The Conduct Process

Preparing for a Conduct Hearing

Read the charge letter carefully – it will summarize the incident, list the charges for potential violations, and list how you can prepare for the hearing. In addition, the letter will list the rights and resources you have throughout the Student Conduct Process.

It may be helpful to review information from the D.18 Code of Conduct, and the Student Bill of Rights to understand more about the charges and your rights as a RIT student.

The Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution will schedule your hearing based on your class schedule. If you have any additional times when you are unavailable (due to a job, practice, or other student obligation), you must inform us of those obligations. Currently all conduct hearings and meetings will be done remotely via Zoom.

It is important that you to attend the Conduct Hearing. If you do not show up for your hearing, it will be held without the benefit of your perspective. You will be notified of the outcome after your hearing has been completed.

Our office will utilize your RIT student email to communicate with you throughout this process. It is your responsibility to check your email and read the letters sent to you.

The Conduct Hearing

A Student Conduct hearing is an opportunity for a student to have a conversation with a Conduct Officer and provide perspective regarding a report alleging a policy violation. The student has the right to not attend the hearing, or to attend and stay silent, but active engagement in the conduct process is encouraged. At the end of the hearing, a determination of a finding and an outcome will be decided. The student will be notified of the decision in person and they will also receive an outcome letter in their RIT student email.

Additionally, it may be beneficial for students to review the Hearing Procedures for Resolving Violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

In situations where policy was not violated but the behavior is of concern, we will have a Conduct Conversation to connect with the student and review expectations and policies at RIT.

Residence Life Conduct Hearing: Center for Residence Life staff are authorized to issue the full range of statuses and conditions up to, but not including, removal from campus housing and separation from the university.

Student Conduct Hearing: Conduct Officers have the authority to impose a full range of statuses and conditions including suspension and expulsion.

Title IX Conduct Hearing: These hearings are for cases involving possible policy violation of C.27 Policy on Title IX Sexual Harassment for Faculty, Staff, and Students as well as the D.19 Student Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy and held in accordance with the provisions of those policies. Conduct Officers have the authority to impose a full range of statuses and condition including suspension and expulsion.

Good Samaritan Hearing: The Good Samaritan Protocol is designed to provide education rather than discipline when a student voluntarily contacts university personnel (e.g., Public Safety, Resident Advisor/Community Advocate) or outside emergency services for medical assistance related to alcohol or other drugs. Individuals covered by the Good Samaritan Protocol are the caller, the person in need of assistance, the host Student organization, and any witnesses named in the incident report.

If an incident meets the standards for a Good Samaritan Hearing, students will meet with a Residence Life staff or a Conduct Officer for a Good Samaritan Hearing. There will be no conduct status as an outcome of the meeting, but conditions such as alcohol and drug education, parental contact, and other educational seminars may be assigned.

Student Organization Conduct Hearing: When a Student Organization is charged with a policy violation, all correspondences from the Center of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution will be sent to the Organization’s President. The President will represent their Organization at the Conduct Hearing with a Conduct Officer and may invite other relevant members of the Organization to join them (such as Vice-President, Risk Management Chairperson, etc.) at the hearing. The Student Organization can request their Faculty Advisor to join them, and can also request a Conduct Advocate for additional support.

All conduct hearings with Conduct Officers are audio recorded. Recordings 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. 

Hearings can be video recorded upon request. A request for video recording must be made in writing 24 hours prior to the scheduled hearing. Video recording requests made with less than 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.

All hearings under the Student Code of Conduct will be determined using the preponderance of evidence standard, which is established when all supporting documents of an incident provide information that a Student more likely than not violated the Code of Conduct.

Standard of proof

Important Things to Know

You can expect your hearing to be held within a few weeks of the incident, and you will receive an email notification of the date and time. In your charge letter, there is a Student Hearing Request Form that allows you to request any of the following resources below to help you through the conduct process.

You have the right to choose an advocate to support you in the conduct process. An advocate is a knowledgeable faculty or staff member who can meet with you prior to your hearing and can support you during the hearing.

D.18: Code of Conduct: Select from our list of advocates or use the Student Hearing Request Form to request that our office connect you with an advocate.

D.19: Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct: You will receive a Notice of Investigation letter from the Title IX Coordinator, and within that letter is a link to request a Title IX Conduct Advocate to assist with the Title IX Investigation Process. If you do not request anyone during the investigation phase, you will be automatically assigned a Title IX Conduct Advocate if and when there is a Title IX Conduct Hearing.

