A. Alleged Violations and Resolution of Charges
- Any student, member of the faculty, administration, support staff, visitor or guest to the campus community may file reports alleging possible student misconduct. The Director or designee will review all reports and determine the appropriate course of action to be taken.
- Any alleged violation should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place. If an alleged violation is not reported within four months of the time it becomes known by the Reporting Party, it will be considered untimely unless the Director/designee concludes that there has been good cause for the delay and that it is still feasible to hold a fair hearing.
- The person filing a report need not be the actual victim of the conduct.
- Upon receipt of a written report of misconduct, the Director or designee will determine if the alleged misconduct is unfounded or frivolous, and if so, the Director/designee will dismiss the report. The Director/designee also will make a determination of the potential level of seriousness of a particular report.
a. Levels of Seriousness
i. "Warning" cases are those in which the student faces a primary sanction no more severe than a Warning (The Case Administrator may assign secondary sanctions as appropriate.).
ii. "Less Serious" cases are those cases in which the alleged violation might result in a sanction between a Warning and Deferred Disciplinary Suspension.
iii. "More Serious" cases are those cases in which the alleged violation would likely result in removal from the university's residence halls, Deferred Disciplinary Suspension, Disciplinary Suspension, or Permanent Dismissal from the university.
B. Information Session
- If the Director/designee does not dismiss the allegation, the student or official representative of the student organization shall receive written notice of the information session with a Case Administrator. This session is an opportunity for the student to receive information about the conduct process, including options for resolution, and to discuss the report with the Case Administrator and respond on the student's behalf, or on behalf of a student organization, although the student is not required to make a statement.
- After the information session and any appropriate investigation, the Case Administrator will dismiss the report if unfounded.
- If a student fails to appear at the information session after proper notification, the Case Administrator may further investigate and dismiss the report if unfounded, place a hold on the student's records (which prevents a student from registering or engaging in other transactions with the university), or prepare written allegations and notify the student or representative of the student organization (hereafter referred to as the "Respondent") that the matter has been scheduled for a hearing.
C. Permanent Resignation
Within 72 hours of notification of a pending conduct case, a student may choose to resign permanently from the university if the Dean of Students approves this option. If approved, the Dean of Students will direct that the student’s official records, including the transcript, will carry the following designation “Resigned under suspicion of a serious violation of the Code of Conduct. Ineligible to return.” The student must certify, via a notarized letter, that the student understands that the student cannot seek or receive admission into any William & Mary program in the future. The student will not be able to be present on campus and will leave the university not in good standing.
D. Resolution Options
- If the Case Administrator does not dismiss the report after the information session, the student or organization may elect to resolve the case through one of the following three options:
a. Administrative Resolution: If the Respondent and the Case Administrator agree to a written summary of facts, and the Respondent waives a hearing in writing, the Respondent may resolve the case informally with the Case Administrator. The Case Administrator will assess sanctions/educational measures and inform the student in writing.
i. If the Case Administrator determines that a case cannot be resolved through the Administrative Resolution process, the administrator can refer the matter for a hearing. The type of hearing will still be the choice of the student or organization (except in cases of Sexual Misconduct - see Appendix I.)
ii. For "Warning" cases, the student can resolve the matter via Administrative Resolution or Administrative Hearing, but not via a Panel Hearing.
b. Administrative Hearing: The Respondent can elect to resolve the case through a hearing with the Case Administrator.
c. Committee Hearing: The Respondent can elect to resolve the case through the appropriate committee via formal hearing.
- Timeline. The Respondent will have two full working days to decide upon a resolution option unless the Case Administrator grants an extension for good cause. Once made, this election is irreversible. If the Respondent does not inform the Case Administrator of the Respondent's election within two working days after the Information Session, the Case Administrator can deem the lack of notification as a waiver of the party's right to dispute the report, and the Case Administrator can resolve the report based on the information available without the need for a formal hearing.
- Appeal. The Respondent retains the right to appeal regardless of the resolution method selected. Depending upon the method of adjudication, the grounds for appeal may be limited. (See Appeals of Student Conduct Actions, Section VIII).
E. General Resolution Procedures
- Rules of evidence and "second hand" information. University proceedings do not follow the rules of evidence employed by courts of law. The Chair or Case Administrator can consider information that does not come from a first-hand source if deemed to be reliable, although a finding of responsibility may not be premised solely on such information. Lie detector/polygraph evidence is not permissible.
- Separation of witnesses. In order to preserve the independence of each witness’s participation in the hearing, the Chair may separate the witnesses during the course of a hearing. If separated, no witness who has already participated in the hearing may have contact with any witness due to participate.
