Part 4: Student Code of Conduct Procedures
The following are the procedures followed to adjudicate all violations of The Student Code except that allegations of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking committed by a student or Student Organization are adjudicated under the Sexual Misconduct and Sex-based Discrimination Policy for Students and Employees.
Hearing officers may involve or seek input from other University officials in any or all parts of the Student Code of Conduct Procedures as they deem appropriate, such as University officials from the Center for Student Engagement, Center for Diversity and Social Justice Programs, or the Department of Athletics with respect to Student Organization respondents.
1. Any person may file a report regarding any student or Student Organization alleging misconduct. To initiate The Student Code process, reports shall be prepared in writing and directed to the Assistant Dean of Students. A report should be submitted as soon as possible after the alleged misconduct takes place.
2. The Assistant Dean of Students 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 complaint through the process is the decision of the Assistant Dean of Students.
3. Generally, the Assistant Dean of Students will assign a Hearing officer(s) to the case who will investigate, schedule a meeting with the respondent(s) and other individuals as deemed necessary and appropriate.
4. Information, in addition to that provided in the complaint/incident report, may be sought through a preliminary investigation. The investigation may include, but not limited to:
a. interviewing the complaint(s), responding party(ies), and witness(es),
b. gathering documentary or other information from the party(ies) and witness(es),
c. gathering relevant documents and/or other information which may be available to the University.
5. The Assistant Dean of Students, or designee, will determine what testimony, witnesses, or other information is relevant and may exclude information or witnesses that are deemed immaterial and/or irrelevant.
6. The Assistant Dean of Students, or designee, may consult with the Center for Student Engagement, Center for Diversity and Social Justice, the Department of Athletics and other relevant university officials regarding allegations regarding Student Organizations or that imply Student Organization involvement.
B. Administrative Hearing
- The Hearing Officer will provide the parties with an opportunity to review information related to the incident.
- The Hearing Officer will meet with the parties and provide them with an opportunity to respond to the information and present any information or witnesses they wish. The rules of evidence, applicable to civil and criminal cases do not apply and no recordings of the proceeding can be made by the student or the Hearing Officer.
- The Hearing Officer may ask the parties questions during the meeting(s), seek additional information, make requests of the parties, or interview any person the Hearing Officer deems necessary.
- The Hearing Officer may refer a case to the Community Standards Board if information becomes available that more serious conduct is involved.
- Based upon the preponderance of the evidence, the Hearing Officer will decide as to whether a violation of The Student Code has occurred. The Hearing Officer has the full prior disciplinary record of the responding party available to them to decide the level of sanction if found in violation of The Student Code.
- The Hearing Officer will notify the parties of their findings and sanction(s), if any, in writing.
- If a party do not meet with the Hearing Officer or comply with their requests, the Hearing Officer will make a finding and sanction decision based upon the information available. In this case, the party will lose any right of appeal.
- In cases where information is received, before or during the Hearing that indicates an additional violations of The Student Code may have occurred, the Hearing Officer will determine if it will be addressed during the meeting or in a separate hearing.
C. Informal Resolution/Educational Conference
1. The Dean of Students Office, or designee, reserves the right to schedule an informal resolution/educational conference to discuss the behavior of students and its impact on the mission of the University.
2. Conferences may result in an action plan agreed on by all parties to address the behavior. If the action plan is not honored, the university reserves the right to initiate a formal review under The Student Code. Examples of incidents that may be adjudicated by an Educational Conference include but are not limited to minor disruptions and/or educational or behavioral concerns.
3. Educational conferences are typically scheduled within ten (10) business days upon receipt of a report of a potential violation of The Student Code.
D. Community Standards Board Hearing (CSB)
1. The CSB is a standing board that includes students, faculty, and staff. The CSB is advised by the Assistant Dean of Students. The composition of each CSB panel will be determined by the Assistant Dean of Students.
2. In some matters, the Assistant Director for Student Affairs and Conduct will investigate and present the information to the CSB panel.
3. The rules of evidence applicable to civil and criminal cases do not apply.
4. The CSB hearing shall be conducted in private, only including involved student/parties, relevant witnesses, and support person.
5. The complainant and respondent shall have the right to:
a. The names and titles of the panel members, including the alternate(s), assigned to hear the matter will be given to the parties at least five (5) business days before the hearing. If a party has reason to believe that a CSB panel member is not able to be objective, the party must provide reasons to support the claim in writing to the Assistant Dean of Students not later than two (2) business days before the hearing. The fact that the party is in class with or being taught by a panel member is not sufficient alone to replace the assigned panel member. The Assistant Dean of Students will decide whether to replace the CSB panel member.
b. The information concerning the matter available to them at least 2 (two) days prior to the hearing.
c. Speak to and present witnesses who can speak from personal knowledge about the incident. Character witnesses are not permitted.
d. Request questions be asked of participants of the hearing during a hearing.
e. Refuse to answer a question, but the CSB members will decide the matter based upon the information it receives.
f. The responding student will receive a notice of the findings and sanction(s), if any.
g. The complaining student, if a victim of an incident of violence, will receive notification of the outcome of the hearing.
