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Appendix B: UNCSA Student Conduct Process for Alleged Minor Infractions of the Student Code of Conduct

Definitions

See definitions in Chapter VI.

Investigation

Preliminary Investigations for Minor Infractions:

  • A member of the UNCSA community prepares an incident report or a UNCSA police report, as appropriate, which includes factual information supporting the allegation.
  • The Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee) reviews the report and determines whether a charge will be pursued. The Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee) may seek guidance, as appropriate, to determine the appropriate charge(s).
  • The Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee) will investigate cases, including interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence. The Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee) will review the Respondent’s student conduct record for patterns and to determine the severity of the charge.
  • Within 30 calendar days, or within a reasonable amount of time, the Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee) will notify the student of the charge via a Case Resolution Meeting letter (see below) if a charge is to be pursued.

The Case Resolution Meeting, Outcome, and Appeal Processes and Procedures

Case Resolution Meeting Process for Minor Infractions:

  • The Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee) will send the Respondent a Case Resolution Meeting letter, which outlines the charge(s) and proposed outcomes, describes the incident, and provides a date (at least five calendar days out) and location of the Case Resolution Meeting.
  • The respondent may contact the Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee) by a specified date (at least three days prior to the scheduled Case Resolution Meeting) regarding a schedule conflict or to request removal of the Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee) from the case due to bias. The Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee) will work with the respondent to address scheduling conflicts. The Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residence Life Programs & Housing will review any request to remove the Case Resolution Officer for bias and, if necessary, will appoint another member of the Student Affairs staff to hear the case. The respondent will be informed of the decision regarding the request for removal before the Case Resolution Meeting takes place. The Case Resolution Officer should recuse themself if there is a conflict or bias on their part concerning a particular case.
  • During the Case Resolution Meeting, the Respondent has three choices:
    1. The respondent may choose to go forward with the Case Resolution Meeting and shall have the opportunity to present their evidence and defense through witness testimony and written documents.
    2. The respondent may waive their right to a Case Resolution Meeting and accept the proposed outcomes. Such waivers must be in writing, signed by the Respondent, and witnessed by the Case Resolution Officer.
    3. The respondent may waive their right to a Case Resolution Meeting and choose to have a restorative Justice meeting. Such waivers must be in writing, signed by the respondent, and witnessed by the Case Resolution Officer.

Resolution in the Absence of the Respondent:
If the respondent fails to schedule or attend their case resolution meeting the case may be resolved in their absence. If the case is resolved in absentia, the respondent shall have waived their right to a hearing and a written resolution will be emailed to the respondent. The Associate Director of Student Conduct may place a hold on the respondent’s account until such time as they confirm receipt of the written decision.

Case Resolution Meeting Outcome:

  • If the Respondent waives their right to a Case Resolution Meeting and accepts the proposed outcomes or if after Case Resolution Meeting the evidence the Respondent is found to be responsible by a preponderance of the evidence, the Case Resolution Officer will provide a summary of the findings and outcomes in the form of a letter. The letter will be sent to the Respondent within 10 calendar days of the date the decision is made.
  • The Case Resolution Officer will notify the College Life team and/or appropriate University offices of the final decision. The Dean of Liberal Arts and/or the appropriate Art Dean will be notified of the outcome if the outcome impacts the respondent’s liberal arts and/or art activities, respectively. For a first offense involving alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs where the respondent is under the age of 21, the respondent’s parent(s) or legal guardian will be notified of the charge and the finding of responsibility. Counseling Services will be informed if the respondent is being referred for an assessment.
  • In each case there must be sufficient evidence to support the decision and the outcome. These Case Resolution Meetings are conducted as closed meetings.

Appeal After Case Resolution Meeting - Minor Infractions:
A respondent who disagrees with the Case Resolution Meeting outcome may appeal to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residence Life Programs & Housing. The respondent does so by filing an Appeal Request (available from the Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee)) within three calendar days of notification of the decision. Possible grounds for appeal are:

  • The evidence is not sufficient to support the finding of “responsible”.
  • There was procedural error sufficient to have altered the outcome of the Case Resolution Meeting.
  • There is new evidence that was not available to be considered at the time of the Case Resolution Meeting.

