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Judicial Process


Student Judicial Procedures

40.1. Judicial Affairs Mission Statement
The mission of the judicial process at University of the Pacific is to promote a safe, respectful academic community by determining in an appropriate manner issues of possible violations of the Student Conduct Code; to provide students with the opportunity to develop into citizen leaders by giving them a central role in establishing student judicial policy and adjudicating cases; and, when appropriate, to offer violators of the code an opportunity to learn from a fair judicial process and develop into responsible community members.

40.2. Introduction: Student Conduct Code
The Code identifies the general standards of student behavior, which are essential to the University's educational mission and its community life. The Code is applicable to all University students, including but not limited to, undergraduate and graduate students at all Schools and Colleges. Students are also responsible, and will be held accountable, for the conduct of their guests while the latter are at a University location or facility and/or participating with the student host in a University-related activity.

40.3. General Principles of Policies and Process
Interpretations of Regulations: The Code is set forth in writing in order to give students general notice of prohibited conduct. The provisions of the Code are to be read broadly and are not designed to define prohibited conduct in exhaustive terms.

40.4. Jurisdiction of the Student Judicial Processes
The student judicial process is applicable to all University students, including undergraduate, professional and graduate students. The jurisdiction of the process extends to behaviors by students and students' guests that occur on or adjacent to any of the three campuses or at any University-operated program, premises or facility, including study abroad programs, internships, athletic events and campus trips, and any other activity occurring in the scope of or fairly related to the students' relationship with the University. Issues which arise solely from student employment with the University and which do not otherwise affect the student relationship with the University are not cognizable by the student judicial process but by University Human Resources.

40.5. Inherent Authority
Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Code, the University reserves the right to take any action, which in its judgment is necessary and appropriate to protect the safety and well being of the campus community.

40.6. Student Participation
Students are asked to assume positions of responsibility in the student judicial system so that they might contribute their skills and insights toward the resolution of judicial cases. However, final authority in judicial matters is vested in the appropriate officers of the University administration, as designated below.

40.7. Focus of the Proceedings
The focus of the inquiry in judicial proceedings will be to determine if the individual charged ("respondent") is responsible or not responsible for violation of the Code. Formal rules of evidence will not be applicable, nor will asserted violations from procedures necessarily invalidate a decision or proceeding, unless there is significant prejudice to the respondent or to the University and a different outcome would have been likely.

40.8. Effect of Governmental Proceedings
Processes under this Code are independent of any governmental criminal proceedings that are or may become applicable to the behavior at issue. The determinations of governmental authorities will not necessarily be dispositive of the outcome of the student judicial process. Likewise, the University student judicial system decisions are not intended to affect decision by governmental authorities. Students subject to criminal charges and violations of this Code may assert their Fifth Amendment privilege during judicial proceedings. No inference will be drawn because of the student's assertion of this constitutional privilege. However, the matter will be determined on the basis of the evidence available to the University judicial body or officer.

40.9. Burden of Proof
The burden of proof will be such that the respondent will be presumed not responsible and his/her responsibility must be established to the satisfaction of the judicial body or officer by a preponderance of the evidence. The sanction of dismissal (but not other sanctions) requires responsibility to be established to the satisfaction of the judicial body and Vice President for Student Life by clear and convincing evidence.

40.10. Student Mail
The judicial system will communicate with all students in writing delivered in person or via campus and/or U.S. mail. Students will be held accountable for retrieving their mail in a timely manner. Failure to do so is not an acceptable excuse for delaying the judicial process.

40.11. Student Groups and Organizations
Student groups and organizations may be charged with the violation of any section of the Code or violation of any policies and procedures included in Tiger Lore. A student group or organization and its officers may be held collectively or individually responsible for violations of the Code by those associated with the group or organization who has received the actual or implied authorization or ratification of the group, organization, its leaders, officers or spokespersons. The officers, leader or any identifiable spokesperson for a student group or organization may be directed by the Vice President of Student Life or a designee to take appropriate action designed to prevent, cease or remedy violation of this Code by the group or organization. Sanctions for group or organization violations may include revocation or denial of registration as well as other appropriate sanctions, pursuant to this Code.

40.12. Sanctions for Violation of the Honor Code/Student Code of Conduct
One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed for a violation of the Code. Factors to be considered in determination of the appropriate penalty may include any one or more of the following: the judgment of the judicial body or officer as to the severity of the violation, the behavior of the respondent in the course of the proceedings under this Code, the past judicial record of the respondent, the nature of the offense, and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it.