- Support for Respondent
a. Student or Administrative Advisor. The Respondent may elect to be assisted by a currently-enrolled student of their choosing. In “more serious” cases the student may petition the Director (or designee) to appoint an administrator to serve in place of student advisor. An advisor may not give testimony during the hearing.
b. Silent Supporter. The Respondent may elect to have one silent supporter present. Silent supporters will not participate in the proceedings or serve as witnesses.
i. Presence of Legal Counsel. Legal counsel may serve as a student's silent supporter provided the student has informed the Case Administrator in writing at least two working days prior to the hearing. Legal counsel will not participate in the proceedings unless the Chair or administrator hearing the matter determines, when requested by the Respondent, that the hearing exposes the student to potential criminal action outside the university's conduct process. The determination regarding the participation of legal counsel is final, and legal counsel will participate only to the extent authorized. Under no circumstances will the attorney be permitted to question witnesses or other parties to the proceedings, or to serve as a witness. The university may have its own legal counsel or advisor present if a student opts to have legal counsel present.
F. Procedures for Committee Hearing and Administrative Hearing
- Allegations. If the Respondent chooses to resolve a case via a hearing, the Case Administrator will prepare formal written allegations of violation and notify the student.
- Timeline. Alleged violations normally will be heard within ten working days of notification to the Respondent except in unusual cases where 1) the Director or designee grants a postponement to the Case Administrator, or 2) the party responsible for hearing the matter grants the Respondent a postponement, or 3) when a University break makes a hearing impractical. A case may not be heard in fewer than four working days unless the student waives in writing the four-working-day time period.
- Committee Hearing Procedures
a. Types of Committee Hearings
i. A Student Panel hears "less serious" cases (as defined in Section VI.A.4.) when a student requests a committee hearing.
ii. A Hearing Board hears "more serious" cases (as defined in Section VI.A.4.) when a student has requested a committee hearing.
- Procedures for Student Panel Hearings
a. Procedures. Normally,the University uses informal procedures in deciding "less serious" alleged violations. However, the student will be provided
i. written notice of the alleged violations;
ii. upon timely request, a summary of the principal facts underlying the alleged violations to the knowledge of the Case Administrator
iii. the opportunity to respond on the student's own behalf,
iv. the opportunity to present relevant witnesses (although the Chair may limit witness statements that are repetitive), and
v. written findings of the outcome of the hearing.
b. Panel Composition. Normally, three student members of the Student Conduct Council, at least two from the school in which the Respondent is enrolled, will hear each case. Each three-member panel will select one of its members from the Respondent's school as Chair. A fourth member, who may not vote or participate in any way in the hearing or deliberations of the Panel other than as record-keeper, will be designated as recorder.
c. Authority of the Panel. The Panel may determine whether the Respondent is responsible for the alleged violations and will assess sanctions/educational measures if it finds the student responsible. The panel will require a majority vote to reach decisions.
d. Witnesses. The Respondent has the responsibility to secure the presence of witnesses desired at the hearing. If the Respondent notifies the Director/desginee in a timely fashion that a critical witness, one whose testimony will not be duplicative, is refusing to appear at the scheduled hearing, the Director/designee will examine the matter and assist if appropriate. The Respondent may request that the university pursue conduct action against any student witness who refuses to appear or to cooperate so long as timely, appropriate, and verifiable notice was provided the witness. The university considers this action "Abusing the Student Conduct System." The Director/designee will ensure notification to all available witnesses required to appear of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
e. Case Presentation. Ordinarily the Case Administrator will present the information relevant to the incident and will recommend sanctions/educational measures if the panel finds the Respondent responsible for one or more violations.
f. Determination of Responsibility and Burden of Proof. The Panel will meet in closed session to determine whether the Respondent has violated the Code as alleged. At least two of the three Panel members must conclude that "a preponderance of the evidence" establishes that a violation has occurred.
g. Determination of Sanctions.
i. If the Panel finds the Respondent responsible for one or more violations, the Case Administrator will brief the Panel regarding any previous violations of the Code of Conduct or Honor Code by the student, any precedent for similar situations, any additional relevant information concerning the student's prior history, and any recommendations concerning sanctioning. The student may make a statement concerning sanctioning, and if desired, call character witnesses. The chair may limit the number of character witnesses (usually one). The Panel then meets in closed session to determine an appropriate sanction and reconvenes to announce its decision.
ii. At least two of the three members of the Panel must agree to the sanctions/educational measures issued. Any sanctions are not final until CVRP issues a written decision to the student and any appeal is complete.
h. Hearing Records. The recorder and the Chair will summarize the information presented and the Panel's findings, including the reasons for the finding and sanctions/educational measures if the Panel found the student responsible. Normally, the Chair will submit the summary to CVRP within two working days of the hearing.
i. Case Review and Notification. The Director or designee will promptly review the panel decision and may return for reconsideration or rehearing any finding and/or sanction that is inconsistent with university policy or practice. The Director/designee may modify any sanction(s) not authorized by the Code of Conduct. Normally, the Director/designee will notify the student in writing of the decision of the Panel within two working days after the Panel submits its summary.
j. Appeal. The Director/desginee will review appeals of Student Panel decisions in accordance with the principles outlined under Appeals of Student Conduct Actions (Section VIII).