6. If a party chooses not to attend their CSB hearing or is asked to leave a hearing due to disruption, a decision will be made using available information and the right to appeal is lost.
7. In incidents involving more than one party, the hearing may be conducted as a joint hearing.
8. In cases involving student organizations, clubs and teams, the organization, club, or team must designate an officer or captain to act as the spokesperson during the hearing.
9. If a party is found in violation, the CSB members will have the full disciplinary record made available to them to decide if a sanction should be more severe based upon history. This information is not used to determine responsibility.
Hearing Order of Events for a Community Standards Board Hearing
The following are guidelines for the order of events for a Community Standards Board hearing. As each matter is unique, they may be modified at any time as circumstances require.
- Introduction of the parties.
- Reading of the alleged violations.
- Signing of the Honesty Statement by all parties and witnesses.
- Oral statement by complaining party.
- Oral statement by responding party.
- Questions by the Community Standards Board panel to the parties and all witnesses.
- Questions submitted by the parties to the Community Standards Board panel.
- Final Statement by complaining party.
- Final Statement by the responding party.
- Final questions or requests from Community Standards Board panel members.
E. Determination of Facts Relative to an Alleged Violation
- The standard used in determining whether the respondent violated The Student Code is a preponderance of the evidence (whether it is more likely than not that a violation occurred).
- If the respondent is found responsible for violating The Student Code, appropriate sanctions will be imposed. Sanctions are determined by considering the nature of the misconduct, precedent regarding such misconduct, the respondent’s complete student conduct record, respondent’s demeanor in relation to the matter, the community impact statements and/or mitigating or aggravating factors.
- Sanctions for violations of the Sexual Misconduct and Sex-based Discrimination Policy for Students and Employees can be found within that policy.
- The University has a special concern for incidents in which persons are mistreated because of race, gender, disability, age, marital status, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, genetic information, or other personal characteristic. Such incidents damage not only individuals, but also the free and open academic environment of the university. More severe sanctions are appropriate for such misconduct.
- Some University policies specify sanctions for violations.
- A campus department, separate from the Dean of Students Office, may place a restriction on a student or Student Organization found responsible for violating The Student Code. Examples include, but are not limited to: Athletics, Center for Student Engagement, Housing and Residential Life, and Center for Diversity and Social Justice Programs.
- Sanctions such as University Expulsion, University Suspension, Permanent Residence Hall Suspension or Temporary Residence Hall Suspension may result in the forfeiture of certain monies.
- Non-compliance with assigned sanctions will result in a hold being placed on a student’s account. This may impact the student’s ability to register for classes. The student may also face additional charges through The Student Code.
- The following sanctions may be imposed, individually or in various combinations, on any student found to have violated The Student Code. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of sanctions:
a. University Expulsion: University Expulsion is a permanent separation from Wentworth Institute of Technology. Students are prevented and prohibited from completing any academic progress towards a Wentworth degree including registering for coursework, attending classes or being present in or on Wentworth property. Student are administratively withdrawn from their courses and therefore will not receive grades for their academic work for the semester this sanction is implemented. Students must also turn in their Wentworth issued laptop to DTS immediately to avoid being charged the full value of the unit. A person’s presence on Wentworth property upon being expelled will be viewed as trespassing and may be subject to arrest.
b. University Suspension: University Suspension is a separation from the university for a designated period. Students who are suspended from the University are restricted from all University premises and activities, including but not limited to, course registration, class attendance, participation in co-curricular activities and University housing. Students returning from University Suspension must contact the Assistant Dean of Students at least two weeks prior to the semester of their return and follow any additional sanctions assigned to them. A person’s presence on Wentworth property upon during University Suspension will be viewed as trespassing and may be subject to arrest.
c. University Probation: University Probation is a set period of time during which the respondent is given the opportunity to modify behavior, to complete specific assignments, meet with designated persons, and demonstrate a positive contribution to the University community in an effort regain privileges within the university community. Please be aware that a responsible finding for any violation(s) of any University policy during the probationary period will be viewed as a violation of probation, and will result in further disciplinary action being imposed, including, but not limited to, University Suspension or University Expulsion. Additionally, as students and organizations which are on University Probation are not considered to be in good disciplinary standing with the university, this may impact their ability to participate in intercollegiate athletics, represent the University, student leadership positions, study abroad opportunities, extracurricular and/or residence life activities.
d. Warning: A written notice that the respondent has violated University policy or The Student Code and a warning that another violation will likely result in more severe sanctions which could include University Probation, Temporary or Permanent Residence Hall Suspension, University Suspension, or University Expulsion.
e. Permanent Residence Hall Suspension: Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
f. Temporary Residence Hall Suspension: Temporary separation of the student from the residence halls for a specific period, after which the student may reapply for housing. Reapplication for housing does not guarantee immediate placement. Conditions for returning to the residence halls may be specified.
g. Housing Probation: A period during which the respondent will be subject to removal from the residence halls if there is an additional documentation.
h. Housing Relocation: Required assignment to another residence area.
i. Loss of Privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period. This could include loss of responsible user status in the residence halls.
j. Restriction: Denial of access to any campus facility, activity, class, or program. This includes No Contact Orders.
k. Fines: Financial sanction.
l. Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service or monetary or material replacement.
m. Assessment: A student may be referred to an appropriate office or local agency for consultation or assessment. These may include Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Assessments.
n. Educational Program/Project: Projects; participation in health or safety programs, including restorative justice workshops (the student may be required to pay a fee); service to the University or to the larger community; seminars; and other assignments as warranted.