40.12.a. Dismissal from the University
The student is permanently separated from the University. Notification will appear on the student's academic transcript. The student will also be barred from University premises. Dismissal (but not other sanctions) requires responsibility established by clear and convincing evidence and review and approval by the Vice President for Student Life.

40.12.b. Suspension from the University
The student is temporarily separated from the University for a specified period of time, with or without conditions that must be satisfied before resumption of student status is permitted. The record of suspension shall appear on the student's academic transcript. The student will not participate in any University activity and in addition could be barred from University premises. Suspended time will not count against any time limits of the Graduate School for completion of a degree. Suspension requires the review and approval of the Vice President for Student Life. Suspension is converted to dismissal if it is determined that the specified conditions or resumption of student's duties have not been satisfied.

40.12.c. Disciplinary Probation
A specified period of time during which a student's status is between good standing and suspension. During this period of time any additional violation of university policy or conditions of probation shall result in more significant disciplinary sanctioning including the possibility of suspension or dismissal.

40.12.d. Termination of Eligibility for, or Relocation within Student Housing
University housing accommodations are a privilege. Students who demonstrate that they are unable to live in community, due to severe or repeated violations, may be relocated to another housing facility or have their housing eligibility terminated. If housing eligibility is terminated, students must vacate housing facilities and are ineligible for further University housing, including during the summer, for a designated period of time or for an indefinite period of time.

40.12.e. Ineligibility for Graduation
A respondent, otherwise eligible to earn an academic degree and participate in related commencement proceedings, as to whom there are pending Code proceedings which, in the judgment of the Vice President for Student Life, present a realistic possibility of dismissal, shall not be eligible to receive the degree or participate in commencement proceedings until judicial proceedings are completed.

40.12.f. Restitution
The student is required to make payment to the University or to other persons, groups, or organizations for damages incurred as a result of a violation of this Code. Restitution must be made within 30 days unless otherwise determined by the Judicial Board or Hearing Officer.

40.12.g. Restriction
The student is restricted from entering a specific area or areas on campus for an indefinite or for a specified period of time.

40.12.h. Community Service/Educational Project
Community work, work on campus, research projects, educational class or other appropriate learning experiences may be assigned by the Hearing Officer or Judicial Review Board.

40.12.i. Disciplinary Warning
The student is given an oral or written warning that future violations will result in more severe judicial action. A record shall be made of any oral warning.

40.12.j. Other Sanctions
Hearing officers and judicial boards retain the right to impose additional or related sanctions, including but not limited to fines, according to the specific needs of a situation.

40.13. Roles and Responsibilities

40.13.a. Director of Judicial Affairs
The Director serves as the primary administrator of the student judicial process. The director trains and advises administrative hearing officers, student advocates, and judicial review board members; maintains judicial files and related evidential information; with recommendations from academic council and student leadership organizations appoints individuals to serve on review boards and evaluates their ability to serve without prejudice; and, completes a statistical summary of cases to the University each semester and conducts regular reviews of University student codes.

40.13.b. Judicial Support Persons
Judicial Support Persons are faculty or staff members or students. The Judicial Support Person informs respondents about the judicial review process and the respondent's rights and responsibilities as it relates to that process; and may, at the request of the respondent, communicate for the respondent, regarding his/her choice to a hearing by a single hearing officer or a review board. Judicial Support Persons do not advise or represent the student as to the specifics of the incident under investigation. Judicial Support Persons must be trained by the Office of Judicial Affairs and may not serve if they have a vested interest in the outcome of the case.

40.13.c. Hearing Officers and Judicial Review Boards
Hearing Officers, typically student life or athletics administrators and/or faculty members, adjudicate allegations of student code violations. Judicial Review Boards may also adjudicate allegations of student code violations. Review boards are comprised of five people - three students, one faculty and one administrator. Fraternal organizations involved in alleged violations of University or specific fraternal policies will be subject to adjudication by the Judicial Review Board consisting of three students, at least two of which will be members of a social Greek organization, one faculty and one administrator.

A student serves as the chair, convener and administrator of the hearing. Board members serve a one academic year term with continuation subject to approval of the Vice President for Student Life (VPSL). In the event of a vacancy, the VPSL appoints a replacement. Prior to judicial deliberations committee members participate in a judicial training session offered by the Division of Student Life. Hearing officers or review board members who are respondents in proceedings under this Code or in governmental criminal proceedings are temporarily ineligible from judicial review board service until those proceedings are resolved with finality. The Judicial Director may assign the matter to a different hearing officer or review board in the event of a vacancy or disqualification of a hearing officer or review board member.

