens or endangers the health and/or safety of a person(s); [ view video Click here for ASL version ]
  2. FRAUD: All forms of dishonesty including cheating, plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information to the university, and forgery, alteration or use of university documents or instruments of identification with intent to defraud; [ view video Click here for ASL version ]
  3. INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR: Unreasonably disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other university activities; [ view video Click here for ASL version ]
  4. 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 [ view video Click here for ASL version ]
  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. 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. 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, or intoxication due to alcohol or other drugs. 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.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]
  7. THEFT/VANDALISM: Attempted or actual theft of, damage to, or unauthorized possession or alteration of either RIT property, or the property of a member of the university community or other personal or public property.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]
  8. FAILURE TO COMPLY: Failure to comply with directions of RIT officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties; obstruction of the performance of these duties or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]
  9. VIOLATION OF RIT POLICIES: Violation of published RIT policies, rules, and regulations including, but not limited to, the RIT Student Bill of Rights, the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment, the Alcohol and Drug Policy, Parking and Traffic Regulations, the Code of Conduct for Computer and Network Use, Academic Regulations, Policy on Academic Honesty, Smoking Policy, Residence Halls and Apartments Terms of Occupancy, and other published university policies, rules and regulations including those related to entry into and/or use of university rooms, buildings, and facilities.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]
  10. OFF CAMPUS BEHAVIOR: Any off-campus conduct which RIT deems, in its sole discretion, to demonstrate disregard for the rights and/or property of others.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]
  11. HAZING/FAILURE TO REPORT HAZING: Any intentional or reckless act occurring on or off the campus of RIT by one person alone or acting with others directed against a Student that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that Student; and is reasonably believed by that Student as being for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include Students at RIT or other universities. For the purposes of this section, the term “organization” includes, but is not limited to, any Greek organization, athletic team or other RIT-recognized Student organization. The term “hazing” as defined here includes, but is not limited to:

    a.  Physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, or placement of a harmful substance on the body;

    b.  Other physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, physical bondage, calisthenics, “road trips” or taking a Student to an outlying area and dropping him/her off, compulsory servitude or other activity that subjects the Student to an unreasonable risk or harm or that may adversely affect the mental or physical health or safety of the Student;

    c.  Consumption of food, water, other liquid, alcoholic beverage, drug, or other substance which subjects the Student to an unreasonable risk of harm or which otherwise may adversely affect the mental or physical health or safety of the Student;

    d.  Activity that creates an unreasonable risk of causing severe psychological shock or public humiliation to the Student;

    e.  Activity that induces, causes or requires the Student to perform a duty or task which involves a violation of local, state or federal laws, or the RIT Conduct Code; and

    f.  Any misuse of authority by virtue of one’s class rank, organizational position, longevity in the organization and/or leadership role.

    g.  Failure to report hazing to an appropriate university department or official (such as Public Safety, Greek Affairs, Center for Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation, senior vice president for Student Affairs, or Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Management) shall be an independent and additional ground for discipline.

    h.  Students, who report hazing activities to an appropriate university department or official on a timely basis, and do not engage in the hazing activity, shall not be in violation of this section.

    i.  Students, who report hazing activities to an appropriate university department or official on a timely basis, and do engage in the hazing activity, shall not be in violation of this section but may still face disciplinary proceedings for the independent allegation of hazing.

    j.  Organizations may be held responsible for violations of this section in addition to students, regardless of any disciplinary proceeding that may have been commenced against the individual student. [ view video Click here for ASL version ]

 

 

12.  FIRE/FIRE SAFETY: Setting a fire, causing a false fire alarm, or causing an unreasonable situation that creates a fire safety hazard.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]

13.  UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY/DUPLICATION: Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to any university premises or unauthorized entry to or use of university premises.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]

14.  VIOLATION OF THE LAW: Violation of federal, state or local law on university premises or at university sponsored or supervised activities.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]

15.  WEAPON POSSESSION: Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons or dangerous chemicals on university premises.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]

16.  DISRUPTION OF RIT EVENTS/TRAFFIC: Intentional obstruction of or dangerous interference with the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on university premises or at university sponsored or supervised functions; intentionally leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities of others within any campus building or area.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]

17.  DISORDERLY CONDUCT: Conduct which is disruptive, lewd or indecent and breaches the peace of the community, regardless of intent.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]

