To insure the rights of both individual students and the community at large, Hofstra has developed a conduct process to address behaviors that violate the University's stated standards. (See a flow chart of the conduct process.)
THE STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS
Any member of the University community may initiate a complaint against a student, as soon as possible, after the incident takes place by filing a report with the Department of Public Safety or Office of Residential Programs. You may contact the Dean of Students Office for any assistance you need with filing a complaint. If there are grounds for disciplinary action, the student will be issued a charge letter or a directive requiring them to schedule an informational meeting with the Assistant Dean for Community Standards or a designated representative. Failure to schedule an appointment within the designated time period and/or keep this appointment will be deemed failure to comply and will carry a $100 fine. As stated in the student's notice, this will be treated as though the student is "pleading no contest" to the incident/charges and a decision will be made based upon the information received. Students are responsible for following all directives outlined in the Student Conduct Process. Failing or refusing to sign the notification does not absolve the student of the responsibility for following all directives outlined. For documented emergencies and other unforeseen circumstances, a student may request one (1) postponement of his/her appointment time, provided that the Office of Community Standards is notified at least one (1) business day in advance of the scheduled meeting.
- Informational Meeting
During the informational meeting the student will receive the ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF STUDENT RIGHTS AND CONDUCT PROCEDURES form. This form serves as formal notification of the charges and outlines various resolution options as well as the student's procedural rights. The student will be encouraged to discuss and review information contained in their conduct file, and the allegation(s) being brought against him/her. Students will answer and may ask questions regarding the allegation(s) as well as the student conduct process.
- Resolution Options
During the informational meeting, the student charged will have the right to choose from the following options:
- Accept responsibility for his/her actions and verify that the allegation(s) issued are correct. If this option is chosen, or if no option is selected at the conclusion of the meeting, a hearing officer will be assigned to determine the appropriate sanction, and the student will automatically waive his/her rights associated with a hearing. (see "Rights of a Student Charged" listed below); or
- Deny responsibility for the allegation(s) and request that an administrative hearing board be convened to review the case; or
- Deny responsibility for the allegation(s) and request that a student hearing board be convened to review the case. (This option may be selected only during the academic year when the student hearing board is in session.) NOTE: The Office of Community Standards reserves the right to assign cases directly to the Administrative Hearing Board.
- Rights of a Student Charged
If an administrative or student board hearing is conducted, a student charged with a violation has the following rights:
- The student shall be informed by the Office of Community Standards, in writing, of the date, time and place of the hearing. The student shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time (approximately five (5) calendar days) to prepare their statement and secure supporting information. The student may choose to waive the five (5) days of preparation in order to expedite the hearing process.
- The student charged with an offense shall have the right to speak for himself/herself, to present witnesses, to challenge the evidence, and to question both the accuser and the witnesses if either/both appear.
If not, the student charged may challenge any written statements that were submitted. A student may, upon request, receive a written list of all witnesses mandated to attend the hearing. The student charged may call upon witnesses to speak on his/her behalf. A written list of these witnesses or any signed witness statements must be submitted to the Office of Community Standards for final approval at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing (Download a copy of the Witness Request Form). It is the student's responsibility to notify his/her witnesses of the time, date and place to appear. Witnesses summoned by the Office of Community Standards are subject to a $100 fine if they do not appear as directed to testify.
- The student charged may review evidence, documents and reports pertaining to the incident prior to the hearing, by making an appointment with an authorized, designated University official from the Dean of Students Office. Should the student charged have any additional evidence in the form of pictures, documents or other written materials that he/she would like to present as evidence, he/she must submit these materials to the Office of Community Standards for approval at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing. Approval of any additional materials provided by the student charged is at the sole discretion of the University.
- The student charged may elect not to appear at the hearing. Absence shall be noted without prejudice, the hearing will be conducted in the student's absence and a decision will be rendered.
- The student charged has the right to request the removal of a member of the board with just cause. The student must be prepared to substantiate this contention. Removal of a member of the board may be granted or denied based on the University's determination as to whether or not there is just cause.
- The student shall have the right to seek an adviser of his/her choice, who may help the student prepare for the hearing, but may not speak on behalf of the student. (Find out more about an Adviser's Role in University Proceedings). Written notification of an adviser and an executed Authorization for a Hearing Adviser form must be submitted to the Office of Community Standards at least one (1) business day prior to the hearing.
Adviser substitutions may be made after this point but only if a previously submitted "Adviser Form" is on file.
- The student shall be entitled to one (1) adjournment with just cause, as long as the request is made at least one (1) business day prior to the hearing. The Office of Community Standards will determine if an adjournment is warranted. Adjournments cannot be made to accommodate the schedule of an adviser or other student witnesses. Any additional adjournments may be granted or denied at the University's discretion.
- Rights of the Complainant
The complainant in all cases is Hofstra University. The procedures for claims of sexual misconduct, defined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, are governed by “Sexual Misconduct Policy,” (see page 47). For all other cases brought to Hofstra by a student, the accusing student shall not have:
a. The right to question the defending student; or
b. The right to be present at the hearing when not directly testifying; or
c. Access to the outcome of the proceedings, except as provided below.
Note: The final results of a disciplinary proceeding against a student alleged to have committed a crime of violence or a non-forcible sexual offense and regarding that crime or offense will be disclosed to the alleged victim of the crime or offense upon written request. Disclosure of results of Sexual Misconduct proceedings is governed by the “Sexual Misconduct Policy (see page 47).”
- Hearing Process for Administrative and Student Hearings
- The usual format of a hearing is as follows:
- Cases will be introduced, allegation(s) read, and the appropriate oaths issued by the chairperson or designated representative of the student board.
- Opening statement by student charged.
- Questions for the student charged from members of the board.
- Statement(s)/report(s) from witness(es) on behalf of the University.
- Questions for the University witness(es) from members of the board.
- Questions for the University witness(es) from student charged.
- Statement(s) from witnesses on behalf of the charged student. (No character witnesses are allowed. The acceptance and validity of witnesses and written statements are to be determined by the hearing officer. The University reserves the right to call appropriate University members to serve as witnesses and/or to offer relevant testimony to the case.)
- Questions for student's witness(es) from members of the board.
- Questions for student's witness(es) from student charged.
- Final questions for the student charged from members of the board.
- Closing statement from student charged. Note: During the hearing, statement reports are provided verbally. If a witness or charged student is absent, written statements pre-approved by the Office of Community Standards will be entered into the record by the hearing officer.
- Responsibility will be established based on a preponderance of evidence. Only evidence presented at the hearing shall be considered.
- Hearing boards are empowered to determine responsibility for an incident. The Assistant Dean for Community Standards or designee will review outcomes of the hearing board and apply the appropriate sanction(s).
- Final sanctions determined by the Assistant Dean for Community Standards or designee will take into consideration the student's prior disciplinary involvement/sanctions as well as the severity of the current violation.
- The Office of Community Standards shall communicate to the student, in writing, the decision and appropriate sanction(s). It is the student's responsibility to pick up the written notification of the details pertaining to the hearing from the Office of Community Standards.
- Once a student receives the decision letter, he/she may choose to appeal the sanction(s) imposed. He/she may request an appeal of the decision by submitting a written petition for an appeal to the Dean of Students Office within seven (7) calendar days after receiving the decision letter. The student is responsible for picking up the decision letter when notified that a decision has been rendered. The letter of appeal must address one of the reasons for appeal, as stipulated in the section of this code titled, "Appeal Procedures for Disciplinary Proceedings."
- The usual format of a hearing is as follows: