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Frequently Asked Questions
I received a Pre-Hearing Notification in my email. What does this mean?
The Pre-Hearing Notification informs a student that they are being charged with a violation of University policy and specifies a time, day, and location for a Pre-Hearing Conference with a Pre-Hearing Facilitator. If you need to reschedule your Pre-Hearing Conference, contact your Pre-Hearing Facilitator. His/her contact information is in your notification.
What happens at the Pre-Hearing Conference? What is a hearing?
At the Pre-Hearing Conference, the Pre-Hearing 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 s/he would like to resolve the matter. The student may choose to reach an agreement with the Pre-Hearing Facilitator. If so, the matter is concluded and there can be no appeal. If the student chooses not to resolve the matter at the Pre-Hearing Conference, they may elect to have a formal hearing with either one administrator called an Administrative Hearing or with a Conduct Hearing Board consisting of 2 students and 1 Faculty or Staff member. Please note, if the potential outcome of the case is University Suspension or University Dismissal, the case must go to a hearing.
Who is the Pre-Hearing Facilitator?
The Pre-Hearing Facilitator will likely be either the Coordinator of Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution, the Coordinator of Residential Community Standards, or a Resident Director. However, any University staff member or faculty member may be trained to serve as a Pre-Hearing Faciltator.
Can I bring someone with me to the Pre-Hearing Conference or hearing?
Yes, based on guidelines in the Student Conduct Policies and Procedures, the student may bring an advisor. It must be a UMD community member: faculty, staff, or student. However, if the student is facing criminal charges in court, s/he may bring a lawyer to be present with them, but not speak on their behalf. If a parent wants to attend either a Pre-Hearing Conference, Administrative Hearing, or Conduct Board Hearing, the student must request this and it must be approved by the Pre-Hearing Facilitator, Administrative Hearing Officer, or Conduct Hearing Board.
What is a formal hearing like?
The hearing is a more formal proceeding in which the accused student and presenting party(ies) are present. The accused student is asked to plead to each of the violations. Both the accused student and presenting party(ies) present opening and closing statements and are questioned by one another and by the entity hearing the case. The outcome of the hearing, unlike the Pre-Hearing Conference, is a decision that is imposed on the accused student. Therefore the student has a right to appeal the outcome.
How should a student plead?
Responsible or not responsible for each charge. If a student believes they are responsible for the violation, they should plead responsible. If they think they are not responsible, the same applies.
Are witnesses allowed?
Witnesses are allowed in a formal Administrative or Conduct Board Hearings if they are witnesses to the incident that is being reviewed. Character witnesses are not allowed in the student conduct process. Witness lists need to be provided to the Coordinator of Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution 48 hours before the hearing.
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 accused student and the presenting party(ies) may appeal the decision in a formal hearing if they attended the hearing. A victim of violence may also appeal a hearing decision. The appeal is filed from a link provided in the hearing decision letter. The appeal must be submitted within 5 school/business days of receiving the decision. Appeals may be submitted in hard copy or via email. 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 system: RDs and senior housing staff, Associate and Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Associate and Assitant Dean of Students, and Student Conduct staff. Clerical staff in each of those areas, student workers, and Conduct Hearing Board 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 Pre-Hearing Conference?
Pre-Hearing Conferences are scheduled with consideration of the student's class schedule. If the student cannot attend the scheduled Pre-Hearing Conference, the student should call the Pre-Hearing Conference Facilitator that is assigned to them and leave a DETAILED message, including name, phone number, and maybe even student identification number. It is then the student's responsibility to follow up with the Pre-Hearing Facilitator to reschedule. Failure to reschedule within a few days can result in the a decision being made without the student's input.
Formal Administrative or Conduct Board Hearings are scheduled based on the student's availability.
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.