18.  RIT ORGANIZATION VIOLATION: For Student organizations and their members, violation of the provisions of the regulations or agreement governing the organization’s relationship with RIT.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]

19.  OBSTRUCTION OF RIT STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS: Obstruction or abuse of the RIT Student Conduct Process including, but not limited to:[ view video Click here for ASL version ]

a.  Failure to obey a request to appear by a student conduct body or university official;

b.  Falsification, distortion or misrepresentation of information or charges before a student conduct body or university official;

c.  Disruption or interferences with the orderly conduct of a student conduct proceeding, including attempting to discourage an individual's proper participation in or use of the student conduct system;

d.  Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a student conduct body prior to and/or during the course of the student conduct proceeding; or

e.  Failure to comply with the sanction imposed by a student conduct body or university officials.

20.  STALKING: Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual that is likely to cause such individual to have a reasonable fear of harm to his or her physical or emotional health, safety or property. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to: repeatedly engaging in unwanted contact or communication (including but not limited to face-to-face communication, telephone calls or messages, electronic mail, written letters, gifts, or threatening or obscene gestures); surveillance; following; trespassing; or vandalism.[ view video Click here for ASL version ]

21.  GAMBLING: Possession of gambling devices, operation of lotteries and/or the promotion of gambling is prohibited [ view video Click here for ASL version ]

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V.  General Provisions

A.  The university shall 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, if appropriate. Any conduct hearings or appeals that may be commenced under this Policy, shall be conducted in an impartial manner by an impartial decision maker(s).  

B. 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 discipline a Student who violates 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 and rules to discipline Students who break these policies and rules. 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 law, the internal affairs of the university is 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.

B. Violations of Criminal or Civil Laws.

  1. The vice president for Student Affairs or his/her designee shall decide whether the university will initiate civil or criminal proceedings against a Student.
  2. A proceeding under this Policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. Sanctions 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.

C. Filing a Report of Misconduct. Any member of the RIT Community may file a Report of Misconduct against any Student for violation of this Policy.

  1. A Report of Misconduct concerning academic conduct matters can be made to the dean of the college responsible for the academic program that is the subject of the Report of Misconduct.
  2. A Report of Misconduct concerning non-academic conduct matters can be made to Public Safety, a 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, http://www.rit.edu/diversity/titleix.html. 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.

D.  Investigating a Report of Misconduct. Upon receipt of a Report of Misconduct, the Student Conduct Officer, or his/her designee, shall conduct an initial review, within five (5) Business Days of receipt of a Report of Misconduct, to determine if the allegations appear to have merit or require further investigation. If the allegations require further investigation, the Student Conduct Officer shall request that Public Safety conduct the investigation. Generally, the investigation shall be concluded within thirty (30) Business Days of the Student Conduct Officer’s request for an investigation, provided however, that this time frame may be expanded based on the facts and circumstances of the specific investigation only with the approval of the Student Conduct Officer. If the allegations have merit, the Student Conduct Officer shall determine if a Complaint will be filed. If a Complaint is filed, the Student Conduct Officer shall determine the appropriate disciplinary or administrative action to be taken in accordance with the provisions of this Policy, including but not limited to, whether the case shall be handled through the informal hearing process by a Residence Life administrator or another university administrator, or through the formal hearing process. Generally, the appropriate disciplinary or administrative action shall be determined within thirty (30) Business Days from the conclusion of the investigation, provided however, that 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.

E. Retaliation. The university prohibits retaliation against any member of the RIT Community because they have filed a complaint alleging a violation of this Policy, have participated in the processes described in this Policy, or opposed any practice in violation of this Policy or applicable federal, state, or local laws. In addition to the procedures set forth in this Policy for the filing, resolution and investigation of complaints, allegations of retaliation may also be made, in person or in writing, to the Office of the 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, 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).

F. Student Rights. All Students should expect this Policy to be administered in a caring, sensitive and supportive manner, and to be treated with dignity and compassion by all persons involved in the disciplinary process. This Policy shall 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:

a.  The right to be free in their persons, living quarters, papers, and effects against unwarranted searches and seizures;

b.   The right to remain silent and to be provided with basic due process in disciplinary proceedings;

c.   To privacy(in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regarding access to and disclosure of Student records; and

d.   Of 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 this Policy and appropriate referrals for information on the criminal process, where applicable.