Alcohol Violation Sanctions
The sanctions listed below are only guides and may be more severe, including but not limited to University Suspension or Expulsion, depending on the specifics of the incident, history of alcohol violation(s), as well as other violations which may have occurred simultaneously.
First level alcohol violations include but are not limited to: possession of a small quantity of beer or wine when underage, possession of beer or wine in a designated dry area, possessing an amount of alcohol exceeding allowed amount in registered Responsible User area, underage possession of empties, possession of alcohol paraphernalia, underage drinking, intoxication for students over 21.
- Disciplinary Warning
- $100 fine
- Alcohol Education Class
- Parental/Guardian Notification
Second level alcohol violations include but are not limited to: second violation of first level alcohol violation, possession of hard alcohol, possession of a quantity over the amount allowed in registered Responsible User suites (beer up to 72 fluid ounces or pre-bottle/measured beverage or 1.5 liter wine), public consumption, common source (kegs, beer balls, punch).
- Housing Probation
- $200 fine
- Individual Alcohol Education
- Community Review Essay
- Parental/Guardian Notification
Third level alcohol violations include but are not limited to: multiple first level or second level violations, providing alcohol to minors, and/or providing a location for underage consumption.
- University Probation
- $300 fine
- Parental/Guardian Notification
- 12 Hours of Community Service/Restitution
Illegal Substances, Prescription Drug Violation Sanctions
The following are possible sanctions imposed for violations. Sanctions are dependent upon the severity and circumstances of each incident as well as the type of substance.
First level violations may include but are not limited to: possession of a personal use sized quantity of marijuana, odor, possession of drug paraphernalia, marijuana seeds/stems.
- Disciplinary Warning or Housing Probation
- $250 fine
- Drug Education Class
- Parental/Guardian Notification
Second level violations may include but are not limited to: second violation of first level violation, use of illegal substances and drugs.
- University Probation
- Housing Suspension (if applicable)
- $300 fine
- Individual Drug Education
- Parental/Guardian Notification
- 12 hours community service/restitution
Third level violations may include but are not limited to: multiple first level or second level violations, possession of illegal or counterfeit substances and drugs, distribution, or intent to distribute.
- Suspension and/or Expulsion from the University
- Parental/Guardian Notification
1. A student who has participated in the discipline process and has been found in violation of The Student Code may file a written appeal within three business days of written receipt. If the written appeal is not filed on time it will be dismissed. A party is allowed only one appeal.
2. All appeals shall be submitted through the Appeal Submission Form. The appeal form must state the reasons for the appeal and provide information as to the basis of the appeal. Basis for appeal include:
a. new and material information not available at the time of the hearing which might have affected the outcome of the hearing.
b. the hearing did not substantially follow the Guidelines or a change from the Guidelines substantially affected the outcome of the hearing.
3. The Appeal Officer may speak to the underlying decision maker/body, the appealing party, and the responding party, review all information taken during the underlying hearing and seek additional information. The Appeal Officer may change the findings on violations or change the sanction(s) imposed (reduce or increase).
4. The decision made in the appeal process is final.
5. All parties to an appeal will promptly receive simultaneous written notice of the outcome of the appeal.
H. Support Services
The complaining and responding parties can have a support person present at a hearing.
- A list of faculty/staff support persons who have offered to serve in this role is available from the Dean of Students Office. A party may also ask another member of the Wentworth faculty, staff, or student to serve as a support person. No faculty or staff is required to accept a request from a party to serve as a support person.
- The support person may assist the party before the hearing in preparing a statement, reviewing the process, and seeking answers to any questions that the party may have. Support persons are present for support only and are not permitted to ask or answer questions, present evidence, or make any statements during the hearing.
- The University does not warrant the competency or ability of any volunteer support person.
- The Hearing Officer must be notified in writing prior to the hearing date who will be serving as the support person. For cases being heard by the Community Standards Board, the Assistant Dean of Students must be notified in writing two (2) days prior to the hearing date the individual who will be serving as a support person.
I. Disability Accommodations and Interpretive Services
- Students with a disability who desire an accommodation regarding The Student Code must request an accommodation by following the procedure for requesting an accommodation through The Center for Wellness. It is the individual’s responsibility, and not that of a university official, to request an accommodation. The Center for Wellness will make a determination regarding the request and notify the appropriate parties. An Individual will not be considered to have a disability unless and until the student registers with the Center for Wellness. Please contact the Center for Wellness at (617) 989-4390.
- Similarly, those in need of interpretive services are encouraged to contact the Center for Wellness at (617) 989-4390.