Student Conduct Process
|Title||Student Conduct Process|
Version 1: revised August 17, 2010 to be effective August 23, 2010; Version 2: revised and effective August 21, 2012; Version 3: revised December 2012 to be effective February 1, 2013; Version 4: revised and effective April 8, 2013; Version 5: revised and effective October 1, 2013; Version 6: revised and effective November 11, 2013; Version 7 & 8: revised and effective May 29, 2014; Version 9: revised November 11, 2014 to be effective January 1, 2015; Version 10: revised March 2016; Version 11: revised August 18, 2017; Version 12 (interim): revised February 19, 2018.
Director for the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, (252) 328 - 6824
1.1. Purpose Statement
As an academic community, East Carolina University is dedicated to providing a safe and vibrant learning and working environment for all its members. Under Section 502 D of the Code of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina, the Board and the President of the University of North Carolina have delegated the responsibility to manage student conduct to the Chancellor of each constituent campus. ECU's Chancellor, in turn, charged the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs with overseeing the student conduct process. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Student Conduct Board have been created to assist in this effort.
1.1.1. The Student Conduct Process regulation and supporting policies and procedures have been approved by the Chancellor and are based on input from students, faculty, and staff of East Carolina University. They are intended to aid in the fulfillment of ECU's mission and in securing the broadest range of freedom for each member of the community. These policies and procedures set behavioral standards that protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and human rights of all members of the community as well as the property of the University.
1.1.2. Additional behavioral standards are also set forth in the University’s Regulation on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence, which governs sexual misconduct. If the conduct in question is such that the Regulation on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence applies, it shall govern. This includes any conduct that might also violate paragraph 2.4 of this Regulation.
1.2. Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities
The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) administers the Student Conduct Process (Student Code of Conduct or Code). OSRR fosters student growth by promoting students' awareness and understanding of their rights and responsibilities as community members. It addresses student conduct and creates developmental learning opportunities in an effort to engage students in ethical decision-making. Any questions regarding the student conduct process should be directed to the Director of OSRR.
1.3. Scope of the Student Conduct Process
As members of the ECU community, students have the right to be treated with respect and consideration, have freedom of inquiry, and have reasonable use of services and facilities. The University embraces and strives to uphold the freedoms of expression and speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the North Carolina Constitution. The University has the right under appropriate circumstances to regulate the time, place, and manner of exercising these and other constitutionally protected rights.
1.3.1. The Code pertains to anyone registered for an academic course at the University, including but not limited to, undergraduate and graduate students who are classified as degree or non-degree seeking, as well as visiting students, medical students, dental students, professional students, and students studying abroad. All students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that helps enhance an environment of learning in which the rights, dignity, worth, and freedom of each member of the academic community are respected. Upon acceptance of admission to ECU, each student agrees to abide by the policies of the University and to conduct her/himself on- and off-campus in a manner consistent with its educational mission. Students have a responsibility to review the Student Code of Conduct and other policies and to seek clarification if necessary from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. In addition, various academic units and administrative departments have policies specific to their area of responsibility. It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with University policies and procedures. The Student Code of Conduct and related policies and procedures are available on-line. Printed copies are available in the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities upon request.
1.3.2. Students are subject to the Student Code of Conduct and related policies from the time they accept admission until they graduate from the University. This means that conduct occurring before classes begin, including New Student Orientation, or after classes end, during the academic year, and during periods between terms of enrollment is governed by this Code.
1.3.3. In addition to the consequences outlined in this regulation, students who represent units within the University community, such as medical students, graduate students, student athletes, and residential students might be subject to additional behavioral consequences under the standards set by those units. The Student Conduct Process regulation also applies to student behavior, which violated University policies, but which was discovered after the student has left the University or has graduated. Depending on the circumstances of the case, degree revocation might be a consequence, as is outlined in the relevant catalog.
2. Student Code of Conduct
The University reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community and to support the mission of the University. Such action may include taking disciplinary action as outlined in this Code against students for their on- and off-campus conduct.
East Carolina University students are expected to refrain from the following behaviors.
2.1. Alcohol: Illegally possessing, consuming, having consumed, and/or providing alcoholic beverages to those under the legal drinking age. Being intoxicated in public.
2.2. Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia, and Other Controlled Substances: Possessing, using, distributing, buying, selling, facilitating a sale, delivering, manufacturing, and/or abusing illicit or illegally obtained substances. Misusing prescription or counterfeit drugs. Consuming, including huffing or sniffing, any substance not intended for such use. Possessing or using drug paraphernalia.
2.3. Endangerment: Acting in a manner that could or did endanger or injure a person or the ECU community. Examples of endangerment include, but are not limited to, fighting, or operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
2.3.1 Consideration may also be given as to whether the respondent acted in self-defense, and, whether the amount of force used was reasonable under the circumstances. Self-Defense is defined as a justifiable action by a non-aggressor using reasonable force upon another person to enable oneself to get free from imminent physical harm.