5.  To receive access to and information pertaining to counseling assistance available.

6.  To receive access to assistance throughout the Student conduct process, including the ability to utilize the RIT Advocacy Program.

7.  To hear all information presented during any hearing held in accordance with the provisions of this Policy, 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 this Policy.

9.  To be afforded privacy in relation to campus, media, and other uninvolved parties and regarding any unrelated past behavior during the hearing process. The Student Conduct Officer shall determine what constitutes unrelated behavior.

 

G.  RIT Advocacy Program. The RIT Student Conduct process is educational in nature and 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.  However, the university recognizes that incidents in which Students find themselves involved may be complex, overwhelming, and confusing.  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 partner as they engage in the RIT Student Conduct Process.  Students are given the option of working with an advocate for both formal and informal conduct hearings.  An advocate neither represents the Student in the hearing, nor may an advocate serve as a character witness for the Student.  The advocate is merely a supportive partner to the Student in the educational process.

1.  Advocacy Prior to Conduct Hearings. The role of the advocate prior to the hearing may include:

a.  Meeting with the Students to assist the Student in preparing for the hearing;

b.  Assisting the Student in understanding RIT policies, and the procedures of the Student Conduct Process; and

c.  Assisting the Student in accessing available university resources.

2.  Advocacy During Conduct Hearings. During the hearing, the advocate's role may include the following:

a.  Participation, which may range from silent support, to assisting the Student in making statements and responding to questions; and

b.  Assisting the Student in clarifying information pertinent to the incident.

3.  Choosing an Advocate. In choosing an advocate, Students may:

a.  Select a specific person from a list of trained advocates provided by Student Conduct office;

b.  Request that a selection be made for them from a list of trained advocates; or

c.  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 Student Advocacy Coordinator. After the advocate has been trained, the Student Advocacy Coordinator will then arrange the advocate assignment.

d.  Advocates shall not be attorneys admitted to practice law in any court or members of a bar association.

e.  An advocate shall determine, within his or her sole discretion, whether or not s/he is 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 shall select another person.

H.  Conflict Management Services. Students involved in a dispute may utilize RIT conflict management services described in this Policy. Mediation and Restorative Conferencing are not appropriate services for cases involving allegations of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or sexual violence.

 

1.  Mediation.  Mediation is a form of dispute resolution and is a confidential process by which Students, organizations, faculty, or staff meet voluntarily with a neutral, third party RIT trained mediators to discuss ways in which problems or differences may be resolved.  The process is facilitated by highly-skilled Students, faculty, or staff members who volunteer to serve the RIT community as trained mediators.  Mediation may:

a.  assist participants in developing a mutually acceptable agreement for resolving a conflict;

b.  offer an effective and convenient method of resolving conflict in a manner that meets the needs of all those involved; and

c.  be effective for disputes relating, but not limited to, roommates, property, financial matters, relationships, team/group conflicts, and difficulties within organizations.

2.  Restorative Conferencing. The RIT Restorative Conferencing process provides an alternative response to violations of the RIT Code of Conduct.  Restorative Conferencing seeks to resolve violations of community expectations in a manner that satisfactorily meets the needs of all parties affected by an incident through a facilitated conference.  The conference may be attended by those parties who are both directly and indirectly involved in an incident and is facilitated by a staff member from the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Management Services (SCCMS) and other trained professional staff members.

 

The conference process provides an opportunity for all parties to discuss the incident, how they and others were affected, and to determine appropriate actions to make amends to the individuals and the community. Participants in a conference are invited to bring support persons with them to the conference. Support persons must be RIT Students, faculty, and/or staff.

The Restorative Conferencing process will be offered for specific types of incidents in which an individual(s) accepts responsibility for the policy violation(s) and both the responsible party and those affected are willing to participate in a conference. Participation in the conference is voluntary. Students who are accused of misconduct but do not accept responsibility and/or are unwilling to participate in the conference shall be referred to the Student Conduct Process. SCCMS reserves the right to determine whether incidents are appropriate for referral to the Restorative Conferencing process and to approve all conference participants. The Restorative Conferencing process will not be offered as a response for repeat behaviors.

