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Frequently Asked Questions
I received a Conduct Conference Notification in my email. What does this mean?
The Conduct Conference Notification informs a student that he may have violated the Student Code of Conduct and specifies a time, day, and location for a meeting with a Conduct Conference Facilitator. If you need to reschedule your Conduct Conference, contact your Conduct Conference Facilitator. His/her contact information is in your notification.
What happens at the Conduct Conference?
At the Conduct Conference, the Conduct Conference Facililtator will review the Student Conduct Process, discuss options to resolve the matter, present the information from any reports or documents related to the matter and ask the student to how she would like to resolve the matter. The student may choose to reach an agreement with the Conduct Conference Facilitator. If so, the matter is concluded and there can be no appeal. If the student chooses not to resolve the matter at the Conduct Conference, the matter will be referred for further investigation.
Who is the Conduct Conference Facilitator?
The Conduct Conference Facilitator will likely be either the Coordinator of Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution, the Coordinator of Residential Community Standards, a Resident Director, or a Graduate Assistant. However, any University staff member or faculty member may be trained to serve as a Conduct Conference Faciltator.
Can I bring someone with me to the Conduct Conference?
Yes, based on guidelines in the Student Conduct Policies and Procedures, the student may bring an advisor to any meeting involving a student conduct case. It must be a UMD community member: faculty, staff, or student. However, if the student is facing or is likely to face criminal charges in court, he may bring a lawyer to be present. The student may consult with the advisor throughout the meeting but it is important to note that the advisor may not speak on the student's behalf. If the student wants a parent, guardian, or family member to attend a student conduct meeting, the student must request this and it must be approved by the Conduct Conference Facilitator or whoever will be conducting the meeting.
If the matter is not resolved in the Conduct Conference, what happens next?
If the matter is not resolved in the Conduct Conference, it will be referred for further investigation. An investigator will be assigned who will meet separately with the student, the reporting party or parties, and possibly with witnesses. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will share her findings with you in writing via your UMass Dartmouth email. The finding letter will include a finding of responsible or not responsible for each violation and if there is a finding of responsible, the recommendations for sanctions. You will have the option to respond to the finding in writing prior to a final decision by the Administrative Review Panel.
Who is the investigator? What is the Administrative Review Panel?
The primary investigators in the student conduct process are the Coordinator of Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution and the Coordinator of Residential Community Standars. However, any staff or faculty member could be trained to be an investigator. In cases alleging sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will assign an investigator who has specialized training in these matters.
The Administrative Review Panel are students, faculty, and staff who are trained to review investigative findings and to make the final decision following an investigation. Each panel is made up of 2 students and 1 faculty or staff member. In cases of sexual misconduct, the Administrative Review Panel will be made up of 3 faculty or staff members with specialized training in these matters.
Are witnesses allowed?
Witnesses may be interviewed during an investigation. Both the accused student and reporting party or parties can provide names to the investigator of witnesses they would recommend interviewing. The investigator will use her discretion in deciding whether to interview witnesses.
What kind of sanctions does a student receive if he or she is found responsible?
Dismissal is a permanent separation from the University. It is the most severe penalty that can be assessed by the University. The student is not eligible for readmission.
Suspension prohibits the student from registering for classes or from attending the University while the suspension is in effect. Suspension shall remain in effect for a specified period of time, not to exceed two (2) calendar years from the time of a decision by a student conduct entity. At the end of the specified period the student may apply for readmission. A suspension may provide for automatic reinstatement of an otherwise eligible student.
Deferred Suspension shall be imposed for time periods similar to that for suspension. During this period a student found responsible for violation of policy in a judicial proceeding may be subject to immediate suspension from the University. A student under the sanction of deferred suspension shall not represent the University as an official delegate, representative, athlete, or as a holder of office or committee chair in University groups of any kind.
Disciplinary Probation is a conditional continuance of registration at the University. It is a period when actions of the student are subject to particular scrutiny and when conduct violations will cause student conduct entities to consider current violations within the context of and with prejudice based on past violations. Previous violations shall not be considered in the determination of guilt for any new violation, but shall be considered in determining a sanction after responsibility has been established. Further misconduct during each probationary period may result in Suspension or Dismissal.