2.3.2 Failing to take advantage of an opportunity to remove oneself from the situation could negate the claim of self-defense.
2.3.3 Actions consistent with appropriate self-defense may also be considered as a mitigating factor in consideration of potential sanctioning, if applicable.
2.4. Harassment, Threats, Bullying or Intimidation: Directing action toward a particular individual or group in a manner which is unwelcome and, under the totality of the circumstances, is so severe or pervasive, and objectively offensive that it undermines and/or detracts from the target’s academic pursuits, participation in University-sponsored activities, or employment effectively denying equal access to University resources and opportunities.
2.4.1. Engaging in conduct directed at a specific person, group, or entity in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to fear for one's safety, the safety of others, or the loss of or damage to property or that is defamatory.
2.4.2. East Carolina University will also enforce the University of North Carolina Policy 700.4.2, which states:
126.96.36.199. No student shall threaten, coerce, harass or intimidate another person or identifiable group of persons, in a manner that is unlawful or in violation of a constitutionally valid University policy, while on University premises or at University- sponsored activities based upon the person's race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender-identity, creed, disability, or veteran status.
188.8.131.52. No student shall engage in unlawful harassment leading to a hostile environment. Unlawful harassment includes conduct that creates a hostile environment by meeting the following criteria. It is:
a. directed toward a particular person or persons;
b. based upon the person's race, color, religion, national origin,
gender, sexual orientation, gender-identity, creed, disability, or
d. severe or pervasive;
e. objectively offensive; and
f. so unreasonably interferes with the target person's employment,
academic pursuits, or participation in University-sponsored activities
as to effectively deny equal access to the University's resources and
184.108.40.206. In determining whether student conduct violates these provisions (220.127.116.11. or 18.104.22.168.), all relevant facts and circumstances shall be considered. Care must be exercised in order to preserve freedoms of speech and expression, as articulated in current legal standards.(please see http://www.ecu.edu/prr/07/30/06 for more information)
2.5. Hazing: Acting in a manner that would subject another student to physical injury or mental or emotional harm as part of an initiation, or as a criterion of membership, into any organized University group, including any society, military groups, athletic team, fraternity or sorority, or other similar group. Planning or preparing to engage in hazing activity is also a violation of the Code. The expressed or implied consent of participants will not prevent disciplinary action.
(For more information see procedures for responding to student organization misconduct under Additional References.)
2.6. Weapons: Possessing, distributing, using, manufacturing, assembling, storing, transporting, selling, purchasing, or acquiring any weapons as defined in this policy on property owned or controlled by the University, including ECU vehicles is a violation of the Code, with the exception of a handgun possessed pursuant to a concealed handgun permit and stored according to law. Possessing any illegal weapons, including nuclear/biological/chemical weapons, or home-made weapons, either on- or off-campus. This provision also applies to students on the way to and present at any off-campus curricular and extracurricular activity sponsored by the University. Illegally concealing any weapon is a violation of the Code.
2.6.1. Weapons include, but are not limited to, objects defined in the “Regulation Concerning Weapons on Campus”. Examples of weapons are: guns, rifles, pistols, bb guns, air rifles, air pistols, paintball guns, crossbows, arrows, fireworks, dynamite, bombs, grenades, mines, powerful explosives, bullets or ammunition cartridges, nunchuks, slingshots, leaded canes, blackjacks, metallic knuckles, martial arts weapons, throwing stars, Kamas, axes, razor blades, ice picks, dirks, daggers, swords, bowie knives, switchblade knives, butterfly knives, other knives with blades three or more inches in length, tasers, and stun guns.
2.6.2. Any item used or possessed for purposes of use as a weapon will be considered a weapon under this policy.
2.7. Disruptive Conduct: Being disruptive or disorderly in a manner that interferes with the function of the University or interferes with conduct of others, including law enforcement officers, who are on-campus or off-campus. Refusing or failing to submit appropriate identification or refusing to comply with a request from an identifiable University official acting on behalf of the University.
2.8. Theft: Stealing or attempting to steal property, including intellectual property, or services of any person or entity. Receiving, possessing, or selling/giving away such property when the student recognizes, or should have recognized, that the property was stolen. Selling books or helping sell books without the owner's permission is an example of theft.
2.9. Vandalism, Defacement, or Misuse of Property: Defacing, destroying, damaging, or misusing private, University, or other public properties.
2.10. Trespassing and Unauthorized Use of Property: Entering or using university facilities and/or the personal property of others without explicit permission. This includes but is not limited to, unauthorized access to residence halls, vehicles, stadiums and fields, as well as unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of the property of others or the University.
2.11. False Information, Forgery, and Fraud: Publishing and/or circulating false information that is harmful to others. Providing false information to the University, including on an application required to participate in a University activity.