 

a.  Restorative Conferencing Procedure.  When a situation is deemed appropriate for the Restorative Conferencing process the following procedure will ensue:

(i)SCCMS shall contact the Students involved to provide information regarding the Restorative Conferencing process.

(ii)An intake meeting will be scheduled with the Student(s) who have admitted responsibility in the incident to explain the process, obtain their consent to participate and determine other appropriate conference participants.

(iii)Other participants will be contacted and a conference date, time and location will be confirmed.

(iv)The Restorative Conference will be facilitated by professional staff members. These facilitators do not have a decision-making role in the process.

b.  Outcome of Restorative Conferencing.  The goal of the conference is to create a Conference Agreement for appropriately repairing the harm caused by the incident in question. Conferences do not result in official RIT sanctions. The Conference Agreement will be monitored by professional staff members in either SCCMS or Residence Life. Failure to comply with the Conference agreement may result in charges of misconduct and referral to the Student Conduct Process.

 

3.  Conflict Coaching. Conflict Coaching is provided by the Center for Student Conduct on a one-on-one, informal basis to RIT Students, faculty, and staff to assists individuals in identifying conflict management strategies that are targeted specifically to their needs and can be implemented without the assistance of a third party.  Conflict coaches may offer information and referrals regarding relevant campus resources and policies, and may assist Students in resolving an existing conflict as well as prevent an anticipated conflict.  Conflict coaching is generally appropriate for roommate disputes, communication difficulties, team/group conflicts, difficulties within organizations, and more.

4.  Workshops Offered.  Customized training and workshops are also available provided by the Center for Student Conduct for all Students on topics such as:

a.  Positive Conflict Resolution;

b.  Group Decision Making;   

c.  Facilitation Strategies;

d.  Communication Skills;

e.  Conflict Management Styles;

f.  Conflict and Change; and

g.  Managing Difficult Discussions.

I.  Reporting and Record Management. Records of proceedings under this Policy shall be governed by the RIT Records Management Policy (C22.0). The assistant vice president for Student Affairs will report semiannually to the vice president for Student Affairs on the outcomes and sanctions of all disciplinary cases. The assistant vice president for Student Affairs will report to the entire university community annually concerning the outcomes and sanctions of disciplinary cases, without information which could identify particular Students.

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VI.  Procedures

A.  Notification Process.

 

1.  The Accused shall be sent written or electronic notice of the allegations brought forth as a Complaint.  The notice shall include:

a.  A request for the Accused to contact the Center for Student Conduct;

b.  A description of the conduct of which the Student was allegedly involved;

c.  A list of possible university policies, rules or regulations allegedly violated;

d.  The names of individuals expected to be present at the hearing;

e.  A copy of this Policy with instructions to review the RIT Student Conduct Process documented in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook; and

f.  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, or sexual violence shall also be provided to the Complainant.  In addition to the above-referenced notice process, notice to the Complainant shall also include:

a.  Information regarding their rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;

b.  Information regarding available resources such as counseling and crisis centers; and

c.  Information regarding their right to file a complaint with a local law enforcement agency.

B.  Standard of Review.  All formal hearings and appeals under this Policy shall be determined using the preponderance of the evidence standard, which is established when a Student has demonstrated through the evidence that his or her version of the facts is more likely than not the correct version.

C.  Informal Student Conduct Hearings. The Student Conduct Officer shall determine if a Complaint will be subject to an informal hearing. Residence Life administrators and other university officials may hold informal hearings. Informal hearings are not recorded and generally follow, but are not required to, the procedures of a formal hearing.  Complaints alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence shall not be subject to informal hearings and can only be detemined through the formal conduct hearing process. Students may appeal the determination of the informal hearing to the Student Conduct Officer. The Student Conduct Officer shall review the appeal. The determination of the Student Conduct Officer is final. The procedures for pursuing an appeal under this Policy shall not apply to the determinations of informal student conduct hearings.

D.  Formal Student Conduct Hearings. In formal conduct hearings involving allegations of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, the Complainant shall be entitled to the same rights as the Accused, including but not limited to, the right to present evidence and participate in the hearing. In formal conduct hearings not involving allegations of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, the Student Conduct Officer shall determine, within his or her sole discretion, the extent to which the Complainant and his or her advocate may participate in the hearing.

