When considering matters on appeal, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, or his/her designee, is the final appellate level within the UMass Dartmouth student conduct process.
An accused student, or a reporting party who has been a victim of a violent act, who has been informed of the outcome of a discipline hearing may submit an appeal, in writing, to the Office of Student Affairs, or by email at email@example.com. The written appeal must state the grounds upon which the appeal is based. Students are not able to appeal a hearing decision if they fall into one of the following categories: 1) failed to attend their prehearing conference or scheduled hearing and has been issued a decision in absentia; 2) accepted responsibility and was issued a decision at his/her prehearing conference that was accepted; or 3) was issued a “warning” as the hearing outcome.
Grounds for appeal are allegations that: (1) the sanction administered by the original student conduct entity is unjustified in its severity or leniency; (2) the weight of evidence did not justify a finding of responsible or not responsible; (3) the basic tenets of due process provided by this document were omitted, ignored, or violated by the original student conduct entity; or (4) new evidence exists that is relevant and that was unobtainable at the time of the original hearing.
The appeal petition must be written by the appellant. Exception: A student may choose to have his/her attorney draft the letter of appeal only in cases where there are pending felony charges.
The appeal petition must be received in Office of Student Affairs, or designated location, no later than five (5) consecutive class days following receipt of the original decision or it is deemed invalid and the appeal will not be considered.
With the exception that the petition must cite appropriate grounds for appeal enumerated above in order to be valid, there is no prescribed form for a petition for appellate review. The appellant has the responsibility to make the petition sufficiently lucid and detailed so as to allow the Appellate Officer to understand the nature of the petition. If the Appellate Officer determines that a petition is improperly drafted or that it is insufficiently detailed, it shall so inform the petitioner and he/she shall have the right to submit an amended appeal within three (3) consecutive school days following said notification. If the appeal is not resubmitted in the specified time given, the appeal will not be considered.
The appellate entity shall grant a hearing upon receipt of a petition of appeal whenever the said entity shall determine that the petition raises substantive issues relative to the grounds for appeal enumerated above.
Withdrawal from University: A student party to a disciplinary action who has initiated an appeal to an Appellate Officer and who subsequently withdraws in good standing from the University while the appeal is pending, may continue the appeal process if he or she so chooses.
The appeal hearing is to be strictly limited to a review of the record of the original hearing. New evidence (i.e. evidence which was not presented at the original hearing) may be considered only if it is relevant and only if it was unobtainable at the time of the original hearing.
The decision of the University Appeals Officer may include the following: Affirm and uphold the decision of lower student conduct entity. Reject and overturn the decision of a lower student conduct entity. The accused may be found not responsible of the original charges. The accused may be found responsible of the original charges and any of the full range of available items under the Sanction and Penalties section of this document may be applied. Return the matter to the original student conduct entity with instructions.