40.13.d. Judicial Appeal Committee
A Judicial Appeal Committee considers a student appeal of the decision of a hearing officer or Judicial Review Board. The VPSL appoints appeal committee members following recommendations from the academic council and student leadership organizations. An appeals committee is comprised of three student members, one faculty and one staff member. Prior to appeal deliberations committee members participate in a judicial training session offered by the Division of Student Life. Committee members charged with any violation of the Code or with a criminal offense may be disqualified from any further participation in deliberations by the Judicial Director.

40.14. Hearing Procedures

40.14.a. Reports of alleged conduct violations should be submitted to the Director of Judicial Affairs. Persons submitting information are required to provide an incident report with information pertinent to the case. Alleged violations of Housing policies, Athletic policies, or Campus Recreation policies will be adjudicated by the designated hearing officer or hearing board for that area. All other alleged violations or Housing, Athletic or Campus Recreation violations that may result in a change in student's university status will be referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs for adjudication.

40.14.b. A hearing is convened provided that sufficient evidentiary information suggests a code violation may have occurred. If a hearing is warranted, a charge letter will be issued to the respondent(s) from the appropriate office. A hearing is a meeting between the student(s) cited on an incident report ("respondent") and a hearing officer or review board.

40.14.c. In most other instances, the student may elect from a choice of hearing processes - either 1) a hearing officer or 2) a Judicial Review Board. The following violations require adjudication by a Judicial Review Board, however the Director of Judicial Affairs, at his/her discretion, may recommend a specific process based upon the unique circumstances of the case.
* Academic honesty violations
* Student organization event violations
* Fire Safety violations
* Any form of assault or harassment
* Alcohol or Illicit drug overdose and/or medical
* transport
* Repeated violations of any policy

40.14.d. The following procedures are applicable to hearings before a hearing officer or review board:

40.14.d.1. The hearing officer, board, Director of Judicial Affairs and the respondent have the right to request attendance of witnesses in person.

40.14.d.2. Hearings are private.

40.14.d.3. Hearing officers or boards will exercise control over the hearing to avoid needless consumption of time and to prevent the harassment or intimidation of witnesses. Any person, including the advocate, who disrupts a hearing or who fails to adhere to the rulings of a hearing officer or board, may be excluded from the proceedings.

40.14.d.4. Decisions of a hearing officer or board must be in writing and include a summary of findings, decision, and sanctions(s). Summaries should be sufficiently detailed to permit review on appeal.

40.14.d.5. The student may challenge the designation of a hearing officer or board member for cause. The Director of Judicial Affairs will determine if the challenge is valid. If a challenge is valid, the charge will be referred to another review board or hearing officer.

40.14.d.6. Witnesses will be asked to affirm that their testimony is truthful and, if false testimony is given, witnesses may be subject to charges for student code violation.

40.14.d.7. Witnesses, other than the respondent, may at the discretion of the hearing officer or board, be excluded from the hearing during the testimony of other witnesses.

40.14.d.8. Except as herein provided, formal rules of evidence and discovery will not be applicable; however, prior to the hearing, the respondent will be entitled to review all relevant documents in the possession of the Director of Judicial Affairs.

40.14.d.9. Respondents may be afforded the opportunity to question those witnesses who testify at the hearing.

40.14.d.10. Written statements may not be admitted into evidence unless signed by the witness and witnessed by a University employee or by a person designated by the VPSL. An advance copy of written statements must be furnished to the respondent.

40.15. Respondents are accorded the following procedural protection:

40.15.a. A written notice of charges, a copy of the Student Conduct Code, and a scheduled hearing with a hearing officer or board. Students who fail to appear after proper notice will be deemed to have accepted responsibility for the charges against them and to submit to sanctions

40.15.b. A hearing during which the hearing officer or board reiterates the nature of the alleged violation, including the time, date, and place where it is alleged to have occurred. Respondents have the opportunity to hear and to respond to the evidence submitted.

40.15.c. The hearing officer or board will also explain the judicial process and the fact that the hearing may become part of a file relating to the case.

40.15.d. Reasonable access to the case file prior to and during the hearing, including an oral summary of the evidence supporting the charge(s). Respondent(s) must make this request in writing.

40.15.e. The respondent, the hearing officer or the board may utilize the assistance of a Judicial Support Person during a judicial. This individual may provide advice and counsel, but may not speak on behalf of, or otherwise represent the respondent, board or officer during judicial procedures.