2.11.1. Altering, forging, or misusing documents or property which might include, but is not limited to, money, charge cards, checks, personal information, ECU One Cards, grade reports, transcripts, and parking tags. Possessing altered or forged documents or property, such as a fictitious driver's license. Deceitfully using the personal information of others.
2.12. Having Knowledge of or Assisting with a Violation: Having knowledge of, being present during, instigating, encouraging, or facilitating a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
2.13. Gambling: Placing a bet or wager on an uncertain outcome for money or other items of value unless permitted by law.
2.14. Hindering the University Conduct Process: Coaching, intimidating, retaliating against, or otherwise influencing witnesses, Conduct Board members, conduct administrators, and other participants in the conduct process. Failing to provide the University with relevant information regarding a conduct case as a witness, except in instances where such failure would require a student to identify his/her own violation of the Code. Failing to abide by sanctions, including bans.
2.15. Violation of University Policies: Violating University policies including, but not limited to those listed in the related policy section of this regulations and the University Policy Manual. Violations of campus or University policies, rules or regulations, or federal, state, or local law may result in a violation of the student code of conduct and imposition of sanctions.
3.1. Sanctioning. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct, will result in educational and/or disciplinary consequences called sanctions. Sanctions are designed with the intent of educating Respondents and protecting the ECU community. No sanctions will be enforced until all reviews have been exhausted with the exception of administrative actions taken to protect members of the ECU community. Each student who has been found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct shall be notified in writing of the appeal rights as they pertain to her/his case.
Immediate Administrative Actions: The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, in conjunction with appropriate University administrators, may take interim action pending the resolution of a conduct case in order to preserve the safety and well-being of the ECU community and its members. These actions include, but are not limited to, counseling assessment and/or treatment, restriction of access or privileges, no-contact ban or removal from classes, and administrative suspension.
3.1.1. Administrative suspension is the immediate separation of the student from enrollment at the University. Administrative suspension becomes effective immediately whenever there is information that the continued presence of the student on University property poses a substantial threat. A substantial threat might include, but is not limited to, threatening the safety of any person, significantly harming or attempting to harm someone, threatening to cause or causing significant property damage, and interfering with the stability and continuance of University functions.
3.1.2. If the circumstances permit, an OSRR administrator will meet with the student to be placed on administrative suspension to explain the allegation and to give the student an opportunity to respond. A student on administrative suspension has a right to appeal this administrative action within five calendar days to the Dean of Students. While the Dean of Students is reviewing the appeal, the student shall remain on suspension.
3.1.3. In order for an administrative suspension to be modified the student must show that the action was arbitrary or capricious, there was a procedural error, or that there is substantial new information mitigating the situation. The Dean of Students will review (1) the reliability of the information concerning the student's behavior; (2) whether or not the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student poses a substantial threat to others, to property, or to the stability and continuance of normal University functions; and/or (3) whether or not the student has complied with the directives of the conduct administrator placing the student on administrative suspension. The decision of the Dean of Students shall be final.
3.1.4. Students who are administratively suspended are entitled to participate in the ECU conduct process while separated from the University. (For information regarding student organization interim actions please see procedures for responding to student organizational misconduct.)
3.2. Guidelines for Sanctioning. When determining sanctions, conduct administrators and members of the Student Conduct Board take into account the nature and seriousness of the violation, the impact of the violation on the community, the Respondent's past conduct history, as well as the Respondent's developmental needs, and mitigating or aggravating factors existing at the time of the offense, which may include, but are not limited to: past disciplinary record, the nature of the misconduct (i.e. the Respondent was acting under duress or a mental condition; played a minor role in the commission of the offense; knowingly exposed others to a significant risk; convinced others to participate due to a position of leadership, dominance, trust or confidence; or the offense involved weapons or was especially heinous), as well as other relevant information regarding the degree of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it. Multiple sanctions may be imposed for one violation.
3.2.1. Violations of the Code that involve alcohol, drugs, weapons, hazing, substantial theft or fraud, physical harm to persons or property, sexual misconduct, other actions that create a substantial risk of harm to others or the University, or accumulation of multiple violations of the Code might result in suspension or expulsion from the University.
3.2.2. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under the Student Code of Conduct will not be subject to change solely because criminal charges arising from the same facts giving rise to a violation of the Code were dismissed, reduced or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.
3.2.3. The University reserves the right to enhance sanctions for violations which are believed to have been motivated based on the person's race/ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender-identity, gender expression, age, creed, disability, genetic information, political affiliation, or veteran status. In the event a student is found responsible for such a bias-motivated violation, the sanction imposed should be more serious than that appropriate for only the underlying violation. A finding that a violation constitutes a bias-motivated violation requires a separate finding to that effect by the conduct administrator or the Conduct Board.
3.3. Range of Sanctions: The range and explanation of sanctions is provided below.
3.3.1.Warning: A written notification informing the student that the University considers the student's behavior inappropriate and that the student needs to change this behavior.