 

1.  Advocates. The Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, shall be informed that he or she has the right to bring to an advocate to the formal hearing process in accordance with the provisions of the RIT Advocacy Program. In Complaints alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence the advocate shall discuss with the Complainant alternative resolutions, counseling, and law enforcement options available to the Complainant in addition to the formal hearing process.

2.  Lawyers. An Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, may bring a lawyer to the formal 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 only upon the permission of the Student Conduct Officer. If a lawyer is present during a formal conduct hearing or appeal presentation, the lawyer cannot participate in the hearing process. A lawyer can only observe the hearing process and give the Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, personal counsel outside the formal conduct hearing or appeal presentation. If the Student Conduct Officer determines that the conduct of a lawyer present during a formal conduct hearing is inconsistent with, or disruptive to, the university hearing process, the formal conduct hearing may be terminated at that time or the lawyer excused from the remainder of the formal conduct hearing or appeal presentation.

3.  Parents/Guardians. Parents/guardians are not permitted to participate in or be present during any RIT Student conduct hearing (formal or informal) or appeal presentation, 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.

4.  Hearing Participants. The Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, shall be allowed to participate in the hearing and may present witnesses and other evidence. The Student Conduct Officer determines and facilitates the hearing process. Other persons who might be present at the hearing include:

a.  a Public Safety representative,

b.  NTID conduct liaison (if either the Accused or the Complainant are NTID Students),

c.  other appropriate university personnel (e.g., a representative from Residence Life or Greek Affairs) or

d.  an interpreter if the Student or any of the others involved is deaf or hard of hearing.

e.  In cases involving complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, a second Student Conduct Officer may also be present at the hearing. This second Student Conduct Officer is an additional administrator who will decide whether prohibited actions have occurred and if so, the sanction, in conjunction with the original Student Conduct Officer. The second Student Conduct Officer is generally a person of the opposite gender from the original Student Conduct Officer. 

5.  Recording of Hearing. All formal conduct hearings are audio recorded. The participants in the formal 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 formal conduct hearing shall give their consent to video recording. Any participant in the formal conduct hearing that chooses to not be video recorded will be audio recorded only. Recordings (both audio and video) shall be retained in accordance with the RIT Records Management Policy (C22.0).  The recording of the formal conduct hearing is a university business record and the property of the university. The Accused, or where appropriate the Complainant, may request to listen to a copy of the recording or read a copy of the transcript (if the Student is deaf/hard of hearing) by submitting a written request to the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Management Services when a request for an appeal is made.

E.  Formal Student Conduct Hearing Procedures.

1.  All Student formal conduct hearings shall be conducted in private.

2.  The Student Conduct Officer shall inform the Student that the formal conduct hearing is being recorded.

3.  The Student Conduct Officer shall review with the Student a copy of the Student Rights section of this Policy and ask the Student to acknowledge in writing that it has been reviewed and understood.

4.  The Student Conduct Officer shall read aloud all of the materials or evidence that has been submitted by witnesses, Public Safety, 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, shall 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 his or her advocate) may participate in the discussion.

6.  The Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, the advocate(s), and the Student Conduct Officer shall be 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 shall determine in his or her 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 screen or videotaping) 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.  The Accused cannot be found to be responsible for the charges based solely on his/her failure to answer the charges or appear at the formal conduct hearing. However, the Accused may be sanctioned for failure to attend a formal conduct hearing after receiving a written or electronic request to appear at the hearing. In cases where the Accused fails to answer the charges or appear at the formal conduct hearing, evidence to support the charges may be presented and considered.  A determination shall be made and a sanction imposed based on the evidence submitted at the formal conduct hearing.

11.  Upon submission of evidence and, within the sole discretion of the Student Conduct Officer, the formal conduct hearing shall be closed.  The Student(s) and the advocate(s) will leave the room while the Student Conduct Officer and other university staff present deliberate and discuss the appropriate resolution of the case including appropriate sanctions, if any.

12.  Upon conclusion of the deliberation and discussion, the Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, and his or her advocate(s) will then be asked to rejoin the formal 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 sanction shall be discussed. The formal conduct hearing is concluded when the Student Conduct Officer provides his/her determination.

13.  Upon conclusion of the formal conduct hearing, the Accused, and where appropriate the Complainant, shall be sent written notice of the determination and any sanction imposed within seven (7) Business Days of the conclusion of the formal conduct hearing. This written notice shall include the process by which the Student can appeal.

