Student Conduct & Care receives reports or formal complaints of alleged violations of the Code of Conduct (the Code). Most often, reports come from staff members, such as Resident Assistants, the Department of Public Safety/DUPD, and faculty members; however, reports can come from other Students or community members.
A few important definitions to know are:
- Respondent: A Student or Student Organization accused of potentially violating one or more Code of Conduct policies.
- Conduct Case Administrator: A professional staff member trained to hear conduct matters and make decisions regarding alleged violations.
Once Student Conduct & Care receives a report or formal complaint of alleged violations of the Code of Conduct, the formal Student Conduct Process will begin. This process may happen virtually or in person, as appropriate.
- Preliminary Review of Complaints: Student Conduct & Care reviews all complaints of misconduct to determine if the information provided may reasonably violate any Code of Conduct Policies. It is Student Conduct & Care’s sole judgement to proceed with formal notifications of allegations. Student Conduct & Care will take the steps deemed appropriate to gather relevant information pertaining to a particular report or complaint. If Student Conduct & Care concludes that there is enough information to meet the preponderance of the evidence standard, the Student Conduct Process will be initiated.
- Notification of Conference: The Student Conduct Process begins with a formal notification of alleged violations, Notice of Conference, which will be sent to the Student or Student Organization representative (hereafter: Respondent) via their assigned Drexel University email address. The Notice will include, when available: (1) the list of alleged violations of the Code of Conduct, (2) the date, time, and location of the Respondent’s Pre-Hearing Conference, and (3) the name and contact information of the Conduct Case Administrator who will be hearing the case. It is expected that Respondents confirm the receipt of this notification and attend the scheduled Pre-Hearing Conference. At the discretion of Student Conduct & Care, an administrative pre-hearing process may be used. Students are responsible for checking their assigned Drexel University email account regularly. The University is not responsible for communications not received due to an improper personal email address listed in the Drexel Information System or the notification being filtered as Spam/Junk.
- Pre-Hearing Conference: The Pre-Hearing Conference is the initial meeting between a Respondent and the Conduct Case Administrator. In this meeting, the Conduct Case Administrator will go over the conduct process, discuss the incident and ask the Respondent about their alleged behavior, and review relevant policies as listed in the Notice of Conference. The Respondent will have the opportunity to discuss the incident from their perspective and respond to the alleged violations by Accepting or Denying Responsibility. If a Respondent fails to comply with attending a Pre-Hearing Conference as specified, the case can be resolved by the Conduct Case Administrator or appropriate case resolution process in their absence. A Respondent is permitted one (1) advisor or a support person in this meeting. For more information on who can serve as an advisor or what to expect from a Pre-Hearing Conference, please refer to the full Code of Conduct [PDF].
- Following a Pre-Hearing Conference, Respondents are asked to accept or deny responsibility by filling out the Acknowledgement of Responsibility form. The case moves forward based on the Respondent's decision in completing this form.
- Pre-Hearing Resolution: If the Respondent accepts responsibility for the alleged violations, the case will be resolved via a Pre-Hearing Resolution with the Conduct Case Administrator. The Conduct Case Administrator will discuss sanctions with the Respondent and then impose appropriate sanctions within seven (7) calendar days of the meeting. This conversation typically occurs in the same meeting as the Pre-Hearing Conference, but can happen in a subsequent meeting, as needed. The Respondent reserves the right to appeal on the grounds of Unduly Harsh Sanctions criteria only.
- Administrative Process: When a Respondent denies responsibility for any or all alleged violations, a case may be resolved via Administrative Process. In this situation, the original Conduct Case Administrator will forward the case to another Conduct Case Administrator for a documents-only review. The Respondent and all involved parties will have the opportunity to submit statements and supplemental information for the process. The new Conduct Case Administrator will then determine the responsibility of the Respondent based on the preponderance-of-evidence standard. The Respondent will receive an Outcome Letter within fourteen (14) calendar days of the Administrative Process detailing the responsibility findings and sanction information, if applicable. The letter will also provide information about the appeals process if the Respondent is found responsible. The Respondent reserves the right to appeal on the grounds of Unduly Harsh Sanctions, New Information, Insufficient Information, or Improper Procedure. Please note that a Conduct Case Administrator in an Administrative Process can elect to send the case to a University Hearing.
- University Hearing: A University Hearing is conducted by members of the University Conduct Board (the Board) and a Hearing Advisor. A Respondent’s case will be sent to a University Hearing if the potential sanctions are Suspension or Expulsion, if the Respondent is a Student Organization, or if the Conduct Case Administrator determines a University Hearing is the appropriate method for case resolution. A University Hearing will generally consist of five (5) trained Board members, including three (3) students and two (2) faculty or staff. A quorum of three (3), including two (2) students and one (1) faculty or staff member, must be present to hold a hearing. The University Hearing Board will always be chaired by a student (unless the University is utilizing an External Adjudicator). The Hearing Advisor is a member of the Student Conduct team who communicates Hearing information with the Respondent and serves as an advisor to the Board. The Respondent will appear in front of the Board to present their case. The Board will then vote to recommend a finding of responsibility and sanctions, as needed, to Student Conduct & Care. The Respondent will be notified of the outcome of the Hearing within fourteen (14) calendar days. The full format of a University Hearing can be found in the Code of Conduct [PDF]. The Respondent reserves the right to appeal on the grounds of Unduly Harsh Sanctions, New Information, Insufficient Information, or Improper Procedure.
If a Respondent is facing or reasonably expects to face concurrent criminal charges for the same incident, they can request to delay the Student Conduct Process by providing documentation of the concurrent charges during the Pre-Hearing Conference. Respondents wanting to delay the conduct process should make their Conduct Case Administrator aware of the concurrent charges either at the start of or prior to the Pre-Hearing Conference. Student Conduct & Care reviews every request on an individual basis and has the authority to determine the length of the delay if it is granted.
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