3.3.2. Probation: A period of time during which the student's behavior is under University review. Probation is intended to communicate to the student that the University considers the student's behavior inappropriate and that further violations will result in more severe consequences, which may include suspension or expulsion. Probation shall be served during the student's active terms of enrollment at the University.
3.3.3. Service: Service hours completed at an approved service site. A student may be given up to sixty hours of campus service in response to one finding of responsibility and up to sixty calendar days to complete the service.
3.3.4. Educational Task: A task designed to provide the student with an opportunity to examine her/his actions and their impact on self and/or on the community.
3.3.5. Counseling: Assessment and counseling and/or treatment provided by the Center for Counseling and Student Development. A student referred for assessment must comply with the recommendations of the counselor. Information shared with a counselor is confidential; however, OSRR is advised about the overall results of the student's assessment, attendance and quality of participation in counseling. Under certain circumstances, the student may be referred for off-campus counseling/treatment. The student will assume all responsibility for off-campus counseling fees.
3.3.6. No Contact Ban: A ban requiring the student to have no contact with a designated individual. Verbal, written, and physical contact or third party contact is prohibited.
3.3.7. Restricted Privileges: A period during which the student's privilege of using University facilities or participating in University functions is modified or limited. Depending on the circumstances, restrictions may be structured to allow a student to attend class, participate in a job or internship, or use the library. A student with restricted privileges may not be eligible, for example, for early arrival on campus, extended stays in residence halls, representing the University in competition or other official capacities, campus employment, and campus leadership opportunities.
22.214.171.124. In enforcing this provision, OSRR will periodically review rosters of University and University recognized student organizations to identify any students on restricted privileges that may be violating this provision. A student found in violation may be subject to additional disciplinary action as noted above.
3.3.8. Restitution: Reimbursement to the person or entity harmed by the violation.
3.3.9. Suspension: A temporary separation from enrollment at the University for a defined period of time. Suspended students are banned from the University premises during the period of suspension and may be required to complete specified sanctions prior to reenrollment. Completion of the suspension period and other assigned sanctions does not automatically grant suspended students the right to return to the University community. All suspended students must petition the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for readmission. A committee will consider the petition and make a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, or designee. After campus safety approval, students must re-apply to their academic program, but readmission to an academic program is not guaranteed. Suspension shall be served during the student's active terms of enrollment at the University.
3.3.10. Expulsion: Permanent separation from enrollment at the University and at any other member institution of the University of North Carolina. Expelled students are banned from University premises. With the exception of review of a case due to the receipt of new information as outlined in section 5.5.9, below, only the Chancellor may amend this sanction to suspension if the student petitions the University demonstrating significant growth and contribution to society indicating that the individual should be given a new opportunity to pursue higher education. Such petitions can be filed with the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities after a minimum of five years of the completion of the conduct case. A student who has been expelled from the University may not be admitted to another constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, unless and until the sanction of expulsion has been rescinded by the University.
3.3.11. Revocation of Degree: Revocation of an awarded degree for a serious violation of the Code that occurred prior to graduation, but which was discovered after a student had graduated from the University.
3.3.12. Failure to Comply with Sanctions: Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities monitors sanctions to ensure compliance. Students who do not complete sanctions within the specified time may not be permitted to enroll for courses or may be suspended until they complete their sanctions. Students who leave the University prior to the completion of sanctions may not be allowed to reenroll until proof is provided that the sanctions imposed have been completed.
3.3.13. Deferred Suspension: Deferred suspension shall be used for offenses found serious enough to warrant suspension, but where the specific circumstances of the case mitigate the offense or the repeated offenses of a less serious nature. Deferred suspension is a designated period of time during which a student is given the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to abide by the communities expectations of behavior articulated in the code of conduct. However, suspension will be automatically enforced for failure to complete any assigned sanctions by the deadline and/or for any subsequent violation of the student code of conduct. If found responsible for any subsequent violation, the student will be suspended for a minimum of two academic semesters in addition to the other consequences imposed. Students on this status may be limited in their abilities to represent the University in certain capacities. Examples include but are not limited to: athletic teams other than intramurals, hold an office in a student organization, or participate in any study abroad program.
4. Rights and Responsibilities
4.1. Respondent Rights and Responsibilities: A student whose conduct is under review is a Respondent and has the following rights and responsibilities. The Respondent may forfeit any of these rights if, after being given appropriate notice and opportunity to exercise these rights, s/he fails to do so.
4.1.1. Respondent Rights
126.96.36.199. The right to an objective and impartial evaluation of the complaint.
188.8.131.52. The right to be present during the meeting with a conduct administrator or during the Conduct Board hearing.
184.108.40.206. The right to reasonable access to all information gathered throughout the evaluation pertinent to the alleged violation.
220.127.116.11. The right to present information relevant to the alleged violation, including inviting witnesses.
18.104.22.168. The right to respond to information presented against her/him.
22.214.171.124. The right to a separate meeting with a conduct administrator or Conduct Board hearing in cases involving multiple Respondents.