14.  An appeal by the Accused must be filed within seven (7) Business Days from the date of the mailing of the written notice of the determination. In cases involving sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, the Complainant may also file an appeal within seven (7) Business Days from the date of the mailing of the written notice of determination.

15.  There shall be a single record of the formal conduct hearing and this record shall be the property of the university.  The record shall be maintained in accordance with the provisions of the RIT Records Management Policy (C22.0).

16.  Once the sanction is final (i.e., after the decision in an appeal or after the time to appeal has passed), the Student Conduct Officer shall be responsible for arranging for the sanction to be carried out and monitoring the sanction if appropriate.  If in the sole discretion of the Student Conduct Officer, he or she believes that it is appropriate, interim suspension or restrictions may be imposed during the time of an appeal or until the time to appeal has passed.

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VII. Warnings and Sanctions [ view video Click here for ASL version ]

Warnings may be imposed by an appropriate university official and are not subject to appeal. Sanctions, and any Disciplinary Conditions, may be imposed by the Student Conduct Officer, within his or her sole discretion, and are subject to appeal in accordance with the provisions of this Policy, with the exception of Disciplinary Probation.  Disciplinary Probation sanctions can be submitted to the associate vice president for Student Affairs, who shall review the sanction to determine if it was based on a preponderance of the evidence submitted at the formal conduct hearing. Students and/or organizations may receive warnings and sanctions. Disciplinary suspension or expulsion from the university may most likely occur when a Student or organization has been found responsible for permitting or engaging in hazing, setting fires or intentionally causing a false fire alarm, possession of or threats involving weapons or explosives, possession of illegal drugs, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or sexual violence, threats against any member of the RIT Community, computer misconduct, or repeated violations of this Policy.

A.   Disciplinary Warnings [ view video Click here for ASL version ]

 

1.  Admonition: [ view video Click here for ASL version ] An oral statement to a Student informing him or her that he or she has violated or is violating university policies, rules, or regulations.

2.  Warning: [ view video Click here for ASL version ] Written notice to a Student that continued or further violations of any university policy, rule, or regulation within a specific period of time (not to exceed one (1) calendar year) may result in more severe disciplinary action.

B. Disciplinary Sanctions [ view video Click here for ASL version ]

  1. Disciplinary Probation: Exclusion from use of specified university facilities or from participation in certain privileged or extracurricular university activities and/or requirement to fulfill certain conditions as specified in the probation notice, plus notification that violation of any university policy, rule or regulation during the term of the disciplinary probation status will result in more severe sanctions. Disciplinary probation generally is not imposed for more than one (1) calendar year. If an organization with a national affiliation (i.e., a Greek-letter organization) is found responsible for misconduct and is placed on a sanction of Disciplinary Probation or higher, RIT will inform the national office of the decision.
  2. Deferred Disciplinary Suspension: [ view video Click here for ASL version ] Deferral of the imposition of disciplinary suspension subject to such conditions as are specified in the sanction letter.
  3. Disciplinary Suspension: [ view video Click here for ASL version ] Exclusion from classes and/or other privileges and activities as set forth in the suspension notice for a definite period of time, generally not to exceed two (2) calendar years.
  4. Disciplinary Dismissal: [ view video Click here for ASL version ] Exclusion from classes and/or other privileges and activities as set forth in the dismissal notice for an indefinite period of time with specific requirements that need to be fulfilled before readmission will be considered.
  5. Disciplinary Expulsion: [ view video Click here for ASL version ] Termination of Student status. Under normal circumstances, readmission is not possible.

C. Disciplinary ConditionsAny sanction imposed on a Student or organization may also include the following conditions:

  1. Disciplinary Actions : Work assignments, community service, or other related condition including, but not limited to:

    a.  Letter of apology

    b.  Essay or research paper on assigned topic

    c.  Participation in an educational group or class

    d.  Program presentations

    e.  Mandated counseling session

    f.  Loss of privileges

    g.  Substance abuse education and/or evaluation; and/or

    h.  Removal from campus housing [ view video Click here for ASL version ]

  2. Bar Against Registration: This sanction may apply to a Student who fails to pay a debt owed to the university, fails to comply with or submit to disciplinary procedures or in other appropriate circumstances. It may be applied in situations where there is a need to resolve a pending disciplinary charge, even in the case of an individual who is not currently a Student.
  3. Withholding of Records: Students who fail to pay a debt owed to the university may have transcripts, degrees and other records withheld until the debt is paid. Grade reports will not be withheld.
  4. Organizational Restriction: A Student group or organization loses certain or all privileges, including RIT recognition, for a period of time or permanently.

