Judiciary Council

Through a cooperative effort of faculty, staff, and students, the College has developed procedures for adjudicating allegations that students have violated College regulations. It is felt that these procedures serve well the interest of students in obtaining full and fair hearings with a minimum of complexity and inconvenience. The Student Services Division has administrative responsibility for the judicial process. The process consists of a College Judiciary Council and a College Appeals Board. The Appeals Board hears appeals from the Judiciary Council.

The purpose of the Judiciary Council will be:

  • To hear cases involving serious offenses against the College community or a member thereof by a student or students;
  • To decide in case of a violation what sanction(s) shall be imposed against the person(s) involved;
  • To set the specific conditions and length of such sanction(s) as prescribed;
  • The decision of this Council shall be final subject to appeal to the Appeals Board;
  • The Council may be composed of up to a maximum of eight (8) persons: two (2) faculty members, two (2) staff members and four (4) students. The Dean of Students shall appoint faculty, staff and student members, and each member shall serve a term of one (1) year. The Director of Student Development shall serve as chairperson of the Council. The quorum for any given hearing will be drawn from three (3) members of the Council to be comprised of one (1) faculty, one (1) staff member, and one (1) student. The selection process shall be the responsibility of the chairperson;
  • The Chairperson and Council members will be subject to recusal if there is a perceived conflict of interest. To warrant recusal, a Council member must have a perceived personal bias or prejudice concerning a student, or have a personal knowledge of information regarding the hearing. The Chairperson will determine recusals;
  • The Director of Counseling will serve as the Assistant Chairperson of the Council; and
  • The Chairperson has the authority to dismiss the Council at any point that order cannot be maintained or restored.

Any academic or administrative official, faculty member, or student may file charges, in writing, against any student for misconduct. The charges should be filed with the Dean of Students. In an emergency or in extraordinary circumstances, the Dean of Students may suspend the student(s) pending consideration of the case. The Dean of Students shall make a preliminary investigation of the case to ascertain whether the charges can be disposed of without setting in motion the Judiciary Council. If disposition cannot occur, copies of the charge will be sent to the Chair of the Council.

Upon receipt of the charges, the Chair of the Council shall schedule a hearing. The student(s) shall be given notice of the time and place of the hearing, shall be informed of the charge(s) being brought, and shall be advised that witnesses may be present. The accused student has the option to call a maximum of three witnesses in his/her defense. Judicial Hearings will be held on Thursdays at 2:00 pm. However, the Council will meet as extenuating circumstances arise. All hearings are private.

If, for lack of a sufficient reason, as judged by the Council, an accused individual fails to appear at the agreed time of the hearing, the Council reserves the right to proceed without the presence of the accused. If the absence is unexcused, the accused forfeits any right of appeal. The Council shall hear the testimony of any witnesses. A record of all hearings shall be kept under the supervision of the Chair and made available to all parties involved in preparing appeals. Students are required to dress professionally for the hearing. The Judiciary Council shall, make within three (3) days, a full report to the Dean of Students including the minutes, the decision, and recommendations. The Council shall also provide the accused with a copy of its decision within three days. Any student who feels that he/she has cause may appeal a disciplinary decision by filing a notice of Appeal with the Appeals Board.

The accused may appeal the decision of the Judiciary Council by so stating in a letter to the Dean of Students within seven (7) days after the decision. The petition of appeal will be forwarded within two (2) days to the Appeals Board. The appeal shall be limited to a review of the Council’s decision for the purpose of determining whether the Council acted fairly in light of the charge and evidence presented to the Council.

The Appeals Board serves as a review committee only to determine whether the Judiciary Council acted fairly in rendering its decision. If the Appeals Board finds that the Judiciary Council acted unfairly, the decision will be sent back to the Dean of Students for further consideration. If the Appeals Board supports the original ruling, the decision of the Council stands.

The Appeals Board cannot amend the decision of the Judiciary Council, call witnesses, or further question the alleged offender(s). The Chairperson of the Judiciary Council will submit detailed minutes of the hearing and the decision rendered for the review of the Appeals Board. All sanctions apply during the appeal process.

Copies of the decision on the appeal will be sent to the accused and to the Dean of Students or the designee.

The Appeals Board will be selected from among the remaining five (5) members not associated with the case. The selection process shall be the responsibility of the Dean of Students and/or designee.

The Appeals Board shall be comprised of three (3) members; one (1) from each group of the Judiciary Council who have not been involved in adjudicating of the case being considered. The Chair will be elected by mutual consent. The Chair’s responsibility will be to conduct the appeal hearing and to provide the appropriate bodies with copies of the Appeals Board’s decision.

Decisions of the appeal may be lobbied in writing to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students has the power to overturn a ruling if it is deemed unfair. Only “zero tolerance” offenses that result in sanctions of suspension or expulsion may be appealed to the Vice President of Student Services. All other sanctions approved by the Dean of Students are final.

In rare incidences a Due Process Hearing/Appeals Hearing may be convened to ensure that the Council has acted fairly in rendering a decision for all concerned parties.

When a student is accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct and criminal charges are pending against the student, an attorney may be present. In such instances, the role of the attorney is limited and passive. The attorney cannot actively participate in the hearing or ask questions of the witnesses or judicial board members. The attorney’s role is to advise the student regarding self-incrimination and to observe the proceedings. If a student does not have current criminal charges pending, an attorney will not be permitted to be present during any disciplinary proceedings.

Parents are prohibited from attending judicial proceedings.