For Title IX Conduct hearings, students may opt to work with an Advisor of Choice instead of their Title IX Conduct Advocate.

Advocate and Advisor of Choice
 

You may request to meet with a conduct officer for a pre-hearing. At this time, the conduct officer will review the conduct process with you and answer any questions that you may have prior to the hearing. View a video of a pre-hearing.

A copy of the report and all available written documents are available upon your request.

You may bring witnesses to your hearing, upon approval by the hearing officer. You need to notify the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution at least three days prior to your hearing of your witnesses’ names and email addresses. Only witnesses with direct information who are part of the RIT community are allowed to participate. Character witnesses are not allowed.

Students requesting accommodations for the conduct process must make the request in writing. This written request will state the specific accommodations to be provided and the reason for the accommodations.

A current Disabilities Services Agreement from the Disabilities Services Office is sufficient to meet this requirement.

Outcomes of the Conduct Hearing

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.

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 (Refer to C22.0 - RIT Records Management Policy).

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.

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, 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.

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 returning from suspension have an initial restriction from living in campus housing and are placed on indefinite probation for the remainder of their time at RIT. 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.

Expulsion is a permanent involuntary separation of a student from the university. Under typical circumstances, readmission is not possible.

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, conduct seminar attendance, research or reflection paper, letter of apology, university housing probation, removal from housing, and loss of housing renewal privileges.

Appealing Conduct Outcomes

If you received a status of probation or higher, you can appeal the outcome of your conduct hearing. You will need to fill out the Appeal Form linked in your Outcome Letter from your Conduct Officer, and there are three grounds for appeal:

  • Process Error: Determining whether the hearing was conducted in accordance with the process of the RIT’s policy and if such violation of the process substantially impacted the original outcome;
  • Outcome is too severe: Determining whether the outcome is substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation and/or cumulative conduct record of the student;
  • New Information: Considering new information which was not known, knowable, or available at the time of the original hearing that could substantially impact the original outcome

Student Appeals Process
Procedure for University Board Appeals

Title IX Investigation and Conduct Process

The Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution wants to make the Title IX process at RIT clear and easy to understand for students, so there are two flowcharts that show what the Title IX Investigation and the Title IX Conduct process look like. It is very important for students to open and read any letters from both the Center for Student Conduct and the Title IX Office to know about all rights, resources, and responsibilities that exist. You can learn more about the Title IX process at RIT’s Title IX website.

In addition to the Title IX Conduct Hearings for D19 and C27 policy violations, there are additional approaches to manage situations that do not reach the level of a conduct hearing including a Title IX Conversation and Title IX Mutual Resolution.

Similar to a Conduct Conversation where there was no policy violation but the behavior is of concern. A Title IX Conversation is a meeting with a Conduct Officer to discuss their behavior and review expectations and policies at RIT. A staff member from the Title IX team may be present to provide additional perspective on the Title IX policies and expectations at RIT.

The director of the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution or their designee, in their sole discretion, may determine that the Mutual Resolution of a case is appropriate.  In that case, the director or designee will discuss Mutual Resolution with both parties. If the parties accept to resolve a case through Mutual Resolution, the parties must voluntarily accept the outcomes regarding the findings of responsibility and related sanctions proposed by the director or designee, and waive their right to a hearing. The director or designee will provide the parties with a summary outlining the proposed finding of responsibility, related sanctions, and the rationale. The parties will then have three business (3) days to accept the Mutual Resolution, which must be signed by both parties and the director or designee. The signed Mutual Resolution may not be appealed.

If the director or designee does not offer a Mutual Resolution or either party declines a Mutual Resolution, the director or designee shall refer the case to a hearing.

Student Organizations

University-recognized, sponsored, or sanctioned student groups are subject to the same disciplinary action as individual students and may also have the following or other conditions applied: limitation of social and other organization privileges or programs; removal or limitation of funding; limitation on membership or recruitment, and suspension or expulsion.

Social Probation
​​​​​Social Probation prohibits a student organization from sponsoring, hosting, or participating in specified social activities at the discretion of the conduct officer or other campus office. While on Social Probation, student organizations may host approved community service and/or philanthropic events. Although this is not an exhaustive list, Social Probation may include any or all of the following:

  • Alcohol may not be served by the student organization on-campus or off-campus at any organization activity.
  • The student organization may not collaborate with other student organizations to hold a social event.
  • Other events can be reviewed and approved by the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution or other campus office.