D. Interim Suspension or Restrictions

The vice president for Student Affairs or the assistant vice president for Student Affairs may impose interim disciplinary suspension from the university or removal from university housing.  Additionally, the vice president for Student Affairs or the assistant vice president for Student Affairs may impose such other interim restrictions as he or she in good faith believes are advisable 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 disciplinary suspension, interim removal from university housing, or other interim restriction may be imposed before, during, or after the commencement of a disciplinary hearing, or during the appeal process.  A Student subject to interim disciplinary suspension, interim removal from university housing, or other interim restriction shall receive written 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 shall remain in effect until the Student requests a disciplinary hearing and the charges are heard and determined by the Student Conduct Officer.

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VIII. Appeals

A.  Institute Appeals Boards shall hear appeals of determinations made under this Policy imposing the sanction of deferred disciplinary suspension, disciplinary suspension, disciplinary dismissal or disciplinary expulsion, and determinations made under the Academic Conduct Policy (D17.0).

B.  Members of the Institute Appeals Board shall be chosen from a pool of candidates.  Each representative group (Academic Senate, Staff Council and Student Government) may appoint members to serve on the pool of candidates for the Institute Appeals Board.  Individual faculty, staff, and Students may also apply to serve on the pool of candidates. The Student Conduct Appeals Coordinator shall accept the applications. From this pool of candidates, individuals will be selected to serve on Institute Appeals Board.  Members will serve on the Board for two-year terms ending June 30, with the opportunity for renewal of their term, except that Student members serving on an Institute Appeals Board impaneled for academic appeals under the Academic Conduct Policy (D17.0), shall only serve a one-year term.  Members of the Institute Appeals Board who do not fully serve their term will be replaced by the representative group that initially selected them.  Replacement members shall complete the term of the member being replaced.  Members of the Board shall attend mandatory training at the beginning of each academic year and periodically as offered throughout the year.  Failure to attend mandatory training shall be grounds for early termination of a member's term.  Alternates are expected to attend all hearings for which they are scheduled and shall be dismissed by the Institute Appeals Board Chair when deemed appropriate.  The Institute Appeals Board shall be trained and coordinated by the associate vice president for Student Affairs

C.  Each Institute Appeals Board shall consist of five (5) members.

 

1.  In matters regarding non-academic appeals under this Policy, the members shall consist of three (3) non-Students chosen from faculty, administration, or staff and two (2) Students, all of whom shall each have the right to one (1) vote. The vice president of Student Affairs shall choose, from among the five (5) members, a Chairperson. The Chairperson shall serve in that capacity until the resolution of the appeal.

2.  In matters regarding academic appeals under the Academic Conduct Policy (D17.0), the members shall consist of two (2) faculty members, one (1) representative from the provost's office, and two (2) student members, all of whom shall each have the right to one (1) vote. The vice president for Student Affairs shall choose, from among the five (5) members, a Chairperson. The Chairperson shall serve in that capacity until the resolution of the appeal.

D.  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 shall be at the discretion of the Chair of the Institute Appeals Board.

E.  Authority of the Institute Appeals Board to Review Cases.

1.  The Institute Appeals Board's authority to review appeals shall be limited to:

a.  Determining whether the decision making process and/or hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented;

b.  Determining whether the decision reached was based on the preponderance of the evidence;

c.  Determining whether the decision was appropriate;

d.  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

e.  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 Institute Appeals Board shall limit its review of the underlying determination to the record of the initial hearing, together with any supporting documents submitted at the hearing.

3.  Any party seeking to appeal a decision shall specifically state one or more of the reasons listed in this Policy for review, and the evidence supporting the appeal.  Any appeal that fails to specifically state the reason for review shall be returned.

4.  In matters regarding academic appeals under the Academic Conduct Policy (D17.0), an appeal may be brought by the faculty member or the Student.

5.  In matters regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, an appeal may be brought by the Accused or the Complainant.