40.15.e.1.Current students, faculty, or staff may act as a Judicial Support Person. Off-campus individuals and those with no affiliation to the University may not act in this role. Current faculty or staff may not act as the Judicial Support Person to family members who are respondents.

40.15.e.2. Respondents who wish to have the assistance of a Judicial Support Person must inform the Director of Judicial Affairs in writing at least two days prior to the scheduled hearing date. A Judicial Support Person may not appear in lieu of the student.

40.15.f. Respondents may request the attendance of witnesses. The Director of Judicial Affairs must be notified prior to the hearing that the respondent plans to call witnesses. In order to appear at the hearing these witnesses must have information relating to the case.

40.15.g. A sanction will be levied if the hearing officer or board determines that the respondent is responsible for the violation(s). If not, the charge(s) will be dismissed.

40.15.h. A written statement of the hearing decision will be sent to the student(s) in a timely manner.

40.16. Respondents are provided the following rights:

40.16.a. To be considered not responsible for a violation unless responsibility by the student is shown by a preponderance of the evidence.

40.16.b. To be given due process as provided in this policy.

40.16.c. To be allowed a reasonable time to prepare for a judicial hearing.

40.16.d. To have the right to appeal an adverse decision in accordance with procedures in this document.

40.16.e. To refuse to engage in self-incrimination

40.16.f. To be assured of confidentiality, in accordance with the terms of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

40.16.g. To be given, upon request, access to the official file of a record of their judicial proceedings.

40.16.h. The right to file a report of false charges within the University Judicial System, if the outcome of the initial student judicial proceeding is no responsibility of the respondent.

40.17. Appeal Procedures

40.17.a. Students may appeal recommended judicial sanctions to a Judicial Appeals Committee. Sanctions may be appealed on the following grounds:

40.17.a.1. The sanction is grossly disproportionate to the offense.

40.17.a.2. The procedures in this Code were not followed, resulting in prejudice to the student.

40.17.a.3. New relevant evidence is available that could not have been produced at the time of the hearing, despite the exercise of reasonable diligence.

40.17.a.4. The decision is not supported by substantial evidence.

40.17.b. Students must submit a written statement in support of an appeal to the Director of Judicial Affairs within three days of receiving the final decision of the hearing officer or board. The Director of Judicial Affairs is responsible for convening the Appeals Committee.

40.17.c. The Appeals Committee will review the hearing officer or board summary of the testimony, findings, and decision ion as well as the student's appeal statement. The committee will be made up of three students, one of whom will serve as chair, one faculty member and one administrator, none of whom served on the original case. The committee may request the hearing officer, or board, or the respondent to submit additional information in writing or to appear at an appeal meeting. The committee will give deference to the determinations of the hearing officer or board, and may make one of the following recommendations:

40.17.c.1. Recommended sanctions may be reduced or increased, if found to be grossly disproportionate to the offense.

40.17.c.2. The case may be referred back to the hearing officer or board if specified procedural errors in interpretation of this Code were so substantial as to effectively deny the student a fair hearing or if new significant evidence became available which could not have been discovered by a properly diligent student before or during the original hearing.

40.17.c.3. The case may be dismissed if the decision is not supported by substantial evidence.

40.17.c.4. The findings and the sanction imposed by the hearing officer or board may be affirmed, reduced, or increased.

40.18. Exceptional Procedures

40.18.a. The Vice President for Student Life (VPSL) or a designee may preliminarily suspend a student or student organization pending hearing and decision, if he/she determines that student's presence on campus poses a threat of harm to the student, to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal University functions. A suspended student will be given an opportunity to appear in person before the VP or a designee within three days of the effective interim suspension date.

40.18.b. Hearing officer, board, or appeals committee decisions regarding a suspension or dismissal will be reviewed by the VPSL, or the President's designee in the absence of the Vice President; whose decision will be final and binding unless the President chooses to review the matter. This final decision may withdraw, modify, defer, suspend or confirm the decision and sanction.

40.18.c. The imposition of sanctions will normally be deferred during the appeal process, unless otherwise decided at the discretion of the VPSL or his/her designee.

40.18.d. Victims of violent crimes on campus will, on request, be notified of the results of the related judicial hearing. A violent crime is defined as an offense which uses, attempts to use, or threatens to use physical force or a significant risk of the use of physical force against another.

40.19. Judicial Files and Records
Referrals may result in the development of a student judicial file, which will be sealed if the student is found not responsible for the charges. Files of students found responsible for code violations will be retained as a judicial record for five years following that student's graduation.Files may be retained for longer periods or permanently, if so specified in the sanction.