126.96.36.199. The right not to provide information with the understanding that the University will make a determination without the Respondent's information.
188.8.131.52. The right, after receiving written notice of the outcome, to review of the decision, including to appeal as described in section 5.5.
184.108.40.206. The right to be represented, at the student's expense, by a licensed attorney or non-attorney advocate who may participate in accordance with UNC Policy Manual 700.4.1.1 [R]. A Respondent represented by an attorney or non-attorney advocate is expected to attend all scheduled meetings and hearings.
220.127.116.11. The right to be informed of pertinent University-based support services.
4.1.2. Respondent Responsibilities:
18.104.22.168. The responsibility to be honest and direct in communicating with individuals involved in the conduct process.
22.214.171.124. The responsibility to review pertinent conduct process policies and procedures and to seek clarification if necessary.
126.96.36.199. The responsibility to respond in a timely manner to University requests for information, to promptly schedule meetings when requested, and to arrive on time for scheduled meetings.
188.8.131.52. The responsibility to provide the decision-maker with pertinent information that the Respondent would like considered in the review of the alleged violation.
184.108.40.206. The responsibility to participate in the conduct process in a manner that is civil and respectful.
4.2. Complainant Rights and Responsibilities: Any ECU student, faculty, or staff member who has been negatively influenced by the alleged behavior of a student, may file a complaint against that student, and be designated by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities as a Complainant. Complainants have the following rights and responsibilities. The Complainant might forfeit any of these rights if, after being given appropriate notice and opportunity to exercise these rights, s/he fails to do so.
4.2.1. Complainant Rights
220.127.116.11. The right to an objective and impartial evaluation of the complaint.
18.104.22.168. The right to present information relevant to the alleged violation, including inviting witnesses.
22.214.171.124. The right to submit a written impact statement.
126.96.36.199. The right, after receiving written notice of the outcome, to review the decision, including if permitted under ECU policies and local, state, and federal laws.
188.8.131.52. The right to be informed of pertinent University-based support services and to be presented with an option of reporting the incident to law enforcement, if appropriate.
184.108.40.206. For cases specific to sexual misconduct, the Complainant is entitled the rights enumerated in 4.1.1, above, such as the right to an observer/support person at the hearing; to have the same access to the proceedings as the Respondent, including the ability to question witnesses; and to appeal a decision based on grounds described in section 5.5. In cases where the Respondent has an attorney present at the hearing, the Complainant also may have an attorney, at the Complainant’s own expense, present at the hearing.
4.2.2. Complainant Responsibilities
220.127.116.11. The responsibility to be honest and direct in communicating with individuals involved in the conduct process.
18.104.22.168. The responsibility to review pertinent conduct process policies and procedures and to seek clarification if necessary.
22.214.171.124. The responsibility to respond in a timely manner to University requests for information, to promptly schedule meetings when requested, and to arrive on time for scheduled meetings.
126.96.36.199. The responsibility to provide the decision-maker with pertinent information that the Complainant would like considered in the review of the alleged violation.
188.8.131.52. The responsibility to participate in the conduct process in a manner that is civil and respectful.
4.3. If the Respondent and/or Complainant believes that a committee member or hearing official has a conflict with, bias about or an interest in a case that may unduly influence the decision making either positively or negatively, the Respondent and/or Complainant may request a different committee or official.
4.4. Students have the responsibility to update personal contact information on their One-Stop account as soon as it changes and to consistently monitor their ECU e-mail account and telephone answering equipment, as the University frequently communicates through these modes. U.S. Post letters will be sent to the local address provided by the student in the One- Stop system or to the permanent address if attempted contact with the student through other means is unsuccessful.
5. Student Conduct Hearing Procedure
5.1. The student conduct hearing procedure described below is used to address alleged violations of the Code, except for alleged academic integrity violations, which are resolved through the conduct process outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy and any other applicable campus policies and procedures, such as those enforced by the Division of Research and Graduate Studies. Similarly, allegations of sexual misconduct are resolved in accordance with the University’s Regulation on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence and applicable Appendices. Some behaviors described as violations under the Code also may be violations of the rules and policies of organizations to which the student belongs, other university units, of city ordinances, and/or state or federal law. When such violations occur, the student or student organization might be held accountable in multiple venues.
5.1.1. Alleged violations of a minor nature occurring in a residence hall may be reviewed under the Code by Campus Living staff as assigned by Campus Living. Campus Living staff will not address cases involving drugs, weapons, sexual assaults, sexual harassment, serious bodily harm or property damage without prior approval from the Director of OSRR. OSRR will address all incidents which might result in suspension or expulsion.
5.1.2. The ECU conduct process functions independent of the criminal justice system. At the student's expense, s/he may be represented by a licensed attorney or non-attorney advocate who may participate in accordance with UNC Policy Manual 700.4.1.1[R].