 

F.  Determinations of the Institute Appeals Board

1.  After considering the appeal, and upon close of the hearing, the Institute Appeals Board may:

a.  Reduce, dismiss, or uphold the original decision and/or sanctions imposed. In matters related to sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, the Institute Appeal Board may also recommend increased sanctions.

b.  Remand the case for a rehearing or reconsideration of the sanctions imposed;

c.  Remand the case with specific recommendations for resolving procedural errors; or

d.  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.

G.  Procedure

1.  An appeal shall be filed in writing with the Student Conduct Appeals Coordinator in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs within seven (7) Business Days of the electronic mailing of the determination being appealed.

2.  The individual requesting the appeal has the right to be assisted by an advocate in accordance with the provisions of the RIT Advocacy Program.

3.  Once an appeal is filed, the parties involved and required to receive notice, shall receive written, electronic notification within seven (7) Business Days of the receipt of the appeal in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. This notice shall state that the case is under appeal and will be scheduled for an appeals hearing. This notice shall also state that the parties have an opportunity to submit a written response to the appeal to the associate vice president for Student Affairs within seven (7) Business Days of the sending of the notification.

4.  Upon receipt of any written responses, or the expiration of seven (7) Business Days from the sending of the notification of an appeal, whichever comes first, an appeals hearing shall be scheduled. The appealing party shall attend the scheduled hearing or forfeit the right to appeal.

5.  The individual filing the appeal and his/her advocate shall appear in front of the Institute Appeals Board and present the grounds 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 shall also be given up to twenty (20) minutes for his/her presentation. Although both will be in the same room, the Accused and the Complainant may be separated by a partition.

6.  The Student Conduct Officer(s), who made the determination being appealed, will then respond to the appeal and give the rationale for the decision and sanction determined.

7.  In appeals regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, any written responses submitted shall be shared with the parties at least two (2) Business Days before the scheduled hearing. In all other appeals, written responses shall not be shared with the parties.

8.  After presentation of the appeal and before the parties are dismissed, the Institute Appeals Board may ask questions of the parties present at the appeal hearing.

9.  Upon conclusion of the appeal hearing, a decision concerning the appeal will be mailed to the parties within fourteen (14) Business Days of the close of the hearing. A hearing is considered closed after all testimony and evidence has been submitted by the parties. The Chair of the Institute Appeals Board shall determine when a hearing is closed.

10.  The determination of the Institute Appeals Board may be appealed within seven (7) Business Days following the mailing of the finding of the Institute Appeals Board by:

a.the Accused for matters relating to appeals under this Policy;

b.  the faculty member, Student, or Dean of the initiating College for matters regarding appeals of determinations made under the Academic Conduct Policy (D17.0); or

c.  the Accused or the Complainant for matters regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence.

11.  For matters regarding appeals under this Policy, the determination of the Institute Appeals Board shall be appealed to the vice president for Student Affairs. The vice president for Student Affairs shall make a decision based solely upon the written appeal and tape recordings associated with the formal conduct and appeals hearings. In considering the appeal, the vice president for Student Affairs shall limit his or her decision to the grounds set forth above at VIII(E)(1). After considering the appeal, the vice president for Student Affairs may make a determination set forth above at VIII(F)(1). The decision of the vice president for Student Affairs shall be mailed to the required parties within fourteen (14) Business Days of the written appeal.  The decision rendered by the vice president for Student Affairs is final and may not be appealed further.

12.  For matters regarding appeals under the Academic Conduct Policy (D17.0), the determination of the Institute Appeals Board shall be appealed to the provost.  The provost shall make a decision based solely upon the written appeal and tape recordings associated with the hearings of the Academic Conduct Committee and the Institute Appeals Board. In considering the appeal, the provost shall limit his or her decision to the grounds set forth above at VIII(E)(1). After considering the appeal, the provost may make the following determination:

a.  The original sanctions be reduced, dismissed, or upheld,

b.  The case shall be sent back to the initiating Academic Conduct Committee for rehearing or for a reconsideration of sanctions, or

c.  The case shall be referred to the Dean of the initiating College with specific recommendations for resolving process errors

13.  The decision of the provost shall be mailed to the faculty member, Student, and Dean of the initiating College within fourteen (14) Business Days of the written appeal.  The decision rendered by the university provost 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:

Revised 2006
Edited for department/title changes August 2008
Edited September 2010

Revised March 2012

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