- Procedures for Hearing Board Hearing
a. Board Composition. Five Student Conduct Council members will comprise a Hearing Board: two students from the Respondent's academic unit, one other student member of the Council, one faculty member from the Respondent's academic unit, and one administrator. The Director or designee will designate one of the three students as Chair of the panel. If the Respondent is a graduate or professional student enrolled in a degree program in two different schools, student members will be appointed to the Board from both schools if possible. The Chair will designate a sixth member of the Conduct Council, who may not vote or participate in any way in the hearing or deliberations of the Board other than as record-keeper, to serve as recorder.
b. Recording. Hearing Board proceedings will be recorded via digital media.
c. Notification. The Case Administrator will schedule a hearing with the Hearing Board and inform the Respondent in writing at least 72 hours in advance of the date, time, and place of the hearing and of the exact alleged violations at issue. The Case Administrator will also provide the Respondent with the principal information in support of the alleged violations of which they are aware at the time.
d. Witnesses. The Respondent has the responsibility of securing the presence of witnesses desired at the hearing. If the Respondent notifies the Director/designee in a timely fashion that a critical witness, one whose testimony will not be duplicative, is refusing to appear at the scheduled hearing, the Director/designee will examine the matter and assist if appropriate. The Respondent may request that the university pursue conduct action against any student witness who refuses to appear or cooperate so long as timely, appropriate, and verifiable notice was provided the witness. The university considers action “Abusing the Student Conduct System.” The Director/designee will ensure notification to all available witnesses required to appear of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
e. Postponement. The Respondent may request one postponement of the hearing, citing the reasons for the request in a written statement to the Case Administrator at least two working days in advance of the hearing, if possible. The Respondent should provide supporting documentation where appropriate. The Case Administrator may grant a postponement for good cause.
f. Conduct of the Hearing. The Chair is responsible for the conduct of the hearing and will follow the conduct procedures as outlined on the CVRP website.
g. Determination of Responsibility and Burden of Proof. The Board will meet in closed session to determine whether the Respondent has violated the Code. At least four of the five Board members must conclude that "a preponderance of the evidence" exists to prove the alleged violations.
h. Determination of Sanctions.
i. If the Board finds the student responsible for one or more violations, the Case Administrator will brief the Board regarding any previous violations of the Conduct or Honor Code by the student, any precedent for similar situations, any additional relevant information concerning the student's prior history, and any recommendations concerning sanctions. The student may make a statement concerning sanctions, and if desired, call character witnesses. The Chair may limit the number of character witnesses (usually one). The Board then meets in closed session to determine an appropriate sanction and reconvenes to announce its decision.
ii. At least four of five members of the Board must agree to the sanction(s) imposed. Sanctions are not final until the Director/designee issues a written decision to the student and any appeal procedure is complete.
i. Hearing Records. The Recorder and the Chair will summarize the hearing, the information presented, and the findings of the Board and indicate the reasoning for the finding and any sanctions assigned.
j. Filing with Director of Community Values. The Chair normally will file the summary, the recording, and all evidence within two working days with the Director of Community Values.
k. Case Review and Notification. The Director or designee will review the case documents and decision promptly and will return for reconsideration or rehearing to the Hearing Board any finding and/or sanction that is inconsistent with university policy or practice. The Director/designee may modify any sanction(s) imposed that are not authorized by the Code of Conduct. Normally, the Director/designee will notify the Respondent in writing of the finding of the Board and any sanctions assigned within two working days after the Board's summary is filed.
l. Written decisions and findings. CVRP staff will notify the Respondent in writing of the case decision and the findings on which it was based.
m. Appeal. Normally within two working days after written confirmation of the results of the hearing are provided, the Director or designee will be available to the Respondent to discuss the impact of the decision and to provide information about the appeal process. See Appeals of Student Conduct Actions (Section VIII.)
- Procedures for Administrative Hearings. If the Respondent elects to have the alleged violations resolved via an administrative hearing, the procedures outlined under "Procedures for Student Panel Hearings" or "Procedures for Hearing Board Hearings" above will be followed with appropriate allowances for the differences in structure.
- Modified Procedures for Alleged Crimes of Violence or Hazing
a. Modified Procedures for Crimes of Violence or Hazing:
i. If a case of alleged crime(s) of violence (18) or hazing is not resolved via Administrative Resolution, the Reporting Party will be granted the following additional rights
a. The Reporting Party may have present at the hearing a supporter of their choosing. The support person will not participate in the hearing process and will be bound by the rules of confidentiality governing the hearing.
b. The Reporting Party may choose to be physically separated from the Respondent during hearing proceedings. The party must indicate this choice at least two working days prior to the hearing.
c. The Director or designee will provide the reporting party with notification of the final outcome of a conduct proceeding and any sanction(s) imposed as permitted by law.
d. The Reporting Party has the right to appeal (see Section VIII.).