5.1.3. The standard used throughout the conduct process to reach case resolution is preponderance of the evidence. This standard will be used to evaluate the evidence for purposes of making findings and drawing conclusions for an investigation conducted under this regulation; meeting the standard constitutes a conclusion it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct occurred. Formal rules of evidence do not apply to student conduct cases.
5.1.4. The Respondent has a right to have a non-participating support person present with her/him throughout the conduct process. The support person is not permitted to actively participate in the process, but is simply to provide comfort to the Respondent. If the Respondent chooses to have a licensed attorney or non-attorney advocate as outlined in 184.108.40.206, in a Student Conduct Board Hearing as outlined in section 5.4, the Respondent will not be permitted to have a non-participating support person present. In the meetings with a Conduct Administrator, as described in sections 5.2 and 5.3, students may have both one (1) licensed attorney or non-attorney advocate as outlined in 220.127.116.11, and one (1) non- participating support person.
5.2. Initial Intake
5.2.1. All complaints will be reviewed by the OSRR Director or designee to determine whether or not the reported behavior is governed by the Code. Anonymous complaints may result in a formal charge if they contain sufficient information to independently establish a violation of the Code. Allegations may also be addressed with education and through referrals to on and off campus resources, if appropriate.
5.2.2. The University does not tolerate retaliation against individuals who file a complaint. Students who retaliate against such persons will be held accountable under the Code. It is the responsibility of the target of the retaliation to immediately report the behavior to OSRR.
5.2.3. The determination to investigate a conduct case will be made within a reasonable period of time after receipt of a complaint. If it is believed that the behavior is governed by the Code, the student will be invited to a pre-hearing meeting (“initial meeting”) with a conduct administrator.
5.2.4. The Respondent may request a reasonable postponement of the meeting by contacting the conduct administrator in writing no less than two calendar days before the scheduled meeting. The Respondent will need to explain why s/he is requesting a different meeting date or time and will need to provide an alternate meeting date and time. The conduct administrator will make the final determination of the meeting date and time. If the Respondent does not appear for a scheduled meeting, the University reserves the right to make a determination in the student's absence.
5.2.5. After a pre-hearing meeting (“initial meeting”), a determination will be made as to whether formal charges will be pursued. If a student is to be formally charged with a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the student will receive written notification regarding a follow up meeting, which will include written notice of the allegation, with a brief summary, and the meeting date and time, as well as possible sanctions.
18.104.22.168. If the alleged violation might result in a sanction that is other than suspension or expulsion, the hearing with the conduct administrator, described in 5.3, below, will take place no earlier than five calendar days after the meeting notice is sent to the student via letter or e-mail, unless the student requests an earlier date.
22.214.171.124. If the alleged violation might result in suspension or expulsion the matter will be referred to the conduct board, described in 5.4, below, and will take place no earlier than ten calendar days after the meeting notice is sent to the student via letter or e-mail, unless the student requests an earlier date. In charges that might result in expulsion, the student will be informed that expulsion precludes matriculation at any UNC constituent institution.
5.2.6. If the Respondent fails to meet with the conduct administrator or board after being properly notified, the case will be decided on the basis of information gathered by the conduct administrator or board.
5.2.7. If the administrator believes that there was no violation or there is insufficient information to make a determination, the conduct case will be closed.
5.3. Hearing with a Conduct Administrator
5.3.1. The Respondent will meet with a conduct administrator to discuss the reported behavior. In this hearing, the administrator will review all available, relevant information and will determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether or not a violation of the Code occurred.
5.3.2. The Respondent and/or Complainant may request a reasonable postponement of the hearing by contacting the conduct administrator in writing no less than two calendar days before the scheduled meeting. The Respondent will need to explain why s/he is requesting a different meeting date or time and will need to provide an alternate meeting date and time. The conduct administrator will make the final determination of the meeting date and time. If the Respondent does not appear for a scheduled meeting, the University reserves the right to make a determination in the student's absence.
5.3.3. If the conduct administrator determines that a violation did occur, s/he will either assign appropriate sanctions and will notify the Respondent in writing within ten calendar days of the date of the decision was made. The letter will include a brief summary of the information upon which the decision was based and will outline Respondent's right to appeal the decision to the Director of OSRR or designee.
5.3.4. Prior to a hearing, the Respondent may make an appointment in OSRR to review the information and witness lists to be presented at the hearing.
5.4. Student Conduct Board Hearing
5.4.1. As indicated above, Student Conduct Board hearings will be convened when the Respondent’s case involves possible sanctions of suspension or expulsion. The student will be notified by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities in writing of the charge, a brief summary of the allegation, possible sanctions, and the hearing date and time. The hearing will take place at least ten calendar days after the student is notified via letter or e- mail, unless the student agrees to an earlier hearing date.