At the discretion of the student conduct entity imposing probation, a student on Disciplinary Probation may lose the right to represent the University as an official delegate, representative, athlete, or as a holder of office or committee chair in University student groups of any kind. Probation shall be imposed for time periods similar to that for Suspension. Probation may be imposed together with such lesser sanctions as may be deemed appropriate.
Loss of Privilege allows a student conduct entity to restrict the activity of the student while he/she is on the University campus. The student may be prohibited from participating in non-academic or extra-curricular activities and/or from visiting certain specified areas of the University campus and/or from coming into contact with specified individuals while on campus. Loss of Privilege should be related to the offense, or serve to correct the result of the offense, or compensate in some relevant way the offended party(ies). Loss of Privilege may accompany another sanction herein described. In matters pertaining to the University Residences, Loss of Privilege may include but is not limited to the following:
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When can a student appeal a decision?
Both the student who was found responsible by the Administrative Review Panel and anyone who was victimized the decision as long as they participated in the investigation. The appeal is filed from a link provided in the decision letter. The appeal must be submitted within 5 business days of receiving the decision. See the Appeal Brochure found in the Forms Section of the Student Conduct website or the Appeals section of the Student Conduct Policies and Procedures also found on the Student Conduct website for more specifics on the appeal process. The appeal decision is final.
Are some minor violations handled differently?
Some minor residence life and housing violations, some computer file sharing violations, and some minor academic integrity violations may be handled by notifying students of the policy and warning them verbally or in writing.
Who has access to student conduct records?
The student affairs staff that have involvement in the student conduct process including RDs and senior housing staff, Associate and Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Associate and Assistant Dean of Students, and Student Conduct staff. Clerical staff in each of those areas, student workers, and Administrative Review Panel members also have limited access that is bound by confidentiality. Beyond those listed, University officials on a need to know basis or other exceptions as listed in FERPA, can access the records by requesting to view them. Students may view their own record, upon request, and if they want copies it is at 10 cents a page IF the office is able to release it.
How long are records kept?
Case records shall be destroyed after seven (7) years after the date of the last incident in which the student was found responsible, but not before the student graduates from the University. In cases involving University Dismissal, University Suspension, or permanent Trespass from the University, the record becomes permanent.
What should I do if I can't go to a scheduled Conduct Conference or other meeting in the student conduct process?
Conduct Conferences and other types of student conduct meetings are scheduled with consideration of the student's class schedule. If the student cannot attend the scheduled Conduct Conference, the student should call the Conduct Conference Facilitator assigned to the case and leave a DETAILED message, including name, phone number, and student identification number. It is then the student's responsibility to follow up with the Conduct Conference Facilitator to reschedule. Failure to reschedule within a few days can result in the a decision being made without the student's input.
When will my parents be notified?
Contact will be made with parents / guardians of those students each time the student has been found in violation of the Alcohol Policy and/or Drug Policy after the student conduct process is completely exhausted.
How can I file a complaint?
Anyone may file a complaint or incident report alleging an infraction of the Code of Conduct, Residence Hall regulations, laws, or such other regulations as may exist or be established within 1 (one) year of the incident.
Complaints may be filed online in the Campus Tools section of MyUMassD or at the main Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution website. Complaints may also be filed at Public Safety, Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution, Student Affairs, and the Office of Housing and Residential Education. All complaints or reported incidents of student misconduct will be referred to the Division of Student Affairs.
What is the Code of Conduct?
Conduct, occuring on or off campus, that violates generally accepted standards of good behavior and is adverse to the University's purpose or interests or presents a danger to the health and safety of the University community may be subject to discipline. The full Code of Conduct is found on the Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution website and in the Academic and Community Expectations Booklet received at New Student Orientation.
Students found responsible for violation of University policy will be subject to the complete range of sanctions and penalties provided in the Student Conduct Policies and Procedures.