- Any person may file a report concerning alleged misconduct of any student or registered student organization. Reports shall be prepared in writing, either by the individual reporting the conduct or by the staff member collecting a verbal referral, and directed to the Director of Community Standards. Complaints regarding alleged misconduct by a student or registered student organization at a regional campus shall be directed to the Associate Vice Provost or designee at that campus. A report should be submitted as soon as possible after the alleged misconduct takes place.
- The Director of Community Standards shall determine if a complaint alleges or addresses a potential violation of The Student Code and will notify the respondent of such allegations. The decision to continue a matter through the conduct process is the decision of the Director of Community Standards.
- Generally, the Director of Community Standards will assign a student conduct officer(s) to the case who will investigate and schedule administrative conferences with the respondent(s) and other individuals as deemed necessary and appropriate.
B. Administrative Conferences and Investigations
- The administrative conference is a meeting between a respondent and a student conduct officer to review a complaint/incident, explain the student conduct process, and review possible options for resolving the matter. There may be multiple administrative conferences as an incident is investigated.
- A fair and impartial investigation will be conducted by the student conduct officer. The respondent and complainant, if applicable, may provide information in person and/or submit a written account, provide the names of incident witnesses for possible interviews with the student conduct officer, provide witness statements and any documentation that may be relevant to the facts of the incident. The student conduct officer will make a reasonable effort to obtain supporting documentation regarding the incident from other University entities or other resources. Upon completion of the investigation, the student conduct officer, applying a preponderance of the evidence standard, will determine if any violations of The Student Code occurred.
- After reviewing the incident and the investigation with the respondent and complainant, if any, the student conduct officer will determine whether the case may be resolved by way of a case resolution form or an administrative hearing. A student who agrees to resolve any violation(s) without an administrative hearing shall have no right to appeal.
- Either party may request an administrative hearing. If the resolution will be through an administrative hearing, the complainant, if any, will have the same rights as the respondent as indicated in The Student Code. The student conduct officer or hearing body will, in writing, disclose to the alleged victim of any crime of violence, non-forcible sex offense, or sexual harassment the results of the conduct matter regarding factual determination(s) and sanction(s) that specifically pertain to the alleged victim.
C. Administrative Hearing Bodies
The Director of Community Standards will assign either an administrative hearing officer(s) or an academic misconduct hearing board to conduct an administrative hearing depending on the nature of the matter.
- Administrative hearing officers: Director of Community Standards designates and trains administrative hearing officers annually. Administrative hearing officers are University officials. They may conduct hearings on any type of alleged violation of The Student Code. Administrative hearing officers may impose any sanction as appropriate. Typically, a hearing will consist of one or two administrative hearing officers.
- Academic misconduct hearing board: Academic misconduct hearing boards for undergraduate academic integrity issues shall typically consist of two faculty members, two students, and one hearing advisor. They may conduct hearings on any alleged violation regarding Academic Integrity in Undergraduate Education and Research (Appendix A). The board may impose any sanction as appropriate. Academic consequences are determined by the instructor.
D. Administrative Hearing
Generally, an administrative hearing brings several people together in an effort to allow for the full consideration of an allegation that a student has violated The Student Code. The hearing participants may include the investigating student conduct officer(s), respondent(s), complainant(s), witnesses, member(s) of the hearing body, a hearing advisor, and a support person for each respondent or complainant.
All participants are expected to be respectful of each other’s purpose in the hearing process and to conduct themselves according to the direction of the hearing body. In an effort to be as fair as possible to the respondent and complainant, if applicable, student conduct procedures may be modified. Community Standards may modify the procedures after taking into consideration the support and privacy needs of the parties and/or other potential hearing participants. This may include, but is not limited to, alteration of the hearing room setup, use of multiple rooms, video-conferencing equipment, or other electronic means.
- Normally, an administrative hearing will be conducted within fifteen (15) business days of an investigation report being submitted to Community Standards.
- The respondent and complainant, if applicable, shall each have the right to:
- Be notified of all alleged violations by means of the address (University e-mail, residence hall address, or permanent address) provided by the student via the Registrar’s Office. Typically, this will be done via e-mail, which will provide a link to the documentation.
- Review the completed investigation report, which includes all supporting documentation.
- Be informed about the hearing process.
- A reasonable period of time to prepare for a hearing.
- Request a delay of a hearing due to extenuating circumstances. The decision to grant or deny any such request is within the discretion of the hearing body.
- Be notified of the proposed information to be presented and to know the identity of witnesses who have been called by the hearing body to speak at the hearing or provide written information for the hearing when such information is known by the Director of Community Standards prior to the hearing.
