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.
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:
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.
A hearing with a Student Conduct Officer. These hearings are for cases that are not designated in VI(C1). Student Conduct Officers have the authority to impose a full range of statuses and conditions including suspension and expulsion.
Advocates. The Accused will be informed that they have the right to bring an RIT Advocate from a list of trained advocates provided by the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution or any RIT faculty or staff member to the hearing (refer to V.H.) In hearings where the accused is charged with a standard in D.19, both the accused and the complainant have the right to have an Advisor of Choice attend in place of an advocate (refer to D.19 V.E.8).
Advisors of Choice. In hearings where the accused is charged with a violation of a D.19 standard, both the accused and the complainant may bring an advisor of choice
Attorneys. The Accused 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 either the hearing or appeal process. An attorney can only observe the hearing process and give the Accused 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.
Parents/Guardians. Parents/guardians are not permitted to participate in or be present during any RIT Student conduct hearing or appeal, unless the Accused 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.
Witnesses. The Student Conduct Officer determines and permits witnesses for the Accused. Witnesses must be members of the RIT Community in order to be present for the hearing. Other witnesses can make statements through Public Safety, which statements will be read during the hearing at the discretion of the Conduct Officer. Witnesses must have direct information regarding the incident; character witnesses are not allowed.
University Liaisons. Other persons who may be present at the hearing include:
Public Safety representatives;
NTID conduct liaison (if either the Accused or the Complainant are NTID-supported Students);
Other appropriate university personnel (e.g., a representative from the Center for Residence Life or Fraternity and Sorority Life); and/or
Sign language interpreters or captionists if the Student, or any participant in the hearing, is deaf or hard of hearing.
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 and the Complainant in cases where there is an allegation of a D.19 standard may request access to the recording by submitting a written request to the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution after an appeal is submitted to the Student Conduct Appeals Coordinator and prior to the Appeals Hearing.
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 and Conflict Resolution before accommodations can be made.
VII. Hearing Procedures for Resolving Violations of the Student Code of Conduct
All Student conduct hearings will be conducted in private.
The Student Conduct Officer will inform the Student that the conduct hearing is being recorded (when applicable).
The Student Conduct Officer will have provided the Student with a copy of their student rights and ask them to acknowledge that it has been reviewed and understood.
The Student Conduct Officer will review all of the materials or evidence that has been submitted. 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.
After the submitted materials and evidence have been read, the Accused will have an opportunity to refute or explain the materials or evidence and add information. The Student Conduct Officer and other university officials present may 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.
The Accused, the Complainant in cases where there is a charge of a D.19 standard, and the Student Conduct Officer are permitted to bring witnesses and question the witnesses of others.
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 the officer's sole discretion the range of testimony permitted by witnesses and items of information which may be considered.
If the Student Conduct Officer determines that a witness 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.
All procedural questions will be decided in the sole discretion of the Student Conduct Officer.
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 an outcome decided 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.
Once all evidence has been submitted and discussed, and within the sole discretion of the Student Conduct Officer, the Accused and the Advocate will leave the room. The Student Conduct Officer will deliberate and discuss the appropriate resolution of the case including appropriate statuses and conditions, if any, with other university staff that were present for the hearing before making a final determination.
Upon conclusion of the deliberation and discussion, the Accused and their Advocate 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.
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).
Upon conclusion of the conduct hearing, the Accused will be simultaneously sent written notice of the determination and any status imposed within three (3) Business Days of the conclusion of the conduct hearing. This written notice will include the process by which the Student can appeal.
The Accused must file an appeal to the Student Conduct Appeal Coordinator within three (3) Business Days from the date of the electronic mailing of the outcome letter.
Once the outcome is final (i.e., after the decision of an appeal or after the three (3)-day time to appeal has passed), the Student is required to complete all of the required conditions.
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.