Wilkes University’s Student Conduct Process: From Incident to Sanctions
Wilkes University acknowledges the need for well-defined behavioral expectations and their enforcement. Hence, the university maintains a Code of Student Conduct in its handbook that lists out behaviors constituting violations. The code specifies different levels of sanctions according to the severity of the violation. Violators undergo the Student Conduct Process – Wilkes University’s system of maintaining discipline on campus.
How does it work?
The process begins with filing a written report about an incident or an alleged violation. The filed report goes through scrutiny by Student Affairs or Residence Life. If required, an investigation is carried out depending on the facts presented in the report. Following an investigation, either a brief conference or dismissal may be initiated based on findings from investigations.
In a brief conference, charges and potential sanctions will be presented to the accused student, along with details on next steps for hearings. At this stage, disciplinary cases may either come to a close if violators accept sanctions and charges or go into hearings if they disagree with them.
TWO TYPES OF HEARINGS
There are two types of hearings at Wilkes University, which vary depending upon the case’s nature and potential sanctioning scenarios:
Administrative Hearing: In most cases where potential outcomes don’t include suspension or removal from residence halls, administrative hearings occur under either Office of Residence Life staff members or Associate Dean.
Student Affairs Council Hearing: This type of hearing is conducted when there is potential for suspension or removal from residence halls occurs. The hearing council comprises Associate Dean, four members of student affairs staff members and volunteers (minimum one student), totaling at least 4 committee members.
Hearing participants receive written communication advising them of hearing dates that involve handing over their defense evidence themselves and arguing their case independently without representation contradicting institutional discipline standards.
A “preponderance of evidence” standard is used in coming to decisions during hearings. They are usually conducted without public attention and involve the accused students, witnesses, and an administrative council or hearing committee.
In some cases where young adults from different states cannot attend hearings in person, they may still have attorneys supporting them in writing. Attorneys assist students with presentation tactics of evidence along with construction of arguments based on well-established procedures to ensure sound representation.
Students can appeal unfavorable decisions within five active institutional days from the day of the original outcome announcement. Any complaints should be reported to the Dean of Students directly.
New evidence, procedural error or inappropriate sanctions are grounds for filing appeals before the University Judicial Council.
If there is reason for an appeal session, students will be duly notified of a new court date at which they can present their defense to amend allegations further.
Why you need an Attorney?
As disciplinary processes can have significant legal impacts on students’ personal lives, it is beneficialto seek assistance from legal professionals such as Todd Spodek when facing disciplinary action but also understand how due diligence could affect their future prospects professionally and personally.
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