- Be accompanied by a support person during the portions of the hearing in which the student is participating. A student should select a support person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the administrative hearing because delays will not be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of a support person.
- Be present at the pertinent stages of the hearing process as indicated by the Director of Community Standards. The deliberations of the hearing body are private.
- Submit a written response to the investigation report prior to the hearing. The decision to not present information is not an admission of responsibility.
- Propose witnesses for the hearing in accordance with procedures outlined below.
- Respond to statements and other information presented at the hearing.
- Present a personal or community impact statement to the hearing body upon a finding of “In Violation.”
- An administrative hearing shall be conducted by a hearing body in accordance with the procedures listed below. When a University official serves as the sole member of the hearing body, that official may also be referred to as the “chair.” Specific hearing bodies may adopt additional procedures that are not inconsistent with the provisions of The Student Code.
- Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in these proceedings.
- A hearing shall be conducted in private.
- Admission of any person into the hearing room shall be at the discretion of the chair of the hearing body. The chair shall have the authority to discharge or to remove any person whose presence is deemed unnecessary or obstructive to the proceedings.
- When a hearing involves more than one respondent, the Director of Community Standards may, at the Director’s discretion, permit the administrative hearings concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
- If a respondent and/or complainant, after receiving notification, does not appear for a hearing, the hearing will proceed without the student(s).
- Except as directed by the chair, the support person’s role in a hearing shall be limited to that of a consultant to the respondent or complainant.
- The identity of any witnesses, along with a summary of information expected to be provided by the witness, must be provided to the hearing chair at least two business days before the hearing. The hearing chair may elect not to permit one or more witnesses to participate in the hearing if the information they are expected to provide is not relevant to any material issue; is deemed unnecessarily redundant of other information already in the record; and/or they were interviewed in connection with the investigation and the information they are expected to provide is already captured in the investigation report. The party proposing a witness is responsible for any communication with the witness regarding attendance at the hearing. The hearing body may request the attendance of witnesses not proposed by the parties. The hearing body cannot compel the attendance of witnesses at the hearing.
- The respondent, complainant, investigating student conduct officer, and any witnesses will provide information to and answer questions from the hearing body. Questions may be suggested by the investigating student conduct officer, respondent and/or complainant to be answered by each other or by other witnesses. This will be conducted by the hearing body with such questions directed to the chair, rather than to the individuals directly. This method is used to preserve the educational tone of the hearing and to avoid creation of an adversarial environment. Questions of whether potential information will be received shall be resolved at the discretion of the chair.
- Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements should be provided during the investigation stage of the process. Any additional information may be accepted for consideration by the hearing body at its discretion as long as such information was provided in accordance with The Student Code. Information presented by a student during a hearing that indicates a potential violation of The Student Code may be investigated at a future time.
- The hearing body will review the final investigation report to determine whether the investigation was conducted in a fair, impartial, and reliable manner; the information is sufficient to support the factual findings; and there is a rational basis, applying a preponderance of the evidence standard for the recommended findings regarding a potential violation of The Student Code. In conducting this hearing, the hearing body may accept or reject the investigating student conduct officer’s findings in whole or in part.
- When a student respondent has been found “In Violation” of The Student Code, the hearing body shall review the student’s academic transcript and student conduct history, hear impact statements by the respondent, complainant, and investigating student conduct officer, and impose the appropriate sanction(s). Character references and/or letters of support are not accepted.
- Following the hearing, the hearing body shall advise the respondent in writing of its determination and of the sanction(s) imposed, if any. The hearing body will disclose to the alleged victim of any crime of violence, non-forcible sex offense, or sexual harassment, the results of the hearing, in writing, regarding factual determination(s) and sanction(s) that specifically pertain to the alleged victim.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chair or the hearing board advisor of the hearing body.
- All administrative hearings will be recorded and the University will maintain the audio recordings as required by Connecticut state law. All such recordings are the property of the University. Participants are prohibited from making their own recording. Upon written request, a respondent or complainant may review the audio recording and make appropriate arrangements for it to be transcribed on University premises. Arrangements for a transcriber and all associated costs involved in the transcription will be the responsibility of the requesting individual.
- The following sanctions may be imposed, individually or in various combinations, on any student found to have violated The Student Code. Please note this is not an exhaustive list of sanctions:
- Warning: A notice that the student has violated The Student Code and a warning that another violation will likely result in a more severe sanction, which could include University Probation, University Suspension, or University Expulsion.