5.4.2. The Respondent and/or Complainant may request a reasonable postponement of the hearing by delivering a request to OSRR in writing no less than two calendar days before the hearing. The person requesting the postponement will need to explain why s/he is requesting a different hearing date or time and will need to provide an alternate hearing date and time. OSRR will make the final determination of the hearing date and time. If the Respondent or Complainant does not appear for a scheduled hearing after being properly notified, the University reserves the right to make a determination in the individual's absence.
5.4.3. Hearing Panel Composition. The hearing panel is composed of three students, one faculty member and one staff member of the Student Conduct Board. One of the student members will be the Chair, who will direct the hearing process, outline the basic facts of the case gathered by the University, and make determinations about what information is relevant to the proceedings. The Chair is responsible for ensuring an orderly hearing and, therefore, may remove any person who, in her/his discretion, interferes with the work of the panel. The Chair will facilitate the panel's discussion regarding the case and will vote only in the event of a tie. It is the Chair's responsibility to write a rationale for the panel's decision.
126.96.36.199. The Respondent and/or Complainant may challenge the participation of any panel member due a conflict with, bias about or an interest in a case that may unduly influence the decision making either positively or negatively,. The challenging party will be asked to provide specific reasons for the challenge. The Chair, along with the hearing advisor (a professional OSRR staff member), will determine whether the identified panel member should be removed from the case. If the removal of a panel member results in less than five panel members being able to serve, the Respondent will be given an option to continue with the existing panel or reschedule the hearing in order for the case to be reviewed by a full five-member panel.
5.4.4. Hearing Outline. During the hearing, the panel will review all available, relevant information and, based on a preponderance of the evidence standard, make a determination as to whether or not a violation of the Code had occurred. A hearing will be divided into two parts: (1) the presentation of the facts and (2) if the panel finds the student responsible, the panel will determine sanctions.
188.8.131.52. The basic facts of the case gathered by the University will be outlined. The Respondent and Complainant will be afforded an opportunity to speak to the panel. The panel will also have an opportunity to ask questions of all involved.
184.108.40.206. Once all relevant information has been presented, the panel along with the hearing advisor will remain in the hearing room and all other participants will be dismissed, while the panel deliberates regarding a finding of responsibility.
220.127.116.11. The panel will reconvene the meeting and announce its decision. If the student is found responsible, s/he may submit up to two character witness letters attesting to her/his character and make any statements, oral or written, regarding mitigating or extenuating circumstances that s/he wishes the panel to consider. The Complainant may provide an impact statement to the panel.
18.104.22.168. The panel will then recess to deliberate appropriate sanctions, and reconvene the meeting to announce its decision. The decision will also be shared with the Respondent in writing within ten calendar days of the date the decision was made. The letter will include a brief summary of the information upon which the decision was based and, will outline Respondent's appeal rights.
5.4.5. The hearing will be audio recorded; however, recording quality problems and/or malfunctions will not invalidate or nullify the decision of the panel.
5.4.6. The Student Conduct Board hearings are closed to the public.
5.5.1. During an appeal, the appealing party has the burden of showing either (1) a violation of due process; or (2) a material deviation from Substantive and Procedural Standards adopted by the Board of Governors
22.214.171.124. Violation of Due Process. Due Process requires notice and an opportunity to be heard. A violation of due process means that the appealing party was not provided the required notice or an opportunity to be heard due to specified procedural errors, or errors in interpretation of University policies or regulations, that were so substantial as to effectively deny the Respondent a fair hearing. Reasonable deviations from the procedures set out in this regulation will not invalidate a decision or proceeding unless the Respondent can show that, but for the deviation or error, there likely would have been a different outcome in the case.
126.96.36.199. Material Deviation from Substantive and Procedural Standards. Material Deviation from Substantive and Procedural Standards require that the decision reached be neither arbitrary nor capricious. A material deviation from substantive standards means that there is a lack of information in the record that could support the decision or sanction(s). This does not mean the information presented at the hearing can be re-argued on appeal; rather, it requires a showing that no reasonable person could have determined the Respondent was responsible or could have imposed the sanction that was issued, based on the information in the record. A material deviation from procedural standards means that a lack of information in the record that could support the decision is due to a procedural error that resulted in the proffered evidence or testimony being excluded.
5.5.2. The student must specify in writing (“appeal letter”) which grounds form the basis for her/his appeal. The student must provide factual information to support her/his claim and explain what outcome s/he is seeking. The student has a right to be assisted in preparing her/his written challenge by a licensed attorney or non-attorney advocate.
5.5.3. The appeal letter must be dated, signed by the student, and received by OSRR within five calendar days from the date that the written decision on sanctions is provided to the student, either by hand delivery or by delivery or attempted delivery through e-mail or postal mail. Appeals should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org; or 364 Wright Building. Failure to deliver the written notice of appeal within this time limit will render the decision of the conduct administrator/board final and conclusive. An extension of time may be requested within the five day limit, but it is within the discretion of OSRR to grant or deny such requests.