The written appeal is submitted to the Associate Director for Student Conduct (or designee) who will then forward the appeal and the entire record to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residence Life Programs & Housing. They have five calendar days to respond. If the respondent feels the Director would not be neutral, the respondent may ask the Director to recuse themself. If the Director recuses themself either upon respondent request or because of prior involvement in the case that might prejudice the outcome, they will appoint another Division of Student Affairs staff member to decide the appeal. Any decision concerning recusal (and the reason for the decision) shall be included in the file. The respondent will receive a final decision within 10 calendar days. For minor offenses, this appeal decision is final.

The Restorative Justice Conference Process
Once the case is referred to a Restorative Justice Conference for resolution, the Case Resolution Officer will initiate contact with the student to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Within this consultation, the respondent is expected to share their perspective of the incident or conflict, their take on what impact might have occurred, and ways in which they believe they can address the impact. The one-on-one consultation also provides an opportunity for the Respondent to gain more clarity about the process.

Student Eligibility for Participation in a Restorative Justice Conference:

  • For a respondent to be eligible to participate in the Restorative Justice Conference process, the respondent must:
    1. take active responsibility for their actions,
    2. exhibit a desire to learn about and address the impact of their actions, and
    3. to move forward positively from the incident by addressing a community need.
  • For the Restorative Justice Conference process to be successful, it is important that eligible Respondents come prepared to accept responsibility for their actions and to listen to those impacted by their actions (if applicable).

Benefits of Restorative Justice:

  • Empowers participants and allows for individuals to be heard
  • Promotes focus on impact of actions, rather than the act of rule-breaking
  • Supports sharing of information
  • Encourages collaborative decision-making
  • Increases participation satisfaction
  • Remains confidential

Implementing a Restorative Justice Conference:

There are two phases to the Restorative Justice Conference process: The Restorative Justice Conference and the implementation follow-up of agreed-upon outcomes.

  1. Once the respondent decides to move forward with a Restorative Justice Conference to resolve their conduct case, the Associate Director for Student Conduct or the College Life Area Coordinator for Student Conduct will forward the case to a Case Resolution Officer charged with leading the Restorative Justice Conference. The Case Resolution Officer will work to bring the appropriate stakeholders together for a Restorative Justice Conference. The Restorative Justice Conference is a structured discussion with distinct stages:
    1. Each Restorative Justice Conference participant tells their story, describing the incident and the impact it may have had on them. The student respondent gets to speak first in this stage.
    2. After everyone has shared their perspective, participants are asked to identify the impact of the incident (e.g., any harms that may have occurred)
    3. After the impact is identified, the Case Resolution Officer engages the Restorative Justice Conference participants in a collaborative decision-making process whereby participants:
      1. offer suggestions of possible ways for the student to address the impact caused by their actions,
      2. assess the merits of each suggestion, and
      3. the Case Resolution Officer and the respondent agree upon a set of specific actions that the respondent will take in order to best address the impact (Note: The outcomes, as agreed upon within any Restorative Justice Conference, are unique to that particular group, and should be chosen because they help the student repair the specific harms identified, meet an identified community need, rebuild the community’s trust in them, and gain more understanding of the ripple effects of their actions). 

2. Once the Case Resolution Officer and the respondent have decided upon a number of active and educational outcomes for the student respondent to complete, the Case Resolution Officer will help with follow-up to provide support and ensure completion of the outcomes. The Case Resolution Officer will have the final decision regarding appropriate outcomes. (Note: Temporary status outcomes may be placed on the student. These status outcomes may be lifted once the student completes their educational outcomes.)

3. Overdue Outcomes: If the respondent fails to compete assigned outcomes, the Office of Student Conduct may place a hold on the respondent’s account until they complete all assigned outcomes

Revised: July 26, 2017