- University Probation: University Probation is an indefinite period of time where the student is given the opportunity to modify unacceptable behavior, to complete specific assignments, and to demonstrate a positive contribution to the University community in an effort to regain student privileges within the University community. After six months from being placed on University Probation, the student may apply for a review of the student’s probationary status. The student will need to meet with the Probation Review Committee and demonstrate significant contributions, both of an academic and co-curricular nature, to the University community. The Probation Review Committee will determine if the student will continue on University Probation or if the University Probation is lifted. The decision of the committee is final and not subject to appeal. If it is decided that University Probation will continue, the student may re-apply in six months after the committee’s decision. Due to the student’s conduct history, there is the possibility of University Suspension or University Expulsion if the student is found in violation of The Student Code a subsequent time.
- University Suspension: University Suspension is separation from the University for a designated period of time after which the student shall be eligible to apply for readmission to the University. Readmission to the University is not guaranteed. Conditions for consideration of readmission may be specified. A student’s reacceptance into the student’s school or college is at the discretion of the school or college. A student who is on suspension is prohibited from participating in any University activity or program. The individual may not be in or on any University owned or leased property without securing prior approval from the Director of Community Standards. A notation of “Suspension” shall be placed on the student’s official transcript until graduation. However, the student may petition the Director of Community Standards for earlier removal of the notation upon completion of the suspension. The University of Connecticut will not accept credits earned at another institution during a period of suspension.
- University Expulsion: University Expulsion is permanent separation from the University. A student who has been expelled is prohibited from participating in any University activity or program. The individual may not be in or on any University owned or leased property. A permanent notation of “Expulsion” shall be placed on the student’s transcript.
- Additional Sanctions: The following may be given in conjunction with any of the above:
- Loss of Privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Restitution: Compensation for loss of or damage to property or services rendered. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Removal from Housing: Separation of the student from University approved housing for a designated period of time after which the student shall be eligible to return. Removal may include loss of dining privileges. At the sole discretion of the student conduct officer or hearing body, this sanction may be deferred to provide the student with a last opportunity to demonstrate that the student can be a positive member of the Residential Life community. If any violation(s) occurs in the residence halls, the sanction would be immediately imposed. If, after two consecutive semesters, the student has had no further issues in the residence halls then the sanction will be considered complete.
- UConn Compass: The UConn Compass program has a sanction component which is designed to promote student engagement through co-curricular involvement. UConn Compass facilitators will assist students in designing a customized involvement plan based on their individual interests and academic plans.
- Educational Initiatives: Projects; participation in health or safety programs (the student may be required to pay a fee); service to the University or to the larger community; seminars; and other assignments as warranted.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon registered student organizations:
- Those sanctions listed above in Part IV, E.1.
- Any sanction as defined in Blueprints: A Manual for Registered Student Organizations.
- Aggravated Violations: If a student is in violation of The Student Code and the behavior was directed toward an individual or group due to race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical or mental disabilities, including learning disabilities, intellectual development disorders, and past/present history of a mental disorder, the student conduct officer or hearing body may enhance the sanctions.
- A decision reached through the administrative hearing process may be appealed by the respondent(s) or complainant(s) to the next level of student conduct authority within five (5) business days of the decision. All appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the designated appellate body via the mechanism identified by Community Standards. The decision reached as a result of an administrative conference may not be appealed.
- Except as required to explain the basis of new information, an appeal shall be limited to a review of the student case file. The audio recording of the administrative hearing shall be available for the appellate body for review as necessary. The review shall be for one or more of the following purposes:
- To determine whether the administrative hearing was conducted in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complainant and investigating student conduct officer a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present information that The Student Code was violated, and giving the respondent a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a response to those allegations.
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the determined violation(s) of The Student Code.
- To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original administrative hearing.
- If an appeal is granted by the appellate body, the matter shall either be referred to the original hearing body for re-opening of the administrative hearing to allow reconsideration of the original determination or the appellate body will determine any change in sanctions. If an appeal is denied, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved.
G. Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
- By federal law, a person with a disability is any person who: 1) has a physical or mental impairment; 2) has a record of such impairment; or 3) is regarded as having such an impairment, which substantially limits one or more major life activities such as self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, or learning.
- A student requesting an accommodation in regard to an administrative conference, hearing, or probation review meeting must follow the appropriate process for requesting an accommodation through the Center for Students with Disabilities. The Center for Students with Disabilities will make a determination regarding the request and notify the appropriate parties.
- Reasonable accommodations depend upon the nature and degree of severity of the documented disability. While the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires that priority consideration be given to the specific methods requested by the student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable and other suitable techniques are available.