5.5.4. OSRR will review the appeal within five calendar days of receipt. Appeals will be limited to the record of the hearing, including the supporting documents provided by the Respondent and available records (“written record”) within the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
5.5.5. In appeals from a hearing with the conduct administrator, the Director of OSRR or designee will review the written record and make a determination as to whether a decision should be altered. If the OSRR Director or designee determines that an appeal is not granted, the decision of the conduct administrator and any assigned sanctions will go into effect and the student will have no further appeal opportunities. The Director of OSRR or designee’s decision is final.
5.5.6. In appeals from a hearing before the Conduct Board where suspension is assigned, the Director of OSRR will compile the written record and provide it to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or designee who will make the final determination.
5.5.7. In appeals from a hearing before the Conduct Board where expulsion is assigned, the Director of OSRR will compile the written record and provide it to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs who will make the final determination. If the Vice Chancellor determines that the student should be expelled from the University, the student has the right to file an appeal by following the process described in 5.6.
5.5.8. The final decision in cases where suspension or expulsion is the sanction will be made within 45 calendar days after the hearing and will be shared with the Respondent in writing within ten calendar days of the date the decision was made. The letter will include a brief summary of the information upon which the decision was based and any appeal rights.
5.5.9. New Information. Requests for reconsideration based on new information, sufficient to alter a decision and not reasonably available at the time of the decision, should be directed to the original decision-maker. A Complainant or Respondent has one calendar year after the final imposition of sanctions by the University to present new information.
5.6. Appeal of Expulsion
5.6.1. Should the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs uphold a recommendation of expulsion; the student has the right to appeal the decision to the East Carolina University Board of Trustees. The student should send a written appeal by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, or by another means that provides proof of delivery to the Assistant Secretary to Board within ten calendar days after the notice of the Vice Chancellor’s decision is sent to the Respondent. A copy should also be provided to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and University Counsel. If the appeal is received in a timely manner, the Board of Trustees will establish a schedule for its review. If the Respondent fails to comply with the schedule, the Board of Trustees may dismiss the appeal.
5.6.2. Should the Board of Trustees uphold the decision of the Vice Chancellor to expel a student, the student has a right to appeal the decision to the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. The written appeal should be sent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, or by another means that provides proof of delivery, to the President of the University of North Carolina within ten calendar days after the notice of the University Board of Trustee's final decision is sent to the Respondent. The correspondence should be mailed to Office of the President, University of North Carolina, c/o Vice President and General Counsel, P.O. Box 2688, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688. A copy should also be provided to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and University Counsel. The decision of the Board of Governors is final.
6.1. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974: Conduct case information is recorded and maintained by OSRR in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Generally, information contained in OSRR files that personally identifies a student will not be released without the written and dated consent of the student identified in the record. However, disciplinary records may be shared with third parties to the extent allowed under FERPA. Victims of violence will be notified of the final disposition of the case to include the name of the Respondent; the letter of the alleged violation committed; the findings supporting the conclusion; the sanctions imposed, if any; the duration of the sanctions; and the date the sanctions were imposed. For specific information on FERPA, please contact the Registrar's Office.
6.2. Maintenance of Records: Conduct records are maintained by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for at least eight years from the completion of the last sanction imposed. Records of students, who have been suspended, expelled, and of those who have a pending case or have not completed sanctions are kept indefinitely.
6.3. UNC Suspension/Expulsion Database: Information about students who are suspended, expelled, or have serious pending cases is entered into a UNC database, where it is stored permanently. All UNC constituent institutions have access to this information.
6.4. Transcript Notation: Conduct suspensions and expulsions will be permanently marked on the student's transcript.
6.5. Awarding of Degrees: The University does not award degrees solely because a student successfully completed all academic requirements. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct, including academic and non-academic violations, might result in a degree not being awarded. When a student has a disciplinary complaint pending, the awarding of the degree might be delayed until the complaint is resolved and, if imposed, the sanctions have been completed.
6.6. Withdrawal: Students with a pending conduct case will not be permitted to withdraw from the University without first resolving the case or receiving permission from the Director of OSRR to do so.
6.7. Continual Enrollment: Students with a pending conduct case might be prohibited from future enrollment until the conduct matter is resolved by the University.
7. Review of the Conduct Process
7.1. The Director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will convene the Conduct System Review Committee every three years. This committee will assess the effectiveness of the conduct process and related policies and recommend any changes in policy, procedure, or the Code to the Chancellor.
7.2. The Committee shall be composed of two students appointed by the President of the Student Government Association, two staff members appointed by the Chair of the Staff Senate, and two faculty members appointed by the Chair of the Faculty Senate. The Dean of Students or designee shall serve as a chair of the Committee, voting only if there is a tie.
7.3. The Director of OSRR shall present a report to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs reflecting information regarding the state of the conduct system no later than June 30th of the review year. The Director of OSRR and other staff members directly involved in the conduct process shall serve as non-voting members of the Committee. The Director of OSRR is permitted to convene the Committee outside of the typical three-year review cycle when necessary.